Brooke Gladstone is best known for the …pause…that Bob Garfield inserts before mentioning her name in the credits for On the Media. Among her other accomplishments, she was an NPR Moscow-based reporter, its first media reporter, senior editor of NPR’s All Things Considered, and the senior editor of Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. As the years progress, she grows ever more senior.
She’s the recipient of two Peabody Awards, a National Press Club Award, an Overseas Press Club Award and many others you tend to collect if you hang out in public radio long enough.
Just before coming to On the Media, she did some pilots for WNYC of a call-in show about human relationships with Dan Savage called A More Perfect Union. That was pretty cool.
She also is the author of The Influencing Machine (W.W. Norton), a media manifesto in graphic form, listed among the top books of 2011 by The New Yorker, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal, and among the “10 Masterpieces of Graphic Nonfiction” by The Atlantic.
Gladstone always wanted to be a comic hero and she finally did it. Here she is animated.
At WNYC’s 2012 Christmas party, backed by the fabulous Radio Flyers band, she sang “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen,” with her sisters Lisa and Stacey, thus fulfilling all her dreams.
The word 'robot' first appeared in 1920 in Karel Čapek's play, Rossum's Universal Robots. Since then, intelligent machines have starred countless times in novels and films. Brooke talks with professor Jay P. Telotte about the ways our fears and fascinations with robots are reflected in culture.
Music: Calexico - Attack El Robot! Attack! Special thanks to @bartona104 (Julia Barton) for the suggestion on Twitter!
We often think of robots as tools to make our lives easier. But what if they could also make our lives funnier?
Despite the technological leaps made in the realm of artificial intelligence, people often object to the idea that the minds of machines can ever replicate the minds of humans. But for engineers, the proof is in the processing. Brooke talks with Stanford lecturer and entrepreneur Jerry Kaplan about how the people who make robots view the field of AI.
Myq Kaplan is a comedian known for his "robotic" delivery of jokes. That made him the perfect candidate to compete with Manatee, a joke-telling robot. Brooke talks with Kaplan about how robots might someday co-opt his comedic style.
Music: Dan Magnan - Robots. Special thanks to @jonaswoost (Jonas Woost) for the suggestion on Twitter!
Google has recently scooped up more than a half dozen robot companies. Their specialties range from artificial limbs to 3D machine vision to scurrying insect-bots and humanoid soldiers. But Google has kept mum about why they're acquiring these technologies. Brooke talks with Henrik Christensen, a professor of robotics at Georgia Tech, about what Google might do with its new toys.
As a kid, writer and photographer Syreeta McFadden was never satisfied with the way she looked in pictures. But it wasn't physical appearance that bothered her; it was the way the camera captured—or, failed to capture—her dark skin. Brooke talks to Syreeta about how racial bias lies within the chemistry of photography.
Democrats have made the Koch Brothers and the millions they've spent on political ads a central issue in midterm elections. Fiery language has been thrown around on both sides, with Harry Reid calling the brothers "un-American" and Charles Koch saying his opponents are "collectivists." Brooke talks with New York Times reporter Carl Hulse, who says the intensity of this clash of the titans is only going to go up.
Monday marked the 20th anniversary of the start of Rwandan Genocide. In the massacre, which took place over one hundred days, more than 800,000 minority Tutsis were slaughtered by members of the Hutu majority. In 2002, Brooke spoke with director and producer Nick Hughes about his film 100 Days in Rwanda, and about creating an historical fiction which used a love story to humanize the slaughter.
David Letterman, who boasts the longest tenure of a late night host on broadcast TV, announced his retirement. The news was quickly followed by the announcement of his replacement – Stephen Colbert. Brooke and Bob discuss the problems of bringing a comedian so associated with the political left onto network television, and the loss of a national satire icon.
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) not only presents dire evidence of global warming's impact, it also offers a different narrative about who is at risk, putting humans at the center of the story. Brooke talks with science journalist Cristine Russell about the IPCC's media-ready case.
The Supreme Court ruled this week to raise the limit for individual campaign contributions from $123,000 to $3.6 million dollars. Limits are in place to prevent deep-pocketed donors from corrupting the democratic process, which includes political advertising. Brooke speaks to former FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps about Section 317 of the Communications Act, the FCC's as-yet-enforced dictum that we are entitled to know by whom we are being persuaded.
Television Without Pity began as a Dawson’s Creek fan site in the late 90s, and was bought by NBC Universal in 2007. Now NBC Universal is shutting down the site, and the forums it spawned. Brooke speaks with Emily Nussbaum, the New Yorker’s television critic, who came to TWOP early and then stayed and stayed.
On Google Maps, Crimea is still a part of Ukraine, though Vladimir Putin is urging the mapping behemoth to redraw Russia's borders to include the Black Sea peninsula. Whatever Google decides, it’s sure to be politically and culturally fraught.
Brooke and Bob read a few of your letters and comments.
On the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Southwest Alaska, the media reported, as they have since the disaster happened, that the amount of oil spilled was 11 million gallons. In 2010, Brooke spoke with Riki Ott - a marine toxicologist and author - who explained that the 11 million number is in fact a disputed figure the media have incorrectly adopted.
The BuzzFeed quiz is ubiquitous; it seems as irresistible as it is inescapable. But when did we first start taking quizzes? Writer Sarah Laskow recently embarked on a quest to find out. She takes Brooke through her search for the Ur Quiz.
Try On the Media's first (and maybe last) quiz: Which 19th Century Media Baron Are You?
Bob speaks with Yurina Melara who covers public health for the Los Angeles-based La Opinion, the largest Spanish language daily in the US. She says that telling the 38 million Spanish-speaking Americans about Obamacare is only half the battle. The other half is making sure they understand what it is...beginning with the literal translation of “health care.”
Four times a year, members of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICAAN, take part in an elaborate ceremony (iris scanners!) designed to assure the world that the organization is doing its best to keep the web connected and safe. Brooke explains the meeting of the keyholders, with insight from Guardian reporter James Ball, who attended one of the ceremonies last month.
For the past four years novelist David Bezmozgis has been writing a book set in Crimea. His forthcoming novel, The Betrayers, was intended to be set in August 2014, but that isn't possible now. Brooke speaks with Bezmozgis, as he sits between manuscript lock and book release, about trying to adjust his fictional story set in a fraught, factual place.