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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:

The 10,000 Year Explosion – How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution Parts One & Two

From Barry Vogel | Part of the Radio Curious series | 58:03

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Have humans changed in the last 10,000 years?  Are we biologically the same as we have been for the past 60,000 years? Recent evidence suggests that so called civilization has promoted rapid evolutionary change in our species in the last 10,000 years.

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Gregory Cochran, a physicist and anthropologist, who is the co-author of the book “The 10,000 Year Explosion – How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution”.  His book asserts that changes in human biology, lactose tolerance and resistance to malaria for example, represent human evolution accelerated by civilization.  In this two part conversation, recorded by phone with Gregory Cochran from his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 23, 2009, we discuss how humans have genetically evolved. 

In part one we discuss the changes in human biology such as lactose tolerance and resistance to malaria that represent human evolution accelerated by civilization. We also discussed the intermixing of neanderthals and humans and the genetic benefits in our species that continue to this day. We began part one by asking Gregory Cochran what biological indications exist to show an increase in human evolution in the past 10,000 years and why they occurred.

In part two, Cochran discusses how gene mutations have allowed specific human advantages in different locations around the world.   We began with his discussion of the migration of the human species out of Africa, which resulted in some people living in the northern latitudes.  People born in these areas with a random genetic mutation resulting in skin of a lighter color allowed them to absorb more vitamin D from the sun, thus giving them better health and a greater opportunity to have off spring. We also discuss the genetic mutations that contribute to certain types of intelligence.

The books Gregory Cochran recommends are “Twilight of the Mammoths: Ice Age Extinctions and the Re-Wilding of America” by Paul S. Martin and Princeton Companion to Mathematics,” edited by Timothy Gowers."

 

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 #94- Unbuilt (Standard 4:30 Version)

From Roman Mars | Part of the 99% Invisible (Standard Length) series | 04:31

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There is an allure to unbuilt structures: the utopian, futuristic transports; the impossibly tall skyscrapers; even the horrible highways. They all capture our imagination with what could have been.

Imagine a high-speed funicular suspended from a bridge of soaring towers over the Bay, connecting downtown San Francisco to Oakland…

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(“From Call Building to Oakland City Hall in 5 Minutes” from the California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibiliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside. Courtesy of The Urbanist.)

The article reads:

It will be a case of ‘on again, off again’ for you will have scarcely made yourself comfortable in your seat when b-r-r, buz-z-z, bu-z-z-z, and you are flying across the bay in midair with the speed of a gun projectile, and almost before you can say “Jack Robinson” you have landed in the Athens of the Pacific.

Now that’s rather a startling statement, isn’t it? But Fletcher E. Felts who has looked into the future, says we are going to have such a railway. “

“Oh, pshaw!” you say contemptuously, “It’s only a dream.” But, you know, some dreams come true.”

The San Francisco Call, April 17, 1910

Fletcher E. Felts’s “Suspended Auto Motor Railway” reminds us when we used to dream big.

So, too, does Daniel Burnham’s vision of a San Francisco city beautiful.

BurnhamReduced

(Daniel Burnham Plan courtesy David Rumsey map collection. Provided to 99% Invisible courtesy of The Urbanist.)

Daniel Burnham was the mastermind behind the White City at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. It was the pinnacle of “The City Beautiful” movement, with big civic centers and grand neo-classical structures to stir the soul.

Burnham was hired by big-time downtown business owners of San Francisco to turn this raggedy (if well-off) city into something majestic. Danial Burnham’s team shows up and they set up shop in a cottage on the summit of Twin Peaks so they can survey the city and craft the perfect plan…which was completed in the fall of 1905.

And the legend goes, all the books were delivered to city hall for distribution on April 17, 1906–the day before the great earthquake pulverized San Francisco.

When you’re tasked with starting something over from scratch, you can use that as an opportunity to create an ideal version of what you’re rebuilding–or you can do it fast and cheap and the closest to what you remember it being like before. Tragically, San Francisco authorities went with the latter.

Yet as much as we curse our forebears for their shortsightedness for not realizing Burnham’s imperial city or the gunshot funicular, we are actually a richer society in the absence of most of what never got built. And, of course the unbuilt world spans coast to coast. Case in point: Lower Manhattan, mid-20th Century.

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(Credit: Vanshnookenraggen/Andrew Lynch)

This is not a map of Manhattan. Manhattan today actually looks like this:

midtown no moses

(Credit: Google Maps)

Another one:  Here’s what came very close to becoming reality…

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(Credit: Vanshnookenraggen/Andrew Lynch)

…and here’s what really is.

downtown no moses

(Credit: Google Maps)

The fake maps were created by an artist/cartographer/realtor in New York City named Andrew Lynch, who goes under the name Vanshnookenraggen. Andrew wanted to see what what New York City would look like if Robert Moses had succeeded in building two giant expressways through the densest place in the United States.

For the unacquainted, Robert Moses was the true power broker of New York. In fact, Robert Caro’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1100-page opus about Moses is called The Power Broker.

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(Robert Moses, c. 1930)

Moses built bridges, and beaches, and highways, and public housing, and he did a lot of the master planning of New York City and surroundings. He even and restructured the city governance. But some of what he’s most famous–or really, infamous for–is what didn’t get built. These proposed highways would have completely altered the urban fabric of New York City. Whole blocks would be leveled. On and off ramps would wind around buildings, and make the experience of walking around Manhattan completely terrible.

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The highways were controversial both in terms how much they would have disrupted the city. Jane Jacobs, an activist, urbanist, and resident of Greenwich Village, fought Moses’s plan, and in her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, she went on to describe the interrelatedness of the urban fabric with civic life. She called it “the intricate sidewalk ballet.”

In a strange way, Moses’s Lower Manhattan Expressway helped crystallize the story of Jacob’s neighborhood. It’s almost as if the threat from this unbuilt road made Greenwich Village into the place it now seems destined to have become.

Which brings us back to the the Bay Area. The Marin Headlands is a landscape of beautiful rolling hills on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge, opposite San Francisco. It’s striking because of what isn’t there. It is a pristine recreational area a stone’s throw away from one of the most expensive cities in the world. It’s hard to believe no one tried to build on it. But, of course, someone did.

marincello

(From Marincello Unsoundwalk by Aaron Ximm, 2009. Courtesy of Aaron Ximm.)

Marincello was a massive proposed development of houses and towers that sailed through committee without too much controversy, but once the public caught wind of the plan, a group to block it sprung into action. The threat from Marincello spurred the creation of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area that protects the Headlands from all future development.

no marin

(From Marincello Unsoundwalk by Aaron Ximm, 2009. Courtesy of Aaron Ximm.)

Marincello may be unbuilt, but to say that there’s nothing there in the Headlands is not seeing the grand thing San Francisco actually did build for itself and everyone who visits. What they actually built over there was a magnificent wilderness. They built the very reason we all love it here.

marin snake

(From Marincello Unsoundwalk by Aaron Ximm, 2009. Courtesy of Aaron Ximm.)

Roman spoke with Allison Arieff, Content Strategist at SPUR, which, along with AIA San Francisco, Center for Architecture + Design, Environmental Design Archives at UC Berkeley, California Historical Society, and the San Francisco Public Library curated Unbuilt San Francisco, a collaborative exhibition on view in various SF venues through November 2013.

Roman also spoke with San Francisco Chronicle writer John King (whose name was invoked all the way back in Episode #2).

Producer Sam Greenspan spoke about Robert Moses’s highways with Andrew Lynch (aka Vanshnookenraggen), who gave Sam a walking tour of Lower Manhattan had the highways been built. Andrew Lynch also runs Hyperreal Cartography, a Tumblr of unbuilt cities across the globe.

Our friend Julie Caine from KALW’s Audiograph provided the iconic sounds of San Francisco.

Quiet American Aaron Ximm provided photos and documents of Marincello, which he gathered for his amazing project Marincello Unsoundwalk: A Brief Illustrated Map and Guide for Listening to What is Not Surrounding the Miwok Trail.

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:

Childhood

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

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One of the books that was required reading when I went to school…but was so much fun to read that it didn’t have to be required at all…was Huckleberry Finn. It was an adventure to read and it brought to life the children of that time. They were free.

They could…and so could I…ride our bikes all over town…we could be lazy on a summer day and even when we didn’t get straight A’s…it wasn’t the end of the world. We could have fun playing outside…we knew all the kids in the neighborhood and we even had fights.  Now we have NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND and to some extent no child left alone to imagine things not on TV or video games. Parents were around, but at a safe distance allowing us to learn by our mistakes and we didn’t get trophies for not finishing first in little league.  There may have been bullies, but no Columbine’s… childhood has never been safe, stable, innocent or unique, but we all have them. How have they changed and how have they remained so wonderfully the same?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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