July 2013 Archives

Founded in 1915, the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park hosts thousands of visitors each year. Tropical plants, palms, ferns, orchids and bonsai are all part of its collection, which is sometimes referred to as “the jewel of St Paul.” KFAI’s Allison Herrera explains that the Conservatory was the vision the park’s first superintendent.

Jazari is a cyborg percussion ensemble. Created by “token human” Patrick Flanagan, its a kind of robot drum circle that includes acoustic bongos, cowbells, a djembe, and more. KFAI producer Charlie McCarron has the inside scoop on Flanagan’s unique invention.

Dr. Mary Beth Huttlin is a talented composer and clarinetist, with mental gifts that change the way she composes music: perfect pitch, melodies that flow through her mind, and a kind of synesthesia that allows her see colors when she hears music. Huttlin rarely talks about synesthesia, as its hard for people to comprehend her experiences. That didn’t stop KFAI producer Charlie McCarron from talking to her about this curious condition.

Alice the Cook is a character created by food historian, performer and author Anjila K. Olsen. Olsen lives in the Twin Cities, but Alice the Cook travels far and wide to Renaissance festivals, showcasing her live, period-style cooking show. Using cast iron pots and wooden utensils, she prepares recipes in a traditional manner. She also lectures, conducts cooking demonstrations and gives private lessons. Collecting food history books from around the world, Olsen taught herself a variety of languages so she could translate the information. She has written several books on period-style cooking, and posts her recipes on alicethecook.com. KFAI producer Dixie Treichel has the story.

A national study by the Cooperative Children’s Books Center at the University of Wisconsin reports that diversity is lacking in children’s literature. According to CCBS, less than 10 percent of main characters are people of color. KFAI producer Will Wright talked to local publishers about how the Twin Cities measures up.