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Not all acronyms are created equal. Join us on a journey into the colorful world of government "backronyms," where there's more to a name than just a jumble of letters. 


P.O.D.C.A.S.T. (Presenting Our Direct Current Acronym Story Time)

At the University of California-San Diego Library, Kelly Smith wrangles the largest searchable catalog of U.S. government acronyms on the web. After you've listened to this episode, head over to the GovSpeak guide and browse through an alphabet soup of more than 3,800 acronyms ranging from the familiar to the downright bizarre.

What's in a Name?

At the Energy Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), some extremely bright researchers are working on outside-the-box solutions to the biggest energy challenges we face today -- and their research programs have the creative "backronyms" to match.

From ALPHA (Accelerating Low-Cost Plasma Heating and Assembly) to TERRA (Transportation Energy Resources from Renewable Agriculture), you can check out all the amazing work ARPA-E is doing on their website. Here's a peek at some of the most exciting work happening in the agency:

NEXTCAR: Behind the Scenes with Chris Atkinson
Crops, Bots and Bytes: The Robots Behind ARPA-E’s TERRA Program
FOCUS-ing on Innovative Solar Technologies