Portlandia's Hilarious NPR Tailgate Is Killing Me Softly

Do you experience anxiety upon realizing that you're almost out of Radiolab podcasts? Does every spring cleaning involve discarding at least three complimentary tote bags? Have you ever had a sex dream about Kai Ryssdal (and are you able to spell Kai Ryssdal's name without Googling it)? Then you, public radio addict,… » 1/29/14 1:00pm 1/29/14 1:00pm

Meet the Women Who Make the T-Shirt You're Wearing Right Now

In the spring, NPR and This American Life's Planet Money started a Kickstarter to raise money for their t-shirt project, a reporting enterprise that would have them help design a t-shirt "and then follow that t-shirt around the world as it gets made." Though the piece has a few chapters, the most striking portion is… » 12/05/13 10:30am 12/05/13 10:30am

Your Afternoon Cry: Scott Simon Live-Tweets From His Mom's Deathbed

People who grew up listening to public radio are a rare breed, in that they're obsessed with "their" radio hosts. Ask anyone in radio about the responses they get when people figure out who they are in public and they'll tell you stories of people freaking out upon meeting them –which is especially funny, given that… » 7/29/13 5:35pm 7/29/13 5:35pm

Two Months Late, NPR Finally Explains ‘Perky’ Kirsten Gillibrand Piece

In May, NPR reporter Ailsa Chang wrote a piece about Kristen Gillibrand entitled "Focus On Women, Families Propels New York's Sen. Gillibrand" intended to discuss her rising star power in the Senate and her potential presidential prospects. What it actually discussed in an entirely unproductive manner was how the… » 7/10/13 11:10am 7/10/13 11:10am

NPR Retracts Insights on 'Perky' Kirsten Gillibrand's 'Girlie Voice'

New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's star has been rising for the past several years. She was elected to fill Hillary Clinton's senate seat in 2010, and since then, has been championed by Democratic party stars like Howard Dean or the super-PAC EMILY's List as a possible contender for president. This week,… » 5/16/13 4:30pm 5/16/13 4:30pm

Your Morning Cry: Daughter Interviews Her Mentally Disabled Mom on NPR

Oh my God, this is just—gahhhh. I just have something in my eye. Like a speck of soot, or a ficus, or Cleveland or something. On NPR's Morning Edition, Bonnie Brown, an intellectually disabled woman and single mom who works part-time at Wendy's, was interviewed by her precocious daughter Myra. You can tell they really… » 2/10/13 12:00pm 2/10/13 12:00pm

Determined to Eliminate Tote Bags, GOP Proposes Cutting Funding to NPR,…

There's no money for frivolities like education and public health when we have expensive explodable toys to think about. At least, that's the ethos behind House Republicans' newly proposed budget, which would eliminate funding for National Public Radio, PBS, Planned Parenthood, Americorps, and kittens. At this rate,… » 7/19/12 3:50pm 7/19/12 3:50pm

What Can an Older Version of Yourself Teach You? Wear Sunscreen and…

For most young-ish people, it's easy to be cavalier about things like saving for your eventual retirement. But what if you were forced to confront an older version of yourself in the mirror? Besides freaking out about how wrinkly and sun-spotty you've gotten, would it make you think twice about setting some money… » 4/12/12 4:30pm 4/12/12 4:30pm

Go Ahead and Buy Cheap Wine, You Can't Taste the Difference Anyway

There's the common presumption that the more expensive a wine is the more exciting and delicious it is. That might be true in theory, but your enjoyment of it all depends on your ability to taste it. And, according to a new study, that's determined by your physiological makeup. If you don't possess the necessary… » 3/07/12 11:50am 3/07/12 11:50am

The Evangelicals' Sad Attempt to Convert the Christian Masses Into…

If you were to base your evidence on the dialogue happening in the recent Republican primaries, you might assume that every conservative Christian in America is standing at the ready, preparing to cast their ballot for the craziest candidate, whomever s/he may be, come November. But in fact, there are millions of… » 2/28/12 11:40am 2/28/12 11:40am

Professional Pearl-Clutcher Worried That Internet Will Turn Girls Into…

What happens when you take one delusional nostalgia-peddler in a twinset, one accomplished young female journalist, and one public radio host, mix in a few splashes of princess culture, a liberal application of slut-shaming, a twist of incoherence, and a backhanded, condescending ad hominem attack? You get a matronly… » 1/19/12 12:40pm 1/19/12 12:40pm

Why Do So Many Robots Have A Woman's Voice?


Ever wonder why so many automated voices—think the iPhone's Siri, your GPS lady, the woman who gives you your voicemail—are female? NPR's Scott Simon did a little digging into this topic, and the consensus seems to be that women's voices are used because they're perceived as being more comforting. As one expert put it, » 10/23/11 1:05pm 10/23/11 1:05pm