Congrats to Jeff Sharlet who just won the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association feature prize for his Harper’s Magazine piece “Straight Man’s Burden.” Sharlet came on Fresh Air in August 2010 to discuss the piece and his reporting.
“The balancing act between how much rule-making you like in language and how much you like language to evolve naturally isn’t necessarily the point of the serial comma debate (to me, the reasons to keep it have absolutely nothing to do with tradition and everything to do with actual utility), but that’s where almost any discussion of almost any arcane point invariably winds up. Language is alive, you see, and it changes, and its beauty lies in its ability to be shaped by an entire society that calls upon its collective wisdom and experience to create a means of communication that accomplishes what it needs to AND NO THAT DOESN’T MAKE ‘IRREGARDLESS’ OKAY AND STOP USING ‘LITERALLY’ TO MEAN ‘FIGURATIVELY’ I AM BEGGING YOU.”—Linda Holmes | NPR Monkey See | Going, Going, And Gone?: No, The Oxford Comma Is Safe … For Now (via fromoneroomaway)
“We have this debate in America that is almost a theoretical debate about the role of government in the economy and whether government should be involved, and I worry that while we’re having this theoretical debate, on the other side of the world, the Chinese government is vigorously promoting industry after industry, the German government is vigorously promoting its manufacturing center, the South Korean government is vigorously promoting its manufacturing sector — and by the time we’ve resolved our debate, there won’t be any industries left to compete in. It is absolutely clear that government plays a key role, as a catalyst, in promoting long-run growth.”—Fareed Zakaria, on the relationship between government and innovation. [complete interview here]
“The tallest building in the world is now in Dubai, the biggest factory in the world is in China, the largest oil refinery is in India, the largest investment fund in the world is in Abu Dhabi, the largest Ferris wheel in the world is in Singapore. And … more troublingly, [the United States is] also losing [its] key grip on indices such as patent creation, scientific creations and things like that — which are really harbingers of future economic growth.”—On today’s Fresh Air, Fareed Zakaria explains why America is lagging behind other countries on indices that indicate long-term economic growth.
We’ve gotten a lot of new followers and we had a show today on online dating. I feel like that means we should get to know each other a bit more (and maybe collectively find some great new Tumblrs to follow.)
So: Who are you? What Tumblrs do you like? Let’s bring this cold, lonely world a bit closer, shall we?
(I’m Mel, I’m 26, I work at Fresh Air, I’ve lived in Philadelphia for most of my life and I really like photography, plums and pajamas. Also, the letter ‘P.’)
“I’m projecting forward, like 10, 15, 20 years in the future, but it could definitely happen that there could be something flying in the air — you’ll just think it’s a little bird hovering around, and instead it’ll have a little camera and be watching what you’re doing and listening to what you say.”—Noah Shachtman talks about some of the sci-fi-like devices the military and defense contractors are currently working on.
“The problem with the U.S. government is that its allocation of resources is highly inefficient. We spend vast amounts of money on subsidies for housing, agriculture and health, many of which distort the economy and do little for long-term growth. We spend too little on science, technology, innovation and infrastructure, which will produce growth and jobs in the future. For the past few decades, we have been able to be wasteful and get by. But we will not be able to do it much longer. The money is running out, and we will have to marshal funds and target spending far more strategically. This is not a question of too much or too little government, too much or too little spending. We need more government and more spending in some places and less in others. The tragedy is that Washington knows this. For all the partisan polarization there, most Republicans know that we have to invest in some key areas, and most Democrats know that we have to cut entitlement spending. But we have a political system that has become allergic to compromise and practical solutions. This may be our greatest blind spot.”—
“You run out of friends and then you run out of friends of friends of friends and suddenly, you find yourself being introduced to the dregs.”—New Yorker staff writer Nick Paumgarten tells Terry Gross why so many adults are turning to online dating. (He also explains how each site finds you potential match(es.)
… there’s a sense in the Pentagon that the improvised bomb has now become a permanent threat. Over the last six months, there’s been an average of 245 jury-rigged explosives found or detonated — outside of Iraq and Afghanistan. The IED has gone global.
Tomorrow we’ll be talking about new weapons and new national security strategies with Noah Shachtman of Wired Magazine.
“My mother, in the ’60s could buy a tomato in the supermarket that had 30 to 40 percent more vitamin C and way more niacin and calcium. The only area that the modern industrial tomato beats its Kennedy-administration counterpart is in sodium.”—Barry Estabrook, on the human, nutritional, and environmental tolls of modern tomato farming.
“I’m pleased to report that Rave On Buddy Holly is the rare tribute album that, by and large, succeeds artistically.”—Ken Tucker reviews the new Buddy Holly tribute album featuring, among others, Cee Lo Green and Paul McCartney. The complete album is streaming on NPR’s website today. Enjoy!
I am confused as to why multiple boxes cannot be checked in this scenario. At least two of them are applicable if you are indeed a public radio listener. (If you are not, perhaps only one of the three boxes is checked.)
I'm driving to Chicago to visit some friends on Sunday. Half of the reason I'm excited for this is because it gives me an excuse to listen to nine straight hours of Fresh Air on the ride up. Thanks for all you do to entertain and inform us every day. And every car ride.
Nine straight hours of anything would um, make me tear my ponytail out. Have fun!
“Does gender matter? In a country with the ideal of treating everyone fairly and equitably, do we really need to know if someone is a boy or a girl? These questions are driving decisions and actions around the country.”—Food for thought in the latest Linton Weeks piece: The End Of Gender? : NPR
…”where can i find the recording from the tiny desk concert” for Foster The People, it will be a while. We have A LOT of Tiny Desk concerts (sometimes two, three in a day!) so there are about 12 videos to post before that goes up on NPR.org.