8.17.16: The Man With Made-Up Memories & Blood Brother

Aug 17, 2016

Dr . Martin Luther King Jr, Emmit Till, Medgar Evers  -  many sacrificed their lives during America's struggle  for civil rights. So did Jonathan Daniels, a white student from New Hampshire.Today, the authors of a new biography dig into Daniels' life and activism.

Plus, what makes up a memory? For years, filing cabinets or computer folders were used as metaphors for how our brains store and retrieve memories - the truth is a lot less reliable. One man's near-death experience reveals a lot about how and what we remember.

Listen to the full show. 

The Man With Made-Up Memories

On New Year's Day 2012, Alpha Kabeja was involved in a serious bike accident that left him unconscious on the side of a road in north London. A CT scan at the hospital revealed a severe brain injury. His doctors decided to induce coma while they worked to relieve the intense swelling in his brain. They told his family he might wake up with memory loss, unable to remember his life before the accident, or even who he was. But when Kabeja finally woke up he remembered a lot. The problem was, the memories were fiction.

Linda Rodriguez McRobbie is a freelance writer and she wrote about "The Man With the Made-Up Memories" for the Boston Globe “Ideas” section.  

The Elusive Digital Stradivarius

Unlike other instruments, the sound of a fine acoustic violin is notoriously tricky to mimic. Even the untrained ear can typically sniff out imitators. Producer and violinist David Schulman looks into new technology that allows musicians to recreate the sound of a million dollar Stradivarius, at a fraction of the cost.  

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

Blood Brother

Many lost their lives in the fight for freedom during the Civil Rights movement, like Jonathan Myrick Daniels, a white seminary student from Keene, New Hampshire, killed in rural Alabama 51 years ago, while trying to defend Ruby Smalls, a 17-year-old SNCC worker. His death, and the murderer's speedy acquittal outraged the church and the nation, but few people know the story. 

Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace are the authors of Blood Brother: Jonathan Daniels and His Sacrifice for Civil Rights, a thorough, abundantly illustrated biography for young adults.