“When one’s in their 20s, I think one still feels that one can be destroyed by their parents — a mythic fear.”—Writer Nick Flynn was working in a homeless shelter in his 20s when his father – an alcoholic and self-proclaimed writer who left when Flynn was a baby – showed up as a client. His story is now a movie called Being Flynn, starring Paul Dano and Robert De Niro.
“There was one neuron in one person that responded only to pictures of Jennifer Aniston – not to Halle Berry, not to Julia Roberts, and one great finding said that this neuron did not respond to pictures of Jennifer Aniston with Brad Pitt. … It would be overstating the case to say this neuron only responds to Jennifer Aniston because the experimenters didn’t have time to show the person all possible celebrities. But it seems safe to say that this neuron responds to only a small fraction of celebrities.”—Today on Fresh Air: understanding the Jennifer Aniston neuron
“Some of the workers we spoke to were just horrified when they realized what they were going to have to do. They were going to have to release radiation into the atmosphere. This is like the number one rule of running a nuclear power plant: you don’t do that. But the alternative was much, much worse: the alternative [was] a nuclear reactor potentially exploding, showering nuclear fuel over the area, which would be much, much worse.”—One year later: interviewing the workers who stayed behind at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
“by looking at the pace with which viruses evolved, you can reverse engineer your way back into a date range. … Research suggests that the key year was around 1908, but the range is a bit wider – 1884 to 1924. Somewhere in there, the first HIV is loose in the world, has come out of the chimp population and is infecting humans.”—On today’s Fresh Air, the history of the HIV virus.
“The ability for a society to grasp the connection between sexual culture and the spread of this epidemic is just essential to reversing it. And it seems like the more the United States or other Western nations get involved, the farther societies get away from that kind of moment of reckoning.”—On today’s Fresh Air, how international AIDS organizations working in Africa went off in the wrong direction in fighting the spread of HIV across the continent.
“The difference between the men who were circumcised and the men who weren’t was 8 to 1 in terms of their infectiousness.”—
Monday: Journalist Craig Timberg says that for years, international AIDS groups overlooked important factors in the spread of the HIV virus, such as the effectiveness of circumcision. Timberg, the former Johannesburg bureau chief for The Washington Post, explores the history of the HIV virus and the efforts to fight the AIDS epidemic in his book Tinderbox: How the West Sparked the AIDS Epidemic and how the World Can Finally Overcome It.
“When I started publishing, I most definitely would have liked to have published Hemingway and Faulkner and Fitzgerald, but they were already published.”—Publisher Barney Rosset, who championed the works of beat poets and Samuel Beckett and who defied censors with the publication of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, died on Tuesday. He was 89. He was on Fresh Air in 1991.
We aired two segments on yesterday’s show. Both had to do with SuperPACs.
Republican and Democratic SuperPACs, empowered by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, can collect unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations and unions. Trevor Potter became a celebrity when he signed on as Stephen Colbert’s lawyer and advised the satirical TV host on how to create his own SuperPAC.
James Bopp is the lawyer who first represented Citizens United in the case that ended up in the Supreme Court, which ruled that corporations and unions could give money to political committees active in election campaigns. That decision and subsequent lower court decisions have led to SuperPACs, which allow corporations, unions and individuals to make unlimited contributions, pool them together, and use the money for political campaigns.
“We know that Facebook has the ability and does target you on their website in an enormous number of ways. They don’t give your name to any of the advertisers — it’s all done anonymously. I’m not a fan of the distinction between anonymity and non-anonymity. … If you’re Joe Schmoe online or they know your real name or they give you an identification number — and so much of our lives is done online — in the end it doesn’t matter. You’re treated like a person who they know with all of the possible discriminatory activities we’ve talked about.”—Joseph Turow on online privacy.
“Social media is all about relationships. If you want to find people’s relationships, an address book is the best place to go. It’s like if you want to rob a bank, go where the money is.”—Joseph Turow, on why social media apps were gathering information from address books on iPhones.
“Companies that don’t respect our information and where it comes from are not respecting us, and I think moving into this new world, we have to have a situation where human beings define their own ability to be themselves.”—On today’s Fresh Air, UPenn communications professor Joseph Turow explains how companies are defining your worth online.
I'm curious about the process of deciding who conducts what interviews. Does whether a guest host comes in have to do strictly with scheduling, or is there more to it than that? For example, it seems like Dave Davies does every sports-related interview. Is that a coincidence, or is it because he knows more about sports than Terry? Are there other examples of this? Or is this all just in my imagination?
It’s basically a scheduling thing. Dave records a lot of interviews in the week or two before Terry takes a week off, so that we have a stockpile to air. (Dave has another job at our station, so he’s wearing two hats on the weeks when he guest hosts.) Terry has recorded some sports-related interviews…but Dave has recorded more. I’m not sure exactly why but can ask them. David Bianculli, who guest hosts most Fridays, conducts a lot of TV-related interviews because he’s a TV critic.
From the archives (2007): Jazz trumpeter and New Orleans native Irvin Mayfield lost his father, Irvin Mayfield Sr., in the floods resulting from Hurricane Katrina. Mayfield talks about his Mardi Gras memories, and the state of his hometown today.
Terry Gross:Did you learn anything working with Bernstein and watching him work?
Stephen Sondheim:Oh, sure. A great deal. Yes. Mainly I learned something about courage. I learned – Lenny was never afraid to make big mistakes. He was never afraid to fall off the top rung of the ladder and I learned by implication that the worst thing you can do is fall off a low rung. If you're going to make a mistake, make a huge one.
It is with great sadness that we report the sudden death of a frequent Fresh Air guest.New York Times foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid suffered a fatal asthma attack yesterday in Syria, where he was reporting on the political uprising….[complete remembrance here]