The death of North Korea's Kim Jong Il leaves many open questions about the secretive country's future. Former Ambassador Christopher Hill and North Korea experts Hazel Smith and Alexander Monsourov discuss how Kim's death may affect the country's relationship with the international community.
Chad Harbach's debut novel The Art of Fielding is as much about literary fiction as it is about America's national past time. The book follows the baseball team at a small liberal arts college in Wisconsin — with side trips to the big leagues of American literature.
Henry Skrimshander is that college's talented but socially awkward shortstop, destined for big-league stardom. But when a routine throw goes wrong, Henry's life falls apart as he ends up embroiled in conflicts with his teammates, his roommate and a school administrator.
Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 2:03 pm
There's certainly already been a lot said about North Korea's Kim Jong Il. NPR's Anthony Kuhn has an obit and Planet Money has a recap of how North Korea's economy is fueled by drug dealing and smuggling of counterfeit goods.
With endless three-part harmonies at its disposal, Pearl and the Beard is a folksy pop trio with a flair for lovely acoustic Americana. Members Jocelyn MacKenzie, Emily Hope Price and Jeremy Styles each convey a unique vocal style, influence and vision, with the help of cello, glockenspiel, non-traditional drums, accordion and guitar.
Pearl and the Beard's 2011 album Killing the Darlings has been charming fans and critics since last spring. Given the trio's tremendous chemistry and charm, it looks primed to build on that buzz in 2012.
Kim Jong Il succeeded his father and ruled the secretive nation for 17 years. It was a period that included repeated friction with the international community over North Korea's nuclear weapons program and a devastating famine in the late 1990s that may have been responsible for upwards of 2 million deaths.