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This Week’s Essential Listening, From Animal Collective, Cat Power, Menomena And More (Tuesday, August 28, 2012) — All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are back from their 2012 World Tour, which is to say they visited Seattle and Portland, Ore. last week, and have returned with a batch of new songs and stories to share. Also on the show: A peek at Animal Collective’s latest sonic adventures on the group’s new album Centipede Hz; The Brooklyn-based duo Buke and Gase are back with an equally adventurous EP called Function Falls; We’ve got a gritty new song from Menomena, and composer and arranger Matthew E. White pays homage to early Randy Newman Americana on White’s debut solo record, Big Inner.
Book Review Podcast (Friday, August 31, 2012) — This week, Christopher Buckley talks about Christopher Hitchens’s Mortality; Julie Bosman has notes from the field; Barry Gewen discusses George Orwell’s diaries; and Gregory Cowles has best-seller news. Sam Tanenhaus is the host.
NPR: 08-30-2012 Books (Thursday, August 30, 2012) — Stories: 1) In ‘The Brontes,’ Details Of A Family’s Strange World 2) Michigan Author Dreams Up A Deadlier Ann Arbor 3) A Linguist’s Serious Take On ‘The A-Word’ 4) ‘The Ethicist’ Explains How To ‘Be Good’ 5) Slaughter In The Subway: A Tale Of New York Terror
What makes your arms, legs and feet fall asleep? (Friday, August 31, 2012) — When you put prolonged pressure on your feet, arms or legs, you temporarily cut off or scramble communications between your brain and your body parts. Marshall explains exactly what happens when body parts “fall sleep” in this episode.
How do airport scanners work? (Wednesday, August 29, 2012) — The new full-body scanners used at airports in the United States have caused a huge controversy — but how do they work? In this episode, Marshall breaks down the science behind full-body scanners, along with the uproar they’ve caused.
Why is the Nissan Leaf such a big deal? (Monday, August 27, 2012) — Nissan recently released the Leaf, a model which may be the first viable electric car to come on the market. How does it work? Why do people have high hopes for it? Tune in to this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com to find out more about the Nissan Leaf.
Mooving through Vermont (Friday, August 31, 2012) — Join us on a dairy-themed tour of the Green Mountain State; we’ll stop for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Cabot Cheese and other creamy delights. Listen in to learn more about Vermont.
Dog Days And Classic Film Talk (Friday, August 31, 2012) — This week on Pop Culture Happy Hour, NPR Monkey See’s Linda Holmes, Trey Graham, Stephen Thompson and Glen Weldon talk pop culture dogs. Now that the dog days of summer have come to an end, they share their favorite dogs from TV and film — including Doug from ‘Up’ and Vincent from ‘LOST.’ They also recommend some lesser-known classic movies. All that, plus What’s Making Us Happy this week.
Episode 383: The Tony Scott Tribute (Monday, August 27, 2012) — We revisit the entire filmography of the late great Tony Scott from The Hunger and Top Gun to Man on Fire and Unstoppable.
PopStuff Gets Its Hair Did(n’t) (Wednesday, August 29, 2012) — Why are we so obsessed with hair? It’s the one physical characteristic that we can easily alter, but is there more to our hair fixation than mere self expression? And what does hair really say about the person wearing it?
Culture of Cuckoldry (Monday, August 27, 2012) — Cheating on a romantic partner is extremely common. But why do people cheat, and why are there online communities devoted to helping would-be cheaters find one another? Does monogamy need a makeover, or is every relationship unique?
The Flynn Effect: Modernity Made Us Smarter (Monday, August 20, 2012) — James Flynn studies intelligence at the University of Otago in New Zealand. And he features prominently in an article called “Can We Keep Getting Smarter?” in the September issue of Scientific American magazine. Back on July 10, Flynn visited the SA offices, where he chatted with a group of editors.
Sound Opinions: The Best Days of the Week Songs (Sunday, August 26, 2012) — Jim and Greg celebrate the best Days of the Week songs and review the new album from psychedelic pop band Yeasayer.
Mother’s Milk (Thursday, August 30, 2012) — Milk isn’t just an infant-sustaining breast beverage. Join Julie and Robert as they explore the world of lactation. How does milk strengthen our bodies against infection? When did humans mutate into cross-species milk guzzlers? Tune in to learn more.
Personhood: The Animal and Robot Edition (Tuesday, August 28, 2012) — What exactly is personhood? Over time, the term “person” has evolved to include numerous concepts. In this episode, Julie and Robert explore the nature of personhood and sticky concept of consciousness as applied to animals and robots.
How the Mayan Calendar Works, Revisited (Wednesday, August 29, 2012) — In this classic episode, former hosts Candace and Jane explain how the Mayan long count calendar works. We also discuss some other doomsday prophesies from 1666 and 1910, when people feared Halley’s Comet would poison them with gasses from its tail.
5 Historical Storms (Monday, August 27, 2012) — Catastrophic storms are almost historical characters in their own right, leaving indelible marks on the places they affect. Here, we cover five of history’s most destructive storms, including the Tri-state Tornado of 1925 and the Great Hurricane of 1780.
How Flesh-eating Bacteria Work (Thursday, August 30, 2012) — Possibly the most horrifically-named disease anyone could contract, flesh-eating bacteria can lead quickly lead to amputations and death. Learn about how this disease works and how to prevent it in this episode with Chuck and Josh.
How the Electoral College Works (Tuesday, August 28, 2012) — When you vote in an American presidential election, you’re not voting for your candidate – you’re voting for a group of people you hope will in turn vote for your candidate. Listen in to learn more about the strange process for electing the president.
Shorts: Inside “Ouch!” (Tuesday, August 28, 2012) — Pain is a fundamental part of life, and often a very lonely part. Doctors want to understand their patients’ pain, and we all want to understand the suffering of our friends, relatives, or spouses. But pinning down another person’s hurt is a slippery business.