This Is Love

Photo of Wendy Carlos surrounded by electronic keyboards and synthesizers, with a cat sitting behind her and another cat in her lap.

Episode 93: Switched-On

Episode #93

2024-07-10 05:00:48


The synthesizer was invented in the 1890s. But for people to really start using it, it took half a century, and a musician named Wendy Carlos.
A dark blue sky covered in stars, above a dark landscape with a hint of orange setting sun at the horizon. Photo credit: Edd Stone

Episode 92: To Know the Dark

Episode #92

2024-06-19 05:00:42


The night sky is getting brighter almost everywhere in the world. We visit a place that is trying to stay dark.
Color photograph of Peggy Seeger, a white woman with short light gray hair, sitting in a camp chair outdoors, playing an autoharp. She is wearing sunglasses and grinning at the camera. There are colorful water coolers and other people, including one playing a flute, behind her.

Episode 91: You Can’t Promise to Love Forever

Episode #91

2024-06-05 05:00:43


There’s a famous love song – called “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” – about folk singer Peggy Seeger. Peggy told us: “If you’ve never been in love before – uncontrollably in love – I advise you, for an easy life, stay away from it.”
The front facade of McGillin's Olde Ale House in downtown Philadelphia. It's an old brick building with a large neon sign.

Episode 90: The Most Romantic Place in Philadelphia

Episode #90

2024-05-15 05:00:18


McGillin’s Olde Ale House is the oldest bar in Philadelphia, and it also claims to be the most romantic place in the city. The Philadelphia Inquirer says: “McGillin’s has matchmaking magic.”
Ray Billingsley, a middle-aged Black man, sits at his drawing desk, working on a comic strip of his comic, Curtis.

Episode 89: At the Drawing Board

Episode #89

2024-05-01 05:00:50


Curtis was one of the first nationally-syndicated comic strips with a mostly-Black cast of characters. Ray Billingsley has been drawing it for newspapers every day for the past 35 years.
Maria Bamford screaming at a microphone.

Episode 88: I’m Alright

Episode #88

2024-04-17 05:00:45


When comic Maria Bamford made her OkCupid profile with the username Hogbook, she says Scott Marvel Cassidy was one of the only people who contacted her. His username was Lazer Eyes. 
Kyo Maclear as a young girl sitting at the top of a set of brown stairs in front of a screen door looking over her backyard. Her mother, a Japanese woman wearing a bandana over short hair, is sitting in a deck chair next to Kyo. Both are wearing summer dresses. The photo is taken just behind a bush with pink flowers that are on the left edge of the photo.

Episode 87: A Family Secret

Episode #87

2024-04-03 05:00:56


When Kyo Maclear took a DNA test, the kit came with a piece of paper with terms and conditions that read, “You may discover unanticipated facts about yourself or your family when using our services that you may not have the ability to change.”
A painting of Charlotte Cushman. She looks away and doesn’t smile. She is wearing a white shirt, dark jacket and a large, floppy bow tie. It is red. Her long, dark hair has been arranged in buns by her ears. The background is painted a warm brown color.

Episode 86: Charlotte as Romeo

Episode #86

2024-03-20 05:00:03


When Charlotte Cushman arrived in England, she was heartbroken. But she began looking for work as an actor. There was one part she really wanted: Romeo.
A photo of two left-coiling snails - Lefty, crawling on top of Jeremy.

Episode 85: One in a Million

Episode #85

2024-03-06 05:00:08


A story about moving at your own pace.
Seven-year-old Nicholas Green, pictured standing on a rock in front of snowy mountains.

Episode 84: The Nicholas Effect

Episode #84

2024-02-21 05:00:38


If you visit Italy, you might come across a street, or a park, or a school, or even a chain of coffee shops named after a 7-year-old American named Nicholas Green. This is the reason why.
Kourtney and Brian LaPlant dressed up as Albert and Alberta, the University of Florida mascots, standing in the backseat of a car. It looks like they're in some kind of parade. Albert and Alberta are fuzzy green alligator costumes -- Albert is wearing a black suit and top hat and Alberta has a dress with blue sequins and orange gloves.

Episode 83: Albert and Alberta

Episode #83

2024-02-07 05:00:21


One day, as a student at the University of Florida, Kourtney LaPlant was reading the student newspaper. “And there was this little tiny ad in the paper about, hey, we’re looking for new mascots. And I was like, why not?”
Valorie Lee Schaefer, an Asian woman with short black and white hair, standing against a white background with her hands on her hips, and wearing a blouse with contrasting flower patterns and a tattoo partly visible across her chest.

Episode 82: The Care and Keeping of You

Episode #82

2024-01-24 05:00:59


When Valorie Lee Schaefer was asked to write a book about puberty for kids, her first thought was, “Why me?”
Illustration of a gray Mars rover sitting on a curved red planet, track marks and craters on the planet’s surface. The rover has six wheels, a long flat back of solar panels, and a long neck carrying a rectangular shaped bank of cameras. A small red heart appears on the body of the rover. The sky is black and peppered with geometric shapes – including stars and a ringed planet.

Episode 81: Tau = 10.8

Episode #81

2024-01-10 05:00:10


When twin rovers landed on Mars twenty years ago, they were only supposed to last 90 Martian days. But years passed, and engineers were still trying to keep them alive. “We got very attached.”
A photo of Bina Aspen-Rothblatt, who is wearing a black shirt and necklace and has a microphone pointing toward her.

Episode 80: How to Live Forever

Episode #80

2023-12-20 05:00:50


An experiment in living together, forever.
A photo of Brad and Joy Ryan standing on top of a mountain with their arms around each other's shoulders in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Brad is wearing a bandanna and a shirt that says "Be joyful." Joy is wearing a blue sweatshirt.

Episode 79: Let’s Give It a Whirl

Episode #79

2023-12-06 05:00:54


“If somebody asks you to do something, don't say no. Say yes.”
Ashton Edwards dancing the role of Dewdrop in "The Nutcracker," wearing a seafoam green short tutu with rhinestones and a sparkly tiara. Dancers in the background wear long orange and pink tutus.

Episode 78: The Pointe Shoes

Episode #78

2023-11-15 05:00:08


Growing up, Ashton Edwards spent hours watching videos of famous ballerinas. Ashton loved the ballet “Swan Lake” – especially the role of the Swan Queen. But they noticed that only female dancers danced that role, and got to dance on pointe.  One day, years later, they decided to put on a pair of pointe shoes anyway.