Susan Stamberg http://kwit.org en Girls Are Taught To 'Think Pink,' But That Wasn't Always So http://kwit.org/post/girls-are-taught-think-pink-wasnt-always-so With sleet, snow and freezing temperatures extending through March, the National Cherry Blossom Festival — which recently kicked off in Washington, D.C. — is decidedly less pink this year. In a few weeks the Tidal Basin will be ringed by rosy, pink blossoms, but until then, we traveled north to Boston, where a show at the Museum of Fine Arts called "<a href="https://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/think-pink" target="_blank">Think Pink</a>" explores the history and social impact of the color.<p>Pink has always been with us, though it was not always as gender-entrenched as it is today. Tue, 01 Apr 2014 07:08:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 41994 at http://kwit.org Girls Are Taught To 'Think Pink,' But That Wasn't Always So Japanese Tea Ritual Turned 15th Century 'Tupperware' Into Art http://kwit.org/post/japanese-tea-ritual-turned-15th-century-tupperware-art Eight hundred years ago, tea was rare in Japan. It arrived from China in simple, ceramic storage jars. Chinese ceramists churned these jars out with little care or attention; they stuffed tea leaves into them and shipped them off.<p>The jars were "the Chinese version of Tupperware," says <a href="https://www.princeton.edu/artandarchaeology/faculty/watsky/">Andrew Watsky</a>, a professor of Japanese art history at Princeton.<p>But once the workaday storage jugs reached Japan, they became objects of aesthetic contemplation and, often, reverence. Tue, 18 Mar 2014 09:24:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 41152 at http://kwit.org Japanese Tea Ritual Turned 15th Century 'Tupperware' Into Art Re-Released Recordings Reveal Literary Titans In Their Youth http://kwit.org/post/re-released-recordings-reveal-literary-titans-their-youth You can listen to plenty of actors performing the works of William Shakespeare. But imagine if you could hear the voice of the young playwright himself — or the older one, for that matter — reading his own writing aloud.<p>Well, we can't take you back that far. But in the early 1960s, when recorded readings by authors were rare, a young couple in Boston decided to be literary audio pioneers.<p>The idea was hatched in 1962. Lynne Sharon Schwartz, who is a respected novelist today,<strong> </strong>was working on a magazine at the time. Thu, 06 Mar 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 40438 at http://kwit.org Re-Released Recordings Reveal Literary Titans In Their Youth Keen Eyes, Uncanny Instincts Keep Films In Sharp Focus http://kwit.org/post/keen-eyes-uncanny-instincts-keep-films-sharp-focus You won't believe it — I didn't — but the person responsible for keeping each and every shot of a movie in focus never looks through a camera lens.<p>"No," says focus puller Baird Steptoe. "We do not look through the camera at all."<p>Steptoe has worked as a first assistant cameraman on films from <em>The Sixth Sense</em> to <em>Thor</em> to last year's <em>Grownups Two.</em> He says he's learned to judge distances — precise distances — with his naked eye alone.<p>"I mean, I can tell you roughly from you to me right now," he says. "I would say about 2-11."<p>Two feet 11 inches, that is. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 08:20:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 40110 at http://kwit.org Keen Eyes, Uncanny Instincts Keep Films In Sharp Focus 'Clap!' On Set, The Signature Sound Of The Slate http://kwit.org/post/clap-set-signature-sound-slate More than the roar of the MGM lion, more than the 20th Century Fox fanfare, the iconic sound of moviemaking is the sharp clap of a slate — although film folks have a language of their own to describe it.<p>"Miki's hitting the sticks on this one," says assistant cameraman Larry Nielsen, pointing to <em>his </em>assistant.<p>Take after take, day after day, some Miki or other on a movie set "hits the sticks" — to synchronize the sound with the pictures. In the silent-film days, it wasn't an issue. Thu, 27 Feb 2014 08:28:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 40034 at http://kwit.org 'Clap!' On Set, The Signature Sound Of The Slate Sid Caesar, Who Got Laughs Without Politics Or Putdowns, Dies At 91 http://kwit.org/post/sid-caesar-who-got-laughs-without-politics-or-putdowns-dies-91 Comedian Sid Caesar, one of early network TV's biggest stars, died Wednesday morning at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 91.<p>Caesar didn't do smut, putdowns or smarmy remarks. Instead, he did <em>skits:</em> grown-up, gentle comedy for the whole family.<p>In one skit, Caesar was the smarter-than-anyone German "professor." Carl Reiner played a movie executive with money problems. The professor's solution? Make a musical — and get the greatest composer in the world. He is shocked to discover that his top choice won't be available.<p><blockquote><p>"Beethoven, dead? Ludwig is gone. Wed, 12 Feb 2014 22:24:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 39168 at http://kwit.org Sid Caesar, Who Got Laughs Without Politics Or Putdowns, Dies At 91 Sid Caesar, One Of TV's Earliest Stars, Dies At The Age Of 91 http://kwit.org/post/sid-caesar-one-tvs-earliest-stars-dies-age-91 The comic actor Sid Caesar died on Wednesday at the age of 91. He starred in the popular 1950s program, Your Show of Shows, television's first live comedy show, featuring skits and musical numbers. Wed, 12 Feb 2014 21:29:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 39172 at http://kwit.org 'Life' Photographer Showed Africa Through A New Lens http://kwit.org/post/life-photographer-showed-africa-through-new-lens Before World War II, many Americans got exaggerated ideas about Africa from movies like <em>Tarzan the Ape Man — </em>movies that were filmed on Hollywood sound stages<em>. </em><p>It took time to change that view. But after the war, <em>Life</em> magazine photographer Eliot Elisofon sought to shed a new light on the vast and variegated continent.<p>An exhibit of Elisofon's work is currently <a href="http://africa.si.edu/exhibits/africa-reviewed/index.html" target="_blank">on display at the Museum of African Art</a> in Washington, D.C. Mon, 10 Feb 2014 08:24:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 38997 at http://kwit.org 'Life' Photographer Showed Africa Through A New Lens Portrait Show Brings Photographer-Subject Encounters Into Focus http://kwit.org/post/portrait-show-brings-photographer-subject-encounters-focus When someone takes our picture, we usually deliver a mile-wide grin, but there's not a smile in the room at the Phillips Collection's photography show in Washington.<p>The exhibit mostly consists of portraits of inner lives, taken by various photographers, and it's about the encounter between the two participants. Susan Behrends Frank curated the small show, called "<a href="http://www.phillipscollection.org/exhibitions/2013-10-24-exhibition-shaping-modern-identity-lichtenberg.aspx">Shaping a<strong> </strong>Modern Identity</a>," which is running through Jan. Thu, 26 Dec 2013 08:16:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 36370 at http://kwit.org Portrait Show Brings Photographer-Subject Encounters Into Focus Thanksgivukkah: A Mash Of Two Holidays That's Easy To Relish http://kwit.org/post/thanksgivukkah-mash-two-holidays-thats-easy-relish It's that time of year again. Time for Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish. Every year since 1972, around Thanksgiving, I've shared my mother-in-law's famous cranberry relish recipe on the radio. It's appallingly pink, like Pepto Bismol — but it tastes terrific.<p>This year, I bring my relish recipe to Thanksgivukkah. Next week, Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukkah fall on the same day. It's a rare convergence.<p>How unusual is it? Well, the last time Thanksgiving and Hanukkah shared a start date was 125 years ago — and it won't happen again for another 76,000 or so years. Fri, 22 Nov 2013 07:57:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 34423 at http://kwit.org Thanksgivukkah: A Mash Of Two Holidays That's Easy To Relish