Sunday, January 4, 2009

Episode #5: What Are We Going to Tell the Kids?

What's is it worth to share your biology with another person on this earth? This month features a quartet of stories about uncommon families. We'll look at the difference between choosing our families and fertilizing them, between investing for the future and coming to terms with the past. Sara M. tells us what it's like for your own child to be first person you've ever met who's related to you. Jessica Hindman never thought that the simple act of going to college would leave a genetic trail of up to thirty children in her wake. Faced with a dud ovary, Abby Rabinowitz has to find some sperm, any sperm, in the greater New York area. And finally, mother and daughter Lacey and Anne Clarke reveal the forty year old secret that changed the shape of their small family forever.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Arts and Answers: Sun in a Bottle

As the testing of the atomic bomb began at Los Alamos, there was another superweapon in development—one that relied not on fission, like the A-bomb, but on fusion. The resulting H-bomb was one thousand times more powerful than its atomic counterpart, and the harnessing of fusion power soon began a quixotic pursuit to create the world's first fusion reactor: one that that held the promise of endless renewable energy. An interview with science journalist Charles Seife about his new book Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Episode #4: Essay as Mix-Tape

      Allow me a moment of very recent nostalgia. 
      If only we could return to a simpler time, when stocks were high and our hearts were worn on our sleeves. Back to a time when we sat around the tape deck like it was a warm microwave and wrote out our dreams in teeny-tiny lettering on a super flimsy card-stock. 
      I want to return for another look at the mix-tape, because I having this inkling that mix-tapes are pretty much the perfect essay—cut and paste fragments of our lives stuffed hastily into a too-short spool of tape. This month we'll travel deep into the heart of Mix-Tape County, first to the Soundfix Lounge in Willamsburg, where there's a regular meeting of mix-kids who share music according to a monthly theme. And then it's back to Storyville, where we'd like to offer you a mix tape of our very own. Side A is Tomahawk Rock, in which Josh Garrett-Davis, boy from the plains, reveals the strange history of Native Americans in country, rock, and pop. And side B is Rough Transitions, in which Brook Wilensky-Lanford, girl from the north, traces her own awkward adolescence through the secret mix-tapes she kept as teen diaries.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Large, Well-Rounded Head

This piece was produced for the Radio Ephemera Contest, part of the Third Coast International Audio Festival.

[Photo: Walt Whitman in the 1840s, around the time he first became interested in phrenology. Not yet famous, he made his living as a journalist, printer, part-time poet, and full-time jaunty hat wearer.]

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dance party at the home for deranged scientists

I can't believe I've never actually seen this...

Blinded By Science: The Playlist

Josh was awesome enough to dig up a rare Devo LP just for this very show, and I'm sorry to say that I wasn't able to use any of it. So I've put together a playlist of songs used and not used in the show, the usual amalgam of indie rock and 80s techno classics. In my opinion, it pretty much sums up the job we're trying to do here: first get thinky, then get dancy!

Monday, May 5, 2008

An elephant never forgets...REVENGE!

Or so the story goes in Charles Siebert's NYTM article on traumatized elephants in Uganda, mentioned in this month's show. It's the kind of science writing we like a lot around here. Also, while on the subject of cuddly rampages, here's an awesome article on bears. And some freakin' cute video from your most trusted name in bears, CNN.

An Elephant Crackup? [The New York Times Magazine]
Are Humans Causing Elephants to Go Crazy? [NPR]
The Bears Among Us [The New York Times Magazine]