1.27.16: #Where's Rey, Drone Catcher, & An End to Parking May Be in Sight

Jan 27, 2016

Approximately one billion parking spots are scattered around the United States. That's about four times as many spaces as cars. Still, drivers waste hours and gallons of gas searching for free spots. On today’s show we imagine a future without parking.

Plus, #WheresRey? A dubious decision to bet against female action figures leads to an online backlash against toy companies.

Listen to the full show:

Where's Rey?

Last month, the "Where's Rey?" movement gained steam on social media after fans discovered that Rey, the female protagonist from Episode VII – The Force Awakens was absent from several prominent product tie-ins.

John Marcotte is founder of Heroic Girls, a feminist website dedicated to advocating for strong female characters in comic books, movies, and more.


The Ghost in the MP3

We’ve all known audiophiles who only listen to music on vinyl – who can’t abide the lower quality of MP3s, and can hear the difference between different digital formats. But what exactly is happening when a file is converted to an MP3?  How does the technology really change the music? Emily-Richardson-Lorente dug into the bits and bytes behind our most ubiquitous digital format.  

This story is part of the Stem Story Project – distributed by PRX and made possible with funds from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.

Drone Catcher

Dr. Mo Rastgaar is Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Tech and he's working on a robotic falcon to safely capture drones gone wild.

"Drone Catcher: ‘Robotic Falcon’ can Capture, Retrieve Renegade Drones"

Are We Nearing an End to Parking?

Clive Thompson is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired, we found his article “No Parking Here” in the latest issue of Mother Jones.


99% Invisible: Secret Staircases

Before the car became king in California, the best and sometimes only way to get around the hilly neighborhoods of Los Angeles and San Francisco was to use a staircase. Producers Sam Greenspan and Roman Mars from the podcast 99% Invisible go in search of the secret slices of land devoted to public stairs.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.