7.16.15: The Mekons, 3D Printing in Museums, and a Dress Detective

Jul 16, 2015

Is authenticity really essential to educational and scientific value? Now, advanced 3D printing gives museum curators the option of keeping rare artifacts safely kept away -- while providing no less science or history to visitors. On today's show, we talk about 3D printing at the Smithsonian. Then, a job you probably didn't know existed:  a costume historian, a woman who makes mannequins for museums to show historic textiles on. But she's also somewhat of a dress detective. And finally, a British rock band that has been together for nearly 40 years -- no breakup, no scandal, no drug addiction. It's the Mekons, the coolest band you may have never heard of. 

Listen to the full show. 

The Smithsonian and 3D Printing

Caroyln Thome is a digital modelmaker at the Smithsonian Institute, and joined us to talk about how advanced 3D technology lets museums keep their most rare and fragile artifacts safely tucked away, but in no way taking away from the science and history. Her article for The Atlantic is called "The Fine Art of Forgery," You can check out a Smithsonian collection of 3D artifacts here!

The Dress Detective

The job you may not know exists: dress detective. Astrida Schaeffer is a costume historian who makes mannequins for museums to display historical textiles on. You can find out more about her work at her website, or check out the current exhibit at the Portsmouth Athenaeum, which Astrida curated. It's called Embellishments: Constructing Victorian Detail

Peanut Butter for Bigfoot

Loron Coleman spends most of his time thinking, studying, and searching for clues about animals that might not exist. From the Salt Institute, Ari Erlbaum has the story. You can listen to the story again at prx.org.

The Mekons

The Mekons: one of the best bands you may have never heard of. The British rock band has been together since 1977 -- and just last year, a documentary about them was released. Jon Langford and Sally Timms joined us to talk about the band, and the film, and perhaps some band legend. 

You can see Joe Angio's documentary Revenge Of The Mekons tonight at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and see the Mekons play at 3s Artspace on July 24th.

The End of Retirement

What happens when you can't afford to stop working? Today, pensions are rare, and foreclosures have wiped out equity and delayed retirement for legions of Americans. Jessica Bruder joined us to talk about her article for Harper's, "The End of Retirement."