Memorable Moments 2007 Introduction

Memorable Moments 2007 is a compilation of the most compelling, distinctive, intriguing, sound-rich and off-beat stories we've heard and seen on NPR this year.

This installment in NPR's annual series includes stories from America and from abroad — from Japan, to Iceland, to Iraq, to Hawaii. We travel back seven decades to the Hindenburg crash in 1937 and we see how modern wartime medicine has increased survival rates for injured troops.

The series also includes stories from Climate Connections, NPR's yearlong project with National Geographic. Hear about how a new clothing line in Japan is helping to trim more than two million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and learn how engineers in Iceland are turning volcanic heat into usable power.

There is compelling coverage of the year's major news events: Iran, the war in Iraq, the Minneapolis bridge collapse and the massive southern California wildfires.

But there are also more lighthearted moments: the voice of a seductive Brazilian airport announcer, a musical connection between alligators and black holes, and a discovery by an NPR reporter that computer keyboards might just be dishwasher safe.

Some of this year's most memorable moments are more than just great radio; here on NPR.org, there is a wealth of additional audio and visual content to explore. Some highlights include an audio slideshow from NPR's Howard Berkes with stunning landscape images taken by an aerial photographer and an in-depth 50th anniversary look at the development and creation of West Side Story.

There is also a new video feature called Project Song from NPR Music. It's a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process of songwriting, and the first installment puts you in the studio with singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt.

The stories here are by no means the only memorable stories from NPR this year. This list was narrowed down from hundreds of candidates, and inevitably, stories were left off that may have been particularly memorable to you. This list is just a starting point — something to whet your appetite. So have a listen, browse around and see what strikes you.

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