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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.

Hibakusha: The Survivors of the Atomic Bomb

by Shubha Bala, associate producer

Hibakusha: a Japanese term describing survivors of atomic bombs.

Terry Tempest Williams' use of this term during her interview with Krista came about quite unexpectedly. At the time, it seemed odd. But, it made more sense once she explained that nine women in her family have had mastectomies, the cause of which Williams attributes to an open-air nuclear testing site near her home in southern Utah, which she writes about with great emotion in "The Clan of One-Breasted Women."

The Atomic Bomb Survivors program categorizes hibakusha into one of three groups:

  1. Persons that were present within a specific radius of the bombed area at the time of bombing (e.g., Hiroshima: August 6th, 1945 or Nagasaki: August 9th, 1945) and were directly exposed to the bomb’s radiation, and babies that were in the womb of such persons at that time.
  2. Persons who set foot into a specific radius of Hiroshima City or Nagasaki City within two weeks of the bombing for the purposes of helping rescue activities, offering medical services, finding relatives, etc., and babies that were in the womb of such persons at that time.
  3. Persons who were exposed to radiation due to activities such as disposing of many corpses, rescuing of survivors, etc. and babies that were in the womb of such persons at that time.

This classification seems rather sterile until you start reading the personal stories of hibakusha such as Hideko Tamura Snider, who was ten years old when the U.S. bombed Hiroshima. She shares the physical and emotional pain she experienced, and recounts trying to find her mother amongst the survivors:

"So I would announce my mother’s name and then say, ‘Oh, please answer me,’ and no one would answer but sort of stir … I want to see her, but I don’t want to see her in that condition. But if I can let her know that I love her and that I want to be there … so, just playing with magical things in my mind, I started to sing some songs that she taught me, that she loved hearing… So I said, ‘Please, God, carry this tune to my mother and comfort her, because I can’t find her.’ That’s when my feelings came back and I just cried and cried and cried."

About the image: Hideko Tamura Snider with her mother Kimiko Tamura. (photo courtesy of Hideko Tamura Snider)


Fake Synchronicity, or Just Good Timing? (video)

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Japanese Divers from "Fake It!"Japanese men diving from three different platforms within milliseconds of each other with near-perfect synchronicity seems too good to be true. And Fake It!, the video’s title, really makes you question what’s real and what’s crafty editing.

But, in the end, who cares? It’s incredible to watch — and I still found myself holding my breath when the divers appeared to be on the verge of pig-piling in the pool from 10 meters high.

[via VSL]


Time-Lapse, Take Me Away!

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor
(view mobile version of video)

These last few weeks have been action-packed, pressure cookers around the SOF shop. I had to step back from Final Cut Pro, ProTools, HTML/CSS, and too many meetings looking at charts — just for a few minutes — and breathe.

There’s nothing like time-lapse video from Mount Fuji and prefectures of Japan to slow me down, even as the images are sped up. Take a break and join me.

Psssst…I couldn’t resist the Calgon reference. Sorry.


Painting Shinto Shrines with Light
Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Watching video like this is tantalizing, making me yearn for a high-dollar cable package in which I can become immersed in a scene. Visuals like this envelop you. Here, screen size and resolution really do matter. The pictures are more vibrant, richer in meaning. What Discovery HD Theater is producing for television looks incredible; I only wish I could see their new series Lightscapes this evening.

The first episode captures artist Akira Hasegawa digitally painting the Grand Ise Shrine, a 2000-year-old mystical Shinto site in Japan, and the Uji Bridge during Bunka no hi, Japan’s national holiday celebrating culture and the arts. Hasegawa bases his kaleidoscopic, abstract projections on “the Shinto principles of the connectedness of nature, the spiritual, the universe, and the ephemeral.” The images move slowly but are never static. The colors morph synchronously with a rhythmic beating that enchants and beguiles, calms and propels.

Lightscapes_IseWeb-19If you have a half hour tonight, check it out at 7:30 pm Eastern and let me know what you thought of this experiential television. And, if you’re left with only your broadband, check out these fantastic live video shots from Iceland. You won’t regret it!