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Big Picture Science (Series)

Produced by Big Picture Science

Most recent piece in this series:

Vaccine Inequity

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

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A radical plan could solve a historic global health inequity. Countries in the global south who waited for more than a year for ample supplies of Covid vaccines have banded together to make mRNA vaccines locally. If successful, they could end a dangerous dependency on wealthy nations and help stop pandemics before they start.

In a special episode, supported by the Pulitzer Center, journalist Amy Maxmen shares her reporting from southern Africa about the inspiring project led by the WHO that’s made fast progress. But it could fail, and a global imbalance will remain, if Big Pharma has its way. Find out what’s at stake.

Guests:

Amy Maxmen - Award-winning science journalist, Edward R. Murrow press fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of the Nature article, "The Radical Plan for Vaccine Equity"

Professor Petro Terblanche - Managing Director, Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines in Cape Town, South Africa

Dr. Kondwani Charles Jambo - Senior Lecturer and immunologist at the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Clinical Research Programme in Blantyre, Malawi

Dr. Barney Graham, MD PhD - Former deputy director at the Vaccine Research Center at NIH and professor of medicine and microbiology immunology biochemistry at Morehouse School of Medicine

Emile Hendricks - Research technologist at Afrigen and Vaccines in Cape Town, South Africa

Achal Prabhala - Fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation, Coordinator at AccessIBSA, a medicines-access initiative in Bengaluru, India

Patrick Tippoo - Head of Science and Innovation at Biovac in Cape Town, South Africa, founding member of the African Vaccine Manufacturing Initiative (AVMI)

Harrison Chauluka - chief of the Mkunda village in Malawi

Agnes Joni - farmer in Chiradzulu, Malawi

Prophet Dauda - translator and writer in Blantyre, Malawi 

 

Thanks to the Pulitzer Center for help supporting this episode of Big Picture Science

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:

East Overshoe (#1588)

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

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In Argentina, you might describe a stingy person as someone who has un cocodrilo en el bolsillo or "a crocodile in the pocket." In France, such a person is said to have oursins, or "sea urchins" in that pocket. In various other languages, miserly persons have similarly dangerous things in their pockets. In Brazil, it's a scorpion, and in Serbia, a snake. In English, one way to describe someone parsimonious is to say that they'd squeeze a nickel until Jefferson screamed. That's the polite version, anyway.
Audrey in Fort Smith, Arkansas, is curious about the term East Jesus Nowhere meaning a nonexistent, faraway place. Other such fanciful place names include East Overshoe, South Burlap, West Burlap, West Hell, South Succotash, Ginny Gall, and Beluthahatchie.
Chris calls from Nassawadox, Virginia, to say that on their second date his girlfriend used the term pine shadows for what he calls pine needles. Particularly in Virginia, the terms pine shadows and pine shatters denote those long thin leaves that fall from pine trees. The word shatter applies to seed pods that fall out of their case, which is why the term shattered corn is used for corn that has fallen off from the ear.
Huge feral pigs are eating their way across northern Canada, and building themselves shelters in the snow. Researchers call these structures pigloos. 
​​Quiz Guy John Chaneski presents a brain teaser about the common bond that connects three words. For example, what's the verbal tie that binds a report card, USDA inspected beef, and an incline?
A Virginian who moved to Illinois is feeling nostalgic about her old Tidewater accent. What are some tips to help you regain the accent you grew up with? Some strategies for reclaiming one's accent: Go back home for a visit, and save some linguistic memories by inviting friends and family to share stories and recording them. Spend time with the Dictionary of American Regional English, available online or through public libraries. Read old newspapers, either through your library or online at sites like Newspapers.com. Finally, seek out YouTube videos from the area where you grew up. 
Following our earlier conversation about nicknames, listeners are still responding with stories about their own nicknames. Two of those show how nicknames sometimes arise from a single  incident, then stick around for years. In one story, a girl spelled out the name Jennifer in all caps, but forgot the final downward stroke on the letter R. Thereafter, she was affectionately called Jennifep and later just Fep. In another, a girl made a connection between a friend named Wendy Larson and a word she learned while paging through an unabridged dictionary. The word is condylarth, which refers to an extinct ungulate animal. For decades thereafter, she referred to her friend Wendy Larson as Condy Larthon, or simply Cond. How did you get your nickname?
Jeremy calls from Charleston, South Carolina, to say that when he lived in southeast New Hampshire, he was puzzled by the use of a seemingly negative response to indicate something positive. For example, if he said I drive a red car and his listener also drove a red car, the listener would respond affirmatively with the phrase So don't I meaning "I drive a red car, too." This construction is primarily heard in New England. Linguist Jim Wood of Yale University has studied it extensively, and points out such constructions aren't limited to the verbs do and don't. For example, in New England, you might also hear statements such as Sure, it's trendy but so aren't most nightclubs, or Yes, the clerks should be treated with respect but so shouldn't the customers. Many other phrases used more widely may at first sound negative but actually communicate something positive, such as Don't you look pretty! or Wouldn't you like to know! Want to know more? For more of Wood's work on the topic, search online for the phrase affirmative semantics with negative morphosyntax. 
For a fantastic read about the history of taxonomy and the ways we use language to try to divide up and impose order on the world, check out Naming Nature: The Clash Between Instinct and Science (Bookshop|Amazon) by science writer Carol Kaesuk Yoon. This graceful, engaging book explains the concept of umwelt (literally, "the world around" in German) which means "the environment as it's perceived by various animals according to their sensory abilities and cognitive powers." A honeybee with its compound eyes has a very different umwelt from that a dog, which understands so much of the world through smell. Recent advances in evolutionary and molecular biology demonstrate that the so-called "Father of Modern Taxonomy," Carl Linnaeus, was limited by his own umwelt, and those discoveries now raise profound and surprising questions about the connections between and among various organisms.
If you need an expressive, multipurpose word means much the same as Wow! or Gee whiz! or Oy vey!, there's always Uff-da! This exclamation, often used to express surprise or disgust or exasperation started out as Norwegian uff da, meaning the same thing. In the United States, this term is now heard primarily in areas of Norwegian settlement, particularly in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
In Brazil, if you want to talk about going someplace quickly and coming back in a flash, you can use the idiomatic Portuguese phrase ir num pé e voltar no outro, literally "to go on one foot and return on the other."
Alan from Omaha, Nebraska, finds himself turning nouns into verbs, telling his daughter he's glad she's old enough to start to human and using jenga as a verb to refer to arranging items carefully, after the game Jenga, which involves removing blocks from a tower so that the whole thing doesn't fall. A large percentage of everyday verbs in English come from nouns. Linguists call the process of turning nouns into verbs denominalization. An excellent source on this topic is The Prodigal Tongue (Bookshop|Amazon) by linguist Lynne Murphy. She points out two words that have made the round trip from noun to verb more than once: caterer comes from the verb to cater which comes from a noun cater, which is a person who cated, which comes from the verb to cate, meaning "to dress food." The noun impact followed a similarly circuitous path. 
Channel fever is "the feeling of excitement or restlessness that sailors experience as their ship nears its home port."
Mary in Laramie, Wyoming, says her mother used to speak of taking a possible bath, meaning washing up using water from the sink instead of taking a bath or a shower. The idea is that you wash up as far as possible, then down as far as possible, and then you wash your possible or your possibles. The expression is fairly widespread, and was used by writers such as James Joyce in his novel Ulysses (Bookshop|Amazon) and Maya Angelou in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Bookshop|Amazon).
 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 (L-2)

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

10408791_948591901823533_3291516235368767195_n_small A weekly radio show featuring the best in classic and contemporary Latin Jazz music hosted by 17 - year veteran Tony Vasquez.