MTPR

Arts & Culture

Author interviews, food, natural history, poetry, and more from "The Write Question", "The Food Guys", "Field Notes", "Home Ground Radio", "Front Row Center", and "Reflections West".

Spotfist (CC-PDM-01)

When I first moved out West, I was impressed by the large black-and-white bird I noticed strutting around my yard and campsites, its long black tail dragging on the ground behind it. The bird’s loud “mag-mag-mag” calls slowly became a familiar sound. Now the black-billed magpie has become an important symbol of the West to me, and whenever I see or hear it, I’m reminded how lucky I am to call the Rocky Mountains home.

Can Do: Demystifying Cryptocurrency

Oct 4, 2019
Dr. Michael Braun and Chirag Patel share their cryptocurrency experiences and cautionary tales, and attempt to demystify this complicated and confusing new phenomenon.
iStock

What do tokens, smart contracts, mining, time stamping and blockchain technology all have in common? They are all essential parts of the complicated cryptocurrency industry, a new enterprise that is rapidly transforming global financial markets and the transaction landscape.

Cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange. It uses encrypted data to secure financial transactions, make them transparent to users, and verify the transfer of assets.

"Popular Music is both a love letter to music—how it accents, affects, and defines us through varying stages of our lives—and a hilarious and heart-breaking investigation of our relationship to technology, nature, and country. This book is in a class of its own and is simply unforgettable." -- Chicago Review of Books

PD (U.S.F.D.A.)

If you're in the habit of reading labels,  you've noticed some recent style changes: bigger, bolder print, new serving sizes, updated nutritional "daily values," and more. That's because food manufacturers are complying with new labelling rules issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  'Food Guys' Jon Jackson and Greg Patent wonder if the new labels will lead Americans to drink less soda pop, or to ask why there's sugar in cans of beans and jars of pickles.

Steve L. Martin (CC-BY-2.0)

Lichens don’t even need liquid water sources like rain or melting snow.  They can absorb moisture directly from the air.  You might think of them as natural weather instruments, because their ever-changing water content reflects the humidity of the air.  Oddly enough, some lichens are completely unable to absorb liquid water; if you submerged them, they would remain dry.

Doctor Ed Malinowski believes he has realized most of his dreams. A passionate, ambitious behavioral psychologist, he is now the superintendent of a mental institution and finally turning the previously crumbling hospital around. He also has a home he can be proud of, and a fiercely independent, artistic wife Laura, whom he hopes will soon be pregnant. But into this perfect vision of his life comes Penelope, a beautiful, young epileptic who should never have been placed in his institution and whose only chance at getting out is Ed. She is intelligent, charming, and slowly falling in love with her charismatic, compassionate doctor. As their relationship grows more complicated, and Laura stubbornly starts working at his hospital, Ed must weigh his professional responsibilities against his personal ones, and find a way to save both his job and his family. A love triangle set in one of the most chaotic, combustible settings imaginable, The Behavior of Love is an incredibly compulsive, poignant exploration of marriage, lust, and ambition.

'The Food Guys' Ponder The Mysterious Frim-Fram Sauce

Sep 22, 2019

"I don't want French fried potatoes, red ripe tomatoes

I’m never satisfied
I want the frim fram sauce and the ossynfay 

With shafafa on the side."

Jon Jackson and Greg Patent dissect the enigmatic lyrics of a Nat King Cole song in this Ken Nordine-esque edition of "The Food Guys."

Why Don't Woodpeckers Get Concussions?

Sep 22, 2019
Male hairy woodpecker
Dan Streiffert (CC BY-NC 2.0)

... for Hairy Woodpeckers, “woodpecker” isn’t just a description, it’s a lifestyle. They get about 45 percent of their food from drilling into trees.  A male Hairy Woodpecker can peck up to 190 strikes per minute when excavating a nest. That’s about 1/7 the speed of a jackhammer, which operates at about 1,300 strikes per minute.

Courtney and John McKee are the founders of Headframe Spirits in Butte, MT.
Courtesy

Early in the 20th century, the bustling mining town of Butte, Montana was one of the largest cities in the West. Hardrock miners lowered themselves 5,000 feet underground to tap out the abundant copper ore, working in mines with names like Orphan Girl, Neversweat, and Destroying Angel. In the hundred years since Butte’s heyday, most of the mines have closed, but new opportunities have been unearthed.

Using the same determination, innovation, and passion that underscored Butte’s early success, John and Courtney McKee founded Headframe Spirits distillery in 2010. Each spirit is named after a storied mine claim, weaving Butte’s mining history into unique products.

The grizzly is one of North America’s few remaining large predators. Their range is diminished, but they’re spreading across the West again. Descending into valleys where once they were king, bears find the landscape they’d known for eons utterly changed by the new most dominant animal: humans. As the grizzlies approach, the people of the region are wary, at best, of their return.

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