briansuda / Brian Suda

The audio home of Brian Suda, a master informatician living in Iceland.

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Huffduffed (1224)

  1. An Apple Detective Rediscovered 7 Kinds Of Apples Thought To Be Extinct

    David Benscoter was a criminal investigator at the FBI and IRS for 24 years before transitioning to his new role: apple detective.

    He’s the founder of the Lost Apple Project, a nonprofit organization that searches abandoned farms and orchards in the Pacific Northwest to locate old varieties. Benscoter recently found seven types of apples in old orchards in Oregon, Washington and Idaho that were thought to have gone extinct as long as a century ago.

    They’re a mix of red, green and yellow, with names like the Almota, the Ivanhoe, the Eper and the Iowa Flat. Since 2014, Benscoter’s organization has discovered 29 lost apple varieties, including the Streaked Pippin, the Sary Sinap and the Nero.

    "An apple tree you’ve never tasted before, a taste somebody hasn’t tasted in a hundred years, it’s rewarding knowing that we brought these varieties back," Benscoter said.

    Benscoter became interested in apples after a neighbor with a disability asked him to help care for her apple trees.

    There were once at least 17,000 named varieties of apples in North America, but only about 4,500 are known to exist today. By the 20th century, farmers stopped growing most apple types because they were less in demand.

    Benscoter scours seed catalogues, county fair records, newspaper clippings and nursery sales ledgers to search for lost apples. He found one, for instance, in a watercolor painting of fruits and nuts that the USDA contracted in 1880.

    He says the 100-year wait was worth it. The rediscovered apples, he says, have a unique taste compared to regular varieties, but are still just as tasty. According to the Whitman County Historical Society, which partnered with the nonprofit on the project, rediscovered apple types will soon become available again to the public.

    "We get excited when they make discoveries," said USDA apple curator Ben Gutierrez, who has collaborated with Benscoter. "Because it’s a push for Apple conservationism."

    Gutierrez said the rediscoveries are a step toward increased genetic diversity of apples. He can test the historic varieties to find out what farmers and buyers will want. The USDA can then piece together that information to help farmers more reliably grow apples, not use as much pesticides and increase nutritional quality.

    Barry Gordemer and Simone Popperl produced and edited the audio story.

    —Huffduffed by briansuda

  2. Francois Mitterrand’s Last Meal

    Scott Simon talks with Michael Paterniti about former French President Francois Mitterrand’s last meal, which consisted of a rare — and illegal — dish of Ortolan, a bird about the size of a thumb. Mitterrand died in 1996. Paterniti’s article "The Last Meal," for Esquire, gives his impressions of Mitterrand’s meal — and what it meant to the late leader.

    SCOTT SIMON, Host:

    Writer Michael Paterniti has written about and, in fact, eaten a sample of Francois Mitterrand’s last meal. He joins us now. Thanks for being with us.

    MICHAEL PATERNITI: Thank you for having me.

    SIMON: It is illegal, but there are chefs who will apparently do it.

    PATERNITI: Yeah, yeah. And in my case, we went to Bordeaux, some years ago now, and the chef that did serve this meal to us felt it was his French duty to serve Ortolan, Ortolan symbolizing the French soul and thought by many in the Southwest region of France to be the highest of all cuisine.

    SIMON: After the bird is drowned, is it just plucked and roasted, or what?

    PATERNITI: It’s plucked. It’s put into a little dish, a cassoulet, and it’s salted and peppered, and it’s put in the oven, and then comes straight from the oven to the table, and then lays before you in the cassoulet and you lift it with your fingers. And some people will eat the head, and in my case I did not eat the head, but bit the head off and left it on the plate.

    SIMON: Now, people eat this blindfolded or under a sack?

    PATERNITI: Yeah. People typically will eat it under a white napkin. And part of it is to create a little capsule for yourself so that all of the aromas and tastes are captured in the space before you. But also people traditionally ate beneath the cloth napkin because they didn’t want to have God see them eating these little songbirds.

    SIMON: And it’s not just one bite, is it?

    PATERNITI: And in the days after he ate not another bite of food and died within 10 days, I think, of the last meal.

    SIMON: Michael Paterniti, who wrote that article or Esquire magazine. He’s now with Gentleman’s Quarterly. Thanks very much.

    PATERNITI: Thank you.

    —Huffduffed by briansuda

  3. Behold! The Anus: An Evolutionary Marvel

    The anus is an evolutionary marvel. But how and when did this organ evolve into what it is today? Today on Short Wave, Maddie tries to get to the bottom of these questions with The Atlantic’s science writer Katherine Wu.

    For more of Katherine’s reporting, check out ‘The Body’s Most Embarrassing Organ Is an Evolutionary Marvel’ from The Atlantic.

    If you have stories ideas or comments — email us at ShortWave@NPR.org.

    This episode was produced by Thomas Lu, edited by Viet Le, and fact-checked by Indi Khera. The audio engineer for this episode was Marcia Caldwell.

    download

    Tagged with npr anus

    —Huffduffed by briansuda

  4. Retroist McDonald’s McRib Podcast

    In this episode, I discuss the legendary or infamous (depending on who you ask) pork fast food sandwich, McDonald’s McRib.

    I am a fan of fast food and enjoy reading about the fast-food industry. This episode is a celebration of the McRib and a discussion of its history and creation.

    I start the show talking about quests. I enjoy seeking things and fast food has given me many opportunities to seek things over the years. From premiums to limited-time foods, the searching has brought me great joy.

    Then I move onto the sandwich itself. I discuss the creators of the McRib, the process of making one, its relationship to the pork industry, its initial failure, and its slow inevitable rise.

    Metagrrl is back this week with a top 5 list of discontinued McDonald’s menu items. It’s a great list that could almost be a podcast unto itself. I think you will enjoy it.

    The McRib is a fascinating bit of food science and commerce. It has a colorful history that is worth exploring. I am not sure why, but it makes me happy that a community has coalesced around a molded pork patty sandwich. So make sure to get a McRib while you can.

    —Huffduffed by briansuda

  5. Designing for Analytics with Brian O’Neill

    Why are some dashboards so meaningless? How can you make information helpful? Today our guest is Brian O’Neil, founder & principal of Designing for Analytics. You’ll learn how to approach data visualization thoughtfully, how to help users make their decisions, why you shouldn’t go after fancy diagrams, and why “removing everything” isn’t always your best strategy.

    —Huffduffed by briansuda

  6. The Human Values Framework Episode 5

    BBC Research & Development is examining how core human values relate to digital media use, in order to enhance service design and improve impact measurement. Empirical research has identified fourteen core values, all underpinned by human needs and psychological drivers. These are the basis of the Human Values Framework, a new approach to the design of online services.

    In this series of podcasts Lead Researcher Lianne Kerlin is joined by Senior Firestarter Ian Forrester to discuss the human values framework from different contexts. They are joined by experts in design, social impact of technology and other disciplines.

    Episode 5: Covid-19 and the Human Values Framework

    Using the Human Values Framework as a lens to understand the impact of Covid-19 on people’s lives Presenters: Lianne Kerlin, Ian Forrester Guests: - Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino - Designswarm - Paulien Dresscher - Netherlands film festival & Publicspaces.net - Yancey Strickler - Co-founder of Kickstarter & entrepreneur

    —Huffduffed by briansuda

  7. Reasons to be optimistic about climate change action

    Decision makers and political leaders around the globe may be preoccupied with tackling the coronavirus, but they should not forget about climate change.

    We have ten years to halve global greenhouse gas emissions, and move toward zero emissions.

    Failure to do so will lead to environmental catastrophe.

    So believes Christiana Figueres, former head of the UN convention on climate change, who helped deliver the Paris agreement.

    She explains to Paul Barclay why she is optimistic.

    Recorded on March 11, 2020, at HOTA on the Gold Coast, as part of the Out Loud festival. Presented in conjunction with Griffith University

    Speaker:

    Christiana Figueres - diplomat, author former Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

    —Huffduffed by briansuda

  8. The Human Values Framework: Episode 3

    An open discussion about the impact of human values in a digital society

    BBC Research & Development is examining how core human values relate to digital media use, in order to enhance service design and improve impact measurement. Empirical research has identified fourteen core values, all underpinned by human needs and psychological drivers. These are the basis of the Human Values Framework, a new approach to the design of online services.

    In this series of podcasts Lead Researcher Lianne Kerlin is joined by Senior Firestarter Ian Forrester to discuss the human values framework from different contexts. They are joined by experts in design, social impact of technology and other disciplines.

    Episode 3: Exploring the underlying philosophy A discussion of the philosophical thinking that underpins the Human Values Framework Presenters: Lianne Kerlin, Ian Forrester

    Guests; - Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino - Designswarm - David Jay - Centre for Humane Technology - Katja Bego - Nesta - Mark Surman - Mozilla Foundation - Paulien Dresscher - Netherlands film festival & Publicspaces.net - Yancey Strickler - Co-founder of Kickstarter & entrepreneur

    —Huffduffed by briansuda

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