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Word of Mouth

7.4.16: Happy Independence Day

Victoria Pickering via flickr Creative Commons

It's the 4th of July, time to celebrate America's independence with family, fireworks, and food. On today's show, J.M. Hirsch, the former AP Food Editor and current Editorial Director of Milk Street Kitchen shares goes beyond the burgers and dogs and fires up some original outdoor cooking ideas. 

Then we'll head to the Hollywood Bowl to talk to the pyro-musical team that scores and designs Los Angeles' annual fireworks display.

Listen to the full show: 

The First Fireworks

Summer is fireworks season in America, but the thrilling proximity to exploding rockets and sizzling pageantry has been with us for centuries.  Author and illustrator Ron Miller wrote about the history of the spectacularly dangerous fireworks displays that enthrall people worldwide for io9.

The First Fireworks

Playing with Fire

In communities all over America, the 4th of July means outdoor concerts – and fireworks. Can you hear the “1812 Overture” without picturing brightly colored starbursts against a summer sky? It's not just the orchestra that has to practice for these spectacles, setting off fireworks to live music--that's a performance in itself. Producer Anny Celsi takes us behind the scenes with the pyro-musical team that lights up the Hollywood Bowl each 4th of July. 

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.

The Truth About Bugspray

Kiera Butler is senior editor at Mother Jones and wrote the article “The Truth About Bug Spray.”  She joined us to help choose the best bug repellent for our upcoming summer activities.

The Truth About Bugspray

Lost Lobsters

Nate DiMeo host of the podcast, The Memory Palace brings us a curious tale all about the insects of the sea.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org

A New Twist on Summer Grilling

J.M. Hirsch is Editorial director at @cpkimball's Milk Street Kitchen and author of Beating the Lunch Box Blues. If you’re getting tired of burgers and hot dogs, he gave us some ideas for creative dishes, hot off the grill.

A New Twist on Summer Grilling

Related: Wacky Grilling Recipes

In Search of America's Best Beach Towns

National Geographic Traveler Magazine has listed some of the best spots along the shore in its article “In Praise of the American Beach Town”. Keith Bellows, editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler Magazine, joined us to discuss what elements make for a truly great beach town.

In Search of America's Best Beach Towns

The Mysterious Language of Blue Whales

Stand on the beach overlooking California's Half Moon Bay, and the sound you’ll hear is of waves crashing against the rocks. But when acoustic physicist Roger Bland climbed up there, he wanted to hear what was underneath those waves. Bland studies sea life by using a series of underwater microphones called hydrophones. When Bland recorded the sounds of the bay: he also heard whales. Specifically the blue whale. KALW’s Martina Castro went to speak with Roger Bland in his laboratory at SF State, and he explained to her how he went about recording the calls of these underwater giants.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.