Major funding for Been There/Done That is provided by The Atlantic Philanthropies with additional funding by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Program Archive
January 2004

The Zero Show: Zilch, Zip, Nada. An Hour About Nothing
Host Marty Goldensohn kicks off the new year with a blank slate. He talks to Charles Seife about the unusual history of the number zero; Eric Cornell, a scientist who won the Nobel prize trying to reach absolute zero; and astronomer Derek Pitts about the nothingness of space. Also, Swedish novelist Mikael Niemi discusses his bestseller that takes place north of nowhere. Plus, how Zero Mostel could perform like no other. All that and more in this edition of Been There / Done That.

Links of the Week:

  • Charles Seife is the author of "Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea"
  • Mikael Niemi wrote about the vodka belt of northern Sweden in "Popular Music from Vittula." Visit the Seven Stories Press website for reviews and more info.
  • For more about Eric Cornell and his close encounter with absolute zero, check out the professor's autobigoraphy at the Nobel e-Museum.
  • Can't get enough of nothing? The 1965 "Fugs First Album" was rereleased in 1994 and is still available for purchase from your favorite music store.


On the Move
Mobility isn't in the Constitution, but Americans insist on it anyway. This week, we explore the history of transportation -- who was the first man (and his dog) to cross the country in a car? We explode myths about the ease of social mobility with Alfred Lubrano's story of living in "Limbo." Plus, a modern-day trucker talks to us from the road; a travel writer shares his world view; and Elizabeth Streb's dance troupe defies gravity. All that and more on this edition of Been There / Done That.

Links of the Week:

  • Janet Davidson is a historian and curator for the Smithsonian's "America on the Move" exhibit. View the exhibit online.
  • Trucker Dave "Dallas" Winthrow keeps his on-the-road stories at his website.
  • Jason Wilson is series editor of "The Best American Travel Writing" with Ian Frazier, who is guest editor for the 2003 edition. For more information and excerpts from the book, visit Houghton Mifflin's website.
  • Neighborhood Bike Works runs Philadelphia's Bike Church.
  • Alfred Lubrano is a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and wrote "Limbo: Blue-Collar Roots, White-Collar Dreams," which is published by Wiley.
  • Elizabeth Streb welcomes visitors to her studio in Brooklyn, where she also offers classes in pop action to the public. Visit the Streb/Ringside website for more information.


Winter Chills
Host Marty Goldensohn starts to warm up to winter with a look at the winter sky. Then, the scientist behind the wind chill factor explains why it's not really THAT cold, and we get winter driving lessons from a speed racer. Plus, a Jane Austen take on the snowbirds of Boca Raton; how to survive 50 below in Fairbanks, Alaska; and a rereading of the chilly classic, Ethan Frome. All that and more on this archive edition of Been There / Done That.


Strings Attached
Nearly everything in life has strings attached. To keep our jobs, we hold our tongues; to hold on to love, we keep a hundred promises. This week, host Marty Goldensohn examines this tapestry of life. He talks to journalist Bob Schieffer about forging a rewarding career in a field rife with politics. Neurologist Tim Pedley explains how doctors can remain independent amid drug company perks and junkets. Plus, we find out what tugs at the hearts of political exiles. We also pull some actual strings on a tour of the Martin Guitar Company and learn how pilots snag cables to land Air Force jets on carriers. All that and more on this edition of Been There / Done That.

Read Sri Rao's commentary "Strings Attached."

Links of the Week:

  • Art Caplan directs the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Bob Schieffer's new book is "This Just In: What I Couldn't Tell You on TV."
  • Dr. Tim Pedley is Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Columbia University.
  • More information about "Martin Guitar Masterpieces" is available from the publisher's website.
  • Fernando Chang-Muy teaches at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.


Nothing New
Host Marty Goldensohn explores all things recycled -- with writer Thomas Mallon, who uses history as a springboard for fiction; journalist Josh Davis, who gives us the news on hair regeneration; and critic Tom Moon, who renews our appreciation for music sampling. Plus, we get an update on the economics of environmental recycling and some recipes for our leftovers. A lot of new stuff on this edition of Been There / Done That.

Links of the Week:




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