Arts & Culture

The Salt
4:42 am
Sun March 31, 2013

Italy's Chocolate Easter Eggs: Big, Bold And Full Of Bling

In 2012, an Italian chocolatier presented Benedict XVI, now pope emeritus, with a 6.5-foot-tall chocolate Easter egg weighing some 550 pounds.
L'Osservatore Romano AP

In Italy, there are no Easter egg hunts, no marshmallow Peeps and definitely no jelly beans.

Instead, there are chocolate eggs — massive, elaborately decorated, beautifully wrapped chocolate Easter eggs that now fill shop windows across the country. The sweet treats are considered Italians' food gift of choice at this time of year. And each one comes with a surprise tucked inside.

"You want something that really gives a big effect," says Rome-based food writer Elizabeth Minchilli.

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Sunday Puzzle
4:39 am
Sun March 31, 2013

Hiding In Plain Sight

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun March 31, 2013 9:25 am

On-air challenge: You will be given some words. For each one, you provide a four-letter word that can follow the first to complete a familiar two-word phrase. The four letters of the second word can always be found inside the first word. For example, given "personal," the answer would be "loan."

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Author Interviews
4:39 am
Sun March 31, 2013

In A New Memoir, Maya Angelou Recalls How A 'Lady' Became 'Mom'

Maya Angelou and her mother, Vivian Baxter. Although it took years, Angelou and her mother eventually developed a close and loving relationship.
Random House

Originally published on Sun March 31, 2013 2:40 pm

Maya Angelou has lived a life so expansive and extraordinary that, even after seven autobiographies, she still has more stories to tell. Her latest book, Mom & Me & Mom, explores her relationship with her mother, Vivian Baxter. When Angelou was young, Baxter sent Angelou and her brother away to be raised by their grandmother; years later, she called them back to live with her again, the start of a sometimes fractious but eventually loving relationship.

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Movie Interviews
3:58 pm
Sat March 30, 2013

Why Actor James McAvoy Almost Turned Down 'Trance'

In director Danny Boyle's upcoming film Trance, James McAvoy plays Simon, an art auctioneer whose gambling problem pushes him into an awkward relationship with a group of criminals.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 5:25 pm

Scottish actor James McAvoy stars in the new heist thriller Trance. It's the latest film from director Danny Boyle, best known for the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire.

In Trance, McAvoy plays Simon, an art auctioneer with a gambling problem who ends up mixed in with a gang of criminals.

Although the 33-year-old has been dying to work with Boyle for years, he says he almost didn't take the part.

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Author Interviews
3:58 pm
Sat March 30, 2013

'Game Over': Mixing Sports and Politics

The New Press

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 5:27 pm

The uneasy confluence of sports and politics is featured in a new book by The Nation's Dave Zirin, called Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down.

During the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War, athletes routinely made their political views known. In some cases, that isolated them from sports fans. In other cases, their influence led to real change. But in recent decades, those voices fell silent. Some say the siren's call of endorsement deals made them gun-shy about speaking their minds.

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