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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:

End of Eternity

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


Nothing lasts forever. Even the universe has several possible endings. Will there be a dramatic Big Rip or a Big Chill­–also known as the heat death of the universe–in trillions of years? Or will vacuum decay, which could theoretically happen at any moment, do us in? Perhaps the death of a tiny particle – the proton – will bring about the end.

We contemplate big picture endings in this episode, and whether one could be brought about by our own machine creations. 


Anders Sandberg – Researcher at the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford

Katie Mack – Assistant professor of physics at North Carolina State University, and the author of “The End of Everything, Astrophysically Speaking.”

Brian Greene – Brian Greene, professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia, and author of “Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe

Originally aired May 3, 2021

Featuring music by Dewey Dellay and Jun Miyake



A Way with Words (Series)

Produced by A Way with Words

Most recent piece in this series:

Strawberry Moon (#1522)

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


Lethologica is the inability to remember a word or name. The term is related to the name of the river Lethe, also known as the River of Oblivion, which in Greek mythology caused those in Hades to to forget their life on earth.
If a suspect is at large, he is moving about freely. The term at large, which comes to us via French from Latin, refers not to size, but distance. The phrase by and large, meaning "generally" or "on the whole," derives from a nautical term that denotes a way to sail a ship by adjusting its course according to the direction of the wind. 
A Massachusetts listener shares her mishearing the name of the beloved character Mr. Green Jeans on the old "Captain Kangaroo" TV show. She was in college before she realized his name wasn't Mr. Cream Cheese.  
Frida in Marquette, Michigan, shares a proverb from her Finnish heritage that translates as "Until the food is ready, feed your guests with words." She also asks about pank, a term she often hears there in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It means "to pack down," as in to pank down snow or pank down sugar in a cup. The origin of pank is uncertain, although it may derive from a combination of pack and spank. This term is also heard in parts of Pennsylvania and Upstate New York.
Quiz Guy John Chaneski has a brain teaser based on translations of names that Native American people gave to various lunar months. For example, since lupines tend to howl more at the moon in the middle of winter, what's the nickname for the full moon in January?
Paloma from Escondido, California, asks about how the hosts developed their attitudes toward language. We share some of those influences, which include,  in Martha's case, studying Ancient Greek for 12 years with a polyglot professor, and in Grant's, learning from colleagues in the American Dialect Society and being trained as a lexicographer.
A listener reports being puzzled by a phrase she heard from a woman for whom she'd done a small favor: Did you think you'd taken me to raise? Heard mainly in Kentucky and Ohio, this phrase is a joking suggestion that the person who has done the favor has assumed responsibility for the other's care and upbringing. Similarly, an unreasonable request for a favor might be denied with the phrase I ain't took you to raise!
Eleven-year-old Josiah from San Antonio, Texas, is looking for a single English word to describe a road that's largely free of traffic. 
Jill in Indianapolis, Indiana, wonders how to spell the one-syllable cheer that starts with Y. Is it yay or yea? Since the 1930s, yay has been used that way. The word yea is much older and used in formal texts to mean indeed. An example is in the Psalm that contains the verse Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. 
When Mary from Hanover, New Hampshire, was vacationing in Alaska, she picked up a term from the locals: sucker hole. It refers to a patch of sun peeking through the clouds, which leads  tourists to assume that the weather is going to clear up. The locals, however, know that a sucker hole will be there only briefly before the skies are overcast again.
Our discussion about cursive handwriting and whether it should be taught in schools brought a tremendous response from listeners. Overwhelmingly, they agreed that there are so many benefits to learning to write this way that it's well worth the time and effort to teach cursive writing to youngsters. 
Pam in New York City wonders if bidding someone farewell with Toodle-oo derives from the French for "see you soon," a tout a l'heure. 
Many so-called rules of grammar are actually just zombie rules. They're ill-advised attempts by 17th-century grammarians to make English syntax fit the orderly rules of Latin. 
David, a rideshare driver in Virginia Beach, Virginia, wonders about all the residential developments he sees with names containing the word quay. Usually pronounced KEE, quay is an old term for "wharf." The use of quay in these names may involve what Entrepreneur magazine dubbed newstalgia, or constructing something to feel old even though it's actually new, or fauxstalgia, a yearning for a time in the past, even though you never actually experienced it yourself.
A Texas caller says her West Virginia-born mother uses the word hornicaboogery to mean "germs" or "the creeping crud." Among the many such joking names for imaginary illnesses are gollywobbles, pantod on the rummit, can't-help-its, school bus cramps, collywobbles, and carlymarbles.
In response to our conversation about names we call grandparents, John Polk tweeted about a grandfather in his family named Uh-huh and a grandmother named Who-Who. 
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 (Q-4)

From Tony Vasquez | Part of the Latin Perspective - Latin Jazz Hour (weekly) series | 59:01

10408791_948591901823533_3291516235368767195_n_small A 1 hour weekly radio show featuring the best in classic and contemporary Latin Jazz Music hosted by 19 year veteran Tony Vasquez