May 8, 2012
"I have nothing now but praise for my life. I’m not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more. … What I dread is the isolation. … There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready."

Listen to all of Maurice Sendak’s Fresh Air interviews.  They will make you laugh and break your heart.

Maurice Sendak on Fresh Air in 2011. [all interviews with Sendak here] (via nprfreshair)

(via nprfreshair)

September 6, 2011
"[Right after September 11] the government relied on contractors to do the work … [because] Congress and the White House didn’t want it to appear like they were growing government while they were asking the government to do much more."

— Dana Priest, on the huge ‘terrorism industrial complex’ created after September 11. (via nprfreshair)

(via nprfreshair)

June 27, 2011

thedailywhat:

How About That of the Day: Former President Bill Clinton was a guest on NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! this weekend, and was inadvertently outed as a major My Little Pony fan during a segment called “Not My Job,” wherein knowledgeable people are asked about things they should have no knowledge of.

“So you’re a former president, you’re a Rhodes scholar, you’re famously well informed. What could we be sure that an accomplished person like you would know nothing about?,” host Peter Sagal asked Clinton rhetorically. “And then the answer came to us: the TV show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.”

One little snag: Clinton was able to answer all of Sagal’s questions correctly.

Turns out we already had our first Brony president, and didn’t even know it.

[npr / toplessrobot.]

President Clinton cleans up on the Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me Quiz…about My Little Pony.

(Source: thedailywhat)

April 13, 2011
nprfreshair:

Tina Fey on her mom forcing her to try on bras outside of dressing rooms at JC Penneys: “I developed very early. I was probably in 5th grade getting a bra. I developed breasts so early and so strangely high that the bra was more to clarify what they were. That they were not a goiter or something. It was mortifying, but I can absolutely see making that same mistake because you transition as a mother from literally just pulling a booger out of that person’s nose whenever you see one until at some point they assert: ‘No, I’m a person. You can’t fix my underpants on the subway.’”

nprfreshair:

Tina Fey on her mom forcing her to try on bras outside of dressing rooms at JC Penneys: “I developed very early. I was probably in 5th grade getting a bra. I developed breasts so early and so strangely high that the bra was more to clarify what they were. That they were not a goiter or something. It was mortifying, but I can absolutely see making that same mistake because you transition as a mother from literally just pulling a booger out of that person’s nose whenever you see one until at some point they assert: ‘No, I’m a person. You can’t fix my underpants on the subway.’”

10:30am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZsTZay4HC2Qv
  
Filed under: Tina Fey Bossypants NPR 
March 18, 2011

danforth:

Rep. Anthony Weiner being totally awesome, fronting on the GOP’s defunding of NPR.

P.S. Weiner is, in fact, SO awesome, this is his Twitter picture.

July 4, 2010
Vocab Words from the Declaration of Independence

Friday morning on NPR’s Morning Edition they read the entire Declaration of Independence on air.  (I’m going to channel Carrie Bradshaw here) I couldn’t help but wonder, how many high school graduates would have trouble understanding the words in it.   I didn’t know a couple of these, myself.  Just to brush up, here are some examples:

  • perfidy - deceitfulness; untrustworthiness.
  • magnanimity - generosity or forgiveness, esp. toward a rival or someone less powerful than oneself.
  • consanguinity - people descended from the same ancestor.
  • acquiesce - accept something reluctantly but without protest.
  • impel - drive, force or urge (someone) to do something.
  • unalienable - unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor.
  • transient - lasting only for a short time, impermanent.
  • usurpation - take (a position of power or importance) illegally or by force.
  • evince - reveal the presence of (a quality or feeling).
  • Despotism - the exercise of absolute power, esp. in a cruel and oppressive way.

November 14, 2008
Election Recap

I don’t know if you guys saw, but there was an election last week.  I just thought you might want to know my thoughts on it, in the random order in which they occur to me, plus I give a couple of election-related recommendations:

  • I’ll start out by being upfront that I am a democrat, and a pretty liberal one at that.  I don’t mind telling you for whom I voted—Obama twice, the primary and general election.
  • Can someone please explain to me why CNN felt it necessary to employ hologram technology?  Please.  Did some producer, extremely low on sleep, decide that what would really juice up their election day coverage would be if there were some way to infuse a little bit of that Star Wars magic into their broadcast.  “I know,” he or she thought, “instead of just using cameras and satellites (that deliver a perfectly clear image), let’s make it look like that scene when R2-D2 projects the message from Princess Leia.  “Help me Obi-Wan, you’re our only hope.”
  • I would now like to welcome the rest of the world to the Tina Fey fan club.  Yes, yes, her Sarah Palin impression was spot on.  However, I would like to give her props for the “Bitch Is the New Black” op-ed piece she did for “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live.  I just watched this today for the first time.  I heard about when it originally aired during the primaries—Tina Fey did a piece supporting Hillary Clinton proclaiming, “Bitch is the new black,”—and honestly, the idea of it made me cringe.  I mean, I think Hillary Clinton is great and as a woman, I am grateful for the huge crack in the glass ceiling she made for us all.  However, I don’t know, that message made me uncomfortable at first.  That is until I saw the clip.  Tina Fey is right.  Bitches do get things done.  Tina says she and Amy Poehler are bitches—you can count me in that group too.  Here’s a link to it:  http://www.hulu.com/watch/10236/saturday-night-live-tina-fey-on-update
  • Speaking of Saturday Night Live, I wish them all the best now that we will have a president who isn’t a complete buffoon.  I heard Seth Meyers, SNL’s head writer, onFresh Air with Terry Gross last week.  He said it was harder to make fun of Obama because, “It’s going to be very hard to write a joke that he isn’t in on.”  Here’s a link:  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96258775
  • I cried on election night.  A lot.  I even carried on crying the next day.  The tears started when I saw Georgia Representative John Lewis being interviewed about his experience voting that day and remembering his personal past marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
  • I got teary eyed again the next morning when I talked to my mom.  For a couple of years now my mom has been the Democratic Party’s official polling place supervisor.  I called her on my way to work Wednesday morning to get her reaction; especially because Missouri’s final results were still not in at that time.  According to my mom, her polling place usually gets about 300 people for typical elections.  Last week they had about 1,500.  Mom said, “You know, this was the election of a lifetime for me.  I wasn’t old enough to vote for Kennedy in 1960, but this…I never thought I would see the day.”
  • This election made me very disappointed in John McCain.  About two and a half years ago I had a conversation with my mom about this election.  I told her if the Republicans were smart, and I didn’t think they were, they would nominate John McCain.  I thought he was the only Republican who would stand a chance against the Democrats in 2008.  I also said he was the only Republican who I wouldn’t be completely distraught if he won. I felt he was someone who, although I didn’t agree with him on many issues, I respected him as a person.  I believed he, unlike a lot of politicians, actually made decisions based on what he thought was best for the country, not what was best for him.  During this election, I couldn’t exactly pinpoint when, but I felt like somehow all that changed in McCain.  I saw a great program on PBS, Frontline:  The Choice, profiling both Obama and McCain.  Here’s a link:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/choice2008/view/.  After watching this, I’m convinced George W. Bush is responsible for this change in McCain.  Bush pummeled McCain with sleazy negative campaign tactics, including spreading a rumor that McCain had fathered and illegitimate black child, in the 2000 South Carolina primary.  McCain did not counter with dirty tactics and he lost.  Ever since then McCain moved closer and closer to the kind of politician that George W. Bush is.
  • The Daily Show’s joint live show with The Colbert Report did not disappoint.  Steven Colbert renamed the show, “The Final Endgame Alpha Action Go Time Lift-Off Decide-icidal Hungry Man’s Extreme Raw Power Ultimate Voteslam Smackdown ’08.”  I was watching the election results at a party with A.  She mistakenly thought it said, “Voteslaw,” not, “Voteslam,” and she promptly declared that her favorite joke.  I have to agree though, “Voteslaw,” is pretty funny.
  • My sister, T, volunteered as part of the Obama Voter Protection Squad.  This meant she worked at a polling place in Indiana on election day to prevent voter intimidation, fraud, etc. (she is a lawyer, but not the kind that typically has anything to do with election laws).  She was assigned to a polling place in a largely black neighborhood—when I say ‘largely’, I mean that according to her unofficial count, two white people voted at that location Tuesday.  When I talked to T on election night, after the polls closed, she told me to guess how many votes John McCain got at her polling place that day.  The answer?  Two.  Then it dawned on me, didn’t she also say only two white people voted there?  True, but apparently she helped one of those white people fill out a provisional ballot and the woman told her she wanted to vote for Obama.  Go figure.

Anyway, hooray America!  We did it…now let’s not screw it up again.

September 18, 2008
I Wanna Be a Special Agent Too
Phone conversation (how do we feel about using 'convo?' Too pretentious?) I just had with my sister, T:
T: I'm just walking home from the bus stop and I'm so hungry I could literally eat my own arm. AND, I have no food, like zero, in my apartment.
Me: Can't you just pop in someplace for some noodles on your way home.
T: No. Well, I could, but it's just so much effort. I'll just make Triscuit nachos again. That's what I had last night.
Me: Hmmm...
T: So I was at a NPR focus group tonight...
(Approx. three minutes of giggling commences--first from me, then she joins in.)
Me: Oh my God. I mean...what? How? You must be on some kind of super geek list of people who have participated in things like mime classes a summer camp for gifted kids.
T: They said I was selected for being a Chicago Public Radio member, but it was a room full of obviously really intelligent people.
Me: How so?
T: They made us do this stupid 'get to know each other' exercise where we had to write pretend letters to Dear Abby and then read them. These peoples' Dear Abby letters were like a vocabulary lesson. They used words like 'hegemony' and 'Luddite.'
Me: Oh dear Lord. (More giggling.) What did they ask you.
T: Umm...I don't really remember. They did have one of those mirror windows, like on TV and they told us people were watching us and taking notes on the other side.
Me: You don't remember the questions?
T: Ummm...
Me: Ooh! Maybe this was all just a front and really you were being screened to be a secret agent! (OK, I've seen A LOT of the show, 'Alias.') That's why you don't remember the questions! They wiped your memory at the end!
T: Maybe.
Me: Did you tell them that I donate to WBEZ, even though I don't live in Chicago? I wanna be a secret agent too! If you get to be one, so do I!
T: Actually, I did. They asked if our family members were members. Everyone said yes except for one guy. He moved here from Mexico like 15 years ago. He said no one else in his family really speaks English. He had a PhD in Physics and played bass in a Finnish band.
Me: Like from Finland?
T: Yeah. At certain points it really was like a SNL sketch about NPR. One woman kept mentioning how she was, "deeply involved in folk music."