Melissa Gerr | WYPR

Melissa Gerr

Producer

Melissa Gerr is a producer for On the Record.  She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks."  Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'

We're joined by Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos, (C) a Johns Hopkins Bayview doctor who co-founded Medicine for the Greater Good -- the organization partners with communities and extends medical personnel into communities to share health literacy and make medical information and resources more available. We also speak with Reverend Ernest King (L) and Imam Hassan Amin, (R) two community leaders who have helped forged the non-profit’s deep connections with people in neighborhoods so they can better understand how medicine works and doctors can understand how their lives work. 

Mystery writer and former Baltimore Sun reporter Laura Lippman shares a bittersweet tale of how failure played out--and paid out--in her professional life. You can listen to more stories and learn about Stoop shows here.

Courtesy NASA website

For decades, the public has been anticipating the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017. Millions of people are expected to travel to the Path of Totality -- a 70 mile wide swath across the U.S. -- hoping to witness it.  We ask NASA Research Space Scientist Noah Petro, James Webb telescope engineer Nikita Gokhale and local street astronomy #popscope  group organizer Ariel Hicks why it's such a big deal --  and how an event so brief can inspire such awe. Here are some links to view safely and to watch it live above the clouds on the day of the eclipse, as well as how to participate in collecting and sharing data!

We talk with award-winning journalist Mary Otto about her new book “Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America.” It chronicles the rise of cosmetic dentistry and the marketing of the coveted ‘Hollywood Smile,’ contrasted with decades of deficient access to oral healthcare for many Americans--a gap that still pervades and challenges the system. Otto’s book was spurred by the tragedy of Deamonte Driver in Prince George’s County, who died at age 12 from infection from an abscessed tooth. Otto will be speaking about her book and signing copies for sale at the Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry, an event co-sponsored with the Public Justice Center and Health Care for the Homeless. You can find out more about the event here, and you can purchase the book here. This is a rebroadcast of the original program from May 22, 2017.

Listen to a Stoop Story from Richard Messick about his matrimonial trip to Niagara Falls that had an unexpected 'dark' ending. You can hear more stories at Stoopstorytelling.com.

Just Married!

Aug 7, 2017
Courtesy Jewish Museum of Maryland

A wedding ceremony may be the union of two souls, but the day represents so much more--encompassing families, cultures and communities. Tracie Guy-Decker, Jewish Museum of Maryland associate director talks about what we can read into dresses, documents, chuppas and cake-toppers -- some of what's featured in the new JMM exhibit, "Just Married! Wedding Stories from Jewish Maryland." This is a rebroadcast of the original program, which aired on June 22, 2017.

Courtesy NY Public Library collection

During decades of Jim Crow, African-American travelers couldn’t be sure what they’d face at a strange restaurant, a hotel, even a gas station. Would the door be slammed in their face, or worse? The Green Book, an annual listing of establishments welcoming black customers, started in the late ‘30s. We speak with Anne Bruder, a State Highway Administration historian who is researching Green Book businesses in Maryland. We also talk with Traci Wright of the Park School, who discusses the Green Book with students from several high schools on an annual Civil Rights trip and also with civil-rights icon Dr. Helena Hicks, who recalls using the guide when she traveled for her work. 

Anne Bruder will speak about her research Aug. 5 at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. You can find more information on her talk here.

Actress Maria Broom sharing a story at the Stoop Storytelling event, “The Show Must Go On,” which took place at Everyman Theater in May. She shared some of the wisdom learned on set filming the HBO series,“The Corner,” here in Baltimore. You can find more stories like this, as well as information about live Stoop events, here.

Fluid Movement's Facebook page

Imagine a tour of Shakespeare’s greatest works, given by the Bard himself, except that he is a shark. Hard to wrap your mind around? Never fear: Fluid Movement, a performance-art group in Baltimore, will bring this wacky tale to life with singing, dancing, and costumes in “Sharkespeare - the water ballet”. It’s powered by goggles, face paint, and lots of sunscreen. Co-producer Rachel Kassman tells us about the group’s synchronized swimming talents.

Dennis Wong / Flickr via Creative Commons

Why do some smells repel us more than others … and why do some immediately trigger a memory? How does our sense of smell interact with other senses, like hearing and sight? Why does an older woman, if her sense of smell grows less acute, have a smaller social circle -- but the same is not true of older men? We talk about all that and more with Johan Lundstrom, a cognitive psychologist who does research at the Monell Chemical Sense Center in Philadelphia and the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

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