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Discussion: The Year In Music, 2012 (Wednesday, December 05, 2012) — This has been a phenomenal year for music. Veterans Neil Young and Crazy Horse released not one but two ambitious and ingenious albums. New artists such as Kishi Bashi and Alt-J appeared with exciting and unusual records. Cat Power returned from a six-year hiatus with the best album she’s ever made. That’s just some of the wonderful, unpredictable and endlessly fascinating music of 2012. On this edition of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton chat with NPR Music critic Ann Powers and editor Stephen Thompson about the music that mattered most to them in 2012.
Book Review Podcast (Friday, December 07, 2012) — This week, a discussion of the Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2012; Caroline Weber talks about Duran Duran; Leslie Kaufman has notes from the field; Steven Heller on his latest Visuals column; and Gregory Cowles has best-seller news. Sam Tanenhaus is the host.
NPR: 12-06-2012 Books (Thursday, December 06, 2012) — Stories: 1) Dozens Of Covers Later, ‘Hallelujah’ Endures 2) PBS Remixes ‘Reading Rainbow,’ Delights Map And Book Nerds Everywhere 3) Susan Straight: One Home Town, Many Voices 4) Neil deGrasse Tyson Helps His New ‘Bud’ Superman Get A Glimpse Of Home 5) No Mystery: Agatha Christie Takes A ‘Grand Tour’.
How can the grass on a golf course green be so perfect? (Friday, December 07, 2012) — The greens on a golf course are famously smooth and perfect-looking, but how do they get that way? Discover how careful planning, the right ingredients and a whole lot of maintenance yield a flawless green in this episode of BrainStuff.
How many people work at a Formula 1 pit stop? (Wednesday, December 05, 2012) — If you’ve ever seen a Formula 1 race, then you know the race isn’t just between cars — it’s also between pit stop crews. In seven seconds these crews perform an entire pit stop. But how does it work, and how many people does it take? Tune in to find out.
What happens when pregnant women smoke cigarettes? (Monday, December 03, 2012) — When pregnant women smoke, they expose their developing babies to a host of addictive, harmful chemicals. In this episode, Marshall Brain explains how nicotine and other compounds found in cigarettes affect developing fetuses.
Singapore (Friday, December 07, 2012) — Singapore offers visitors a wide array of attractions, from multicultural cuisine to performing arts. Find out why Singapore is a great place for theater — and good behavior — in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Second Acts And Party People, Or Not (Friday, December 07, 2012) — This week on Pop Culture Happy Hour, NPR Monkey See’s Linda Holmes, Stephen Thompson, Trey Graham and Glen Weldon talk about people who have had great second acts. Favorites include former Star Trek star Wil Wheaton and writer Quinn Cummings. Also, people we’d like to party with — or rather, would like to party with if we were “party with people” kinds of people. All that, plus What’s Making Us Happy this week.
Episode 396: Killing Them Softly (Tuesday, December 04, 2012) — We try to cut through the red tape in Killing Them Softly and discuss the trailer for A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, plus Wages of Fear, Sorcerer, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Waiting Room, Husbands, Sexy Beast and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
The Things They Taught Me (Wednesday, December 05, 2012) — College, at its best, is about learning to think. Stephen Dubner chats up three of his former professors who made the magic happen.
Trading Places: Gender Roles at Work (Wednesday, December 05, 2012) — There’s been lots of talk about women making great strides towards workplace equality, but what about men who take on occupations traditionally held by women? Join Tracy and Holly as they ask why the fight for gender equality only seems to go one way.
These Mockumentaries Go to 11 (Monday, December 03, 2012) — From “This is Spinal Tap” to “Borat” and beyond, Tracy and Holly talk about faux documentary style, the difference between a spoof and a hoax, and the ethics of mockumentary filmmaking.
David Quammen: The Spillover of Animal Infections to Humans (Sunday, November 18, 2012) — David Quammen talks about his latest book, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. From his Web site: “The next big and murderous human pandemic, the one that kills us in millions, will be caused by a new disease–new to humans, anyway. The bug that’s responsible will be strange, unfamiliar, but it won’t come from outer space. Odds are that the killer pathogen–most likely a virus–will spill over into humans from a nonhuman animal.”
Sound Opinions with Divine Fits (Sunday, December 02, 2012) — Divine Fits – the duo of Spoon’s Britt Daniel and Handsome Furs’ Dan Boeckner – pay a visit to the Sound Opinions studios. And later in the show, Rihanna’s making news again, but how’s the music? Jim and Greg review the queen of pop’s ubiquitous new album, Unapologetic.
The Killing Joke (Thursday, December 06, 2012) — Modern minds likely turn to Monty Python when the notion of lethal comedy arises, but accounts of death by laughter date back to ancient times. Can a joke really kill a person? In this episode, Robert and Julie explore the dark side of laughter.
The Healing Power of Laughter (Tuesday, December 04, 2012) — They say laughter is the best medicine, but is there any science to back that up? In this episode, Julie and Robert discuss what laughter does to us physically and neurologically. And maybe, just maybe, Julie will grow to love laughter yoga.
A Comanche Story: Quanah Parker (Wednesday, December 05, 2012) — In this episode, we tell the story of Cynthia Ann Parker’s son, the Comanche war chief Quanah Parker. Quanah led Comanche forces until his defeat at Adobe Walls. He then encouraged his people to settle on the reservation, refusing to sacrifice his culture.
Mutiny on the Bounty (Update) (Monday, December 03, 2012) — In an update to this podcast about the mutiny that took place aboard the HMS Bounty in 1789, we discuss the fate of the replica Bounty made in 1962. During Hurricane Sandy, the Bounty was headed from Connecticut to Florida. But what happened next?
Will we reach peak oil? (Thursday, December 06, 2012) — A 2012 report showed that the U.S. may be energy-independent in just a few years, but not too long ago the specter of peak oil loomed large on the political and economic landscape. Join Chuck and Josh as they visit the consequences of running out of oil.
How Vampires Work (Tuesday, December 04, 2012) — Out of obligation, Chuck and Josh mention Twilight, but it is the longstanding vampire lore that gets the most attention in this examination of how the bloodsucking undead evolved from baby-stealing demonesses to suave counts in our collective psyche.
Shorts: Raising Crane (Monday, December 03, 2012) — In this short, costumed scientists create a carefully choreographed childhood for a flock of whooping cranes to save them from extinction. It’s the ultimate feel-good story, but it also raises some troubling questions about what it takes to get a species back to being wild.