Radiolab in Austin at SXSW

Friday, March 13, 2015

Radiolab collaborated with Detour to make an interactive audio tour. It’s like walking around inside a Radiolab episode. And you can only do it in Austin.
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99% Invisible

150- Under The Moonlight

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

In 1885, Austin, Texas was terrorized by a serial killer known as the Servant Girl Annihilator.  The murderer was never actually found, but he claimed eight victims, mostly black servant girls, all attacked in the dark of night. The very,



StoryCorps 403: Beyond The Front Lines Part II

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Listen to the second part our Veterans Day special, "Beyond the Frontlines: A StoryCorps Military Voices Special," a one-hour program hosted by StoryCorps founder Dave Isay.


Life of the Law

The Necessity Defense

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It’s odd to think cannibals, cannabis-growers, Vietnam War protesters, and prison escapees all have something in common. But they do: the necessity defense. We explore the origins and uses of this rare long-shot defense argument, which says in essence,


Slate Political Gabfest

The Political Gabfest: The "Can You Say President Rick Perry?" Edition

Friday, April 25, 2014

Live from Austin, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz are joined by the Texas Tribune's Reeve Hamiltion, Emily Ramshaw, and Ross Ramsey to discuss Common Core, the Texas gubernatorial race, and the presidential hopes of Rick Perry and Ted Cruz.



Shearwater: In Studio

Friday, May 04, 2012

Since forming a decade ago in Austin as a more contemplative offshoot of the indie-rock band Okkervil River, Shearwater has used harps, glockenspiels, and singer Jonathan Meiburg's delicate falsetto to construct expansive concept albums about man's relationship to nature. Now, with their eighth studio album Animal Joy, the band strips down and amps up the energy for a more rock-oriented sound. Shearwater returns to our studio to play live.

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Transportation Nation

LaHood A Bus Rapid Transit Acolyte as Austin Gets BRT

Monday, April 16, 2012

Map of Austin's Proposed BRT System

Texas, oil and driving capital of of the U.S., is getting a Bus Rapid Transit system. The state's capital is slated to get 40 miles of new busways in 2014.

And in his blog today, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood waxes on the advantages of Bus Rapid Transit, in a post that could have been written by the pro-BRT group, Institute for Transportation Development Policy.

As LaHood describes the service: "The new MetroRapid bus service will include 40 new bus stations with 40 clean diesel buses running along a 37.5 mile route parallel to the region’s main highways, I-35 and Loop-1. The service will make it easier for riders to access the State Capitol, the University of Texas, and the opportunities available in downtown Austin’s central business district."

But here's where he really goes gaga:

BRT is an enhanced system with modern buses operating on separate lanes or other transitways. By running on special lanes isolated from traffic, BRT combines the flexibility of buses with the efficiency of rail. And with high-tech vehicles and advanced infrastructure, BRT operates at faster speeds than conventional bus service while also providing greater reliability and increased customer convenience.

What communities get is essentially rail on wheels.

In Austin, Administrator Rogoff signed a grant agreement providing $38 million to build a bus rapid transit system in Austin, bringing additional transportation choices to one of the most congested mid-size cities in the country.

The new MetroRapid bus service will include 40 new bus stations with 40 clean diesel buses running along a 37.5 mile route parallel to the region’s main highways, I-35 and Loop-1. The service will make it easier for riders to access the State Capitol, the University of Texas, and the opportunities available in downtown Austin’s central business district.

No word yet on whether Austin's service will be up to international BRT standards, including segregated lanes, off-board payment, no-step boarding, and signal priority.


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Transportation Nation

Texas Big Winner in Transit Ridership Sweepstakes

Monday, March 12, 2012

Austin, TX, got a new commuter rail in 2010.

Okay, so its not really a sweepstakes, but Texas -- yes, Texas -- home to much of the the US oil and gas industry saw some of the biggest spikes in transit ridership in 2011, according to an American Public Transportation Report released Monday.

The report found transit ridership at 10.4 billion trips annually, the second highest ridership since 1957.  Only 2008, which had some of the highest gas prices in history and -- until October -- a relatively strong economy -- had higher transit ridership.

Also during 2011, nationally, driving declined 1.2 percent.

Austin, which built  a new rail extension that opened in 2010, saw a 169 percent increase in ridership.   Dallas, which is undergoing an aggressive transit expansion saw a 31.2 percent increase in light rail ridership.

Other areas with notable hikes:  Seattle saw a 37.2 percent increase in light rail ridership.  Cleveland saw the biggest jump in subway ridership (12.3 percent) and Nashville saw a 33 percent rise in commuter rail.

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: House To Take Up 5-Year Transpo Bill, Port Authority Audit Expected to Slam Former Head, Obama's Old Car Available eBay

Thursday, January 26, 2012

 Top stories on TN: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood doesn’t think there’s much chance Congress will pass a surface transportation spending bill this year -- but he's standing firm on the Obama administration's goal to connect 80 percent of Americans to high-speed rail by 2036. New York's MTA loses its only board member who's married to a Beatle. A Supreme Court ruling on GPS could affect a NYC taxi suit. And: Central Park gets its first crosstown shared bike/pedestrian path.


New York's subway (photo by Kate Hinds)

The new federal highway bill that will be taken up by the House of Representatives next week will be a five-year, $260 billion proposal. (The Hill)

Egyptian authorities are barring several U.S. citizens — including Ray LaHood’s son — from leaving the country after Egyptian government forces raided the offices of Washington-backed groups monitoring recent parliamentary elections there. (Politico)

A preliminary audit of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey's spending, initiated by Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie, is expected to criticize the agency's prior leader Chris Ward -- but offer few suggestions on how it could save money. (Crain's New York Business)

House Republicans accused the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Wednesday of trying to keep secret a battery fire in a Chevy Volt out of fear of damaging the value of the government’s investment in the car’s manufacturer, General Motors, and jeopardizing President Obama’s re-election prospects. (New York Times)

Calgary has taken steps toward launching a public bike share program as soon as mid-2014, but even the city official who oversees cycling improvements won't promise there will be enough on-street bike lanes in time. (Calgary Herald)

Look out, Midwest: Austin, Texas, wants its share of the auto industry. (Changing Gears)

Editorial: at long last, Michigan lawmakers are finally confronting that state's crumbling roads. (Detroit Free Press)

Why California Governor Jerry Brown is standing firm on high-speed rail. (Christian Science Monitor)

After spending $160 million on a failed radio system for police to communicate in New York's  subways, the city is buying transit cops two-way radios that will finally allow them to communicate with police above ground. (New York Post, New York Daily News)

What transit agencies can learn from Twitter."The most interesting thing we found is that transit riders do not give any positive sentiment at a particular time. They only give negative sentiment," said a researcher. "If there’s no negative sentiment at any given time, that means that things are running smoothly." (Atlantic Cities)


A 2005 Chrysler 300C that Obama reportedly traded in while he was a senator is on eBay for $1 million. (Politico) (And: six days left to bid! Come for the car, stay for the photoshopping.)

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Transportation Nation

NYC Gov't Moving from Company Cars to Company Carshare, Joins Washington, Philadelphia

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

(Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a hopeful pilot program Tuesday to reduce the amount of cars, traffic and pollution caused by municipal employees. Three-hundred City workers will carshare 25 vehicles, mostly housed in downtown Manhattan.

According to a press release, the program will start as a one-year pilot in partnership with the private company Zipcar, but the city is already projecting cost savings four years out at more than $500,000 in reduced fuel,  maintenance, and vehicle purchase costs.

There is solid precedent for that kind of thinking. Washington has a succesful program, as does Philadelphia. In fact, when Philadelphia started their program in 2004, the City was able to sell off 329 vehicles. In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg ordered City agencies last year to reduce non-emergency, light-duty vehicles by 10 percent, resulting in the sale of 750 vehicles already, 50 additional cars will be sold as part of the pilot program announced Tuesday.

The New York City program will also use a computer reservation system and restrict the amount of cars available during rush hours to prevent the shared vehicles from being used for, or clogging commutes. After hours, most of the 23 hybrid cars and 2 mid-sized vans, will be open for public reservation.

When Austin launched a similar program with 200 cars in May 2009, initial demand was triple expectations. That program also offered a feature that let city workers check out cars for personal use with a pay-by-the-minute rate to remove the incentive to bring your own car for personal transport and running errands. Oh, and Austin used a fleet Smart cars, easier parking that way, cute too.

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Transportation Nation

Portland, Austin ... Houston? How a Texas Suburb Works To Be Bike-Friendly

Monday, May 17, 2010

(The Woodlands, Texas -- Wendy Siegle, KUHF News Lab) -- Houston has long been an oil man's town and a booming city that loves its cars and parking lots.  That's changing.  Just to the north, in The Woodlands, a tony suburb, people like 64-year old David Hitchcock are adding up the benefits of biking to work.  “Bicycles are really the most efficient way to travel. On my trip to work this morning, which is about seven miles, I used about 360 calories. I did the math when I got to work and found out that’s about 775-thousand miles per gallon for the equivalent energy in a gallon of gasoline."  With Hitchcock's help, The Woodlands may earn recognition in the Bicycle Friendly Community Program, a nationwide distinction previously placed on places like Portland, Davis, California and yes, Austin.

Take a listen inside the movement, as a community takes on traffic, bike paths and a new way of getting around Texas.

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Studio 360

The New Ladies of Hip-Hop

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Hip-hop gets a bad rap for being male-dominated and misogynist.  But female MCs have been on the cutting edge of hip-hop since the beginning. The 80's saw outspoken artists like MC Lyte, J.J. Fad, Salt-n-Pepa, Queen Latifah; in the 90's we had Missy Elliott, Eve, and Lauryn Hill. If you ...

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Studio 360

Janelle Monáe at SXSW

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The SXSW music festival has an absurd number of bands play every year. So to find the gems, needless to say, is challenging -- and wonderfully refreshing if you succeed.
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Devo's Evolution

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The legendary art-punk new wavers Devo are releasing their first new album in almost 20 years, and Friday they played Austin Music Hall. Long before their 1980 single (and video) 'Whip-it' made them famous, the band broke boundaries with their minimalist electronica, geeky theatrics and radical politics.


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Studio 360

Austin Airport Art

Saturday, July 28, 2001

You don't have to leave baggage claim to find the live music, barbecue, and art-filled walls of Austin, Texas' newest cultural destination.