In case you missed it...

Mar 11, 2011

Michigan Radio broadcasts hundreds of stories, interviews, and commentaries every week.

One person can't possibly hear them all.

Here, you'll find a few stories we think you might like to hear:

Oh You Shouldn't Have... no really - This American Life

From This American Life, we hear about This is Your Life - a television show from the 1950s where... surprise!... your life story is revealed to millions of Americans.

From the show's website:

Allison Silverman reports on This Is Your Life, a show from the 1950s where unsuspecting—and often famous—audience members would have their biographies created on the spot for 40 million viewers. But is that really a present you'd want to receive?

The show mostly featured famous people who were reintroduced to old friends or family members on television - making for some funny and emotional moments.

But, as Silverman reports, the show also took on some weightier subjects.

One This is Your Life episode featured what Silverman called a "bizarre blind date" when they surprised Rev. Kiyoshi Tanimoto, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, by introducing him to Captain Robert Lewis, the co-pilot of the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima.

You can see clips of the show and what some Hiroshima survivors thought of it in the documentary "White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki":

This is Your Life also featured a "blunt" biography of the life of a Holocaust survivor, Hanna Bloch Kohner.

The show reunited Kohner with a friend she had survived four concentration camps with, including Auschwitz. The host of This is Your Life bluntly states to Kohner, and the television audience, that her parents and her husband didn't survive the camps.

In her piece Silverman says:

"Now if I was surprising someone and sharing the murder of her parents on national television, I would do it differently. I wouldn't do it."

The stories are difficult, and Silverman says the guests, though uncomfortable, later appreciated what had happened. They were given tapes of the episodes and they shared them with others

Silverman says, "This is Your Life might have exploited your story, but it also told you your story."

You can hear the program here.

Redefining yourself after unemployment - Marketplace Money

Reporter and weekend host Kyle Norris caught this commentary last weekend. It was aired on Marketplace Money as part of their series "The Job Chronicles."

Commentator Samantha Barnes described her former job, saying it was "cushy executive sales position at a behemoth of a multinational corporation."

After being laid off, Barnes said it shook the foundation of who she was:

"I was the breadwinner of my family and I was proud of it. I liked being able to pay the bills and buy things my family wanted but maybe didn't need. I liked being the provider. It was part of my identity. So, I lost more than just the sales meetings at the beach and status shoes. I lost a part of who I was. No longer was I the successful career woman I had been so proud to be. It was a massive blow to my ego."

You can hear the commentary here:

In tandem with this commentary, Kyle Norris posted this question on Michigan Radio's Facebook page

"Has anyone ever been unemployed, and found it caused an identity crisis?"

Many people said "Yes! It does cause an identity crisis."

They shared some ideas of how to rebuild after being laid off, including:

  • gardening
  • taking singing lessons
  • acting in a local theater
  • and volunteering

One fan, Julie, wrote:

Learn something different.

Take a class or a course in something that you're REALLY interested in, as opposed to something that might get you just another job. It not only keeps you occupied, but it can give you a new perspective on purpose and autonomy.

Once you've found that something and learned to apply that skill, start working on mastering it.

Man, if I only knew that the day I lost my last job, I'd be much further along than I am now.

The Legacy of the CD: Innovation that Ate Itself - All Things Considered

Producer Joel Rose starts his piece at a Sony factory in Pittman, New Jersey. Sony is closing the factory because of weak CD sales. Rose reports that CD sales have fallen 50% in the last decade.

It's a technology that was sexy, and expensive when it first came out.

I remember CD makers promising CD costs would eventually come down. They never did, and this report explains why - profit!:

At first, Knopper says, people didn't mind paying a lot for the new format. "You didn't hear the outcry at the time of, 'Hey, we're getting price-gouged.' Instead the public was going, 'this is much better sound.'"

The record labels promised that the price of CDs would come down eventually. And the discs did get cheaper — to make. But the labels kept retail prices - and profits - high. Jac Holzman says that was a mistake.

And then came all the burning and ripping on personal computers - one record store owner said the record industry "shot itself in the foot" by not lowering prices.

You can hear the story here: