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Playlist: Diana Prince's Portfolio

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Big Picture Science (Series)

Produced by Big Picture Science

Most recent piece in this series:

Stopping Ebola

From Big Picture Science | Part of the Big Picture Science series | 54:00


A new vaccine may help turn Ebola into a disease we can prevent, and a new drug may make it one we can cure.  But the political crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo has fueled violence against health workers and Ebola treatment centers.  Find out why context matters in the efforts to stop Ebola, what new drugs and vaccines are on the horizon, and whether the world is prepared for the next infectious pandemic.  Even if Ebola’s threat is diminishing, what about the next pandemic?  Is the world prepared?


A Way with Words (Series)

Produced by A Way with Words

Most recent piece in this series:

The Black Dog (#1536)

From A Way with Words | Part of the A Way with Words series | 54:00

48926252837_c1d088ba6d_w_small To warn away thieves, medieval scribes sometimes added a written curse to the colophon of a precious book. Curses were once considered such powerful deterrents that they were sometimes added to Anglo-Saxon legal documents.

Carol from Clays Ferry, Kentucky, wonders about the term her grandmother used, dasn't, as in the warning We dasn't do that. The word dasn't derives from the expression dares not. It's now antiquated, and mostly heard east of the Mississippi.

In several previous episodes, we've talked about pangrams, those sentences that use every letter of the alphabet at least once. Lauren, who lives in Perth, Western Australia, sent us a couple penned by her 11-year-old daughter Sinead, including this gem: The fox sneezed quickly several times while eating strawberry jam pancakes.

Jesse from Louisville, Kentucky, wonders if the second-person plural pronoun y'all is becoming more popular throughout the United States. A 2000 article in the Journal of English Linguistics finds that yall and you-all are indeed spreading beyond the American South.    

A 17th-century book curse begins with the warning Steal not this book my honest friend / For fear the gallow be your end . . .

This week's puzzle by Quiz Guy John Chaneski is inspired by the drawings used by logicians -- that is, each answer rhymes with the term Venn Diagram. For example, a map of nearby marshlands isn't a Venn Diagram, it's a . . .

Jo Ann lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, but grew up in England. She remembers that when her brother was mopey during family trips to visit their grandparents in Devon, their grandfather would tell him Get that black dog off your back! For hundreds of years, the term black dog has been used to mean "a dark mood" or "depression" or "a funk." The black dog has long been associated with Winston Churchill, although he rarely used the expression himself.

In theatrical parlance, an 11 o'clock number is a showstopping tune late in a musical, which usually coincides with the protagonist or other major character having a life-changing realization. An example would be the song "So Long, Dearie" from Hello, Dolly!

Trevor from Waxahachie, Texas, wonders: If you find a typo or other error in a book, should you let the publisher know?

Eight-year-old Violet moved from Lexington, Kentucky to Zionsville, Indiana, and found other kids don't share her pronunciation of sprinkles as SPRANK-ulls. Who's right?

Tweeting under the name @guerillamemoir, Allison K Williams has a painful observation about typos that will resonate with many writers.

A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader is a lavishly illustrated anthology edited by Maria Popova of Brainpickings and Claudia Bedrick. It contains a particularly inspiring letter from writer Anne Lamott.

Anna, who lives in the San Francisco Bay area, wonders if it's okay to pronounce the word measure as MAY-zhur. This pronunciation is scattered across the United States, and in fact one of Jack Benny's old radio announcers pronounced the word that way.

The ancient Greeks believed that the precious purple stone called an amethyst had the power to prevent a person from becoming intoxicated. That belief is reflected in the name of this gem, which comes from the Greek prefix a- meaning "not," and methys, "drunk," a linguistic relative of English mead.

A native English speaker who's been studying Spanish for 11 years with her husband finds that learning a second language has an effect on her original tongue. She can't spell as well as she used to, and sometimes finds herself reaching for Spanish constructions when speaking English, such as saying I have cold rather than I am cold. It's a phenomenon called language attrition, and linguistics professor Monika Schmid of the University of Essex has devoted a whole website to the topic, with lots of helpful advice for addressing this challenge.

Darcy calls from North Pole, Alaska, to share a saying her grandparents used when she asked for something she couldn't have. It sounded like either You may want horns, but you'll die mole-headed or You may want horns, but you'll die mull-headed. More often the final element is bull-headed or butt-headed, and it's common enough that it shows up in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston.

This episode is hosted by Grant Barrett and Martha Barnette.

WNYC's Fishko Files (Series)

Produced by WNYC

Most recent piece in this series:

WNYC's Fishko Files: Sviatoslav Richter

From WNYC | Part of the WNYC's Fishko Files series | 07:12

Saraflat_medium_small Sviatoslav Richter, born March 20 1915, was a pianistic phenomenon, whose broad musical range was backed up by dazzling technique. On the 100th anniversary of his birth, WNYC's Sara Fishko considers his musical gifts as well as his unconventional life.  With guests Michael Kimmelman (NY Times critic, pianist and sometime music writer), pianist Vladimir Viardo, and the late pianist and music critic Harris Goldsmith.

*The excerpts from Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition"  are from Richter's live recording made in Sofia, Bulgaria, on February 25, 1958 

Latin Perspective - Latin Jazz Hour (weekly) (Series)

Produced by Tony Vasquez

Most recent piece in this series:

Latin Jazz Perspective (V-5)

From Tony Vasquez | Part of the Latin Perspective - Latin Jazz Hour (weekly) series | 59:00

Yvettei_small A weekly radio show that honors the tradition and embraces the new in Latin Jazz by featuring the best in classic and contemporary artists of the Music.