NPR Hosts Visit WGBH, Play Trivia

Thursday, April 12, 2012
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April 12, 2012


NPR Hosts Carl Kasell and Peter Sagal, the dynamic duo from the weekly radio show "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" visited the WGBH studios. (WGBH/Annie Shreffler)

BOSTON — The cast from one of NPR's award-winning weekend shows, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! (The NPR News Quiz) was in town this week for a live taping of their show at the Citi Performing Arts Center. The hosts of the show, Carl Kasell and Peter Sagal, paid a visit to the WGBH studios to greet public media supporters, and they sat down for a few minutes with WGBH's own All Things Considered host, Jordan Weinstein.

Weinstein subjected the pair to his own game, which he called "Stump the Boston Visitors with Our Favorite Trivia," with questions sent to him by WGBH Facebook fans. Listen to the uncut interview to find out just how well Sagal could recall Boston trivia from his days here as a Harvard student, and also learn a few fun Massachusetts facts to share at your next party. Sagal did call foul on Weinstein's question about the original name of the Boston Red Sox, claiming the first name was the Boston Pilgrims, not the Red Stockings.

(Well, Sagal, we've consulted Baseball Almanac's Bill Nowlin, and he asserts that the Pilgrim moniker never existed.)

However, it's clear that WGBH didn't have the answer quite right, either. As teams for the National and American Leagues started to establish themselves in the early 1900s, all kinds of nicknames were applied to both of Boston's baseball teams: Pilgrims, Puritans, Plymouth Rocks, Somersets, Collinsmen, Beaneaters, Triumvirs or Seleemen (after manager Frank Selee).

But the name that really stuck with the early Red Sox team, if you judge by the "BA" uniform in an old photograph Nowlin displays, was The Americans.

Thanks to the WGBH staff and supporters who contributed a trivia question for Sagal and Kasell.
Alison Cohen, Maria Daniels, Richie Downing, Carrie English, Joel Lempicki, Seth Mascolo, Michele O'Brien, Tere Ramos-Dunne, Rachel Silverman-Sommer, Mike Wood and Olivia Wong.

Re-energize with a Glass: Sam Adam's New Brew

Wednesday, April 11, 2012
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April 11, 2012


Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch,  shows off a pint of Sam Adams in the WGBH studios. Photo: Annie Shreffler

BOSTON — Jim Koch started Samuel Adams as a niche craft brewery in 1984, using a brewing recipe developed by his great-great-grandfather. Koch grew it into the second largest U.S. beer maker, and one of Boston's most recognizable exports.

He talked with Callie Crossley about the new beer Samuel Adams is brewing up: a  "26.2 Brew" in honor of the Boston Marathon. The limited-run beer will be served at the finish line next Monday, as well as in bars along the Marathon route.

Rachel Dratch: Life after SNL

Monday, April 9, 2012
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April 9, 2012


Rachel Dracht and Callie Crossley (Abbie Ruzicka/WGBH)

BOSTON — Lexington, Mass. native Rachel Dratch began her career in comedic acting on the mainstage at famed improv house Second City in Chicago. From there, she earned a coveted spot among comic actors: a 7-year run as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. Dratch came to WGBH to talk about her new book, a midlife memoir that chronicles what happens to a comedian when the roles and gigs go away, Girl Walks into a Bar... Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle.

Although Dratch says she still has those "pinch me moments" from her time at SNL, it wasn't the ticket to endless success she might have wished for. Instead, she started to get calls to play the tough, unattractive female characters. "I wasn't getting called in to play the lipstick lesbians," Dratch says of the gnarly parts she received from the casting offices. As she tries to avoid getting typecast, however, she says she is happy about a recent pilot she acted in, where she plays "the odd friend."

What's really impacted Dratch's life in such a way that she felt it deserved its own memoir is her imminent entry into motherhood. Dratch shares many a hilarious moment about her dating life, and agrees with Callie in the end that good things show up when you're not looking for them — like a great guy who can change your life. But she hasn't lost her sympathy for women out there still wondering if they'll start a family. In fact, she kinda rushed through opening her baby shower gifts for just that reason.
There are people who like baby showers: women in their 20s, grandmas to be, people who already have babies and people who love to look at stuff. These are 'the Shower People.' There are people who hate baby showers: women in their late 30s to early 40s who think they might want kids but haven't met the right guy yet (a.k.a., me!); also, people who don't like looking at stuff and have to pass it around and say, 'Oh, it's a shirt, only it's a tiny shirt!' or 'It's pants, only they're tiny!' (a.k.a., me!). This deadly combo made me really have to steel myself to go to a baby shower.

Off the Menu with Corby Kummer

Thursday, April 5, 2012
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April 5, 2012


Corby Kummer, senior editor at The Atlantic, brought along Easter Peeps on his visit to WGBH studios.

BOSTON — Corby Kummer, senior editor at The Atlantic, recipient of five James Beard Journalism Awards and one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the U.S. returns to The Emily Rooney Show for another conversation about what's Off the Menu and what's on. He questions all the dust kicked-up about pink slime in your ground beef, shares his review of The Blue Room in Kendall Square and saves your Easter or Passover meal with his favorite recipe recommendations from these terrific cookbooks:

Try an Italian Panada di Milano (Rich Easter Soup); Pastiera (Neapolitan Easter Ricotta Cake); Crostata di Ricotta (Italian Cheesecake) from The Italian Baker, by Carol Field.

Ever try an Apple Cider Syllabub? Corby described this version to Emily. It comes from The Cookbook Library: Four Centuries of the Cooks, Writers, and Recipes that Made the Modern Cookbook, by Anne Willan.

Apple Cider Syllabub
2 c (500 ml) demi-sec hard cider
1/2 c (100 g) sugar, more to taste
2 c (500 ml) heavy cream

In a bowl, whisk together the cider and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Warm the cream to room temperature, testing it with your finger, then transfer it to a pitcher. Gradually whisk the warm cream into the citder, a few spoonfuls at a time, pouring it from a height of at least 6 inches (15 cm). When all the cream has been added, continue whisking for 1 minute. (You can also use an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.) Taste and adjust the sugar.
Spoon the mixture into 8 syllabub glasses, cover loosely, and leave in a cool place. It will soon start to separate into a layer of cider punch topped with creamy mousse, two treats in one. Syllabub can be kept for a day or two in the refrigerator and the flavor will mellow. Serve it cool, or chilled.

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Yul Kwon Visits WGBH

Tuesday, April 3, 2012
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April 3, 2012


Yul Kwon, host of the PBS series America Revealed.  (Photo: Annie Shreffler)

BOSTON — He's known for his good looks and his survival skills, and now he'll help us understand what's behind the complex systems that keep our high-tech society functioning. He's Yul Kwon, and he stopped in at WGBH studios to talk about his upcoming show, the PBS series America Revealed. (Premiering on WGBH 2 on Wednesday, April 11 at 10pm.)

Kwon made his mark in television when he won on the 13th season of Survivor in 2006, and People Magazine named him "Sexiest Man Alive" that same year. Now Kwon will put his Stanford degree in Symbolic Systems to use, showing viewers the details behind systems we never consider, like how fruit gets from California to Maine, or how we keep thousands of active flights organized in the air at any given time, or perhaps how our electricity delivery system keeps 300 thousand Americans enlightened.

Why PBS and why now? Kwon told Emily Rooney, "I grew up watching PBS. My parents emigrated to this country from South Korea without any money, and they couldn't afford to put me or my brother into preschool.  The way that we learned English and saw a better life for ourselves was by watching programs like The Electric Company and Sesame Street and later on, Nature and NOVA. I've always felt that public media is one of the most valuable resources that this country has, especially for people who don't have a lot of means. [Hosting America Revealed] was an opportunity for me to give back and introduce PBS to a whole new generation of viewers."

Watch Kwon's conversation with Emily Rooney on "Greater Boston."

W-G-B-H Staff Show Off Speller Skillz

By Annie Shreffler   |   Tuesday, March 20, 2012
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March 20, 2012


A total of 18 teams signed up for WGBH's first spelling bee. (Photos by Annie Shreffler)

BOSTON — The lobby of WGBH's Brighton studios filled to capacity last week as staff came out in droves to see their colleagues show off some pretty great speller skills in the first WGBH Spelling Bee.

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About the Author
Annie Shreffler Annie Shreffler
Annie Shreffler is a digital features producer, writer and photographer for WGBH.org. She obtained an M.A. in Journalism from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and kicked off her second career as a digital projects producer for The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC New York Public Radio.


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