Where were you when you found out about Osama bin Laden's death?
Tomorrow we’re marking the one year anniversary of the capture and death of Osama bin Laden. We’re talking to Peter Bergen, who produced the first television interview with bin Laden and has a new book out about the lengthy search for bin Laden.
Do you remember how you found out? I actually went to bed really early the night before (so I missed the news) and woke up to see it all over Facebook.
We’re trying something new on ye olde Tumblr. Inspired by Fresh Air’s “best thing all week” question every Friday, we want to know the absolute best song that you heard this week. The song can be brand new to the Internet, an old song brand new to you, a song you’ve re-discovered from your…
“31 percent of the men who graduated Oxford in 1913 were killed.”—On today’s Fresh Air, historian Adam Hochschild explains why WWI was different than other major conflicts: “It was different because it was the tradition in most of the major countries for upper-class young men to have military careers, and then it became those young captains and lieutenants.”
“What we’re actually seeing in the ocean is this kind of chowder of plastic – these tiny particles that are the size of plankton. It’s plastic that has been weathered and broken down by the elements into these little bits and it’s getting into the food chain.”—Edward Humes met with scientists who study the 5 massive gyres of trash particles swirling around in the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Created by the convergence of ocean currents and wind, the gyres contain masses of litter that aren’t entirely visible by the human eye.
How to: pick a winner in a bear v. tiger fight, find an endangered species, and eat spicy food. Plus: Bear Grylls tells you how to survive if you can’t find water. You probably know where this is headed.
“We pay for this stuff and it goes right into the waste bin, and we’re not capturing it the way our recycling programs are intending us to capture it. We’re just sticking it in the ground and building mountains out of it.”—About 69 % of our trash goes immediately into landfills. And most landfill trash is made up of containers and packaging – almost all of which should be recycled, says Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Edward Humes,
How many unique daily hits does fresh air get each week/month?
We get roughly 1 million people visiting us each month. [citation] I don’t know how that’s broken down by day/week, because it’s dependent on a lot of factors [day of week, guest, archival things floating to the surface, etc.]
To be honest, I don’t really obsess over the numbers at all. I like that public radio separates the business side of things from the editorial side of things — and I’m firmly on the editorial side of our show. I glance at the traffic figures and I know that certain topics will always do better online — politics, sex, religion, health. But I’m glad Fresh Air doesn’t look at traffic figures to determine content, and I don’t obsess over traffic figures for the same reason. An interview with a poet or physicist gets the same web treatment as one with a big celebrity or political topic — and I like that. No one at Fresh Air is saying ‘You have to meet this quota or traffic figure’ which I think is the way it should be at our show.
“R’s are problematic letters. But I do find that I cannot think of a single word or a single syllable that really comes out the same in English and American. … Almost everything is alien to me. But I got more comfortable with it.”—Hugh Laurie is British. On today’s Fresh Air, he talks about playing an American doctor with an American accent.
“All of the qualities that you need to be a good opinion columnist tend to be qualities that aren’t valued in women.”—Anna Quindlen, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1992, on today’s Fresh Air.
“I haven’t lost my faith but I’ve lost my religion. I still believe in something so deeply. … I’ve never really gotten past that quote from Anne Frank in her diary, where she says that people are really good at heart. But I feel like the Catholic Church – no – the Catholic hierarchy has been disinviting people like me and especially women like me for so many years that I finally took the hint.”—Anna Quindlen on religion and faith [full interview here]
“When you have a daughter and you say to her, ‘Look, things are not going to be fair for you. People might treat you in a certain way because you’re female. Might say this thing or that thing.’ That’s kind of easy. When you’re saying to your boys, ‘Okay, there’s a certain kind of privilege that comes along with being a white man and you should not take that.’ That’s a kind of craziness. That’s asking them to be different from people – certainly different from the macho men who they might see on TV or hear around them. I just felt like the payoff ultimately was going to be so great.”—Anna Quindlen on raising feminist boys. [full interview here]
“Hello! What is this, 1962? It’s being debated – it has no traction in the world. None of us are out there saying, ‘Gee, should you be able to buy the Pill or should you not be able to buy the Pill?’ All of this is an attempt in a rapidly changing age to put the genie of freedom back in the bottle and guess what? It does not work. We are accustomed to living a certain way. Our daughters take certain things as bedrock. And a couple of guys in Washington arguing about this? Or Presidential debates? They’re not going to change that.”—Anna Quindlen on contraception [full interview here]
“Now, if you’re like me, you may be skeptical of any book about a man with a pet penguin.”—The 1996 novel Death and the Penguin is a fast-paced, witty read and what critic John Powers calls "an almost perfect novel."
“Begin with that most terrifying of all things, a clean slate. Then look, every day, at the choices you are making, and when you ask yourself why you are making them, find this answer: for me, for me.”—
Anna Quindlen, 1999 Mount Holyoke Commencement Speech (via le-toit)
“I don’t have any real spirituality in my life — I’m kind of an atheist — but when music can take me to the highest heights, it’s almost like a spiritual feeling. It fills that void for me.”—Jack Black on Fresh Air
“I’ve had so many hot, cheesy, corny loves of music in my life. I had a very intense Billy Joel period. So once you’ve really Joeled it up – there’s some good periods of Joel. It’s not all hot cheese. But I can’t judge anyone else for their cheese. I’ve deep-sea dived in the Gouda.”—Jack Black on Billy Joel