5.10.16: Mapping the Syrian Conflict, the Oregon Trail, & Overtraining Syndrome

May 10, 2016

Radio broadcast news from the front during World War II. Vietnam was captured on television. Today, uncensored scenes from Syria's civil war are uploaded onto YouTube by the thousands.  Now, we’re learning what amateur videos reveal about Syria's brutal war.

Then we’ll talk to an author who decided to do what no one has done in more than a century: cross the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon. Along the way he found not only the forgotten history of our country but also the emerging present.

Listen to the full show. 

Mapping the Syrian Conflict

During World War II, news from the front was broadcast on radio. Television, famously, and perhaps decisively brought the havoc of the Vietnam conflict home to Americans on the evening news.  Scenes of destruction and carnage in Syria's civil war are uploaded every day on YouTube.

Thousands of videos reveal assaults, bombings, skirmishes and their blood-soaked aftermaths in the   multi-sided battle now playing out on several Syrian fronts. The Carter Center's Syria Conflict Mapping Project has been connecting these disparate dots of video to better understand the complicated and brutal conflict. They've been testing out a new tool called Montage to help identify and catalogue the videos and Chris McNaboe is manager of the project for the Carter Center. 

Preserving Endangered Sounds

In the early days of audio recording, little thought or understanding went into how wax cylinders and vinyl records would stand the test of time. The ravages of fluctuating temperatures and oxidation have destroyed countless recordings and left others too fragile to replay, lest they be destroyed and permanently lost.

Producer Curt Nickisch brings us the story of a new technology that allows archivists to preserve and play old audio files without touching them.

Listen to this story again at PRX.org.

Crossing the Oregon Trail

Journalist and author Rinker Buck did what no one else had done in more than a century: cross the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon. He talked with us about his new book, The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey, part history, part travelogue, and part family memoir.

Overtraining Syndrome

Meaghen Brown is an Associate Editor at Outside Magazine, where she wrote about Overtraining Syndrome: a debilitating disease that is incredibly hard to diagnose.