Ilsa makes no secret of reveling in debauchery and exploitation flicks, so Intoxicantations is a perfectly clever title for the band's new album. The word-mash is a little hokey, like a B-movie with a lot of blood and bare-chested women, but still a line every metalhead or pulp comic-book writer will wish he'd thought of first. But even the most awesomely gruesome titles and covers need real guts (spilling out or otherwise), and with "Fluid Bound," the Washington, D.C., metal band drips with demented horror.
Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:08 pm
Teachers unions in Ohio are supporting President Obama in the race for the White House. But way down the ballot, in races for the state Legislature, it's teachers themselves who want some support on Nov. 6.
China's rapid expansion has been fueled in part by massive construction projects, like this one in Beijing, shown last year. But many economists say the Chinese economic model is unlikely to produce the same explosive growth in the coming years and needs to be revamped.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
China faces overcapacity in various industries, including steel. This steel mill in the northern city of Tangshan went bankrupt in August after it expanded too quickly and the boss ending up owing banks more than $120 million. Authorities sealed the front gate with bricks.
Credit Frank Langfitt/NPR
China's government has poured a fortune into infrastructure in part to boost GDP. Not all the money is well-spent. This pedestrian bridge in the Southern boomtown of Shenzhen cost more than $8 million. Less than two years old, it already requires repairs.
Credit Frank Langfitt / NPR
Eight bridges have collapsed around China since 2011. Here, government investigators examine a recently built entrance ramp that collapsed this summer in the northeastern city of Harbin, killing three people. Local residents believe government corruption and substandard materials are to blame.
If you followed American media in recent years, you might have thought China was taking over the planet. Recent titles at the book store have included Becoming China's Bitch and When China Rules the World.
"They are the world's superpower or soon will be," Glenn Beck used to intone on Fox News. "They always thought America was just a blip."
And when the city of Philadelphia postponed an Eagles football game a couple of years ago because of a blizzard forecast, then-Gov. Ed Rendell said America — unlike China — was becoming a nation of "wussies."
Superstorm Sandy pounded Haiti for four straight days, dumping record amounts of rain and killing at least 50 people. More than 370,000 Haitians have been living in temporary camps, since the catastrophic 2010 earthquake. Host Michel Martin discusses Sandy's effects on Haiti with Miami Herald Caribbean Correspondent Jacqueline Charles.
A recent Associated Press poll suggests that racial prejudice against African-Americans and Hispanics has increased since 2008. Host Michel Martin and NPR Science Correspondent Shankar Vedantam take a closer look at the numbers and what's behind them.
Michelle Joni Lapidos never knew that she would fall in love with a big, black afro wig. And she certainly never knew it would change her life. But after she wore it to a dress-up party, that's exactly what happened. Now the white, Jewish "afro-girl" has been thrown in the middle of a racial firestorm.
It sounds like an experiment from a college sociology class, but Lapidos tells NPR's Michel Martin that she began wearing the wig with good, fun intentions. She was quickly called a racist by people who took offense to it.
Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 1:39 pm
Ian McEwan's latest novel is an exercise in deception — the author of Atonement has created an engaging book that's as much suspenseful drama as it is romantic love story. At the center is Serena Frome, who after graduating from university as a math major (but with a reputation for being a lover of novels) lands a desk job with the intelligence agency, MI5. Early on Serena receives an assignment: She must pose as a representative for an arts foundation and begin to cultivate a young writer. Keeping her identity from him proves challenging.
The first computer game that really frightened me to the bones was 1994's The 7th Guest. It's certainly primitive compared to today's games, but parts of it were indubitably scary. Even early on, when a kind of Steadicam slowly led me up a Victorian mansion's stairs, there was a feeling of uncomfortable dread. Don't go there, I said to myself. Yet, like so many ill-fated protagonists in the movies, I went there. And when ghosts moved about on the second floor — damn — that was eerie. It was like that "cold spot" in Robert Wise's The Haunting.
We want to note the death of Letitia Baldrige, who as The Washington Post writes "was social secretary to first lady Jacqueline Kennedy and also became known as a 'doyenne of decorum' and chief arbiter of good manners in modern America."
Baldrige died Monday at a nursing facility in Bethesda, Md. She was 86.