“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
Why do all of the hosts on NPR have the same cadence? Do they train you guys to speak that way? Gets kind of annoying. Just sayin'.
I went through some vocal training when I did on-air pieces at NPR. Basically, it was someone saying, ‘Mel, the word is waaater, not wooder.’ (Philadelphia thing.) I’m not sure what kind of training the hosts go through, though I suspect there is some training because they all do sound similar. I will investigate.
“That’s just a fascinating effort because the changing of names – the Americanization of names – is such a part of the immigrant story of America. To see it now being scanned for potential red flags for terrorism just shows how much has changed in New York since 9/11, not just on the ground, but the way we view things in New York.”—New York City police officers keep track of every person in the city who changes his or her name. When that person’s name sounds Arabic, the police run an extensive background check that is then put in a database for future reference.
“It was really an effort to build databases of where Muslims live, eat, work, shop and pray.”—On Wednesday’s Fresh Air, AP reporter Matt Apuzzo joins Terry Gross for a conversation about his Pulitzer Prize-winning series, which revealed that the NYPD transformed itself after September 11 into an aggressive domestic intelligence unit and monitored hundreds of Muslims in their mosques, workplaces and schools – even when there was no evidence of any wrongdoing present.
“Writers and video producers live in dread of the wandering eye. Audio producers live for it. That’s what makes us, in our secret hearts, troublemakers. We want you to lose sight of everything in front of your face: to stare through that dish in your hand, ignore your children, drop into a glazed-over trance of our making. Maybe don’t drive off the road, but please do miss a few exits or get stuck in your car. Good audio should be dangerous that way.”—Julia Barton on Nieman Storyboard (via mialobel)
“Literally two days later, she started feeling better and a couple weeks later, when they went to sample the bacteria that was there, they couldn’t find the C. difficile anymore. It was just gone. The only thing they had done was essentially restore her ecology, essentially like restoring a wetland.”—Carl Zimmer wrote about a patient infected with the Clostridium difficile bacteria, which causes severe diarrhea and can frequently return, even when treated with antibiotics. The patient was treated with a transfusion of gut microbials from a healthy individual’s fecal material to restore the bacterial flora in her intestinal tract.