September 5, 2002 One of America's most arid regions, the great Sonoran Desert, turns into an amphibian wonderland during the brief summer rainy season. For Morning Edition and Radio Expeditions, NPR's John Burnett follows biologist Cecil Schwalbe on his annual trek to observe the frenzied courtship of native frogs and toads.
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August 26, 2002 Teenager Ellen Feiss made a 30-second ad for Apple Computer that created buzz before it even ran on TV. The ad turned Feiss into a star on the Web, with fan sites and chat rooms popping up by the dozen.
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January 1, 2002 Jim Leff, the creator of the food-obsessed website chowhound.com, takes Jon Kalish on a tour of his favorite New York eateries while explaining the Chowhound way of life.
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November 30, 2001 Frank Conrad's garage near Pittsburgh is widely considered to be the birthplace of modern broadcasting. For 94-year-old Harry Mills, memories of Conrad's earliest broadcasts still ring with excitement. Hear the story of radio's early days on All Things Considered. It's part of NPR's continuing Lost and Found Sound series.
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October 15, 2001 Author Jonathan Franzen joins Fresh Air to discuss his critically acclaimed and award-winning novel, The Corrections. It is a saga about two generations of an American family; the parents and their children.
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July 5, 2001 Carol Muske-Dukes' new novel Life After Death (Random House) is the story of a woman who, one day, says to her husband in anger "Why don't you just die?" The next day, he drops dead. The book follows her journey into grief, self-reproach and self- discovery. Muske-Dukes directs the doctoral program in creative writing and literature at the University of Southern California; she's published six collections of poetry, the most recent titled An Octave Above Thunder. She's also a regular critic for the New York Times Book Review.
February 19, 2001 Jason Bezis, a law student at the University of California at Berkeley, has always harbored a special appreciation for our first president. He wants the nation to refer to our annual Februrary federal holiday by its given name: Washington's Birthday.
May 7, 2000 Annie Cheney reports from New York on a legendary elevator operator, who's outfitted his place of work with plants, mood lighting and a sound system. His goal? To encourage passengers to start up a conversation.
February 13, 2000 Actor Christopher Walken talks about starring in a Broadway musical adaptation of The Dead, which is based on the James Joyce story. The actor also talks about portraying one disturbing character after another.
December 31, 1999 Quest For Sound Curator Jay Allison brings down the curtain on our year-long series, Lost and Found Sound, by playing examples of some of the listener calls that came in this year answering our plea for hidden audio artifacts. He laments that we never heard the talking seal, but then plays a short example. Allison takes us on a walk through the various kinds of sounds we learned about: ancestors passing messages to their descendants, voices of youth returning on record in old age, and many more. And, we hear the sound that initiated the series: a mysterious record made to a World War Two solider by his lover or wife back home.
November 19, 1999 Our year-long series visits a man obsessed with the sound of TV. Phil Gries started recording audio from his television set in the 1950s. He still has over 10-thousand items, and has turned his hobby into a business -- supplying audio from old TV shows to other collectors and museums. He says he was motivated by the ethereal nature of live TV to preserve broadcasts of all sorts.
October 8, 1999 Eighty-five-year-old Don Hunter plays us a few of his acoustic "trophies" from a lifetime of recording the sounds of his Pacific Northwest. The Eugene, Oregon man has been making stereo recordings of his region since the late 1950s -- and has been interested in sound since he was a boy. We hear a "planer," fog horns and a Douglas Fir being cut down.
June 25, 1999 In another installment of our year-long series, "Lost and Found Sound," Quest for Sound Curator Jay Allison takes us behind the scenes, to hear old recordings sent to us by listeners. We learn of the difficulties of finding equipment to play some rare audio formats, and how an expert, Steve Smolian, takes a defective item and tries to extract sounds from it. We hear some home recordings by relatives of listeners who have since passed away. Smolian warns laypeople against trying to listen to old formatted items themselves, for fear the original will be destroyed.
February 26, 1999 As part of the year-long collaboration between independent producers Jay Allison, The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva) and NPR, we present this Friday's installment of the series about recorded sound this century.
February 18, 1999 After many poignant roles, Dustin Hoffman receives the annual American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award. Hoffman discusses what the award means to him.
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