Culture

The country remembers the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday. More than four decades after his death, many people see the Black Lives Matter movement as the modern incarnation of the drive for human dignity and legal standing that Dr. King embodied.

But others, including members of an earlier generation of activists, find fault with the group, seeing it as an aimless, formless group that still lacks direction and follow-through. Meanwhile, younger activists sometimes see their seniors as too narrow in their focus and rigid in their methods.

British actor Alan Rickman, a veteran of dozens of films, has died at age 69. Recently, Rickman was most well-known for portraying the complicated villain Severus Snape in the films based on J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books.

"Rickman had been suffering from cancer," The Guardian reports.

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Anyone who sang "Auld Lang Syne" on New Year's Eve sang the words of Robert Burns. Suppers celebrating the Scottish poet have been a global tradition since his death in 1796, and the Western Kentucky Highland Society continues the tradition in Murray on January 23. On Sounds Good, Tracy Ross speaks with proud Scotsman Robert Valentine about Burns, 'neeps and tatties' and a poem about haggis.

Many Americans know Dame Maggie Smith as the elegant and formidable Dowager Countess of Grantham. But at 81, Smith is now starring in a role that's a long way from Downton Abbey. In The Lady in the Van, Smith is Mary Shepherd — a homeless woman who lived in a derelict van parked in playwright Alan Bennett's driveway for 15 years.

"She was quite happy on the street," Smith tells NPR's Renee Montagne. "But I think Alan was so distressed watching her outside his window all the time that he thought he just had to help."

Tributes Pour In For Rock Legend David Bowie

Jan 11, 2016

Tributes to iconic rock musician David Bowie are pouring in, as fellow musicians, celebrities, world leaders and even astronauts reflect on what Bowie meant to them.

A statement on Bowie's Facebook page said that he died peacefully, "surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer."

When Jack O'Connor was 19, he was so desperate to beat his addictions to alcohol and opioids that he took a really rash step. He joined the Marines.

"This will fix me," O'Connor thought as he went to boot camp. "It better fix me or I'm screwed."

After 13 weeks of sobriety and exercise and discipline, O'Connor completed basic training, but he started using again immediately.

"Same thing," he says. "Percocet, like, off the street. Pills."

Rock Icon David Bowie Dies At 69

Jan 11, 2016

Iconic rock musician David Bowie has died of cancer at age 69. The news was announced in a statement on Bowie's social media sites:

"David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer," it read.

Bowie's death was confirmed by his son, Duncan Jones, who tweeted, "Very sorry and sad to say it's true. I'll be offline for a while. Love to all."

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A new lineup up of inductees will join the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame pantheon this month. And 2016’s list branches out to include the hall’s first songwriter.

Typically reserved for prose and poetry authors, the Hall of Fame is actually open to writers of all stripes – and this year voters headed by the Kentucky Arts Council approved the addition of Appalachian folk singer and songwriter Jean Ritchie, who passed away last June.

Bingeing has become many people's favorite way to consume television. But marathon-viewing doesn't just change how we watch, it also affects how we eat.

While the culture of the Netflix all-nighter is relatively recent, researchers have been studying the links between TV viewing and mindless eating for years. And the news isn't good for our waistlines.

Time zone by time zone, the planet is saying goodbye to 2015.

The end of the year is still hours away in the U.S., but Australia has already hailed the new year with fireworks like those (see above) in Sydney Harbour.

In Japan's capital, balloons were released from Tokyo Tower.

A few highlights from other celebrations planned around the globe:

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