NPR News



Sun September 4, 2011
The Picture Show

America's Asylums In Photographs

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:27 am

Straightjacket, Logansport State Hospital, Ind.
Christopher Payne

In the 19th century, the mentally ill were often sent to horrific asylums. Today they fill the nation's jails; the conditions aren't much better. Last year, almost 1.1 million people with serious mental illnesses were arrested nearly 2 million times.

It's those old asylums — mostly closed, often abandoned — that have fascinated photographer Christopher Payne. A few years ago, he put together a book of images from those buildings, titled Asylum: Inside The Closed World Of State Mental Hospitals.

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Sun September 4, 2011
Art & Design

Dream Weaver: This Guy's Quilts ROCK!

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:27 am

Artist Ben Venom makes quilts using vintage heavy metal T-shirts.
Ben Venom

If you were a metal-head in a past life, you probably have a collection of concert t-shirts stashed away somewhere.

Maybe you use that prized souvenir from Pantera's Cowboys From Hell tour to polish your vintage 1981 Pontiac Firebird.

A San Francisco artist who goes by the name Ben Venom has come up with an unusual use for those old heavy metal shirts — he sews them into quilts.

And the results are on exhibit in galleries in the Bay Area and Birmingham, England.

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Sun September 4, 2011
Around the Nation

Modern Firefighters: Tackling More Than Just Flames

Firefighters of Station 4 in Alexandria, Va.: (left to right) Chief Fire Marshall Robert B. Rodriguez, Jeff Taylor, Capt. Tony Washington, Assistant Chief of Operations Andrew Sneed.
Lily Percy NPR

Fires are on the decline nationwide, but that doesn't make a firefighters job any easier. In fact, it may be harder now. Not only are fires more complicated these days, but the scope of firefighting has changed drastically and now includes fire prevention, public education, safety inspections and more than anything, emergency medical assistance.

"Seventy percent of our calls are medical calls," probational firefighter Jeff Taylor tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan.

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Sun September 4, 2011
Music Interviews

Thomas Dybdahl: Norwegian Invasion

Thomas Dybdahl's first U.S. release, Songs, collects music from the Norweigian songwriter's hit-heavy career overseas.
Kevin Westenberg Courtesy of the artist

In his home country of Norway, Thomas Dybdahl is already a star. The singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has released five well-received albums there over the past decade.

Now, he's making his U.S. debut with Songs, a sort of compilation of the best of his Norwegian hits. One thing that's making the transition easy: His songs are all in English.

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Sun September 4, 2011
Tiny Desk Concerts

King Creosote And Jon Hopkins: Tiny Desk Concert

Emily Bogle NPR
  • Audio Only: King Creosote and John Hopkins' Tiny Desk Concert

At the risk of serving up a spoiler three months in advance, King Creosote and Jon Hopkins' Diamond Mine is going to turn up near the top of many Best Albums of 2011 lists on this website. The breathless love isn't unanimous across the NPR Music staff, but it's widespread and intense, and rightfully so.

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