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It’s Gonna Get Sweaty: A Maryland Deathfest Preview (Tuesday, May 22, 2012) — Once a year, we pull out our skull goblets, prepare various sacrifices and get ourselves ready for Maryland Deathfest. Now in its tenth year, Maryland Deathfest is the largest metal festival in the United States. On this episode, host Bob Boilen is joined by NPR Music’s resident metal fiend and Viking berserker, Lars Gotrich, and metal writer Kim Kelly to preview some of the doom, black metal and crust punk artists performing on this year’s stages. With band names like Autopsy, Infernal Stronghold and Dragged Into Sunlight, it’s going to be a dark, twisted and awesome time.
Book Review Podcast (Friday, May 25, 2012) — This week, Michael Lind talks about his economic history of the United States, Land of Promise; John Leland discusses a biography of Richard Brautigan; and Gregory Cowles has best-seller news. Sam Tanenhaus is the host.
Maurice Sendak, Rachel Maddow and more (Monday, May 14, 2012) — Stories in this episode: 1) An Inside Look At Sendak’s Wonderful Magic 2) Drift: Rachel Maddow On Why We Go To War 3) Wolf Hall Sequel: Cromwell In All His Complexity 4) Teachers Make A Difference, What About You? 5) Beyond The Blonde: A Look At Marilyn’s Inner Life
Does airing out mattresses outside do any good? (Friday, May 25, 2012) — Airing out rugs and mattresses outdoors is a great way to disinfect them, thanks to a little thing called ultraviolet light. Find out how UV light can disinfect everything from rugs to water in this episode of BrainStuff.
How does a QWERTY keyboard work? (Wednesday, May 23, 2012) — The QWERTY keyboard is the standard for most computers today, but why are the letters arranged in such a peculiar way? Learn more about the QWERTY keyboard’s unusual layout — and how it compares to the Dvorak design — in this episode.
Why do newspapers turn yellow over time? (Monday, May 21, 2012) — Newspapers turn yellow over time because they contain lignin, a substance in wood that oxidates when exposed to air and light. Learn more about lignin and paper processing in this episode of BrainStuff.
A Visit to the National Mall (Friday, May 25, 2012) — Just in time for the 90th anniversary of the Lincoln Memorial, we look at the newest additions to the National Mall. What’s the controversy behind the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial? Why is the National Mall in danger?
Pop Culture Happy Hour: On Endings And Road Trips (Friday, May 25, 2012) — This week on Pop Culture Happy Hour, NPR Monkey See blogger Linda Holmes talks with Stephen Thompson, Trey Graham and Glen Weldon about pop culture finales — from television shows like Six Feet Under, Community, M.A.S.H., Buffy the Vampire Slayer and LOST to books like Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and comics like Calvin And Hobbes, Sandman and Y: The Last Man. Then a look at roadtrips and the pop culture they use to occupy and distract and energy while in the car. All that plus What’s Making Us Happy this week.
Episode 369: The Dictator (Wednesday, May 23, 2012) — We overthrow The Dictator and discuss the first trailer for The Master, plus Celebrity Apprentice finale, The Secret of Nimh and the John Connor curse.
Weddings (Wednesday, May 23, 2012) — Love them or hate them, weddings are a part of our lives. But why are they so expensive, and why does everyone feel entitled to judge everyone else’s nuptials?
Perfume: The Culture of Scent (Monday, May 21, 2012) — Have you ever wondered what Tracy and Holly smell like? They’ll tell you! They’re also eager to talk about how people use and perceive perfume, and why cottage-industry perfumeries attract such devoted followings.
The Football Concussion Crisis, Part 1 (Tuesday, May 15, 2012) — NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson joins former NBC anchor Stone Phillips and pathologist Bennet Omalu for a discussion of chronic traumatic encephalopathy among football players. Recorded May 12th at the Ensemblestudiotheatre.org, site of the new play Headstrong about the brain injury issue.
Sound Opinions with James Mercer of The Shins (Sunday, May 20, 2012) — We’ve got James Mercer of The Shins in rare, solo acoustic mode. And Jim and Greg review the new Norah Jones/Danger Mouse project.
Mitochondrial Eve (Thursday, May 24, 2012) — There’s something awe-inspiring about the prospect of a primordial mother figure. Scientists actually discovered such a woman – and her ghost resides in the genetics of every living human. In this episode, Julie and Robert get to know Mitochondrial Eve.
The Skin We Live In (Tuesday, May 22, 2012) — Our outer layer of flesh is beautiful, disgusting, painful and erotic. But what is it, exactly? What role does it play in anatomy and how will we change it in the future? In this episode, Robert and Julie take a close look at the skin we live in.
Operation Mincemeat, Part 2 (Wednesday, May 23, 2012) — Operation Mincemeat aimed to relay false information to the Nazis by dropping a corpse where they would find it, along with fake documents. The British agents gave their corpse a backstory to make it more believable. But was the story too good to be true?
A Visit to Clybourne Park (Monday, May 21, 2012) — The Pulitzer-winning play Clybourne Park took inspiration from Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin the Sun. In this episode, we talk to Clybourne Park’s Tony-nominated director Pam MacKinnon about the work and historical research that went into the play.
Are we obsessed with goals? (Thursday, May 24, 2012) — We’ve all been brought up to keep our eyes on the prize and our pedal to the medal when we go for that brass ring, but does the Western interest in goals verge on an insane obsession? Learn how goals work (and if they’re healthy) with Chuck and Josh.
How Labor Unions Work (Tuesday, May 22, 2012) — Yes, it’s true: Unions have a shady mob-related past and were originally championed by anarchists. Born from medieval trade guilds, these organizations also helped grow the American economy, and not only protected but established workers’ rights.
Colors (Monday, May 21, 2012) — Our world is saturated in color, from soft hues to violent stains. How does something so intangible pack such a visceral punch? This hour, in the name of science and poetry, Jad and Robert tear the rainbow to pieces.