The boys were paying attention now. The man was born to drill holes into thick skulls and shout through them. I was as riveted by his performance as I’d been 26 years ago — which was good, as he was coming to his point:
”One of the goodies about athletics is you get to find out if you can stretch. If you can get better. But you’ve got to push. And you guys don’t even push to get through the day. You put more effort into parties than you do into this team.”
The editorial vision of the show is also utterly original. What other show takes on the kinds of subjects Radiolab does? What other show would even take up the question of walking speed in different cities, much less invest dozens of hours in manufacturing an original audio experiment? (And BTW they just did a second all-over-the-globe audio inquiry like this one, about tic-tac-toe.) As Bill McKibben pointed out in the New York Review of Books about Jad and Robert: “In an almost comic attempt to make their job hard, the duo take only the most difficult subjects from science and philosophy: ‘Time,’ ‘Morality,’ ‘Memory and Forgetting,’ ‘Limits.’” Listening to Radiolab I have the unusual experience where nearly every story is something I’ve never heard of or thought about before, and the stories lead to ideas I’m utterly unfamiliar with. That’s a standard very few of us even aspire to, much less achieve.
As food safety officials undertake wider testing for potentially deadly E. coli in meat, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann says that regulations are overburdening food producers.
The prices for the flowers, as for all the fresh fruits and vegetables, are scrawled in chalk on fragments of black slate–a tradition of outdoor European marketplaces. It’s as if the farmer pulled up in front of Whole Foods just this morning, unloaded his produce, then hopped back in his flatbed truck to drive back upstate to his country farm. The dashed-off scrawl also suggests the price changes daily, just as it might at a roadside farm stand or local market. But in fact, most of the produce was flown in days ago, its price set at the Whole Foods corporate headquarters in Texas. Not only do the prices stay fixed, but what might look like chalk on the board is actually indelible; the signs have been mass-produced in a factory.
It was Richard Nixon who got me into politics, and now that he’s gone, I feel lonely. He was a giant in his way. As long as Nixon was politically alive — and he was, all the way to the end — we could always be sure of finding the enemy on the Low Road. There was no need to look anywhere else for the evil bastard. He had the fighting instincts of a badger trapped by hounds. The badger will roll over on its back and emit a smell of death, which confuses the dogs and lures them in for the traditional ripping and tearing action. But it is usually the badger who does the ripping and tearing. It is a beast that fights best on its back: rolling under the throat of the enemy and seizing it by the head with all four claws.
He’s home almost all the time, because- unlike other dads- he doesn’t have a day job. Which is why he’s known by the local schools as the guy they can count on whenever they need an adult to do the driving for a field trip. “I’m down with the field trips,” Waits says. “I got the big car. I’m always looking for a nine-passenger opportunity.” Recently, he took a group of kids to a guitar factory. It was a small operation, run by music types. “So I’m waiting for somebody to recognize me. OK, I think, someone’s gonna come up and say, “You’re that guy, right?” Now, I’ve been there for, like, two hours. Nothing. Nothing. Now I’m getting pissed. In fact, I’m starting to pose over by the display case. Still waiting, but nothing all day. I get back in the car. I’m a little despondent. I mean, it’s my field. I expect a nod or a wink, but nothing.” Waits takes a pause to stir his coffee. “So a week later, we go on another field trip. It’s a recycling thing. OK, I’m in. We pull up to the dump and six guys surround my car- ‘Hey! It’s Tom Waits!'” He shrugs wearily, like he’s telling the timeworn story of his life. “Everybody knows me at the dump.”