Monday, August 23, 2010

Wild child

Stories of children raised by animals have been around for centuries (remember Romulus and Remus?). Video documentation has brought current stories of feral children to life. Now we can observe and appreciate how "wild" these children behave. For instance, check out this video of Oxana, a girl who was cruelly penned up with only dogs for company for five years as a young girl. Her movements are remarkably similar to those of her canine companions. For an update on Oxana, read this article put out by the Telegraph in 2006.

For the August 11th show (click here for podcast), we explored several stories of feral children. The struggles these individuals face when trying to integrate back into society are great, and often the outcome is undesirable. These stories highlight the importance of human interaction during the early years of development.

In the news...
In the last bit of the show, we heard some songs from our friends the wrens (Family: Troglodytidae). These songsters have some of the most complex and, in my opinion, interesting vocalizations of the bird world.

Artists featured included Tindersticks, Sufjan Stevens, Spoon, Animal Collective, Mariee Sioux, Cab Calloway, Headlights, Echo and the Bunnyman, Broadcast, and more.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hotter 'an hell.

My oh my... it has been a summer of record-breaking heat! The cool thing about being human is that we have mastered air conditioning and so we find ways to beat the heat with technology. Our plant and animal friends do not have this advantage and thus they must adapt to their environments. On this hot hot August 4th evening, we cruised through some interesting ways in which plants and animals have adapted to hot temperatures and the aridity that often accompanies the heat. Specifically, we talked about desert survival, making use of information from the Desert USA website. For example, did you know that the enlarged, vascularized ears of a jack rabbit (pictured above) allow it to dissipate heat more effectively? Click here to listen to the podcast.

In the news...
In the sound quiz, we heard from desert southwest creatures such as the Phainopepla (pictured right) and the Rock Squirrel.

Music featured included Hot Chip, Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, The Reverend Horton Heat, Lou Reed, Mother Mother, Siz Organs of Admittance, and more!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

That's a big'un

The trees they do grow high... and round! For the July 28th show (click here for podcast), we learned about champion trees. We listened to a Nature Stories podcast called "Virgin Forest" in which the search was on for trees in the eastern forests of the US that could take the title of biggest tree. We also talked about where to go to find some of these champs (e.g. the big black oak at Lake Fayetteville, pictured left), and what to do if you want to submit a candidate tree to the national register. Perhaps you're thinking "It's not all about size!"? Well, if you have a tree that you feel deserves recognition for its historic value, then you can submit that tree to America's Historic Tree Register. If you're in Arkansas, consider submitting it to the Arkansas Famous and Historic Tree Program.

In the news...
No time for a sound quiz this week, but we heard from artists such as The Books, Fleet Foxes, Lost in the Trees, Michael Nyman, Joan Baez, Songs: Ohia, Damien Jurado, TV on the Radio,  The Cure, and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists.