9.13.16: The First Women to Win a Pulitzer, Reversing the Camera, & Confronting Conspiracy Theorists

Sep 13, 2016

Julia Ward Howe is famous for writing the civil war song, “Battle Hymn of the Republic” - but did you know her life was the subject of the first Pulitzer Prize winning biography, back in 1917? We’re learning about the unlikely sisters who took home the first Pulitzer prize 100 years ago.

Plus, you've seen one photo of the pyramids at Giza, or the Eiffel Tower, and you've just about seen them all.  We'll talk to an artist who photographs the most documented tourist destinations in the world - by not taking photos of them.  

Listen to the full show. 

The First Women to Win a Pulitzer

Julia Ward Howe was an incredibly accomplished woman - a suffragette, writer, and activist - and if you're interested in learning more about her, we suggest an extensive biography about her that was written by her two daughters - who coincidentally, were the first authors to win the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, way back in 1917. 

As this prestigious award prepares to celebrate its 100th birthday, we thought this is one story worth digging out of the history bin and back into the spotlight. Meg Heckman is a lecturer teaching journalism at the University of New Hampshire, and she wrote about the unlikely sisters who became the first winners of the Pulitzer for Pulitzer.org. 

Turning the Camera Around

Once you've seen one splashy, badly-lit photo of the Eiffel Tower, the Tower of London, the Great Wall of China - well, you've pretty much seen them all.  Photographer Oliver Curtis takes a different approach when capturing the world's most frequently captured places - he turns around and ignores them. These photos are being collected for a book called "Volte-Face."

Kodak Camera

Artists like Oliver Curtis owe a lot to the early pioneers of photography - those who struggled with heavy plates and messy chemicals, and eventually lead the way forward to the fancy digital cameras that now appear on every modern cellphone. William S. Hammack is the producer behind a series called “Stories of Technology.” He has the tale of one camera that changed the landscape of American home photography.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org

The Fog Harvester

Some have argued that fresh water - not oil - will be the focus of the world’s next big resource crisis.  One man in California, a state that’s facing its own water crisis right now, is looking to the clouds for an answer.  Literally.  Leila Day brought us the story.

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

Confronting Conspiracy Theorists

Alex Jones’ radio show and website “Infowars” are practically an all you can eat buffet of conspiracy theories - top news right now includes the massive alleged cover-up of Hillary Clinton's fainting spell, some fifteen year anniversary articles by 9/11 truthers, and something about Tim Kaine's radical Soviet roots.

For a time, these were the types of stories that fascinated Lenny Pozner  - until his son Noah was killed during the Sandy Hook shootings in December of 2012.  Not long after, conspiracy theorists accused the government of manufacturing the tragedy in order to support gun-control - claiming that grieving family members like Lenny and his wife were actually actors paid to play the part of victims. While most victims chose to ignore these conspiracies - Pozner has made fighting them his personal mission.

Reeves Wiedeman profiled Lenny Pozner for New York magazine.