12.1.16: Decorating the White House, Subway Therapy, & the 10-Minute Writer's Workshop

Dec 1, 2016

The Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court, the Paris Agreement. The Trump administration is sure to bring lots of changes, among them: White House decor. On today’s show we’ll take a historic tour of how first families have put their stamp on the executive mansion, including President Teddy Roosevelt, who created the west wing.

Plus, the latest installment of the Ten-Minute Writer's Workshop with cartoonist and illustrator Tom Gauld.

Listen to the full show:

Decorating the White House

First families have a lot of leeway for living quarters on the top two floors of the 132-room White House, and there have been some famous—and infamous—large scale changes over the years.

To find out what's allowed, we called Edward Lengel, Chief Historian of the White House Historical Association to find out what's permitted.

A Picture Emerges

In January Melania Trump will become the second American first lady to have been born outside of the United States. The first was Louisa Johnson Adams, wife of John Quincy Adams. Melania will be following in the footsteps of another historic first lady, Michelle Obama, the first African-American to hold the title and position. Our next story explores Michelle Obama's early life, expectations surrounding her ascendency as First Lady, and the impact she will leave on the office. It comes to us from producer Josh Swartz.

You can listen to this story again at prx.org: A Picture Emerges

Subway Therapy

Election 2016 was a bitter slog, and while many Americans looked forward to the end of the ads, mailers, and campaign rhetoric, that bitterness didn't simply dissipate once the results came in. In the days of street protests and hate crimes that followed, many Americans searched for signs of hope or messages of comfort. Some found them, underground.

Activists in New York City encouraged commuters to post notes on subway platforms. Soon, walls were covered with colorful little squares scribbled with positive messages. It's a big project of small gestures called "Subway Therapy" and it's since spread to Boston thanks to Venita Subramanian, a user experience designer and urban activist.

Related: SubwayTherapyBoston.org

That Kid's Fatal

There are any number of ways to ease the stress of life: therapy, meditation, exercise. This story from Kelsi Hardison explains how Jason Allen, aka Fatal J, copes with the struggles in his life.

Listen to this story again at prx.org: That Kid's Fatal

10-Minute Writer's Workshop: Tom Gauld

Tom Gauld is a cartoonist, illustrator of comics and covers for the New Yorker and The Believer. His weekly cartoon about the arts for The Guardian newspaper is a wry, often deadpan favorite among writers. Tom is extremely prolific, the author of more than a dozen books of comics, including You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack and most recently Mooncop. The lunar cop is perfectly Gauldian character, doesn't say much, spends a lot of time walking the barren landscape, is pretty lonesome and quaint.

Related: 10-Minute Writer's Workshop: Tom Gauld