Tag Archives | ThoughtCast Shorts

The Borromeo String Quartet Meets Steve Reich!

Note: So far, this piece has been broadcast on the following public radio stations:  New Hampshire Public Radio’s Word of MouthWDAV’s Artist Spotlight, Tapestry on 90.3 WBHM in Birmingham Alabama, WRVO in Upstate NY and KUAR, in Little Rock!

Borromeo String Quartet (photo: Christian Steiner)

Steve Reich is perhaps the preeminent composer living today. And one of his most heart-wrenching and affecting works is called Different Trains for String Quartet and Tape. It tells the story of Steve Reich’s early childhood — his train trips between the East and West coasts to visit his separated parents — and also of the train trips Jews were forced to take during the Holocaust.

The piece, commissioned by the Kronos Quartet in 1988, is notoriously difficult to play. But the Borromeo String Quartet has taken up the challenge. ThoughtCast’s Jenny Attiyeh attended a rehearsal at the New England Conservatory, where the Borromeo is currently in residence.

Click here: to listen — (7 minutes) on ThoughtCast!

Click here: for a shorter version (4:30 mins.)

Posted on October 7, 2017 in a new podcast, Front Page, Music
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Words @ Work: The Origins of “Rock”

Note: this piece was broadcast on NJN (New Jersey Public Radio), New Hampshire Public Radio and WMUB, an NPR station in Oxford, Ohio. It was also podcast on KXCI.org, in Tucson.

Why Not?
What does the word rock mean? Simple enough question. But how did the term originate? Where — and why? These questions are bit more difficult to answer!

Tune in for a quick romp through the origins of the word — with Berklee College of Music professor Ken Zambello.
Click here: to listen (3:30 minutes).
(And thanks to Pam Scrutton and Planning For Elders for the “Let’s Rock and Roll” illustration!)

Posted on April 9, 2011 in Front Page, Music, Words@Work
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The Dopamine Economy

Note: this story was picked up by WAMC, Northeast Public Radio, and also broadcast on the WGBH affiliate WCAI/WNAN, on the Cape and Islands!

dopamine brain
dopamine brain
Wall Street on Drugs: What motivated these former masters of the universe? And why did they act like kindergartners? ThoughtCast’s Jenny Attiyeh speaks with James Poterba, the Mitsui Professor of Economics at MIT, and Jonah Lehrer, the author of “Proust Was a Neuroscientist” and “How We Decide”, as well as the writer and public intellectual Jim Holt and the Harvard economist Alberto Alesina.
Here’s another question — don’t the continental Europeans like dopamine as much as we do? And — where do we get our fix now??

Click here to listen (3:24 minutes.)

Posted on April 7, 2009 in Economics, MIT, Psychology
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Turbulent Times for Truth Tellers? Just ask the Nieman Foundation…

This year’s Narrative Journalism conference, sponsored by Harvard’s Nieman Foundation, was titled “Telling True Stories in Turbulent Times.” With magazines folding and newspapers shrinking, these are hard days for narrative journalists: they need space, time and funding to do their work, all of which are in short supply in today’s web-driven media economy.  ThoughtCast spoke with several of the presenters at the conference, including keynote speaker and Pulitzer prize-winning columnist Connie Schultz, award-winning author and journalist Adam Hochschild, and Nieman’s own Joshua Benton. The title does indeed appear to be apt…

To listen to a talk with Adam Hochschild on the Forum Network, click here!

Posted on April 3, 2009 in Public Media
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Public Radio goes Hollywood!

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series The Future of Public Radio

Note: This piece has been picked up by KYOU Radio, in San Francisco, and it’s also been mentioned on Current.org and the PRPD site — thanks for that!

PRPD
Public radio could easily be described as a smashing success story. Take NPR, for example. From its counter-cultural roots in the early 1970s, it has grown to become one of the most trusted sources of journalism in the United States. Although it still is accused of liberal bias, an equal number of liberals and conservatives find themselves drawn to its reassuring sound. So – what’s the problem? Like newspapers and symphony orchestras, public radio has a graying audience and it is having trouble attracting younger people and minorities. So today, in order to stay viable, public radio’s job is to reach out to new listeners. But at what cost, if any?
ThoughtCast attended the Public Radio Program Directors Association conference this September in Hollywood, and spoke with:

Jeff Hansen, program director at KUOW in Seattle
Mike Crane, COO of Wisconsin Public Radio
John Voci, the general manager of WGBH radio in Boston
Jennifer Ferro, assistant general manager of KCRW in Santa Monica
Sam Fleming, managing director of news and programs at WBUR, Boston
Chris Bannon, program director of WNYC in New York City.

Click here: to listen (7 minutes).

Posted on October 8, 2008 in Public Media
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Our American “Empire” with Niall Ferguson

Note: This interview has been picked up by the public radio stations WGBH, in Boston, its affiliates WCAI and WNAN, and WCVE in Richmond, VA.

Niall Ferguson
In some ways, the Scottish historian Niall Ferguson is the Russell Crowe of the academic world: charismatic, unconventional, and definitely controversial. He’s also a big fan of the British Empire — and wants the United States to follow in its footsteps. That means it’s our job to form colonies in hot climates, for years on end.
But are we up for this? While Niall would like that to be the case, he doesn’t really think so, because, he says, we’re an empire “in denial”
Click here: to listen to a 4 minute excerpt.
Click here: to listen to the entire interview (15:30 minutes).

And to listen to an interview with Niall Ferguson on the WGBH Forum Network, click here!

Posted on July 23, 2008 in Economics, Front Page, Harvard Luminaries, History, Politics
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