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    Following Joe

    By Mariel Carr

    I’ll admit it, I’m an NPR devotee. I listen to Morning Edition as I make coffee, Fresh Air while I cook dinner and Radiolab whenever possible. So I was pretty delighted when I got to spend a recent Friday morning at NPR headquarters following around Joe Palca, the voice and mind behind the science show, Joe’s Big Idea.

    I showed up at the new and gleaming NPR building around 10 am. I passed a tour group in the lobby and was met by Joe Palca himself, whose brightly patterned shirt cheered up the otherwise grey and dreary March morning.

    “It’s Hawaiian shirt day” he told me as we got on the elevator, although I noticed that everyone else was still dressed for winter.

    I filmed Joe while he checked his email, as he watched an animated GIF (Stars! They’re just like us!) and as he navigated the large and sprawling NPR newsroom in search of a vacant studio to record narration for his next story.

    Perhaps sensing my avid fandom, Joe took me on a detour to the Morning Edition studio, where an engineer was getting the show in synch so he could syndicate it to the rest of the country…or something like that. The renowned violinist Anne Akiko Meyers had brought in her $16 million instrument on which she played for Linda Wertheimer the opening of the Spring Concerto by Vivaldi. As she finished the song Joe noted, “Well that’s an easy piece.”

    Now I have a mental picture to accompany my morning listening and coffee-brewing routine.

    You can listen to the most recent podcast about my visit with Joe at NPR on the Distillations website.

    You can also download the Distillations app in the iTunes store.

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