It seems like forever that I’ve been waiting for NPR to become really accessible via the web. For years, hearing their content without a radio was difficult; if they did offer content on the web, it required Real Player or other proprietary and horrible software, or it was impossible to hear anything on a Mac (or linux) at all. Streaming content was spotty; podcasts were few. But it’s finally happened! I can hear pretty much any NPR shows I want to hear, anytime I want to hear them. I’ve got three NPR-related apps on my iPhone: “Public Radio”, “NPR”, and “NPR Addict”. All three have their uses, and I also find that the “Stitcher” podcast app is a great way to find new and interesting NPR shows. And they’ve updated npr.org so that it’s really useful and works well (even in Chrome on a Mac).
For instance, yesterday I wanted to listen to Weekend Edition Saturday but I woke up too late to hear the whole thing via my local NPR station’s live stream. So I found the show in the “NPR” app and looked for other stations that were live-streaming it. I chose a station in Alaska, reasoning that they’d be an hour behind, and they were. Presto! Weekend Edition from the very beginning! When I needed to use my iPhone for something else, I found that station’s website and listened to the rest of their live stream on my laptop. (Thanks, KMXT from Kodiak!)
If I feel like listening to Fresh Air but haven’t synced the most recent podcast episode, I can use one of the apps on my phone to find a station that’s streaming it. I can use any of those apps to browse through NPR shows to find something that looks interesting.
Or I can check npr.org on my laptop and hear pretty much anything. Here’s the Weekend Edition Sunday page: http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=10. So if I forget to listen to it live, I can play the whole thing that way.
Many of the NPR folks have twitter accounts which they use well. I like @nprscottsimon (Scott Simon) and @nprLiane (Liane Hansen). They tweet interesting little remarks about that week’s interviews and stories and sometimes a bit of personal stuff (hope that surgery goes well, Scott), but they don’t clog up my feed with a lot of baloney. It’s nice to have that tiny almost-personal connection with the voices I love so much.
Here are some of my favorite NPR shows: Fresh Air, Weekend Edition Saturday/Sunday, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, RadioLab (just discovered RadioLab!), and of course all the calm, non-sensational news reports. And the BBC News Hour. And I’m starting to get into This American Life. Ira’s delivery irritated me for a long time but I think I’ve gotten over it.
So thank you, NPR, and my local station, KPBS. I’m one very happy contributing member :)
Yesterday Bob and Chloe came over which is always such a treat. I grilled chicken and bratwurst and made some delicious sautéd greenbeans-and-onions and a salad with tender delicious homegrown lettuce and the handful of cherry tomatoes which my tomato plant finally produced. Biggest harvest since I planted it last summer. (The regular tomato plant still hasn’t fruited. What’s up with that?)
Anyhow, we ate and talked and watched TV and played Farm Frenzy on our iPhones, and I helped Chloe with her Knitter’s Handy Carry-All bag. She finished up all the knitting and we blocked it. It’s still drying but I hope to help her sew it all together today. It’s a pretty good kit but has a few really bizarre instructions, such as working the handles as 8-stitch i-cord (awkward!) and sewing the inner layer to the outer layer wrong-sides together, with backstitch, as if they were made of cloth. I showed Chloe how to work the handles in double-knitting, and I’ll show her how to seam the layers together without having a big stupid thick seam allowance.