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From the Archives: Maritime Repomen, Internet Famous, & Ghost in the MP3

Selbe Lynn via flickr Creative Commons

It's NHPR's Fall Fund Drive! You can help support our show and NHPR by making a contribution here:

In the meantime, during the fund drive we'll be airing some favorite segments from our archives.

Here's what's on today's show:

Maritime Repo Men

Ian Urbina is an investigative reporter for The New York Times. He's uncovered stories of slavery, summary executions, stealing and selling organs, all taking place on the high seas...his most recent report is on maritime 'repo men’. “Maritime ‘Repo Men’: A Last Resort for Stolen Ships.”

Listen to this segment again: Maritime Repo Men

Internet Famous

We live in the age of the "internet famous" - you tube channel hosts with millions of followers...Vine and Instagram stars who parlay viral moments into a steady cash flow.  But for every multi-million dollar web sensation there are countless artists stuck in a sort of fame-purgatory. As Gaby Dunn puts it,  "Too visible to have ‘real’ jobs, but too broke not to."

Gaby wrote the article "The Sad Economics of Being Famous on the Internet" for Fusion.

Listen to this segment again: The Low-Income Life of the Internet Famous

Ghost in the MP3

We’ve all known audiophiles who only listen to music on vinyl – who can’t abide the lower quality of MP3s, and can hear the difference between different digital formats. But what exactly is happening when a file is converted to an MP3?  How does the technology really change the music? Emily-Richardson-Lorente dug into the bits and bytes behind our most ubiquitous digital format.  

This story is part of the Stem Story Project – distributed by PRX and made possible with funds from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

You can listen to this story again at

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