Nolan Ford

Music Director, Producer, Midday Host

Nolan Ford is the Music Director for North State Public Radio. After graduating with a Media Arts degree from Chico State University in 2004, he accepted a part-time position with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. The job's flexible scheduling presented Nolan with the opportunity to travel and perform music all across the West Coast with his first rock band, the secret stolen. A love of the arts bloomed into an obsession. Following five glorious years with SNBC, Nolan returned to CSUC and received a mathematics teaching credential in 2009. After several years of teaching middle and high school math, he accepted a position as Managing Editor for Chico arts/entertainment weekly, The SynthesisCurrently, Nolan can be heard on-air as the local midday host for NSPR, and also produces several programs for the station including Blue Dot, Nancy's Bookshelf, and Songs From Studio C. In his spare time, Nolan continues to travel and perform with various musical projects.

There is much we don't know about California's buried past. Author Tony Platt wrote a book about the plundering of Native American graves. Local writer Rich Nidever researched the story of a Native American woman left on one of the channel islands of Southern California. This week join Nancy for a look at little-known stories from California's history.

You know the story of Icarus – the unfortunate fellow who flew too close to the Sun on wings made of wax? Well NASA is planning to send a much more robust probe into the very atmosphere of the Sun. How do you protect a  spacecraft from such an extreme environment? And what do we hope to learn about our star? Find out on this episode when we are joined by Dr. Nicky Fox from The Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. She is the Project Scientist for The Parker Solar Probe, scheduled for launch in 2018.

Where in the North State can you see a Grammy Award-winning musician perform to a room of just 40 people? Cottonwood, California, apparently. Last week, NSPR sent Nolan Ford to learn about this small concert venue and its dedicated music community.

Today’s guests traveled all the way from Knoxville, Tennessee to perform their indie/roots-rock sound for fans in the North State. Led by the songwriting of Cruz Contreras, The Black Lillies initially formed in 2009. What started as a group of friends getting together on weeknights, drinking whiskey and comparing songs, has grown into an acclaimed Americana act with two Independent Music Awards and more appearances at the Grand Ole Opry than any other independent band.

The scientific names of birds can be more entertaining than you might think. Ornithologist Roger Lederer and former English professor Carol Burr teamed up to write a book called Latin for Bird Lovers. Anderson author Bob Madgic writes about the Sacramento River in his book, The Sacramento: A Transcendental River. This week join Nancy for a conversation with the authors of two books about nature.

Dave talks to Time Magazine's Science Editor Jeffrey Kluger about his new book, Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon. His previous book, Apollo 13 was co-written with Jim Lovell, who was an astronaut on both missions. Apollo 8 takes place during the dramatic events of 1968 against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy and riots at the Democratic Connvention in Chicago. After the traumatic events of that turbulent year, the first mission to the Moon comes with a television transmission from lunar orbit on Christmas Eve. As one citizen wrote in a telegram to the crew, "You saved 1968."

Kevin Scanlon

Today on Blue Dot, we talk with Rico Gagliano, cohost of The Dinner Party Download, about the show’s upcoming hourlong podcast and live event at Lassen Volcanic National Park called “Look Up and Listen.” Both the audio program and the in-person listening party are designed to encourage you to go outside and reacquaint yourself with the natural world.

Dave asks Rico about the origins of The Dinner Party Download and gets the 411 on the guest lineup and the get-back-to-nature theme of the “Look Up and Listen” program. Dave also answers Rico's questions about why Lassen Volcanic National Park is such a special place. It's a lighthearted conversation about the wonders of nature and why we need to connect more deeply with them in our hectic, technology-driven lives.

Today’s musical guests hail from Portland, Oregon and perform on instruments rarely utilized by rock power trios – cello, vibraphone, and the drums. Human Ottoman will perform in Chico this Thursday night at The Naked Lounge alongside local acts Viking Skate Country and Michael Bone.

In his debut novel, The Secret Watcher of Summit Avenue, Mark Morlock creatively imagines the history of a Victorian house and its four generations. Author David Allee tells the story of a different Victorian house in his historical novel, The Good Serpent Orphanage. This week join host Nancy Wiegman for the stories of two turn of the century houses and their residents.

It’s been several months since we last talked about the astronomical event of the year and maybe even our lifetimes – The Great American Total Solar Eclipse is coming on August 21, 2017. You don’t want to miss it – but neither will anyone else – we talk to Mr. Eclipse Fred Espenak.

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