%s1 / %s2

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

Playlist: G's PRX NXT Homepage Picks

Compiled By: Genevieve Sponsler

Caption: PRX default Playlist image
No text

Guns, Mental Illness and Addiction

From Tim Lineaweaver | 03:55

A powerful, personal, and -- fair warning -- intense story.

Gun_bed_small Tim Lineaweaver, a psychotherapist from Massachusetts, reflects on a painful personal history, and what it has taken him to confront and overcome violence.  Lineaweaver counsels clients suffering from addictions and trauma. 

Owning Guns

From WGBH Radio Boston | 05:56

A gun owner rethinks his relationship with guns -- more than once.

586nickelr2_small Aired on ATC on 7-16-04 In this short "illustrated essay" for radio, writer/producer Jay Allison considers his history with guns and his attraction to them, as a man and as an American. In considering a handgun purchase, he touches on childhood memories, political correctness, responsibilities of fatherhood, myths of manliness, impotence against terrorism, the isolation of divorce, the complexity of patriotism, and Frank Sinatra. No liberal or conservative stand is taken in this piece. It is deliberately ambivalent.

Peace.

From Jenna Hammerich | 12:26

When you're raised by hippies, anything goes.

Playing
Peace.
From
Jenna Hammerich

Vectorflowers_small A child of 70s flower children, I grew up with no rules, no discipline. What awful kind of adult would I be?

The Kindness of Strangers

From Kirsty McQuire | 06:15

Would you hand flowers to a stranger? One woman tried a "targeted act of kindness" every day for a year.

Kindness_4th-sept-2011_small During the leap year of 2012, Bernadette Russell embarked on a mission to complete 366 Days of Kindness. Her efforts were prompted by the riots that spread through her adopted home town of London and across English towns and cities, between 6th and 10th August 2011.

Bernadette has left sweets in phone boxes, books on trains, £5 notes on buses. She has given away balloons, cakes, flowers and lottery tickets, written letters to a soldier returned from Afghanistan and offered her socks to the homeless. She practiced ‘targeted’ rather than ‘random’ acts of kindness but she says she ‘expected nothing in return.’

Bernadette is now turning her 366 philanthropic experiences into a stage play, in collaboration with Jacksons Lane Theatre in London and with support from Birmingham Rep and Forkbeard Fantasy.


The Poison Squad: A Chemist’s Quest for Pure Food

From Sruthi Pinnamaneni | 08:03

Meet Harvey Washington Wiley, whose government employees were fed poison-laced foods months on end. And they knew it.

Prx_1_small In the winter of 1902, twelve robust, young men in suits gather in the basement of a government building in Washington DC.  Waiters serve them dinner prepared by chefs, courses like chipped beef and applesauce, served on fine china. The room and board is free.  The men eat what is served, though they know each course has been spiked with a dose of some unnamed poison.  They do this every day, three square meals a day, for the next six months.

The press named the group of men the “Poison Squad.”  Harvey Washington Wiley, the chemist who conceived this experiment, would go on to become the founding father of the FDA and the "Watchdog of America's Kitchens". A moral man, his heart with filled with righteous anger when confronted with tomatoes preserved in salicylic acid and eggs sprayed with formaldehyde.  His fight for "pure food" would span three vigorous decades, and he would take on tough opponents like Coca Cola or sodium benzoate, losing more often than he won.

This short radio documentary tells the story of Wiley and a colorful human experiment--one that began in a basement dining room and continues on our dinner plates today.

Editor and engineer: Brendan Baker

WTF Episode 106 with Robin Williams

From WTF with Marc Maron | Part of the WTF with Marc Maron series | 58:59

Nanu nanu.

Robin500_small Yeah, Marc's sitting down with Robin Williams for an hour. No big deal. So what do you talk about with an international comedy superstar? How about alcoholism, cocaine, divorce, joke stealing, heart surgery, fame, Richard Pryor, jealousy, and Twitter? Yeah. That should do it.

India's Shifting Gender Roles: One Girl's Tale

From Rhitu Chatterjee | 11:03

Meet Sarita, a 12-year-old who is part of the first generation in her village to go to school.

Sarita_prx_medium_small

The recent gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in the Indian capital of New Delhi sparked unprecedented demonstrations across the country. It also fueled discussions about the status of women in India. But the recent spike in violence against women also parallels an increase in the number of women in public spaces, a fact that reflects the changing role of women in the society.

These changes have even trickled down to some of the remotest and most conservative parts of India.

But how do these changes play out in an individual’s life? How do old and new ways interact and clash in a family, and in a community? And who and what helps a girl learn what is expected of her what she can and cannot do?

The World’s Rhitu Chatterjee answers some of these questions through a look at the life of 12 year-old Sarita Meena, who lives in a remote village in Northwestern India.

Sarita looks like a boy. She is skinny, and wears her hair very short. People in the village call her father's son. In a region, where most girls and women are quiet and shy with strangers, Sarita never hesitates to strike up a conversation. She is fearless, outspoken and likes hanging out with the boys at school.

She is the youngest of three daughters. Her two older sisters live in a small town an hour away and are among the first girls to leave the village for higher studies. Sarita wants to follow in her sisters’ footsteps and eventually get a job teaching school kids.

But she is also a dutiful, obedient daughter. She is eager to help her mother with housework and help her father on his farm. She worries about who will look after her parents once she and her sisters are married and living with their in-laws.

The contradictions in Sarita’s personality reflect a larger reality in Indian society. As women have more and more opportunities, they  have to decide for themselves how much they want to push back against tradition.

This story takes a close look at how one young girl is making those decisions and choices, and why. 

The Vietnam Tapes of Michael A. Baronowski

From Jay Allison | 19:17

Incredible found recordings from a young marine who took a reel-to-reel tape recorder with him to Vietnam.

Mikeprx_small In 1966, a young marine took a reel-to reel tape recorder with him into the Vietnam War. For two months, until he was killed in action, Michael Baronowski made tapes of his friends, of life in fighting holes, of combat. 34 years later, his comrade Tim Duffie brought Baronowski's three-inch reels to Lost & Found Sound. The Vietnam Tapes of Lance Corporal Michael A. Baronowski aired on NPR's All Things Considered on the 25th anniversary of America's withdrawal from the Vietnam. The documentary shed light on the experience of that war, and, in some measure, of all wars. It used the power of radio to reveal the heart through the voice and to see in the dark. It combined the rare talent of the late Baronowski as a "correspondent" from the front, the compassion of his dedicated platoon mate Duffie. This program struck a universal chord with listeners--with those who fought the war, those who protested it, and those who weren't even born at the time. It generated perhaps the greatest outpouring of response in the history of NPR's All Things Considered to date. The documentary won the first Gold Award in the Third Coast Audio Festival competition. Produced by Christina Egloff with Jay Allison.

What Brought the House Down

From Brendan Greeley | 02:38

Tired of elections today? This is one of my favorite pokes at politics from the vault.

200401207d0120043250h_small It's hard not to sound partisan when doing something like this; I timed the applause that followed every line in Bush's State of the Union address and present here only those lines that really got Congress on its feet. I tracked in my own voice reading out the length in seconds of each round of applause. I'm not sure how this reflects on the speech; to be fair, all politicians rely on stock phrases to make people clap; a lot of these could have been said by any President in the last twenty years. Still...

The Moth: Unforgettable Thanksgiving

From The Moth | 04:56

Don't stress about Thanksgiving planning! This probably won't happen to you...

Pastedgraphic_small Most Thanksgiving dinner tables are where we hear fun family stories, some involving memorable holiday meals of the past. But for graphic designer and writer Jeffery Rudell, one crazy Thanksgiving in particular stands out in his mind. He told this story at a Moth Story Slam, and it has been featured on The Moth Radio Hour and on All Things Considered.

Hear more Moth Radio Hour stories and get the shows for broadcast here.

Learn more about The Moth.

Learn more about where to hear The Moth Radio Hour

About Jeffery Rudell
:
A graphic designer and writer, Rudell is currently writing a series of books for Sterling Publishing.  He won The Moth's annual Story Slam championship in 2003 and was a featured performer on the National Storytelling Tour in 2007.  He has performed his stories at the New York Public Library, the Long Wharf Theater and The Player's Club, and they can be heard on National Public Radio and the Moth CD's Audience Favorites, Vol 1 and Love Hurts.  Rudell live in New York City with his partner, Albert.

This Is Crohn's Disease

From Jack Rodolico | 18:15

A patient with a nasty case of Crohn’s disease visits the best doctor in the world. That patient is this radio producer's wife.

Jack_and_chris_small Since she got sick with Crohn’s disease five years ago, doctors have thrown everything at Christina. Still, her disease has run amok, bringing chaos, fear and uncertainty into our otherwise happy marriage. And recently Christina and I made a series of decisions that would set her life on one of two very different roads. We had the best science at our fingertips. But ultimately we had to choose: which risk were we willing to take?

This story is part of the PRX STEM Story Project, made possible by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Life of the Law #46 – One Conjugal Visit

From Life of the Law | Part of the Life of the Law series | 17:48

What it's like to keep a relationship alive through conjugal visits.

Photo_6_-_myesha_and_marcello_paul_stand_on_the_porch_of_the_apartment_the_day_they_begin_their_conjugal_visit

How long could your relationship last without a kiss? Without more than a kiss? Could you last a year? Two? What about ten? Twenty? In prison, couples are forced to keep their relationships alive in visiting rooms, with 2 second hugs. One two. Let go. So they write letters and make phone calls. Many break up.

But there’s another option. If you’re married or in a domestic partnership, you might be eligible for something called a family visit, also known as a conjugal visit, or on the inside, a booty call. It means a couple can be together, inside prison, alone or with their children for extended visits. They can have privacy and they can have sex.

Back in the 90’s, 17 states allowed prisoners to have these conjugal visits. But things have changed. Earlier this year, Mississippi and New Mexico both ended conjugal visits in their prisons and today only three states, New York, Washington and California allow inmates to have this kind of intimacy.

I’m standing with Myesha Paul at the gate at San Quentin, the prison just north of San Francisco. Because her husband, Marcello Paul is locked up in a California prison, they still qualify for a conjugal visit and she’s letting me tag along.


Photo 2 - Myesha Paul waiting at the gate of San Quentin Prison to join her husband on the inside for a conjugal visit.


Myesha is middle aged with short, bleached blond hair and a no-nonsense look in her eye. She’s wearing baggy red sweatpants and a sweatshirt that’s too big. She knows the spoken and unspoken rules to one of these visits. The officers guarding the prison have told another woman who’s come for a visit she has to go back to her car and change before she’ll be allowed inside.

“Her t-shirt is fitting real tight, so yeah, they’re gonna make her change all that,” Myesha says watching the woman walk away. “You go through a lot comin’ up her. It got to the point where I just come up in sweat pants. Baggy sweat pants. Too much of a hassle. I’m not puttin’ on anybody else’s clothes. Leggings are comfortable but they’re not for up in here.”

“Why not,” I ask.

“They’re a little too revealing. They don’t want you to have anything that’s form fitting and although we come with hips and all that, so it’s kinda hard to find that don’t fit around, you know?” Myesha laughs, looking down at her full body. “I just buy some men’s sweat pants and make it work.”

“So when you’re inside, do you bring different clothes to wear for when you’re alone?” I ask.

“Mostly just shorts or comfortable pajamas,” Myesha says. “I don’t usually get dressed.”

Even in California not all prisoners qualify for these intimate visits. Prisoners convicted of a sexual crime or a violent crime against a minor or a member of their family and those serving life sentences are denied conjugal visits. Except for what happens behind closed doors during these officially sanctioned private visits, sex is totally illegal in prison.  That means tens of thousands men and women locked up in prisons throughout in America may never be able to sleep next to their partner or have sex, ever again.

As Myesha waits outside the gate, I ask her to describe the process for going inside the prison for a conjugal visit. Looking at the door stamped VISITOR, Myesha says, “I’m waiting for the family visit coordinator to come. (Officer) Foster. He’ll come and he’ll take me in there,” she says looking past the door into a space where officers will check her belongings. “He’ll get my bags and go through them instead of the metal detector. Then I go through the metal detector. I also go inside and pick out some movies, dominoes, that type of thing. Then he’ll grab my stuff, put it in the trunk, and take me down to see my husband.”

Watching Myesha pass through security, I imagine this prison approved sex will happen someplace prison-like, in a tiny room with a bare mattress. They’ll give them an hour.

Turns out, it’s not like that at all.

After passing through a metal detector Officer Foster helps Myesha carry her duffle bag and personal things to the car. It’s his job to escort the previous visitor out, and turn right back around and drive Myesha, in. One in, one out.

Photo 3 - Myesha Paul loading her weekend clothing, linens and supplies into the officer's car for drive to apartment where Marcello is waiting.


It’s a long drive around the edge of the prison, through a big gated checkpoint and up to a small one-story building surrounded by chain-link fence that’s topped with razor wire. An officer looks down from a watchtower nearby.

Marcello Paul, a big man with dreadlocks, gold capped teeth and a beaming smile walks to the opposite side of the locked gate and waits.

When it’s opened, Marcello and Myesha give each other a quick hug, and help carry the bags and pre-ordered food into the apartment.

While Myesha puts the food into the refrigerator, Marcello gives me a tour of the two-bedroom apartment.

There are cabinets with dishes, cups, bowls and plates, a microwave, sink and stove. There’s a table where Marcello says they say grace and play games. In the living room is a puffy black couch and chair. Marcello says it’s black leather. It’s not really leather, but it’s nice.

There are two bedrooms. The first has a worn double mattress on a metal frame. Marcello says he does a pre-clean to make sure everything is intact and washed, and then two days later, when it’s time to go, he cleans everything again, so it’s just the same as when they came in.

Turning from the first bedroom, is a bathroom with a door on it. That’s no small thing inside prison where toilets are public.

Looking into the spare room, a portable baby crib leans against the wall. Some couples bring their children along on a family visit. Myseha and Marcello don’t have any shared children so they spend their weekends alone.

In the middle of the room is a double bed, metal springs sticking out the edge of the mattress. But it’s the large round wet spot in the middle of the mattress we’re both looking at. Marcello says he’ll turn the mattress over and lay down a lot of blankets on top of the mattress.

Standing with Marcello, looking around, if it weren’t for the two officers standing in the middle of the room, it’d seem like a pretty normal apartment.

The officer tells me it’s time to go. Marcello and Myesha get just 48 hours together in the apartment. Once a month.

Photo 6 - Myesha and Marcello Paul stand on the porch of the apartment the day they begin their conjugal visit.

Myesha says they’ve been together 14 years. They met and fell in love while Myesha, a home health care worker, was taking care of Marcello’s mom. Marcello had committed a robbery before they met and gotten away with it. But eventually, it caught up with him and he was sentenced to 10 years. He’s done five of them.

I think about them all weekend.

Monday morning, I go back and meet up with Myesha as she’s coming out. We sit in her car and talk. She says the weekend with Marcello, “was good. It’s always good. Just don’t like going home.”

“Why?” I ask.

“I’m leaving my husband behind,” Myesha says. “We sat outside and played dominoes on Saturday. After that we went in and watched TV, watched movies.” She says they started with The Wire.

She tells me they pulled the bed into the living room so they could lie together while they watched. They cooked burgers and tacos. They listened to music. And sure, she says, they had sex. I ask if they ever have a conjugal visit when they don’t have sex. Myesha pauses, then says, “No. I mean we might have a conjugal visit where we don’t have as much sex as the one before. But no.”

But she says, for her a conjugal visit really isn’t about the sex. It’s about the smaller, quieter things, like Marcello waking her up in the morning, “It feels good,” she says, “because I don’t get that at home. Ya know. At home I’m sleeping by myself, unless my grandbaby or one of my kids wanna sleep with me. But they’re grown. But they still do sleep with me sometimes. But other than that, ya know, I’m waking myself up in the morning, or the alarm clock is waking me up, or my grandson comes and wakes me up. It’s good to have my husband waking me up.

“It’s the nicest thing about being married,” I say, “isn’t it? Waking up?”

“Yeah,” Myesha says, “Together.”

“Not alone,” I say, “You look up and there’s that person.”

“Yeah. I think he watches me through the night,” Myesha says, “ I know he do cause sometimes I wake up and he’s looking at me. And I do the same to him. Sometimes he’s sleeping and he wakes up and I’m watching him.”

While we’re sitting in her car, talking, her cell phone rings. It’s Marcello calling to make sure Myesha gets home safe.

Even though conjugal visits aren’t allowed in most US prisons, in many countries they’re common. Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Russia, Spain, and Saudi Arabia all allow inmates and their partners to have conjugal visits. Mexico considers them a universal privilege and even allows families to move into prisons and live with their imprisoned relative.

-

All photos courtesy Nancy Mullane.

Edited By: Sally Herships

Produced By: Kaitlin Prest

Advisory Panel Scholar: Hadar Aviram

Music Composed by: Lawrence English

10 From Joe: A Joe Cocker Appreciation

From Paul Ingles | 58:59

Music host Paul Ingles presents 10 memorable performances from Joe Cocker, who died December 22, 2014 of lung cancer after a career that spanned 50 years.

Joecocker_small Music host Paul Ingles presents 10 memorable performances from Joe Cocker, who died December 22, 2014 at the age of 70 of lung cancer after a career that spanned 50 years.

Episode 1: We Are Stardust

From Public Radio Exchange (PRX) | Part of the Transistor series | 16:20

New! Transistor is a female-scientist-hosted series. First up is Michelle Thaller, NASA astrophysicist. This episode covers our bodies containing some of the same stuff that exists in space, plus the potential for alien life. Whoa.

Michelle_thaller_headshot-1_small We're closer than ever before to discovering if we're not alone in the universe. The host for this episode of Transistor, astrophysicist Michelle Thaller, visits the NASA lab that discovered that comets contain some of the very same chemical elements that we contain. Then, Michelle talks to a Vatican planetary scientist about how science and religion can meet on the topic of life beyond Earth.

David Carr and Allan Wolper

From Conversations with Allan Wolper | Part of the Conversations with Allan Wolper, WBGO.ORG series | 40:09

An interview with David Carr, who passed away suddenly on Feb. 12.

David_carr_small

Episode 2: Food, Meet Fungus

From Public Radio Exchange (PRX) | Part of the Transistor series | 17:53

Gross AND delicious: some people actually want fungus in their food.

27_small In her episodes of Transistor, biologist Christina Agapakis is exploring the microbiome: the trillions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live in and on our body. She starts with food. Bacteria-rich foods such as tempeh, cheese, pickles and yogurt have long been praised for their probiotic effect. But can you really add enough good bacteria to your digestive system to outnumber the bad?

Episode 3: Totally Cerebral: Untangling the Mystery of Memory

From Public Radio Exchange (PRX) | Part of the Transistor series | 30:30

Meet scientist Brenda Milner, who in the 1950s, completely changed our understanding of how we create long-term memories. She's still in her lab today!

Hippocampussquare_small In her episodes of Transistor, neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki introduces us to scientists who have uncovered some of the deepest secrets about how our brains make us who we are. She begins by talking with groundbreaking experimental psychologist Brenda Milner, who in the 1950s, completely changed our understanding of the parts of the brain important for forming new long-term memories.

Episode 5: Venus and Us: Two Stories of Climate Change

From Public Radio Exchange (PRX) | Part of the Transistor series | 17:32

Transistor is a new, fun series hosted by scientists.

Image__1__small Space scientists are acutely aware of what can happen when climates change in other parts of our solar system. Take Venus, where it rains sulfuric acid and is 900°F on the surface, but it wasn’t always that way. Astrophysicist Michelle Thaller talks with a NASA expert on Venus about how the planet became a hellscape. And she talks with the Library of Congress’ inaugural chair of astrobiology about how to grasp this new geologic era where humans cause rapid change.

Dog Talk: Episode 2

From Bailey Kalafarski | Part of the Dog Talk series | 01:04

A new show by and for dogs.

Tumblr_l6atz76jdz1qd13v8o1_1280_small A mysterious noise in the hallway is the topic of this week's episode

Episode 10: The Ultimate Wayback Machine

From Public Radio Exchange (PRX) | Part of the Transistor series | 20:31

Meet some of the amazing women scientists behind space's most powerful telescopes on this episode of Transistor.

Shutterstock_171205715_small Looking through a telescope is like being inside a time machine -- you are seeing light from the past. And some space telescopes allow astronomers to see light that is billions of years old and existed before there was an Earth or sun. Astrophysicist Michelle Thaller introduces us to scientists who started two of the most powerful telescopes, the Hubble, which launched 25 years ago, and the James Webb Space Telescope, being built right now.

Episode 13: The Next Generation of Galapagos Scientists

From Public Radio Exchange (PRX) | Part of the Transistor series | 08:15

Meet two young women scientists from different sides of the globe who are studying malaria in Galapagos finches.

Mari_and_samoa_prx_img_2197_medium_small This was originally produced as part of PRX's STEM Story Project under the title Following in Darwin's Footsteps: Two Young Women Scientists Forge Their Futures in the Galapagos

Episode 14: Early Bloom

From Public Radio Exchange (PRX) | Part of the Transistor series | 09:21

It's spring, so plants are communicating allll around you... kind of.

Shutterstock_95030080_small This story was originally produced for PRX's STEM Story project and can be found as a standalone piece for license here.

Episode 16: Totally Cerebral: Exercise and Your Brain

From Public Radio Exchange (PRX) | Part of the Transistor series | 17:57

A good mentor or friend can change the course of your life.

Marian_diamond_wendy_suzuki_square_small A story of movement, memory, and mentors. Dr. Wendy Suzuki introduces us to Dr. Marian Diamond, whose lively classes ushered Wendy into a career in neuroscience. And Wendy shares how she came to studying how exercise profoundly affects the brain, not just the body.

"To Save California, Read Dune." With Andrew Leonard

From David Schulman | Part of the NAUTILUS podcast from PRX series | 20:00

New special show from PRX and the science magazine Nautilus. Can the book Dune help drought-stricken California of 2015?

Img_1373_cedit_small

Frank Herbert's science fiction epic "Dune" is set on a desert planet. For the indigenous Fremen of 'Dune," the water in even a single tear is precious. 

Could Herbert's sci-fi world of 1965 offer any lessons for the drought-stricken California of 2015? Andrew Leonard takes  on that question in his provocative piece in the water issue of Nautilus

In this edition of the Nautilus podcast, Leonard talks with host David Schulman about water, fog, fog-catchers, gigantic sandworms — and the prescience of "Dune."  

This sound-rich podcast also features a field visit with environmental scientist Daniel Fernandez, who has established a network of Dune-like fog-catchers along the California coast. And we’ll hear a field recording of a fog-catcher at work in one of the dries places on planet earth, the Atacama desert, in Chile.

Thanksgiving: From the Outside Looking In

From Syracuse University Broadcast Journalism | 05:52

What's it like having pumpkin pie for the first time as an adult? This is a fun look at Thanksgiving.

Turkey_small Thanksgiving is the favorite holiday for many Americans, but what is it like for those who are from other countries and celebrate it too? This piece gives you a glimpse of how special American Thanksgiving is to foreigners.

The Hair Struggle

From Syracuse University Broadcast Journalism | 03:28

A piece that explains how African-American students across the country are struggling to find stylists capable of doing their hair, and what lengths certain students are going to to address this "hair-raising" problem.

Photo_on_11-13-15_at_12 A piece that explains how African-American students across the country are struggling to find stylists capable of doing their hair, and what lengths certain students are going to to address this "hair-raising" problem.

David Bowie on Stardust

From Blank on Blank | Part of the Blank on Blank series | 06:16

"AUDIENCE APPRECIATION IS ONLY GOING TO BE PERIODIC AT THE BEST OF TIMES. YOU WILL FALL IN AND OUT OF FAVOR CONTINUALLY." - David Bowie. How can you turn yourself into an alien rock star and then walk away from the spectacle--and fame-that you’ve created? Here's the logic according to David Bowie from a 1988 interview with Joe Smith. Joe’s book on music legends is called On The Record and his interviews now live at the Library of Congress.

Davidbowiemugshot_square_small "AUDIENCE APPRECIATION IS ONLY GOING TO BE PERIODIC AT THE BEST OF TIMES. YOU WILL FALL IN AND OUT OF FAVOR CONTINUALLY." - David Bowie. How can you turn yourself into an alien rock star and then walk away from the spectacle--and fame-that you’ve created? Here's the logic according to David Bowie from a 1988 interview with Joe Smith. Joe’s book on music legends is called On The Record and his interviews now live at the Library of Congress.

That's My Song: Under Pressure

From outLoud Radio at Youth Radio | Part of the That's My Song series | 04:04

One boy's bittersweet association with a David Bowie song.

Uprahenhancedcd_small Max Hsing, a high-schooler from San Francisco, tells the story of an uncle who died of AIDS, and why the song "Under Pressure" (by David Bowie and Queen) reminds him to "give love one more chance." September 5: Freddy Mercury's birthday (lead singer of Queen) December 1: World AIDS Day

Why Is The Boston Accent Wicked Hard To Do?

From Eric Molinsky | 08:09

Even great actors get tripped up by the Boston accent. Or maybe Bostonians are just too quick to find fault.

Bostonaccents_8004802_small

Julianne Moore on “30 Rock.” Jeff Bridges in “Blown Away.” Laura Linney in “Mystic River.” Half the cast of “The Departed.” The litany of botched Boston accents is vast and cringe-worthy. For many very talented actors, the Boston accent is their Waterloo.

By this point, Hollywood studios have realized that if they want that authentic Charles River flavor, they need to cast local. That’s why the company Boston Casting recently held an open call. Hundreds of locals lined up to audition in a nondescript part of town full of row houses and warehouses. Some folks, like Cher Ornae had no film experience. Her friends made her go, joking that she has “a wicked Boston accent.”

But why do Bostonians talk this way? Stephen Gabis is a dialect coach who’s worked with many famous actors. “These are the accents that came over with the [Puritan] settlers, from East Anglia,” Gabis says. In the 19th and 20th centuries, this accent got reinforced by an influx of Irish immigrants. This combination resulted in the peculiar “r”-less dialect you hear today in coastal Massachusetts.

Still, dialect coaches like Gabis get annoyed when they’re told that the Boston accent is the only one an actor can’t learn. “All the Boston natives are like, you guys, you never do us right,” he says. “There’s really some good work on Boston accents. People that come from the place have this arrogant [idea that] no one can do our accent.”

The accents on the movie “Spotlight” have gotten good grades, even from the locals. Gabis was on set to give notes, mostly working with Michael Keaton, who played Boston Globe reporter Walter “Robbie” Robertson.

But Angela Peri of Boston Casting says there’s more to playing a Bostonian than tweaking vowels and dropping “r”s. “There’s something about our persona that a Bostonian has when they walk in room,” Peri says. “We’re real, we’re not New Yorkers, we’re not L.A. people, we’re real. That’s — as well as tax incentives — why producers from L.A. keep coming back here.”

Bostonians used to be wary of being reduced to a funny accent. Now they’re welcoming the attention of Hollywood, and the world, because they see that their accents can be valuable natural resources, like maple syrup — or lobstahs.

A Life Sentence: Victims, Offenders, Justice, and My Mother

From Atlantic Public Media | Part of the The Transom Radio Specials series | 58:00

This is a story about a terrible crime and everything that followed. It’s an intensely personal documentary, but it extends into public life and into the heart of our political and correctional systems.

Some stories take a long time. This one is an hour long and took two and a half years to produce, after twenty years of living with it.

Ls_prximage_small

In the opening of this documentary, Samantha Broun says:

In 1994, my mother was the victim of a violent crime. She was 55 years old and living alone in Nyack, New York.  On the evening of September 21st a stranger came into her backyard. The stranger attacked her from behind. Five hours later, he left her lying on her bed. Hands and feet bound with tape. Alive. She survived.  

I suppose I could start this story with how the system failed. Or with McFadden’s family in Philadelphia. I could start with the thousands of prisoners whose hopes for a second chance were obliterated because of what McFadden did in 1994. Or I could tell you about the political careers both launched and destroyed. But instead I think I’ll save those parts and start where I usually start which is with my mother.

Produced for Transom.org  

 


Transom.org
  channels new work and voices to public radio, with a focus on the power of story, and on the mission of public media in a changing media environment. Transom won the first Peabody Award ever granted exclusively to a website. Transom.org is a project of Atlantic Public Media which runs the Transom Story Workshops and founded WCAI, the public radio station in Woods Hole, Mass.



Support for this work comes from National Endowment for the Arts 
 

 

National Endowment for the Arts


================================================================

 

Peeing in my pants: Everybody does it

From Lauren Whaley | 08:40

Urinary incontinence is more common than you think, but it's tough to talk about. Learn about all the treatments and technologies that can treat it.

11707888_10153083616954926_1199118802769332682_o_small

Some studies suggest that one out of 10 women in their 30s are peeing themselves. Others say the numbers could be much much higher. But it’s tough to talk about. Peeing in your pants is embarrassing. With so many women suffering, it's time to talk about this growing problem. Fortunately, there are medical professionals, treatments and and a whole crop of new technologies that can help.

Ovarian transplants are on infertility's cutting edge

From Robin Amer | 10:29

Thirty-six-year-old twins Carol Enoch and Katy Panek are physically identical in every way but one: Katy was born without ovaries. She never menstruated and took artificial hormones to spark puberty.

Katy wanted children and considered several infertility treatments that are now considered routine. But she was in a position to try something more unusual: an ovarian transplant with sister Carol as the donor.

Their doctor, Sherman Silber, was the first surgeon to perform an ovarian transplant. Because eggs are stored on the outermost layer of an ovary, Silber can perform the surgery like a simple skin graft. The surgery’s benefits extend from there, he says, arguing that ovarian transplants are less painful, costly, and time-consuming that egg donation or in vitro fertilization.

Dr. Silber has now performed ovarian transplants on nine sets of identical twins, but they’re not alone. Women undergoing cancer treatment and women who want to preserve their fertility into their 40s are also seeking out the procedure, by removing and freezing their own ovaries to re-implant them later. And that’s raising questions about the surgery’s practicality and ethics.

Ralph_katy_carol_small Thirty-six-year-old twins Carol Enoch and Katy Panek are physically identical in every way but one: Katy was born without ovaries. She never menstruated and took artificial hormones to spark puberty. Katy wanted children and considered several infertility treatments that are now considered routine. But she was in a position to try something more unusual: an ovarian transplant with sister Carol as the donor. Their doctor, Sherman Silber, was the first surgeon to perform an ovarian transplant. Because eggs are stored on the outermost layer of an ovary, Silber can perform the surgery like a simple skin graft. The surgery’s benefits extend from there, he says, arguing that ovarian transplants are less painful, costly, and time-consuming that egg donation or in vitro fertilization. Dr. Silber has now performed ovarian transplants on nine sets of identical twins, but they’re not alone. Women undergoing cancer treatment and women who want to preserve their fertility into their 40s are also seeking out the procedure, by removing and freezing their own ovaries to re-implant them later. And that’s raising questions about the surgery’s practicality and ethics.

A Bow To Prince: An Appreciation of The Artist

From Paul Ingles | 58:59

Paul Ingles hosts an hour of music and reflections by his friends and fans of music legend Prince who died April 21, 2016.

Prince_small Paul Ingles hosts an hour of music and reflections by friends and fans of music legend Prince who died April 21, 2016.

Songs featured-

A Case of You,

Pop Life,

1999,

Diamonds and Pearls,

Baby I’m A Star,

Soft and Wet (Break Music),

Purple Rain,

Kiss,

Nothing Compares to U,

I Feel For You (Break Music),

While My Guitar Gently Weeps,

Sign of the Times,

Baltimore,

Raspberry Beret,

Little Red Corvette (59:00 Version Only)

Howdy, Neighbor

From Public Radio Exchange (PRX) | Part of the Orbital Path series | 12:03

When Proxima b’s discovery appeared in Nature on August 24, the media breathlessly announced a new Earth-like planet just 4.2 light years away from Earth.

Astronomers have, for years, anticipated a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri. Dr. Michelle Thaller talks with astrophysicist Dr. Patricia Boyd about NASA’s ongoing search for exoplanets and what’s the next step in human exploration of other worlds.

Orbitalpath-cover1_small When Proxima b’s discovery appeared in Nature on August 24, the media breathlessly announced a new Earth-like planet just 4.2 light years away from Earth. Astronomers have, for years, anticipated a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri. Dr. Michelle Thaller talks with astrophysicist Dr. Patricia Boyd about NASA’s ongoing search for exoplanets and what’s the next step in human exploration of other worlds.