I'm a former Senior Producer and Reporter for PRI's The World.
For more than 16 years, I've been been traveling the globe in search of interesting people to put on the radio, on the web, and even on television. I recently did a two-year stint for The World in Brussels, where I mostly covered Europe's ongoing financial crisis. Before that, I served as The World's technology correspondent, and also hosted a weekly technology podcast. Since returning to the Boston newsroom, I have tackled a variety of projects, including the creation of Boston Calling, a weekly program for the BBC World Service.
Away from the office, I enjoy fine Belgian beers and single malt Scotch whisky. I like books by Kurt Vonnegut, and early Miles Davis on vinyl. Occasionally, I spoil a good walk by picking up a golf club, usually to disastrous results. More occasionally, I pick up a bass guitar, and then smash it.
The opening chord progression in Stairway to Heaven is one of the most famous in rock music. But representatives of a 1960s US band called Spirit say that Robert Plant and Jimmy Page got the idea from them. A federal judge in Los Angeles says a jury should decide.
Sam Fromartz went to Paris to learn how to make that most fickle of breads, the baguette. And it's that loaf, he says, that will help the French as they deal with the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks.
The Cubs are going to the National League Championship Series. But for long-suffering fans, this seeming success could be just another example of the Cubs snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
Gold fever — that crazy gleam in the eye some people get just thinking about finding a big chunk of gleaming metal. "Gold Fever" also happens to be the name of a new book, by the unlikeliest of prospectors — an Englishman named Steve Boggan. Here's his story.
Belgium has just minted a special euro coin. The denomination? 2.5 euros. But that's not the part that's got France in a fit. It's the fact that the coin depicts France's defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.
A fish that can live out of water for up to six days poses a threat to Australian native species. The invasive fish, originally from Papua New Guinea, "walks" using its gill plates from waterhole to waterhole and has already reached Australian island territories.
"Coward. Chicken. Yellow-belly." Those were insults the French used against the gunmen who carried out the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January. Cowardice, in fact, is currently enjoying a bit of global resurgence as a put-down. So much so that Boston University professor Chris Walsh decided it was time to write a book about the subject. The first hurdle? Finding source material.
Filipino journalist Orlando de Guzman traveled Ferguson, Missouri, to document the killing of Michael Brown, and found a legacy of entrenched discrimination and police abuse that reminded him of his own experiences back home.
Voters in Greece have thrown their support behind Alexis Tsipras, the leader of a left-wing, anti-austerity party called Syriza. Tsipras says his first task as prime minister will be to renegotiate the tough economic measures imposed on Greece by the Eurozone, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. Tsipras says he wants to give Greeks their dignity back.
From the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices to the bloody end of a nationwide manhunt, events in France this week have laid bare the fault lines with, and within, the country's Muslim population. That tension extends far beyond France's borders, and into almost every other European country.