Data scientist Edward Tufte (dubbed the "Galileo of graphics" by BusinessWeek) pioneered the field of data visualization. Tufte discusses what he calls "forever knowledge," and his latest projects: sculpting Richard Feynman’s diagrams, and helping people "see without words."
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When cartoonist Art Spiegelman published his epic Holocaust graphic novel, Maus, 25 years ago, a lot changed. He received a special Pulitzer Prize and became a contributor and cover artist for the New Yorker.
Maus blends the stories of Spiegelman’s trying relationship with his father and a horrifying tale of Auschwitz, as seen through his father’s eyes. Spiegelman drew the Jews as mice and the Germans as cats.
But Maus has continued to haunt him.
MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic, Maus is the story behind Spiegelman’s signature work, complete with interviews, answers to many persistent questions and examples of his early drawings.
"Me and my mice, we weren’t dressed for success," Spiegelman tells NPR’s Neal Conan. "Originally we assumed we would self-publish Maus. … I didn’t believe it would be read beyond … about 10,000, 15,000 people. And when it got bigger, I felt littler."
It is possible that there are many other universes that exist parallel to our universe. Theoretical physicist Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe, explains how that’s possible in the new book, The Hidden Reality.
Five ways of mapping the world. One story about people who make maps the traditional way — by drawing things we can see. And other stories about people who map the world using smell, sound, touch, and taste. The world redrawn by the five senses.
Numerous sci-fi films since have capitalized on our fear of being surrounded by duplicates — replicas who look just like our loved ones but are not. And while there have so far been no confirmed cases of a human being replaced by an alien or any other life-form, the feeling that your loved one has been replaced by someone else can be very real.
The British know something about rise and fall. Their Edward Gibbon wrote The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Their own empire came and went.
Now, two big British historians and thinkers who live in the United States are thinking hard about the American future.
Simon Schama says he’s in love with America, and sees the makings of potential renewal emerging right now. Niall Ferguson admires America too, and sees — even so — the makings of disaster around us.
"On Memorial Day, we pay public tribute to those who lost their lives fighting for our country. But how do we live with the memory of the dead the rest of the year?
In this hour, the History Guys explore Americans’ changing attitudes about death. A Gold Star Mother explains why she thinks there should be more media coverage of military deaths in Iraq. Historian Drew Gilpin Faust talks about how the Civil War altered the American way of dying. And BackStory’s own Ed Ayers tours Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery — and visits his own gravesite"
OK, the April Fool’s computer virus didn’t strike, didn’t rise up with its “botnet” and take over the world. But maybe it didn’t have to.
Just days before, a crack team of computer sleuths in Canada unveiled a global computer spying network, apparently run out of China, called “GhostNet.”
It’s a spying operation that has reached into more than a thousand key computers around the world, rifling through high-security files, even turning on computers’ cameras and microphones to watch and listen from halfway round the world.
This hour, On Point: The team who cracked the “GhostNet.”
The collapse of the banking system explained, in just 59 minutes. Our crack economics team—the guys who explained the mortgage crisis, Alex Blumberg and NPR’s Adam Davidson—are back to help all of us understand the news. For instance, when we talk about an insolvent bank, what does it actually mean, and why are we giving hundreds of billions of dollars to rich bankers who screwed up their own businesses? Also, two guys go to New Jersey to look at a toxic asset.
Other shows on the financial crisis: Giant Pool of Money and Another Frightening Show About the Economy. And you can get daily updates about the financial crisis on Alex and Adam’s Planet Money podcast and blog.
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