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Playlist: O'Dark 30 episode 178 (4-22)

Compiled By: KUT

Caption: PRX default Playlist image

KUT's O’Dark 30 features the very best from the world of independent radio that we can find here on PRX and elsewhere. Sunday nights at 10 on Austin's KUT 90.5 we present 3 hours of a bit of everything from the big wide world of independent radio production.

Episode 178 (4-22) includes episode 51 (Giants in Those Days)...Cali Rivera, Cowbell Maker...Beyond the Rope: A Captivity's Aftermath...#45 - My Kingdom For Some Structure...The Story of Earth...Clever Apes: Nature and human nature...The War of the Gods...Bud Powell from KUT'S Views and Brews Liner Notes...Mapping Eliza: Decoding DNA Secrets...Identity and Cheesecake: Marion Learns her First Recipe...Storm Over the Mountain...Garbage Man-Long Version

Giants in Those Days

From Nate DiMeo | Part of the the memory palace series | 10:20

In which we hear the story behind the Cardiff Giant, one of the greatest hoaxes in American History

51_giants-in-those-days_small In which we hear the story behind the Cardiff Giant, one of the greatest hoaxes in American History

Cali Rivera, Cowbell Maker

From Radio Diaries | Part of the New York Works series | 04:29

Cali Rivera makes cowbells, timbales and other percussion instruments in his small shop in the Bronx.

Cowbell_small Cali Rivera makes cowbells, timbales and other percussion instruments in his small shop in the Bronx. Forty-five years ago he started out with a dream to make the perfect cowbell. These days, almost all cowbells are made by machine. Cali is the last in New York to make the bells by hand, and musicians come from around the world to buy his instruments. You can get more information about Cali's cowbells by contacting JCR Percussion in the Bronx: 718-293-6589 The Next Big Thing (NPR) 3/2/2002

Beyond the Rope: A Captivity's Aftermath

From Eric Winick | 14:51

Former NY Times reporter David Rohde was abducted in Afghanistan only two months after marrying Cosmopolitan photo director Kristen Mulvihill. Seven months later, following a dramatic escape, David returned to New York City, and the couple's life began anew.

_ns_7013-2_small In November 2008, while in Afghanistan writing a book on the region, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter David Rohde was abducted by Taliban gunmen.  At the time, he had been married only two months, to Cosmopolitan photography director Kristen Mulvihill.  Seven months later, after being moved from Logar Province to the tribal areas of Pakistan, after multiple videos depicting Rohde's captivity and a string of dead-end negotiations, Rodhe and his Afghan colleague Tahir Ludin escaped from the compound in which they were held.  Days later, Rohde was reunited with Mulvihill in Dubai, and within a week the two were back home in New York City.  In December 2009, the two began work on a book about their experiences during the period.  The resulting narrative, A Rope and a Prayer, was published in November 2010.  During the months that followed, on tour and elsewhere, Rohde and Mulvihill relived details of their ordeal for audiences both awestruck and enraged by what they had to say.

Original music by Ryan Rumery.  From the files of Yarn Audioworks.

Kristen Mulvihill has been a fashion and photography editor at various women’s magazines, including Marie Claire and Self. Most recently, she was the photography director ofCosmopolitan magazine. She is also a painter and illustrator.

David Rohde,
 winner of two Pulitzer Prizes in journalism, is a foreign affairs columnist for Reuters. Previously, he worked as a reporter for The New York Times for 15 years. He won his first Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for uncovering the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia for The Christian Science Monitor and his second in 2009 as part of a team of New York Times reporters covering Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is also the author of Endgame: The Betrayal and Fall of Srebrenica.

They both grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University and live in New York.

To view more photos of David Rohde and Kristen Mulvihill, click here.

To order the book, click here.  To order the e-book, click here.  To pre-order the paperback edition (released Oct 25, 2011), click here.  To read Rohde's series of articles in the Times and view an interactive feature about his captivity, click here.

#45 - My Kingdom For Some Structure

From HowSound | 13:44

Producer Bradley Campbell says story structure is a like using Google Maps for directions, it shows you were to go. For this episode of HowSound, Bradley drew story structures on napkins (really) and we dissect his drawings. You can view the drawings at http://howsound.org.


Bradley Campbell says drawing story structure is like using Google Maps for directions. Structure offers a path, a way to figure out where to go... what to do with all the tape. To help him plan out his stories, Bradley thinks pictorially. He makes story structure drawings in his head. I asked him to make a few napkin drawings of how he sees structure. Indeed, that's how he first learned about structure -- in a bar on a napkin.

Many years ago, Bradley was a print reporter. He says everyone he worked with kept talking about structure. He knew they meant the way in which a story is organized, but that left him with a question: Organized how? So, he asked a friend of his from the Village Voice "What's structure?" The guy grabbed a napkin and a pen and made a drawing. "Click!" Suddenly, it all made sense.

Now, Bradley's a radio reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio . He says he's listened long and hard to stories on public radio to understand how they're configured and to create skeletal renderings of their structure.

"Napkin #1" is Bradley's drawing for This American Life , a structure Ira Glass has talked about ad infinitum : This happened. Then this happened. Then this happened. (Those are the dashes.) And then a moment of reflection, thoughts on what the events mean (the exclamation point).

On this edition of HowSound, Bradley talks about his napkin drawings for TAL, All Things Considered, and "The e" (on a napkin below labeled "Transom"). And, as a bonus for you because you're reading the blog, I've also included his napkins for Morning Edition and Radiolab.

The Story of Earth

From Bishop Sand | Part of the Sift series | 14:32

The surprising history of the earth and life's impact on it. Also, a new perspective on the future of the planet: earth will likely be in constant change.

Origin_logo_small The secrets of earth's early history (known as the Hadean period) have only recently been discovered thanks to the efforts of scientists like Steve Mojzsis. In this episode, Mojzsis talks about what it must have been like on the "peculiar" early earth. Other scientists weigh in on how life changed the planet a little later. Finally, a perspective of the future of the ever-changing planet.

Bob Hazen - Carnegie Institution and George Mason University
Stephen Mojzsis - Colorado University and Universite Claude Bernard Lyon
Ben Oppenheimer - American Natural History Museum
Ariel Anbar - Arizona State University 

Clever Apes: Nature and human nature

From WBEZ | Part of the WBEZ's Clever Apes series | 08:16

We go back to one of the first lessons kids learn about science, and what it says about how human minds develop. As children discover the natural world, do they learn they are a part of nature, or apart from it? The answer could be important for the attitudes we form later about the environment. Psychologists used to think they had this one figured out … until some researchers teamed up with people other scientists hadn't even thought to ask.


First off, this episode is sort of a goodbye. I will be departing my beloved WBEZ shortly to strike out for new adventures. I’ll include my weepy valedictory at the bottom of this post. But the story this week is important, so before your attention wanders …

As kids, we usually learn about nature from a decidedly human point of view. The world exists in relation to us. People are the stars in this scenario: We are Hamlet, while nature is like Denmark – the place where we happen to be. The conventional wisdom has been that this is a universal way the mind develops its awareness of the natural world.

But an eclectic group of researchers are challenging that. The team is made up of psychologists from Northwestern University, and researchers from the Menominee Reservation and the American Indian Center of Chicago. They started looking carefully at the way Native and non-Native children come to learn about nature. They found some distinctive differences.

Namely, Native kids tend not to have that anthropocentric view in the early years. They come to see the biological world in terms of relationships and connections – what psychologists call “systems-level thinking.” Non-Native kids, on the other hand, generally think more in hierarchical categories like taxonomy – kingdom, phylum, species, etc. So the human-centered learning may not be universal after all, but instead flavored by the culture we grow up in. 

This goes deeper than just having different beliefs. The scientists say those distinctive worldviews actually change the way we think, learn and reason. Over the last decade or so, the team has been designing experiments to tease out the ramifications of that change. It has major consequences for education, 
and might (this is my speculation!) influence our attitudes about the environment.

So, this will be my final episode of Clever Apes. We are hopeful that it will continue in some form, so you may not have heard the last of WBEZ’s science experiment. Creating this series has been a rare privilege – I have had one of the greatest gigs in media. My deepest gratitude goes to my editor Cate Cahan, whose gusto and keen mind have long inspired me. Michael De Bonis has been a fantastic collaborator, friend and co-conspirator, without whom the Apes would be far less clever. And Sally Eisele has shown great vision (or folly) in supporting this weird project from the get-go.


The War of the Gods

From Matthew Cowley | 12:13

Epic poem about the Ali-Frazier fight (The Thriller in Manila) by James Tokley.

Aliglove_small James Tokley is the Poet Laureate of Tampa, FL. A professor told him there were no more epic poems because there were no more epic heroes; Tokley decided that Muhammad Ali was one, and so he wrote this poem. It was produced with sound effects and music, and presented in a showcase of his poetry on WMNF's radio theater show.

Bud Powell

From KUT | Part of the KUTX Liner Notes series | 02:29

As we recognize Bud Powell as one of the most influential jazz pianists of the 20th century, we must also acknowledge how much of his greatness and potential was muted beneath the cruelty and inhumane treatment that marked so much of mid 20th century America. Yet, even through the pain he suffered, when he sat down to perform at the piano he would continue to amaze audiences and musicians alike with his remarkable dexterity, speed and timing.

Bud Powell

Bud_powell_budprx_small Join Rabbi Neil Blumofe as he discusses Powell's legacy as a reminder to us of the tightrope we walk each day as we try to remain close to those things we need to sustain our souls in a time when exterior elements beyond our control are battling for our attentions, our bodies, our minds and our spirits. When listening to the genius of Bud Powell we can hear and feel the sheer force of human will, and the power one exudes when fully present amidst the chaos both inside and out.

Mapping Eliza: Decoding DNA Secrets

From Spectrum Radio | 59:01

In this one-hour special, IEEE Spectrum Magazine's Eliza Strickland takes listeners through her personal journey explaining what genome-sequencing is, and how this technology could shape the future of medical care.


Genome sequencing is becoming affordable, fast, and poised to revolutionize medicine.  But, how much can your genes tell you about your medical fate?  And, will genome scans become a routine part of health care in our lifetimes? 
In this one-hour special, IEEE Spectrum Magazine's Eliza Strickland, who recently had her genome sequenced, takes listeners through her personal journey explaining what genome-sequencing is, what was revealed to her, and how this technology could shape the future of medical care.  

With the support of PRX and the Alfred P Sloan foundation -- enhancing public understanding of science, technology, and economic performance.  

Identity and Cheesecake: Marion Learns her First Recipe

From Sean Rasmussen | Part of the Radio Docs series | 05:55

Veteran food writer Marion Kane tells the story of the first recipe she learned to make. It's a touching coming of age story about growing up Jewish in London in the 50s and 60s... Recorded in my kitchen last month.

Images_small Veteran food writer Marion Kane tells the story of the first recipe she learned to make. It's a touching coming of age story about growing up Jewish in London in the 50s and 60s...Recorded in my kitchen last month.

Storm Over the Mountain

From Eileen McAdam | 16:41

Almost 50 years ago, a group of concerned citizens battled energy giant Consolidated Edison and launched the environmental movement.

Mehp_banner3_small We take it for granted that you can defend scenic beauty, wildlife and the environment with the power of the law. But there was a time when pollution by corporations went relatively unchecked until a small group of concerned citizens decided to fight back. Their struggle launched the modern environmental movement. It happened in the Hudson Valley and it all began with an image. An inspiring fun piece that celebrates the men and women who fought for 17 years to protect the Hudson River.

Garbage Man-Long Version

From Richard Paul | Part of the People Who Work series | 09:00

A trashman talks frankly about his life and work

Trashtrucksm_small Whenever governments -- especially local governments -- cut back, there's always a lot of talk about "essential services" .... The ones everyone expects to be performed. This is a look at someone who performs one of those "essential services." Arguably one of the most important. But not one any of us really likes to think about much. Producer Richard Paul spent the day with a man nicknamed "Motor Mouth" who collects Washington DC's trash. CLOSE: Albert M. Roe, Junior -- better known to his colleagues as "Motor Mouth" -- collects trash in Washington, DC. Our series on people who work is produced by Richard Paul.