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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:

Chinese Immigration:  The Veil of Secrecy and Silence

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


Secrecy of and revelation about the trip to America to secure a new life during the Chinese Exclusion era is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious. 

Our guest is Felicia Lowe, whose film “Chinese Couplets” tells her mother’s story.  Felicia Lowe was met with refusals and silence when as a child she asked her mother about her childhood. This shroud of silence was lifted when Felicia Lowe’s daughter found an old family photograph taken in China and asked her grandmother to tell the story related to the photograph. 

The film “Chinese Couplets” shows and tells the story of a childhood in rural China, the new identity to secure passage to America, the fear of deportation if the truth were known, and a prosperous and successful life of an immigrant Chinese woman in Oakland, California.   The film “Chinese Couplets” will be shown at the Mendocino Film Festival on Saturday, May 30, 2015 at 10 am in the Village of Mendocino, California.

When Felicia Lowe and I visited by phone from her home in San Francisco, California, May 17, 2015, I asked her to tell us about her mother.

The book Felicia Lowe recommends is “The Blues Eye,” by Toni Morrison.

Felicia Lowe's website is: http://www.lowedownproductions.com/chinese-couplets/


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 #151- La Mascotte (Standard 4:30 version)

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


As baseball fans probably know, The Washington Nationals used to be the Montreal Expos. When the team packed up and left Canada in 2005, they left behind their name, their logo, their uniforms—and their mascot, Youppi!.

 100258276_470c433a20_o[Credit: patita pirata]

Youppi!—French for “yippee,” and always stylized with an exclamation point—is a rotund, orange, furry, six-and-half-foot-tall Sasquatch-lumberjack creature, beloved by Québécois sports fans. Youppi! became the first mascot to switch sports when he joined the Montreal Canadiens hockey team in 2005.

2222638259_ef3a3d5af5_o[Credit: Robert Occhialini]

Furry, larger-than-life, foam-headed mascots may seem standard-issue for sports teams now, but this is only a relatively recent phenomenon in the history of professional sports.

The idea of the mascot came to America by way of a popular French opera from the 1880s called La Mascotte. The opera is about a down-on-his luck farmer who’s visited by a girl named Bettina; as soon as she appears, the farmer’s crops start doing well and his life turns around. The word “mascotte” is a play on the French slang word “masco,” meaning “witch.”


Hence, “mascotte” (or the anglicized “mascot”) came to mean a person or thing that brings good luck.

Lucky mascots fit right in to the notoriously superstitious world of professional baseball. In the early days of mascots, if a player in a slump noticed a kid in the stands smiling at him before getting a base hit, he might give the kid tickets to the next game, just to have him there for luck. Anything (or anyone) that was around at the time of a team’s hot streak could  be claimed as a mascot. Early examples include Harvard’s “John The Orangeman,” who sold fruit during games and Yale’s “Handsome Dan,” a bulldog, who was walked onto the field before games.

summer-cart Original_Handsome_Dan_Yale's_mascot[From top: Harvard mascot John The Orangeman, and Yale’s Handsome Dan. Courtesy ofFranklin Delano Roosevelt Suite and Pach Brothers, respectively]

So at first, mascots were mostly passive agents that just stood around being lucky. That changed in 1944, at an exhibition game in Hawaii when Joe DiMaggio hit a massive home run off of a pitcher named Max Patkin.

Patkin snapped. He ran off the mound and chased after DiMaggio as he rounded the bases, mimicking his home run trot. The crowd loved it. After World War II ended, Patkin stopped being a pitcher and was hired by the Cleveland Indians to draw in and entertain crowds. Patkin was eventually dubbed “The Clown Prince of Baseball.”

Max_Patkin_1967[Max Patkin, the Clown Prince of Baseball. Courtesy of Irv Nahan

The next step in the evolution of mascots was the San Diego Chicken.

3741225559_9338ae031f_o[The San Diego Chicken offers an eye exam for the umpires. Credit: Graig Mantle]

In 1974, the San Diego radio station KGB-FM hired college student Ted Giannoulas to wear a chicken suit and do promotion for the station at Padres games.

The Padres were such a bad team that people started going just to see the chicken perform. Suddenly, the Chicken was bigger than the radio station—and the team. Giannoulas was eventually fired from the radio station, so he got his own chicken costume and kept performing. The San Diego Chicken became a local icon even though he wasn’t an official team mascot.

The Philadelphia Phillies took notice, and decided they wanted an upgrade from their mascots Phil and Phyllis—two figures in Colonial garb that didn’t do much besides decorate the outfield and appear on-field during the National Anthem.

philandphillisinthoutfield[Phil & Phylis at the upper left and right. Courtesy of Temple University Library.]

The Phillies hired a designer named Bonnie Erickson, who had previously worked at the Children’s Television Workshop under Jim Henson. Erickson had created Miss Piggy, and the Muppet Show hecklers Statler & Waldorf.

Erickson had also worked with Jim Henson on making life-sized versions of the Sesame Street characters for their ice shows, so she knew how to make full-body costumes that people could perform and move in—a new concept when it came to mascots.

Erickson knew she needed to design a mascot that would be lovable even to the gruff Philadelphia sports fans. After all, this was a crowd that had pelted Santa Claus with snowballs during an Eagles game.

She came up with the Philly Phanatic.

2976934405_30d7cd88ef_o[Credit: Melody Joy Kramer]

Every part of the Phanatic is like a masterclass in mascot design. For starters, he’s green, not the standard Phillies red, so he stands out in the crowd. The duck butt and pear-shaped body ensures that no matter how the performer moves in the costume, it’s funny. His eyes are low on his face, which makes him look child-like. He also comes with a back-story, which involves being from the Galapagos Islands.

The Phanatic is goofy, and slightly aggressive. He’ll rub a bald guy’s head, or rip the hat off of someone cheering for the wrong team. And usually, he gets away with it. Though he did once get pummeled by L.A. Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda.


More and more teams wanted Phanatic-style mascots, and so Bonnie Erickson kept getting work. One of her clients was the Montreal Expos. Yes, Erickson is also the creator of Youppi!— who, as it turned out, also gained an enemy in Tommy Lasorda:

…not to mention in Jimmy Fallon.

4128358382_ccd45d8124_o(The most Montreal cupcake ever: Youppi! bursting out of a pile of poutine. Credit: Eva Blue)

Reporter Andrew Norton spoke with A.J. Mass, former Mr. Met performer and author ofYes…It’s Hot In Here: Adventures in the Weird, Wooly World of Sports Mascots; Bonnie Erickson, creator of Youppi! and the Philly Phanatic (among other beloved characters); and Dave Raymond, who performed as the Phanatic. Andrew’s sister Jessica Norton also commented on their dad’s obsession with Youppi!.

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 Phil Mariage

Most recent piece in this series:

The Moral Imperative of Music Education - Spirit of Harmony Foundation-Tod Rundgren

From Phil Mariage | Part of the Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow series | 02:48:17


The Spirit of Harmony Foundation was formed under the direction of Rock Star Todd Rundgren and his associates in order to promote the enduring importance of music education in our schools across the nation. This program is the inaugural gathering of concerned and influential citizens asserting their combined efforts to stimulate our society to act on those issues that support music education. The Symposium for the Moral Imperative of Music Education was held on Saturday April 18th 2015 in Little Rock, Arkansas through the efforts of the Clinton School of Public Service and the Todd Rundgren Spirit of Harmony Foundation.


The entire program is presented here and you are urged to share this presentation with any and all persons dedicated to music education for our children. Following the discussion Todd Rundgren and members of his band performed several of his most popular recordings.


The program will remain posted on the Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow website at yttshow.org as well as on Public Radio Exchange under the same program at prx.org YTT is a production of KUAR Public Radio in Little Rock, AR our email is yttkuar@gmail.com for your questions and comments. Thank you for listening to this great program.




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