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How the burrito became a sandwich

NPR's Planet Money explains the history of the sales tax in the United States by tracing what kinds of sandwiches get taxed and why: How the Burrito Became a Sandwich. Bonus: In-N-Out Burger history in the podcast.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 22, 2014 - 152 comments

The Green Turtle, the first Asian American super hero returns to comics

If you heard the recent NPR's Codeswitch segment on The Green Turtle, the first Asian superhero created in the United States, you heard descriptions of the 1940s comic. But there's more (so much more!) online. Start with the entire run of The Green Turtle on the amazing Digital Comic Museum, which hosts public domain Golden Age comics (late 1930s until the late 1940s or early 1950s). If you want to know more about Chu F. Hing, the artist behind the original Green Turtle, here's an extensively researched biography on the astounding Chinese American Eyes blog, which covers "famous, forgotten, well-known, and obscure visual artists of Chinese descent in the United States." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 16, 2014 - 6 comments

Moon Hooch

NPR's Bob Boilen (host of All Songs Considered): "People ask me all the time to name my favorite Tiny Desk Concert. It's my desk and I've seen almost all of the nearly 400 concerts up close. So you'd think this would be easy. Moon Hooch have made it a lot easier." (video) [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 10, 2014 - 41 comments

What Happens When 350 Musicians Meet For The First Time In Brooklyn?

What Happens When 350 Musicians Meet For The First Time In Brooklyn?
posted by chunking express on Jul 2, 2014 - 20 comments

Don't sneak.

"Patrick Haggerty grew up the son of a dairy farmer in rural Washington during the 1950s As a teenager, Patrick began to understand he was gay–something he thought he was hiding well. But as he told his daughter Robin, one day, when he went to perform at a school assembly, his father Charles Edward Haggerty, decided to have a serious talk with him." (transcript)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 28, 2014 - 22 comments

Following your heart is another tolerable option

How To Marry The Right Girl: A Mathematical Solution
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jun 21, 2014 - 67 comments

How difficult is it for the NSA to spy on your Internet use?

On a bright April morning in Menlo Park, California, I became an Internet spy. This was easier than it sounds because I had a willing target. I had partnered with National Public Radio (NPR) tech correspondent Steve Henn for an experiment in Internet surveillance. For one week, while Henn researched a story, he allowed himself to be watched—acting as a stand-in, in effect, for everyone who uses Internet-connected devices. How much of our lives do we really reveal simply by going online? Ars tests Internet surveillance—by spying on an NPR reporter.
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Jun 16, 2014 - 15 comments

I have the photo, but I don't remember being there...

Maybe it's time to put down that camera/smart phone. A short NPR article (including a link to the audio, an interview with Maryanne Garry, a psychology professor at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand) discussing why it's important to be thoughtful about the amount of time you spend experiencing life through a viewfinder and how the digital age has impacted on our parental role as archivist of our own and our children's lives.
posted by HuronBob on May 31, 2014 - 46 comments

The Marvelous Sugar Baby

An NPR interview with the creator of a 75 foot long Mammy-Sphinx sculpture made entirely of sugar. Award-winning artist Kara Walker's latest work challenges viewers to confront the relationships between American history, racism, slavery, and industrialization. Her exhibition is held in the soon-to-be-demolished, historic Domino Sugar Factory. (New Yorker article) [more inside]
posted by warm_planet on May 16, 2014 - 34 comments

A bolo tie? Over a t-shirt? With a trilby?

What is Nina Totenberg wearing? The Wall Street Journal profiles some unusual style icons: the hosts and staff of National Public Radio.
posted by Diablevert on May 9, 2014 - 61 comments

RTMFA

NPR's April Fools joke demonstrates the importance of RTMFA.
posted by divabat on Apr 6, 2014 - 95 comments

Borderland

NPR Took A 2,428-Mile Road Trip Along The Mexico Border: Here's What They Saw
posted by empath on Apr 3, 2014 - 21 comments

When is a church not a church?

NPR reporter John Burnett and investigator Samantha Sunne examine the finances of Christian TV network Daystar.
At NPR's request, the Trinity Foundation, a watchdog group in Dallas that monitors Christian broadcasters, compiled a list of the nation's 30 leading evangelist broadcasters. Twenty-two of them are designated churches, meaning they don't have to report anything to anybody. Of those, two-thirds have churches, while a third of them — including Daystar — hold no regular services.

posted by audi alteram partem on Apr 2, 2014 - 44 comments

Nickel Creek

A Dotted Line, is Nickel Creek's first studio album in 8 years. NPR has a "first listen" available for your pleasure.
posted by HuronBob on Mar 25, 2014 - 42 comments

Who Had Richer Parents, Doctors Or Artists?

What's the link between household income during childhood and job choice during adulthood? Stats and pretty graphs ahoy!
posted by forza on Mar 20, 2014 - 44 comments

The Bad Plus - The Rite Of Spring

Modern proggy jazz trio The Bad Plus has adapted Stravinsky's The Rite Of Spring for their unique style. For a limited time, the album is available to hear online via NPR.
posted by hippybear on Mar 16, 2014 - 21 comments

An Idea Whose Time Has Come, Or Gone

"All of the Pleasure. None of the Guilt," an article from this past Sunday's NY Times Magazine, was inspired in part by a similar article posted recently on the New Yorker's Page Turner blog, "Against 'Guilty Pleasure.'" It has, in turn, inspired another article in the Los Angeles Times: "The art of the guilty pleasure." All author's opine, "Is it time we retired the idea of 'guilty pleasure(s)'?" [more inside]
posted by eric1halfb on Feb 12, 2014 - 82 comments

Raleigh Mystery House

What's inside this mystery house in North Carolina? It looks like an average 1970's home with "a landscaped yard, white columns, and green shutters." But look closer and you'll notice there's no driveway, no walkway leading up to the front door, and no mailbox. The truth behind this mysterious building in Raleigh, NC might surprise you.
posted by capricorn on Jan 18, 2014 - 60 comments

I cut my hair to make the wings

Stan Alcorn on Digg attempts to answer why audio almost never goes viral. Alcorn outlines a rare exception in how an audio interview of two girls and the "Worst Haircut Ever" went from a coffee shop show called “The Ear Cave” in Hartford to a one line link on Metafilter made several months later by gauche, to ultimately landing on gawker where it ratcheted up 1.3 million views. [more inside]
posted by zenon on Jan 16, 2014 - 16 comments

Carefully Screened Young Adult Male Ella Fitzgeralds

"This study was an investigation of adult brain plasticity and whether we could reopen it through the use of a drug called valproic acid. It's a mood-stabilizing drug. But we found that it also restores the plasticity of the brain to a juvenile state. And during a two-week period on this pill or a controlled substance, a healthy cohort of young adult male subjects who were carefully screened not to have had musical experience early in life, they were asked to undertake a number of training tests online. And at the end of this two-week period, they were then tested on their ability to discriminate tones to see if the training had more effect than it normally would at this age."
WERTHEIMER: So, you actually gave people a pill and then you taught them to have perfect pitch?
HENSCH: This is the result and it's quite remarkable, since there are no known reports of adults acquiring absolute pitch. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Jan 5, 2014 - 62 comments

What Monkeys Eat: A Few Thoughts About Pop Culture Writing

If you think monkeys are fascinating and you want to understand and be of value to them, it's not enough to be an expert on what monkeys should ideally eat. You have to understand what monkeys actually eat.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jan 2, 2014 - 29 comments

Patrick Stewart On Mooing Like a British Cow.

Patrick Stewart On Mooing Like a British Cow. Also explains regional differences for NPR's How To Do Everything podcast.
posted by feelinglistless on Jan 1, 2014 - 36 comments

Christmas music that won't make you want smash the stereo.

Bill Adler's Xmas Jollies 2013, via LAtino USA this year. Christmas music. It is bad. There is no escaping it. This playlist might help. [more inside]
posted by vrakatar on Dec 21, 2013 - 4 comments

You are either In or you are Out

There is a fundamental disconnect between large-scale, for-profit media and the crushing power of enthusiasm, which is that when they try to control it, it instantly isn't real. It's patently unreal. It's excitement given life by force, Pet Sematary-style. But when they don't control it, it isn't profitable. And that means that when they run into people excited about their stuff, they vacillate between an Ebenezerian lack of generosity and a Professor-Harold-Hillian smarm. To own enthusiasm and to exploit it are competing instincts, much as they often seem to be twins. You can, in fact, sometimes best exploit it — or only exploit it — by leaving it alone. -- In what could be considered a Metafilter Manifesto, Mefi's own Linda Holmes takes on the multivariate economics of fandom and the internet.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 20, 2013 - 23 comments

The will change everything!

How Global Warming Works in 1.2 Minutes (via)
posted by cjorgensen on Dec 16, 2013 - 31 comments

From WNYC in New York, this is Radiolab...LIVE!

The public radio science program Radiolab recently wrapped up a tour featuring their latest live show, Apocalyptical. It is, as you might have guessed, about the end times. The show, hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich and featuring live performances from comedians Kurt Braunohler and Reggie Watts and an appearance from dinosaur puppets, is now available for free on YouTube.
posted by inturnaround on Dec 11, 2013 - 13 comments

A melted listicle

NPR is sick of the list. For their year end book round up this year, they have instead compiled an interactive web app which categorizes books by type (allowing you to apply these types as filters) and connects similar books by hyper-linked keywords.
posted by codacorolla on Dec 4, 2013 - 25 comments

Cotton, Machines, People, Boxes, and You

Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt
posted by psoas on Dec 1, 2013 - 39 comments

Even When It Hurts Alot

Allie Brosh, author of the widely-adored Hyperbole And A Half web comic, was interviewed by the inimitable Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air about her work, her new book, and her well-documented struggles with depression. (previously 1 2 3 4 5 6 8)
posted by shiu mai baby on Nov 12, 2013 - 88 comments

Science Journalism Award winners

2013 Science Journalism Award winners from the American Association for the Advancement of Science: [via Romenesko] [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Nov 6, 2013 - 4 comments

Tough Talk About Catfish

Linda Holmes, writer and editor of NPR's pop culture blog Monkey See, has some thoughts about MTV's show, "Catfished."
posted by WalkerWestridge on Oct 15, 2013 - 86 comments

A Night At The Rock

"For 29 years, Alcatraz — the notorious prison off the coast of San Francisco — housed some of the nation's worst criminals: Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly, Birdman Robert Stroud. Today, 50 years after it closed, it's a museum. And earlier this year, the National Park Service gave Bill Baker, a former inmate, special permission to stay the night in his old cell. He was 24 when he was transferred to The Rock. Today, he's 80." (I can't link to it directly, but the audio is worth listening to)
posted by HuronBob on Oct 14, 2013 - 11 comments

The Coming Eucatastrophe

Over the past few years, the zombie apocalypse has come to represent an alternative to neoliberalism – an ideology that admits no alternatives. The Political Economy of Zombies by John Powers [previously, previouslier] Bonus: What Terrifies Teens In Today's Young Adult Novels? The Economy
posted by chavenet on Oct 1, 2013 - 59 comments

Variations on the Goldberg Variations

Why I Hate the Goldberg Variations, by Jeremy Denk, whose new (lovely) recording of the Goldberg Variations is now streaming on NPR. Also by Denk: Hannibal Lecter's Guide to the Goldberg Variations, which explores the famous cannibal killer through the lens of Bach. This is Your Brain on the Goldberg Variations, which gets in-depth on just how the Variations vary.
posted by Rory Marinich on Sep 24, 2013 - 30 comments

"Ask Dr. Science. Remember he knows more than you do."

The comedy troupe Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre started in 1975 when five University of Iowa graduate students hoped to score some free beer. You may have heard Ask Dr. Science (Wikipedia) sketches on All Things Considered. Ask Dr. Science first ran in 1982 (or maybe on New Year's Day 1981) as a project of Duck's Breath members Dan Coffey and Merle Kessler on KQED. [more inside]
posted by knile on Sep 20, 2013 - 15 comments

Sci-Fi Radio and Beyond 2000/2000x, hours of storytelling from NPR

National Public Radio produced at least two short runs of sci-fi radio dramas in the relatively recent past. The first of these two was Sci-Fi Radio, which was was produced out of Commerce, Texas, and broadcast on NPR in 1989-90. The producers drew their inspiration from some of the best stories from some of the best science fiction authors of the 20th century, including Ray Bradbury, Roger Zelazny, Henry Kuttner, and Poul Anderson. You can read more here on the Old Time Radio Plot Spot, or listen to the series on the Times Past Old Time Radio blog (also on Archive.org). A decade later, NPR revisited the format with 2000X: Tales of the Next Millennia, for which they won a a 2001 Bradbury Award. The official site is no longer online, but Archive.org captured Yuri Rasovsky's site for the series. Rasovsky shared two of those broadcasts and talked about his work in radio with Radio Drama Revival, and you can listen to the rest, as recorded from radio and grouped in an unsorted jumble (with duplicates), thanks to the very generous OTR Sounds.
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 16, 2013 - 7 comments

Something That Means Something

When record store owner Jeff Bubeck buys an old record collection out of an abandoned storage unit, he has no idea what he’s stumbled across. Jeff learns the collection once belonged to the late great J. Dilla, one of the greatest hip hop producers of all time. Along with the thousands of LP’s from Dilla’s personal collection, there is something else that is uncovered, something huge... [more inside]
posted by rollbiz on Sep 5, 2013 - 15 comments

Your Annual Fantasy Football Post

Fantasy football is back, and this year brings with it the rise of Fantasy Football Insurance. Marketplace explains. [more inside]
posted by DynamiteToast on Sep 5, 2013 - 25 comments

Marian McPartland, 'Piano Jazz' host, has died

Obit page on NPR "Marian McPartland, who gave the world an intimate, insider's perspective on one of the most elusive topics in music — jazz improvisation — died of natural causes Tuesday night at her home in Long Island, N.Y. She was 95." - from the lead of the article
posted by randomkeystrike on Aug 21, 2013 - 66 comments

The Worse Things Get the Harder I Fight

Neko Case's new album streaming in full. Due out in September, The Worse Things Get the Harder I Fight is available for preview at NPR.
posted by dortmunder on Aug 21, 2013 - 21 comments

It's open just two hours a day, and only in the summer

For you to borrow, some libraries have to go begging: NPR story about public library funding, featuring MeFi's own jessamyn. (previously)
posted by mark7570 on Aug 19, 2013 - 13 comments

Truth and/or Bias in South Dakota

Last week the NPR Ombudsman made a series of posts about problems with the investigation and framing of a 2011 story on foster care among Native American children in South Dakota. [more inside]
posted by gubenuj on Aug 18, 2013 - 14 comments

More Than Just Books

MetaFilter's own Jessamyn West (jessamyn) interviewed in today's NPR feature, For Disaster Preparedness: Pack A Library Card?
posted by jim in austin on Aug 12, 2013 - 60 comments

Capturing America

In 1971, the newly-created US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired a bunch of freelance photographers to collectively document environmental issues around the country. They were given free rein to shoot whatever they wanted, and the project, named Documerica, lasted through 1977. After 40 years, the EPA is now encouraging photographers to take current versions of the original Documerica photos and are showcasing them on flickr at State of the Environment. There are location challenges, and a set has been created with some of the submissions, making side-by-side comparisons. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 8, 2013 - 16 comments

Letting go

For a few days now, Scott Simon, host of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, has been present at his mother's bedside in the intensive care unit of a Chicago hospital. He is documenting this time, what will apparently be his last days with her, in a series of heartwrenching messages on his Twitter stream.
posted by deliciae on Jul 28, 2013 - 60 comments

Being in the Minority Can Cost You and Your Company

The racial wage gap in the United States — the gap in salary between whites and blacks with similar levels of education and experience — is shaped by geography, according to new social science research.

"The average racial gap [in wages] in metropolitan areas of around 1 million people — and you can think of a place like Tulsa, Okla. — is about 20 percent smaller than the gap in the nation's largest metro areas of Chicago, L.A. and New York," Ananat says. Ananat's research suggests that the racial gap is not directly the result of prejudice or, at least, prejudice conventionally defined. Rather, it has to do with patterns of social interactions that are shaped by race — and a phenomenon that economists call spillovers.
posted by DynamiteToast on Jul 24, 2013 - 80 comments

The Talk: how to de-escalate a situation, for young people of color

"It's a lesson that many of us got from out folks at some point, often before we got that other uncomfortable parent-child conversation about the birds and the bees. Don't move suddenly. Answer questions clearly, and with yes, sir and no, sir. Don't raise your voice. If you're handcuffed, don't say anything until we [your parents] get there. The details differed depending on where you lived and your parents' particular concerns, but the point was for us to get through any encounter with the police without incident." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 15, 2013 - 52 comments

Hey I Just Heard You, So Remember Me Maybe?

NPR presents a non-chronological megamix of every hit " Song Of Summer" from 1962 to 2013
posted by The Whelk on Jun 21, 2013 - 45 comments

50 years after Medgar Evers

Starting on Jan 14th, 1963, with George Wallace's pledge for "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" there followed a year that included 930 demonstrations and over 20,000 arrests, the year ended with a conversation between Martin Luther King Jr. and President Lyndon Johnson on December 3rd, only two weeks after the assasination of John F. Kennedy. It was the beginning of a long struggle, Susan Glisson, director of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi said it well with the statement, "It took grass roots — women and children and men — to lead the effort for social change, and it was much harder in Mississippi than other places. And that story needs to be told. It's not just this easy, Martin stood up and Rosa sat down and everybody's free." [more inside]
posted by HuronBob on Jun 5, 2013 - 8 comments

AKA Sharing an Elevator with Carl Kasell

OK Go helps NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts move to their new digs across town.
posted by mudpuppie on Jun 4, 2013 - 10 comments

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