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The Linotype Machine, Magma-Bond, Nancy Heneson, Betsy Boyd, and Alan Resnick


The linotype machine astounds the world; AricWanveer invents Magma-Bond; Betsy Boyd gets pregnant; Nancy Heneson recalls a death in the family; and Alan Resnick defies logic

Ray Loomis says he can read upside down and backwards just as fast as he can read the normal way.  That’s because he’s spent most of his life operating a late nineteenth-century marvel of engineering:  the linotype machine.  Aaron Henkin pays Mr. Loomis a visit at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.


Tim McFadden, of Zero Gravity Creations, in the hot-glass shop

A glass-and-metal sculpture studio in Baltimore, Zero Gravity Creations, has become the incubator of a new patent-pending invention called “Magma Bond.” The technology is a blessing to metal and glass artists, but it may well revolutionize the way things get made in the rest of the world, too.  Aaron Henkin brings us the story.

Zero Gravity Creations' Magma-Bond



When writer Betsy Boyd decided in her late thirties that she wanted to have a baby, she knew she’d face some challenges.  What she didn’t know was just how many twists and turns her quest would take. She’s chronicling her adventure in a series of essays, the first of which is introduced here by producer Lisa Morgan.

Mom-to-be Betsy Boyd on her quest to become pregnant


Nancy's father, Irv Heneson, in the early 1950s

Nancy Heneson joins us on the air occasionally with stories about her childhood.  She grew up as the daughter of a charismatic Jewish pharmacist in Baltimore, a man named IrvHeneson, who for decades manned the counter at his shop on the corner of 25th Street and Charles.  On this occasion, Nancy joins us to remember what it was like when the time came to say goodbye to her dad.

Nancy Heneson shares her essay, "A Short Week in August"


Alan Resnick, pictured here wearing motion-capture sensors

Trying to interview performance artist Alan Resnick is sort of like trying to give a cat a bath.  You’re not likely to have much luck, and you’re not going to want to do it again anytime soon.  Imagine an Andy Kaufman of the TED Talk era, and you begin to get the idea.  Resnick is one of the stars of the Wham City Comedy Tour, which hits the stage at Metro Gallery on May 1st and 2nd.  The Signal’s Aaron Henkin attempts to converse with him.

An attempted interview with Alan Resnick

Aaron creates and produces original radio programs and podcasts for WYPR. His current project is The Maryland Curiosity Bureau. Aaron's neighborhood documentary series, Out of the Blocks, earned the 2018 national Edward R Murrow Award. His past work includes the long-running weekly cultural program, The Signal, and the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings series, Tapestry of the Times. Aaron's stories have aired nationally on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.