As a journalist, I came to Pamplona to see if Spain's dismal economy would dampen the spirit of the country's biggest summertime festival, the running of the bulls. Spaniards take their partying very seriously, and if there were even a hint of melancholy in their chants of "Viva San Fermin!" it might mean the economy devils had won.
Maria Arvizu continues to fill out job applications even though she has yet to deposit her last paycheck.
Arvizu, 53, relocated to Yuma, Ariz., to become a bus driver for the local school district last year. After school closed for summer break, she was caught off guard when she was laid off. She had expected to get another driving assignment and was denied collecting unemployment because she was still considered a school employee.
In some of the dirtiest places on Earth, author and environmentalist Andrew Blackwell found some beauty. His book, Visit Sunny Chernobyl, tours the deforestation of the Amazon, the oil sand mines in Canada and the world's most polluted city, located in China.
Blackwell says his ode to polluted locales is a bid for re-engagement with places people have shrunk away from in disgust.
Radioactive To Its Core
His first stop was the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster, Chernobyl.
Opinions about Dirty Projectors couldn't be more divided. At a recent NPR Music listening party, audience members gave the band's new album, Swing Lo Magellan, both very high marks and very low marks. It was a genuine split decision.
Intrigued, weekends on All Things Considered spoke with Dirty Projectors bandleader Dave Longstreth to figure out why. One thing became clear pretty quickly: Longstreth and Dirty Projectors take a lot of risks.