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Playlist: Slice of Life

Compiled By: Leigh Cooper

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Radio Curious (Series)

Produced by Barry Vogel

Most recent piece in this series:

Secrets of a Long Life

From Barry Vogel | Part of the Radio Curious series | 29:01

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September 11, 2014, marks the 105th birthday of a woman I know well:  A woman who has played the piano for 98 years, and in my opinion is the best mother in the world.  In 2009, her book “What’s My Secret?  One Hundred Years of Memories and Reflections,” a memoir of her first ten decades was published.  This book imparts thoughts and ideas to those of us who seek to lead a long and active life.

Lillian B. Vogel, Ph.D., is the author. She is also my mother.  And as such, I have often been curious about the role she had in fomenting my curiosity.  She has always been able to get to the heart of most any matter with a few simple questions.  

On September 9, 2014, my mother and I met for lunch at her home to review the plans for her upcoming 105th birthday celebration.  When I explained that Radio Curious would feature our 2009 conversation she offered to read the poem from the conclusion of her book.  You'll hear it at the end of the interview.

And so, from the Radio Curious archives, I wish to honor this extraordinary woman on her 105th birthday by sharing our conversation, recorded on October 31, 2009, which began with the inquiry:  What makes Lillian Vogel curious?

The book Lillian B. Vogel  recommends is “The Blue Tattoo: The Life Of Olive Oatman” by Margot Mifflin.

WBEZ's Clever Apes (Series)

Produced by WBEZ

Most recent piece in this series:

Clever Apes: Nature and human nature

From WBEZ | Part of the WBEZ's Clever Apes series | 08:16

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First off, this episode is sort of a goodbye. I will be departing my beloved WBEZ shortly to strike out for new adventures. I’ll include my weepy valedictory at the bottom of this post. But the story this week is important, so before your attention wanders …

As kids, we usually learn about nature from a decidedly human point of view. The world exists in relation to us. People are the stars in this scenario: We are Hamlet, while nature is like Denmark – the place where we happen to be. The conventional wisdom has been that this is a universal way the mind develops its awareness of the natural world.

But an eclectic group of researchers are challenging that. The team is made up of psychologists from Northwestern University, and researchers from the Menominee Reservation and the American Indian Center of Chicago. They started looking carefully at the way Native and non-Native children come to learn about nature. They found some distinctive differences.

Namely, Native kids tend not to have that anthropocentric view in the early years. They come to see the biological world in terms of relationships and connections – what psychologists call “systems-level thinking.” Non-Native kids, on the other hand, generally think more in hierarchical categories like taxonomy – kingdom, phylum, species, etc. So the human-centered learning may not be universal after all, but instead flavored by the culture we grow up in. 

This goes deeper than just having different beliefs. The scientists say those distinctive worldviews actually change the way we think, learn and reason. Over the last decade or so, the team has been designing experiments to tease out the ramifications of that change. It has major consequences for education, 
and might (this is my speculation!) influence our attitudes about the environment.


So, this will be my final episode of Clever Apes. We are hopeful that it will continue in some form, so you may not have heard the last of WBEZ’s science experiment. Creating this series has been a rare privilege – I have had one of the greatest gigs in media. My deepest gratitude goes to my editor Cate Cahan, whose gusto and keen mind have long inspired me. Michael De Bonis has been a fantastic collaborator, friend and co-conspirator, without whom the Apes would be far less clever. And Sally Eisele has shown great vision (or folly) in supporting this weird project from the get-go. 

Encounters (Series)

Produced by Encounters: Radio Experiences in the North

Most recent piece in this series:

Encounters Mountain Sheep

From Encounters: Radio Experiences in the North | Part of the Encounters series | 29:00

Richard_and_thumper_small On this blustery day, head up the steepest mountains above the Alaska Highway near the Canadian border to get a super close up view of a group of Rams.

Snap Judgment hosted by Glynn Washington - Specials (Series)

Produced by Snap Judgment

Most recent piece in this series:

Snap Judgment #503: Joy And Pain

From Snap Judgment | Part of the Snap Judgment hosted by Glynn Washington - Specials series | 53:57

Joyandpain-square_small Unwedding

Valentine's day is about love, about girlfriends, boyfriends, partners, wives. But what about our lovers passed? Those that we still hold in our hearts, those that we still sometimes sort of love? Those we can’t let go of? This couple tells the story.

This story was produced by the dynamic duo Sharon Mashihi and Rachel James. For more of what they do check this out.

Producer: Sharon Mashihi and Rachel James

Henry and Jane

A husband and wife think they are doing the best they can to keep their marriage in tact, then they enter the storm. Find an extended version of this story on Lea Thau’s Strangers, from KCRW’s Independent Producer Project.

Producer: Lea Thau


The Refresh Button

We all sometimes ask ourselves, if we had a day, a week, a year left to live, what would we do with that time. Hear what one couple did when they faced that dark fantasy in real life.

Producer: Julia Dewitt


Just Us

One woman’s experience leaves her unable to trust, until she finds just the right partner. Find out about Sunny Jacobs and Peter Pringle at www.sunnyandpeter.com

Producer: Anna Sussman

State of the Re:Union Fall 2010 Season (Series)

Produced by Al Letson

Most recent piece in this series:

Veterans Day Special

From Al Letson | Part of the State of the Re:Union Fall 2010 Season series | 53:53

Sotru_vets_square_240_small STATE OF THE RE:UNION
Veterans Day Special
SOTRU explores the challenges veterans face as they return home from war

HOST: Al Letson

DESCRIPTION: The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are sending our veterans home with wounds and obstacles not always clearly visible to the rest of the country. These two current wars also illuminate how veterans of previous eras are still trying to come home years after returning from war. In this episode, State of the Re:Union explores how veterans are serving each other after they come back home from serving the country.

BILLBOARD (:59)
Incue: From PRX and NPR...
Outcue: But first, this news.
 
NEWS HOLE: 1:00- 6:00
 
Segment A (12:29)
Incue: From PRX and NPR...
Outcue: ahead on State of the Re:Union

A. VETERAN'S BOOK PROJECT: Riley Sharbonno returned from a year in Iraq with thousands of digital images that he took, but with no memory of the events the photographs captured. So when artist Monica Haller approached him, the two embarked on a project that ended up as a book of Riley's photographs and writing. This book sparked the Veteran's Book Project, a bookmaking workshop for people who have experienced the wars through many different perspectives. While each book tells a different story, together the books are creating a library of honest conversations about what happens during war.

BREAK: 19:00- 20:00

SEGMENT B (18:59)
Incue: You're listening to State of the Re:Union
Outcue: P-R-X.O-R-G

A. O's GUITAR: Richard O'Connor left for Vietnam with his father's old Montgomery Ward guitar. In between fighting and attacks, he played songs for his fellow marines in order to keep a sense of sanity and calm amidst chaos and devastation. Now, 42 years after returning home, Richard is using his music to welcome back recently returning veterans. But he's also finding his own way home.

BREAK: 39:00- 40:00

SEGMENT C (18:59)
Incue: You're listening to State of the Re:Union
Outcue: This is N-P-R

A. TEAM SEMPER FI: On a foggy Sunday morning in Santa Cruz, California, a team of injured marines take the same camaraderie and strength from the battlefield, and bring it to the competitive sports track.

B. FARMER VETERANS: The country is having a hard enough time dealing with the unemployment rate, so imagine returning home from war, and then having to find a job. But a growing movement of veterans are finding their stride by creating a new mission once they return home: Feeding the country. SOTRU visits two farms that are on this mission.

C. REFLECTION: Al reflects on a country dividing its attention between two wars and their own lives.

D. VOX: A montage of voices of those who have experienced the challenges of coming home, from veterans to family members, of all services, of all eras.

PROGRAM OUT @ 59:00

The fall season of The State of the Re:Union is available now on PRX and the ContentDepot without charge to all public radio stations, and may be aired an unlimited number of times prior to May 31, 2012. The program may be streamed live on station websites but not archived. Excerpting is permitted for promotional purposes only.

The State of the Re:Union is produced by Al Letson, and presented by PRX. Major funding for the State of the Re:Union comes from CPB, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Thanks for your consideration of this season of SOTRU.  Please contact Israel Smith at ismarketing@yahoo.com or 612-377-3256 with questions or to confirm carriage.

99% Invisible (Standard Length) (Series)

Produced by Roman Mars

Most recent piece in this series:

99% Invisible #129- Thomassons (Standard 4:30 version)

From Roman Mars | Part of the 99% Invisible (Standard Length) series | 04:28

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Cities, like living things, evolve slowly over time. Buildings and structures get added and renovated and removed, and in this process, bits and pieces that get left behind. Vestiges.  Just as humans have tailbones and whales have pelvic bones, cities have  doors that open into a limb-breaking drop, segments of fences that anyone can walk around, and pipes that carry nothing at all.

 

tumblr_n9yycodPv61sk7mx1o1_1280["There used to be a staircase here. A stoop, in Brooklyn parlance. All the old brownstones around here all have stoops. But somebody at #532 got together enough money to buy the whole building, and the stoop got removed when they opted to use the basement door as their primary ingress." Credit: Matt Fargo]

Most of the time, these architectural leftovers rust or crumble or get taken down. But other times, these vestiges aren’t removed. They remain in the urban organism. And sometimes—even though they no longer serve any discernible purpose—they’re actually maintained. They get cleaned and polished and re-painted just because they’re there.

tumblr_n9yu6s2Oh21sk7mx1o5_1280["I realized it was not the roots that was the Thomasson, but the lack of a forest; there was a solidly-built, three-door gate left impotent by the fact that the expanse of pathway next to it." Credit: Seng Chen]

These urban vestiges  first  caught the attention of an artist in Japan named Akasegawa Genpei. One day, in 1972, he was walking to lunch, and he came across a staircase that went up and then back down but had no door at the top. Then Akasegawa noticed that a piece of the railing that had been recently fixed. That’s when something clicked.

2 thomassons2["Admittedly [it] is probably not a Thomasson, despite its whimsical appearance, the semicircular concession at the base of the building and its reappropriation as a peanut shell holder. Perhaps that is enough to qualify it so I included it in case someone else could better explain the vaguely Thomasson-like feeling I get from it.” Credit: Seng Chen]

Akasegawa started noticing similar urban leftovers, and treasured them as artistic byproducts of the city. He photographed all the things he could find that were both vestigial and maintained. He began publishing his findings in a magazine column, accompanied by musings about each object.

People began to send Akasegawa pictures of similar architectural leftovers that theyfound, and in his column, Akasegawa would judge all submissions on two criteria:

1. Were they truly, completely useless?

2. Were they regularly maintained?

In 1985 Akasegawa published a book of these collected photographs and writings, in which he coined a term for these kinds of urban leftovers. He called them, “Thomassons.”

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The term  comes from Gary Thomasson, an American baseball player who was traded to the Yomiuri Giants, a team in Tokyo, Japan. Thomasson was paid exorbitant amount of money for a two year contract.

gary_thomasson_autograph[Courtesy of Baseball-Almanac.com]

But in this new country, on this new team, the great slugger Gary Thomasson lost his game. He actually set the all-time strikeout record in Japan in 1981, and was benched for much of his contract.

For Akasegawa, Gary Thomasson was “useless” and also “maintained.”

Gary_Thomasson[Courtesy of Marketing Heaven and Hell]

Through Akasegawa’s writings, the term “Thomasson” spread. The science fiction writer William Gibson used it in to describe a dystopian, cyberpunk San Francisco.

“‘I don’t care,’ Yamasaki said, in English, San Francisco his witness. The whole city was a Thomasson. Perhaps America itself was a Thomasson.”

Virtual Light (p. 352), by William Gibson

In 2009, Akasegawa’s book HyperArt Thomasson was published in English translation. The American publishers wanted to get a conversation going stateside. They set up a blog where people could offer up their own potential Thomassons for analysis and debate, much like Akasegawa’s original column. People sent in their Thomassons from around the world. (NB: the blog is now defunct, but continues in a different form here.)

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["While it’s clear what this exhaust is used for (it originates at the kitchen of the bar on the ground floor), what’s curious is the chronology of the build. Was the window already boarded over before the duct was attached to the building?" Credit: Seng Chen]

Gary Thomasson and his family declined to comment for this story, and that’s understandable, given that the appropriation of his surname in this way does seem rather mean-spirited.

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["These two older gates stare unflinchingly at one another across a wide swath of pavement, both standing dutifully yet impotently next to their younger successors." Photo Credit: Seng Chen]

One could argue, though, that Akasegawa’s appropriation of the name “Thomasson” is a positive thing: Thomasson now joins the ranks of CardiganLéotardKelvinNobel, and Plimsoll—those who live on as eponyms.

 

Roman Mars and producer Avery Trufelman spoke with Matt Fargo, who translated Hyperart Thomasson into English, and Claire Light and Alan Manolo, who gave 99pi a Thomasson tour of San Francisco.

See more Thomassons on Instagram, and on Matt Fargo’s Thomassons project site.

Music: “Ride” – Mute Mornings; ” Outside” – OK Ikumi; “Something From Nothing” –Mute Mornings; “Feet Prints on Flower Dreads” – Dustin Wong; “Na Na Ni” –Frederik“X Portions of a Whole” – Set in Sand

Too Much Information (Series)

Produced by WFMU

Most recent piece in this series:

It's All Over

From WFMU | Part of the Too Much Information series | 54:02

Playing
It's All Over
From
WFMU

Tminub_small G.S. recalls how bad karma took him from Devon, England to the C.U.T. bomb shelters in Montana. Author Robert Brockway explains how everything is going to kill everybody, and Matt Jarvis explains what it means to be a prepper. Pamela Walt has bad vibes in general, and our DC correspondent "Chris" has a bad feeling about the Tea Party. Also, astronomer Chris Impey explains how dark energy is the ending of all endings.

Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow (Series)

Produced by Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow- Phil Mariage

Most recent piece in this series:

Amputees

From Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow- Phil Mariage | Part of the Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow series | 29:00

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ABLE - is the support group Amputees Beyond Life's Expectations   This is a generational discussion featuring Malinda Spivey who lost her leg at age 14 from cancer. Her amputation was extremely high to the hip area. Her experience was frighteningly alone. Scott Burton is the founder of ABLE and is helping other groups get started. Danny Smith lost his leg in a construction accident and is heading up the Hot Springs, AR group.

 

 

The Stream (Series)

Produced by Wendy Levy

Most recent piece in this series:

Episode #11: 5 Minutes with Peter Broderick

From Wendy Levy | Part of the The Stream series | 05:00

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