animals and plants

Joshua Witchger 06-18-2012

Duck flash mob takes over a street in China – Pictographic rock band posters –Jack McBrayer learns insults at a hot dog shop – and San Diego's annual dog surfing tournament. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...

Joshua Witchger 05-14-2012

The cast of Arrested Development knows how to celebrate "Dance like a Chicken Day." Plus New York's piano man wheels an upright down the street -- X-Ray photos of animals and plants -- Ghostbusters city tour -- elephants form a two-day vigil -- Neil Young and Crazy Horse play "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain"... and more. See today's Links of Awesomeness...

Joshua Witchger 04-26-2012
Zenaida Macroura (Mourning Dove) painting by John J. Audubon. Public domain imag

Zenaida Macroura (Mourning Dove) painting by John J. Audubon. Public domain image.

Happy 227th Birthday to ornithologist and painter John J. Audubon -- find your voice with the public radio name generator -- a rescued collie dog's survival story -- Australia's duck fashion parade -- the cast of 30 Rock plays charades -- new music from J. Tillman and The Welcome Wagon. Read these stories and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...


Joshua Witchger 03-20-2012

The Spring Equinox ushers in World Storytelling Day. Listen to Portlandia stars discuss some of their most cherrished music. OK Go experiments with a new online dating service. Arcade Fire delivers guest lecture at University of Texas at Austin. Pictures of sharks, crazy sool ice-cream shops, and more...

Christian Piatt 03-19-2012
Cow image by smereka /

Cow image by smereka /

Each of us is our own worst enemy at one time or another. My eight-year-old son, Mattias, takes himself to the mat more often, and more violently, than most.

My wife and I recently accepted a call to pastor a historic church in downtown Portland. When we told the kids, Mattias – my beloved resident Aspie – would go from unhinged excitement one moment, followed by tearful preemptive mourning the next. Kids like Mattias tend to have more dramatic mood swings than average, and pressure just amplifies the swings.

We took a trip to meet the congregation as an opportunity to show the kids around and sell them on the idea of their new home. The beach is a little more than an hour from Portland, so we took them out to the coast for lunch one afternoon. After searching for sand dollars for half an hour under an unforgiving canopy of clouds, we all agreed that a visit to the arcade on the main drag would be a welcome relief from the cool ocean wind.

Joshua Witchger 03-12-2012

24-hour "penguin cam" at SeaWorld, world dictators depicted in cake, public art collaboration "Before I die...", fun finds for children of the 80s and 90s, dogs catch pythons in Everglades, unsual protest at a Radiohead show, and the stars of Despicable Me sing a song about bananas. 

Joshua Witchger 02-20-2012

Students protest cafetera food, the art of snowboarding in LED, one man a capella showtunes, spoof street artist Hanksy, and more! Plus, an Animal Extravaganza: Maddie the Coonhound travels the country, remarkable footage of some of the world's strangest creatures, and fashioning an animalistic hair style. All this and more ... inside the blog.

Joshua Witchger 02-16-2012

Over the Rhine's husband/wife duo talks music and life together, old CDs are turned into remarkable animal sculptures, Chipotle takes new strides toward humane practices, a spark of fun in family pictures, restaurant serves edible balloons for dessert... and Disney's Lady and the Tramp is given new life. All this and more ... inside the blog.

Joshua Witchger 02-14-2012

Taking a look at Valentines Day with clever recipes, cards, stories, and clothing items. Videos of love across language barriers. A couple of sentimental mixtapes. The greatest kisses in literature. And finally, nothing says romance like a tour of an NYC sweage plant.

Joshua Witchger 01-30-2012

Ferris Bueller is back and ready for the Super Bowl. Kermit and Piggy strike back (at FoxNews), a dad covers Depeche Mode songs with his kids. Animals acting out scenes from Star Wars, the case of the missing ladybugs, a Sojo Octet (we told them to wear matching outfits but they didn't listen), and other odd tales...

Joshua Witchger 01-27-2012

A huge collection of 90s pop classics set to the tune of one man's melodica, animals appearing everywhere -- in public libraries, photobombs, even to predict the superbowl, how to mount a hot pocket holder to your X-Box controller, the first installment of FRIDAY'S HIGH FIVE, and more!

Julie Clawson 01-24-2012

Beyond the typical objections that the Harry Potter books will turn children into Satan-worshipers and encourage them to disrespect authority, one mom complained that she found it inappropriate that at Hogwarts food magically appears on the table at mealtime. Her argument was that she wants her children to have a good work ethic and not to believe that anything in life is free. She wanted her girls to know that preparing meals is hard work and so would therefore be sheltering them from this absurd depiction of people getting something for nothing.

I think at the time I had to restrain myself from asking if she also banned her kids from hearing the story of the feeding on the 5,000 in Sunday school, but it was hard not to think about her objection a few months later as I read The Goblet of Fire and its subplot about house elves. As it revealed, food does not magically appear on the tables at Hogwarts, it is prepared by hardworking elves who in the wizarding world are generally kept as slaves.

Joshua Witchger 12-19-2011

Senior citizen flash mob performs Glee's "Last Christmas" at Target, Sir David Attenborough narrates "What a Wonderful World" to clips of nature, Christmas decorations seen as tributes to the Pagan Sun-God, Banksy's latest satrical sculpture on the church, Jesus visits the Denver Broncos, a bread nativity scene, year in review lists, and Teddy the talking porcupine wishes you all a very "Merry Christmas."

Jeffrey Wilson 04-21-2011
Last year, I was deeply troubled by the Gulf Oil Spill, having been born and raised on the Florida Gulf Coast.