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Nature Has A Formula That Tells Us When It's Time To Die

Here's the surprise: There is a mathematical formula which says if you tell me how big something is, I can tell you — with some variation, but not a lot — how long it will live.
Yunfun Tan illustrates the heartbeat of mother nature in this post on NPR
posted by rebent on Jan 23, 2013 - 35 comments

 

Totenberg on Sotomayor on NPR

In conjunction with the publication of her autobiography, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor sat down with NPR's Nina Totenberg for an extended interview. 1: Sotomayor reflects on her upbringing, her family, and the formative years of her life. 2: Exploring her educational background and her motivations toward excellence. 3: Her post-education career and the path toward her being appointed to the Supreme Court. Audio links and transcripts available for all links. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Jan 19, 2013 - 9 comments

NPR Snap Judgment Performance of the Year 2012

15-year-old Noah St. John won this year's Snap Judgment Performance of the Year for his moving story about his two moms and the moment he thought he might lose the family he had always known. (SLYT) (Snap Judgement previously: 1, 2, 3)
posted by MCMikeNamara on Jan 8, 2013 - 17 comments

the end of history illusion

Why You Won’t Be the Person You Expect to Be (NYT): "When we remember our past selves, they seem quite different. We know how much our personalities and tastes have changed over the years. But when we look ahead, somehow we expect ourselves to stay the same... They called this phenomenon the “end of history illusion,” in which people tend to “underestimate how much they will change in the future.”" (via exp.lore) [more inside]
posted by flex on Jan 6, 2013 - 34 comments

Not your usual holiday standards, from NPR and friends

It's almost Christmas, and if you have not yet had your fill (and then some) of holiday music, you can hear non-stop Jingle Jams on (W)XPN2 online, also available through NPR.org. If the randomness of radio isn't your thing, NPR has a more (alternative) holiday music for your listening pleasure, from a cappella renditions of sacred music for the Christmas season from the English Tudor era (58 minutes) and live jazz piano holiday music, to funky takes on the seasonal themes and five blues tunes to counter all that cheer. NPR also attempts to answer: what makes a modern pop holiday tune sound like Christmas?
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 23, 2012 - 18 comments

There's a frog in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza

A frog in the milk bucket keeps the fungus away?
posted by curious nu on Dec 19, 2012 - 32 comments

So we put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis do a tiny desk concert at NPR. (Includes Same Love, posted previously.)
posted by anotherpanacea on Dec 18, 2012 - 18 comments

It's a pretty big tree.

A big tree.
posted by curious nu on Dec 17, 2012 - 56 comments

Need a raise? Give away a few mints....

The Rule of Reciprocation: an interesting read for anyone who works for tips, or wonders why your physician is prescribing that particular medication. From NPR "Give And Take: How The Rule Of Reciprocation Binds Us"
posted by HuronBob on Nov 26, 2012 - 13 comments

"Is Anybody Down?

"A website called 'Is Anybody Down' [front page SFW] has popped up to fill the niche that was left when the revenge porn site 'Is Anyone Up' shut down in April of this year. Like its predecessor, the site allows users to submit naked photos of other people and include links to the naked person's social networking page. But according to [First Amendment lawyer] Marc Randazza, this website's business model is slightly different from 'Is Anyone Up,' and is of questionable legality."* [more inside]
posted by ericb on Nov 17, 2012 - 80 comments

Public Policy Polling: "Do you have enough Santorum in your life, or not?"

How Polling Firm PPP Won The Election With Its Hilarious And Infuriating Questions: "Public Policy Polling, the firm that correctly predicted all 50 states in the presidential election, is known for asking some weird, quirky and, sometimes, controversial questions in its polls... Here are some of the firm's best questions of the election cycle." [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 14, 2012 - 37 comments

Van Heuvelen Symphony No. 1

When the peace came along in Europe in April of 1945, we just practically sat there without anything to do. Most of the gentlemen drew house plans, because they were thinking they were going to get out of the service pretty soon. And I wrote a symphony. (Transcript) The symphony Van Heuvelen wrote sat on the shelf for decades, and last week he got to witness it performed for the first time. [more inside]
posted by DynamiteToast on Nov 11, 2012 - 5 comments

What am I, an idiot? I mean, kind of?

Ask A Banker: What's The Deal With High Frequency Trading? From the planet money NPR team.
posted by garlic on Nov 7, 2012 - 35 comments

Convince me. Convince me. Convince me.

Charlie Pierce is a longtime sportswriter and author who has, among other things, reported for Grantland, Slate, and the Boston Globe, paneled on more than a few games of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, and fished diapers out of trees as a state forest ranger. He's also made a name for himself as one of the sharpest and most incisive political columnists since Molly Ivins. The lead writer for Esquire's Politics Blog ever since a caustic article on former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell cost him his Globe job, Pierce has churned out an uninterrupted stream of clever, colorful, and challenging commentary on the 2012 election season and its implications for the nation's future, dispatches often seething with eviscerative anger but shot through with deep love of (or perhaps grief for) country. Look inside for a selection of Pierce's most vital works for some edifying Election Eve reading. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 5, 2012 - 73 comments

Bait and Switch

Brian O’Dea is a big time drug smuggler on his way out of the game when he gets a call from his sworn enemy with the deal of a lifetime. Buckle up for an international ride of shady characters, huge scores, and the true tale of a man who always had to keep one step ahead [16:47 min. audio]. From the Trust Me episode of Snap Judgment on NPR.
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear on Sep 30, 2012 - 8 comments

Love and Rockets and punk rock

Well isn't this just super cool? Love and Rockets creators Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez were on NPR last week to talk about the music that helped shape their groundbreaking alt comics series. (Just in time for me to figure out my Hopey Halloween costume! Easier said than done, it turns out.)
posted by jarsizedsibyl on Sep 30, 2012 - 11 comments

The mural in Oregon the Chinese government wants destroyed

A colorful mural adorns Chao Tsung-song / Tibet House in Corvallis, Oregon. Commissioned by Corvallis businessman, David Lin, the 100 foot long mural depicts at one end, a cheerful Taiwanese countryside scene, and at the other, police beating Tibetan protesters and a Tibetan monk in the process of self-immolation. The Chinese government has requested that the mural be destroyed. Mr. Lin and Corvallis city mayor, Julie Manning, say, "no."
posted by Phyllis Harmonic on Sep 20, 2012 - 44 comments

A long long time ago / I can still remember

...When I was around four or five, my parents split up, and we didn't get to see a lot of my dad. So, anything that was his in our house was kind of a treasure. And I knew that record album, "American Pie." I can picture it in my head with the thumbs up and Don McLean on there. And in the top right hand corner there was my dad's name on one of those old-fashioned label makers where you could press the letters in with the white and it would come up in white raised letters... [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Sep 9, 2012 - 20 comments

G B S

A girl upon the shore did ask a favour of the sea;
"Return my blue eyed sailor boy safely back to me.
Forgive me if I ask too much, I will not ask for more,
but I shall weep until he sleeps safe upon the shore."
For nearly 20 years, Newfoundland group Great Big Sea have been creating acoustic Celtic folk-rock covers and interpretations of traditional Newfoundland and Labrador sea shanties, folk, fishing and party songs, which draw from the island's rich 500-year-old multicultural (Irish, English, Scottish and French) heritage. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 23, 2012 - 49 comments

Bring on the roasted potatoes! Bring on the beaujolais!

Julia Child, Fred Rogers, and Bob Ross, autotuned. [more inside]
posted by vortex genie 2 on Aug 22, 2012 - 38 comments

The Bully Pulpit

Late last month, after vocally anti-gay evangelical author and blogger Jonathan Merritt's essay defending Chick-Fil-A appeared in The Atlantic, Azariah Southworth outed Merritt on his blog. An interview with Merritt about his sexual orientation. Follow-up column from Southworth: Why I outed a Christian star. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 13, 2012 - 237 comments

I didn't know caterpillars turned into goo...

"Are Butterflies Two Different Animals In One?"
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies on Aug 8, 2012 - 96 comments

ASL performance of 'Who's on First'

'Who's on First', the ASL version (vimeo). A little more on this from NPR, including link to MLB.com video of Jerry Seinfeld's comments on the original skit.
posted by found missing on Jul 22, 2012 - 6 comments

A Nuclear Group of Observers

NPR show us and tells the story of five men who agreed to stand directly below and observe a nuclear explosion.
On July 19, 1957, five Air Force officers and one photographer stood together on a patch of ground about 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. They'd marked the spot 'Ground Zero. Population 5' on a hand-lettered sign hammered into the soft ground right next to them.

posted by gilrain on Jul 18, 2012 - 42 comments

Florence Williams - Breasts: A Natural & Unnatural History

Your Breasts Are Trying To Kill You: Slate reviews Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence WIlliams (an edited excerpt from the book re: breast milk in The Guardian - includes breastfeeding photo). NPR interview with Williams (41 min. audio and text highlights); a brief interview with Williams in The Star and a long interview in Maclean's. A recent piece by Williams in Slate: A new set of reports shows that federal policy on chemicals testing neglects breast health. Subject found via a post on IBTP discussing the ban, and then partial retraction of that ban, on allowing breast cancer survivor Jodi Jaecks to swim topless at a Seattle public pool - includes topless photo. Some may consider the photos noted NSFW.
posted by flex on Jul 10, 2012 - 19 comments

"The justice system is invisible, unable to deter or heal."

In July 2007, NPR published a two part series (direct links: 1, 2) about a four year old uninvestigated rape case at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Sparked in part by a 2006 report (pdf) from Amnesty International that included a startling statistic: "One in three Native American women will be raped in her lifetime," NPR's investigation led to the reopening of the case and Congressional hearings. In February 2011, Harper's published an update of sorts: Tiny Little Laws: A Plague of Sexual Violence in Indian Country (Via)
posted by zarq on Jul 6, 2012 - 14 comments

Live Spree

The Polyphonic Spree perform a 45 minute set on WXPN's Live From World Cafe, from May 25, 2012. (audio only) [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Jul 5, 2012 - 21 comments

It happens three times in every life. Or twice. Or once.

Two Little Girls Describe The Worst Haircut Ever (SLAudio)
posted by gauche on Jun 27, 2012 - 30 comments

I WAS OFF MY FACE ON TARO CHIPS SO I DIDN'T KNOW RIGHT FROM WRONG

Gayle is a short weekly web-series about the hyper-competitive upper-middle class mom Gaye Waters-Waters and her relentless attempts to dominate the local chapter of Mothers Against Road Head. Episode one with links to the latest ten. NSFW audio.
posted by The Whelk on Jun 25, 2012 - 16 comments

overdressed: the high cost of cheap fashion

The Afterlife of Cheap Clothes is an excerpt from Elizabeth Cline's book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. 10 facts from Overdressed. An interview with Cline on Salon. Cheap clothing's high cost (infographic). Previously: stuff we don't want. [more inside]
posted by flex on Jun 20, 2012 - 64 comments

Why do we value the network and hardware that delivers music but not the music itself?

NPR Intern Emily White wrote that out of a library of 11,000 songs, she had only purchased 15 CDs. Camper Van Beethoven/Cracker's David Lowery responds: "Why do you pay real money for this other stuff but not music?"
posted by troika on Jun 18, 2012 - 705 comments

The Particular Flavor of Contempt

How We Talk About A Bacon Sundae (from Mefi's Own Linda_Holmes)
posted by box on Jun 13, 2012 - 78 comments

The Car Talk garage is closing

After 25 years, thousands of car problems solved, and possibly millions of minutes spent laughing helplessly at themselves, Click and Clack, the Tappet brothers, are hanging up their microphones. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on Jun 8, 2012 - 232 comments

series highlight or jumping the shark?

Linda Holmes, NPR: "It probably speaks to the complexity of Mad Men that the same episode can be a highlight of the series for some and a lowlight for others. Sunday night's episode, "The Other Woman," instantly became a favorite of a lot of observers and writers, but for me, it was a rarity on Mad Men: a serious and profound misstep." (spoilers in links) [more inside]
posted by flex on May 29, 2012 - 665 comments

Thank you for joining us.

Mike Birbiglia's Fresh Air interview gets awkward. From last week's This American Life live episode.
posted by roll truck roll on May 14, 2012 - 31 comments

it's a big cold world out there but warm & cozy in here

Consumer Reports May 2012: What to reject when you're expecting (10 procedures to think twice about during your pregnancy; 10 things you should do during your pregnancy; 5 things you should do before you become pregnant). Mentioned in particular is the conclusion found in a federal study: Babies Take Longer To Come Out Than They Did In Grandma's Day."One big implication: Today's obstetricians may be rushing to do cesarean sections too soon because they're using an out-of-date yardstick for how long a 'normal; labor should take... The definition of a 'normal' labor — the range of times when a woman in labor reaches certain milestones — was laid down in the 1950s. Contemporary obstetricians still use that 'labor curve.'"
posted by flex on May 11, 2012 - 66 comments

"Frankenstein monster of marketing trends that's probably too clever by half."

What Pizza Hut's Crown Crust Pizza Says About Global Fast Food Marketing. [Food Porn] [Pizza Hut-blue?] Perhaps you've heard by now of the Crown Crust pizza, the pizza-cheeseburger hybrid recently unveiled by some of Pizza Hut's international franchisees. Available only at Pizza Hut Middle East, this fast food chimera features a vaguely crown-shaped crust studded with "cheeseburger gems," topped with lettuce and tomato, and drizzled with "special sauce." Many foodies have decried it as a "culinary abomination," "a sign of the apocalypse," or proof that America is finally losing its monopoly on gluttony. A reviewer at Serious Eats, who tried the Crown Crust in Dubai, wrote: "There seems to be no rational explanation as to why this pizza was created." [Via: NPR.org]
posted by Fizz on May 2, 2012 - 83 comments

Roger McGuinn clearly gives a folk

Roger McGuinn was a member of the pioneering folk rock band The Byrds. He loves the traditional folk music he has been performing solo since the band's breakup in 1973. In this interview, he talks to NPR's Neal Conan about his career, his music and why he created The Folk Den Project (previously) - with over 200 readily downloadable songs, with lyrics and chords - to preserve traditional folk songs.
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal on Apr 18, 2012 - 4 comments

The News Corporation scandals

Murdoch's Scandal - Lowell Bergman (the journalist portrayed by Al Pacino in The Insider) has investigated News Corporation for PBS Frontline [transcript]. He depicts Rupert Murdoch's British operation as a criminal enterprise, routinely hacking the voicemail and computers of innocent people, and using bribery and coercion to infiltrate police and government over decades. Enemies are ruthlessly "monstered" by the tabloids. Bergman also spoke to NPR's Fresh Air [transcript]. But the hits keep coming: in recent days News Corp has been accused of hacking rival pay TV services and promoting pirated receiver cards in both the UK and Australia. With the looming possibility of prosecution under America's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, how long will shareholders consider Rupert Murdoch irreplaceable? [Previous 1 2 3 4]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Mar 28, 2012 - 58 comments

Claressa Shields - Radio Diary Made of Awesome

Claressa Shields, a 16 year old boxer preparing for the Olympic trials, records a radio diary. It's about 16 minutes long.
posted by insectosaurus on Mar 3, 2012 - 10 comments

Where did that poop come from?

Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides for 80 Years
posted by empath on Feb 29, 2012 - 134 comments

NPR decides to be "fair to the truth".

The beginning of the end of "he said, she said" journalism? NPR decides to be "Fair to the Truth" instead of simply reporting both sides of an issue.
posted by asavage on Feb 28, 2012 - 68 comments

I shall possess within the veil, a life of joy and peace.

The legendary Dick Dale covers Amazing Grace, 12/09 in a Studio Session on NPR's KEXP. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 24, 2012 - 22 comments

"If I Could Fly, You Know That I'd Try"

The Cranberries: NPR Tiny Desk Concert [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 23, 2012 - 30 comments

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz is the longest-running cultural program on National Public Radio - having been hosted by Ms. McPartland from June 4, 1978 through November 10, 2011. Her guests included Eubie Blake, Carla Bley, JoAnne Brackeen, Ray Charles, Alice Coltrane, Chick Corea, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Andrew Hill, Dick Hyman, Ahmad Jamal, Keith Jarrett, Hank Jones, Oscar Peterson, Michel Petrucciani, Marcus Roberts, and McCoy Tyner.
posted by Trurl on Feb 19, 2012 - 25 comments

We're DEFINITELY Not In Kansas Anymore, Toto

A brief video of a tornado on the surface of the sun posted by NPR, as seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (links to various sizes and qualities of downloads here). The tornado is larger than Earth itself and has gusts up to 300,000 miles per hour.
posted by briank on Feb 17, 2012 - 52 comments

"In every family picture ... my mother was wearing a habit."

A Brother And Sister Get Married (And Later, Their Son Tweets It)
posted by tractorfeed on Feb 14, 2012 - 37 comments

National Public Rodeo

National Public Rodeo Vanity Fair's David Margolick on the recent history and (somewhat) uncertain future of National Public Radio.
posted by Chrischris on Jan 19, 2012 - 8 comments

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, John Zorn Style

Always an enigma, John Zorn, winner of a MacArthur Fellowship, founder of avant garde record label Tzadik proponent of radical Jewish culture, leader of the hard core group Naked City, creator of the Masada songbook, and hundreds of other things, has, with the likes of Mark Ribot, Cyro Baptista and Mike Pattoon, released a heart-breakingly lovely Christmas record, A Dreamer's Christmas. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski on Dec 12, 2011 - 19 comments

“I‘m not lying!”

This past August a murder charge was dismissed against Nga Truong, a young mother who had confessed to Worcester, MA Police interrogators in 2008 that she had smothered and killed her 13 month-old baby, Khyle. A judge later concluded that confession was coerced -- extracted in part by police "deception," "trickery and implied promises" -- and the case was dropped. (pdf). Her case raises questions: What coercive power do detectives have who are driven to extract confessions? Under what circumstances might someone admit to a crime they have not committed? WBUR (Boston's NPR station) investigated Truong's case and has an extensive report, Anatomy of a Bad Confession: Part One and Two [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 10, 2011 - 28 comments

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