A brief rant on Garrison Keillor and the Writers’ Almanac (Yes, I’m that much of an NPR nerd)

Every time I hear the Writers’ Almanac on NPR I’m left frustrated.

I am a fan of the short program. How many places can you be exposed to all of the following items in just a few minutes?

  • poetry! In Nature! That isn’t a limerick!
  • learn that George Plimpton took down RFK’s assassin.
  • That it’s the birthday of the Apple II computer. Today’s Mac’s come with one million times more memory!
  • That Adam Smith, the Wealth of Nations “Invisible Hand of capitalism” guy was raised by gypsies and he believed in taxes!

And all of that and more was in a single episode.

So yes, I’m a fan until the very end. By that I mean, it’s the end of the…

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In which I tell NPR listeners I am not naked

Do you ever listen to the radio and wonder if the person speaking is naked?

Well, apparently I do because I went out of my way to tell the listeners of this hour-long interview on Lehigh Valley’s NPR station that I was, in fact, not naked.

Do you ever say dumb things? I do…like constantly.

For the most part, I managed to not make a complete fool of myself. Regardless, I’m really looking forward to speaking, on stage, wearing clothes, at NCC’s 4th Annual Peace & Justice Conference next week.

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Donate to your local NPR station

I feel for Juan Williams, I really do. The dude should not have been fired, especially in the manner that he was. A phone call! They could’ve at least had Carl Kassle call him and leave a message on his voicemail.

But even more than that I feel for NPR. NPR is getting hammered in the press for being this liberal conspiracy to take over the world. (Full Disclosure: I would totally vote Tom and Ray of Car Talk into the White House. There is all of this talk of which party, the Democrats or the Republicans, drove the bus into the ditch and who is going to drive us out. Well, at least with Tom…

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The #ten4tues Project: Donated to NPR

This Tuesday I supported my local NPR station. You should to.

Here’s why.

I’d also like to point folks to a cause carried over from my “Free Money” post two weeks ago.  Ginger needs $10 to buy her recently adopted dog a seat belt. If you’re interested, I’ll hook you up with Ginger….

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Record NPR-quality audio from your travels

Kelsey Recording

I’m back on the World Vision Report this week with my piece about rescuing a bird in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

I’m especially excited about this  piece because it’s set to sounds I recorded with my mini-disc player I purchased before my 2007 trip.  I’m pretty much a beginner when it comes to recording audio, but the folks at the World Vision Report have been awesome and offered great advice.

The only other piece that features audio captured while traveling was my interview with Bibi Russell in Bangladesh.

Sometimes I record the essays at home using my mini-disc player, and other times they have me record at Indiana Public Radio’s studio on the Ball State campus.  Either way,…

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Save NPR

I just learned that the first NPR station I listened to WMUB at Miami University is going belly up. Well, maybe not so much belly up as consumed by its sister station in Cincinnati. Still, this is depressing news.

As someone who takes little nuggets of ideas and turns them into stories from 500 to 70,000 words in length, NPR is one of my most valuable resources. Every day I gain a few little extra nuggets. Here’s what I learned within a few hours the other day:

– Edgar Allen Poe was well respected for his original talent during his lifetime, but not particularly paid well. The main reason was the poor international copyright laws. U.S. newspapers and magazines would snatch stuff that appeared in…

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Sweatshops on NPR

This past Christmas Talk of the Nation did a 35-minute spot on sweatshops. I listened to it last night. If you want to know about the “Anti-Sweatshop Bill” in congress and what it has to do with cat and dog fur, you should give it a listen….

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What’s a volunteer worth?

LGBTQ performers

According to the Independent Sector, a membership organization of nonprofits, the value of volunteer time is “the average wage of non-management, non-agricultural workers.” So actually the stat is pretty meaningless and simply an average wage of an American worker.

Not every volunteer or volunteer task is equal.

I worked summers at my parents’ wood truss manufacturing plant swinging a hammer, pushing a broom, and cutting and stacking boards. But I am by no means a carpenter. When I built a bookshelf in shop class in high school, the cuts were rounded and it was a rocking bookshelf, which really isn’t a very desirable quality for a bookshelf. My father, on the other hand, can build anything. If Dad…

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What are the Human Rights anyhow?

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Yesterday Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, announced that the United States was withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council.

George W. Bush thought about doing the same thing. The Obama administration recognized the group wasn’t the most effective, but decided to work from within it.

But putting the politics aside…do you have any idea what the human rights actually are?

I bet you can’t name all 25 articles. I bet you didn’t even know that there aren’t 25 articles but 30. Ha! Got ya! I certainly couldn’t until I looked them up while researching WHERE AM I GIVING? Here’s an excerpt–probably…

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