History

The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Clue In Old Photo Leads To New Search For Amelia Earhart's Plane

Amelia Earhart. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
AP

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 12:21 pm

New analysis of a photo taken in 1937 has led investigators to think it might show a piece of the landing gear from aviator Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra plane, which disappeared in June that year somewhere in the South Pacific.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
11:50 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Polygamy's Surprising Feminist Roots

Globally, the prevailing form of polygamy is of one man with multiple wives – generally older men marrying younger wives. Social scientists have quantified that crime rates are higher in those cultures, with younger men having few prospects for family life. And it is no great shakes for young, often pre-pubescent girls forced into marriage by culture, economics, and tradition.

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All Tech Considered
3:41 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Digital Technologies Give Dying Languages New Life

In an undated photo, members of the Siletz tribe gather for the Siletz Feather Dance in Newport, Ore. The tribe is using digital tools to help preserve its native language.
Courtesy of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 8:45 pm

There are some 7,000 spoken languages in the world, and linguists project that as many as half may disappear by the end of the century. That works out to one language going extinct about every two weeks. Now, digital technology is coming to the rescue of some of those ancient tongues.

Members of the Native American Siletz tribe in Oregon say their native language, also called "Siletz," "is as old as time itself." But today, you can count the number of fluent speakers on one hand. Siletz Tribal Council Vice Chairman Bud Lane is one of them.

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Brilliant Idea: More Than 80,000 Of Einstein's Documents Going Online

A detail from what is thought to be one of only three existing manuscripts containing Einstein's most famous formula about the relationship between energy, mass and the speed of light — in his handwriting.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 12:04 am

More than 80,000 of Albert Einstein's papers, including his most famous formula — E=mc² — and letters to and from his former mistresses, are going online at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

As NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro says on All Things Considered, "what the trove uncovers is a picture of complex man who was concerned about the human condition" as well as the mysteries of science.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
10:07 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Et tu, Macbeth?

Photo by Potatojunkie via Flickr Creative Commons

Greed...avarice...a thirst for power. Sure, these things all describe our modern corporate and political landscape, but they're also just a few of the themes at play in Macbeth. This weekend, The Acting Loft in Manchester is staging a new version of the play, one that doesn't forget the times we live in...or Shakespeare's intent.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
10:54 am
Wed March 14, 2012

The Long Con

Photo by Robert Huffstutter via Flickr Creative Commons

We can’t say with any authority when the first con artist found his mark. But we can trace the term “confidence man” to an article in The New York Herald in 1849. The Herald reporter urged citizens to stop by the city’s notorious tombs and peer at the suspect known as Samuel Williams. Many came to peer at the flim-flam man who described his effect on his marks as “putting them to sleep.”  The willingness to be duped, is of course, the genius of the con.

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History
12:01 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Girl Scouts: 100 Years Of Blazing New Trails

Brownies from Troop 65343 in Brookline, Mass. recite the Girl Scout pledge. Enrollment in the organization has declined since the 1980s, but a modernizing makeover and new focus on minority and immigrant communities have helped some.
Tovia Smith NPR

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 11:09 am

It's hard to imagine Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice and Lucille Ball as part of the same club. But they were all, at one time, Girl Scouts. Founded 100 years ago in Savannah, Ga., the Girl Scouts now count 3.2 million members.

Girl Scout cookies have become as much of an American tradition as apple pie. At a busy intersection in Brookline, Mass., a gaggle of Girl Scouts stand behind a folding table piled high with boxes of Thin Mints, Samoas and Shortbreads.

"They are really, really good," the troop collectively assures a prospective buyer.

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History
12:47 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Lost At Sea: Do You Know These Civil War Sailors?

Crewmen of the USS Monitor pose on the deck of their ironclad ship in July 1862. Robert Williams, standing at the far right with his arms crossed, is a candidate for the older sailor whose remains were discovered inside the wreck's gun turret.
Library of Congress

In 1862, the USS Monitor — a Civil War-era ironclad warship — fought one of the world's first iron-armored battles against the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia. Less than a year later, a violent storm sank the Union ship off the coast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. The wreck was discovered more than a century later, and subsequent searches have turned up more than just a crumbling ship — they also found the skeletons of two of the Monitor's sailors in the ship's gun turret.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
10:33 am
Wed February 22, 2012

The Lost History of 1914

Two weeks ago, Florence Green -- the last known surviving veteran of world war one -- died. She had been a waitress in Britain’s Royal Air Force.  The story of the war that was to end all wars survives in historic accounts, novels, poems and pictures. Millions of British and American viewers recently got a glimpse of the battlefield on PBS’s popular Downton Abbey.

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All Things Considered
1:28 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

A Pond in Mont Vernon With a Controversial Name

With Town Meeting Day set for March, February is when towns hold public meetings about the budget items and warrant articles that will go before voters.

Mont Vernon, in southern New Hampshire, is no exception; its public hearing is tonight. And one of the items drawing the most attention is a request to change the name of a small body of water known as Jew Pond.

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Word of Mouth
12:34 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Word of Mouth for 01.21.12

Photo by Leo Reynolds, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

                                                         

 

Part 1: Revenge of the Web-nerds

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Word of Mouth
3:45 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Word of Mouth for 01.14.12

Photo by Lockhart Steele, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1: Political Red Herrings

Absent tight races or sex scandals, pundits, op-eds and media-makers occasionally flirt with tantalizing uncertainties to liven things up. Salon news editor Steve Kornacki wrote about five of the biggest non-stories you’ll hear far too much of during campaign 2012 - none of which (he says) will amount to a hill of beans.

Part 2: Ten Revolutionary Tea-Parties you weren’t invited to

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:23 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

10 Tea Parties You Haven't Heard About

Photo by Spychick via Flickr Creative Commons

With the first in the nation primary swirling around us, we turn to the spread of the Tea Party…circa 1774. We’re talking about the Annapolis Tea Party…the New York Tea Party, and other protests that boiled over in the colonies from Maine to North Carolina. These copycat protests were buried by the 92,000 pounds shoved overboard in Boston.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
8:00 am
Sat November 5, 2011

Word of Mouth for November 5th, 2011: Part 4

Zombie in San Fran
(Photo by Laughing Squid via Flickr Creative Commons)

Author Richard Asma explains why we're afraid of monsters.  And what to do when the zombie apocalypse happens (because it SO will).  

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Word of Mouth
12:45 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

The Prep School of Rock N'Roll

Ben McLeod Flickr Creative Commons

A group of teachers from St. Paul's in Concord trades hall-passes for instruments after school.  Two members join us to talk about the art of finely-aged Rock N'Roll.

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