Thanks to thousands of sanitation officials working around the clock, millions of New York City residents walk the streets without being overwhelmed by the overpowering stench and volume of the tons of garbage produced by that city each day. Robin Nagle has been the anthropologist-in-residence at New York City’s Department of Transportation since 2006; combining traditional field work techniques with hand-on social science. She examines the often-ignored issues behind the city’s elaborate—and under appreciated—system of refuse collection.Robin's new book is called “Picking Up”.
Since its name was first coined in 1984, cosplay has grown in popularity from a fringe convention pastime to a performance art form... Inspiring thriving real-world and social networks, and even competitions, like the World Cosplay Summit. Now, photographer Anna Fischer is looking to take the role playing subculture even further outside the convention-center walls of comic-con to a whole other level - the great outdoors. Her Kickstarter-fueled project is called “The Wild Places.”
A good potato is hard to find – at least for potato chip makers, who require the exactly the right balance of sugar, starch, and color to produce a perfect chip. In the late 1960’s, chip companies aimed to engineer these tricky variables to their liking using conventional plant cross-breeding. Researchers from the United States Department of Agriculture, Penn State University and the Wise potato chip company embarked upon a scientific quest to create the perfect potato for chips – and ended up with poisonous results. We spoke to Maggie Koerth-Baker, science editor at Boing-Boing and columnist for the New York Times magazine, about the failed quest.
Last year we spoke to Jenny Lawson about her memoir Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir. Since then the book has enjoyed time on the NY Times best seller list and even garnered the number one spot in the first week it was out. Now that it’s out in paperback --once again on the NY Times best seller list, in the number 7 slot--and Jenny is touring the country to promote it, we thought it would be a great time to revisit Virginia’s conversation with her from April of 2012.
Two weeks ago marked the second anniversary of the nuclear disaster and subsequent evacuation of Fukushima, Japan defying the government-mandated evacuation orders and living by himself inside “The Zone” is 53 year-old Naoto Matsumara, a fifth generation rice farmer who returned to Fukushima not long after the disaster first unfolded. Vice Japan’s Ivan Kovac is director and editor of “Alone in the Zone”, a documentary that follows Naoto on his mission to care for the pets and livestock abandoned after the 2011 tsunami and subsequent nuclear meltdown.
We have great news! Yesterday’s story about Zach Nugent leaving Word of Mouth to join Disney on Ice was a silly April Fools joke. Ok, maybe it wasn’t our best April Fool’s gag; Zach as a figure skater??? (Well, it’s not THAT far-fetched, Zach is a consummate athlete and we’re fairly certain, that with a little practice he would probably make a half-decent skating fish.)
There’s a long history of April Fool’s radio pranks and we wanted to look back on some of our favorites. In no particular order:
You may have heard the news on the show today that our Arts & Culture Producer, Zach Nugent will be leaving our team to join the touring cast of Disney on Ice. We are so sad to be losing such a talented member of our team, but we fully support Zach and his quest to follow his dream.
Zach was scouted for the cast during a recent interview he did with a New Hampshire native, who is also a member of the cast. Unbeknownst to Zach, the producers were incredibly interested in his abilities and only agreed to the interview so they could witness his talent in person. Take a listen to a bit of audio Zach captured after Disney on Ice's Kaitlyn DeRoy saw one of his signature moves up close and personal.
More than 25 years after the death of former dictator, Enver Hoxha, Albania has more concrete bunkers than it knows what to do with. Hulking relics of a bygone era, the forgotten structures number around 750,000; that’s one bunker for every four Albanian citizens. The process of “bunkerization” which lasted Hoxha’s entire 40-year rule has fascinated historians but remained as obscure to the rest of the world as Albania itself. David Galjaard is hoping to change that. He’s a photographer and author of the award winning, and sold out photo book, Concresco, which paints a portrait of Albania and its landscape of historic paranoia.
Mr. Spock’s Vulcan ability to transfer his consciousness into another being was a technique he used on numerous occasions in the Star Trek franchise. His colleague Dr. McCoy was, on several occasions, an unwitting recipient of the 'green blooded, inhuman' Spock’s consciousness…impossible science fiction, right? Well, maybe not. Recently, we came across a story about scientists creating telepathic rats in a lab at Duke University. On the line to tell us more is Douglas Heaven, who wrote about the experiment for New Scientist Magazine.
The sheer volume of humanity packed into the Boston Convention Center doesn't really hit you until you're in and amongst the crowd. Everyone from game developers to Pokemon trainers and Final Fantasy cosplayers are here in force, mingling and chatting in lobbies and food courts. They've made the pilgrimage to the Penny Arcade Expo to celebrate gaming in all of its forms.
All of the pleasure, none of the guilt. Our Saturday show gets you caught up, in a convenient snack pack size. This week….A video game attempts to replicate the experience of autism; spying in space with the help of spectroscopy; a look back to when Peyton Place was in its heyday, almost 60 years ago; the delicious and sweet tradition of capturing maple syrup; making music by “playing” a tower; and a musician gives a private concert in Studio D, then talks about teenage inspiration and her love of pie.
Maple Weekend begins Saturday in New Hampshire, and that means Sugar Houses in the state are open to the public with boiling sap and sweet syrup to sample. And syrup producers around the state say they are hoping for a strong season this year.
Paul Weeks would rather be in his sugar orchard checking sap lines for leaks or adjusting the boil on his evaporator. But today’s bitter chill has given him an unwanted break.