Yes, there actually are astronomers looking for intelligent life in space. The 1997 film adaptation of Carl Sagan’s ‘Contact’ got a lot of things right … and a few things wrong. Radio astronomer Summer Ash, an education specialist with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, breaks down the science in the film.
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It’s easy to stare out your window at the nearly empty streets, at the people wearing masks and leaving a six-foot berth for passersby, and to believe that this is a moment unlike any other. To assume that the fear, the haphazard responses to the pandemic, the radical adjustments people are making to their lives—that these are all unprecedented.
But like most extraordinary moments, this one has a long trail that leads to it. Just over a century ago, a new infectious disease overtook the globe. Its history has long been buried, subsumed beneath the story of World War I. Historian Nancy Bristow believes it’s no mistake that Americans have focused on their victory in the war rather than on the devastation of the 1918 flu pandemic.
Two people make a decision that would lead to a legal and moral puzzle about how we balance accountability and forgiveness.
Blair Braverman just finished her rookie attempt at the nearly 1,000-mile Iditarod race in Alaska. She sent a radio diary of the most-notable moments from her first go at the race.
Libraries aren’t just for books. They’re often spaces that transform into what you need them to be: a classroom, a cyber café, a place to find answers, a quiet spot to be alone. It’s actually kind of magical. This week, we have stories of people who roam the stacks and find unexpected things that just happen to be exactly what they required.
Fifty years ago, just before the holidays in 1968, The Beatles put out not just a new album, but a double album, something relatively unheard of at the time. The album art was a stark, white, glossy cover with raised, slanted lettering that simply said, "The Beatles." That self-titled album, with its 30 songs that span genres from American country music to avant-garde tape collage, has come to be known as "The White Album." And in celebration of its birth 50 years ago, The Beatles label Apple Records has scoured the archives for a new deluxe edition of the album that, for the first time, includes previously unreleased, early demo recordings, studio outtakes and stunning remixes in both stereo and 5.1 surround.
Today we’ve got a conversation with the man who produced this 100-plus song celebration, Giles Martin, whose father, George Martin, produced "The White Album" back in ‘68 (along with most everything else The Beatles ever made). In this interview with Giles Martin, you’ll hear some of the early demos, outtakes and remixes. But he begins by describing the process of making of the "The White Album," how it turned out to be a much-less planned and much more organic process than ever, and how that frustrated George Martin.
After you read this sentence, pause for a moment to think back on advertisements you first heard when you were a child.
Perhaps you recall a favorite jingle or the catchphrase of a cereal mascot. You probably can remember more than just one.
On this week’s radio replay, we look at the shelf life of commercials. According to University of Arizona researcher Merrie Brucks, an ad we watched when we were five years old can influence our buying behavior when we’re fifty.
"Children are vulnerable to messages that are fun and sound good. Because their minds are so open to all of that. They’re open to everything," Merrie says.
We discuss Brucks’ research about cereal commercials in the first portion of the show. Later in the program, we delve into the history of the advertising industry with Tim Wu, author of The Attention Merchants. In his book, Wu reveals the techniques media companies have developed to hijack our attention.
"You go to your computer and you have the idea you’re going to write just one email. You sit down and suddenly an hour goes by. Maybe two hours. And you don’t know what happened," Tim says.
"This sort of surrender of control over our lives speaks deeply to the challenge of freedom and what it means to be autonomous."
Stephen Dubner’s conversation with the founder and longtime C.E.O. of Bridgewater Associates, recorded for the Freakonomics Radio series “The Secret …
The Father Of The Internet Sees His Invention Reflected Back Through A ‘Black Mirror’ : All Tech Considered : NPR
The titans of Silicon Valley have a grand vision of the future. But they have a tendency to miss the downside of their inventions — think cybercrime and online harassment.
What makes a great cover song?
Is it a total reimagining, like Devo singing “Satisfaction,” Ike and Tina Turner taking on “Proud Mary” or Jimi Hendrix playing “All Along The Watchtower?”
Is it a performance that brings a new energy or feeling to the original, like Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Got To Get You Into My Life” or Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah?”
Or can a covering artist bring a weight to a song that makes it feel all their own, like Johnny Cash singing “Hurt?”
The answer is yes.
While taking on another artist’s hit can seem like an easy way to please fans, it can also be a risk. Covering a song invites a comparison to the original. When done right, it’s a beautiful tribute that can become a hit all its own. When done wrong, it can be the pop equivalent of dancing on a grave.
Turn up your headphones and get ready for a music-filled examination of the art and craft of the cover.
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