29 March 2012

It's Pledge Drive! Won't You Be Our Neighbor?

Huzzah, it's pledge drive time! Won't You Be Our Neighbor?

Please consider opening your wallet just a little to keep awesome stuff on the air at the hippest little radio station in town .

These next two weeks we'll be playing some of the best short pieces from shows over the last year.

You can give us a call at 612-375-9030 and pledge your support for member-supported, independent public radio. Or you can easily contribute at the KFAI website too - be sure to mention "Listening Lounge" as your show of choice!

Last night we played Dock Ellis & The LSD No-No by Neille Ilel about Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher throwing a no-hitter while on some not-so-performance-enhancing drugs. This appeared in our Strange But True Baseball Stories episode from last spring. Next, we heard about a different sort of pirate: Indonesian Pirates. A story about dudes with machetes who rob cargo ships from “mic-slinger” Kelly McEvers. And we closed out the show with The Saddest President from our Everyday Blahs show about depression. Nate DiMeo of the Memory Palace schools us on Franklin Pierce's amiable personality and handsome appearance that caused him to make many friends, though he suffered much tragedy in his personal life.


Tune-in next week for more greatest hits AND be sure to pledge your support for great radio!

21 March 2012

Star Hustlers - Airs March 21st

Welcome to the Star Party by Ashley Cleek
The story is about a dark night sky festivals at Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine. Dark Sky Festivals started around a decade ago, as park rangers and astronomers noticed that light pollution was slowly diminishing the night sky, causing the stars to disappear. But further research has shown that light pollution also disrupts animals' circadian rhythms, altering feeding times and in turn ratios of predator and prey. In addition, scientific studies now show that the disruption of humans' circadian rhythm could be one cause of breast cancer. 

Stellar Guidance
by Tom Niemisto
Celestial bodies are a curious mystery to gaze up at on a summer night.  Human cultures have a long history of creating stories and myths about the shapes stars seem to take on. Stars also have served a practical purpose for navigators on ocean bound vessels.  With the help of a sextant and nautical chart it is possible to deduce a precise location without the help of GPS devices.  We hear from Captain Samantha Heyman who has used celestial navigation on cross-ocean voyages for years and found the stars to be loyal companions on an often inhospitable ocean. 

Captain Galactic
from Josie Hotlzman
For many, space travel is the stuff of childhood dreams, a fleeting fancy that may lead to a week at space camp or an extensive collection of space adventure movies.  But for retired pharmacist and businessman, Steve LeVerdiere, this is a childhood dream he would never outgrow. Now, with the expansion of the space tourism industry, Steve's dream will finally become a reality.

Besides Life Here
by Molly Graham
What happens when the most important event in your whole life is something thought to be impossible?
When Jack Weiner and Charlie Foltz went fishing something happened that changed who they are forever. The problem is: no one believes them.

13 March 2012

The Voices of Vern Nash - Airs March 14th

The Voices of Vern Nash by Thelon Oeming
How many times do we try to avoid eye contact with some mentally disturbed person on the street or in a train station shouting at their tormenting demons?  Well, the day Thelon moved into an apartment in a working class area of Toronto, he saw a hunched-back man shouting to himself in the middle of the street. Soon after, the sounds of an accordion filled the air and Thelon discovered that this tormented man was Vern Nash, his new neighbor. As a radio producer Thelon’s first instincts were to record Vern. Then he thought maybe he could even help him. Here is a daring story about the contact of two people who live in different worlds yet just across the street from each other. We played a truncated version of this program some time back -- this time around we're going to let the whole simply told and profoundly human tale unwind on air for you.

07 March 2012

The Art of War - Airs March 7th

A Really Happy Kid by Will Everet
A new generation of post-war Iraqi children is coming of age. One of them is ten-year old Ossama Ahmad. He vividly remembers when family fled to Syria and it comes out in his artwork. Reporter Will Everett met the ten year old on a recent trip to Damascus and files this reporter’s notebook.

Ink and M16s by Mujahid Suliman
In a war you have your typical players. They're the soldiers, the medics ...and the artist. Following in Winslow Homer's footsteps, Steve Mumford decided to go to war. Two weeks after the Untied States invaded Iraq he flew to Kuwait and made his way up to Baghdad with is pen and paper.

A Soldier's Story Set To Gunfire by Noah Nelson
Acclaimed first-time filmmaker Danfung Dennis worked for several years as a war photographer. He came to feel that his still photos didn’t portray what he was seeing and hearing on the ground.
So Dennis outfitted his Canon 5D Mark II with a jerry rigged set of stereo sound equipment and made the documentary Hell and Back Again. His film makes an unusual choice in that there is no musical score. Instead, he uses sounds gathered on the battlefield and manipulates them to highlight the emotion of the story. Noah Nelson of Turnstyle News reports.

What Little Girls Make by Susan Barrett Price
The rug weavers of Afghanistan, long renowned for their artistry, depict on their rugs the world that they see. Like television news, their rugs “report” current events. Since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979
 Afghan weavers have borne witness to disaster by weaving unprecedented images of battle and weaponry into their rugs. Birds, sheep, flowers, have all turned into helicopters, Kalashnikovs, and hand-grenades.

Paint the Fallen by Tom Banse
Using a family's favorite photo, a professional custom hand-drawn portrait is available free of charge to families of all service men and women killed in Iraq or Afghanistan from artist Michael Reagan. Michael's goal with his
Fallen Heroes Project is to draw a portrait of every solider that is asked of him. So far he has drawn 2,700. Northwest News Network Correspondent Tom Banse has this profile of a Vietnam Vet with new mission. 

US Army Theater by Adam Allington
Bravo! is the United States Army's touring theater company. Soldiers audition and commit to a 6 month tour as professional actors and tour the world performing at military bases, hospitals and community theaters. Adam interviews the company after a show of "Pvt. Wars" by
James McClure at the Patton Barracks in Heidelberg, Germany. 

Arlington National Bugler
from ArtsEdge
Master Sgt. Jari Villanueva has spent his entire career playing bugle in the Air Force Ceremonial Brass. Jari describes his work, playing at ceremonial arrivals at the White House and playing Taps at funerals at Arlington. He also talks about the history of bugle calls and about the most famous playing of
taps; at President Kennedy's funeral.

Soviet Art in America
by Julia Barton
Some twenty years ago, the Soviet Union was in its last throes. A hardline Communist coup failed in August 1991, but officially the USSR still existed until December. As the empire crumbled, a huge cultural edifice dedicated to the arts crumbled with it. The Soviet art world - especially painting - was its own ecosystem, largely closed off from trends in the Western art world. Now, as Julia tells us, the remains of that Soviet ecosystem have a
museum in America's heartland.