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Pataki is Hanging Around Albany

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Pataki portrait in Albany

Pataki portrait in Albany

Former Governor George Pataki is now a permanent fixture in Albany. A portrait of the Republican will hang in the Hall of Governors. Current Governor David Paterson, a Democrat, joined Pataki for the ...

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WNYC News

Controversy Over Empire State's Colors

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tonight and tomorrow the lights will be red and yellow. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)

Tonight and tomorrow the lights will be red and yellow. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)

Critics of China's communist government are rallying outside the Empire State Building, ...

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WNYC News

Barbra, Back Home in the Village

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Barbra Streisand released her latest album this week. It’s called "Barbra: Love Is The Answer" and includes 13 jazz standards. But when you already have 62 albums in your repertoire, what could you possibly do to create a buzz? Streisand decided to go back to her roots to ...

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WNYC News

Homage to "Manhatta" Celebrates Newark

Monday, September 28, 2009

The movie "Manhatta" was released back in 1920. It was a silent, black and white film, only six minutes long, with ground-breaking photography that captured the rapidly expanding metropolis. Now, almost 90 years later, two filmmakers have created a modern homage to "Manhatta" that showcases their own bustling city just ...

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WNYC News

NJ Fishermen Try To Lure New Business

Friday, September 18, 2009

There’s only one port along the coast of New Jersey dedicated entirely to commercial fishing. Belford, located at the mouth of New York Harbor, has sweeping views of Brooklyn, the Verrazano Bridge and south to Sandy Hook and the ocean. But the buckling bulkhead and listing net house recall better times decades ago. The fishermen who’ve harvested these waters for generations are being squeezed – literally – by condos and high-speed ferry service for commuters. And they’re looking for ways to keep their businesses afloat for themselves, and their children.

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WNYC News

Top Dogs/All Dogs: The American Kennel Club at 125

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My dimwitted Bullmastiff answers to “Batty,” but his full name is Louis, First Earl Mountbatten of Burma, and his mother was Princess Beatrice. The Portuguese Water Dog currently enjoying life (probably more than the rest of the residents) at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is Amigo’s New Hope (“Bo” to you), and his entire family tree can be viewed here.

These facts come to you by way of the American Kennel Club, or AKC, which celebrates its 125th anniversary today. AKC Executive Secretary James Crowley talks about what the dog world was like in the late 19th century.

A match show at Jeremy Shaw’s Queen’s Head Tavern, 1855.  From an oil painting by R. Marshall, 1855.

A match show at Jeremy Shaw’s Queen’s Head Tavern, 1855. From an oil painting by R. Marshall, 1855.


So, basically, the AKC was founded by 12 toffs in top hats, rather like the types in this picture of an early dog match. Here’s James Crowley on their pedigree:

But today’s AKC is a very different organization, reflecting a very different world, says Club spokeswoman Lisa Peterson:

If your idea of what to do with your dog involves Frisbees, or long walks, or hair bows, you may be surprised by the range of activities that come under the Club’s auspices, according to James Crowley.
Here’s an Irish Terrier, aptly named “No Retreat” showing his form at an early agility show.

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WNYC News

Jeff Johnson on Discovering Your Personal Best

Monday, September 14, 2009

Jeff Johnson, BET correspondent and the author of Everything Im Not Made Me Everything I Am: Discovering Your Personal Best, discusses his new book and his documentary about Kurdistan.

Listen to the whole interview:

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WNYC News

"Nobody Really Asked About the Consequences": The Fall of the Wall

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Peter Dobler (far left), Heiner Schilling (3rd from left), Heiko Kleyböcker (3rd from right).

Peter Dobler (far left), Heiner Schilling (3rd from left), Heiko Kleyböcker (3rd from right).

Back in 1987 and 1988, when I was 18 years old, I was an exchange student in the West German industrial city of Gaggenau, near the northern Black Forest. My class at the Goethe-Gymnasium would go on to graduate the following summer, as the East German regime was beginning to come apart. This year, the Class of '89 held a reunion, and I attended. I gave some of my former classmates a chance to practice their English and reflect on the past 20 years of German history.

Every November when the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall rolls around, I think of my history teacher from my exchange year. She came to visit me during my sophomore year at UC Berkeley, in September of 1989. One day, during a walk in San Francisco, we were crossing underneath the eyesore that was the double-decker Embarcadero Freeway, so we could get a look at the waterfront. My former teacher remarked that she had been reading an American newspaper, and that there was talk that the reunification of Germany could be coming. She rolled her eyes and asked, “Reunification?! Where did they get that idea?”

Just a few weeks later, the Embarcadero Freeway was irreparably damaged by an earthquake, and tourists were taking hammers and chisels to the Berlin wall.

The collapse of the East German regime looks like an historical inevitability in retrospect, so it can be hard to remember just how unlikely it seemed just weeks before it happened – especially to Germans. I arrived in Germany right after Ronald Reagan stood in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and said, “Mister Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” I remember clearly how Germans cringed at that speech, which was by turns dismissed as hilariously naïve or dangerously provocative – when it was commented upon at all. The consensus among the West Germans I met back then was that the policy goal should be to accept the reality of German division and try to negotiate toward a more comfortable coexistence between the two states. Talk of unification was seen as irresponsible, something only the right-wing tabloid press would indulge in.

History class meets over beer, Heiko Kleyböcker (far left), teacher Barbara Harff, Peter Dobler, Brian with mouth open, Heiner Schilling.

History class meets over beer, Heiko Kleyböcker (far left), teacher Barbara Harff, Peter Dobler, Brian with mouth open, Heiner Schilling.

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WNYC News

First Fridays in The Greene Space

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Comedienne Leighann Lord, a New York City native, voted "The Most Thought-Provoking Black Female Comic," at the fourth annual NYC Black Comedy Awards.

Vocalist Maya Azucena.

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WNYC News

US Open: How To Survive the US Open (Fan, Not Player)

Friday, September 04, 2009

A record 37,388 fans attended Friday's day session. That's Jurgen Melzer serving.

A record 37,388 fans attended Friday\'s day session. That\'s Jurgen Melzer serving.

Attending the US Open can be a bit like spending the day in Grand Central Terminal. It ...

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WNYC News

Today in History: Peekskill Riots

Friday, September 04, 2009

Paul Robeson

Paul Robeson

“It was a huge crowd. I think 10,000 people. A small group of people at the gate were shouting at us 'kikes, nigger lovers, go back to Russia.' There was a policeman there with a ...

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WNYC News

Po Bronson on Nurtureshock

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Po Bronson argues that when it comes to raising children, we've mistaken good intentions for good ideas.
Listen to the whole interview:

In his new book, Nurtureshock: New Thinking about Children, written with Ashley Merryman, Po Bronson sifts through many of the common behaviors of parents raising children. Bronson argues that many parents are unaware of how praise, tattling, lying, punishment and even bedtime are linked to issues of childhood independence, self-esteem and obesity.

"There are key areas in which some of the assumptions we make are contradictory to scientific records," says Bronson. "A lot of parents tell me that they're proud to be doing something good, like being more affectionate [to their children]. In many dimensions they are doing the opposite of the authoritarian parent they've had." But apparently, the more lenient or "progressive" a parent is, the more their child may be likely to act out. A study Bronson cited of a middle school showed "progressive" dad's kids were acting up in class as much as the children of the "deadbeat" dads. "What it seems to be about is inconsistency at home," says Bronson.

According to Bronson's research, it is the progressive parents who are unsure of how to punish their child. "When it comes to disciplining their child, progressive dads are sort of embarrassed to do it, weren't counting on having to do this as a part of fatherhood, and as a result are often inconsistent." It all amounts to confusion as a result of different punishments received from lenient parents. "The inconsistency ends up leading to kids becoming more socially aggressive."

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WNYC News

Judith Matloff on Home Girl

Friday, August 21, 2009

Judith Matloff explains why, after 20 years as a foreign correspondent, she decided to put down roots in New York by buying a dilapidated brownstone on a rough block in West Harlem. She tells the ...

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WNYC News

Dan Klores on Black Magic

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

In his documentary "Black Magic", filmmaker Dan Klores looks at how African-American players and coaches changed the game of basketball. The film won a Peabody and has just been released on DVD.

Listen to the ...

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WNYC News

The Art of Vacationing Dangerously

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

'A tourist looks an awful lot like a spy', says Robert Young Pelton, adventurer and author of Licensed to Kill. 'You have a camera, a video camera, they can Google you very quickly and find out you've work in other countries.' In the age of the blogger, Pelton argues, many young adventure-seeking tourists are blurring the boundary between amateur and professional. 'Quasi-journalists', says Pelton, are often compelled to 'report' on their experiences. Writers, photographers, and plain thrill seekers may take unwise risks, turning normal situations into 'dangerous vacations.'

Earlier this month, three American tourists were arrested and detained near the Iraq-Iran border by Iranian officials while hiking. This occurred shortly after the pardoning of American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee from illegally entering North Korea. Tourist or journalist; the risk factor remains the same when exploring a politically-unstable country. The author and filmmaker discusses the tendency of traveling youth to place too much trust in the visiting country's ability to keep them safe.

robertpeltonsite

On the other hand, Pelton supports adventure seekers, as well as the 'quasi-journalist', as long as they take precautions. 'Before you choose a destination, go on the internet and deal with people from the area', as opposed to gathering your information from the media, says Pelton.

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WNYC News

Keys, Sunglasses, 18th Century Violin...Whoops!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Korean violinist Hanh-Bin is in good company. Like Philippe Quint and Gidon Kremer who forgot their violins, or Yo-Yo Ma and Lynn Harrell who forgot their cellos in New York taxis, Hahn-Bin left his 18th century, $600,000 violin in a taxi yesterday.

On a ride from Lincoln Center to Chinatown, ...

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WNYC News

Do The Right Thing 20 Years Later

Friday, August 14, 2009

do

Spike Lee's 'Do The Right Thing' came out 20 years ago. Kai Wright, senior writer for The Root, and Dayo Olopade, political reporter for The Root, talk about the impact of the movie with Brian Lehrer.

Listen to the whole ...

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WNYC News

Freaky Math

Monday, August 10, 2009

numberDerrick Niederman, author of Number Freak: From 1 to 200, The Hidden Language of Numbers Revealed, shares his intense love of integers. As he explains, every number 1-200 tells a story, except maybe the number 138.

7 ...

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WNYC News

Saturdays on Summer Streets

Monday, August 03, 2009

Janette Sadik-Khan and the mysterious ZoZo discuss Summer Streets.

Janette Sadik-Khan and the mysterious ZoZo discuss Summer Streets.

Park Avenue is filled with traffic today, but the scene will be much different on Saturday morning. The city's Summer Streets ...

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WNYC News

The Waterpod Project

Monday, August 03, 2009


New Yorkers are exploring a floating, fully functional, water-based community in West Harlem. The Waterpod serves as a floating home, garden, and performance space and is currently docked at 125th Street on the river. Mary Mattingly created the Waterpod, and says she came up with the idea to ...

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