This Is Love

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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“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

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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.
Black and white photo of the front of an apartment building with the words Barbizon Hotel on the awning. A woman carrying a stack of papers is walking away from the front door.

Episode 77: The Barbizon Hotel

Episode #77

2023-11-01 05:00:11

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In its early days, the magazine Mademoiselle positioned itself as “the magazine for smart young women.” It published work by Truman Capote, Albert Camus, and Flannery O’Connor. Each summer, the magazine selected 20 women from colleges around the country to come to New York and work as guest editors. For housing, they were put up in a women-only hotel at East 63rd and Lexington Avenue: The Barbizon Hotel. Historian Paulina Bren says: “The Barbizon was a sanctuary."
Jean Westcott wears a “Jeopardy!” hat and holds up a pen. Jean has long brown hair underneath a dark baseball cap. The baseball cap features the “Jeopardy” logo in white letters.

Episode 76: The Contestant

Episode #76

2023-10-18 05:00:51

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After Jean Westcott's first "Jeopardy!" audition, she waited 18 months to find out if she'd be on the show. She didn't get called, so she auditioned again. And again. She kept auditioning for over 20 years.
A painting of Jules and Julianne Hirsch, by Tobi Zion. Jules and Julianne are seated side by side. Julianne has short dark hair, and is wearing glasses and a black shirt and jacket. Jules is slightly taller, with no hair on the top of his head and a whitish-gray beard. He is wearing a gray button-down shirt with a red bowtie and red suspenders. They are seated in front of pink flowers and green leaves.

Episode 75: Here I Am

Episode #75

2023-10-04 05:00:40

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Julianne Hirsh celebrated her second bat mitzvah in June, at age 83. “It’s a marker of, well, here I am. I’ve lived this long, and so I’m here before you saying that.”
A Herdwick sheep stands in a barn staring at the camera.

Episode 74: Beatrix Potter and Her Sheep

Episode #74

2023-09-20 05:00:21

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“It's all about finding the place that makes you happy, finding the life that makes you happy, and not worrying that other people make different choices.”
A photo of a conductor's legs standing on a podium. The conductor is wearing a suit and holding a baton, and on his feet are hobbit slippers - hairy feet with toes. The podium has the letters "RTOOT" on the sides.

Episode 73: A Really Terrible Orchestra

Episode #73

2023-09-06 05:00:48

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Where it’s perfectly good to sound bad.
Photograph of wolves walking across snow in a line. Pine trees and cottonwood trees are in the background.

Episode 72: The Wolves

Episode #72

2023-08-23 05:00:08

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We go searching for wolves in Yellowstone National Park, and learn about the dramatic and surprisingly relatable relationship between a powerful young wolf and the small, elderly wolf who had raised him.
A faded illustration in earth tones of three beehives -- likely woven baskets, or skeps, positioned in a row on a slightly elevated wooden slab. Large bees are depicted crawling in and out of small rectangular entrances to the hives, and they also spread evenly across the area above the hives, filling the sky.

Episode 71: Telling the Bees

Episode #71

2023-08-09 05:00:39

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For a long time, beekeepers have told bees their news. They’ve told their bees about weddings, and when people they know have died. It’s said that if they don’t, the bees will leave their hives, or stop making honey, or die.
A black and white photo of Yla Eason behind her young son, Menelik Puryear. They are both smiling and Yla has her arms around Menelik. Menelik is holding a Sun-Man action figure.

Episode 70: Sun-Man

Episode #70

2023-07-19 05:00:19

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After Yla Eason’s three-year-old son told her he couldn’t be a superhero because he wasn’t white like his He-Man toys, she looked for a Black action figure for him. When she couldn’t find one anywhere, she decided to make one herself.
A grass tennis court surrounded by a white and green picket fence. In the foreground is a sign that reads “4,090 miles, Wimbledon.” Behind the tennis court is a British flag, tall white wind turbines, and corn fields.

Episode 69: Wimbledon in a Cornfield

Episode #69

2023-07-05 05:00:02

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Mark Kuhn grew up in Iowa in a family of corn farmers. When he was 10 years old, he heard a BBC broadcast of the Wimbledon finals. He couldn’t stop thinking about it — he would daydream about tennis while doing his chores. And one day, he got an idea. “I’m looking at this cattle feedlot when I realized, ‘This is just about the right size for a tennis court.’”