“Many people in the Bush administration were insisting [it] was not torture at all. The Inquisition was actually very clear on the matter. It obviously was torture. That’s why they were using it.”—Writer Cullen Murphy, on waterboarding, which was used in the Inquisition against possible heretics. [complete interview here]
“The idea that the Pope would authorize the use of something as heinous as torture by priests or people working for priests is a pretty astonishing development. Ultimately, the justification that it invokes is the same one anyone uses when they’re using torture for reasons that are not sadistic and that is, in essence: ‘The moral cause that we’re engaged in is too important to settle for half-measures.’ … When you read accounts of torture, you get the unmistakable impression that the people doing the torture or conducting the torture — somewhere inside them, they think they are saving souls.”—Cullen Murphy, on accounts of torturers from the first Inquisition.
“A few years ago, the intelligence agencies had some transcripts released … of interrogations that were done at Guantanamo and the interrogations done by the Inquisition were surprisingly similar and just as detailed. … [They were] virtually verbatim.”—On today’s Fresh Air, Cullen Murphy draws parallels between some of the interrogation techniques used in previous centuries with the ones used today.
“What a strange thing has happened as the years went by. The roles reversed. Today, our audience for blues-oriented music is white. And the black youngsters are not interested in it, and is something that pains us for many reasons — not just personally, but when you start to think from a cultural standpoint, how much we seem to have lost over the past 20 years or so in the African-American community, where blues and jazz artistry is concerned.”—Johnny Otis on the changing blues audience between 1969 and 1989
Here’s the audio from a 2008 rebroadcast of Terry’s conversation with Etta James. This will be updated next week for the on-air obituary but I thought it was worth sharing now, too. (It sounds dated at first because it ran in conjunction with a movie release.)
“This was his major achievement in Massachusetts as governor. … Now he goes to great lengths to say that he hates Obamacare and President Obama is wrong and it should be repealed. The fact is, there are a lot of similarities in the bills. The Obama plan was modeled in many ways after the Massachusetts plan. It will be interesting to see how [Romney] continues to talk about it.”—Reporter Scott Helman on the health care bill Romney signed as governor of Massachusetts that requires individuals to purchase insurance [complete interview here]
No question, here, just a comment (I'm not much of a Tumblrer and its etiquette eludes me): I really enjoy the blog, your sense of content, and the voice you bring to it. I think it's also a perfect example to The Powers That Be that branded social media makes a bigger impact when administered by a person and with personality rather than holding to the clunky, disembodied abstracted brand voices of yore (ten years ago). Keep up the good work, Melody!
Thanks! I love posting here (and everyone here trusts me so I don’t have to constantly think ‘Should I post that?’ I know what’s appropriate for a blog that has the name of my workplace on it, even though I post a lot of stuff that doesn’t technically have to do with work.) So it’s more of just an amusing outlet and a way to take breaks from writing/producing the website. Anyway, I appreciate the comment a lot and am glad you enjoy it!
My NPR affiliate station recently moved Fresh Air from 7:00 to 3:00. So strange. Fresh Air has always been an evening show for me as long as I can remember. Terry Gross is like a sleepy time relaxing voice, now I hear it at work and want to go cuddle up on a couch. Do you know what time most stations air Fresh Air?
I think in most markets, it airs at 1, 3, 7, or 10. (It really varies.) You can check the list of stations here….(This is a fan website but very accurate, I’ve found, for broadcast times. Though I honestly don’t know how often it is updated.)
“These people are going on mushroom trips in the lab setting and months later, in the follow up studies, they say that the experiences they had under the influence of the mushrooms are among the most profoundly moving experiences of their lives, both positively and negatively. One thing that the researchers are looking for to see if the use of these hallucinogenic compounds can improve the quality of life for patients suffering from terminal diseases, since it really seems to be for the majority of people who actually take these compounds, that it’s actually an uplifting experience. These could be used in a therapeutic setting and perhaps be very powerful in the future.”—Nicholas Money talks about psilocybin, a psychedelic compound found in over 200 species of mushrooms. Psilocybin is currently being used in highly-supervised lab studies to see how people react to the hallucinogen, which mimics the effects of serotonin on brain receptors.
“I had an awful outbreak of jock itch when I was a grad student working in a lab where we were really immersed in fungal spores. They were everywhere. I think everyone in that lab got a skin infection. It was really unpleasant seeing this pinkish circle expanding, ever-expanding over my …”—Botanist Nicholas Money, on the perils of working with fungi
“What’s different about Radiolab (and what I think is changing about the web) is that it *is* a production, just one of a very new kind. Radiolab is actually post-blog and post-livestream. It’s not aping the oratory of old or the raggedness of the new. It’s a hybrid that takes lessons from the past, recent and deep. That’s where I think web journalism is headed, too. “No one wants to read a 9,000-word treatise online,” reads a telling line from Sullivan piece. “On the Web, one-sentence links are as legitimate as thousand-word diatribes—in fact, they are often valued more.””—How ‘Radiolab’ Is Changing the Sound of the Radio - Alexis Madrigal - Technology - The Atlantic (via thisistheverge)