I was playing 40-year-old women when I was 20. I didn't get considered for ingenue roles. Maybe I just wasn't ready, but things started happening when I turned 38. … I think my height probably did have something to do with it — but [my height] also helped me in certain parts. It's made me definitely more of a character actress in terms of my love of doing comedy. I get cast as either the smartest woman in the room or the drunkest woman in the room, and a lot of stuff in between. But I do well getting those kinds of parts — authoritative or completely crazy, which I [...]
ShaoLan Hsueh wanted to make learning to write in Chinese easy—or at least as easy as it could be considering the thousands and thousands of characters the language uses. Her new book Chineasy uses cute, colorful illustrations to help students learn the characters for basic words like bug and deer.
Head over to NPR's CodeSwitch blog to see some of those illustrations and read more about the metaphorical meanings behind the characters. For example, the word for "prison" is apparently the same as the word for "cow," but with a line on top fencing it in. And the character for "quarrel" is the character for "woman" [...]
This interview series aims to make the “invisible labor” of web production visible. Over the next few months, I’ll be talking with a wide variety of content producers, exploring the dynamics of their own form of web production, how they mix that production with their “real” lives, and the various forms of gratification they receive from the work that they do. In short: how do you do what you do, and why do you do it? Talking about the realities of labor isn’t narcissistic, per se. It’s political, it’s progressive, it’s feminist. It’s also totally fascinating.
NPR's Backseat Book Club, which is a series dedicated to young readers, has put together this straight Murderer's Row of must-reads and it's just the best thing we're going to see all week (runner-up goes to this Tumblr). Ostensibly the list is for kids age 9-14, but really, the limpid writing and sharp plot of a good children's book is for all of us! The expected Greats are all in here (Bridge to Terabithia, From the Mixed-Up Files), but there are some sleeper hits (Half Magic, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, The Twenty-One Balloons) as well as a few picks from the last decade [...]
NPR's Linda Holmes reviewed The Other Woman, the gal-pal comedy starring Leslie Mann, Cameron Diaz, Kate Upton, and Nicki Minaj and out this Friday. (A direct quote from the trailer: "Put the lawyer, the wife, and the boobs together, and we know how to do it just as shady as he does!" Here it is: the secret to Having It All.) Holmes delivers the sort of ethering that the Sex and the City sequel required:
NPR has the first listen of St. Vincent's fourth album, St. Vincent; if you combine this with Katy B's new Little Red then that is probably all the new music you'll need to survive Tuesday. I also really enjoyed this Pitchfork profile of St. Vincent, a.k.a. 31-year-old Annie Clark, who, while walking naked and alone in the West Texas country last year (!), encountered a rattlesnake, ran home, took a shot of tequila, and then wrote a song called "Rattlesnake." (It kicks off the album, in fact.) Other biographical details might be hard to come by. From Ryan Dombal's piece:
Naturally, the biggest enemy [...]
"The morning after I was rescued my mom gave me the best advice I've ever been given… My mom said to me, 'Elizabeth, what this man has done to you, it's terrible, there aren't words strong enough to describe how wicked and evil he is. He has stolen nine months of your life from you that you will never get back. But the best punishment you could ever give him is to be happy, is to move forward with your life and to do exactly what you want to do… The best thing you can do is to move forward because by feeling sorry for yourself and holding on to [...]
GROSS: O.K., so what it sounds like is that conscious uncoupling is more comparable to free jazz than, say, bebop or swing. That’s very interesting. Is conscious uncoupling anything like really terrific opera?
PALTROW: No, Terry. In fact, I would say that conscious uncoupling is kind of the opposite, because really terrific opera is very dramatic, and conscious uncoupling …
GROSS: Is what? Poorly paced? Overtly experimental? Badly staged?
PALTROW: I was going to say that it seeks to be very undramatic.
Over at NPR, Jason King likens "No More" to "the soundtrack to a David Lynch film set in a seedy black strip club," and there's not much to add to that. Shlohmo and Jeremih have a collaborative EP due out soon; if this track is any indication, it's going to be tripped-out and dark and excellent. (Oh, and this is as good a time as any to plug King's new 24-hour R&B channel for NPR, which you can listen to here. The Twitter account updates as a new song is played, too: In the last hour alone they've had Whitney, Janet, Me'Shell, and [...]
At NPR, some beautiful photos of new efforts in the re-wilding city:
"I like to believe that we [are] holding this place together," Sennefer says. "You know, we the people that are the visionaries, the dreamers, the people that's holding on to the faith that things aren't as bad as they seem."
In a region notoriously wary of outsiders—particularly those with cameras—[she] shoots as an insider, bringing viewers to swimming holes and [...]