The words of the English poet William Blake still resonate 185 years after his death. Blake, who was also a painter and printmaker, wrote the famous lines, "Tyger! Tyger! burning bright / In the forests of the night."
Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 11:58 am
Steve Brown and his band The Bailers make their first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. When Mountain Stage began planning its trip to Fairbanks in late 2011, host Larry Groce set out to find some of the state's most talented musicians to feature on the show, and one of the names that popped up repeatedly was Steve Brown & The Bailers.
Farms in Chester County, Pa., produce 400 million pounds of mushrooms annually. That's about half of all mushrooms grown in the U.S. They're grown indoors in long, gray cinder-block houses built into the side of a hill.
Southeast Asian workers cut shiitake mushrooms at Phillips Mushroom Farms. The mushroom industry in Chester County, Pa., has relied on several waves of immigrant workers, beginning with Italians in the late 1800s.
At an industrial compost facility that supplies the mushroom industry in Kennett Square, ground-up corn cobs are mixed with chicken manure, hay, cocoa shells and horse manure. Over time, growers have learned that mushrooms grow best with this blend of nutrients.
Every 10 weeks, the beds inside the mushroom rooms are filled with compost mixed with spores, and covered with peat moss. The spores germinate and create a thick web of white threads called mycelia, shown here. As the fungi try to reproduce, they send up their fruit — the mushrooms.
Here's an astonishing fact: Half of America's mushrooms are grown in one tiny corner of southeastern Pennsylvania, near the town of Kennett Square.
But why? It's not as though this place has some special advantage of climate or soil, the kind of thing that led to strawberry fields in Watsonville, Calif., or peach orchards in Georgia. Mushrooms can grow indoors. They could come from anywhere.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 3:52 pm
Kentucky may be the site for tonight's debate between the vice presidential candidates, but the monster swing state of Ohio remains the focus of White House dreams for President Obama and Mitt Romney.
Both the incumbent and his challenger have been in and out of the state with increasing frequency; GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan plans a trip to the Buckeye State on Friday, after his tangle with Vice President Joe Biden.
Illustration of the interior of 55 Cancri e — an extremely hot planet with a surface of mostly graphite surrounding a thick layer of diamond, below which is a layer of silicon-based minerals and a molten iron core at the center.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 5:39 pm
Scientists have discovered a world much fancier than our homely, little Earth.
New research that will published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters details a planet that is eight times heavier than Earth and with twice its radius. But instead of being covered in water and granite, it is encrusted in graphite and diamond.
Malala Yousafzai, 15, and her father ignored Taliban threats for years and spoke out in favor of education for girls. Malala, shown here in March 2012, was shot in the head on Tuesday and is in critical condition at a military hospital.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 3:00 pm
A 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl remains in critical condition after being shot in the head for defying the Taliban and championing the right of girls to go to school. Malala Yousafzai rose to prominence during the recent war in Pakistan's Swat Valley by writing a blog under a pen name. NPR's Philip Reeves reported on that war — and twice met Malala's father. Reeves sent this account of the tough world in which Malala spent her childhood.
Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 2:16 pm
Polaris Prize-winning singer-songwriter Patrick Watson makes music the way some directors make film: in three dimensions and with lots of emotion. With the aid of guitarist Simon Angell, percussionist Robbie Kuster and bassist Mishka Stein, Watson crafts songs that are experimental in nature, blending cabaret-style pop with classical and indie-rock music.