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51% Show #1360


On this week’s 51%, two mothers launch a math and science-themed clothing line for girls. We also have a story about a coveted red dye, and you'll hear from a few women about a mental health line for peers.

Though The Muppet Show sketch does continue poking fun at Miss Piggy's portliness, it takes no jabs at her for being a female in space, and this was decades ago. In fact, this sketch was shown as part of a video compilation when Miss Piggy received a Sackler Center First Award in June and was interviewed by feminist Gloria Steinem. The award is named for Elizabeth Sackler, who founded the Brooklyn Museum of Art's Elizabeth Sackler Center for Feminist Art. Sackler says Miss Piggy embodies "spirit, determination and grit" and has taught millions important lessons about overcoming obstacles.


Meanwhile, on the West Coast, two Seattle moms have been fashioning their own lessons when it comes to space and other realms. Jennifer Muhm and Malorie Catchpole  are making clothes like rocket ship leggings and dinosaur dresses to empower young girls. Their company, buddingSTEM, has launched a line of girls clothes that celebrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics -- and other things typically marketed to boys. After a production run, the e-commerce site is up and running, with the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign, in which they aimed to raise $45,000 and ended up raising some $70,000 in 30 days. I asked how they decided their was a need for STEM clothing for girls. Jennifer Muhm answers first.

I can't get it out of mind. This interview reminded me of the following poem from the 1972 Free to Be You and Me album. 

Today, we buy paint in little tubes from the arts and crafts aisle, but in times past, getting the right color pigments was a difficult and complex process. Allison Quantz tells the story of a miraculous red dye and how it made its way to Virginia.  

Credit Audrey Dilling
Daisy Matthias is a peer counselor with the San Francisco Mental Health Peer-Run Warm Line

Seventy thousand people call San Francisco’s suicide crisis line each year. Making that call usually means someone is on the verge of harming themselves because of severe emotional distress. But San Francisco has launched a new service that’s aimed at reaching people before they’re on the brink of crisis – the San Francisco Mental Health Peer-Run Warm Line. Audrey Dilling reports for KALW's Crosscurrents

And that's our show this week. Thanks to Katie Britton for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio.

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