Admitting to eating a bowl of cereal for dinner is like disclosing that you are lonely, lazy, or waaay to busy. Similarly, not having the whole family sitting around the table for a hot dinner of protein, a vegetable, and dessert feels like some kind of failure. When did how and what we eat become codified as right, proper, and essentially American? How did factory work, television and advertising shape the varied diets carried by centuries of immigrants into the breakfast, lunch and dinner most of us eat today?
The search for “cool” has been a quintessential cultural quest for decades: we all want to be cool, but by definition only a select few will ever achieve it, and only for an instant. So what is “cool,” anyway, and why are we so fascinated by the people who make cool? Here to answer that question is Dan Kois. He's Senior Editor at Slate, which is doing a month-long series on the nature of cool.
Jorja Leap is a small person with a long shadow on the streets of Los Angeles. She’s a professor of social welfare at UCLA, and an anthropologist who, for the past seven years has traced the kinship ties, rites, turf wars, and intervention programs operating in the bloodiest trenches of LA. Her book, “Jumped In” is part memoir and part ethnographic narrative of gang culture from a woman who’s earned street cred among gang members, respect from academics and props from law enforcement. We spoke to Jorja last year when the book was first released; it is now out in paperback.
This week marks the start of the Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year. This fifteen-day celebration is the longest and most important holiday in China, featuring family reunions, fireworks, traditional meals, red lanterns, and the traditional gift of the Hong Bao, or Red Packet.
Zach talked with bandleader Mauro Durante via Skype from Italy about Pizzica music, the band's American tour, and if they are bringing enough warm clothes.
It’s not often you get to hear authentic world music in New Hampshire, especially in the dead of winter. But on February 6th at the Spaulding Auditorium in Hanover, the southern Italian band Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino will be bringing their high energy pizzica tarantata music and dance. Leading a new wave of young Italian artists reinventing and invigorating traditional Italian music, CGS includes six singers/musicians and a dancer.
I think it would be impossible not to have fun at a show like this:
If you’ve spent any time in the town of Sandwich, New Hampshire, you may have picked up on its eclectic mix of preserved antiquity and progressiveness, with old clean-walled farmhouses occupied by inventors, artists, even a locally-grown internet service provider. Sandwich may be yesterday on the outside, but it’s tomorrow on the in. As Sean Hurley reports, this dichotomy finds an unusual expression on the town soccer field a few days before the annual Sandwich Fair. And while many towns see carnies as an invading force, to residents of this town, they’re welcome competitors.
Today we sit down with iconic food writer and activist Frances Moore Lappé. In the 1970's, Lappé pioneered the idea of conscientious eating with her book “Diet for a Small Planet”. Now forty years later, she says much has changed. There's more awareness of the connections between food, health, and the environment, yet there's also growing world hunger requiring she says a complete global re-think.
Digital musicologists around the world are using computers to analyze music in ways humans can’t. Turning beautiful melodies into cold hard numbers has given us insight into how music works, why we like it, and what it says about our culture as a whole.
What decides the trajectory of our lives, our successes or failures, our steps and stumbles? Do we achieve what we achieve through force of will, or does fate have us by the throat? This hour, Radiolab explores the tug of war between will and fate from birth to death - from a kid reaching for a marshmallow to hints of dementia in the words of a 20-year-old.
Over 50% of the planet now lives in cities. This hour, Radiolab looks at what makes them tick. We talk to a couple physicists who think they can fit every city into a tidy mathematical formula, and we take to the streets to test their idea. We explore the water tunnels 700 feet below Manhattan and question whether cities are the source of, or the solution for, our growing global appetite.
There are so many ways to fall - falling in love, falling asleep, even falling flat on your face. In an episode full of falling music, Radiolab plunges into a black hole, takes a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel, and debunks some myths about falling cats.
Pinterest is the new darling of the social media world. Users—over 10 million of them—‘pin’ digital images they like to their site, where others can browse and comment. Pinterest has run into recent issues surrounding potential copyright infringement, and now, a new problem has emerged: what should they do about a wave of pro-anorexia images and comments on the site?
We’ve all heard of a lending library, you go in, pick a book, give the librarian your library card and take it home to read, but what about an art lending library? A museum in Chicago is doing just that, they’re letting residents fill out an art library card and take home real, original works of art to hang in their home. And it’s free! It started just two weeks ago at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Heather Rabke is here to tell us how it’s going.
Every weekend my wife and I pack up our 10-month-old son Owen in his stroller and walk to town. We read books at the library, we buy bananas at the store, we stop in at the coffee shop for a diaper change and maybe a nap. If we were raising Owen in Buenos Aires instead of New Hampshire, we might be getting a late night dinner with friends instead of afternoon coffee – and if we lived in China, we wouldn’t be changing his diaper, because he probably wouldn’t be using one.