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Rank #39 in Places & Travel category

Society & Culture
Places & Travel

Bay Curious

Updated about 1 month ago

Rank #39 in Places & Travel category

Society & Culture
Places & Travel
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Bay Curious is a show about your questions – and the adventures you find when you go looking for the answers. Join host Olivia Allen-Price to explore all aspects of the San Francisco Bay Area – from the debate over "Frisco", to the dinosaurs that once roamed California, to the causes of homelessness. Whether you lived here your whole life, or just arrived, Bay Curious will deepen your understanding of this place you call home.

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Bay Curious is a show about your questions – and the adventures you find when you go looking for the answers. Join host Olivia Allen-Price to explore all aspects of the San Francisco Bay Area – from the debate over "Frisco", to the dinosaurs that once roamed California, to the causes of homelessness. Whether you lived here your whole life, or just arrived, Bay Curious will deepen your understanding of this place you call home.

iTunes Ratings

567 Ratings
Average Ratings
512
34
12
3
6

Awesome

By Gas Light Apparel - Feb 20 2020
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This is a must if you’re from The Bay! Lets freakin go! ⛽️

LOVE IT

By flyable 123 - Nov 14 2019
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IT IS SOOOOOOOOOOOO GGGGGOOOOOOOODDDDDDD👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

iTunes Ratings

567 Ratings
Average Ratings
512
34
12
3
6

Awesome

By Gas Light Apparel - Feb 20 2020
Read more
This is a must if you’re from The Bay! Lets freakin go! ⛽️

LOVE IT

By flyable 123 - Nov 14 2019
Read more
IT IS SOOOOOOOOOOOO GGGGGOOOOOOOODDDDDDD👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍
Cover image of Bay Curious

Bay Curious

Latest release on Jul 09, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail about 1 month ago

Rank #1: Is There a San Francisco Accent?

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When you think about America’s biggest cities, many have a recognizable accent. Does San Francisco have one? And no, saying 'hella' doesn't count.

Jan 24 2019

16mins

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Rank #2: Why Are San Francisco Houses So Close Together?

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Early on, housing lots in San Francisco were subdivided into plots as little as 25 feet wide -- just enough room for a parlor and a staircase.


Reported by Sarah Craig. Bay Curious is made by Olivia Allen-Price, Jessica Placzek, Paul Lancour, Ryan Levi and Suzie Racho. Additional support from Julie Caine, Ethan Lindsey, Katie McMurran and David Weir. Theme music by Pat Mesiti-Miller. Ask us a question or sign up for our newsletter at BayCurious.org. Follow Olivia Allen-Price on Twitter @oallenprice.

Nov 22 2018

11mins

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Rank #3: Who Invented the Martini? A Bay Area Story, With a Twist

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There are two origin stories for the much-beloved martini, and both place its birth in the Bay Area.

Nov 03 2018

11mins

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Rank #4: Why is Piedmont a Separate City From Oakland?

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Piedmont is surrounded on all sides but the city of Oakland, yet has remained an independent city since it incorporated in the the late 1800s. We take a closer look at the wild circumstances that lead Piedmont to form, and discuss some of the tensions that exist between Oakland and Piedmont residents today.

Apr 04 2019

14mins

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Rank #5: Should Californians Allow Rent Control to Expand? Proposition 10, Explained

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Proposition 10 aims to overturn the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing act, which limits rent control throughout the state.


Produced by Jessica Placzek. Featuring KQED's Guy Marzorati. Bay Curious is made by Olivia Allen-Price, Jessica Placzek, Paul Lancour, Ryan Levi and Suzie Racho. Additional support from Julie Caine, Ethan Lindsey, Katie McMurran and David Weir. Theme music by Pat Mesiti-Miller. Ask us a question or sign up for our newsletter at BayCurious.org. Follow Olivia Allen-Price on Twitter @oallenprice.

Oct 12 2018

13mins

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Rank #6: When Recycling Pays the Bills … and When It Doesn’t

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In California over 18 billion beverage containers were recycled in 2017. Meet some of the people who recycled them and what their scraps are worth.

Jan 10 2019

12mins

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Rank #7: Why is Marin County So White?

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Marin County is the whitest county in the Bay Area -- but why? Reporter Ericka Cruz-Guevarra takes us through some pivotal moments in Marin history that contributed to its demographics today.


Reported by Ericka Cruz-Guevarra. Produced and edited by Olivia Allen-Price, Vinnee Tong, Paul Lancour and Julia McEvoy. Theme music by Pat Mesiti-Miller.


Ask us a question at BayCurious.org.


Follow Olivia Allen-Price on Twitter @oallenprice.

Feb 16 2017

13mins

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Rank #8: Why Do Some Hate the Nickname ‘Frisco’?

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Not long after people started using it, others started hating it. They said only out-of-towners used it.


Reported by Vinnee Tong. Produced and edited by Paul Lancour, Olivia Allen-Price, Jessica Placzek, Paul Lancour, Vinnee Tong and Julia McEvoy. Theme music by Pat Mesiti-Miller.


Ask us a question at BayCurious.org.


Follow Olivia Allen-Price on Twitter @oallenprice.

Mar 02 2017

13mins

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Rank #9: From Aviators to Apps: The Evolution of Traffic Data

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How do Bay Area traffic reporters do their jobs? From flying high in the 1950s to the tech-powered tools of today.

Jan 17 2019

13mins

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Rank #10: Why the ‘O’ in San Francisco’s Airport Code, SFO?

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Why the "O" in SFO? And why is one of Chicago's airports coded ORD? And IAD for Dulles?


Reported by Jessica Placzek. Bay Curious is Olivia Allen-Price, Vinnee Tong, Paul Lancour, Suzie Racho, Penny Nelson and Julia McEvoy. Theme music by Pat Mesiti-Miller.

Ask us a question at BayCurious.org.

Follow Olivia Allen-Price on Twitter @oallenprice.

Jun 29 2017

7mins

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Rank #11: How the San Francisco School Lottery Works, And How It Doesn’t

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San Francisco's complicated school lottery system offers opportunity that isn't always realized.


Reported by Katrina Schwartz. Bay Curious is made by Olivia Allen-Price, Jessica Placzek, Ryan Levi, Paul Lancour, Suzie Racho, Erika Kelly, and Julia McEvoy. Holly Kernan is Vice President for News. Theme music by Pat Mesiti-Miller. Ask us a question at BayCurious.org. Follow Olivia Allen-Price on Twitter @oallenprice.

Sep 27 2018

14mins

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Rank #12: Why Wild Turkeys Love the Bay Area’s Suburbs

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The turkeys we see today are descendants of birds captured near the Rio Grande in Texas that were brought to California. Learn more about our wild turkeys and hear the story of a turkey that broke into prison.

May 23 2019

12mins

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Rank #13: What Makes San Francisco Sourdough Unique?

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Reported by Julia Scott. Bay Curious is Olivia Allen-Price, Vinnee Tong, Paul Lancour, Suzie Racho, Jessica Placzek, Penny Nelson and Julia McEvoy.


Theme music by Pat Mesiti-Miller.


Ask us a question at BayCurious.org.


Follow Olivia Allen-Price on Twitter @oallenprice.

Apr 20 2017

13mins

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Rank #14: There’s a Secret Message to Decode in San Jose

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f you’ve walked past Adobe’s corporate headquarters in downtown San Jose, you may have spotted them: four big orange LED lights that look like flat-head screws, turning in apparently random patterns.

This week’s Bay Curious question comes from listener Geoff Morgan, who wanted to know:

What do the turning wheels on the top of the Adobe building mean?

To start with, it helps to know Adobe makes computer software for people who work with words, pictures and sound.

“At the core of our DNA, really, is art and technology,” says Siri Lackovic, the company’s senior brand strategist.

That’s why you’ll find clever art installations all over their office towers.

Siri is one of the two people on the planet who know the whole story behind the glowing orange orbs Geoff noticed. The other person, of course, is the guy who came up with the concept, New York artist Ben Rubin.

“The hope is that someone would look up and say: ‘What is that?’ ” Ben says. “What is that thing trying to say, you know? What is its message?”

The name of this installation is San Jose Semaphore.

“Semaphore, by definition, is really a form of visual communication,” Siri explains.

Way back when, the only way to communicate surreptitiously over a short distance — say, from land to a ship — would be to rely on flag bearers.

“They would hold up the flag, and depending on the position of the flag, would let them know if it was safe to come in, or better to stay put,” she says.

This resonates with Geoff, the KQED listener who asked the question.

“I actually was in the Navy, and so I remember people communicating with flags, and it was always interesting to me because it looked very official, but a lot of times, they were talking about the latest baseball scores from ship to ship and things like that,” he says.

In case you didn’t serve in the Navy, here’s an amusing set of dramas executed in semaphore by Monty Python.

So, the short story on San Jose Semaphore is that it’s an art installation. The long story stretches back to artist Ben Rubin’s childhood in Boston during the 1970s. Back then, he owned a Heathkit shortwave radio. Sometimes, when he turned it on, he’d hear the strangest things.

“These sort of clicks and beeps and mechanized announcements,” Ben says. “Who could not listen to an encrypted message and not wonder what it says, you know?”

As NPR reported in a 2000 feature for the “Lost and Found Sound” series, these were numbers stations, shortwave radio broadcasts that historians believe transmitted messages to spies stationed around the world, starting in World War I.

To the average listener, the letters, numbers and songs broadcast on the stations sound random. But if you have the key to decode the gobbledygook — it’s a message.

Ben was fascinated by these numbers stations. So when it came time for college, he got a bachelor’s degree in computer science and semiotics, the study of signs and symbols. After graduation, he starting making art inspired by his studies. Now he makes media installations using technology, sound, images and physical structures — like the piece on the top of Adobe’s building in San Jose.

Silicon Valley Loves A Challenge

Each of these orange discs can assume four positions: horizontal, left-leaning diagonal, vertical, right-leaning diagonal. Four positions, plus four discs, means there are 256 possible combinations.

Every 7.2 seconds, those wheels turn to a new configuration of sort of positions. Then they rest.

“When they’re in that resting position,

Dec 28 2016

10mins

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Rank #15: The Not-So-Crystal Clean History of San Francisco’s Drinking Water

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As San Francisco's population exploded in the 1850s, speculators looked to cash in by delivering fresh drinking water to the new boomtown.

May 16 2019

13mins

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Rank #16: Lightning Round: Brisbane’s Stars, Millbrae’s Sweet Smells and Red Rock Island

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For our last episode of the year, we get the answers to three of your questions: What's with the stars in Brisbane? Why does Millbrae BART station smell like chocolate? And is Red Rock Island for sale?

Dec 21 2018

14mins

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Rank #17: Eucalyptus: How California’s Most Hated Tree Took Root

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Depending who you ask, eucalyptus trees are either an icon in California or a fire-prone scourge.


Reported by Daniel Potter. Bay Curious is Olivia Allen-Price, Jessica Placzek, Paul Lancour, Suzie Racho, David Weir, Craig Miller, Ryan Levi and Amanda Font. Theme music by Pat Mesiti-Miller.


Ask us a question at BayCurious.org.


Follow Olivia Allen-Price on Twitter @oallenprice.

Feb 01 2018

16mins

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Rank #18: It’s-It! The San Francisco Treat That Sparked a Cult Following

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San Franciscans have been having a love-affair with this ice cream treat since 1928.


Reported by Alyssa Kapnik Samuel and Seth Samuel. Bay Curious is Olivia Allen-Price, Vinnee Tong, Paul Lancour, Penny Nelson, Suzie Racho and Julia McEvoy. Our managing editor is Ethan Lindsey. Vice President for News is Holly Kernan. Theme music by Pat Mesiti-Miller.


Ask us a question at BayCurious.org.

Follow Olivia Allen-Price on Twitter @oallenprice.

May 04 2017

9mins

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Rank #19: How the Bay Area Came to be a Hub for Casual Style

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On a recent visit to San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House, KQED listener Michelle Morby didn’t like what she saw. In the middle of the champagne-sipping, pre-performance throng, she spotted someone wearing jeans and white sneakers.

“That to me is completely offensive,” Morby said.

Morby is someone who likes to dress up when she goes out.

“If I got a ticket to the opera tonight, I would pull out a silk jumpsuit. I would wear it with the tallest platform sandals that I have. And I would do my makeup, and I would wear all my jewelry,” she said.

Like beauty, fashion is very much in the eye of the beholder.

So the fashion faux-pas prompted Morby to ask Bay Curious the question, “Why has the Bay Area become the Casual Capital of the World?”

Read the full web version: How the Bay Area Came to be a Hub for Casual Style

Reported by Chloe Veltman

Bay Curious is made by Olivia Allen-Price, Jessica Placzek, Maggie Galloway, Robert Speight, Katie McMurran, Paul Lancour and Ryan Levi. Additional support from Julie Caine, Suzie Racho, Ethan Lindsey, Pat Yollin and David Weir.

Theme music by Pat Mesiti-Miller.

Ask us a question or sign up for our newsletter at BayCurious.org

Sep 05 2019

17mins

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Rank #20: The Island Ghost Town in the Middle of San Francisco Bay

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Drawbridge was a popular bird hunting destination decades. What happened?


Reported by Jessica Placzek. Produced and edited by Olivia Allen-Price, Vinnee Tong, Paul Lancour and Suzie Racho. Theme music by Pat Mesiti-Miller.


Ask us a question at BayCurious.org.


Follow Olivia Allen-Price on Twitter @oallenprice.

Jul 20 2017

13mins

Play