The next film in our Through the Lens is called This Ain't No Mouse Music. It profiles Chris Strachwitz, a modern-day Alan Lomax who fell in love with American roots music soon after immigrating to the U.S. from Germany in the '40s. He founded a record label that released albums of the blues, Mexican norteño, zydeco, Hillbilly country—basically any authentic, rootsy music that caught his ear. Strachwitz joins us Thursday with filmmakers Maureen Gosling and Chris Simon to talk about his love affair with music rooted in America’s heartland.
Wednesday, we’re talking about radio again, this time with wunderkind-podcaster-turned-NPR-personality Jesse Thorn. Before his show was called Bullseye and distributed by NPR, it was a college radio show and podcast called The Sound of Young America, but it’s always been part of his media empire, Maximum Fun. Thorn says his mission is to help listeners sift the wheat from the chaff of popular culture. He joins us Wednesday to talk about his love for radio, the evolution of his show, and dressing like a grownup.
For 15 years, the journalist Alex Blumberg enjoyed a pretty respectable career in public radio. He was an executive producer on This American Life, and he co-hosted NPR's Planet Money podcast. Given that success, why did he quit his day job, ditch public radio, and go it alone as a business entrepreneur? Don't worry, Blumberg hasn't gone too far afield. His new pursuit: it's a podcast company. He joins us Tuesday to explain his career change and to share his story of getting a startup off the ground.
Across Africa, some 92 million women and girls have undergone female genital cutting. It comes with serious health risks like bleeding, infections, and even death. Women’s rights activist Molly Melching says it’s understandable to be outraged, but you can’t simply tell people to abandon a deeply embedded cultural practice. Melching is founder of a non-profit called Tostan, which doesn’t “fight” FCG, but educates a community about what’s happening to their girls. Melching is in Utah, and joins Doug to discuss the crucial role of empathy in effecting change.
Last spring, we spoke with Ira Glass of This American Life. Ira has said that "joy and empathy and pleasure are all around us, there for the noticing." And that's what his popular program is all about – taking the time to notice the stories around us. Friday morning, we're rebroadcasting Doug and Ira's conversation about Ira's career, making news headlines personal and the philosophy that earned This American Life a Peabody award.
You may not by aware of it, but you are being tracked. Nearly every move you make on the Internet results in data that is gathered not just by governments, but by marketers, retailers, and just about any company looking for a financial edge. They harvest your information with near impunity. The journalist Adam Tanner has surveyed the world of personal data and investigated the companies mining it for profit. He joins us Thursday to explore how big data could result in the end of privacy as we know it.
Wednesday, we continue our examination of the problem of sexual assault on America's college campuses. Alcohol is at the heart of that problem. According to researchers, students who are either the victims of rape or the assailants are more often than not drunk. But, for lots of reasons, schools avoid directly discussing alcohol and rape in the same breath. We’ll talk about what colleges and universities should be doing to prevent rape and where the blame lay when an assault does occur.
Forget what you think you know about creativity being the domain of the solitary genius. The writer Joshua Wolf Shenk says it's a myth that's outlived its usefulness. In a new book, Shenk looks at hundreds of creative duos -- like John Lennon and Paul McCartney or Marie and Pierre Curie -- to understand what he calls the "electrified space" of their partnership. We continue our series on creativity Tuesday when Shenk joins us to explain how these creative connections work, and why two heads really are better than one.
As the writer Diane Ackerman tells it, homo sapiens is a force of nature nearly unprecedented in Earth's 4.5-billion years. Like an asteroid blast, humans altered some of the planet's fundamental processes in a geological blink of an eye. In her latest book, Ackerman takes stock of the changes wrought in the Anthropocene or "human age," from the stamp of our settlements viewable from space, to the redistribution of life-forms, to ocean acidification. She joins us Monday to take stock of the world shaped by us.
The writer Anthony Doerr’s new novel All the Light We Cannot See tells the tale of a blind French girl in possession of a possibly cursed jewel, a German boy fascinated by radios, and their intersecting fates during World War II. For Doerr, it was a chance to explore the effects of war on children and his research for the book at times haunted him. He joins us Thursday to talk about his latest novel, his approach to writing, and about the profusion of miracles we encounter every day.