Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #30 - NPR roundup

It's been a while since I've had an NPR roundup, so here are my favorite stories from the last few months.
  1. Couple Finds Good Will in Taste Tests - This couple tries a social experiment to see if people will share a taste of their food with them in restaurants. Amazingly just about everyone does. I don't know how I would react especially when it comes to sharing the germs.
  2. Concealed Weapon: Eels' Second Set of Teeth - Scientist recently discovered that the moray eel actually shoots a second set of teeth out of its throat, grabs fish and pulls it down its throat. Just like in Alien! But just when you are scared out of your wits, there is a funny surprise at the end of this story.
  3. Finding Redemption Through Acceptance - This essay for 'This I Believe' from a former interrogator at Guantanamo Bay was very moving and shows that tolerance and acceptance can be healing.
  4. Who is Singing Me Lullabies - One of many recent interviews with Oliver Sacks where he talks of an 85-year woman being haunted by songs which are most likely distant memories of her mother's singing when she was a child. Her mother had died when she was five.
  5. Music Alters Wine's Taste, Vintner Insists - Depending on the music, wine will have a different taste. Cheap wines will taste terrible with classical music and expensive wines will taste terrible with the Beach Boys. Skeptical correspondent Alex Cohen tries it out live and surprisingly agrees with vintner Clark Smith on every pairing.
  6. Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter... and Umami - For years scientists have insisted on the four basic tastes. But chefs and artists insisted there was another one. Finally science has caught up and recognized the fifth, Umami, or "delicious" in Japanese.
  7. Have You Heard About B flat - This one is for you Melissa! From alligators to black holes, this story tells how B flat does the oddest things.
  8. This American Life: Mapping - In Act 2 of this show, Toby Lester goes around mapping all the ambient sounds around him from the hum of a microwave to the fan of his computer. He would run to his keyboard to find the pitch of the sound. This segment really messed with my head because having perfect pitch, I am able to do this all the time. It often takes a conscious effort not to find the pitch of ambient noise. Bringing it to the forefront of my mind is the last thing I need.
  9. 35 Years Later Michael Caine Returns to Sleuth - I'm a big fan of Sir Michael Caine and think that it is great that he has taken on the other role in Sleuth. He is charming as ever in this interview.
  10. The Generation Who Can't Wait to Move Up in Work - Today's 20-somethings, known as the Millennial Generation, are eager to climb up the corporate ladder without putting in the time on the lower rungs. They are hard-working and motivated, but expect that they can skip the grunt work.
  11. Study Sees Rise in Narcissism Among Students - This goes hand in hand with the previous item. Parents coddle their kids to the point that their self-esteem hits egomania.
  12. Death by Excited Delirium: Diagnosis or Coverup? - This was a fascinating yet disturbing story about deaths of overweight men dying in police custody while resisting arrest. Autopsies show that they don't die of excessive force but by organ failure associated with high body temperatures. Civil liberties group claim that it is a police cover-up and it is not recognized by medical associations.
  13. Atomic Tuneup: How the Body Rejuvenates Itself - 98 percent of the atoms in the body are replaced yearly. Does that mean we are new people every year? How do we maintain our soul if our atoms are constantly being replaced?


Anonymous said...

I loved the first version of Sleuth. I'm looking forward to seeing the new one.

Zenmomma said...

I've been listening to a lot of NPR lately. Now I've got more to go and check out. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I heard the show on mapping! I really enjoyed the part with the guy who mapped his city via sewers, pumpkins etc. And then noted the patterns in his community -- powerful people had the more historic homes, and more pumpkins! Wild!

Qtpies7 said...

Great list! Loved the eels, too, that is frightening!

Melissa said...

SEE! It's not just me! The gators hate it too! And it's the SAME B FLAT!

I'll have to go back and read the others when I have some more time...:)

Cindy Swanson said...

My goodness...I just listened to the one about the Irish lady, and it was so fascinating it gave me chills! Amazing!

Thanks for sharing.

Tink said...

I didn't know what NPR was, but now you've opened a new world to me! :-)
Thanks for visiting my 13 books TT.