“I have religious friends, and they’re like, ‘Well if you look, it’s proven.’ And you’re like, ‘No, it’s not proven.’ Don’t try to tell me that you can prove this stuff. Just say ‘I believe it,’ and I’m down with you. Don’t mix the two together. Because you can’t logically say, ‘We know that Jews came from Jerusalem and settled in America and turned into Native Americans.’ That just doesn’t make any sense. But at the same time, if you say ‘I believe this,’ I say ‘Okay. Cool man.’ Because at the end of the day, we all have certain beliefs and deeply held things that probably don’t make a lot of sense to anybody else.”—Trey Parker, on religion. [full interview here]
Some people when they look for a job in journalism ask themselves, What do I like to do and Who can take me there? Who can get me to a war zone? To a ballpark? To Wall Street? To politicians, to movie stars? Who’s got the vehicle? And you send them your resume and you say, “I want a seat in your car.” … And you wait.
But there are some people, who don’t wait.
I don’t know exactly what going on inside them; but they have this… hunger. It’s almost like an ache.
Something inside you says I can’t wait to be asked I just have to jump in and do it.
"The official Church response was something along the lines of ‘The Book of Mormon the musical might entertain you for a night but The Book of Mormon,’ — the book as scripture — ‘will change your life through Jesus. Which we actually completely agree with. The Mormon Church’s response to this musical is almost like our q.e.d. at the end of it. That’s a cool, American response to a ribbing — a big musical that’s done in their name."
"Before the Church responded, a lot of people would ask us, ‘Are you afraid of what the Church would say? And Trey and I were like, ‘They’re going to be cool.’ And they were like, ‘No they’re not. There are going to be protests.’ And we were like, ‘Nope, they’re going to be cool.’ We weren’t that surprised by the Church’s response. We had faith in them."
“What we’re probably looking at down the road is a situation where there will be extreme hunger in some of these countries where the investments are being made and people will simply resist — and try to block — the trucks that are hauling the grain from the fields to the ports. … It’s a new situation and quite unlike any that we’ve faced before.”—Countries like Saudi Arabia, China and South Korea have all leased land in Africa, where the governments lease irrigable land for as little as $1 an acre. On today’s Fresh Air, environmentalist Lester Brown explains how the land leases are creating huge conflicts between local populations and investors.
“I talked to one scientist and I mentioned this as synthetic meat and she got annoyed. She said, ‘This isn’t synthetic. It’s organic. It’s meat. It’s two meat cells growing to become more meat cells.’ And depending on what your definition of any sort of life is, this is as fundamental as any animal is.”—New Yorker science writer Michael Specter, on test-tube meat, on today’s Fresh Air.
I just got my free buttons from NPR! I requested them forever ago, so long ago in fact I requested more yesterday! Now, I don't want NPR to think badly of me, so how do I tell NPR that "hey guys, it's all cool, I got my buttons, disregard that last email?"
I believe they may have run out of buttons, based on a comment on yesterday’s post. So I think you’re good, button-wise.
How did you get your start working for NPR? Any tips for those aspiring to be in your position?
I wrote a weekly humor column for my college newspaper and then submitted those for NPR’s Kroc Fellowship back in 2006. I also applied to maybe 100ish other writing jobs — none of which I got.
So it was kind of slightly random but I’ve been at NPR basically ever since. During the fellowship, I went out to Chicago and Wait Wait and tried out, and then started working there — and then came to Fresh Air because I grew up about 10 minutes away from WHYY and I missed Philadelphia and my family.
I highly recommend reading a lot of and writing a lot — and then either applying to work at HQ or a local station. There are many jobs in public radio and many different shows — and it’s easy to learn things like audio editing and production from the comfort of your own laptop, now that the Internet exists.
Not really fresh air related... more Philly public radio related:
Do you guys know Kathy O'Connell and the Kids Corner crew from WXPN? (I was raised on Kids Corner & <3 Kathy)
Does WXPN/Kids Corner/World Cafe have a tumblr/plans to get one? I know Robert Drake does.
One of our associate producers here is a former Kids Corner staffer. I’m not sure of their Tumblr plans but we can ask them….
It seems like there are more repeat segments than there used to be. It also seems like Terry is doing fewer interviews. Are my perceptions accurate?
She still does between 5-8 a week. We run repeats on Fridays, so we can book guests and catch up on other stuff. (It’s very hard to do that when taping plus recording two new interviews in a day.) We run obituaries frequently — and sometimes Dave does an interview, to give Terry some time off. But it’s about the same as it always was, I think.
do you find that some interview topics are easier than others?
I write our website material every day so some topics are easier to write about than others because I have some knowledge about them. [For example, writing about physics was somewhat difficult.] But generally after some research, it’s not too bad. When we have interviews about a difficult-to-parse topic, there are many questions asking a guest to break down whatever it is they’re talking about….
Who runs this blog? What are you reading right now?
My name is Mel, I’m an associate producer here. I’ve been working here since January 2010. Before that, I was an associate producer at Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me — but I wanted to move back to Philly to be closer to my immediate family.
I’m reading articles about radiation and comic books for two upcoming shows. At home, I’m reading Erik Larson’s new book.