The Blackout Boom
America’s blackout boom—our national electric grid is badly in need of an upgrade, as power outages are seemingly becoming the norm, especially with the onset of extreme heat and increasingly inclement weather. This has many people wondering why the power industry seems to be lagging behind when it comes to innovations to keep the lights on, and how politics plays a part in stagnating investment into renewable energy and smarter grid infrastructure. Lisa Margonelli is a research fellow at the New America Foundation and writes about energy policy for major publications like The New York Times and The Atlantic. She explores this power struggle in a recent article for Pacific Standard magazine.
We DID start the fire...
Wildfires out West and in New Hampshire have been making headlines this spring and summer. Wildfires have burned 177 acres in the Granite State this year, damaging twelve buildings and injuring three people.
But when there aren’t any fires it can also lead to problems. Now some organizations have to set fires on purpose, to preserve a vanishing habitat.
If you want to get an idea what some parts of New Hampshire used to look like, you’ve got to find a spot where people don’t live. Like, alongside an airport runway.
See Sam's prescribed burn photo gallery here.
The Best Worst Artists Ever
It’s the hope of most artists that someday their work will be recognized by the masses, admired by historians, and remembered by all. For a select few, two out of three will have to do. Our regular guest Clay Wirestone compiled a list of the most well-known but worst-received artists of all time for Mental Floss Magazine. Clay is also arts editor at the Concord Monitor, and he joined us in our studio to rundown a few of history’s most memorable creative fails.
Here are some examples of those creative fails:
Florence Jenkins' rendition of Mozart:
Dare Me is a new and much buzzed about book by Megan Abbott. The cheerleaders at Sutton Grove High have more to think about than their spray tans. Their pretty, hard-driving coach holds the squad in her thrall. She has less control over her own life, which opens up a dark tale of jealousy, physical and psychological abuse, and a mysterious death.
Aside from reading the book, Executive Producer Rebecca Lavoie watched Bring It On, like, fifty times for "research":
The Music of Joblessness
Throughout the presidential campaign you’ll be hearing from unemployed auto workers in Michigan,out-of-work machinists in Ohio and maybe casino workers in Nevada will share stories of not being able to catch a break. We don’t often hear from the office worker who’s company packs up and moves, leaving them jobless, with no place to go. Ethan Lipton and His Orchestra wrote “No Place to Go", a show about the anxieties and driftlessness of being suddenly jobless. The show at the public theater in Manhattan was a critics pick and is making a stop in Saxton’s River, Vermont next weekend.
By his own description, Ethan Lipton is an emerging playwright and an old-timey songwriter.