“I wanted to try to capture the intelligence of the design, not just the outcome of the design.”
“In 1977, [Donald] Knuth halted research on his books for what he expected to be a one-year hiatus. Instead, it took 10. Accompanied by [his wife] Jill, Knuth took design classes from Stanford art professor Matthew Kahn. Knuth, trying to train his programmer’s brain to think like an artist’s, wanted to create a program [TeX
] that would understand why each stroke in a typeface would be pleasing to the eye.”—from a profile of Knuth
in the Stanford Magazine (May '06)
calls him “computing’s philosopher king
” (Sep '99)
. NPR’s Morning Edition
interviews Knuth as “the founding artist of computer science
” (Mar '05)
. Perhaps a MeFite somewhere has one of these
IPR: Irrational Public Radio
"We love NPR, PRI, & MPR. We are fans of All Things Considered
, Morning Edition
, Car Talk
, This American Life
, Fresh Air
, and Prarie Home Companion
. We like the commentaries, the features, the independent member station programs. We love them all dearly. But we also think they're begging to be made fun of. So here we are."
Ira Glass sits at a soundboard
and schools us on the art of storytelling.
tells the tale of Dr. Alan Rabinowitz and his friend... "Dawi told Alan the terrible secret that explained why there were so few Taron (left in the world). And then Alan told Dawi a secret of his own..." (includes audio link)
Wayward country son Jimmy Dale Gilmore's essay via NPR
A little post-feast reflection. Real/WMP audio and text.
NPR rebroadcasts David Sedaris
reading from his book Santaland Diaries.
From performing in a concert
for Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi, to serving as background music for the shock-and-awe bombing of Baghdad, Lionel Richie
is much beloved throught the Arab world. A Nightline
piece, and an upcoming GQ magazine article (via NPR)
examine the Lionel of Arabia phenomenon.
This short NPR interview
with two guys that do negative campaign ad voiceovers
is not to be missed. They cover buzzwords, types of delivery, and then riff on nursery rhymes. [via notmartha]
Already listened to everything This American Life offers or maybe looking for something a bit smarter and full of science? Maybe you'll like Radio Lab
. Maybe you'll like the mind-blowing and historically expanding episode on music
. Maybe older
history is your cup of tea -- how about biblical times
and how they sit in shoeboxes in Oxford. A stack of shows available via podcast, MP3 download (and some .RAM, sorry)
This American Life
is now offering free podcasts. A while ago, someone noticed MP3s of This American Life episodes were sitting in a publicly accessible directory. People soon starting making podcasts. This American Life asked them to stop. Most of them did
. Fans of the show were disappointed. Now the podcast is available directly from TAL for free.
The Room: The Movie.
Triple-threat (actor/writer/director) Tommy Wiseau
made his cinematic debut in 2003 with the The Room
and various scenes
), "a blend between a
softcore porn flick and a Tennessee Williams stageplay."
Wiseau ("who's not just one of the most unusual looking
an unidentifiable Eastern European accent-leading men ever to
grace the screen, but a narcissist nonpareil whose movie makes Vincent Gallo's "The Brown Bunny"
the apotheosis of cinematic self-restraint...may be something of a first: A movie that
prompts most of its viewers to ask for their money back-before even
30 minutes have passed." - Variety
), allegedly raised $6 million outside Hollywood to cover production and marketing costs
of the self-described "black comedy about love, passion, betrayal and lies" (see various rough dress rehersals
Audience members, including comedian
, have been "marveling at the bizarre editing, bad bluescreen, uncomfortably explicit
sex scenes and, of course, the enigma of Wiseau himself"
as the film
played monthly for years
in Los Angeles. Available on
DVD, diehard "roomies" swear by the
shout out their own commentary
, hurl spoons at the screen
and singalong to the soundtrack
. Some call it "The Rocky Horror of the New Millenium"
and stage "Room"
. If you look at the marketing campaign
or survived a screening
you might see The Room as "a seminar on how
NOT to make a movie."
Swedish techno band that uses only sounds sampled from the hurdy gurdy
. [via NPR
] [a little more inside]
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
are a band that, less than a year ago, were making music without the help of a record label, pressing CDs themselves and selling them at concerts and on the Internet. Then the following happened: June 9: Dan Bierne writes about the band on his MP3 blog
, June 14: Pitchfork Media posts a review of the song "In This Home On Ice"
, June 15: Blogger Gothamist posts an interview with the band
, June 20: Blogger Stereogum announces the band's show at the Knitting Factory
, June 21: Gothamist reports that David Bowie was in the audience at the Knitting Factory show
, and June 22: Pitchfork posts one of a slew of reviews of Clap's first album
Now, they've been named to dozens of critics 'best of' lists
, they're playing Conan and Letterman
, and are about to embark on a new tour. Why choose today to post an article about a band blowing up written in November you ask? Because their tour kicks off tonight
at the 9:30 club in DC, and you can listen to it live
Twilight for Black Farms.
An interesting topic at NPR. Photos. Audio. Essay.
So You Think You Hate Country Music?
Then listen to this. The roots of American country music may surprise you. In this series of NPR programs, trace the gradual development of real country music through the first half of the 20th century. Learn how a woman's instrument of the late 1800s, the parlor guitar, became the the central symbol of country and rock; see how African-American musical forms like gospel and blues meshed with the development of country and early rock and influenced the traditional forms in turn; listen to German-Mexican hybrids of accordian style; find out why women had so many honky-tonk torch songs to sing in the late 40s. The series contains hours of content (narrative, interviews, music tracks), and a multitude of excellent links for deeper digging.
NPR’s Live Concert Series
site offers recordings of recent live performances by James Brown
, Sinead O’Connor
, Iron & Wine and Calexico
, Son Volt
, My Morning Jacket
, The White Stripes, M. Ward
, Sigur Ros
, Bloc Party
, The Decemberists
, and live tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. ET, Colin Meloy
this i believe: there is no god.
the inimitable, outspoken
penn jillette (of penn and teller
fame) takes a hell
of a brave stand in today's climate of blind faith
NPR: 'My Lobotomy'
In 1960, Howar Dully was a badly behaved 12-year-old. He was lobotomized
with an icepick
(as were hundreds of others) and talks about it on this radio show. See also.
"Demand the truth."
A stunningly detailed interview with (Abu-Ghraib-involved) former general Janis Karpinski
.(Interviewer: Diane Rehm.)
Spam Stock Tracker
Haven't you ever been just a little
curious if you could "D0UB1E Y0UR |M|0|N|E|Y| EVERY WEEK!!!" like the the email said? [via NPR's Marketplace
, lengendary historian and radio host pays a visit to Democracy Now!
today. Audio and Video, as well as the transcript of this historic interview are here.
Also, the WBAI
pledge drive is this week too, please give what you can.
After The Flood Surprising stories from survivors in New Orleans. We give people who were in the storm more time than daily news coverage can to tell their stories and talk about what they're thinking. This leads to a number of ideas that haven't made it into the regular news coverage.
The most recent episode of This American Life
is now up on their website--This American Life
is one of the best programs on public radio and this was one of their best episodes ever. It is well worth a listen.
Does public radio sound fresh to you?
Ira Glass is interviewed about the current state of public radio, as well as the ongoing experiment of re-tooling This American Life for TV. From the CJR.
Don't catch all the West Wing Dialogue? Me either...
The idea so offended my NPR supporting cum
aging grad student sensibilities that I had to read why "Watching TV Makes You Smarter" (nyt, reg. req.). Am now completely sold on the argument for the Sleeper Curve
Respected arts reporter David D'Arcy
has been dumped by NPR
apparently in response to complaints by MoMA, who were unhappy with his recent coverage
of the controversy
surrounding Egon Schiele
's Portrait of Wally
. (D'Arcy's previous report here
.) The portrait was stolen by the Nazis in 1939; since 1997 it has been on loan to MoMA
from the Leopold Collection. The concerns and controversy surrounding the Nazis' looting of art
, of course, continue to be thorny issues
Like, wow, man.
NPR interviewista Terry Gross sits down with a talk with infamously legendary comedian Tommy Chong and the DOJ flunky who decided that he'd make a good target. The acrimony between Chong and the much more successful Cheech Marin seems to be healed, no doubt in part owing to their upcoming appearance together
at the US Comedy Arts Festival
. Terry gets down to business including the bust and the origins of the comedy duo, more interesting than one would expect.
Karl Haas has passed away at the age of 91. Barely anyone knew what he looked like
, but his show Adventures in Good Music
(running since 1959) brought millions of people into the world of Classical Music. He was also the author of Inside Music
, now in its 10th printing.
"To me, bad taste is what entertainment is all about..."
- John Waters
Gotta give him credit... he never loses the ability to shake people up
, this time on NPR.
Listen for yourself to the "offending" piece here
. (Safe bet he's giggling about it all...)
Perverted, God-Hating Frenchies vs. Inbred, Sex-Obsessed Yokels Truth About Liberals #1: They're Just As Moral As Conservatives
Truth About Conservatives #1: They're Just As Smart As Liberals
An interesting article on the role of faith by Steven Waldman
that exposes 'moral values' as not being the sole domain of either side while pointing out that the media
continues to polarize by playing tempest. Via Speaking of Faith on NPR.
gets you laid. iTunes
gets you laid. National Public Radio
gets you laid. Craigslist
gets you laid (if you're a Republican). Obscure Jewish humor apparel
gets you laid. Going vegan
gets you laid, unless you're a nice guy
, natch. [All links SWF. First link leads to an advert that may not be.]
Six-part NPR series The Middle East and the West
, history of Western involvement in the Middle East.
will return to the airwaves in October, via satellite. XM
, to be specific.
How Public is Public Radio? When National Public Radio was launched in 1971, it promised to be an alternative to commercial media that would “promote personal growth rather than corporate gain” and “speak with many voices, many dialects.”
Does NPR really represent the "public?"
Do those "not-advertisements" present an alternative to commercial radio?
For those who consider NPR a "liberal bastion", know that the times they are a changing. Give to Air America instead with your donations perhaps?
Red and green dots
have never been so interesting. At least to a geek like me.
I love it when my brain plays tricks on me.
From reporter to relief worker in Afghanistan.
An astonishing documentary, Life After War
, follows NPR correspondant turned relief worker Sarah Chayes as she struggles to help rebuild a rural Afghani village destroyed in the war. Here
is an article she wrote expressing her frustrations with the American media post-9/11 and describing how and why she made this drastic life change. Her organization is Afghans for Civil Society.
A glowing tribute honoring Bob Edwards
on his final day as anchor at NPR's "Morning Edition"
... from the
reassigned him in the first place. (Sorry to start your Friday on a downer.)
Bob Edwards gets the boot!
The host of National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" since its inception in 1979 has been forced out of that job. What's next to go? Susan Stamberg's cranberry relish?
Screw Howard Stern
. But Save Sandra Tsing Loh
The radio culture wars have claimed an unlikely victim, and an unlikely victimizer (America's favorite NPR station, KCRW).
Hunting and gathering in your own backyard:
"Alistair Bland was a student at the University of California at Santa Barbara last year when he decided to spend 10 weeks as an urban hunter-gatherer. He foraged for food in that city and survived on what he could kill or find growing outside . . ." (Real Audio required). Bland reported on the project in more detail
in the Daily Gullet
Trusting The Redcoats:
How many independent-minded Americans actually rely on the BBC (specially the World Service
) for accurate coverage of American politics? Not to mention The Guardian
. Is it a strictly an elitist, liberal/left-wing phenomenon? What does it mean? What does it say about better-informed liberal newspapers and media of the U.S.? If so, why aren't like-minded Europeans just as cosmopolitan and, say, pay the same attention to news sources like The New York Times, NPR and others, rather than stolidly sticking to their own national staples?
Don't blame me, I voted for Vermin Supreme!
While the D.C. Primary
hasn't attracted the same level of attention as the Iowa Caucus, one candidate
continues to fight for what is right. Mr. Supreme
understands the REAL
threat facing our great nation -- poor dental hygeine
Triumph Slams O'Reilly
NPR's Fresh Air interview with Late Night's Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. He laughs, he cries, and obviously, he poops. And he makes fun of Bill O'Reilly in the process, referencing O'Reilly's Fresh Air appearance last month
. (found via DailyKos poster secondcityscientist)