Best of Public Radio on Listen Live

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Library of Congress

This is a country awash in monuments. They are the centerpieces of traffic circles, street corners and, of course, the National Mall. We have erected them to Rosie the Riveter and Confederate generals. Yet our ambivalence towards these monuments is as old as our enthusiasm for them. Case in point: The Washington Monument. Ever wonder why there isn’t actually a image of Washington on it?

Gay In The Eyes Of God

May 19, 2013
Ludovic Bertron / creative commons

Open any Torah, Bible or Koran, and the passages about homosexuality seem clear: being gay is an abomination; a sin; something that incurs the wrath of God. But for some, these interpretations are changing. "Gay in the Eyes of God" explores the ways in which the major American religious traditions grapple with acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. We present personal stories as well as  interpretations of scripture and theology - both traditional and progressive.

Vinyl Cafe: Mother's Day

May 12, 2013
via PRX

The Vinyl Cafe features music - both live and recorded from new and established artists from throughout Canada. It also chronicles the misadventures of Dave, owner of a small record store and his family and neighbors. Host Stuart McLean is a best-selling author, award-winning journalist and humorist.

Walking Across America

May 5, 2013
via PRX

Andrew Forsthoefel set out at age 23 to walk across America, East to West, 4000   miles, with a sign on him that said, "Walking to Listen". This hour, co-produced with    Jay Allison, tracks his epic journey. It's a coming of age story, and a portrait of this  country - big-hearted, wild, innocent, and wise.

Poetry In Life

Apr 28, 2013
spo0nman / Flickr/Creative Commons

We'll tackle couplets, stanzas, limericks, sonnets, odes, dirges; free or rhyming verse of any meter. From the epic to the cursory, from the aggressive to the  consolatory, we’re all about poetry today.

YES Prep Public Schools, via PRX

More people are going to college than ever before, but a lot of them aren't finishing. Low-income students, in particular, struggle to get to graduation. Only 9 percent complete a bachelor's degree by age 24. Why are so many students quitting, and what leads a few to beat the odds and make it through? In this documentary, American RadioWorks correspondent Emily Hanford introduces us to young people trying to break into the middle class, teachers trying to increase their chances and researchers investigating the nature of persistence.

What was the carbon footprint of your dinner last night? This Humankind documentary project, by award-winning producer David Freudberg, examines how the foods we eat affect the planet we inhabit. In a period of extreme weather associated with climate change -- 2012 was the hottest summer on record -- our food choices can make a difference. Agriculture is a heavy emitter of heat-trapping gases. And in this sound-rich production, listeners will learn that some foods (fruits and vegetables) often have a much lighter environmental footprint than others (meat and dairy).

What was the carbon footprint of your dinner last night? This Humankind documentary project, by award-winning producer David Freudberg, examines how the foods we eat affect the planet we inhabit. In a period of extreme weather associated with climate change -- 2012 was the hottest summer on record -- our food choices can make a difference. Agriculture is a heavy emitter of heat-trapping gases. And in this sound-rich production, listeners will learn that some foods (fruits and vegetables) often have a much lighter environmental footprint than others (meat and dairy).

Culture Shock 1913

Mar 10, 2013

What a year was 1913! Many have called it the true beginning of 20th century culture. From New York, where the first large-scale show of modern art alarmed viewers, to Vienna and Paris, where music by Schoenberg and Stravinsky sparked audience riots --- it was a year of artistic upset and audience apoplexy! A hundred years later, WNYC’s Sara Fishko and guests tell the story of this Mad Modernist moment of sweeping change, and the ways in which it mirrors our own uncertain age

Generation Putin

Mar 3, 2013

It's been over 20 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Young people in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Georgia are facing unemployment, democratic pressure, and the legacy of repression, while being influenced by the West, punk music, and the Pussy Riot trials. PRX sent a reporting team from the Seattle Globalist to explore the tensions in these countries, described by The Atlantic as 'uneasily suspended' between two political eras. Join host Brooke Gladstone for Generation Putin, an in-depth look at the millennial generation in the post-Soviet states.

Adria RIchards via Wikimedia Commons

Host Maya Angelou poetically and historically covers milestones by African Americans in Nobel Peace Prize, Grammy, Academy Awards, and cultural awards. As African Americans continue to be acknowledged by their communities, our country and internationally, this hour-long Black History Month radio program features milestone conversations with Maya Angelou and lauded African Americans from the Grammy's to the Emmy's, Academy Awards, and Nobel Prize categories.

This one-hour Humankind special examines the fascinating historical role played by U.S. federal courts in enforcing slavery. We revisit how a Boston judge's decision to order a runaway slave returned to his Virginia owner provoked the largest abolitionist protest the nation had ever seen. Then an in-depth look at the Supreme Court's famous Dred Scott ruling -- adamantly opposed by Abraham Lincoln -- that blacks "have no rights a white man is bound to respect".

The Afflictions of Love

Feb 3, 2013

The Tobolowsky Files is a series of specials featuring profound, moving, and hilarious true stories about life, love and Hollywood, written and performed by author and actor Stephen Tobolowsky. Stephen has played cops, robbers, murderers and super heroes in over 200 roles for film and television but on The Tobolowsky Files he always plays himself. You will recognize his voice and face from his many appearances on Glee, Seinfeld, Deadwood and the Mindy Project; plus a roster of iconic films that includes Ground Hog Day and Thelma and Louise.

The Classic

Jan 27, 2013

The Tobolowsky Files is a series of specials featuring profound, moving, and hilarious true stories about life, love and Hollywood, written and performed by author and actor Stephen Tobolowsky. Stephen has played cops, robbers, murderers and super heroes in over 200 roles for film and television but on The Tobolowsky Files he always plays himself. You will recognize his voice and face from his many appearances on Glee, Seinfeld, Deadwood and the Mindy Project; plus a roster of iconic films that includes Ground Hog Day and Thelma and Louise.

The Alchemist

Jan 20, 2013

The Tobolowsky Files is a series of specials featuring profound, moving, and hilarious true stories about life, love and Hollywood, written and performed by author and actor Stephen Tobolowsky. Stephen has played cops, robbers, murderers and super heroes in over 200 roles for film and television but on The Tobolowsky Files he always plays himself. You will recognize his voice and face from his many appearances on Glee, Seinfeld, Deadwood and the Mindy Project; plus a roster of iconic films that includes Ground Hog Day and Thelma and Louise.

The Tobolowsky Files is a series of specials featuring profound, moving, and hilarious true stories about life, love and Hollywood, written and performed by author and actor Stephen Tobolowsky. Stephen has played cops, robbers, murderers and super heroes in over 200 roles for film and television but on The Tobolowsky Files he always plays himself. You will recognize his voice and face from his many appearances on Glee, Seinfeld, Deadwood and the Mindy Project; plus a roster of iconic films that includes Ground Hog Day and Thelma and Louise.

Every year, more than a million kids drop out of school. Without a diploma, they will have a tough time succeeding. But the problem starts much earlier than high school. This hour, we'll ask the big question: What works? Originally Every year, more than a million kids drop out of school. Without a diploma, they will have a tough time succeeding. But the problem starts much earlier than high school. This hour, we'll ask the big question: What works?

Twentieth Century Fox (Douglas)/John Paul Filo, CBS (Letterman) / Courtesy WNYC

Alec talks with late-night legend David Letterman. Letterman describes his early days as a local TV host in Indiana, followed by time working the comedy clubs in LA. In just three years, he found himself appearing on The Tonight Show; as Letterman says, "that's not supposed to happen." Baldwin also visits Michael Douglas at his New York apartment for a conversation about what makes a great director, a smart producer, and why playing the villain is the much more satisfying part.

Gerry Wersh (Alpert)/Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images (Rock) / Courtesy WNYC

Content Advisory Warning: Language

Alec goes backstage with comic actor Chris Rock after a matinee of The Motherf-er With The Hat to hear what it was like for Rock to be in his first play. NOTE: Please Read the Content Advisory to the right. Alec also talks with Herb Alpert, legendary trumpeter and music producer. In 1966, Alpert’s band The Tijuana Brass sold over 13 million records, outselling The Beatles

Bryan Bedder, Getty (Michaels)/Nigel Parry (Jong) / Courtesy WNYC

Alec visits Lorne Michaels in his office at Rockefeller Center – the same office he’s had since 1975, when he created Saturday Night Live. Michaels and Alec talk about what led to SNL, and Michaels early years doing subversive political satire on Canadian radio. Alec also talks with writer Erica Jong and her daughter Molly Jong-Fast as they spar about sex and the legacy of the feminist movement.

Cavett photo by Barbara Friedman / Courtesy WNYC

Alec talks with Kristen Wiig – a breakout Saturday Night Live cast member who says she loves performing, but admits there’s also a “big part of me that’s just like: don’t look at me.” Alec visits talk show legend Dick Cavett at his home in Montauk, Long Island. Over iced tea, Cavett shares memories from five decades in entertainment.

Courtesy WNYC

Alec sits down with Billy Joel at a piano as Joel details the decisions – musical and personal – that helped shape his music and his career.

The Moth

Oct 10, 2012
Filippo Venturi / Flickr

Saturday, Nov. 10 – Moth Radio Hour 1210

George Plimpton gives an auction winner a star-studded walk through legendary NYC eatery Elaine's; rookie reporter Lewis Lapham learns a lot about the world when he has to break some bad news to a new widow; World Boxing Light Heavyweight Champion Jose Torres defines and then conquers fear; Christopher Hitchens is deified in Ceylon. Hosted by George Dawes Green, founder of The Moth.

For more information, visit www.themoth.org/radio.

The Moth

Oct 10, 2012
Polina Sergeeva / Flickr

Saturday, Nov. 3 – Moth Radio Hour 1209

The Moth

Oct 10, 2012
cjmartin / Flickr

Saturday, Oct. 27 –Moth Radio Hour 1208

Flash Rosenberg’s father takes, “find a penny, pick it up” to a whole new level. Walter Mosley is moved by the way language is changed by context. Barbara Weiner describes the afternoon when she is raped and her long road to recovery. Richard Kind details proposing to his girlfriend and then waiting... and waiting for her answer. Hosted by The Moth's Producing Director, Sarah Austin Jenness.

For more information, visit www.themoth.org/radio.

The Moth

Oct 10, 2012
Bradleygee / Flickr

Saturday, Oct. 20 – Moth Radio Hour 1207

Faye Lane is a flight attendant who is taught the meaning of gratitude by a passenger. From the pitch line, Pha Le's father is presumed dead but returns to smuggle his family out of South Vietnam and eventually to America. Wayne Reece is just starting out as a preacher when a pool hall detour opens his eyes to a whole new world. Hosted by The Moth's Artistic Director, Catherine Burns.

For more information, visit www.themoth.org/radio.

The Moth

Oct 10, 2012
Waferboard / Flickr

Saturday, Oct. 13 – Moth Radio Hour 1206

A special live edition of The Moth at Cooper Union in NYC, "Moth Eaten: Adventures in Food". Best-selling author Adam Gopnik and his wife have an ongoing battle about the proper way to cook meat; celebrity chef David Chang shares his anxiety about receiving, and possibly losing, Michelin Stars; comedian Lisa Lampanelli tells about her hilarious and moving stint at a fitness camp. Hosted by Moth Radio Hour Producer Jay Allison..

Legacy of a Jerk

Sep 14, 2012
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/armymedicine/5866567170/">Army Medicine</a> / Flickr

In this episode, Stephen Dubner focuses on an experimental procedure called the fecal transplant. This procedure is sort of combination of organ transplant and blood transfusion that may present a viable way to treat not only intestinal problems but also obesity and a number of neurological disorders. We'll talk to two doctors at the vanguard of this procedure and a patient who says it changed his life. Also: we've all heard our share of poignant and loving eulogies, but what if the deceased was a real jerk?

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/83633410@N07/7658298768/in/photostream/">CollegeDegrees360</a> / Flickr

In this episode, Stephen Dubner breaks down the costs and benefits of going to college, especially during an economy that's leaving a lot of people un- and underemployed. The data say that college graduates make a lot more money in the long run and enjoy a host of other benefits as well. But does that justify the time and money? We'll hear from economists David Card, Betsey Stevenson, and Justin Wolfers, as well as former Bush advisor Karl Rove, who made it to the White House without a college degree.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rishabh_m/5422972089/">Rishu83</a> / Flickr

The first part of this episode, Stephen Dubner looks at this and other examples of weird recycling. We hear the story of MedWish, a Cleveland non-profit that sends unused or outdated hospital equipment – from gauze and tongue depressors to beds and x-ray machines – to hospitals in poor countries. We also hear Intellectual Ventures founder Nathan Myhrvold describe a new nuclear-power reactor that runs on radioactive waste. Also in this hour: we look at the strange moments when knowledge is not power.

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