Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Every four years in January, Washington, D.C., plays host to the country's biggest "prom." Inaugural balls bring out happy winners, administration bigwigs and a gown — on the first lady — that will become a part of history.

An exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History displays some of those gowns. NPR Special Correspondent Susan Stamberg took her dance card to the show.

A Lafayette native is being tapped to paint the official portrait of Governor Mitch Daniels.

Richard Halstead was selected by the Indiana State Museum from a field of 43 artists.

He graduated from Lafayette Jefferson High School and is now based Evanston, Illinois, where he paints and teaches.

In his 30 years experience, Halstead has produced portraits for many institutions, including Purdue and Indiana University.

His rendering of Daniels will be completed and unveiled later this year. It will be added to the state’s historic governors’ portrait collection.

The villagers of Three Pines, Quebec are thrown into an uneasy state of suspicion and suspense as they learn that one of their own residents was most likely murdered.  Author  Louise Penny introduces us to an endearing cast of small town characters as Montreal detective Inspector Gamache and his team interrupt small town life to solve the mystery of ‘who killed Jane Duncan as she was walking through her beloved woods’.

Lafayette Ballets' "Nutcracker"

Jan 5, 2012

The Lafayette Ballet performs Tchaikovsky's well-loved ballet "Nutcracker", Saturday, January 7th and Sunday, January 8th at Lafayette's Long Center.  I talk with Sandra Petticolas, the company's director about the annual production.

Beef Bourguignon

Jan 3, 2012

In a culture where fast food sometimes isn't fast enough, Scott Hutcheson suggests bucking the trend completely by embracing the "slow food" movement, at least some of the time.

"Spending a few hours in the kitchen on a Saturday or Sunday may seem like a big commitment but the results can really pay off," he says. "Not just for Sunday dinner, but in the leftovers that can be creatively used the next couple of nights."

Beef Bourguignon


2 pounds beef stew meat (2-inch pieces)


2 cups dry red wine


1/4 cup olive oil


On New Year's day in 1977, Lake Superior State University in Michigan released its first "List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness". Every year since then, it has taken nominations for words and phrases we should quit using in the coming year. Last year's list included such anti-favorites as "viral," "epic" and "refudiate."

In Washington, D.C., pedestrians nominated "ping me", "literally" used incorrectly, "bro," "hater," "hating," "totes" and "amazing."

Carrots are pretty sweet on their own, so it's fairly easy to reduce the amount of sugar — or eliminate it altogether and use agave nectar instead. While there's a bit of controversy concerning agave — some claim it's just as "bad" as sugar — I like it for its sweet, yet light, flavor that never overwhelms. And the cream cheese frosting infused with maple syrup is reason enough to bake this cake.

Makes 10 servings

4 large carrots, peeled

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Our post-Christmas post about the estimated $41 billion worth of gift cards that haven't been redeemed since 2005 seemed to strike a chord. And our shout-out for ideas about what to do with cards you don't want or that only have a little bit of money left on them generated some good responses. Such as this:

Trena Gravem (Trena) wrote:

The Decemberists On World Cafe

Dec 29, 2011

The Decemberists have been on hiatus for quite a while — so long that the non-Colin Meloy members of the band have their own group, Black Prairie. We love these musicians together, and that's why we picked their session from 2011's The King Is Dead to feature on Vintage Cafe.

The New Year comes, of course, at midnight. But because we have different time zones, we have many different midnights and some are much more crowded than others.

This morning I asked myself: who's got the biggest New Year's Eve on earth? By which I mean: which time zone has the most people in it. And the answer is clear.

Pages