“There are times where a team or a player on a particular opponent breaks the baseball code. Whether it’s trying to steal a base later in the game when the opponent had a big lead and didn’t need to be stealing bases and scoring more runs — trying to stick it to us — or if an opponent slides into our second basemen with cleats high and looks like he’s trying to injure him, there are times where you take law into your own hands.”—Brad Ausmus, on when catchers tell pitchers to plunk a batter.
The Justice Department is investigating whether the nation’s largest credit ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s, improperly rated dozens of mortgage securities in the years leading up to the financial crisis, according to two people interviewed by the government and another briefed on such interviews.
Today's Show: Rating The Wall Street Ratings Agencies
When Standard & Poor’s recently lowered the U.S. government debt rating for the first time in history, it set off a firestorm of criticism, from the Obama administration to Wall Street. The downgrade raised questions about the influence of S&P and other agencies, which also faced blame in the financial crisis of 2007-2008.
For the past few months, I’ve been working with an old college buddy who’s a Google engineer to create an extensive Fresh Air archive that will be searchable and browe-able by guest name, topic, date, birth date of guest, and all sorts of other neat variables.
It’s a little open source side project for both of us (i.e. it’s not part of our official jobs. We’re just playing around as nerdy folks who appreciate archives and public radio and API code.) We’re planning to release the code and the archive this weekend (v 1.0) so that other stations/shows can also use the code, if they’d like, and for anyone who would like to help us improve/refine the archive.
Here’s my question: A lot of the Fresh Air archive isn’t on the NPR website and thus isn’t available through the API that we’re using to populate this website. (The daily show goes back to the 1980s and the web stuff we have goes back to 2001ish and even most of that needs some TLC to look pretty.) I’d like to flesh out this information with the guest/topic information that we have available internally in word/excel documents. There are roughly 5000-6000 shows to parse, some with multiple guests/reviews/interviews. What’s the best way to do this? Set it up like a wiki? Crowdsource? If you have any ideas, please let me know. We’ll be releasing it at some point this weekend and I’d love for you to give us feedback on how we can improve it and/or help out some other radio shows with their archives.
“American cyber technology is so advanced that they can have a near perfect re-creation of an al-Qaida message — and what they’re doing from time to time is going on jihadi websites and posting conflicting and contradictory orders, statements that raise doubt about who the jihadis should follow and who is really in charge … and the goal is to really disrupt the entire network by sowing dissent and confusion. We’ve been told they’ve had some great success at that.”—On today’s Fresh Air, the innovative techniques the military/intelligence communities have used to fight al-Qaida.
This has been happening more and more frequently: What’s up with all of the private spam messages? [please stop, I like receiving actual non-spam messages and they’re hard to find given all of the spammy messages.]
“Make sure you start Helen Schulman’s new novel, This Beautiful Life on a Friday night, so that when you find yourself compelled to stay up all hours reading it, you can take the rest of the weekend, not only to recover, but to think long and hard about the advantages for your kids of home schooling; cloistered convents, kibbutzes, monasteries and ashrams; or, perhaps, a semester abroad program in Antarctica.”—Maureen Corrigan reviews Helen Schulman’s This Beautiful Life
Many years ago my father composed a piece of music, a round, that was notated on a circular staff. This made a real impression on me. John Cage invented his own notation for his Aria and the George Crumb score above is quite famous. However, I was unaware that this creative method actually goes back many centuries. This is a really great NY Times piece on graphic scores.
“Taking acid was a lot of work. I remember one occasion in which I’d taken it myself. I was perfectly responsible for everything. I woke up in the morning after I’d finally got to sleep and my jaws were aching. They were just coming off, and I couldn’t figure, you know, what was wrong with the lower part of my face, and then I realized I’d been smiling for 12 hours. It was work.”—Writer Robert Stone tells Terry Gross about dropping acid.
“I have discovered that for me, it is much more effective to arrive in any situation as a man from Mars than to try and fit in. When I first started out in journalism, I used to try and fit in. … I tried to fit into the scene. … I was depriving myself of the ability of some very obvious questions if I fit in. … After that, I gave it up. I would turn up always in a suit and just be the village information gatherer.”—Writer Tom Wolfe, on his trademark three-piece suit.