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This episode is part one of The Soul of Music—Overheard’s four-part series focusing on music, exploration, and Black history. Our guest this week is two-time Grammy award winner Rhiannon Giddens, a singer, songwriter, and banjo and fiddle player. A self-described “armchair historian,” Rhiannon chats with Nat Geo Explorer and spoken-word poet Alyea Pierce about the origins of the banjo, her new opera Omar, and how she finds inspiration through history. For more information on this episode, visit natgeo.com/overheard. Want more? Learn more about Rhiannon and her music, opera, and children’s book at her website, rhiannongiddens.com. And you can follow her on Twitter @RhiannonGiddens. You can follow National Geographic Explorer Alyea Pierce at her instagram @alyeaspierce. Also explore: Listen to the National Geographic podcast Into the Depths to hear more of Alyea’s poetry and follow Explorer Tara Roberts on a journey to document sunken slave ships in the Atlantic. Learn about how music is used to heal the sick in Appalachia in this Nat Geo article. If you like what you… Read more
Birds at a suet feeder… What a burst of vitality on a chilly morning! What’s the attraction? A cake of suet, suspended from a branch in a small wire feeder. Suet is beef fat, a high-energy food critical for birds’ survival in the colder months. Suet is an especially strong magnet for birds (including this Northern Flicker) that eat lots of bugs in the warmer months. You can learn about suet feeders — and what kinds of birds they’ll attract — at Birds.Cornell.Edu.
The sense of being one with the universe is the rarest human experience.
(First Life: Discovering the Connections Between Stars, Cells, and How Life Began`)
The Puerto Rican Tody is a tiny green bird found only in Puerto Rico, where the species is called San Pedrito. But the scientific name for these birds is Todus mexicanus, despite the fact that they don’t live in Mexico — due to a mistake made by European scientists in the 1800s. People in Puerto Rico are working to get the San Pedrito an appropriate scientific name.
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