Car Talk

#1416: I Dream of Fairlanes

Saturday, April 19, 2014

This week on Car Talk, the Auto-Psychiatry booth is open, as Dennis tries to figure out why he dreamed about being offered a 1966 Ford Fairlane. Is a Fairlane memory buried in his past, or to paraphrase Dr. Freud, is a heap just a heap? Meanwhile, over in the Auto-Relational Department, Donna treated herself to a spiffy Mazda Miata, but can't get her husband to relinquish the steering wheel. Also, Tamson's mechanic may be using the "slow milking" approach to diagnosing her Beetle's noise; Ray has a few final words on Tommy's Dart; and does Dave need driving lessons or relaxation therapy to prepare for a Summer trip through Ireland with five women? All this and more, this week on Car Talk.


Selected Shorts

Parents and Children, Dreamers and Doubters

Friday, April 04, 2014

A boy dreams his parents' marriage, and a woman finds that her family is wild at heart, in stories by Delmore Schwartz and Tess Gallagher read by Leonard Nimoy and Kate Burton.


Selected Shorts

Wild at Heart

Friday, April 04, 2014

This reading by Kate Burton of Tess Gallagher’s story “The Lover of Horses” is part of the SELECTED SHORTS program “Parents and Children,” hosted by Jane Curtin.



Rare Gem: Wagner Sung in an Irish Brogue

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The music of Richard Wagner has been sung in several different languages including French, Italian and English. It's also been sung with a thick Irish brogue, courtesy of tenor John McCormack.

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Comments [3]

Selected Shorts

Selected Shorts: Parents and Children

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Adult children untangle their pasts in two stories about fateful marriages and what comes down from parents to children.


Q2 Music Album of the Week

Discover Ireland's Electronic and Electroacoustic Music

Monday, May 13, 2013

"On the Nature of Electricity & Acoustics" offers a compelling glimpse into two strands of modern Irish music. Stream the full compilation this week.


New Sounds

New Choral Music

Saturday, January 19, 2013

For this New Sounds, listen to choral music of the British Isles, Armenia, and more, including the Medieval music group, Canty, dubbed “Scotland’s Anonymous 4.” They perform Irish composer Michael McGlynn’s “Lorica,” from a recent release, "Carmina Celtica."  The record features world premieres of nine contemporary works - some written for Canty, commissioned by them, or gifted by the composer.


Selected Shorts

Selected Shorts: Warm and Cozy

Sunday, November 04, 2012

An old-fashioned waitress, and a poet at high tide, in stories by an American master and a contemporary Irish writer.


Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project

"A Great Day for the Irish" as New York City Welcomes Eamon de Valera

Friday, September 07, 2012


The former prime minister and future president of Ireland, Eamon de Valera, is welcomed to New York by various dignitaries during this 1948 visit. Grover Whalen, the city's official greeter, introduces "the boy from Manhattan island" who now returns as a recognized world leader. 

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Selected Shorts

Selected Shorts: Holding Fast

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Failing a moral test, and the cost of love and loss in stories by American and Irish contemporary writers.


The Leonard Lopate Show

Undereported: Troubles in Northern Ireland

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Roughly 14 years have passed since the signing of the Good Friday peace accord, which ended decades of bloody conflict in Northern Ireland. But that doesn’t mean the area is free of conflict, tensions and even violence. Jamie Smyth of the Financial Times talks about the situation. His recent article is called "A Peace to Protect."


Comments [1]

The Leonard Lopate Show

On an Irish Island

Monday, July 02, 2012

Robert Kanigel tells the story of Great Blasket, an island off the west coast of Ireland renowned during the early 20th century for the rich communal life of its residents and the unadulterated Irish they spoke. With the Irish language vanishing all through the rest of Ireland, the Great Blasket became a magnet for scholars and writers drawn there during the Gaelic renaissance. On an Irish Island is a love letter to a vanished way of life.

Comments [8]

Transportation Nation

Ireland's Transport Minister: We Built It, They Didn't Come

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Cork Airport in 2011 (photo by tomylees via flickr)

Ireland's Transport Minister spoke candidly Thursday about how the recent financial crisis had hobbled his country -- and forced it to be a lot more wary of big investment in transportation projects.

Leo Varadkar said Ireland will be doing very little in the way of new road and rail projects, choosing instead to maintain what they have, expand relatively low-cost bicycle networks, and make public transportation customers happier through wi-fi and transit apps.

"We've lost roughly 20% of our GDP. Unemployment has gone from maybe 3 percent to 14 percent, and while we ran very big budget surpluses in the past we've now have a big deficit," he said. "And that really has made transport investment very difficult."

Ireland's good financial times ground to a halt in 2008. One former government minister has described the country's boom times like this: “You could say the government was drunk on the revenue that was coming from all the construction taxes.”

Varadkar said that although the economic situation was stabilizing, the country's huge debts have forced the country to redefine how it thinks about transportation projects.

"What we had during our boom period, between 2001 to 2008, was huge investment in transport," he said. "There was a whole new motorway network, which has transformed the country. New airport terminals, we reopened some closed railways. And most of that investment was worth doing. But a lot of it actually wasn't. At the time, we were subscribers as a country to this view -- I'm not sure if you've seen the Kevin Costner film."

He said Ireland had been a proponent of 'if you build it, they will come.' "And we found with a lot of our transport network well, they didn't come. And we now have railways that run at a massive loss and half-empty airport terminals."

So that was then -- and this is now. "I think what we're going to be from now on is a lot smarter, a lot more considered about our investment. The first thing absolutely is to maintain what we have. Secondly, is ... a sort of seamless and smart investment in transport. So while we're only building a few new roads and linking up a few railways, what we're doing a lot of is very low cost, very smart and very efficient investment.

"So we've brought in an Oyster card in Dublin, our Leap card, putting wi-fi in on all the buses and trains, that improves people's experience of public transport. We have intelligent information systems now on our on motorways, so there's a lot of signs telling people what's happening with traffic and what's ahead." And he said the bus systems provide real time bus information, both via signage, apps and texting.

"We're putting a lot into cycle networks as well, which can be very efficient and then a lot in the last mile. So say, for example, we're investing in the train stations. At a relatively low cost we're putting into the train stations hubs so that the bus can actually come into the train station and drop people off. We're putting in cycle ways and cycle parking so that more people can cycle to the train station.

"And what we're trying to do, particularly in rural areas, is to create transport hubs. We we bring together the bus station, the train station, things that seem logical but often aren't the case. And finally we're doing some regulatory reforms: we're opening up our railways to competition for people who may wish to provide service on our railways. And we're exploring the idea of going down the route that other cities have gone down, particularly in our major cities, of franchising out the bus services."

"So really what we're trying to do is maintain what we have first of all, secondly, improve what we have and do those low-cost improvements that bring about seamlessness and improve the passenger's experience of transport, public transport in particular. And then and only then are we doing major new projects, and that of course is very limited by the financial situation."


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The Brian Lehrer Show

Irish President Michael D. Higgins

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Michael D. Higgins, president of Ireland, is in New York for his first official visit to the U.S. He discusses Ireland's economy and his views on what could remake the country financially.  

Comments [3]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Titanic Belfast

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Niall O'Donnghaile, Lord Mayor of Belfast, discusses Belfast’s commemoration of the 100anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Between the years 1909 and 1911, Belfast’s Harland and Wolff shipyard completed construction on the RMS Titanic. Belfast is remembering this tremendous vessel with the opening of a new museum, the Titanic Belfast.

Comments [5]

The Leonard Lopate Show

On an Irish Island

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Robert Kanigel tells the story of Great Blasket, an island off the west coast of Ireland renowned during the early 20th century for the rich communal life of its residents and the unadulterated Irish they spoke. With the Irish language vanishing all through the rest of Ireland, the Great Blasket became a magnet for scholars and writers drawn there during the Gaelic renaissance. On an Irish Island is a love letter to a vanished way of life.

Comments [11]

The Takeaway

Peace and Reconciliation: A Path Forward for Ireland

Monday, March 19, 2012

Politicians from both sides of the Irish border will be in Washington tomorrow to help President Obama celebrate a belated St Patrick's Day. A symbol of the progress since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, but back home divisions still run deep. Few are willing to confess the role they might have played in past violence. But former Loyalist and Republican paramilitaries are looking for a way forward, a journey that's taken them to the townships of South Africa. 



Planet Opera: Spinning Words into Music in Ireland

Friday, March 16, 2012

"The Irish are the best conversationalists I know," writes blogger Fred Plotkin. "They do not simply banter, but spin out words and phrases in whirling musical arcs that beguile the listener."

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Comments [3]

On The Media

Internet Censorship From Around the Globe

Friday, January 27, 2012

Last week, public outrage forced congress to table some bills backed by Hollywood lobbyists that would have barred access to sites accused of piracy. But Hollywood’s influence extends well beyond the US Congress. Bob talks to Rainey Reitman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has created a website called Global Chokepoints that tracks pending or existing legislation worldwide (often pushed by the US and Hollywood) that would kick people or websites off the internet.

Dan Bull & Friends - SOPA Cabana

Comments [2]

On Being

John O'Donohue — The Inner Landscape of Beauty [remix]

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Poet/philosopher, John O'Donohue, is beloved for his book Anam Ċara, Gaelic for "soul friend," and for his insistence on beauty as a human calling and a defining aspect of God. In one of his last interviews before his death in 2008, he articula