%s1 / %s2

We're working on a new version of PRX. Want a sneak peek?

Playlist: Slice of Life

Compiled By: Leigh Cooper

Caption: PRX default Playlist image
No text

Radio Curious (Series)

Produced by Barry Vogel

Most recent piece in this series:

Josanna Kiggins: Skin Color, Gender and Song

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


Radio Curious continues our conversation about racial discrimination, cultural gender norms and expected behaviors.

Our guest, Josanna Kiggins, is a parent, student, singer, singing and cultural education teacher, and a medical receptionist.  A native of Salvador, Brazil Josanna has lived here in Ukiah, California, for 30 years.  She’s someone I’ve known almost that long.   

When Josanna Kiggins and I visited at Radio Curious on March 14, 2015, she described her experiences, values and goals.   Her story begins when she was 9 months old. 

The book Josanna Kiggins recommends is “Hard Laughter,” by Anne Lamont.

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


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.

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.


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 #150- Under the Moonlight (Standard 4:30 version)

From Roman Mars | Part of the 99% Invisible (Standard Length) series | 04:29


In 1885, Austin, Texas was terrorized by a serial killer known as the Servant Girl Annihilator.  The murderer was never actually found, but he claimed eight victims, mostly black servant girls, all attacked in the dark of night. The very, very dark night of Austin in 1885.


Hell_Broke_Loose[Headline from the Fort Worth Gazette, 26 December 1885]

Back then, once night fell, Austin had only moonlight.  The city had no outdoor lighting until 1894, when Austin decided to buy more moonlight, in the form of towers. They were fifteen stories tall, each crowned with a circle of six lights, soaring way up above the city.

IMG_0861[Credit: Avery Trufelman]

Austin wasn’t the first to implement “tower lighting.” In the 1800s, several major cities had tall arc towers, including New York, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and San Jose. Detroit, however, had the largest tower lighting system in the country, and that’s where Austin bought their 31 moonlight towers from.

6a00e0099229e88833010536e11adb970c-500wi[San Jose’s arc light tower in 1885. Courtesy of Wolfgang Schivelbusch]

The height of the Moonlight Towers was a means of accomodating the lighting technology at the time: carbon arc light, a precursor to the incandescent bulb.

Arc lights are essentially a continued spark between two carbon electrodes. They are extremely bright and produce a lot of glare—the sort of thing you use in a searchlight. Arc lights at street level would be blinding, so municipalities put the lights up high in order to spread the glare out.

Still, even on their high tower, arc lights were tremendously bright. Their light would be harsh by modern standards, but they were an especially stark contrast to gas lamps. A gas lamp has the power of about 15 candles. An arc light has the power of a couple thousand.

FullSizeRender copy [A New Orleans levee at night, 1883. Credit: Ernest Freeberg]

Arc lights were so bright that people would actually bring out umbrellas at night in order to shield themselves from the glare.  The lights also buzzed loudly like a swarm of bees, and as the carbons burned, they would drop shreds of burning ash on the people below.

Still, arc lights were exciting. They transformed the experience of being in a city at night. People spoke of seeing the grass in a totally different way, and people loved to look at their hands under the arc light. Urban dwellers could see the world—as it were—in a whole new light.

FullSizeRender[Credit: Ernest Freeberg]

The night lights also made people feel safer. There was even speculation that the streetlight could eliminate the need for law enforcement entirely. Moonlight towers were sometimes nicknamed “policemen on a pole.”

At the same time, citizens were also concerned about what it meant for darkness to disappear. Might the towers cause sleeplessnes? Would crops overproduce and hens overlay? Might cities be inviting a scourge of crickets?


However, the biggest problem with the towers was that their height made them difficult to maintain. The arcs burned down the carbon electrodes quickly, and they had to be changed once a day. Maintenance men would pull themselves up the tall towers on a dumbwaiter-like apparatus to go change the carbon electrodes every single day.

By the 1920s, Austin replaced the carbon arc lights with dimmer, more easily-maintained incandescent bulbs. Most other cities had already removed their moonlight towers at that point, but Austin couldn’t afford to tear theirs down. The towers remained, and to this day, seventeen of the original 31 survive. The last of the moonlight towers.

IMG_0834[Credit: Avery Trufelman]

Now, without the carbon arc lights, moonlight towers have a kind of weak and distant glow. They’re easy to ignore. Unless you’re watching the Richard Linklater film, Dazed and Confused.

Dazed and Confused is set in Austin in 1976. In the movie, a bunch of kids party and drive around until they all gather, at the end, by a moonlight tower. Some of them even climb up the moon tower.

In real life, moonlight towers would be really difficult to climb. Which is why, for this scene, Richard Linklater made a fake moonlight tower that had a ladder instead of the central pulley apparatus.  Also, it was nowhere near as tall as a real moonlight tower.

There came a point when Austin considered finally considered taking the old lights down, just like all the other cities had done, but eventually the towers were inducted into the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Some of the towers even have plaques.

IMG_0843[The plaque reads “Austin’s moonlight towers. This is one of 31 original moonlight towers installed in Austin in 1895. 17 remain. Each tower illumenated a circle of 3000 feet using 6 carbon arc lamps, now mercury vapor. Austin’s tower lights are the sole survivors of this once popular ingenious lighting system. ” Credit: Avery Trufelman]

Because the moonlight towers are in the National Register of Historic Places, they have to be restored to their original form. They are repaired with custom-cast parts that look identical to the original moonlight towers, so that antiquated lights can keep their historic designation.

This specialized repair work comes at a hefty price, but Austinites are willing to put up the funds. The towers are a point of civic pride. Every year during the holidays, Austin Energy strings christmas lights from the moonlight tower in Zilker Park, and Austinites call that tower the Zilker park “tree.” Austin also hosts the Moontower Comedy Festival, and theres a local band called Moonlight Towers, and at a restaurant you can order a drink called a Moontower.

IMG_0866[Credit: Isabel Gaultier]

IMG_0847[Credit: Avery Trufelman]

IMG_0825[Credit: Avery Trufelman]

The towers have become part of the character and folklore of Austin. Including the legend of the Servant Girl Annihilator. In truth, the servant girl murders were all over with years before talk of the moonlight towers ever came up, and there’s no evidence directly linking the killer with the need for the towers.

Still, the Servant Girl Annihilator has become the genesis story that Austinites tell about these lights. Whether or not there is truly a direct connection, the story of the Servant Girl Annihilator does illustrate of the limitations of 19th century night time and describes how carbon arc streetlights were chasing away fear and darkness. A kind of darkness which we can’t fathom in a city today.

IMG_0829[Credit: Avery Trufelman]

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

It's All Over

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:

Todd Rundgren - The Moral Imperative for Music Education

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


The Spirit of Harmony Foundation (SOHF) is Todd Rundgren's expression and effort to stress the moral imperative for music education in our schools. The SOHF will conduct its first symposium on the subject April 18th  as part of the Clinton School of Public Service Special Speakers Program here in Little Rock, AR. Todd, as well as several speakers will address many aspects related to music in our lives; aspects that go far beyond the listening and fan experience. Details of the symposium can be found at spiritofharmonyfoundation.org Please share this interview with music educators in your area. Everyone is welcome and Todd will be giving a concert on Sunday the 19th at 8 PM showcasing his latest tour material.

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

Screen_shot_stream_small 5 Minute Mix