The first time I heard the program Spark, I was driving home from roller derby practice in Bolton. I’m usually so wound up after roller skating for two hours that I have a hard time giving my full attention to the giga-bytes of public radio programs on my iPod, so I listen to music instead. But I’d heard great things about Spark, so I hit play and started down the winding access road.
I was hooked immediately as I listened to host Nora Young’s piece about capchas, those funky-looking words you have to type out to verify your identity to a website. I learned about people who are finding ways to put the time we spend typing those out (150,000 hours a day!) to more productive use, like helping to digitize books.
So it's with great pleasure and excitement that I tell you Spark will begin airing on VPR this Saturday at 1 p.m. VPR is the first station in the US to broadcast this program, a production of CBC Radio. It’s about technology in our everyday lives, and how it’s changing the way we live: how we learn, communicate, raise our kids, work, and play.
By a different but no less significant token, To the Best of Our Knowledge is program I’ve followed for years. It’s an audio magazine of ideas, and each program explores a single subject from a variety of different angles. For example, this program explores the difference between loneliness and our need for solitude. You’ll hear the program, hosted by Jim Fleming, at 2 p.m. beginning this Saturday.
At 4 p.m., you’ll hear The VPR Saturday Special, which will include listener favorites like Radio Lab and The Moth Radio Hour when programs are available, as well as other specials and documentaries you won't want to miss from VPR, NPR, American Radio Works, and more. The VPR Saturday Special kicks off this weekend with the first of five episodes of Radio Lab.
I depend on public radio every day to stay up on the news and issues that affect me, my community, and the world. But I think public radio is at its best when you learn about issues you’d never even considered, much less learned about before. That’s what all of these programs do. We’re excited about VPR’s new sound of Saturday afternoons on VPR, and we hope you’ll enjoy the new lineup as much as we do. You can learn more about the new sound of Saturdays on VPR – and hear an audio sample – here.