Q: How to turn Dan into a puddle of face-palmed, embarrassed, cringing and heart eyes Howell at the same time?

A: Husky voiced Phil who takes trolling people on the phone as serious business.


Bonus Dan’s total defeat: bites mic, blinks blinks, shakes head. Phil gets jump scared due to all sudden cuteness.

The first transistor radio was released 61 years ago today. Here’s Dieter Rams’s 1959 design for Braun, on view now in Making Music Modern: Design for Ear and Eye.

[Dieter Rams. Portable Transistor Radio and Phonograph (model TP 1). 1959. Braun AG, Frankfurt, Germany, est. 1921. The Museum of Modern Art, New York]

One thing you might not know about Fresh Air is that many of our team members have been with the show since the beginning–or practically the beginning, over 30 years ago. One of our engineers, Joyce Lieberman, is one of those people.

Meet Joyce:

“I began working with Terry Gross several years after she started doing her show at WHYY when it was a three-hour, local, live program. I engineered many of them. In 1987 Fresh Air went national on NPR as a live, one-hour, popular culture show. I was selected to be the primary engineer driving the program.

To get ready for a national stage Danny Miller, the Executive Producer, and I went to NPR to get ideas for production, directing and engineering. Then I worked with other engineers to build the room, select the equipment and install everything. Now I am the Radio Engineering Supervisor for WHYY-FM in Philadelphia. I take care of lots of the equipment and systems and drive the show if needed.
In this photo I’m at the Amek Angela console in the Fresh Air Control Room in 1990. We moved into a new building in 2000 so the Fresh Air Control Room is different now.”

How she got started:
“I was a volunteer at WHYY when there were mostly volunteers doing programs. I joined a group at WUHY, which is what WHYY was called then, called Radio Free Women. Then I decided to get some engineer training. I went to Philadelphia Wireless Technical Institute, and then the station got a Minority Training Grant from the Corporation For Public Broadcasting to hire a woman in TV and Radio. I got the job and was trained in every job at the station. I was asked to join the staff after the year and a half training was over.”

Today we had a technical crash minutes before we went live. Good thing we’ve got an amazing crew!

“Hats off to the control room crew - Roberta (right), Audrey and Joyce - who did a phenomenal job today, dealing with a massive technical crash which revealed itself right before we went on the air.   And thanks to Joyce and Audrey who will be chasing down the problem, apprehending it, and telling it very sternly not to mess with us again.

We’ll leave out the details–sometimes it’s better not to know how even a really great sausage is made.  But it was a doozy.”

-Executive Producer Danny Miller


Love isn’t all that it seems I did you wrong
I’ll stay here with you until this dream is gone

“If it wasn’t for The Princess and the Frog I don’t think I would’ve found to drive to go back to school. Tiana was fearless, dedicated and always went after her dream even when everyone said she’d never make it. I’m now in college in Radio & TV News Production, because everyone said I’d never go back to college. I’m almost there, thanks to Tiana”

Can you name all of the gizmos in Ralph Cifra new "Retro Technology“ design? How many of them do you own? Here’s what Ralph had to say about this nostalgic design:

”I wanna go back in time to have these great gadgets!“

Lucky for you, you don’t have to go back in time to pick up this tee!


Coming soon - the BBC Production Library from Universal Music. Another way of getting more value…

Question: Why don’t electronic devices today look this cool?

Multiple Choice:

a. Manufacturers are stupid and unimaginative.

b. Manufacturers think we are stupid and unimaginative.

c. Manufacturers conform to trends and are afraid to be different.

d. Manufacturers think we conform to trends and are afraid to be different.

e. All of the above.

Photo from a book filled with delightfully fresh, imaginative product design from a time when shapes weren’t merely rectangles with rounded corners and the color palette wasn’t limited to black, white, and gray.

Julian 9-transistor toy walkie talkie.