Streams

Why the Port Authority Bus Terminal Is Crumbling, Crowded, Unloved

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The much-maligned Midtown bus terminal was supposed to get a major renovation. Then Governor Christie's office used the money for other projects.
Read More

Comments [11]

The Terrible Treatment of Pro-Wrestlers

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Daniel O’Sullivan on why professional wrestlers often lack benefits, pensions, health insurance, and, unlike any other major American sport, aren’t represented by a union.
Read More

Comments [9]

Why the Spy Who Might Have Forged Peace in the Middle East was Assassinated

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Kai Bird talks about the life and death CIA operative Robert Ames, who was the most influential and effective intelligence officer in the Middle East.
Read More

Comment

So, You Want To Seize a Satellite?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A small group of volunteers and aerospace engineers seized control of the International Sun-Earth Explorer-3 satellite and set up a mission control in an abandoned McDonald's.
Read More

Comments [2]

Dysfunction and Danger: A Bus Station and a Spy in the Middle East

Thursday, August 21, 2014

WNYC’s transportation reporter Jim O’Grady checks out the Port Authority’s over-crowded, dysfunctional Midtown bus terminal. Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Kai Bird tells the story of the life and death of Robert Ames, one of the most important operatives in CIA history. Mark Chiusano talks about his debut collection of short stories—all set in Brooklyn—called Marine Park. We’ll speak with independent scientists who’ve seized control of a 1970s-era satellite. Plus: a look at the exploitation of pro-wrestlers, who have no health insurance benefits, no job security, and are under-compensated for doing dangerous work.

Read More

Short Stories Set in the Far Reaches of Brooklyn

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mark Chiusano discusses his debut collection of short stories, Marine Park, all set in the train-less and tourist-free Brooklyn neighborhood.
Read More

Comments [3]

North Koreans Have Wedding Photographers, Too

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

They also have smiling school kids and synchronized dance festivals. A professional photographer shares her view of everyday life in the world’s most isolated country.  
Read More

Comments [10]

Bolster, Explicate and Amplify Your Vocabulary

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ben Zimmer quizzes us on what words mean and explains some of the most often misunderstood common words.
Read More

Comments [21]

How Words on a Page Become Images in Our Minds

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Peter Mendelsund, Knopf's associate art director, explores how we visualize images from reading works of literature and talks about designing book covers.
Read More

Comments [4]

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Vaccines

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Over a decade ago the preservative Thimerosal, which contains mercury, was removed from many vaccine supplies in the United States and abroad. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Dr. Mark Hyman, examine the research literature on Thimerosal and argue that it should be removed from the vaccines that still contain it. They’ve written the book Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak, which makes the case for the elimination the chemical from the world’s vaccine supplies and replacing it with already available safer alternatives.

 

Read More

Comments [25]

Language and Imagination, Images and Isolation

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

On today’s show: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Dr. Mark Hyman examine the scientific research on the preservative Thimerosal, used in some vaccines. Photojournalist Julia Leeb describes documenting the culture, people, and architecture of the mysterious and closed country of North Korea. Ben Mendelsund, Knopf’s associate art director, discusses what we see when we read. Ben Zimmer, linguist, lexicographer and language columnist for the Wall Street Journal, quizzes me and our listeners to see how good our vocabulary is!

Read More

Keeping the Wilderness Wild

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

President Johnson signed the Wilderness Protection Act to preserve a “glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning.” Has it worked?
Read More

Comments [3]

Surveillance State, Real and Imagined: Reading George Orwell's 1984

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

George Orwell's chilling novel 1984 imagines a totalitarian surveillance state. Last year sales of the book soared after Edward Snowden revealed the United States' large-scale program to collect phone data of millions of American citizens. George Packer, New Yorker staff writer and author of the National Book Award-winning book The Unwinding, will be here August 19 to discuss 1984. Pick up a copy and see if you find parallels between Orwell's dystopian future and our current reality.

Leave your comments and questions below to get the conversation started!

Read More

Comments [36]

Protecting Wild Lands, Debating the Right to Bear Arms

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

We’ll mark the 50th anniversary of the federal Wilderness Act with Elizabeth Kolbert, who looks at whether it has met its objectives to protect the country’s most pristine wildlands for future generations. George Packer discusses George Orwell’s masterpiece 1984 for our Book Club. Mary Gordon on her new book, The Liar’s Wife. And Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice tells the story of the most controversial, volatile, misunderstood provision of the Bill of Rights—the Second Amendment.

Read More

Mary Gordon's Tales about Cross-Cultural Encounters

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Her new book The Liar's Wife is a collection of four novellas about characters in transition.
Read More

Comments [1]

The Second Amendment: Controversial, Volatile, and Misunderstood

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice, on the rough and tumble debate over what the Second Amendment actually means.
Read More

Comments [20]

The Smear Campaign that Kept Us Off the Metric System

Monday, August 18, 2014

For a time in the 1970s, America seemed ready to make the switch. Then certain powers that be scared us into sticking with our own confusing system.
Read More

Comments [13]

Travel the World in Your Kitchen

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mark Kurlansky and his daughter Talia share their tradition of cooking international recipes from around the world.

Read More

Comments [3]

Recipe: Mark and Talia Kurlansky's Haitian Blanc Manger Mamiche

Monday, August 18, 2014

The most common dessert for poor Haitians, which really is most Haitians, is pan patat, a sweet-potato pudding similar to the dessert for Mexico Night. But for more affluent Haitians, a lighter, more delicate dessert is blanc manger. This dessert, a tropical version of an old French recipe, turns up in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century writing and is found most anywhere in Latin America where the French ever ruled, including Mexico and the Dominican Republic. But nowhere has it remained as popular as in Haiti.

Read More

Comments [1]

Recipe: Mark and Talia Kurlansky Haitian Griyo de Porc

Monday, August 18, 2014

Until the 1980s, pork was the common meat of Haiti. The so called “Creole pig” was small and black and lived off the land, foraging for food. Haitian peasants could let them grow and only slaughter them when they needed the money, so they were a kind of living savings account that required little investment. Then it was discovered in 1978 that some of these Creole pigs carried Asian Swine Flu, a highly contagious disease dangerous to livestock. There have been similar outbreaks in other Caribbean countries. When Cuba experienced such an outbreak, the infected pigs were quarantined and the pig population was saved. But in Haiti, the US Agency for International Development, USAID, decided that the Haitian outbreak was a threat to livestock in the Caribbean and the US—and undertook a program to kill 380,000 Creole pigs and replace them with big fat American pigs. The problem was that these larger pigs truly earned the name pig: they ate an enormous amount of food. To Americans, they were a superior animal because they converted food into meat at a far better rate than the meager Creole pig. But that assumes you can afford to keep a piggier pig. In the Haitian rumor mill, the incident is often cited as a plot by the Americans to destroy the Haitian peasant, but in international-development circles it is often cited as an example of why aid to poor countries often fails: a lack of knowledge about local conditions.

Read More

Comment