One of the highlights of the new China Art Palace in Shanghai is a giant digital rendering of a famous ancient scroll, "Along the River During Qingming Festival," which includes figures that walk and talk. The work was first presented at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
The sprawling China Art Palace is housed in the former China pavilion at the site of the 2010 World Expo. It's about the size of the Museum of Modern Art in New York; admission is free.
Credit Yang Zhuo / NPR
Young museum-goers at the Power Station of Art check their smartphones. Engaging audiences is challenging in China, where there is no emphasis on art education in public schools.
Shanghai did something last fall that few other cities on the planet could have even considered. It opened two massive art museums right across the river from one another on the same day.
The grand openings put an exclamation point on China's staggering museum building boom. In recent years, about 100 museums have opened annually here, peaking at nearly 400 in 2011, according to the Chinese Society of Museums.
Horace Greeley may have suggested at one point that going west might be a good idea, but he probably wouldn't be happy to see what's going on with Los Angeles as of late. The Dodgers are in last place in the National League West, the Angels are hovering near the bottom of the American League West, and the Lakers' appearance in the playoffs was brutally short. Even Jimmy Fallon and NBC are bringing The Tonight Show back to Manhattan, deserting some place called Burbank after 40 years.
Monday's tornado tore through parts of Oklahoma City at 200 miles per hour and killed at least 24 people. Many more are missing orinjured. Guest host Jennifer Ludden talks to KOSU reporter Michael Cross and to meteorologist Paul Douglas about why it's so hard to track tornadoes.
Apple CEO Timothy Cook made a rare appearance on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, testifying after congressional investigators revealed that Apple avoided billions in taxes. Reporter Charles Duhigg of The New York Times and guest host Jennifer Ludden talk about how, as Duhigg writes, "technology giants have taken advantage of tax codes written for an industrial age."
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden in Washington. Neal Conan is away. It's graduation season, and that means 20-somethings and parents sitting through long commencement ceremonies while the older and wiser give advice. Here's comedian Stephen Colbert speaking at the University of Virginia.
Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended lowering the blood alcohol content threshold for drunken driving from .08 to .05. The NTSB argues this could save millions of lives each year, but critics beg to differ. Some say lack of enforcement is the problem. Others point to our casual attitude about drinking and driving. Meanwhile, lowering the threshold could have implications for law enforcement, bartenders, maybe your dinner party.
Hollywood superstar Angelina Jolie has been in the headlines, by her own choice for a change.
Genetic testing showed she was at high risk for breast cancer, so she decided to have a double mastectomy to improve her odds. She revealed her choice, and the thinking behind it, in a recent op-ed in The New York Times.
We don't need to say much. Just watch this video from The Oklahoman of Trenda Purcell's reunion Monday with her 8-year-old son Kamden, who she found safe and sound after the tornado that swept through Moore, Okla.
Michael Douglas and Matt Damon star as Liberace and his young lover, Scott Thorson, in Steven Soderbergh's new HBO biopic Behind the Candelabra.
Credit Keystone Features / Getty Images
Liberace sits at a gold-leafed piano in the living room of his then-new Hollywood mansion in November 1961.
Credit Claudette Barius / HBO
Soderbergh made his name as a director in 1989, with the critically acclaimed Sex, Lies, and Videotape. He's since turned in crowd-pleasing hits like Magic Mike, Erin Brockovich and Ocean's Eleven and its sequels, as well as more adventurous films including Contagion,Solaris and The Girlfriend Experience.
Director Steven Soderbergh had been looking for a way to frame a film about the extravagant entertainer Liberace for years when a friend recommended the book Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace.
The book — a memoir — is by Scott Thorson, who for five years was Liberace's lover, though that wasn't publicly disclosed at the time.
A possible shooting suspect in a white shirt (bottom center) shoots into a crowd of people on Mother's Day 2013 in New Orleans.
(left) Akein Scott shown here at booking in a photo provided by Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriffs Office on May 16, 2013. (right) Shawn Scott 24, is led out of the New Orleans 5th District Police Station, Thursday, May 16, 2013 in New Orleans.
The spate of headlines that drew them to our attention has died down. Yet I still find myself thinking about the faces of a certain 19-year-old man and his elder brother, accused by police of bringing about a tragic end to what should have been a day of joy and celebration.