1. As a veterinarian who specializes in behavioral medicine, Dr. Vint Virga has treated many household pets in his clinic. But for the past five years he has been working mostly with leopards, wolves, bears, zebras and other animals living in zoos and wildlife parks. He deals with such issues as appetites, anxiety and obsessive behavior.
In the interview he discusses how zoos have changed to improve the animals’ well being:

"I think the most important things that zoos have done in the past 10, 20 years, is that they [have] focused primarily on the animal’s well-being. And, depending on their feedback and responses, looked at their behavior, looked at their overall happiness and contentment and used that as the gauge for what to do for the animal.
They’ve also applied as much [as] science knows about the animals in nature. What that looks like is providing them with a space that’s a lot more rich and full than just a place that is an exhibit. So it’s really shifting from not a cage, because most zoos don’t even have those anymore, but from an exhibit to a habitat. The environment is much richer and more complex rather than flat and uniform, so that we can see them.
[Zoos are] providing [animals with] opportunities to escape from view of the public — and that can be difficult for a zoo. … Visitors complain to the zoo if they can’t see the leopard, the bear or the lion. But on the other hand, if the lion doesn’t have any choice of getting away from the public at times, particularly if there [are] crowds or noisy visitors, then we’re taking away their sense of control over their environment.”
View in High-Res

    As a veterinarian who specializes in behavioral medicine, Dr. Vint Virga has treated many household pets in his clinic. But for the past five years he has been working mostly with leopards, wolves, bears, zebras and other animals living in zoos and wildlife parks. He deals with such issues as appetites, anxiety and obsessive behavior.

    In the interview he discusses how zoos have changed to improve the animals’ well being:

    "I think the most important things that zoos have done in the past 10, 20 years, is that they [have] focused primarily on the animal’s well-being. And, depending on their feedback and responses, looked at their behavior, looked at their overall happiness and contentment and used that as the gauge for what to do for the animal.

    They’ve also applied as much [as] science knows about the animals in nature. What that looks like is providing them with a space that’s a lot more rich and full than just a place that is an exhibit. So it’s really shifting from not a cage, because most zoos don’t even have those anymore, but from an exhibit to a habitat. The environment is much richer and more complex rather than flat and uniform, so that we can see them.

    [Zoos are] providing [animals with] opportunities to escape from view of the public — and that can be difficult for a zoo. … Visitors complain to the zoo if they can’t see the leopard, the bear or the lion. But on the other hand, if the lion doesn’t have any choice of getting away from the public at times, particularly if there [are] crowds or noisy visitors, then we’re taking away their sense of control over their environment.”

  2. animals

    zoo

    polar bear

    vint virga

    fresh air

    interview

  1. Arthur Allen's book, The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl, tells the story of two scientists—one Christian and one Jewish—who battled typhus and sabotaged the Nazis during WWII. 
Transmitted by body lice, typhus killed untold numbers of soldiers and civilians during the war. Today’s interview explores the labor-intensive process of making the vaccine and the way the lab sabotaged the Nazis by weakening their vaccines and sneaking doses into Jewish ghettos. 
Allen explains how the Nazis used lice imagery after they invaded Poland: 

"The Nazis … always described the Jews as "vermin" and sometimes used the word "lice." …And this was an ideology that was belittling and obviously also associating Jews with sort of filth and contamination, parasitism — all of these things that you metaphorically can link lice to.
[The Nazis] made it very concrete after they took over the first Polish cities, that there were signs that went up all over Warsaw, for example … that would have a picture of a bearded Jew with a louse that said, “Lice, Jews, typhus,” to make that association in the minds [of] Poles — the idea of keeping them from protecting Jews, [of] seeing Jews as part of this invasive, parasitic, dangerous force that they had to avoid and exterminate.”


German anti-Jewish propaganda: “Jews, lice, typhus.” Poster printed in Warsaw in 1941 and distributed throughout the GG. Courtesy of ŻIH. View in High-Res

    Arthur Allen's book, The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl, tells the story of two scientists—one Christian and one Jewish—who battled typhus and sabotaged the Nazis during WWII. 

    Transmitted by body lice, typhus killed untold numbers of soldiers and civilians during the war. Today’s interview explores the labor-intensive process of making the vaccine and the way the lab sabotaged the Nazis by weakening their vaccines and sneaking doses into Jewish ghettos. 

    Allen explains how the Nazis used lice imagery after they invaded Poland: 

    "The Nazis … always described the Jews as "vermin" and sometimes used the word "lice." …And this was an ideology that was belittling and obviously also associating Jews with sort of filth and contamination, parasitism — all of these things that you metaphorically can link lice to.

    [The Nazis] made it very concrete after they took over the first Polish cities, that there were signs that went up all over Warsaw, for example … that would have a picture of a bearded Jew with a louse that said, “Lice, Jews, typhus,” to make that association in the minds [of] Poles — the idea of keeping them from protecting Jews, [of] seeing Jews as part of this invasive, parasitic, dangerous force that they had to avoid and exterminate.”

    German anti-Jewish propaganda: “Jews, lice, typhus.” Poster printed in Warsaw in 1941 and distributed throughout the GG. Courtesy of ŻIH.

  2. typhus

    jewish history

    WWII

    science

    history

    holocaust

    aruthur allen

    fresh air

    terry gross

  1. “I think it’s very important to live in the present. One of the great things that improvising teaches you is the magic of the moment that you’re in … because when you improvise you’re in right now. You’re not in yesterday or tomorrow—you’re right in the moment. Being in that moment really gives you a perspective of life that you never get at any other time as far as learning about your ego… You have to see your unimportance before you can see your importance and your significance to the world.”
-Charlie Haden, jazz bass player 1937 - 2014 

In remembrance of Haden we put together some of his best interview moments. He spoke to Terry five times, beginning in 1983. You can listen to the show and read more quotes here. 




Photo: Charlie Haden, bass, performs at the BIM Huis on May 18, 1989 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. by Frans Schellekens/Redferns View in High-Res

    I think it’s very important to live in the present. One of the great things that improvising teaches you is the magic of the moment that you’re in … because when you improvise you’re in right now. You’re not in yesterday or tomorrow—you’re right in the moment. Being in that moment really gives you a perspective of life that you never get at any other time as far as learning about your ego… You have to see your unimportance before you can see your importance and your significance to the world.

    -Charlie Haden, jazz bass player 1937 - 2014 

    In remembrance of Haden we put together some of his best interview moments. He spoke to Terry five times, beginning in 1983. You can listen to the show and read more quotes here

    Photo: Charlie Haden, bass, performs at the BIM Huis on May 18, 1989 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. by Frans Schellekens/Redferns

  2. music

    jazz

    charlie haden

    fresh air

    interview

    terry gross

  1. Angela Ricketts' husband was deployed eight times—four of them to Iraq and Afghanistan. She joined us to talk about the culture at home on the military bases, the responsibilities of being an officer’s wife, and the relationships she formed with other infantry wives. Ricketts’ new memoir is called No Man’s War: Irreverent Confessions of an Infantry Wife: 

"The "black soul" is the numbness that you reach a point after the first few deployments — it just rips your gut out when you say goodbye. And you’re just left in this puddle of tears and emotional and weepy for days. That can only happen so many times. Just like they say you can really only have your heart broken once.
…I’ve become kind of stoic in general. People cry at movies and I look at them and say, “Really? You’re really crying at this movie?” Because I just feel very unfazed by a lot of things that should faze me.”
View in High-Res

    Angela Ricketts' husband was deployed eight times—four of them to Iraq and Afghanistan. She joined us to talk about the culture at home on the military bases, the responsibilities of being an officer’s wife, and the relationships she formed with other infantry wives. Ricketts’ new memoir is called No Man’s War: Irreverent Confessions of an Infantry Wife

    "The "black soul" is the numbness that you reach a point after the first few deployments — it just rips your gut out when you say goodbye. And you’re just left in this puddle of tears and emotional and weepy for days. That can only happen so many times. Just like they say you can really only have your heart broken once.

    …I’ve become kind of stoic in general. People cry at movies and I look at them and say, “Really? You’re really crying at this movie?” Because I just feel very unfazed by a lot of things that should faze me.”

  2. army

    army wives

    interview

    fresh air

    war

    marriage

  1. Our youngest fan is keepin’ it Fresh, listening to Terry’s book, All I Did Was Ask.

Photo: Lisa O’brien and baby Ruby May Berger, from Christine Dempsey, WHYY’s Vice-President, Chief Content Officer

View in High-Res

    Our youngest fan is keepin’ it Fresh, listening to Terry’s book, All I Did Was Ask.

    Photo: Lisa O’brien and baby Ruby May Berger, from Christine Dempsey, WHYY’s Vice-President, Chief Content Officer

  2. fresh air

    terry gross

    all i did was ask

    public radio

  1. Journalist Beth Macy documents the collapse of the American furniture industry and its human cost in her new book Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local, and Helped Save an American Town.
She profiles John Bassett III, a determined owner who fought back against the foreign onslaught — both by filing anti-dumping charges with the U.S. International Trade Commission against Chinese firms, and by making his own company more competitive.
When Chinese companies started manufacturing furniture, the Bassett Company, based in Virginia, watched their once vibrant Virginia town become vacant. Thousands of workers lost their jobs.  
In today’s interview Macy tells us how the Bassett family tracked down a Chinese knock-off of their product in China:

There’s a dresser that’s just come on the scene [in 2001] in the American market and it’s a Louis-Philippe [style] dresser. It’s wholesaling for $100 and [John Bassett III] can’t figure out how the heck [the Chinese company is] able to sell it. “They can’t be making money,” he says. He has his engineer take it apart and deconstruct it piece-by-piece and price out the pieces. And he knows they have to be “dumping,” which means selling it for less than the price of the materials.
So he sends his son Wyatt, who is kind of his head business guy, he sends him and a … translator, who is a family friend, to Dalian because the stick on the back only says “Dalian, China.” It doesn’t say exactly which factory it’s from. And he sends them off to do a secret spy mission. They’re pretending that they’re looking to buy — but what they’re really looking for is that one particular dresser.
They find it after days and days of searching. They finally end up in this remote section of the province, almost to the border of North Korea, and they find it there… The gentleman running [the factory] actually meets with them and he has this very chilly one-on-one dialogue with them that’s all translated. But the guy says, basically, “Close your factories.” (Bassett’s got three factories left at the time.) “Close your three factories and let me make all of your furniture for you.”
… The translated word, and John [Bassett III] remembered it very well, was “tuition”… “This is the tuition of [China] being able to capture your market share. We’re going to sell it so cheap and with government subsidies — we’re going to be able to make all of your furniture for you.”
They ended up driving them out to this furniture industrial park, out in the country and there [are] just stacks and stacks of timber… When [Wyatt] saw all that Russian timber laid out they knew [the Chinese] were serious. And they knew they were going to war.


Photo: An abandoned lumber mill in Martinsville, Virginia, 2010. via the New Yorker View in High-Res

    Journalist Beth Macy documents the collapse of the American furniture industry and its human cost in her new book Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local, and Helped Save an American Town.

    She profiles John Bassett III, a determined owner who fought back against the foreign onslaught — both by filing anti-dumping charges with the U.S. International Trade Commission against Chinese firms, and by making his own company more competitive.

    When Chinese companies started manufacturing furniture, the Bassett Company, based in Virginia, watched their once vibrant Virginia town become vacant. Thousands of workers lost their jobs.  

    In today’s interview Macy tells us how the Bassett family tracked down a Chinese knock-off of their product in China:

    There’s a dresser that’s just come on the scene [in 2001] in the American market and it’s a Louis-Philippe [style] dresser. It’s wholesaling for $100 and [John Bassett III] can’t figure out how the heck [the Chinese company is] able to sell it. “They can’t be making money,” he says. He has his engineer take it apart and deconstruct it piece-by-piece and price out the pieces. And he knows they have to be “dumping,” which means selling it for less than the price of the materials.

    So he sends his son Wyatt, who is kind of his head business guy, he sends him and a … translator, who is a family friend, to Dalian because the stick on the back only says “Dalian, China.” It doesn’t say exactly which factory it’s from. And he sends them off to do a secret spy mission. They’re pretending that they’re looking to buy — but what they’re really looking for is that one particular dresser.

    They find it after days and days of searching. They finally end up in this remote section of the province, almost to the border of North Korea, and they find it there… The gentleman running [the factory] actually meets with them and he has this very chilly one-on-one dialogue with them that’s all translated. But the guy says, basically, “Close your factories.” (Bassett’s got three factories left at the time.) “Close your three factories and let me make all of your furniture for you.”

    … The translated word, and John [Bassett III] remembered it very well, was “tuition”… “This is the tuition of [China] being able to capture your market share. We’re going to sell it so cheap and with government subsidies — we’re going to be able to make all of your furniture for you.”

    They ended up driving them out to this furniture industrial park, out in the country and there [are] just stacks and stacks of timber… When [Wyatt] saw all that Russian timber laid out they knew [the Chinese] were serious. And they knew they were going to war.

    Photo: An abandoned lumber mill in Martinsville, Virginia, 2010. via the New Yorker

  2. bassett furniture

    beth macy

    interview

    fresh air

    virginia

    manufacturing

    china

    economy

  1. We got more bounce at Fresh Air. 

Molly and Sam (Sam working a little bit harder) and staying on the ball. Phyllis, Dorothy and Terry (!) have balls on the way.  View in High-Res

    We got more bounce at Fresh Air. 

    Molly and Sam (Sam working a little bit harder) and staying on the ball. Phyllis, Dorothy and Terry (!) have balls on the way. 

  2. bounce

    fitness

    ball

    fresh air

    radio

    office

  1. The Art of Dog-Earing: Yes, Terry Reads The Books View in High-Res

    The Art of Dog-Earing: Yes, Terry Reads The Books

  2. fresh air

    terry gross

    reading

    books

    research

  1. Usually when characters age in movies, they’re covered with makeup and outfitted with prosthetics – or directors use different actors as the character ages. But in the new film Boyhood, none of that is necessary.
The film takes place over the course of 12 years, and it was shot over the course of 12 years. So we watch the actors getting older for real, which gives their characters a sense of authenticity.
Director Richard Linklater told what it was like to cast a 6 year-old boy (Ellar Coltrane) not knowing who he would become: 

"It was a huge leap. I just went with a kid who seemed kind of the most interesting. I liked the way his mind worked — he was a little mysterious and sensitive and very thoughtful. He was cut from no ordinary cloth. He was homeschooled and his parents were artists and I thought, "Well, that’s cool, there’ll be some family support for this undertaking. It will be a fun thing to do in his life."
So I think I had the family support but as far as he goes, you kind of have to admit that your main collaborator here has a really unknown future. But I would have each year to incrementally adjust and maybe go toward who he was becoming. That was sort of the design of the movie.”

Boyhood .gif of Ellar Coltrane via CBC 

    Usually when characters age in movies, they’re covered with makeup and outfitted with prosthetics – or directors use different actors as the character ages. But in the new film Boyhood, none of that is necessary.

    The film takes place over the course of 12 years, and it was shot over the course of 12 years. So we watch the actors getting older for real, which gives their characters a sense of authenticity.

    Director Richard Linklater told what it was like to cast a 6 year-old boy (Ellar Coltrane) not knowing who he would become: 

    "It was a huge leap. I just went with a kid who seemed kind of the most interesting. I liked the way his mind worked — he was a little mysterious and sensitive and very thoughtful. He was cut from no ordinary cloth. He was homeschooled and his parents were artists and I thought, "Well, that’s cool, there’ll be some family support for this undertaking. It will be a fun thing to do in his life."

    So I think I had the family support but as far as he goes, you kind of have to admit that your main collaborator here has a really unknown future. But I would have each year to incrementally adjust and maybe go toward who he was becoming. That was sort of the design of the movie.”

    Boyhood .gif of Ellar Coltrane via CBC 

  2. boyhood

    richard linklater

    ellar coltrane

    film

    interview

    fresh air

  1. Laurence Packer loves bees. "Passion is a bit of an understatement, maybe I’m obsessed," he tells us.  His book, Keeping the Bees: Why All Bees are at Risk and What We Can Do to Save Themexplores what exactly bees do and why its so important that we protect them. In today’s interview he explains how pollination can affect fruit and vegetable crops: 

    "A nice, economically valuable watermelon that’s large and quite round and not malformed requires a couple of thousand pollen grains to be deposited. And that might require seven or so different visits of a bee to the flower.

    In California, where these studies have been done in the most detail, there are 40 different species of bees that will perform that service. If not enough pollen gets onto the watermelon you get a [misshapen] one. And if you don’t get any pollen, you don’t get any watermelon at all.

    Some crops are entirely dependent upon pollination. Others don’t require pollinators at all, such as cereal grains. Others are pollinated by the wind, such as grapes. But most of the tastiest products from plants — such as most fruits and vegetables — these require pollination for the development for the fruit or the vegetable, or at least for the propagation of the vegetable plants through seeds.”

    Photos: Sam Droege/Flickr and Wayne Boo/Flickr

  2. bees

    honey

    pollen

    vegetables

    science

    fresh air

    interview

  1. Tomorrow’s show is all about bees. Not beads, bees. 

    We talk to Laurence Packer, author of Keeping The Bees: Why All Bees Are At Risk And What We Can Do To Save Them. 

    (For those of you who are Arrested Development fans / get the reference, here’s our hysterical interview with show creator Mitch Hurwitz)

  2. arrested development

    gif

    bees

    beads

    fresh air

    interview

  1. Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, had an unprecedented rollout in 180 countries, making it the most-watched National Geographic series ever. Variety reports:

A whopping 135 million people — including 45 million in the U.S. — watched at least some of the 13-part science series, National Geographic Channel announced today. Overall, it aired on all 90 National Geographic Channels as well as 120 Fox-branded channels in 125 countries, making this the largest global launch ever for a television series.


If you haven’t heard our interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson, listen to it here.  View in High-Res

    Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, had an unprecedented rollout in 180 countries, making it the most-watched National Geographic series ever. Variety reports:

    A whopping 135 million people — including 45 million in the U.S. — watched at least some of the 13-part science series, National Geographic Channel announced today. Overall, it aired on all 90 National Geographic Channels as well as 120 Fox-branded channels in 125 countries, making this the largest global launch ever for a television series.

    If you haven’t heard our interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson, listen to it here. 

  2. cosmos

    neil degrasse tyson

    space

    science

    interview

    fresh air

  1. I like to be funny to cover the deep, powerful pain, the miserable insecurity.

    — 

    Paul Mazursky, comedian and director of Moscow on the Hudson, Harry and Tonto, and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice 

    Mazurksy passed away last week at 84. 

  2. paul mazursky

    fresh air

    interview

    movies

    director

  1. For the Fourth of July we are replaying our interview with Dave and Phil Alvin, two brothers whose new new album, Common Ground, is a tribute to one of their early influences, bluesman Big Bill Broonzy: 

Phil Alvin: When I first discovered Big Bill Broozy, his voice and his songwriting, his humor, his guitar playing, his persona was so big to me. I became a Little Bill Broonzy guy; started singing the songs that I heard on the first album that I got almost immediately, and I’ve always had him in the back of my mind whenever I would sing and play.
View in High-Res

    For the Fourth of July we are replaying our interview with Dave and Phil Alvin, two brothers whose new new album, Common Ground, is a tribute to one of their early influences, bluesman Big Bill Broonzy

    Phil Alvin: When I first discovered Big Bill Broozy, his voice and his songwriting, his humor, his guitar playing, his persona was so big to me. I became a Little Bill Broonzy guy; started singing the songs that I heard on the first album that I got almost immediately, and I’ve always had him in the back of my mind whenever I would sing and play.

  2. blues

    music

    big bill broonzy

    4th of july

    fresh air

    interview

  1. Roger Ebert was often considered the most famous film critic of his generation. Now filmmaker Steve James has produced a documentary about his life and death called Life Itself.
In 2002, Ebert was diagnosed with cancer. Four years later, he had surgery to remove part of his lower jaw. It left him unable to eat, drink or speak. For the rest of his life, he was fed through a tube. 
In late 2012, James asked Ebert to let make him a documentary with Ebert’s participation. Ebert agreed. Almost immediately, the cancer returned, and Ebert was hospitalized. He died four months later. But during those final months, he allowed James to film him in the hospital. And all of a sudden, James was capturing a different story — a story about looking back on an incredible career
Today we speak to Steve James and Ebert’s wife Chaz about Roger and his legacy. Chaz tells us about what discussing films was like during their marriage:

Chaz Ebert: When we disagreed about films, Roger loved it. Because no, I’m not a shy and retiring type, of course I pushed back, and he loved that, too. The thing that I also loved about him is he respected my opinions about the movies and he did listen to me…
Sometimes I would not discuss a movie with him that we both had seen until after he had written his review because I didn’t want to influence what he said or influence his thinking about a movie… The thing that I miss now is that I did not realize how much we actually agreed on movies. In this last year I’ve missed him so much. [I’ve] missed discussing movies with him. I didn’t realize that I had almost taken for granted having access to this brilliant mind and I miss that.


Photo: Roger Ebert writing in his office. By Kevin Horan via Kartemquin View in High-Res

    Roger Ebert was often considered the most famous film critic of his generation. Now filmmaker Steve James has produced a documentary about his life and death called Life Itself.

    In 2002, Ebert was diagnosed with cancer. Four years later, he had surgery to remove part of his lower jaw. It left him unable to eat, drink or speak. For the rest of his life, he was fed through a tube. 

    In late 2012, James asked Ebert to let make him a documentary with Ebert’s participation. Ebert agreed. Almost immediately, the cancer returned, and Ebert was hospitalized. He died four months later. But during those final months, he allowed James to film him in the hospital. And all of a sudden, James was capturing a different story — a story about looking back on an incredible career

    Today we speak to Steve James and Ebert’s wife Chaz about Roger and his legacy. Chaz tells us about what discussing films was like during their marriage:

    Chaz Ebert: When we disagreed about films, Roger loved it. Because no, I’m not a shy and retiring type, of course I pushed back, and he loved that, too. The thing that I also loved about him is he respected my opinions about the movies and he did listen to me…

    Sometimes I would not discuss a movie with him that we both had seen until after he had written his review because I didn’t want to influence what he said or influence his thinking about a movie… The thing that I miss now is that I did not realize how much we actually agreed on movies. In this last year I’ve missed him so much. [I’ve] missed discussing movies with him. I didn’t realize that I had almost taken for granted having access to this brilliant mind and I miss that.

    Photo: Roger Ebert writing in his office. By Kevin Horan via Kartemquin

  2. roger ebert

    film

    life itself

    documentary

    chaz ebert

    steve james

    interview

    fresh air