Browsing articles from "October, 2015"

‘Cecil The Lion,’ ‘Clock Boy,’ Other Newsmakers Become Latest Halloween Costume Ideas

Oct 31, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on ‘Cecil The Lion,’ ‘Clock Boy,’ Other Newsmakers Become Latest Halloween Costume Ideas

Many Halloween outfits these days are just as likely to be ripped straight from your newsfeed as they are from comic books or horror movies. Host Michel Martin takes a look at a couple of this year’s news-inspired costumes.

From Only Child To Older Sister To Adoptee, Under China’s One-Child Policy

Oct 31, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on From Only Child To Older Sister To Adoptee, Under China’s One-Child Policy

In 2005, when she was 12 years old, Ricki Mudd (center) traveled to China to meet her birth father Wu Jin Cai, birth brother Wu Chao and birth mother Xu Xian Zhen. Mudd had been given up for adoption after Wu Chao was born; her family wanted a son, and her parents were limited to one child.i

In 2005, when she was 12 years old, Ricki Mudd (center) traveled to China to meet her birth father Wu Jin Cai, birth brother Wu Chao and birth mother Xu Xian Zhen. Mudd had been given up for adoption after Wu Chao was born; her family wanted a son, and her parents were limited to one child.

Courtesy of Ricky Mudd


hide caption

itoggle caption

Courtesy of Ricky Mudd

In 2005, when she was 12 years old, Ricki Mudd (center) traveled to China to meet her birth father Wu Jin Cai, birth brother Wu Chao and birth mother Xu Xian Zhen. Mudd had been given up for adoption after Wu Chao was born; her family wanted a son, and her parents were limited to one child.

In 2005, when she was 12 years old, Ricki Mudd (center) traveled to China to meet her birth father Wu Jin Cai, birth brother Wu Chao and birth mother Xu Xian Zhen. Mudd had been given up for adoption after Wu Chao was born; her family wanted a son, and her parents were limited to one child.

Courtesy of Ricky Mudd

This week, the Chinese government announced a major change: all Chinese families will now be permitted to have two children.

For 35 years, the nation’s one-child policy shaped the lives of millions of people around the world — including Ricki Mudd.

Mudd is one of more than 100,000 children, mostly girls, who have been adopted from China since the early 1990s. But unlike many adoptees, Mudd knows her backstory.

She was born to a rural family, in a region where there was intense pressure to have a boy. So her family hid her away, hoping they’d have a son.

When they did, and their older daughter’s existence was discovered, she was taken by authorities, turned over to an orphanage and, eventually, adopted by a Seattle family.

Mudd wrote in the Washington Post about how she discovered her personal history — and why, instead of feeling rejected by her birth family’s choices, she feels fortunate. She’s also the subject of a documentary, Ricki’s Promise, about a long trip she recently took to China to stay with her birth family.

Faced with an aging population, China has eased its one-child policy. Here, an elderly man is seen holding a baby as he rides a bicycle in Beijing last month.

She tells NPR’s Michel Martin that growing up in America, and reuniting with her birth family in China, has let her embrace elements of both cultures.

“People ask me whether I believe I’m Chinese or American, and it really comes down to, well, I’m both,” she says.

Interview Highlights

On how she felt when her birth parents contacted her when she was 9

It was very emotionally overwhelming a bit. I think for me at 9 years old, it was hard for me to really sort out what my feelings were. There was happiness, there was anxiety, there was curiosity.

China's one-child policy kept siblings Ricki Mudd and Wu Chao from growing up together. Sometimes it's odd to think that between us, Wu Chao is supposedly the privileged child, Mudd writes.i

China’s one-child policy kept siblings Ricki Mudd and Wu Chao from growing up together. “Sometimes it’s odd to think that between us, Wu Chao is supposedly the privileged child,” Mudd writes.

Courtesy of Ricki Mudd


hide caption

itoggle caption

Courtesy of Ricki Mudd

China's one-child policy kept siblings Ricki Mudd and Wu Chao from growing up together. Sometimes it's odd to think that between us, Wu Chao is supposedly the privileged child, Mudd writes.

China’s one-child policy kept siblings Ricki Mudd and Wu Chao from growing up together. “Sometimes it’s odd to think that between us, Wu Chao is supposedly the privileged child,” Mudd writes.

Courtesy of Ricki Mudd

On her feeling that, while the one-child policy caused her parents and others immense pain, it opened up opportunities for her

[Visiting China] really did open my eyes. Had I been in China and not adopted, I would’ve lived this life. I guess I come into it with the American lens — since I’ve been in a sense spoiled by my experiences here — and so coming there, you know … there were quite a lot of things on a quality of life basis that I would’ve found more difficult to do. I’ve always been somebody who didn’t take things for granted but I just had an even more profound appreciation for the opportunities that have opened up for me here on just about every dimension.

On the question she raises about who got the better deal, her or her brother

Based off my extended stay in China, I think I have more privileges here. My parents here are a lot more open-minded — unsurprisingly — than my birth parents in China so I was allowed to do more things, versus [my brother] Chao was more restricted in almost every sense.

Click on the audio link above to hear more from their conversation.

Bangladeshi Man Who Published Slain Blogger’s Work Is Killed

Oct 31, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Bangladeshi Man Who Published Slain Blogger’s Work Is Killed

Months after a secular blogger was hacked to death in Bangladesh’s capital, a publisher who published the writer’s books has been killed. The attack came hours after men stabbed another of the blogger’s publishers, along with two other writers.

Both of the publishers had published the writings of Aijit Roy, a Bangladeshi-American who was hacked to death in February on a sidewalk in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

In Saturday’s attacks, publishing house owner Faisal Arefin Dipan was stabbed to death in an office that was situated above a supermarket, according to the Dhaka Tribune.

Dipan’s publishing house, Jagriti Prakashani, published one of Roy’s final works, titled Biswasher Virus“The Virus of Faith.”

News of the attack on Dipan closely followed a similar one on another publisher, Ahmedur Rashid Tutul, who was set upon in his office along with two other people, both of them bloggers. In each attack, The Daily Star reports, “the perpetrators locked the victims inside their offices before leaving the scene.”

Blogger Ranadipam Basu, one of the bloggers who was stabbed along with Tutul, evidently helped alert people to the attack — and his need for help — by posting a short message to Facebook minutes after the assault, reading, “They hacked us – Tutul, Tareq and me,” according to The Daily Star.

Those three are now in the hospital, the newspaper reports.

The publisher Tutul was a close friend of Roy’s, reports BDNews24.

In his writings, Roy denounced fundamentalist ideas and promoted rational thinking; he also founded the website Free Mind, to rally “free thinkers, atheists and humanists of mainly Bengali descent,” as NPR reported in February.

Recent Teacher Of The Year Resigns In Alabama Over Certification Issues

Oct 31, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Recent Teacher Of The Year Resigns In Alabama Over Certification Issues

Oliver Elementary School in Birgmingham, Ala., where Ann Marie Corgill taught until Friday. The recent Alabama Teacher of the Year says she quit her job after being told she wasn't highly qualified to teach fifth grade.i

Oliver Elementary School in Birgmingham, Ala., where Ann Marie Corgill taught until Friday. The recent Alabama Teacher of the Year says she quit her job after being told she wasn’t highly qualified to teach fifth grade.

Google Maps


hide caption

itoggle caption

Google Maps

Oliver Elementary School in Birgmingham, Ala., where Ann Marie Corgill taught until Friday. The recent Alabama Teacher of the Year says she quit her job after being told she wasn't highly qualified to teach fifth grade.

Oliver Elementary School in Birgmingham, Ala., where Ann Marie Corgill taught until Friday. The recent Alabama Teacher of the Year says she quit her job after being told she wasn’t highly qualified to teach fifth grade.

Google Maps

Less than two years after being named Alabama’s Teacher of the Year, Ann Marie Corgill resigned her post this week, citing her frustration with bureaucracy. After Corgill was moved from teaching second grade to fifth, she was told she wasn’t qualified to teach fifth-graders.

In January, Corgill was named one of four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year award. She is a 21-year veteran whose story — and candid resignation letter — has made waves in the education community and beyond.

After running into a “wall of bureaucracy,” Corgill said in a statement to AL.com, “When the news came that I was not considered highly qualified, my frustration boiled over.”

When she was named Alabama’s elementary school Teacher of the Year in the spring of 2014, Corgill taught fourth graders at Cherokee Bend Elementary, in Mountain Brook. In August, she was hired to teach second grade at Birmingham’s Oliver Elementary, which Alabama Public Radio describes as “a low-income, federally funded school.”

But after the school year started, Corgill was shifted to fifth grade — and that’s when things started to unravel.

Saying that she had been “excited and confident” about helping her students, Corgill wrote in her resignation letter (which was acquired by AL.com) that she had “worked long hours to give these fifth graders my best teaching, my support, and my love.” She said that after just five weeks, the results had made her proud.

But then Corgill cited the views of both Birmingham and Alabama administrators — that she’s not qualified to teach above third grade, and that to do so, she would need to acquire an additional state certification.

Corgill wrote that she holds certificates in early childhood education, both of them with “highly qualified” status. She added that despite her National Board Certification as a middle childhood educator — which certifies her to teach children up to the age of 12 — the administrators had determined that she must apply for a new Alabama certificate.

“After 21 years of teaching in grades 1-6 I have no answers as to why this is a problem now,” Corgill wrote, “so instead of paying more fees, taking more tests, and proving once again that I am qualified to teach, I am resigning.”

Corgill’s last day was Friday. Responding to her resignation, Alabama State Superintendent Thomas Bice told AL.com that the Birmingham school’s designation as a federal Title I facility puts teachers under different requirements than those of Corgill’s previous school. That means she can’t teach above third grade at the Birmingham school, he said.

In addition to the certification questions, Corgill also cited an accounting error, saying that she wasn’t paid for her first month of work until last Friday. In her letter to the Birmingham Board of Education, she said that she’s still waiting for an explanatory letter to help her deal with her creditors and credit agencies.

Coping with that situation while teaching, she said, was “stressful at best.”

Corgill concludes:

“Please know that I wanted to give my all and share my expertise with Birmingham City Schools. In order to attract and retain the best teachers, we must feel trusted, valued, and treated as professionals. It is my hope that my experience can inform new decisions, policies, and procedures to make Birmingham City Schools a place everyone wants to work and learn.”

An Alabama native, Corgill has taught at several schools in the state, along with the Manhattan New School in New York City. She also wrote a book about education and writing, called Of Primary Importance.

As The Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss writes, “Corgill isn’t the first high-achieving teacher to resign this year. Stacie Starr, a ninth-grade intervention specialist in Elyria City Schools in Ohio, who was selected as ‘Top Teacher’ last year in a national search by the popular television show Live with Kelly and Michael, said earlier this year she was quitting.”

Starr, a 15-year veteran, said that months of standardized state testing had taken over her classroom and was hurting her students.

In Alabama, Corgill says that despite her frustration, she isn’t done with teaching. She told AL.com Friday that she “will continue to give my life to the profession.”

Exclusive Beta: NPR Politics Podcast

Oct 30, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Exclusive Beta: NPR Politics Podcast

Paul Ryan is the House Speaker, the Republicans’ scrappy debate, and what we ‘can’t let go’ from this week.

NFL Player Pierre Garcon Files Class-Action Lawsuit Against FanDuel

Oct 30, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on NFL Player Pierre Garcon Files Class-Action Lawsuit Against FanDuel

NFL wide receiver Pierre Garcon has filed a class-action lawsuit against the daily fantasy company FanDuel, for misusing players' names and likenesses without proper licensing or permission.i

NFL wide receiver Pierre Garcon has filed a class-action lawsuit against the daily fantasy company FanDuel, for misusing players’ names and likenesses without proper licensing or permission.

Getty Images


hide caption

itoggle caption

Getty Images

NFL wide receiver Pierre Garcon has filed a class-action lawsuit against the daily fantasy company FanDuel, for misusing players' names and likenesses without proper licensing or permission.

NFL wide receiver Pierre Garcon has filed a class-action lawsuit against the daily fantasy company FanDuel, for misusing players’ names and likenesses without proper licensing or permission.

Getty Images

Washington wide receiver Pierre Garcon has filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of NFL players against the daily fantasy sports site FanDuel, alleging it misuses players’ names and likenesses without proper licensing or permission.

NPR’s Nathan Rott reports for the Newscast unit:

“Attorneys for Garcon, say that FanDuel ‘knowingly and improperly exploits the popularity and performance,’ of Garcon and other NFL players without their permission.

“Their class-action lawsuit, filed in Maryland, goes on to say that the daily fantasy site uses the names and likenesses of NFL players, like Garcon, in television ads without their authority.”

Daily fantasy sports, namely FanDuel and its competitor, DraftKings, have exploded in popularity in recent years. DraftKings, however, reached an agreement with the NFL Players Association in September, which would seem to protect it from a similar lawsuit, Rott reports.

FanDuel has this comment on the suit:

“We believe this suit is without merit. There is established law that fantasy operators may use player names and statistics for fantasy contests. FanDuel looks forward to continuing to operate our contests which sports fans everywhere have come to love.”

Garcon’s lawsuit isn’t the only potential legal trouble facing the daily fantasy industry.

Earlier this month, the New York State attorney general opened an investigation into the companies’ practices after questions emerged over whether employees for the daily fantasy companies use proprietary information to win thousands of dollars.

The investigation arose after an employee won hundreds of thousands of dollars, as we previously reported:

“On at least a temporary basis, the two large fantasy companies are barring their employees from games on either the Draft Kings or FanDuel site, after a DraftKings employee, in a seemingly inadvertent move, released data showing which NFL players were used in the most fantasy lineups — before some games had started.

“That same employee won $350,000 in a contest on the FanDuel site, reports theDaily Fantasy Sports site, which is using the scandal as a spur to call for regulationof the billion-dollar fantasy sports industry.”

Medical Students Crunch Big Data To Spot Health Trends

Oct 30, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Medical Students Crunch Big Data To Spot Health Trends

(Left to right) NYU medical students Brian Chao, Michael Lui, Hye Min Choi, and Varun Vijay take the team approach to learning about the anatomy of cells, and how disease can disrupt them. Analyzing big data sets is now a routine part of their studies, too.i

(Left to right) NYU medical students Brian Chao, Michael Lui, Hye Min Choi, and Varun Vijay take the team approach to learning about the anatomy of cells, and how disease can disrupt them. Analyzing big data sets is now a routine part of their studies, too.

Cindy Carpien for NPR


hide caption

itoggle caption

Cindy Carpien for NPR

(Left to right) NYU medical students Brian Chao, Michael Lui, Hye Min Choi, and Varun Vijay take the team approach to learning about the anatomy of cells, and how disease can disrupt them. Analyzing big data sets is now a routine part of their studies, too.

(Left to right) NYU medical students Brian Chao, Michael Lui, Hye Min Choi, and Varun Vijay take the team approach to learning about the anatomy of cells, and how disease can disrupt them. Analyzing big data sets is now a routine part of their studies, too.

Cindy Carpien for NPR

Medicine, meet Big Data.

For generations, physicians have been trained in basic science and human anatomy to diagnose and treat the patient immediately in front of them.

But now, massive stores of data about what works for which patients are literally changing the way medicine is practiced.

“That’s how we make decisions; we make them based on the truth and the evidence that are present in those data,” says Marc Triola, an associate dean for educational informatics at New York University’s medical school.

Figuring out how to access and interpret all that data is not a skill that most physicians learned in medical school — but that’s changing.

“If you don’t have these skills, you could really be at a disadvantage,” says Triola, “in terms of the way you understand the quality and the efficiency of the care you’re delivering.”

That’s why every first and second year student at the NYU School of Medicine is required to do what’s called a ‘health care by the numbers’ project. Students are given access to an enormous database with more than 5 million anonymous records — information on every hospital patient in the state for the preceding two years. “Their age, their race and ethnicity, what zip code they came from,” Triola lists, as well as their diagnosis, procedures and the bills paid on their behalf.

The project, funded in part by an effort by the American Medical Association to update what and how medical students are taught, also includes a companion database for roughly 50,000 outpatients. It’s called the Lacidem Care Group. (Lacidem? That’s “medical,” backwards.) The database contains information from NYU’s own faculty practices — scrubbed to ensure that neither the patients nor the doctors can be identified. Students use analytic tools provided by the project to “look at quality measures for things like heart failure, diabetes, smoking and high blood pressure,” Triola says, “and drill down and look at the performance of the practice as a whole, and [the performance of] individual doctors.”

Some med students — including Micah Timen, now in his second year — have taken to the assignment with relish. Timen likes numbers. A lot. A former accountant before applying to med school, he keeps a spreadsheet to track his study hours in preparation for a test. Regarding an upcoming test on the digestive system, for example, Timen says, “I know I have 18 hours and 40 minutes left to make sure I feel comfortable walking into my exam.”

For his database project, Timen wanted to know if the cost to patients of hip replacement surgery around the state vary as much as the cost of a fast-food hamburger. Timen says they tried comparing the varying prices of a hip replacement using The Economist magazine’s famous Big Mac Index, which measures purchasing power between currencies. “But when you call McDonald’s, they don’t give you prices over the phone,” he says. So he tried Plan B: “Burger King gave it to me.”

(Left to right) Students Christine Schindler, Mary Quien and Micah Timen share popcorn and a laugh during a research session. Timen worked as an accountant before medical school; his database project tracked the relative costs of a hip replacement throughout New York compared to the relative costs of a fast-food hamburger.i

(Left to right) Students Christine Schindler, Mary Quien and Micah Timen share popcorn and a laugh during a research session. Timen worked as an accountant before medical school; his database project tracked the relative costs of a hip replacement throughout New York compared to the relative costs of a fast-food hamburger.

Cindy Carpien for NPR


hide caption

itoggle caption

Cindy Carpien for NPR

(Left to right) Students Christine Schindler, Mary Quien and Micah Timen share popcorn and a laugh during a research session. Timen worked as an accountant before medical school; his database project tracked the relative costs of a hip replacement throughout New York compared to the relative costs of a fast-food hamburger.

(Left to right) Students Christine Schindler, Mary Quien and Micah Timen share popcorn and a laugh during a research session. Timen worked as an accountant before medical school; his database project tracked the relative costs of a hip replacement throughout New York compared to the relative costs of a fast-food hamburger.

Cindy Carpien for NPR

Using the “Whopper Index” instead, Timen found, not surprisingly, that the price of a giant burger sandwich is higher in New York City than, say, Albany. So, too was the amount of money patients paid for a hip replacement. But the margin was much wider for health care than for hamburgers, meaning patients are paying more in some places than simple geography would suggest. Timen says he’d like to explore why that might be, “but unfortunately med school is a little bit time consuming,” so that may have to wait.

Meanwhile, these classes appeal not just to “data junkies,” like Timen, but also to those who were not already steeped in crunching data.

“I really have no statistical background,” says Justin Feit, also a second-year student. “I don’t even know how to use Excel well.”

So Feit was partnered with Jessica Lynch, who already has a Ph.D. in physics. Lynch says that if medicine wasn’t moving in the direction of including more interpretation of big data sets, “I don’t know if I would have gone into medicine.”

Together Feit and Lynch looked at the rates of cesarean births around the state, and found that the rates of C-section — like the cost of a hip replacement — varies widely. But their project will get more than just a grade. A faculty member at NYU is using it as part of a bigger research project headed for publication.

Triola says he hopes that will happen more and more.

“With literally millions of records, these in-class student projects often involved more patients than the published literature,” he says. “It’s incredible.”

And the concept of having students learn to use health data is catching on quickly. Triola says NYU has offered its database and program to other medical schools, and seven are already incorporating it into their curricula.

George Wallington On Piano Jazz

Oct 30, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on George Wallington On Piano Jazz

Bop pianist George Wallington (1924–1993) was born in Sicily and moved to the U.S. with his family in the 1920s. He became part of the New York music scene in the 1940s and played with greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Gerry Mulligan and Lionel Hampton. In 1960, he retired from music, but he reemerged in 1984.

As a guest on this 1985 episode of Piano Jazz, Wallington performs his composition “Godchild.”

Originally broadcast in the spring of 1985.

Set List
  • “Soap Bubbles” (Wallington)
  • “Oh Foolish Leaf” (Wallington)
  • “One Kiss” (Romberg, Hammerstein)
  • “I Saw Stars” (Goodhart, Hoffman, Sigler)
  • “Heart Of Hearts” (Wallington)
  • “Godchild” (Wallington)
  • “Franca (A Warm Conversation)” (Wallington)
  • “As Time Goes By” (Hupfeld)
  • “Poor Pierrot” (Kern, Harbach)
  • “Fine And Dandy” (Swift, Paul)

Food Podcasts 1.0: These Radio Pioneers Had It Down 90 Years Ago

Oct 29, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Food Podcasts 1.0: These Radio Pioneers Had It Down 90 Years Ago

Evelyn Birkby interviews guests on her KMA radio program, Down a Country Lane, in 1951 in  Shenandoah, Iowa.i

Evelyn Birkby interviews guests on her KMA radio program, Down a Country Lane, in 1951 in Shenandoah, Iowa.

Courtesy of University of Iowa Women’s Archives/Evelyn Birkby Collection


hide caption

itoggle caption

Courtesy of University of Iowa Women’s Archives/Evelyn Birkby Collection

Evelyn Birkby interviews guests on her KMA radio program, Down a Country Lane, in 1951 in  Shenandoah, Iowa.

Evelyn Birkby interviews guests on her KMA radio program, Down a Country Lane, in 1951 in Shenandoah, Iowa.

Courtesy of University of Iowa Women’s Archives/Evelyn Birkby Collection

Long before the homemade vibes of food podcasts, there were folksy radio homemakers. These early 20th-century women offered recipes, life hacks and insights for the modern farmer’s wife. And just like podcasts today, their shows were often personal, off-the-cuff and straight from the kitchen table.

“We were just women who shared our lives,” says Evelyn Birkby. “We shared what we were doing with our families, what we were cooking, what we were eating.” Birkby began hosting Down a Country Lane out of Shenandoah, Iowa, 65 years ago on KMA radio.

The station was the brainchild of Earl May, owner of the May Seed and Nursery Company. In 1925, the early days of radio, May saw the new medium as way to build an audience for his products. He asked listeners to write in with their addresses for a free flower bulb — and quickly expanded his catalogue mailing list. By continuing to create new, woman-centered content every day, his nursery was ever present in the ears of people who made the household buying decisions.

KMA broadcasts, and others like them, gave farm wives information they could use every day, while connecting listeners across the isolation of the Midwestern prairie. The familiar voices who hosted these shows became an intimate presence in fans’ homes — in part, because some women broadcast right out of their homes. Birkby, who still broadcasts once a month, collected the stories of some of these pioneering female broadcasters in her book Neighboring on the Air: Cooking With the KMA Radio Homemakers.

Florence Falk and a rooster are pictured in the 1950s at a table in the dining room where broadcasts of The Farmer's Wife originated.i

Florence Falk and a rooster are pictured in the 1950s at a table in the dining room where broadcasts of The Farmer’s Wife originated.

Courtesy of University of Iowa Women’s Archives/Evelyn Birkby Collection


hide caption

itoggle caption

Courtesy of University of Iowa Women’s Archives/Evelyn Birkby Collection

Florence Falk and a rooster are pictured in the 1950s at a table in the dining room where broadcasts of The Farmer's Wife originated.

Florence Falk and a rooster are pictured in the 1950s at a table in the dining room where broadcasts of The Farmer’s Wife originated.

Courtesy of University of Iowa Women’s Archives/Evelyn Birkby Collection

Florence Falk, who hosted The Farmer’s Wife, gave her audience a taste of farm life by narrating the scenes she spotted through her dining room window and sharing dishes inspired by her Swedish heritage. Adella Shoemaker drew listeners in for a “visit” to her sunroom, reveling in the freedom that the new medium of radio gave her. Birkby says that Shoemaker loved the idea that she could move from kitchen to microphone, appearing before her fans even in an apron splattered with the day’s canning. And after a car accident put Leanna Driftmier in a wheelchair, she hosted her popular Kitchen-Klatter from the mini-studio that KMA set up in her house. There, she dished up recipes for Midwestern staples like meatloaf and angel food cake.

“It was just like they were sitting there with you,” says Birkby. They were, she jokes, something of an early support group — especially for farm wives.

“For a lot of rural women, their nearest neighbor might be several miles away,” explains Erika Janik,a scholar of women’s and Wisconsin history and executive producer of the Wisconsin Public Radio show Wisconsin Life. She says these real-life radio shows helped listeners and hosts make “friends on the air.”

Wisconsin Public Radio, one of the oldest stations in the nation, first received its WHA call letters in 1922. And in 1929, the station began broadcasting The Homemakers Program, which aired for 38 years. The hosts — from the university’s home economics department or extension services — created shows for a captive audience “who were home doing the cooking and cleaning during the day and listening to the radio,” explains Janik.

But the show had a bigger goal — “to elevate rural women through education on technology and domestic science,” Janik says. The idea was to put farm wives in touch with the latest techniques and trends (think convenience foods) that urban women already enjoyed.

“They did roundtable discussions about recipes and food,” says Janik. Or listeners could write in and ask for advice about a cooking failure, “and the home economists would try to tackle it.” A lot like America’s Test Kitchen today, she adds.

In 1933, when Aline Hazard began to host the program, she sometimes took the personal touch on the road, broadcasting from listeners’ own kitchens and gardens. Hazard, who was required to upgrade her degree in English and speech with one in home economics in order to host the show, learned alongside her listeners. That gave her shows a sense that “you’re on this journey together,” Janik says.

At a time when commercial stations allowed “10, 15, maybe 20 minutes” for food programs, the early public radio shows ran an hour or two a day, explains Janik, giving listeners far more contact time with the women whose lives they felt they shared. She says hosts like Hazard received thousands of letters from listeners who “considered her a good friend.”

Birkby and a guest, Vicar Henry Robbins, a local pastor, 1950. We were just women who shared our lives, Birkby says of herself and her fellow radio homemakers. We shared what we were doing with our families, what we were cooking, what we were eating.i

Birkby and a guest, Vicar Henry Robbins, a local pastor, 1950. “We were just women who shared our lives,” Birkby says of herself and her fellow radio homemakers. “We shared what we were doing with our families, what we were cooking, what we were eating.”

Courtesy of University of Iowa Women’s Archives/Evelyn Birkby Collection


hide caption

itoggle caption

Courtesy of University of Iowa Women’s Archives/Evelyn Birkby Collection

Birkby and a guest, Vicar Henry Robbins, a local pastor, 1950. We were just women who shared our lives, Birkby says of herself and her fellow radio homemakers. We shared what we were doing with our families, what we were cooking, what we were eating.

Birkby and a guest, Vicar Henry Robbins, a local pastor, 1950. “We were just women who shared our lives,” Birkby says of herself and her fellow radio homemakers. “We shared what we were doing with our families, what we were cooking, what we were eating.”

Courtesy of University of Iowa Women’s Archives/Evelyn Birkby Collection

Compare this intimacy and neighborliness to programs like Aunt Sammy — a radio personality created by the Department of Agriculture in the 1920s. In 1925, the USDA launched a radio program to deliver advice to farmers. The following year, “Aunt Sammy” was conceived as the female counterpart, who would speak to the concerns of the farmers’ wives. A single script was drafted in Washington, D.C., and sent to radio stations across the country, where it would be read by a woman in the local dialect. There was no room for deviation or personalization. It was a far cry from those hosts who “literally shared their lives,” says Birkby.

For some fans, listening in was like catching up with a good friend over the phone — sometimes literally. In the days of party lines, explains Birkby, one farm wife with a crystal set could ring fellow listeners on the same telephone line. When the program began, “you would lift your receiver and ring the party line,” she says. As soon as your friends heard the bell, “everybody would lift up their receivers, and 13 or 14 people listened to the same radio.”

Today, we’ve replaced the telephone with earbuds. With their sometimes informal presentation and direct connection to the host, Janik says, “I see podcasts drawing a direct line back to these homemaking programs.”

Birkby says she and others created an intimate environment “where you couldn’t wait until the next day to listen again.”

It was less like a broadcast from far away, and more like an afternoon break for a good conversation about food and drink. Birkby recalls: “I would say to the listeners, ‘Pull up a chair, I’ll pour you a cup of coffee, and let’s visit.’ “

Anne Bramley is the author of Eat Feed Autumn Winter and the host of the Eat Feed podcast. Twitter: @annebramley

Courts Say Detained Non-Citizens Have The Right To Bond Hearings

Oct 29, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Courts Say Detained Non-Citizens Have The Right To Bond Hearings

At the same time that immigration is a hot-button issue on the presidential campaign trail, in the courts, immigration advocates are chipping away at the government’s authority to detain non-citizens indefinitely.

Two rulings issued this week from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California say that detainees have the right to a bond hearing while they are fighting their deportation cases.

The practical impact? Thousands of immigrants, legal or not, who were held for indefinite periods now have the right to a release hearing where it will be up to an immigration judge to decide whether they are dangerous or present a flight risk. The courts’ rulings apply in the states covered by those circuits.

Ever since 1996, when Congress passed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, the government has detained broad categories of non-citizens for prolonged periods and denied them the right to challenge their detention.

The constitutionality of that section of the law was first challenged in 2003. Since then, there’s been a flurry of court rulings.

“Every circuit [appeals] court has ruled that it is unlawful to hold a detainee without that person having the possibility of a hearing,” said Ahilan Arulanantham, deputy legal director of the ACLU of Southern California.

The Ninth Circuit, in Rodriguez v. Robbins, ruled that the government has to justify “by clear and convincing evidence that an alien is a flight risk or a danger to the community to justify denial of bond.” It also ruled the government has to consider alternatives to detention such as electronic monitoring devices. Finally, it said detainees should get a bond hearing every six months.

“This decision substantially decreases the likelihood people will get lost in the system for years on end because there will be some examination of why the person is still locked away. It provides them with an elemental component of due process,” said Arulanantham.

In a more limited ruling, the Second Circuit in New York, in a case called Lora v. Shanahan adopted what it called “a bright-line rule” that detainees must get a hearing within six months of his or her detention.

Two other appellate courts, the Third and the Sixth Circuits, have ruled that a detainee must file a habeas petition or a lawsuit before getting a hearing.

With respect to the Ninth Circuit ruling, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said his agency ” is aware of the judges’ order and reviewing it.”

Pages:1234567...13»

Categories

Current Times

  • NPT: 2017-11-25 09:22 AM
  • EST: 2017-11-24 10:37 PM
  • PST: 2017-11-24 07:37 PM