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Word of Mouth

10.24.16: Prison Labor, Messy, & Jack Kirby

Mars Hall via Flickr CC

In September, 24 thousand inmates launched the first-ever national prison strike - a story largely lost to election news. Among the complaints: prison labor is akin to slavery.  Today, we'll look at the cost of labor on the inside.

Plus, the tidying -up trend got people throwing out stuff and organizing their way to serenity. An economist argues that there are upsides to leaving life a little “messy”. 

Listen to the full show. 

Prison Labor

On September 9th, an estimated 24 thousand inmates began the first-ever national prison strike. It was timed to coincide with the 45th anniversary of the uprising at Attica, but was largely lost in an election-focused news cycle. Issues raised by protestors in 29 penitentiaries included: long-term isolation, inadequate health care, violent attacks, and what they argue is slave labor.

That strike has largely subsided, but historian and author Heather Ann Thompson says the public doesn't really know what goes on behind the razor wire. She's author of Blood in the Water: the Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy and joined us to talk about issues for inmates then and now.  

Prison Labor

Sean Hurley Reviews 'The Bitter Pill'

“The Bitter Pill,” a new musical featuring the songs of Billy Butler, is on stage at the Players Ring in Portsmouth through the end of October. NHPR’s Sean Hurley and theater critic Michael Curtiss attended a preview of the show and send us their thoughts.  

You can learn more and listen to this story again here: 'The Bitter Pill' Takes Players Ring Audience on an Unexpected Trip


Feeling a little overwhelmed by stuff? Disorganized? Like a bit of a mess? Well maybe that's not such a bad thing. Tim Harford is an economist and author - and his latest book  is called Messy: the Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives.  Whether talking about our creativity, our personal lives, or our businesses, Harford mounts a powerful defense for messy desks, last-minute decisions, and imperfect systems... And could be just what the doctor ordered if you're suffering from a case of Marie Kondo overload.


Jack Kirby's Complicated Legacy

In late August, Marvel announced that it would be celebrating Kirby week: in honor of legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby’s 99th birthday.  But Jack Kirby, who died in 1994, wasn’t on good terms with company that distributed his work.  Producer Devan Roehrig has the story.

You can listen to this story again here: How the Copyright Act of 1976 Left Comic Artists, Like Jack Kirby, at the Mercy of Big Studios