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Arts and culture

By 1851, the bowhead whales, it seems, had unionized.

To the Iñupiaq, Yupik, and Chukchi people who lived on the land flanking the Bering Strait, the whales were beings with souls who granted their deaths to worthy hunters — not to the wasteful or greedy — and subsistence hunting along the coast killed a hundred or so a year. To the American open-sea vessels that swarmed the waters in the 19th century, the whales were products, killed in the thousands every year for oil and baleen to feed the endless commercial appetites back home.

Investigative reporter Ian Urbina realizes that, for many people, the sea is "simply a place we fly over." That's why in The Outlaw Ocean he works so hard at sharing some of the wildest, darkest dramas taking place in seas and oceans across the world.

This Way Up, which premieres on Hulu on August 21, is a stellar example of one of the challenges in what we've come to know as "peak TV": It doesn't have a star who's famous in the United States, it doesn't have a particularly high concept, and at first glance, there are other shows superficially similar to it. But it's very good, and it's warm and clever, and it will — or would — precisely hit the spot for a lot of people, if only they can find it.

A 10-minute drive from the White House — where immigration has a top spot on the President's "to-do" list — a museum has filled three of its floors with artists' reactions to displacement, relocation and flight.

When you stand in the center of Plaza del Congreso in downtown Buenos Aires, looking at the dome of Argentina's Capitol building, there's an imposing grey ghost of a building just to the right. It's a deteriorating art nouveau masterpiece: the Edificio del Molino, closed for decades, and now in the middle of a multi-year restoration.

The restorers opened it to the public for just a few hours recently, and a crowd started lining up on the sidewalk hours early, two and three abreast. When the doors finally opened, the line stretched almost three blocks.

Talk about chutzpah. Two female mystery writers have just helped themselves to the titles of two novels written by canonical male authors, without even a please or a thank you.

Diver and photographer Jill Heinerth has explored unmapped, underwater caves deep in the earth, as well as the submerged crevices of an iceberg. She has seen hidden creatures and life forms that have never been exposed to the light of day.

"Since I was the smallest child, I always wanted to be an explorer — to have an opportunity to go someplace where nobody has ever been before," she says. "As an artist with my camera, it's an incredible opportunity to document these places and bring back images to share with others."

These three romance novels are perfect for the homestretch of summer, when it's too hot to go outside and all you want to do is lie under the air conditioner with a book. Whether in the Wild West or big city, online or IRL, these three stories show that romance and happy ever afters are everywhere — if you dare to reach for them.

Memories Of Home: Share Yours As A Poem

Aug 19, 2019

Writers draw on memories to create some of their best work.

Morning Edition wants to hear your memories of home and where you come from — through poetry.

Draw on all five senses. Share with us the people or places or smells that define your home. Be original!

Here's an example from NPR's resident poet Kwame Alexander.

"I am from words and art and books
"I am from discipline and hard work; the sound of coins in a jar"

What is lurking beneath Herbert Powyss' house?

That's the question at the center of British author Alix Nathan's novel, The Warlow Experiment. Powyss is a country gentleman. He prefers gardens and books to people; spends his days designing hothouses for his estate, growing exotic seeds, grafting pear trees and submitting minor horticultural findings to the world's preeminent scientific body, the Royal Society.

There are comedy creators whose sensibilities are darker than Danny McBride's. There are some whose satire is sharper, some whose characterizations are weaker, some whose sense of the moment is more or less developed. But there is no one more convinced than Danny McBride of the raw, unstoppable comedic power of male nudity — both frontal and rear.

"Sometimes, I feel I got to get away," sang the Who in their 1965 single "The Kids Are Alright," and no wonder the song became an instant classic for the youth of Townshend and Daltrey's g-g-g-generation — teenagers of every age tend toward the restive, longing to experience life beyond whichever town or city they were raised in.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Saida Dahir from Salt Lake City is a student activist who uses spoken word to explore her place in America and the world. On the eve of her high school graduation, she recorded this poem.

(SOUNDBITE OF POEM, "THE WALKING STEREOTYPE")

At one point in his hilariously searing novel Black Card, Chris L. Terry pauses the narrative to issue a list of what makes certain people racist.

When is it wrong to show cigarette smoking on television, but OK to depict people smoking cannabis products, particularly in programming popular among young teenagers?

A young man clowns around with a bicycle or two. Cardi B strikes a pose. A man in a camouflage uniform blends into camouflage wallpaper but the flowers he holds are an explosion of color.

Sheila, the narrator of Kimberly King Parson's story "Guts," can't run away from bodies: not her own, not others'. Ever since she started dating Tim, a medical student, "all the sick, broken people in the world begin to glow." She imagines tumors and incipient heart attacks in strangers, all the while remaining conscious of her own body, which fails to bring her joy: "I should love my body more," she reflects, but she doesn't.

Actor Peter Fonda, best-known for his iconic role as a free-spirited motorcycle rider in the 1969 counterculture classic Easy Rider, died Friday at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 79. The cause of his death was respiratory failure due to lung cancer, according to a family statement released to People magazine.

The writer-director Richard Linklater has said that he cast Cate Blanchett in his new comedy, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, because, in his words, "only a genius can portray a genius believably."

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