Jefferson Monthly

The Jefferson Monthly is JPR's members' magazine featuring articles, columns, and reviews about living in Southern Oregon and Northern California, as well as a calendar of cultural events and program listings for JPR's network of radio stations. The publication's monthly circulation is approximately 10,000.  To support JPR and receive your copy in the mail each month become a Member today!

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Inside The Box
9:28 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Deep Learning Is The Cat's Meow

“Deep learning is a set of algorithms in machine learning that attempt to model high-level abstractions in data by using model architectures composed of multiple non-linear transformations.”

If that makes perfect sense to you, you’re way smarter than me and should probably be working as a computer scientist at Google or something. If you actually do work for Google, good for you. If not, you’re likely still smarter than me (not much to brag about), but it’s me on this side of the page who’s responsible for explaining all that gobbledygook about “deep learning”.

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Jefferson Almanac
9:24 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Passenger Pigeons, Past And Prologue

I’d like you to summon into your mind’s eye the greatest animal spectacle you’ve ever seen. Was it a cloud of Snow Geese filling the sky over the Klamath Basin?  Maybe you’ve been to Jackson Hole, and seen a great herd of elk in the shadow of the Grand Tetons.  Perhaps it was nothing more exotic than a swirling flock of starlings, one of those amazing “murmurations” that form over roosts along the Rogue River on winter evenings.

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Tuned In
9:19 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Expanding The EarthFix Beat

By the time you read this you may already have heard the work of a new reporter who will be working in the JPR newsroom.  Following a national search, Jes Burns has been selected as the new Southern Oregon EarthFix reporter based at JPR.  Jes comes to the Rogue Valley from Eugene where she’s worked for KLCC since 2007 as a reporter and All Things Considered host.  She’s produced some great features on environmental issues while covering KLCC’s science/technology feature beat.  Jes has also produced spot news and features as a freelancer for NPR, Sirius Radio’s

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Jefferson Monthly Feature
9:05 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Who Will Deliver Our Babies: OB Care In Humboldt County Nears Breaking Point

Open-water swimmer/midwife Stephanie Stone, at Big Lagoon in Humboldt County, CA.
Michael Joyce

The first time I met Stephanie Stone was swimming. She is not a fast swimmer but a stalwart one. A staunch devotee of open water swimming. Hers is not the kind of personality to be contained by a pool. The lagoons of northern Humboldt County, with the ocean pounding a spit of sand away, Roosevelt elk grazing the brackish shoreline, and the whims of weather calling the shots, all seem to resonate with this midwife who’s grown accustomed to turbulent beauty.

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Recordings
12:59 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Dan Auerbach Turns Blue

Turn Blue is a genuine turning point – into original rock, with deeper shade of blues.

While considering what to write for this month’s Recording’s column, I thought it would be interesting to write about the role of the producer on an artist’s album. However since that is such a broad topic that could literally fill volumes, I decided to focus on an artist who has been incredibly prolific lately as both a producer and an artist.

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First...The News
12:10 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Information Proliferation...Or How I Stopped Worrying, And Learned To Love The Hashtag

News is a buffet now. Think of all the choices we have… a huge variety of flavors and items—in words, in sounds, in pictures, in video…

When many of us were growing up, the choices were severely limited. Instead of a buffet, it was more like lunch in a school cafeteria: only available at certain times of day, and you had to make do with whatever the server plopped onto your plate. Mystery meat, anyone?

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Inside The Box
11:55 am
Tue September 2, 2014

The Entangled Web We Weave

We're entangled with our technology and it can be no other way.
Credit www.visualphotos.com

One of my favorite scenes from the sci-fi movie The Matrix Reloaded, is when the protagonist, Neo, accompanies Councillor Hamann down into the engineering level of Zion, the underground city where members of the last remaining human society are hiding out from the machines seeking to destroy them.

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Jefferson Almanac
11:45 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Happiness

Happiness is a calculation — a quotient. Happiness equals experience divided by expectation.

The word didn’t come up until the last five minutes of a two-hour conversation. Eugene social psychology researcher Paul Slovic isn’t a fan of the “happiness” movement that has taken over many best-seller lists and self-help shelves. 

For more than a half-century, Slovic has focused his research on the underbelly of humanity, from addictive gambling to genocidal dictatorships. More precisely, he has concerned himself with how people respond to the atrocities, hoping to learn better ways to convey vital information to motivate people to act.

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Theatre
11:39 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Into The Liminal Woods

Jack's Mother (Robin Goodrin Nordli) tries to explain a few things to her son, Jack (Miles Fletcher).
Credit T. Charles Erickson

Rituals of initiation unfold in three phases: the first separates the individual from the world she’s taken for granted; the third reintegrates her into a new world as a changed person. Between the two is the liminal phase, in which the individual floats in a kind of dreamland of possibility, suspended between selves and social roles. Both terrifying and transformational, this in-between phase encourages a sort of regression to pre-conscious chaos. Into the Woods, the brilliant musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, plants its action in just such a no-man’s land.

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Jefferson Monthly Feature
11:26 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Meeting Vietnam

Fishing boats at a floating village, Halong Bay, Vietnam.
Pepper Trail

My memories of Vietnam begin in childhood. Rice paddies, in black and white. Strange skinny faces, unlike any I’d ever seen in my little hometown. Those funny round pointed hats. And, of course, helicopters, fascinating and frightening beasts, the blast from their rotors flattening the tropical grass as they came in for a landing, and then the soldiers, one hand on their helmets, the other carrying their M16s, jumping, running, disappearing into the jungle. It was quite a show, almost every night.

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Tuned In
10:52 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Embracing The Future

NPR's strategic plan lays out both the big picture vision as well as the priorities that detail how to achieve that vision.

Public radio in the U.S. is an unusual amalgamation of locally owned stations and well known national networks. Together, these stations and networks partner each day to create and broadcast programs that touch the lives of nearly 35 million weekly listeners. Listeners tend to think about public radio as “NPR” but the reality is that NPR is only one piece of the public radio puzzle.

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First...The News
4:12 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Blind Faith

Geoffrey Riley with guest and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright/screenwriter Robert Schenkken in JPR's Studio C. For the record, Mr. Schenkken did NOT cancel, was NOT late, and was a joy to work with.
Charlotte Duren

Being a talk show producer for public radio, I put a lot of trust, confidence, and sometimes faith—that the guests I am asking to be on the show- will show up and be knowledgeable on the topic we are discussing. And for the most part, they always are.

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Tuned In
3:46 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Is Short Still Sweet?

The hallmark of public radio news is its ability to combine concise news updates, with in-depth, long-form features.

In an age where text messages, tweets and other social media posts demand short writing, there is new focus on the benefits of getting to the point.   The Washington Post recently reported that The Associated Press (AP) has instructed its correspondents to keep stories between 300 and 500 words, citing the lack of staff at its member outlets available “to trim stories to fit their shrinking news holes” as the primary reason for this policy shift.  And, the website Talking Biz News reported that Reuters recently adopted a policy limiting most stories to no more than 500 wor

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Nature Notes
3:18 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Cottonwoods And Poplars

This fluff comes from female cottonwood trees, whose seeds burst into tufts of downy fibers that float aimlessly on the wind.
Credit Andi Willman

Here is another Nature Note inspired by Rupert, Nature Note’s West Highland white terrier. For those of you who don’t know, Westies, as they are called by those in the know, are a very close relative to the Cairn terrier. For those of you who don’t know Cairn terriers, Toto, the small black dog in the Wizard of Oz was one. Both are Scottish breeds designed by farmers to chase to ground small mammals and dig them out. Their stout short tails are the result of being pulled out of the hole when farmers decided they wanted to move on.

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Theatre
3:04 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

The Darkness Of King Richard

Richard III (Dan Donohue) prepares to battle the Earl of Richmond.
Credit T. Charles Erickson

Shakespeare’s first four history plays reconstruct the political chaos of the English court under the incompetent King Henry VI. The power-hungry House of York wages war on its cousins of the ruling House of Lancaster, but once Henry and his prince have been killed, and the Yorkish Edward wears the crown, he must guard it against his own brothers, Clarence and Richard. Richard III concludes the tetralogy, charting Richard’s ruthless rise to the throne and his final downfall.

   

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Recordings
2:42 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Jack White: Man Of Many Musical Projects

Lazaretto, Jack White’s second studio album, was released in June, 2014, through White's own label, Third Man Records.

It’s a wonderful thing to experience a creative soul at work. To watch a painter’s brush strokes slowly change a blank canvas into multi-layered image, and see that happen over and over again with a different beautiful result each time. To see a sculptor’s hands mold ugly lumps of nondescript clay into delicate pieces of art that are both stunning and useful, or listen to a musical project with a many faceted sound structure.

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Inside The Box
2:37 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

The Buckle Of The ProcrastiNation Belt

If underwater crustaceans were superheroes, the mantis shrimp would most certainly be one. Mantis shrimp 

  live in shallow tropical and sub-tropical waters. They are only 6–12 inches in length, but pack a powerful punch. The two raptorial appendages on the front of the mantis shrimp’s body can accelerate with the speed of a bullet fired from a .22 caliber rifle. In less than three-thousandths of a second, the mantis shrimp can strike its prey with 1,500 Newtons of force—roughly the equivalent of getting hit by a 300-pound brick.

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Jefferson Monthly Feature
11:31 am
Thu July 31, 2014

A Farm Like No Other

Logan, one of Sanctuary One’s angora goats.

At the top of a small rise, with views of meadows and mountains peeking through the tall trees, is something you wouldn’t expect to see at an animal rescue or an organic farm. Laid out on a clearing in the woods is a rustic labyrinth, outlined by rough stones placed there by young men from an alternative high school and veterans struggling to overcome the memories of war. In the middle of the labyrinth glisten hundreds of crystals, lying on the ground beneath a massive quartz crystal cluster. 

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First...The News
11:13 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Getting Judgmental In The Newsroom

Using sound judgment, JPR broadcasts news that engages listeners interest and looks deeper than the headlines.

I always get a chuckle when I hear people say they don’t follow the news because it’s ”filtered.” What they want, they declare, is “unfiltered” news.

Good luck with that.

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Recordings
10:26 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Charlie!

Charlie Musselwhite

Ralph J. Gleason was the San Francisco Chronicle’s Jazz and Rock critic in the 1960s, and I learned a lot from his columns. At the end of his thrice-weekly observations and reviews, he’d run a list 

of upcoming shows in the Bay Area. The bands seemed fascinating; names like Grateful Dead or Country Joe and the Fish signaled something fresh going on. The longest name was Charlie Musselwhite’s South Side Sound System, and I wondered what kind of music the man with the odd name made, and where in San Francisco was the South Side. Daly City?

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