51% Show # 1153

Albany, NY – Politicians, and particularly Washington politicians, aren't enjoying great public opinion these days. The loud and highly publicized battles over the national debt have sent public opinion of both parties plummeting. What we sometimes forget is that these are just people. But if you go to the Capitol building, talk to the very first curator of the House of Representatives collection. She's enthusiastically tracking down the artwork and artifacts that put a human face on our policymakers.

6:05 House of Reps PRX

The austerity spending plan that resulted from the debate over the debt ceiling means cuts to many services. But that, too, has a flip side. Clay Scott introduces us to a woman whose volunteer work for the National Weather Service has been an important part of her entire life for 46 years - and a family tradition.

4:41 Weather Observer

Nicole Smagleck has traveled extensively to Tanzania and East Africa. During one trip, she met an elder tribal woman who suggested she bring handcrafts and jewelry back to Minnesota. Nicole did just that, founding the the Amias Project and Another Land--two companies that promote Fair Trade and help support the one tribe. Minneapolis public radio KFAI producer Dan Greenwood has more on the Amias Project and Another Land.

4:15 Amias

For more information, visit amias.org.

Finally, if you're a sci fi fan, you're familiar with the Theremin. You've heard it on Good Vibrations, too. It's such a simple looking musical instrument - a box, an antennae, and a curved wand. But let me tell you, as one who thought it'd be a lot of fun to learn, that the Theremin can be the most exasperating, frustrating and infernal little instrument imaginable. And yet it's totally irresistible. Scott Marshall lives in New Jersey, the state where Theremins were once manufactured by the hundreds. And while Marshall hasn't met another Garden State Thereminist, he is hardly a voice in the wilderness-as Amber Edwards reports.

5:05 Theremin