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Society & Culture
Places & Travel

Bay Curious

Updated 20 days ago

Society & Culture
Places & Travel
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Bay Curious is a podcast about the unexplored San Francisco Bay Area. Each week we take a deep dive into the mysteries that make this area quirky, delightful and, at times, dysfunctional. It’s a show about questions — and the adventures you stumble upon when you go looking for answers. Now here’s the twist: You ask the questions. You decide what we work on. You help us find the answer. Join host Olivia Allen-Price to explore the Bay one bite-sized episode at a time. The show is produced at KQED in San Francisco. Learn more at BayCurious.org.

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Bay Curious is a podcast about the unexplored San Francisco Bay Area. Each week we take a deep dive into the mysteries that make this area quirky, delightful and, at times, dysfunctional. It’s a show about questions — and the adventures you stumble upon when you go looking for answers. Now here’s the twist: You ask the questions. You decide what we work on. You help us find the answer. Join host Olivia Allen-Price to explore the Bay one bite-sized episode at a time. The show is produced at KQED in San Francisco. Learn more at BayCurious.org.

iTunes Ratings

415 Ratings
Average Ratings
378
23
8
3
3

So good

By Rotor152 - Jan 31 2019
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Exceptionally satisfying satiation for rampant curiosity

Fun and informative

By Kay2075 - Jan 28 2019
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Such great, informative reporting on really interesting questions about the city. Love listening!

iTunes Ratings

415 Ratings
Average Ratings
378
23
8
3
3

So good

By Rotor152 - Jan 31 2019
Read more

Exceptionally satisfying satiation for rampant curiosity

Fun and informative

By Kay2075 - Jan 28 2019
Read more

Such great, informative reporting on really interesting questions about the city. Love listening!

Cover image of Bay Curious

Bay Curious

Updated 20 days ago

Read more

Bay Curious is a podcast about the unexplored San Francisco Bay Area. Each week we take a deep dive into the mysteries that make this area quirky, delightful and, at times, dysfunctional. It’s a show about questions — and the adventures you stumble upon when you go looking for answers. Now here’s the twist: You ask the questions. You decide what we work on. You help us find the answer. Join host Olivia Allen-Price to explore the Bay one bite-sized episode at a time. The show is produced at KQED in San Francisco. Learn more at BayCurious.org.

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
13 mins
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Rank #2: 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
9 mins
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Rank #3: 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
10 mins
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Rank #4: 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
10 mins
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Rank #5: 420 Started in the Bay Area. Meet the Guys Who Invented It

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It all began with a treasure map to secret weed plants abandoned somewhere in Point Reyes. Reported by Olivia Allen-Price and Emmanuel Hapsis. Bay Curious is made by Olivia Allen-Price, Jessica Placzek, Paul Lancour, Ryan Levi, Suzie Racho, Erika Kelly, Amanda Font, 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.

Apr 19 2018
8 mins
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Rank #6: 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
10 mins
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Rank #7: 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
9 mins
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Rank #8: 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
13 mins
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Rank #9: Why So Windy? Why So Foggy? And What’s With Karl?

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If you're coming to San Francisco in the summer, bring a jacket! We take a closer look at what causes the wind and fog to descend upon parts of our region each summer. Plus, a few bonus questions about famed Twitter account, @KarlTheFog.

Jul 26 2018
9 mins
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Rank #10: Why Hasn’t the Tenderloin Gentrified Like the Rest of San Francisco?

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Tenderloin residents wanted to preserve its affordability. But will they be forced out as improvements come to the neighborhood? Reported by Kelly O'Mara. Edited By Jessica Placzek. Bay Curious is made by Olivia Allen-Price, Jessica Placzek, Ryan Levi, Paul Lancour, Suzie Racho, Erika Kelly, Amanda Font, 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.

May 03 2018
10 mins
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Rank #11: El Camino Not-So-Real: The True Story of the ‘Ancient Road’

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Legend has it, El Camino Real is an ancient road that connects the Spanish missions. But is it true? Reported by Rachael Myrow. Bay Curious is Olivia Allen-Price, Jessica Placzek, Paul Lancour, Suzie Racho and Julia McEvoy. Theme music by Pat Mesiti-Miller. Ask us a question at BayCurious.org. Follow Olivia Allen-Price on Twitter @oallenprice.

Nov 02 2017
8 mins
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Rank #12: Why Is Lane Splitting Only Legal in California? And Is it Safe?

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People have a lot of feelings about lane splitting, but they don’t always have all the information. Reported by Ryan Levi. Bay Curious is made by Olivia Allen-Price, Jessica Placzek, Paul Lancour, Ryan Levi and Suzie Racho. Additional support from Julia McEvoy, Ethan Lindsey, Howard Gelman. Holly Kernan is Vice President for News. 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.

Jul 19 2018
9 mins
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Rank #13: Does Anyone Play Polo at the Golden Gate Park Polo Field Anymore?

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We go back in time to the days when polo was king at Golden Gate Park. Reported by Ryan Levi. Bay Curious is made by Olivia Allen-Price, Jessica Placzek, Paul Lancour, Ryan Levi, Suzie Racho, Erika Kelly, Amanda Font 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.

Apr 26 2018
6 mins
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Rank #14: Everything You Want to Know About Legal Weed in California

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Reported by Jessica Placzek, Eli Wirtschafter and Ryan Levi. Bay Curious is Olivia Allen-Price, Jessica Placzek, Paul Lancour, Suzie Racho, Ryan Levi, Erika Kelly and Julia McEvoy. Theme music by Pat Mesiti-Miller. Ask us a question at BayCurious.org. Follow Olivia Allen-Price on Twitter @oallenprice.

Dec 21 2017
14 mins
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Rank #15: 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
10 mins
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Rank #16: The True History of Irish Coffee and Its San Francisco Origins

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Legend has it the Irish coffee was brought to the U.S. by the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco. Reported by Kelly O'Mara. Bay Curious is Olivia Allen-Price, Jessica Placzek, 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.

Nov 16 2017
9 mins
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Rank #17: Have Ride-Hailing Apps Made Traffic Worse?

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Traffic is worse in the Bay Area. Are Lyft and Uber making it worse? Or could they be our salvation? Reported by Eli Wirtschafter. Bay Curious is made by Olivia Allen-Price, Jessica Placzek, Paul Lancour, Ryan Levi, 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.

Apr 12 2018
6 mins
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Rank #18: 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
10 mins
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Rank #19: How Do You Define the ‘Bay Area’?

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Where the boundaries of this region are will vary according to who you ask and what you're looking to define. Reported by Jessica Placzek. Bay Curious is made by Olivia Allen-Price, Jessica Placzek, Paul Lancour, Ryan Levi and Suzie Racho. Additional support from Julia McEvoy, Ethan Lindsey, Erika Kelly, Julie Caine, David Weir, Amanda Font, Carly Severn and Katie McMurran. Holly Kernan is Vice President for News. 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.

Sep 06 2018
8 mins
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Rank #20: Ode to the Foghorn: The Sound of the Sea

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Take a trip around the San Francisco Bay and get to know our local foghorns -- where they are, how they work, who turns them on. Reported by Laura Klivans. Bay Curious is made by Olivia Allen-Price, Jessica Placzek, Paul Lancour, Ryan Levi and Suzie Racho. Additional support from Julie Caine, Julia McEvoy, Ethan Lindsey and Howard Gelman. Holly Kernan is Vice President for News. 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.

Aug 02 2018
12 mins
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