Means to an End — BBC Real America

Means to an End: Gun Death by Suicide

From the BBC web site: It’s a little known fact that in the United States more gun deaths are due to suicide than homicide. Radio producers Kelly Hardcastle Jones and Lu Olkowski explore the legacy of one such suicide – a man called Ian Andersen.

Ian’s friends and family didn’t realise the depth of his depression and the extent of his addiction to drugs.

What happened to Monica de Aguiar, the fiancée that Ian left behind – and to his friends Carl and Kenny? The story occurs in Rhode Island – the smallest state in the United States, and a place where the suicide rate runs below the national average.

What’s In a Word? Defining Toronto’s ‘Food Deserts’ — CDS


Spicy. Smooth. Unsavoury. Delectable. The words we use to describe our food are anything but neutral. So, how much does it matter that we call about half of Toronto a “food desert” and the people that live there “food insecure”? In this piece, made at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, I  tried to find out – about the power of language to shape communities – and about the moments when food speaks louder than words.

Move A Grave? Over My Dead Body — Pioneer Radio

Photo via Flickr

There is a cemetery just outside of Toronto – nestled between two diverging highway overpasses, under the flight pattern of daily jumbo jets, and within smelling distance of an enormous brewery. Believe it or not, the cemetery is called “Richview” and at least 110 of the bodies buried there came from plots nearby.

Just A Trim: A Cross-Canada Haircutting Project — Pioneer Radio

Image via Arts and Crafts

For years, Jenny Mitchell (of the Barmitzvah BrothersJenny Omnichord, and Bird City) traveled across Canada, playing music in bars and giving haircuts in back rooms in exchange for stories. She hoped to compile those stories into a coffee table book – she even got an excited shout-out from Stuart McLean about the project before it was done. But her plans were derailed and, in the face of hundreds of audio files spread across dozens of hard drives and tape recorders, she just can’t seem to gather the will to finish the project. Yet…

Uncle Hardy Goes to the Moon — Pioneer Radio / CSSW

Image via Collect Space

Instructions for how to hold your breath while your life’s work is subject to a controlled explosion. Featuring my great uncle, Hardy, who worked for months on the first 2 1/2 minutes of the Apollo 11 shuttle launch. This piece was featured on the first episode of Sound Sausage, a podcast from the Canadian Sound and Story Workshop.

My Family Ruined the South — Pioneer Radio

kudzu in 1956 in gully_001.jpg
Image via the New Georgia Encyclopedia

Kudzu is an invasive species of vine, introduced to the southern United States’ highway system by my great, great Uncle Friday.

Well, not really. But that’s the family legend!

Kudzu can grow up to 90ft. in a year and doesn’t have a natural predator in North America, making it a pain in the britches to eradicate. Music for this piece was composed by Reilly Jones.