Memorial Day: Vets Remember The Fallen

Memorial Day in America is supposed to be a time to remember those who have died in our wars, and to thank them for their sacrifice.  However, for many of us, Memorial Days does not mean much more than a three-day weekend, and perhaps some flag-waving and parades.  I wanted this piece to serve as a counterpoint in which  veterans from World War One, World War Two, and the wars in Korea, Vietnam and the First Gulf War actually remember and speak about someone they personally knew who died alongside them in combat — who were they, what were their names, how did they die, how did they live?

Posted in Americana, History, Holidays-Season Specific, Oral History-oid Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Middletown NJ: A Town Aims to Heal (9/11/02)

The middle class suburb of Middletown New Jersey lost upwards of 45 people in the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, devastating the town. This piece checks in a year after the event on some of the families who lost loved ones that day, along with town officials, as Middletown continues its path toward recovery — or not.

It is a follow-up from a mini-doc made with many of the same people in the immediate aftermath o 9/11.

Posted in Americana, History, September 11th and Its Aftermath Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Middletown NJ: A Town Reels in Grief (2001)

The soldily middle class town of Middletown New Jersey is a peaceful suburb populated largely by people who left the city for a quieter life of green lawns and Little League.  Many residents work in Manhattan and take the ferry or the New Jersey Transit train home.  On September 11th 2001, upwards of 45 residents lost their lives in the World Trade Center, devastating the town, which tried to cope and help its own. This is a profile of several residents and officials soon afterward.

It is followed by a mini-doc of similar length which I made near the first anniversary of September 11th 2001 in which I interviewed many of the same people, in order to chart and report on their trajectory of continued grief and healing.

Posted in Americana, History, September 11th and Its Aftermath Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Science of Memetics: “Germ Theory” Applied to Ideas

What if ideas (memes) as self-replicating quasi-life forms that are looking or minds to colonize, the same way way that viruses or germs are looking or space inside cells? It might explain a lot, from fads to fashion to catchy-tunes to forms of government to religion and suicide cults.  This piece looks at the intersection of computer science, biology, neurology, sociology, epidemiology and “other.”

Posted in Science Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Changing Lifestyles of the Bedouin Arabs

The Bedouins are ancient clan-centered nomads of the Middle East who have relied on goatherding and camels for millennia. Abraham, for example, was a Bedouin. In modern times, the nomadic way of life, which depended on free movement and embraced a culture of both hospitality and revenge has been threatened due to land enclosures and the lures of Western way of life. In this archival piece, I spent lots of time with the Bedouins of the Negev Desert, and spoke with people from several generations (including an old sheik) to plot their heritage and current predicament.   (NPR “Horizons”; 30 minutes)

Posted in Immigrants and Ethnic Life, Long form docs (15" and up), Travel outside the USA Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Grassroots Group Helps Restore New York Estuary

Oysters may seem like humble shellfish, but ecologically, they tower above many other species. They are a tasty food source for a variety of creatures, including humans. But more importantly, oysters help to filter pollutants from coastal estuaries, places where fresh river waters and ocean salt waters co-mingle. Fourteen out of 20 of the world’s largest cities are built near estuaries, and urban pollution, development and other factors are now threatening these delicate ecosystems. In response, some grassroots groups, are using oyster beds to help restore and stabilize damaged estuaries. New York and New Jersey Baykeeper is one of them.

Original VOA posting of this story

Posted in History, New York, Science Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Maine Fisherman Plots Endangered Ground Fishing Ecology

Legend has it that cod, haddock, perch and other North Atlantic fish were once so plentiful off the coast of New England that fisherman could almost literally scoop them from the water. Today, that bounty is almost gone, due mainly to many decades of severe-over-fishing. Innovative research into the area fish decline is helping scientists and fishermen understand what makes the marine ecosystem and how fish populations might be restored – for humans and the untold numbers of other living things that depend on them.

Posted in Americana, Science Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Migratory Songbirds at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in New Hampshire s home to a complex set of delicate interlocking ecosystems that include this barrier beach, salt marsh and wetland, a large marine estuary and a pine and oak forest. The place is especially rich in migratory songbirds. I went there on a blustery New Hampshire day to take my fill of the place and acquaint myself and listeners with its birds and other wonders.

Posted in Science Tags: , , , , ,

California’s Coastal Redwood Forests

Of all the species of life on earth, none are as grand a symbol of life’s majesty and diversity as the giant redwood trees of Northern California and the coastal ecosystems in which they have grown for tens of millions of years.  I visited a small and precious preserve and talked to rangers and an environmental scientist about the biology of the place, and the spirit it evokes.

Posted in Science Tags: , , , , ,

Gary Snyder: Poet and Zen Bio-Regionalist (Earth Day)

For nearly 60 years, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gary Snyder has combined an environmental awareness shaped by America’s Far West with a Zen Buddhist perspective that celebrates and reveres the natural world.

Posted in Americana, Buddhism, Poetry, Profile, Spirituality Tags: , , , , , , ,
Page 3 of 3«123