A poem called "Promiscuous"

Article: A poem called "Promiscuous"

It’s not often that you wake up to NPR and hear Garrison Keillor saying “slut” over and over again, but today was a lucky day! His AM installment of The Writer’s Almanac, a five minute collection of poetry and literary history, concluded with the poem “Promiscuous” by William Matthews, from Search Party: Collected Poems, which is like Wheaties for feminist linguistic nerds who majored in English and keep deep-thought journals. Here’s the first half. Read the rest at Writer’s Almanac:

9/11 StoryCorps animations from the Rauch Brothers

Article: 9/11 StoryCorps animations from the Rauch Brothers

The 9/11 media blitz is well under way, and will rise steadily by the hour until we hit total saturation on Sunday. I’ve been subjecting myself to quite a bit already, ranging from news analysis to anecdotal retellings. Regarding the latter, NPR certainly knows how to go to the heart of the emotional matter, but it’s been this series of Rauch Brother animations that have so far been the most resonant material for me. The Rauch’s have basically created a visual to a selection of 9/11 StoryCorps interviews, part of the oral history project which, amongst many other goals, aims to record one interview for every life lost. If you haven’t encountered StoryCorp before, it’s fantastic. Members of the public simply book an appointment and then bring a friend or loved one to a roving StoryCorp “booth” for an interview about his or her life. The StoryCorp site features edited excerpts from these interviews, categorized by topic. And, as one might imagine, there’s a sizable 9/11 section. The Rauch Brothers use their playful style for these heartbreaking stories, lending them an extraordinarily moving, as well as surreal effect; We’re watching cartoons suffer, for Godssake.

The greatest man made light show

Article: The greatest man made light show

NPR has this fascinating short video piece about a moment in July 1962 when the US government decided to study the effects of detonating a hydrogen bomb above the earth’s atmosphere. The video includes original footage of the after effects of the bomb which resulted in as the narrator said, “the greatest man made light…

Whatever you do, don't call bin Laden hot

Article: Whatever you do, don't call bin Laden hot

It’s difficult (not to mention crass) to try to tie lust and Osama bin Laden together, but in honor of last night’s historic news we’re gonna do it. A few years ago NPR’s “This American Life” started off an episode about speaking one’s mind in a tough room with this painful yet kind of hilarious…

NPR: Why Can't We Walk Straight?

Article: NPR: Why Can't We Walk Straight?

A Mystery: Why Can’t We Walk Straight? from NPR on Vimeo. Watch this wonderfully animated short film from NPR that explores the puzzle of the “profound inability in humans to stick to a straight line when blindfolded or when there is no fixed point.” This is true for swimming as well. It’s a really interesting…

NPR speaks with Glee's silent piano man

Article: NPR speaks with Glee's silent piano man

NPR has this interesting interview with Brad Ellis, the resident pianist on Glee where his official title is “Accompanist,” although contrary to his silent on-show character, he’s quite the conversationalist in real life. I noticed him early on in the show. He stood out because unlike the rest of the cast, Berklee College of Music trained Brad actually looked like a high school music teacher.
You ended up working on Glee because you knew the casting director, right? But you didn’t know you’d actually be on the show.

Right. I’d worked with Robert Ulrich. He’s a casting director, but he’s also so much more. I knew he was extremely good at his job, quickly seeing inside actors to steer them towards the right parts. One of the things I’m good at is teaching people that singing is just one more way of using their voices. So I had been working with a lot of the cast members, especially Cory Monteith, who didn’t have a singing background. And one day (creator) Ryan Murphy said to me, “You better get used to wearing all black.” And I thought he was talking about my fashion sense.

NPR's top songs of each year of the 2000s

Article: NPR's top songs of each year of the 2000s

It’s not even 2010 yet and people are starting to sign off on the 00′s with Best Of lists and rankings. NPR’s “Song of the Day” segment “will survey the past decade, one year (and one song) at a time, with an emphasis on America’s most popular music. These picks don’t exactly qualify as musical…

New meme alert! Your NPR name.

Article: New meme alert! Your NPR name.

Inspired by “the slew of impossibly named NPR hosts” such as “Renee Montagne, Steve Inskeep, Corey Flintoff, Korva Coleman, Kai Ryssdal, Dina Temple-Raston,” which has even fueled a spirited discussion on Ask Metafilter, a couple tumblrites have devised a system for creating your very own unique NPR host name. Here’s how it works: You take…

I love Ira: This American Life live

Article: I love Ira: This American Life live

This could possibly be the best two hours of your month. Everyone who listens to This American Life as compulsively as I do already knows about it, but I would be remiss in my duties as a faithful listener if I didn’t take 100 words to either remind you about or announce the upcoming live…