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It's Been a Minute
Saturdays 1 - 2 PM

Each week, It's Been a Minute features people in the culture who deserve your attention. Plus weekly wraps of the news with journalists in the know. Join us to make sense of the world through conversation.

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  • Some of us whistle while we work, but what happens when your work is whistling? This week, host Brittany Luse is joined by professional whistler, Molly Lewis. Lewis' catalogue spans across the film and music industries, from features on the Barbie soundtrack to performances alongside Karen O. From NPR's New York Bureau, Brittany sits down with Lewis to talk about the world of competitive whistling, how she hones a craft many people see as fidgeting, and why older generations are more likely to whistle. This episode also features a special live performance with songs from Lewis' new album, On The Lips.Want to be featured on the show? Record a question via voice memo for 'Hey Brittany' and send it to ibam@npr.org.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
  • President Biden has been pushing new regulations to promote electric vehicle production to combat the climate crisis — and former president Trump is using those regulations as a talking point against Biden. To break down how cars became the latest weapons in the culture wars, host Brittany Luse is joined by NPR's transportation correspondent Camila Domonoske and Dan Brekke, a reporter and editor at KQED in San Francisco who covers transit. Together, they talk about why Americans are so invested in their cars — and how cars became more than just a policy battle. Then Brittany discusses a new HBO documentary series that is making waves right now: Quiet On Set. The show alleges a pattern of sexual harassment behind the scenes at Nickelodeon, and includes interviews with several former child stars describing experiences that range from taking part in sexualized gags to facing downright sexual abuse while working for the network. Brittany looks closer at the trouble with child performers with Joan Summers and Matthew Lawson, co-hosts of the Eating for Free podcast. They discuss what makes child performers especially vulnerable to abuse — and they ask why society demands performances from children.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
  • Grab your cowboy hat, and saddle up that horse, because Beyoncé's highly anticipated album, Cowboy Carter is here. So far, the album has spurred praise, criticism, and questions about what the actual goal of this project is and how it fits into the Renaissance trilogy. To get into all of that, Brittany joined NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour to discuss whether this foray into country is an exercise in experimentation or industry validation.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
  • Following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore last week, the city's 39 year old mayor, Brandon Scott, a Black man, stepped out to address the crisis. Hours later, a tweet went viral calling Scott a "DEI Mayor." To which Brittany and her guests, NPR's Gene Demby and Alana Wise, say "wait what?" The three dig into the racism lurking under the surface of this kind of rhetoric.Then, as March Madness reaches its final nail-biting stages, Brittany takes a look at the reality of "student-athletes." What may feel like an accurate descriptor of these players is actually a legal classification that bars them from asking for worker's compensation and other benefits - benefits usually given to employees. Brittany is joined by sports business reporter Amanda Christovich and Assistant Professor of Legal Studies in Business at Boise State University Sam Ehrlich. They discuss how the recent news of Dartmouth men's basketball team unionizing opens up doors for broader conversations around how we value "work."Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
  • This week, we're revisiting an exploration of hair braiding gone wrong. Online, women looking to get box braids have gone viral with their complaints about confusing pricing structures, minimal care, and poor customer service. Brittany Luse chats with public historian and YouTuber Jouelzy to get an overview of the tension. Then, Jessica Poitras, legislative counsel for the Institute of Justice, joins the show to talk about the legal roadblocks many hair braiders face in setting up their businesses. And later, Brittany is joined by stylist Tyré Rimple to discuss the hidden costs behind braiding. This segment first aired last summer.Want to be featured on the show? Record a question for 'Hey Brittany' and send it to ibam@npr.org.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
  • TikTok has come under fire for its addictive algorithm and for being a place where misinformation spreads. But still, there is one institution that thinks TikTok actually has the potential to be a source of good in our world: Harvard. To be more specific, it's the Harvard Chan Center for Health Communication.To hear more about how the center is working with TikTok influencers to share researched information with the public, host Brittany Luse is joined by Kate Speer. Kate started as a mental health TikToker, but was recently hired as a marketing director for the Harvard Chan Center for Health Communication. Kate also shares her mental health journey and what it's been like to work within a mental health system that harmed her.Then, Brittany looks at the history left out of the new Netflix film, Shirley, which follows the presidential run of Shirley Chisholm. Brittany sits down with Dr. Anastasia C. Curwood, author of Shirley Chisholm: Champion of Black Feminist Power Politics, to discuss what came before the historic race. They talk about how Shirley's various identities informed her approach, and scan for her fingerprint on American electoral politics today.Want to be featured on the show? Record a question for 'Hey Brittany' and send it to ibam@npr.org.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
  • Erotic thrillers are meant to be sexy, bloody, and fun. The best of them also deal with shifts in culture that people are anxious about: Fatal Attraction was about the threat of working single women, and Basic Instinct got into bisexual panic. A hot new erotic thriller takes on women's strength and capacity for rage: Love Lies Bleeding is an 80's fantasia of big muscles and big hair with steamy sexy scenes and thrilling plot twists. It follows the story of a bodybuilder named Jackie, played by Katy O'Brian, who falls madly in love with gym manager Lou, played by Kristen Stewart. Host Brittany Luse sat down with Katy O'Brian to talk about strong women and the fantasy of wielding the rage that lurks just under the surface.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
  • Dune: Part Two is a marvel of cinematic wonder. Amongst all the chatter around the cinematography and lore, Brittany also noticed that there was a particular fascination with Austin Butler's accent. Butler is no stranger to a distinctive voice - he was Elvis after all. But the discourse around what makes a good or bad accent made Brittany want to revisit a conversation with New York Times reporter Kyle Buchanan. In this interview from last year, Kyle makes the case that bad accents make movies more fun. Then, Brittany turns from bad accents to bad sex. What may feel like a personal problem is actually an indicator of bigger social issues, at least according to Nona Willis Aronowitz. Her book, Bad Sex: Truth, Pleasure, and an Unfinished Revolution, tackles the historic and systemic causes of unsatisfying sex. Brittany and Nona spoke last year about where bad sex comes from and what could be done about it.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
  • Awards season is finally over and even though Oppenheimer took home the top prize for best picture at the Oscars, Barbie still seemed to be a fan favorite. To celebrate the final close of the Barbie movie press run, we revisit an episode from last year about the spectacular femininity of Barbie girls.Host Brittany Luse sits down with Hannah McCann, a lecturer at the University of Melbourne who specializes in critical femininity studies. They discuss how both Barbie and real-life bimbos are criticized for being bad role models, and yet their carefree, maximalist, hyper-feminine approach might actually be a little subversive.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
  • The 2024 presidential election will be a rematch between former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden; and with that rematch comes political fanfare, some public apathy and déjà vu. To take a look at the public perception of this repeat race, host Brittany Luse is joined by NPR political correspondent Danielle Kurtzleben and NPR White House Correspondent Franco Ordoñez. Then, Brittany is joined by Vinson Cunningham to discuss his debut novel, Great Expectations. It's a period piece that follows the story of a young man working on an election campaign that echoes that of Obama's 2008 run. Ultimately, it's a novel about belief - both religious and political. Brittany and Vinson discuss American politics as a sort of religion - and why belief in politics has changed so much in the last decade.To end the show, Brittany shares her thoughts about "Kate Gate" and the mysterious case of royal photoshopping.One more thing: we are working on a special series for IBAM about the gender divide and we want to talk to YOU. We're looking for people aged 18-24 for a roundtable interview on everything from dating, money, politics, and your future hopes. If you're interested in joining us, email our producers: ibam@npr.orgLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy