Nov 25th, 2009
In Turkey, a law dating back to the 1920′s bans the use of the letters Q, W and X. The law was created for Turkey’s transition from the Arabic alphabet to the Latin one. But today, it’s used against Turkey’s ethnic Kurds. Matthew Brunwasser reports from Istanbul.
Nov 24th, 2009
Cover bands aren’t usually musical innovators. But Dolapdere Big Gang of Turkey might be the exception. Most of the group lives in Dolapdere, an Istanbul neighborhood with a rough reputation. This eight-piece band of young Roma musicians, plays Western pop hits in a traditional Turkish style. Matthew Brunwasser has the Global Hit.
Jun 5th, 2009
Not much is known about the walrus since the animals inhabit some of Earth’s most remote places. But researchers are beginning to observe some remarkable things about walrus behavior: not only are they very musical, but they are also very gregarious and sexual. Matthew Brunwasser reports.
Mar 2nd, 2009
Broadcast on NPR – All Things Considered Woody Woodpecker, the screwball cartoon character, is famous for his constant pecking. His creators modeled him on the real-life acorn woodpecker, and for good reason. The residents of Rossmoor, an upscale retirement community east of San Francisco, have for years tried peaceful means to make the pesky birds go away. But now, it’s war.
Jan 30th, 2009
For centuries, captive bears have made money for their gypsy owners by dancing in the streets of Europe. But thanks to the efforts of actress Bridget Bardot and an Austrian animal rights group, the last of the dancing bears have been placed in a cushy retirement home in the mountains of Bulgaria. And, as reporter Matthew Brunwasser reports, that isn’t sitting well with some of the local humans.
Aug 19th, 2008
Reporter Matthew Brunwasser reports on one of the routes chosen by East Germans who wanted to escape their country during the Cold War. It went through Bulgaria, and held the promise of freedom. But many didn’t make it.
Aug 5th, 2008
story by MATTHEW BRUNWASSER photo by D’ARCY NORMAN Broadcast on NPR / Day to Day Click here to listen Los Angeles County is home to the country’s largest active landfill. Recently the high-tech Puente Hills Landfill also began offering tours. What is so attention-worthy about a massive pile of trash? Garbage is the affluence of our consumption. That’s one of the messages of the exhibit, Post Consumed: A Landscape of Waste in Los Angeles at CLUI’s Culver City gallery. It’s 8:30 in the morning, and Heidi De Vries (ph) is waiting for the bus tour, which is part of this exhibition. She’s looking at photos of different stages of the waste stream.
May 12th, 2008
Hans Breuer is one of a kind. He was born in Vienna, Austria…to a Jewish father and a Christian mother. He became a shepherd — a singing shepherd. In fact, he became a Yiddish-singing shepherd. Breuer sings to his sheep…and to his fellow Austrians. He says his songs make the sheep happy. But they make some Austrians uncomfortable. Breuer was featured in the book “Shlepping through the Alps,” by American Sam Apple. Matthew Brunwasser schlepped along with Breuer and his 900 sheep in the Austrian Alps.
Sep 26th, 2007
Quick — name a famous American accordionist. You might have a little trouble. The accordion has a bit of an image problem here in the U.S. But next month, it gets star billing at an International Accordion Festival in San Antonio, Texas. The festival is promoting a broad array of international performers. Recently, the festival director took a trip through the Balkans to scout for talent. Reporter Matthew Brunwasser caught up with her in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Jul 9th, 2007
Matthew Brunwasser reports on Poland’s “League of Polish Families.” The group is moving the Catholic country further to the right. That’s making many Europeans uncomfortable. But it’s also winning friends in the United States.