Jess Jiang is the producer for NPR's international podcast, Rough Translation. Previously, Jess was a producer for Planet Money. In 2014, she won an Emmy for the team's T-shirt project. She followed the start of the t-shirt's journey, from cotton farms in Mississippi to factories in Indonesia. But her biggest prize has been getting to drive a forklift, back hoe, and a 35-ton digger for a story. Jess got her start in public radio at Studio 360—though, if you search hard enough, you can uncover a podcast she made back in college.
A century ago, people relied on nature to make basic things: toothbrushes were made of silver, combs were made of ivory, and clothes were made of cotton. In a lot of ways, life as we know it today, is possible because of plastic. We can now afford phones, computers and medical devices in part because of one chemist's discovery a century ago. But his descendants have some regrets.
After catastrophic flooding, it might make sense not to rebuild and insure homes that were damaged. Some neighborhoods have retreated rather than rebuilt and insured. That has a lot of advantages, but it is hard to pull off.
The story begins in the 1920s, when the U.S. government thought blimps might be the next big thing in warfare.