Linton Weeks http://wgcu.org en Google Frecking: The Week In Pandas http://wgcu.org/post/google-frecking-week-pandas What a week it's been for giant pandas. We know because for the past seven days, we have been <strong>Google Frecking</strong> for pandas.<p>Google Frecking is an info-gathering game we devised — at the suggestion of our creative editor — for drilling a little deeper into a subject that intrigues us. In this case: pandas.<p>Last weekend we set up a Google Alert for pandas. Sun, 20 Apr 2014 15:13:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 9497 at http://wgcu.org The Grumpy Point: When A Man Turns 70 http://wgcu.org/post/grumpy-point-when-man-turns-70 The approximate moment when grumpiness kicks in for men, according to a <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=browsePA.volumes&jcode=pag" target="_blank"> recently released report</a>, is around age 70.<p>Then you'd better get off his lawn.<p>Researchers found that as men grow older — from, say, 50 on — they have fewer obstacles and annoyances to worry about in life and, furthermore, they are more equipped to deal with adversity. Mon, 14 Apr 2014 15:13:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 9293 at http://wgcu.org The Grumpy Point: When A Man Turns 70 4 Strange Sports In America's Past http://wgcu.org/post/4-strange-sports-americas-past In recent pursuits, we have come upon accounts of once-practiced — and somewhat, shall we say, curious — sports that have long since faded into obscurity.<p>Competitive walking in the 1870s and 1880s, for instance. "In the decades after the Civil War there was mass urbanization in the United States," Matthew Algeo — author of <em>Pedestrianism: When Watching People Walk Was America's Favorite Spectator Sport</em> — <a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/04/03/297327865/in-the-1870s-and-80s-being-a-pedestrian-was-anything-but" target="_blank">recently told NPR</a>. Fri, 11 Apr 2014 15:19:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 9216 at http://wgcu.org 4 Strange Sports In America's Past 5 April Fools' Pranks Gone Bad http://wgcu.org/post/5-april-fools-pranks-gone-bad Perhaps in a calmer, more innocent era — if there ever was such a thing — April Fools' jokes made more sense. Nowadays the world seems overrun with <a href="http://www.trutv.com/shows/impractical-jokers/index.html" target="_blank">Impractical Jokers</a>, <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0318959/?ref_=nv_sr_1" target="_blank">Crank Yankers</a> and <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0367274/?ref_=nv_sr_2" target="_blank">Ali G</a>-type tricksters. Tue, 01 Apr 2014 15:13:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 8867 at http://wgcu.org 5 April Fools' Pranks Gone Bad Vladimir Putin Is Right Out Of A Russian Novel http://wgcu.org/post/vladimir-putin-right-out-russian-novel "Russia is a <em>hypothetical</em> culture. Ruled by despots for most of our history, we are used to living in fiction rather than reality," <a href="http://ninakhrushcheva.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/vova-the-dread-and-the-fiction-of-russia/" target="_blank">writes</a> Nina L. Khrushcheva, who teaches international affairs at <a href="http://www.newschool.edu/public-engagement/faculty-list/?id=87811">The New School</a>. Sat, 29 Mar 2014 23:13:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 8792 at http://wgcu.org Vladimir Putin Is Right Out Of A Russian Novel What Winter Will Be Like In 100 Years http://wgcu.org/post/what-winter-will-be-100-years One of the upsides to the seemingly endless winter of 2014 was that you had time to think.<p>And to ask futuristic questions, such as: What will the American Winter of 2114 be like?<p>Here are some of the answers.<p><strong>Milder: </strong>In the midst of the Sochi Olympics, the <em>New York Times</em> posted a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/08/opinion/sunday/the-end-of-snow.html?_r=1" target="_blank">wake-up piece</a> about the future of snow skiing. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 15:13:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 8665 at http://wgcu.org What Winter Will Be Like In 100 Years A Life Story In 6 Songs — Part 2 http://wgcu.org/post/life-story-6-songs-part-2 Sifting through the hundreds and hundreds of replies to NPR's request — <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/theprotojournalist/2014/01/11/222170422/tell-us-the-6-songs-of-your-life">Tell Us The 6 Songs Of Your Life</a> — we rediscover just how meaningful music can be in our lives, and the supermagical powers that some songs possess.<p><em>I Want To Hold Your Hand, </em>for example ...<p><ul><p><li>The song "ties into 7<sup>th</sup> grade mixers," recalls Leon Ritter, 62, of Indiana, and the "realization that girls weren't yucky."</li><p><li>Meghan Rosenthal, 31, of North Carolina, "listened to t Tue, 25 Mar 2014 15:13:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 8621 at http://wgcu.org A Life Story In 6 Songs — Part 2 American Libraries Learn To Read Teenagers http://wgcu.org/post/american-libraries-learn-read-teenagers Way, way back in the 20<sup>th</sup> century, American teenagers turned to the local public library as a great good place to hang out. It was a hotspot for meeting up, and sharing thoughts with, other like-minded people – in books and in the flesh. It was a wormhole in the universe that gave us tunnels into the past and into the future. It was a quiet spot in an ever-noisier world.<p>The library was a gentle mentor. It accepted us as we were and let us grow at our own pace – as teens are wont to do. It taught us about sports and sex. About fashion and finance. Sat, 22 Mar 2014 15:13:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 8536 at http://wgcu.org Forget Speed-Reading. Here's Speed-Writing http://wgcu.org/post/forget-speed-reading-heres-speed-writing Speed-reading all rage. Suddenly many speed-reading apps. <a href="http://www.spritzinc.com/faq/" target="_blank">Spritz</a>. <a href="http://www.spreeder.com/" target="_blank">Spreeder</a>. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 17:11:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 8220 at http://wgcu.org Forget Speed-Reading. Here's Speed-Writing FootGolf: A New Sport Explored In 19 Questions http://wgcu.org/post/footgolf-new-sport-explored-19-questions <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDeUwZwZumU</p> Thu, 13 Mar 2014 15:13:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 8214 at http://wgcu.org FootGolf: A New Sport Explored In 19 Questions I Just Hate Rants http://wgcu.org/post/i-just-hate-rants I hate rants.<p>I can't stand it when people spew and spit and spout off. I hate when folks fume and fulminate. Mon, 10 Mar 2014 15:13:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 8085 at http://wgcu.org I Just Hate Rants The Elegant Secrets Of Flying Snakes http://wgcu.org/post/elegant-secrets-flying-snakes <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vhgC_g1cmU</p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 16:13:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 8015 at http://wgcu.org The Elegant Secrets Of Flying Snakes Hemingway Doesn't Always Live Up To His Code http://wgcu.org/post/hemingway-doesnt-always-live-his-code The air was clear. Our prose was not.<p>We remembered what Scott had told us about a clean, well-designed place called <a href="http://futureofstorytelling.org/" target="_blank">Future of Storytelling</a>. Scott said we could learn from it. He was right and it was good.<p>Through the website, we discovered the <a href="http://www.hemingwayapp.com/" target="_blank">Hemingway App</a>.<p>In our time, writers need all the help we can get. Many of the great editors, such as Maxwell Perkins and Gertrude Stein, are gone. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 16:15:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 7945 at http://wgcu.org Hemingway Doesn't Always Live Up To His Code Climate Strange: 5 Monster March Snowstorms http://wgcu.org/post/climate-strange-5-monster-march-snowstorms For much of the nation, March has come in with a leonine roar.<p>Are these late-season snow shows examples of climate change? "No," says weather historian Jim Fleming of <a href="http://www.colby.edu/directory/?profileid=jfleming" target="_blank">Colby College</a>. "The polar vortex is a natural and variable stratospheric event. One of its anomalies hit Russia and Central Europe in winters past. Mon, 03 Mar 2014 16:44:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 7874 at http://wgcu.org Climate Strange: 5 Monster March Snowstorms 50 Cliches Of Gray: In Defense Of Old Truisms http://wgcu.org/post/50-cliches-gray-defense-old-truisms <strong>At the end of the day</strong>, it is <strong>tougher than a nickel steak</strong> to banish from American popular parlance certain phrases such as "at the end of the day."<p>The word police at Lake Superior State University in Michigan have been trying to strike the phrase from public discourse since 1999. Here are their Banished Words Lists from <a href="http://www.lssu.edu/banished/archive/1999.php" target="_blank">then</a> and from <a href="http://www.lssu.edu/banished/current.php" target="_blank">2014</a>.<p>But at the end of the day,<strong> forget about it. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 16:13:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 7741 at http://wgcu.org 50 Cliches Of Gray: In Defense Of Old Truisms A Life Story In 6 Songs — Part 1 http://wgcu.org/post/life-story-6-songs-part-1 Tons of people responded — thoughtfully, wittily, smartly, poignantly — to NPR's recent request: <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/theprotojournalist/2014/01/11/222170422/tell-us-the-6-songs-of-your-life" target="_blank">Tell us the six songs of your life</a>.<p>Sifting through the more than 1,000 annotated playlists, we came up with a few that seem exemplary of the original idea: People telling the stories of their lives — up to this point — through a half-dozen songs.<p>We were knocked out by the variety of the selections.<p>The Beatles show up on lots and lots of lists. Sat, 22 Feb 2014 16:13:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 7630 at http://wgcu.org A Life Story In 6 Songs — Part 1 Rethinking The First Signs Of Spring http://wgcu.org/post/rethinking-first-signs-spring For eons in New England, a First Sign of Spring has been <a href="http://www.northernnewengland.com/maplesugaring/">sap oozing</a> from a maple tree. In northwestern Montana, officials at<strong> </strong>Glacier National Park <a href="http://www.nps.gov/glac/parknews/news09-07.htm">report</a> that a long understood First Sign of Spring is the appearance of a bear — emerging from hibernation. Thu, 20 Feb 2014 16:13:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 7541 at http://wgcu.org Rethinking The First Signs Of Spring What We Might Learn From Snoring Weather Cats http://wgcu.org/post/what-we-might-learn-snoring-weather-cats Sometimes it feels like all the fancy meteorological machinery and prognostication equipment is actually working. And that the weather folks may finally be able to predict — albeit with constant updates and countless hedge words — what the weather is going to be.<p>At least for the next day or so.<p>But is that good enough?<p>H.H.C. Dunwoody didn't think so. Dunwoody was a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Service, predecessor to today's <a href="http://www.nws.noaa.gov/pa/history/timeline.php" target="_blank">National Weather Service</a>. Sat, 15 Feb 2014 16:13:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 7401 at http://wgcu.org What We Might Learn From Snoring Weather Cats We Are Just Not Here Anymore http://wgcu.org/post/we-are-just-not-here-anymore At weddings, guests tweet real-time <a href="http://www.bridalguide.com/blogs/bridal-buzz/live-tweet-wedding" target="_blank">photos</a> of the festivities to friends far away. At sporting events, fans follow scores of games in other cities. In classrooms, students text with friends in other classes and parents out in the world. At funerals, mourners <a href="http://selfiesatfunerals.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">send out selfies</a> to pals in other places.<p>Everyone, it seems, is interacting more with people who are elsewhere — and less with the people around them. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 16:38:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 7246 at http://wgcu.org Sonic Dictionary: An Aural History Project http://wgcu.org/post/sonic-dictionary-aural-history-project If you don't know the meaning of a word, says Mary Caton Lingold, you can look it up in the dictionary, but if you don't know what a particular sound sounds like, where do you go? (Besides NPR, of course.)<p>For instance: What does <a href="http://sonicdictionary.fhi.duke.edu/exhibits/show/soundsofthesouth/item/22">tobacco harvesting</a> sound like? Or someone <a href="http://sonicdictionary.fhi.duke.edu/exhibits/show/soundsofthesouth/item/39">clogging</a>? Thu, 06 Feb 2014 16:12:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 7082 at http://wgcu.org Sonic Dictionary: An Aural History Project