This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. It is Presidents Day, a day we celebrate the nation's presidents, and for many people it's a day off: a day to spend time with friends and family.
Al Roker, the veteran weatherman on NBC's Today show, endured years of indignities as an obese teenager and throughout his television career. Then, in 2002, he had bariatric surgery and lost more than 100 pounds. But deciding to have the procedure, which is potentially life-threatening, wasn't easy โ and neither was keeping the weight off afterward.
After huge critical and commercial success last year, breakthrough British sensation Emeli Sande has her sights set on America.
It's a long way from her roots. Born to a Zambian father and English mother, the singer-songwriter was raised in Scotland. She tells NPR's Michel Martin that being the only mixed-race family in a small village had a big impact on her.
Syria's war has thrown ordinary citizens into situations they never could have imagined and changed them in ways they never would have dreamed. It's turned carpenters, engineers and doctors into armed rebels. And in Aleppo, it has turned a young female teacher into a war photographer.
We first met Nour Kelze back in October, on our first trip to Aleppo. We asked her to work with us as an interpreter. She agreed but said she also would be shooting pictures.
Kelze, 25, had been teaching English and only recently became a war photographer.
Tony Kushner spent years writing the screenplay for Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln, but that wasn't the only heavy lifting he had to do. It also took some effort to overcome Daniel Day-Lewis' reluctance to play the title role.
Director Wes Anderson has many credits to his name โ The Royal Tenenbaums,The Darjeeling Limited,Bottle Rocket and Fantastic Mr. Fox among them โ but Moonrise Kingdom was his first film to open the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 8:42 am
It is perhaps one of the more frivolous stories out of the Middle East; still, it's tasty, so we'll tell you about it: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has angered his opponents by budgeting 10,000 Shekels ($2,716) to buy ice cream for his household.
As The Guardian reports, the news came at an inconvenient time for Netanyahu's coalition government: They had just proposed an austerity budget that cut benefits for public workers.
Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 2:00 pm
With 30 Rock off the air, Judah Friedlander has time to indulge other interests. Like processed cheese.
Friedlander, who played Frank on the sitcom (the guy with all the custom baseball caps), says he's been "obsessed" for the past several years with Provel, a processed blend of Swiss, provolone and cheddar rarely found outside its hometown of St. Louis.
"It's not even legally cheese," Friedlander tells The Salt. "It's melted plastic from the '80s."