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We're Not in Oz Anymore.

Television Critic David Bianculli talks about the effect video cassette recorders have had on the way his kids watch TV.


Talking Computers and Their Language.

Language Commentator Geoffrey Nunberg explores the language and sounds of talking computers and how they handle the subtlety of vocal inflection. (Segment)


Test Pilot General Chuck Yeager.

Yeager broke the sound barrier flying the X-1 jet plane. The accomplishment not only helped revolutionize aviation; it put him in the public eye. He later appeared on the cover of Time Magazine and television commercials. His newly-published second memoir is called Press On!.


A Short History of Silicon Valley

Writer Stuart Brand joins Fresh Air to talk about the technology-focused business culture that's developing in the Bay Area. He says it's turned San Francisco into a kind of global frontier town.


What Computer Language Says About Human Understanding

Some people bemoan the use of computer language to describe human behavior. But linguist Geoff Nunberg says the trend works both ways: we often discuss technology in anthropomorphic terms -- but only when it malfunctions.


Looking Back on the Apollo Program.

On the eve of the 20th anniversary of man's first walk on the moon, commentator Stewart Brand shares his thoughts on space exploration and how it has changed us. Brand is founder of The Whole Earth Catalog.


Special Effects Impresario Chris Walas Tackles Directing.

Special effects master and director Chris Walas. He directed "Fly II," the sequel to the popular remake of "The Fly," about a scientist whose genetic experiments run amok. Walas was responsible for the special effects in "The Fly." He got his start in film making working for the special effects team for several Roger Corman films, including "Piranha." His work was first noticed in the film "Scanners;" it was Walas who created and choreographed the famous exploding head scene.


A New Virtual Reality.

Commentator Stewart Brand reports on his first journey through cyberspace, a type of three-dimensional computer-generated world that humans can `fly through' by simply pointing a finger. Brand traces the evolution of Cyberspace through recent fiction.


James Cameron Discusses Underwater Directing.

Director James Cameron. Though his career is relatively young, Cameron has established himself as one of the best directors and writers of intense dramas that jump between exhilaration and terror. His best-known work is "Aliens," the sequel to the 1979 sci-fi classic in which Lt. Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, stalks a vicious alien that's invaded her spacecraft and is slaughtering the crew. The film was nominated for seven Oscars and won two.


"The Learner Must Always Be Led From the Familiar to the Unfamiliar."

Contributor Ilene Segalove takes us on a tour of The Museum of Jurassic Technology, a Los Angeles museum of "unnatural history." The museum features exhibits of the bizarre and improbable, such as the "Deprong Mori," a South American bat that uses X-ray to fly through solid objects, or the way extreme ultraviolet rays appear to restore the flesh to a skeleton.


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