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From political dysfunction to America's oldest ballpark, add these podcasts to your playlist

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Connecticut Public Radio; WBUR; NPR; LAist Studios; WQXR; WWNO & WRKF

It's officially summer, and that means it's time to update your poolside playlist. The NPR One team has road trip-approved podcasts recommendations from across public media.

The podcast episode descriptions below are from podcast webpages and have been edited for brevity and clarity.

Inheriting — LAist

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/ LAist
Japanese American Incarceration. The Third World Liberation Front. The 1992 Los Angeles Uprising. What you think you know isn't always the full story. "Inheriting" is a show about Asian American and Pacific Islander families that explores how the past is personal. Hosted by NPR's Emily Kwong, we go deep with families on how their most personal, private moments are part of history. Start listening to, "Carol & the Los Angeles Uprising: Part 1."

Embodied — WUNC

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A gender transition is a moment of personal flux that can also have a big impact on a romantic relationship. Anita meets two couples who continued to choose each other after one partner came out as trans: a South African couple in their 20s and an American couple who went through a transition after 22 years of marriage.Meet the guests:- Summer Tao and Lucy Aalto, partners and freelance writers in South Africa, describe the unexpected ways in which Summer's transition brought them closer together and share advice to couples who may be at the beginning of their own queer journeys - Kate and Patty Redman, wife and wife in Missouri, reflect on changes to their sex life, social circles and religious ties when Kate came out as trans after two decades of marriage. Listen to "Transitioned: When One Partner Comes Out As Trans."

In Absentia — Connecticut Public Radio

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/ Connecticut Public Radio
Connecticut Public Radio
Why does political dysfunction happen? What are the systems that enable it? This four-part investigation looks for answers in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where corruption charges, allegations of absentee ballot misconduct, and machine politics have left some residents wondering if their vote even matters. Start listening to part one, "Wiretapped."

HumaNature - Wyoming Public Media

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/ Wyoming Public Media
Wyoming Public Media
HumaNature is the podcast that explores where humans and our habitat meet. The show tells real stories about human experiences in nature. Along the way, we'll meet people whose encounters help us reflect on our own place in the natural world. Eric Keeler had a good life, but he was bored. So he decided to shake things up and run across America by himself. Follow his journey from Maine to California on this week's episode. Listen to "The Running Man."

If This Hall Could Talk — WQXR

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If This Hall Could Talk tells the story of culture in America as witnessed at one iconic venue: New York City's Carnegie Hall. It's long been a destination for the world's top musical talents, speakers, activists, and with a history spanning more than 100 years. Objects from the Carnegie Hall Rose Archives tell a complicated and quirky history of the hall showcasing the creation, development and celebration of uniquely American historical moments and music. Each episode features an object from the collections of Carnegie Hall's Rose Archives and uses it as the starting point for stories of broader musical, cultural, and political significance. Hosted by Broadway star Jessica Vosk, the show brings in voices ranging from marquee talent to historical experts, guiding listeners on a journey that is guaranteed to leave them with a newfound appreciation for the breadth, diversity, and endless invention of the country's musical arts and culture. Listen to "Judy Garland's Autographed Album Cover."

Road to Rickwood — WWNO & WRKF

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In June, MLB will host a game at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, AL. In its 114-year history, the field has seen everything from segregated baseball, a women's suffrage event, a Klan rally and the first integrated sports team in Alabama. Host Roy Wood Jr. speaks with historians, former Negro Leaguers and more to explore how Birmingham's civil rights story played out at America's oldest ballpark. Start listening to, "The Holy Grail of Baseball."

Last Seen — WBUR

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Hundreds of people donated their bodies to Harvard Medical School hoping to advance science and train the next generation of doctors. Meanwhile, prosecutors say that for years, the school's morgue manager treated it like a storefront, letting potential customers browse body parts and bringing home skin and brains to be shipped out to people across the country. Last year's arrest of the morgue manager, Cedric Lodge, exposed a nationwide network of human remains swapping that ensnared Harvard and lay bare the school's broken promises to donors. In this five-part narrative series, host and reporter Ally Jarmanning explains what happened at Harvard, talks to donor families about their interrupted grief, and meets with human remains collectors to find out why they're interested in this macabre field. We explore the dark origins of our nation's medical schools. And we try to answer the haunting questions that drive the series: How should we treat the dead? And who gets to decide? Start listening to part one, "Postmortem Ep. 1: The crime."

Backed Up — WVXU

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There's something wrong with the plumbing in Cincinnati. Sewage is bubbling up in our basements and pouring into our waterways. Climate change is making it worse, and the powers that be can't seem to agree on how to fix it. Backed Up is a podcast that demystifies one of the most complex systems of public infrastructure — our sewers — and tells the stories of the people suffering under decades of mismanagement. Start listening to, "Episode 1: Sewers Gonna Sue."

Let The Kids Dance! — KUOW

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Seattle in the 90s: A tidal wave of unforgettable music roars out of the city. Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam take over global pop culture and Seattle is declared the world's coolest place to be. But here, reality is different for young people.For almost two decades, the Teen Dance Ordinance has made it illegal for anyone under 18 to attend concerts without a parent or guardian. Police raid punk shows and hip-hop clubs. Politicians ban show posters on electric poles. All-ages music is criminalized. And young people begin to fight back.Let the Kids Dance! is a seven-part docuseries chronicling an untold chapter of pop-culture history. It's a story about moral panic, grassroots activism and an unstoppable music community that fought for its freedom. Start listening to "Part 1: City Gone Crazy."

The Runcast with John Richards — KEXP

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On our first Runcast of 2024, John spotlights how dangerous it can be for women and female identifying runners to simply go out for a run, and what it means to be a good ally. Soundtracking this run is a powerful range of artists, from Empress Of and AURORA to Hana Vu and Beth Gibbons. Middle Kids - Bend Brimheim - No Liver, No Lungs GEMZ - Younger Salt Cathedral - Terminal Woes Empress Of - Femenine Ibibio Sound Machine - Mama Say AURORA - Some Type of Skin Tinsley - Distract Me Hana Vu - Hammer Blondshell - Docket (feat. Bully) Star Anna - Pure Magic Gustaf - Starting and Staring Bad Bad Hats - Meter Run Beth Gibbons - Floating On A Moment. Listen to "The "Be An Ally" Runcast."

The Students’ Podcast — NPR

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In The Monsters We Create, Michael Vargas Arango, a student at Miami Dade College, describes what it's like to live with schizoaffective disorder. Using his own voice, interviews, and layers of sound design, Michael peels away the myths and stereotypes around his rare mental health condition. Listen to the Grand Prize winner of the 2023 NPR College Podcast Challenge, "The Monsters We Create."

NPR's Jessica Green and Jack Mitchell curated and produced this piece.

Copyright 2024 NPR

Jessica Green
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
Jack Mitchell
[Copyright 2024 NPR]