Jefferson Monthly

Theatre
12:39 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

"The Last Scene Of All"

Rituals originally evolved in order to manage the unmanageable fact of somatic change: birth, maturation, procreation, death.  Contemporary culture and technology have loosened the inevitability of these life-cycle milestones: children can be planned or altogether avoided; adulthood—marriage, gainful work—can be postponed seemingly indefinitely; sexual initiation has broken from its containment by traditional ritual altogether and happens wherever, whenever.  Even death, though it remains inescapable, has been disrupted in its timing thanks to medical advances.  This last is good news.  The

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Recordings
12:28 pm
Sat February 28, 2015

From Willy Wonka To Willie Watson

Each year brings new opportunities for live music. If my January is any indication, 2015 is going to be an interesting and diverse year. In a Venn Diagram of people who saw the two acts I saw, I would likely be quite alone in the overlapping subset.

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Jefferson Almanac
9:23 am
Sat February 28, 2015

Auto Correct

First they came for the carriage returns, and I did not speak out. New York Times legend Russell Baker was quick and right to bemoan the loss of the mechanical “ding” at the end of every line. That bell demanded writers do some physical work, swiping the carriage to the left with a strong right haymaker.

Word processors demanded less of everyone. Everyone was pleased.

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Tuned In
8:58 am
Sat February 28, 2015

Let There Be Music

The Barr Brothers' Live Session in JPR's Studio C
Credit Dominic Barth

I’ve written several times recently about the important role public radio plays in delivering in-depth, fact-based contextual journalism to citizens.

Perhaps less prominent and appreciated nationally is the compelling work public radio stations like JPR perform every day to help craft a dynamic and vibrant music scene within the communities they serve.  The simple truth is that music in America would sound very different without public radio.

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Jefferson Monthly Feature
8:51 am
Sat February 28, 2015

Celebrate Film: The 14th Annual Ashland Independent Film Festival Returns

Back On Board: Greg Louganis

Every spring, Southern Oregon buzzes with anticipation and excitement about the Ashland Independent Film Festival. What films will screen? Which filmmakers will attend? Over 7,000 film lovers gather at the art deco Varsity Theatre, the Historic Ashland Armory, and the Ashland Street Cinema to watch 80+ documentary, feature, and short films. Everyone looks forward to the opportunity to discuss independent film with fellow film lovers in line, in the theaters before the films begin, and at film festival events all around town.

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Theatre
2:20 pm
Sun February 1, 2015

Telling The Story: Oregon Shakespeare Festival Actors Engage In A Different Narrative

'Telling the Story' offers a bonus: brief tours through the inner workings of several of Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s most imaginative productions in recent years.

Actors strive onstage to “tell the story” laid down by the playwright and envisioned by the director. In an illuminating new book by Mary Z. Maher and Alan Armstrong, Telling the Story, twelve actors from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival have been invited to contribute to a different narrative, one that takes place before and behind the scenes. This composite account begins with the circumstances that propelled them into acting then describes the multi-faceted, idiosyncratic processes, which, leavened with dashes of luck, have supported their onstage success.

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Recordings
12:22 pm
Sun February 1, 2015

The New Basement Tapes – Linking The Old And The New

Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes - an album produced by T Bone Burnett featuring a collective of musicians recording under the moniker The New Basement Tapes—Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens, Taylor Goldsmith, Jim James and Marcus Mumford.

The New Basement Tapes is a group of musicians brought together by T Bone Burnett to write music to Bob Dylan lyric’s created during the Basement Tapes era. To fully understand the new, we start with the story of the old.

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Inside The Box
12:08 pm
Sun February 1, 2015

Taking A Byte Out Of The Internet

Every email and text we send, every picture and video we take, every Twitter and Facebook posting we make—all of it is stored out in “the cloud”.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A “bit” is the smallest unit of digital information. Put 8 bits together and you get a “byte”. Amass a billion bytes and you have a “gigabyte”. A thousand gigabytes is a “terabyte” (TB), which is the storage capacity of the hard drive in an average desktop computer today. Now imagine a billion 1TB hard drives. Together, all of those hard drives have the storage capacity of 1 zetabyte. 

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First...The News
11:51 am
Sun February 1, 2015

What Is A Clock?

Here you can see what NPR broadcasts at various points in the hour, and what is available for local stations like JPR to cover and replace with local material.
Credit NPR

The correct response to that headline is “well, duh…” But bear with me here; the clock I’m talking about is not mechanical, and does not hang on the wall. When public radio people say “clock,” they really mean “schedule.” And the changing of the clocks a few months back made for some changes in the news programming you hear on JPR.

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Jefferson Almanac
11:33 am
Sun February 1, 2015

Ten Lessons For Climate Activists From The American Robin

It’s good to be common: the American Robin is one of the most common and widespread native birds in North America.
Credit Daniel Marquard

For climate activists, this feels like the last moment. This summer, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report, covering Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, using by far the most sobering language to date. Among the impending risks that it identifies with “high confidence” are:

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Tuned In
10:10 am
Sun February 1, 2015

Gaining Momentum

In 2015, the work we do here at JPR will align with a broader vision of who we are.

As I sit down to write this month’s column, we’ve just welcomed a new year.  It’s a time for all of us here at JPR to reflect on the accomplishments of the past year and set goals for 2015.  2014 was a good year here at JPR.  We grew listener support and underwriting significantly for the first year since the Great Recession.  This allowed us to strengthen our weekend programming, implement 24-hour service on all our stations, expand and improve our local news coverage, welcome a new environmental reporter to our newsroom and replace obsolete equipment at several critical transmission sites

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Jefferson Monthly Feature
3:53 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

All I Want For Valentine's Day Is A Trip To The Coast

Sunset at Coquille Point, Bandon.
Susan Langston

Well, what I really want for Valentine’s Day is a trip to the Bahamas.

Jamaica, Hawaii, Costa Rica—those places would be fine too. But since the price of air travel seems to be going up—especially around the holidays—as gas prices are going down, local romance is a lot more affordable.

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Theatre
10:06 am
Thu January 1, 2015

Performance News 2015

Valerie Rachelle
Credit Oregon Cabaret Theatre

Valerie Rachelle met Jim Giancarlo eight years ago at the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts.  As Artistic Director of the Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Giancarlo was auditioning students; Rachelle was directing and choreographing for PCPA’s Theatrefest.  He invited her to guest direct for OCT, but Rachelle had to decline—she would turn eight months pregnant during rehearsals for the show in question.  Circumstances for her OCT debut finally clicked late in 2012 with The Winter Wonderettes.

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Science & Technology
4:26 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

The Selfie(ish) Generation

I find myself wondering: what does a generation of self-obsessed, ego-maniacs produce?

“Britney Spears Instagrams Selfie With New Boyfriend”

That was the headline that caught my eye recently while scrolling through my Twitter feed. No, I’m not a fan of Britney Spears. I don’t follow her on Twitter (but I do follow The Huffington Post, which posted the story). I dislike her music. I find her stage apparel distasteful. I hate that we live in a world in which she has become wealthy and famous for being a solipsistic attention whore.

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First...The News
4:05 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

One Year And Counting: Looking Back

Mary Shaffer and sons Gabriel and Rio with a haul of donated groceries in the Food Project's distinctive Green Bags.
Credit Paul Giancarlo

October marked one year since I returned to the Rogue Valley from Europe to take up my new assignment at Jefferson Public Radio: to add local and regional news features to JPR’s broadcast of NPR's Morning Edition. 

Looking back over this past year, I think we’ve been successful at bringing JPR listeners interesting news and compelling stories about issues and events from around the region.

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Tuned In
3:24 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Engineers And Journalists

A recent post on NPR’s All Tech Considered caught my eye. It was called Silicon Valley’s Power Over The Free Press: Why It Matters written by Elise Hu. The piece focused on how the Silicon Valley’s large tech companies, specifically Facebook and Twitter, are now controlling the distribution of the news and information people receive and pay attention to. And, as you might imagine, this is not a great thing.

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Jefferson Monthly Feature
4:00 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

The Future Of Education In Oregon

As we head into a new year with new challenges, new hopes—and new national and state imposed guidelines for education—there are people and programs you’ll be inspired to read about.

Ask the chief education officer for the Oregon Education Investment Board what challenges Oregon’s K-12 education system faces today, and Nancy Golden has many unsettling statistics and professional observations to share. Originally from New York, articulate, and fast-talking, Golden points out that nearly one in four children in Oregon is living in poverty, the graduation rate in Oregon’s high schools is only 68.5 percent (which is the second to last in the nation, and substantially lower than the national average of 78.2 percent, according to the U.S.

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Jefferson Monthly Feature
2:28 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Beating Back The Winter Blues

Over 14 million Americans, more than the population of Portugal, are thought to be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Rebekah Dodson was 12 years old when she started noticing how much her mood was affected by the seasons. The daughter of a military officer, Rebekah lived on the Mildenhall Air Force Base in Littleport, England. On the cusp of puberty then, she realized that the darker it got outside the more irritable, grumpy, and tired she felt. Rebekah told her parents, and her pastor, that she was plagued by anxiety and dark thoughts.

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Inside The Box
3:35 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Love And The Technology Revolution

According to the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research and analysis think-tank that claims to have “invented the Postwar World,” the year 2015 is going to be awesome. This is the year I’ll be able to clone myself and get bionic biceps. With advanced brain scanning, I’ll copy everything I know (shouldn’t take long) and imprint it onto my clone’s brain. Through gene therapy, I’ll slow down my aging process and speed up my clone’s, stopping him at a younger version of myself so that he can do any physical labor that I don’t have time to take care of with my bionic biceps.

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Theatre
3:31 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

The Pecan Puff Mystery

Pecan puffs were my father’s favorite Christmas cookie. We kids all liked them, but Daddy loved them. So much so that our grandmother couldn’t keep him supplied during Christmas season.

In the middle of December, the stack of Granny’s cookbooks appeared on the kitchen counter, scraps of paper with additional recipes scrawled in her round script stuck between their pages. Then she’d decide on the year’s varieties, up to a dozen, and compile her list of necessary ingredients.

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