how is NPR covering/planning to cover what's going on in Ferguson, MO currently?
We currently have several reporters on the ground in Missouri. Gene Demby is one and he’s well worth a Twitter follow.
You can see all of our coverage here. I would also be remiss if I didn’t point out the excellent coverage coming out of St. Louis Public Radio. Their liveblogging and livetweeting have been excellent ways to stay up to date, around the clock.
I spent the past five days offline, which was a little jarring but ultimately a very good thing. What I realized:
1. I didn’t go back and read tweets I missed
2. I didn’t go back and read Facebook posts I missed
3. I read email that I missed.
4. I NEEDED THE BREAK SO BADLY.
What this means: 1) You can and socialize your stories more than once, at different times (something a week old is not a week old to someone who missed it.) 2) You can always pull things out of your archives. People don’t read your streams in full and consume content in different ways. Not everyone consumes the firehose all of the time!
3) I’ve always thought a Monday featured called: What You May Have Missed If You Were On Vacation Last Week would be a good thing. What’s the minimal amount you need to know on a Monday morning to appear caught up with the news. Chance to also point to coverage we’d like to resocialize again.
NPR’s reporting on left-handedness covers two main topics: the causes of left-handedness and successful people who are left-handed (mostly presidents and baseball pitchers).
This story, from a special series, Science Outside of the Box, takes an interdisciplinary approach to the question of left-handedness.
NPR’s Jacki Lyden talks to researcher Chris McManus who examined archived film footage of British people waving at the camera to see what he could learn about left-handedness, society, and life in the Victorian era.
The walls around Barrio Jorge Dimitrov, one of the most dangerous in Managua, Nicaragua, are full of graffiti — but it’s not what you’d expect. The dove above says: “I am Nicaraguan. I am peace,” and “Without weapons. Without fear.”
Passenger used to sing barefoot on street corners. Now he’s playing in sold-out stadiums. A few things haven’t changed: his bare feet – and a few of his favorite songs, which he put together in a Spotify playlist for us.
It’s probably not shocking that there isn’t a television review of Williams’ first TV hit, Mork and Mindy. Debuting in 1978, TV was still considered “low brow” at that time.
But Robin Williams has a career that’s lasted through a critical cultural transition: from his work in comedy and film being considered pop culture and, therefore, not worthy of serious consideration, to accolades, awards, and social critique.
Here’s Bob Mondello’s review of WIlliams’ 2002 film One Hour Photo. The film is notable because it’s from Williams “dark” role period. He was experimenting with being something other than the frenetic presence we usually saw on screen.
Too, I’d say that the film captures an interesting moment in our media history: a lonely employee at a one-hour photo lab seeks connection through the photos he develops for a family he covets.
Williams’ character is on the cusp of technological and social revolution as we moved from film cameras to digital. Unfortunately, he decides to be super-creepy about it, foreshadowing the further melding of technology and surveillance.
(Found by Kimberly Springer, library intern and film nerd. Original airdate 24 August 2002 on Weekend All Things Considered.)
One thing that is clear as you as you descend on Managua is that Nicaragua is an astonishingly beautiful country.
The fault lines that run below it have over thousands of years and in violent fits, created a severe landscape dotted with gargling volcanoes, jagged mountain ranges and majestic lakes.
It’s almost too easy a metaphor, but for more than one hundred years, its political landscape has been just as tumultuous. There’s been several invasions by the United States, a revolution, a counter-insurgency, the birth of a new democracy and more recently the controversial return of Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega to power.
But I’m in Nicaragua because over the past few decades the country has managed to remain peaceful. While its neighbors, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have been besieged by violent crime, Nicaragua hasn’t followed suit. While Honduras has become the murder capital of the world with a homicide rate of 90.4 per 100,000 people in 2012, Nicaragua’s has hovered at a rate of about 11 for the past decade.
The difference is palpable. The streets of other Central American capitals — San Salvador, for example — empty as the sun sets. In Managua, in the dark of night, I took a walk along the shore of Lago Xolotlán in the old center of town. There are bars and restaurants that lead to a boulevard called “Avenida Bolívar.” Not without controversy, the current government has installed dozens of metal, light-up trees on every rotunda of the capital city. Avenida Bolívar is like the grand finale of a fireworks show. It’s lined with dozens of the metallic trees, lit up, rising five stories into the sky; Nicaraguans joke that it’s Christmas everyday in Managua.
But the Trees of Life, as the first lady has termed them, are also surrounded by the ruins of a city that was never rebuilt when an earthquake devastated Managua in 1972. So the tribute to Hugo Chávez that caps the boulevard of trees looks upon the shell of a colonial cathedral and the blackened walls of an old condemned theater.
I’m in Managua to find out why Nicaragua — which is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere — has remained so peaceful, despite its neighbors, geopolitics and its poverty. It’s complicated and contradictory and it has to do with its history, its police force and its politics.
Some of it is less concrete. As the sun rose on Sunday, Managua poured out onto the streets for a procession of its patron saint.
Every August 1 without fail, a little tiny statue of St. Domingo is taken from the hills surrounding Managua and brought to the city center. The city erupts in celebration. Streets are closed and alcohol is served. Then after days of revelry on Aug. 10, the little statue is taken back to his church. It’s a procession that cuts through the whole city in the stifling heat.
I caught the tail-end of it near the Tiscapa Lagoon, another ancient, volcanic leftover in the middle of the city. The streets were filled with the sounds of music — marimbas, bouncing off snares, dancing with saxophones and trumpets.
It felt that at every spot, I was beckoned by a lady wearing an apron: "Mi amor, ¿una cerveza helada?" My love, how about a cold beer. Without fail, they always offered a smile.
It reminded me of a conversation I had with Francisco Aguirre-Sacasa in Washington. He was the foreign minister during the presidency of Arnoldo Aleman in the late ’90s.
Nicaraguans, he said, are a generally a happy people. One thing that could explain its current peace, he said, is that the revolt of the past 100 years has made them wary of suffering.
In the 80s, he said, 50,000 Nicaraguans were killed during the revolution, and about the same were killed during the Contra war.
"I think that we were spent as a nation by the bloodletting of the 1980s," Aguirre-Sacassa said.
Over the next two weeks, I’ll use this spot as a notebook of sorts to explore that central question in my reporting. I’ll also try to bring you the sights and sounds of a country we hear little about.
As we’ve mentioned previously, we’re continually impressed with the quality of questions Redditors bring to these discussions. Our hosts are also very skilled at responding knowledgeably and with a friendly tone. They even throw in some occasional humor!
Mel noted Tom’s AMA in this morning’s Social Sandbox:
"Tom found an existing community of people who like classical music and entered their space in a polite, respectful way. (We asked the moderators if we could do the chat. Had they said no, we wouldn’t have conducted the chat.)"
Entering existing communities creates an opportunity to reach a more specific audience, and it allows NPR people to host AMAs without over-saturating the /r/IAmA subreddit.
As for NPR’s involvement, special programming was created to capture the reactions of ordinary Americans from all across the country. Take a listen to the audio as host Mike Waters, with the help of member stations, exposed how Americans truly felt about their president’s involvement in Watergate and his decision to leave office. Morning Edition also did a piece today with Linda Wertheimer, who covered the resignation 40 years ago. She gives her very emotional personal memories of that day, as well as more audio of the reactions of American citizens.
Check back here to see what other cool material from the ‘70s and ‘80s is being digitized during the Digital Reformatting internship this summer, as well as future This Is NPR blog posts from the interns looking back at their experiences.
(Found by Cara Shillenn, library intern. Original airdate August 08, 1974.)
Friends, we need your help. NPR’s Melissa Block recently interviewed musician Passenger (Mike Rosenberg) and he shared a story about a chance encounter with a stranger who had a profound impact on his life. We want to find that stranger.
Here’s the deal: Last year during a tour stop in Minneapolis, Rosenberg made a late-night gas station trip to buy cigarettes. He struck up a conversation with an older man who was smoking outside next to his motorcycle. He learned that this gentlemen had been diagnosed with lung cancer and was midway through a cross-country road trip to see his family in New York, where he planned to spend the rest of his days.
Rosenberg never got the man’s name, but the experience affected him deeply. He quit smoking and wrote the song “Riding to New York.”
We’d love to reach this man or his family. If you think you might know who he is, please email email@example.com