NPR Miscellany #5

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Every once in a while I hear a story on NPR that simply fascinates me. Yesterday it was a story on All Things Considered about a previously undiscovered portrait by Van Gogh. This new painting was not “discovered” in the sense that it was found in the basement of some old museum. Rather, it was discovered hiding beneath the paint of another Van Gogh!

Apparently, Van Gogh had reused a canvas by painting a new painting over the top of an old one, and scientists used a new x-ray technique to see what the painting underneath looks like. They were even able to determine the colors of paint by analyzing the chemical makeup. Listen to the story and watch the accompanying video to see how they did it: “Experts Uncover A Painting Van Gogh Covered Up” (listen and watch). End mark

NPR miscellany #1

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I hear a lot of interesting stories on NPR, so I’m going to start highlighting a few of them from time to time on my blog. Tonight I heard a couple great stories on All Things Considered that I’d like to share.

The first story is about a bizarre problem that’s killing commercial bees all over the U.S. called Colony Collapse Disorder. This is a big deal because a lot of the crops we consume are pollinated by these bees. Here’s the story: “Disease Hits Bees, and Vital Crops Suffer” (Listen).

The second story is about one the best Iranian food chefs in Washington, D.C. The kicker is that he’s not even from Iran. Instead, he’s from El Salvador. He started as a bus boy in an Iranian restaurant and worked his way into the kitchen. Now he owns his own restaurant and flies all over the world to cook for special events. My favorite part of this story is the part about the deeply religious people who are shocked to find out that a Christian Latino had prepared their Islamic Halal dinner (they calm down when they learn he does everything by the book). Here’s the story: “In D.C., Top Iranian Chef Hails From El Salvador” (Listen).

97.5 The Oasis

97.5 The Oasis

There’s a new radio station in Salt Lake City that I personally view as an intriguing social experiment. 97.5 The Oasis is a contemporary Christian station, but, unlike most (probably all) stations of its kind, it also plays contemporary LDS music. Just this morning I heard Kenneth Cope and Michael W. Smith back to back.

The station is owned and operated by Simmons Media Group, which also operates my favorite alternative rock station, X96. Being a secular station, The Oasis doesn’t run pledge drives like ministry operated CCM stations (e.g. the only other CCM station broadcasting in Salt Lake, 89.7 K-LOVE), but instead they play commercial advertisements. They also hold a rather postmodern, inclusive attitude toward the music they play.

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