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Listener Picks: Your Favorite Albums Of 2012 (Wednesday, December 12, 2012) — We’re a big family at NPR, with amazing member stations and listeners tuning in or clicking from all over the world. Last week, when All Songs Considered posted its annual poll inviting people to pick their favorite albums of 2012, thousands of votes poured in from those listeners with sometimes surprising results. Babel, by Mumford & Sons, is the listener pick for the 2012 album of the year. As you work your way through the rest of the most popular records you’ll probably see a lot that you love, and you’ll also likely find some that leave you scratching your head. On this week’s All Songs Considered we countdown through the top 25 most popular records from our listener poll.
Book Review Podcast (Friday, December 14, 2012) — This week, Molly Haskell discusses two new books about old Hollywood; Leslie Kaufman has notes from the field; Liesl Schillinger on three books about the world of high fashion; and Gregory Cowles has best-seller news. Sam Tanenhaus is the host.
NPR: 12-13-2012 Books (Thursday, December 13, 2012) — Stories: 1) Great Reads In Store: Indie Booksellers Pick 2012’s Best 2) Oprah’s Book Club Turns Over A New Page 3) A Wintry Mix: Alan Cheuse Selects The Season’s Best 4) The Feds Can Tell Ernest Hemingway’s Cats What To Do; Here’s Why 5) ‘Torn’: Living As An Openly Gay Christian
Why can’t we breathe underwater? (Friday, December 14, 2012) — Water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen, so why aren’t we able to breathe underwater? Find out in this episode of BrainStuff.
What is Windows Safe Mode? (Wednesday, December 12, 2012) — Safe Mode is a feature of the Windows operating system that allows users to load a limited version of the system in order to troubleshoot problems. Learn more about using Safe Mode in this episode.
How does the public option work? (Monday, December 10, 2012) — In the current U.S. debate over health care reform, a government-sponsored public option has been a controversial topic. Tune in to this episode of BrainStuff to hear Marshall Brain explain the nuances and implications of the public option.
Angkor Wat (Friday, December 14, 2012) — The Cambodian temple of Angkor Wat is a wonder of the ancient world — and it’s also a great place to climb stairs. Find out why stair climbing and Ankgor Wat rank as the Coolest Stuff on the Planet in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Is Everything Worse Than Ever? And A Gift Guide! (Friday, December 14, 2012) — This week on Pop Culture Happy Hour, NPR Monkey See’s Linda Holmes, Stephen Thompson, Trey Graham and Glen Weldon ponder a question that seems to come up over and over again: Is culture really worse than it’s ever been? And if it isn’t, why do people keep saying it is? Also, a gift guide and a little more guidance on this weekend’s live event at NPR headquarters. All that, plus What’s Making Us Happy this week.
Episode 397: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Monday, December 17, 2012) — We review The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and debate the 48 fps experience plus we also discuss new trailers for Star Trek Into Darkness and Pacific Rim, Mirror Mirror, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Die Nibelungen, Dick Tracy and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
Have a Very Homo Economicus Christmas (Wednesday, December 12, 2012) — Who better than an economist to help with your shopping list?
Hobbitses (Wednesday, December 12, 2012) — It’s time for a trip to Middle Earth! Peter Jackson’s latest film based on Tolkien’s work is here, and Tracy and Holly are eager to talk about it. And they both want to fly Air New Zealand, just for the pre-flight safety video.
PopStuff’s Family Game Night (Monday, December 10, 2012) — While many of us grew up with Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit, there’s a whole new world of tabletop games out there — and their popularity is on the rise. How has this entertainment arena endured, and why are so many people returning to non-digital games?
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.”
The Best Albums of 2012 (Sunday, December 09, 2012) — They’ve made their lists and checked em’ twice. Now the big moment has arrived: Jim and Greg reveal the Best Albums of 2012 and hear some of your nominations.
The Dark Side of Creativity (Thursday, December 13, 2012) — Creative minds make our favorite art and develop unique solutions to real-world problems. But is there a dark side? Are creative minds more prone to madness and deception? In this episode, Julie and Robert turn the tables on innovation.
Parasite Got Your Tongue? (Tuesday, December 11, 2012) — Organisms do what they can to get ahead and sometimes that means crawling inside a fish head and chewing out a niche. In this episode, Robert and Julie get to know Cymothoa exigua, the horrifying and ingenious parasite that replaces a fish’s tongue.
Why was Juana called “la Loca”? Part 1 (Wednesday, December 12, 2012) — Juana of Castile has gone down in history as “Juana la Loca.” But Juana’s mental state was likely not as bad as it seemed. Was she instead the victim of conniving relatives? In this episode, we discuss Juana’s youth, her marriage and more.
The Johnstown Flood (Monday, December 10, 2012) — On May 31, 1889, the South Fork dam gave way, sending 20 million tons of water rushing toward Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The water swept up everything in its path, and it only took about 10 minutes to wash away Johnstown. But was nature solely to blame?
How Condoms Work (Thursday, December 13, 2012) — The earliest depiction of a condom is found in a 15,000-year-old cave painting. Ever since humans realized sex led to children, we’ve been using condoms to prevent pregnancy. Join Josh and Chuck for this comprehensive tour of all things condom.
Why isn’t the U.S. on the metric system? (Tuesday, December 11, 2012) — The U.S. stands proudly defiant and the world looks at Americans as dopes for the U.S.’s stubborn refusal to go metric. However, the States have been going metric for about 150 years. Find out what’s the haps in this weighty and measured episode of SYSK.
Bliss (Monday, December 17, 2012) — Moments of total, world-shaking bliss are not easy to come by. Maybe that’s what makes them feel so life-altering when they strike. And so worth chasing. This hour: stories of striving, grasping, tripping, and falling for happiness, perfection, and ideals.