Immediate gratification is now possible for baseball card collectors thanks to the Topps Company. They’ve given an update to the old-school classics for this year's season with its new initiative, Topps Now.

The company originally started selling baseball cards 65 years ago as a way to increase candy sales. Topps would place a few cards in a pack along with a slab of bubblegum. As card collecting became a must for many young fans of America’s national pastime, it was the trading cards – not the sweets – that became the main business for Topps.

But with the rise of the Internet came the wide, immediate and effortless availability of practically any information a fan could want. And so came the waning popularity of baseball cards. Which is why Topps is trying something new with Topps Now. Starting with this current MLB season, they’re taking the great moments from yesterday’s games and turning them into cards available for purchase the next day.  And just leave it to the “Amazin’ Mets” and their Bartolo Colón to provide one instant, seemingly designed for this newfangled take on trading cards. // Originally aired on WNYC on June 10, 2016.

Thanks to streaming services like Netflix, video rental stores have become all but extinct. Just 15 years ago, there were over thirty thousand video rental stores in the United States. Reporter Elizabeth Brockway went to see if there are any survivors left in New York City. // Originally aired on Uptown Radio (Columbia University) on April 29, 2016.

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they are forced to grow-up. For some, like commentator Elizabeth Brockway, they might be a little bit older when it finally happens. // Originally aired on Uptown Radio (Columbia University) on April 22, 2016.

On Wednesday, March 23, hundreds gathered in lower Manhattan to pay tribute to the 146 workers who died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. The fire – which took place 105 years ago Friday, March 25 – was the worst industrial disaster in the history of the city.  Today, 90 teams of artists are drawing chalk figures on sidewalks with details of each worker who died in the fire. As Elizabeth Brockway reports, participants at both events says the effects of that fire are still being felt today. // Originally aired on Uptown Radio (Columbia University) on March 25, 2016.

In 2014, New York City saw more deaths by heroin overdose than it did by murder. And it’s left officials wondering what we could do to help lower the number. On March 10, New York State Assemblymember — and fellow Upper West Sider — Linda Rosenthal, announced she plans to introduce legislation to make safe injection sites a possibility state-wide.  // Originally aired on Uptown Radio (Columbia University) on March 11, 2016.

The British are coming! And they're bringing a sport with them: rugby.  This Saturday, the London Irish and Saracens will face-off at the Red Bull Arena just across the river in Harrison, NJ. It’s the first Aviva Premiership match played outside the UK. And it’s all in hopes of finding new American fans. Elizabeth Brockway, reports. // Originally aired on Uptown Radio (Columbia University) on March 11, 2016. 

It’s only February, but the boys of summer are heading back to work. That’s right, it’s spring training for Major League baseball. Both New York teams are back to camp, with pitchers and catchers going through their first official workouts.  And probably the biggest news is this: the Yankees pitching rotation got an upgrade this off-season with the addition of Aroldis Chapman. But his new uniform was not the only headline he made this winter. The All-Star player is currently under investigation by the MLB for an alleged domestic violence incident. // Originally aired on Uptown Radio (Columbia University) on February 19, 2016 and was subsequently picked up by WBAI on February 24, 2016.

Bernie Sanders is a favorite among young voters. And it was this popularity that helped him beat Hillary Clinton in the recent Democratic primary in New Hampshire. Sanders’ ability to connect with a young demographic may have something to do with his campaign’s strategies. Case in point: This evening in Bushwick, 40 artists will raise money for the former Brooklynite by spending a “Weekend” with Bernie. Elizabeth Brockway reports. // Originally aired on Uptown Radio (Columbia University) on February 12, 2016.

A crane collapsed in Tribeca on the morning of February 5, killing one and injuring three. A typically quiet morning in the Lower Manhattan neighborhood was interrupted by sirens as rescue workers rushed to the scene. // Originally aired on Uptown Radio (Columbia University) on February 5, 2016.

A quick look into the now-phenomenon of over-the-top Christmas lights in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, and the amazing woman who started it all, Lucy Spata. // Final assignment for "Radio 1" at Columbia Journalism School. 

Pop of Culture Pod

We're a pop culture podcast (shocker) hosted by two ridiculous human beings -- Elizabeth Brockway and Erika Glass -- who moonlight as graduate students. Each week, we discuss breaking celebrity news, offer TV recaps, important insights into the film industry and general musings on the current pop-cultural zeitgeist.