On the Blog

May 30, 2012

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Today the 2012 World Science Festival kicks off in venues across New York City. Two memories that jump out at me from past events are Bobby McFerrin’s demonstration of the universality of the pentatonic scale and string theorist Jim Gates’ story about encountering “God” on an Icelandic mountaintop.

And, in attendance will be our former senior producer Colleen Scheck will be doing a bit of moonlighting forOn Being. During the next several days, she and Peter Clowney will be scouting potential voices for future interviews with Krista and blogging + tweeting some of the highlights and provocative ideas.

May 30, 2012

54% of Egyptians see Turkey as an aspirational model for the role Islam should play in the Egyptian political system. A great piece detailing three things Turkey does right that a new Egyptian government could emulate.

May 29, 2012

“I would never have guessed in a million years that my hijab would have led me to fencing, to a sport, but also that I would have grown to love this sport so much. It’s so much a part of who I am; I can’t even imagine life without it.”
~Ibtihaj Muhammad, Olympic hopeful in fencing

Great article reminding us that Muslim sportswomen are changing perceptions and rules in sport and in society at large.

May 28, 2012

I first began to gain a kind of respect for the revenge impulse in human life when we worked, in the early days of this program, on a show about the death penalty. I came to understand that revenge was the original “criminal justice system.” For most of human history, prior to the rule of law, prior to structures of justice that transcend the messiness of human interaction, the threat of retaliation has been a primary tool humans possessed to pursue justice and also to deter cycles of violence. I’ll never forget Sister Helen Prejean, a great campaigner against the death penalty, The Last Words of Texas' Death Row Inmatsdescribing anger as a moral response. The question, of course, is where we let that anger take us.

May 24, 2012

A marvelous way to take in the depths of a sister planet teaming with lesson for Earth.

May 23, 2012

Book Cover (Cradling Monsoons)Your inner ear has fully formed.
You can hear now. I’ve heard
of mothers playing their unborn babies
Bach and Mozart because classical music
makes the brain’s spatial connections
arc towards one another like the fingertips
of Adam and God in the Sistine.

I’ve played no such music for you, and maybe,
some day, when the boy you pine for
is majoring in architecture
or when your brain goes cloudy
as you stare at your pop quiz in geometry,
you’ll hold this against me.

May 22, 2012

by Susan Leem, associate producer

Barley in the fieldPhoto by Kwan C./Flickr, cc by-nc-nd 2.0

May 18, 2012

“The more important thing which spoke to me — above love and all that — was that I had to live for my own identity. I wanted to stand on my own two feet and do what was right, regardless of any social pressure.”

Thirty-four years after he first defied India's caste system to "marry up," a Jain man talks about the perseverance and difficulties of marrying outside his caste in India.

May 17, 2012

The back story to how the spoken word artist's poem came to end our show.

May 17, 2012

Making quality public radio and illustrating a guest’s point can be a tricky. Take, for instance, the poem going into the midpoint break of our interview with Sarah Kay. The clip is excerpted from Ms. Kay’s June 2010 performance of “Tshotsholoza” at the Acumen Fund’s *spark! event in New York City.

What we hoped for was a broadcast-quality recording. Unfortunately, the Acumen Fund only had a YouTube video of it. The audio is good but not great, but the strength of the content took precedent over the quality of the audio. So, our technical director stripped the audio from the video, imported it into ProTools, added some broadband noise reduction to minimize the buzz and hum, and then used audio compression to aid in some of the dynamic range.

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