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Arts and culture

The Great Depression challenged Americans not just with horrifically high unemployment, but ideological divides not utterly unlike the ones we face today. Today, poll after poll show the country deeply split on major issues. Racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism are on the rise. Back then, the labor movement was burgeoning; so was membership in the Ku Klux Klan.

A new documentary looks at allegations that the hip-hop mogul sexually assaulted several women, and places his case against the larger question of how black women are treated by the #MeToo movement.

A week into California's stay-at-home order, when our now-familiar mix of anxious, lonely and restless feelings were still brand new, I craved connection. But not the kind available from a screen. Inside my wallet I found 10 stamps leftover from the holidays, and I put out a tweet: "Today I am going to write letters to send through the post ... [Direct message] me your snail mail address if you want a random letter. But heads up I only have 10 stamps & they are of Santa."

Christina Koch is a space pioneer: She holds the record for the longest time a woman's been in orbit — and she was part of the first three all-women spacewalks. So, we've invited her to play a game — on another kind of space — called "Suit up for a walk in Cyberspace!

Click the audio link above to find out how she does.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In times of pandemic-induced isolation, the new film Military Wives offers a testament to the power of banding together.

The dramedy, starring top-notch actors Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan, is based on the story of the Military Wives Choir, a U.K. choral group-turned media sensation following the success of Gareth Malone's 2011 BBC documentary series, The Choir: Military Wives.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Ask Me Another Hotline

May 22, 2020

Ask Me Another listeners call in to talk about things they're learned (or re-learned) while practicing distance learning with their kids, because nobody expected the pythagorean theorem to come back into their lives.

Heard on: Hong Chau & Nico Santos: Superheros And Superstores.

Hong Chau

May 22, 2020

Hong Chau didn't plan on becoming an actor. She studied film at Boston University and planned on pursuing a career in documentary filmmaking. But after landing roles in Treme, Inherent Vice, and the off-broadway drama John, Chau had her breakthrough performance in Alexander Payne's sci-fi comedy Downsizing. In 2019, Chau played the hyper-wealthy futurist Lady Trieu in the critically-acclaimed HBO series Watchmen.

I Should Buy A Boat

May 22, 2020

Finally, cats and the internet come together. Nico Santos (Superstore) and Zeke Smith (Survivor) play a music parody game where songs about felines are rewritten to be about the most-Googled search terms of 2019. "Meow" is an acceptable answer, by the way.

Heard on: Hong Chau & Nico Santos: Superheros And Superstores.

Loan Words

May 22, 2020

Comedians Jordan Klepper and Jenny Hagel become amateur etymologists in a game about English words borrowed from other languages.

Heard on: Hong Chau & Nico Santos: Superheros And Superstores.

The Line Before

May 22, 2020

Jordan Klepper (The Daily Show) and Jenny Hagel (Late Night With Seth Meyers) complete iconic movie quotes.

Heard on: Hong Chau & Nico Santos: Superheros And Superstores.

At a time when many of us are staying home, with no plans to travel farther than the nearest grocery store, watching The Trip to Greece might seem like either a lovely escape or an exquisite form of torture.

Oliver Jeffers: An Ode To Living On Earth

May 22, 2020

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Climate Mindset

If you had to explain to a newborn what it means to live on Earth, at this time of crisis — what would you say? Writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers gives his answer in a letter to his son.

About Oliver Jeffers

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here's one way for parents to pass time at home with their kids.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO)

TAIKA WAITITI: I'm Taika Waititi, and welcome to this reading that I'm doing of "James And The Giant Peach."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Warak enab, a dish of grape leaves stuffed with rice and meat, has always been a favorite Middle Eastern dish of mine.

Growing up, I would sit with my mother at the dining room table as she taught me the technique — down to the detail of where to place my fingersfor wrapping the perfect warak enab.

COVID-19 has transformed home life — turning kitchen tables into home offices and classrooms and putting a spotlight on the countless household tasks typically performed by women. Brigid Schulte says the pandemic has laid bare the "grotesque inequality" that exists within many families.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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