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Word of Mouth

Mapping the Syrian Conflict, Unnaturally Delicious, & Save Room for Pie

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Radio broadcast news from the front during World War II. Vietnam was captured on television. Today, uncensored scenes from Syria's civil war are uploaded onto YouTube by the thousands.  Now, we’re learning what amateur videos reveal about Syria's brutal war.

Then, the intersection between technology and food makes a lot of people wary. Concerns over industrialized food, GMOs and big agriculture’s profit motive have sparked a foodie movement that demands whole, responsibly grown fare. On today’s show, an agricultural economist says high tech methods are crucial when it comes to confronting obesity, environmental degradation, and global hunger.

Listen to the full show. 

Mapping the Syrian Conflict

During World War II, news from the front was broadcast on radio. Television, famously, and perhaps decisively brought the havoc of the Vietnam conflict home to Americans on the evening news.  Scenes of destruction and carnage in Syria's civil war are uploaded every day on YouTube.

Thousands of videos reveal assaults, bombings, skirmishes and their blood-soaked aftermaths in the   multi-sided battle now playing out on several Syrian fronts. The Carter Center's Syria Conflict Mapping Project has been connecting these disparate dots of video to better understand the complicated and brutal conflict. They've been testing out a new tool called Montage to help identify and catalogue the videos and Chris McNaboe is manager of the project for the Carter Center. 

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Mapping the Syrian Conflict

Preserving Endangered Sounds

In the early days of audio recording, little thought or understanding went into how wax cylinders and vinyl records would stand the test of time. The ravages of fluctuating temperatures and oxidation have destroyed countless recordings and left others too fragile to replay, lest they be destroyed and permanently lost.

Producer Curt Nickisch brings us the story of a new technology that allows archivists to preserve and play old audio files without touching them.

Listen to this story again at PRX.org.

Unnaturally Delicious

Cooking robots are one of many ways that technology is altering food production. That's a scary combination for many people who may find the idea of 3D printed cookies and lab-grown hamburgers intriguing, but doubt the profit motives and methods of big ag and industrialized food.

Jayson Lusk is downright excited. He's an agricultural economist at Oklahoma State who argues that confronting global hunger, obesity, and climate change without abusing animals or degrading the environment requires technological and biological innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. He's author of Unnaturally Delicious: How Science And Technology Are Serving Up Super Foods To Save The World.

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Unnaturally Delicious

Save Room for Pie

You probably know Roy Blount Jr. from his regular seat on the “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” panel on NPR, but you may not know that he is in love with food.

Roy grew up in the South, which means he was eating pork belly back when "butchery" was not considered glamorous, and chowing on chicken gizzards long before anyone dreamed that a chef would admit to cooking with offal -- never mind be on TV.

His new book is called: Save Room for Pie: Food Songs and Chewy Ruminations.

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Save Room For Pie

StoryCorps: The Perfect Slice

Len Berk has always loved lox. So, after a 40 year career in accounting Len switched careers and became a salmon slicer at Zabar’s in Manhattan. And at 85 years old, he couldn't be happier. He sat down at StoryCorps with his friend Joshua Gubitz to tell the story of his 2nd career.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org