We call them "buttons" and "deadrolls" — and, less cryptically, "breaks" — but most NPR listeners know them as the interstitial music spots that pepper NPR's newsmagazines. They add shading, mood, energy and other nonverbal context to our stories.
The director Francois Truffaut once remarked that it takes as much time and energy to make a bad movie as to make a good one. He was right, but I would add one thing: It takes extraordinary effort to make a truly memorable flop.
The best example is Heaven's Gate, the hugely expensive 1980 movie by Michael Cimino that is the most famous cinematic disaster of my lifetime. It's part of that film's legend that it not only took down a studio, United Artists, but was the nail in the coffin of Hollywood's auteur filmmaking of the 1970s.
From 'All Things Considered': Tommy Chong talks with Audie Cornish
With Washington state set to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana just after midnight tonight, and Colorado set to decriminalize pot next month, All Things Considered today turned to "stoner" comic Tommy Chong to get his perspective.
Needless to say, the half Asian half of Cheech and Chong is very happy. He's planning to move to both states, Chong joked.
A Syrian soldier aims his rifle during clashes with rebel forces in the Damascus suburb of Daraya on Sunday. The recent fighting around Damascus has raised fears of a looming battle for control of the capital.
Earlier this week, Deacon White was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. And yes, we know, you've never heard of him. White's career began in 1871, at the dawn of professional baseball. He played catcher in the days when catchers use no equipment at all: no glove, no pads, no facemask. They became heroes celebrated for their courage and their wits, and Deacon White stood out as one of the best.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Standstill, nowhere, nothing happening - House Republicans ask the president to talk, but they know taxes top his Christmas list. It's Wednesday and time for a...
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Naughty and nice...
CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. As more and more of Syria slips out of government control, concern deepens over what's believed to be an enormous stockpile of chemical weapons. Last weekend, several reports cited suspicious activity at some chemical weapon sites in Syria.
Dave Brubeck, the jazz musician best known for "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo a la Turk" died Dec. 5, 2012, a day short of his 92nd birthday. In 1959, the Dave Brubeck Quartet's album Time Out became the first jazz album to sell a million copies.
And we wouldn't want to look over in traffic and see Fido cruising by.
But the stories from New Zealand about how the SPCA there is teaching three dogs to drive (sort-of) have some must-see video. Check out what Monty, Ginny and Porter are learning to do. They've learned to respond to some verbal commands that allow them to move a Mini Countryman around a bit.