Linton Weeks http://ktep.org en Google Frecking: The Week In Pandas http://ktep.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 39033 at http://ktep.org The Grumpy Point: When A Man Turns 70 http://ktep.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 38633 at http://ktep.org The Grumpy Point: When A Man Turns 70 4 Strange Sports In America's Past http://ktep.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 38476 at http://ktep.org 4 Strange Sports In America's Past 5 April Fools' Pranks Gone Bad http://ktep.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 37797 at http://ktep.org 5 April Fools' Pranks Gone Bad Vladimir Putin Is Right Out Of A Russian Novel http://ktep.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 37656 at http://ktep.org Vladimir Putin Is Right Out Of A Russian Novel What Winter Will Be Like In 100 Years http://ktep.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 37414 at http://ktep.org What Winter Will Be Like In 100 Years A Life Story In 6 Songs — Part 2 http://ktep.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 37340 at http://ktep.org A Life Story In 6 Songs — Part 2 American Libraries Learn To Read Teenagers http://ktep.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 37190 at http://ktep.org Forget Speed-Reading. Here's Speed-Writing http://ktep.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 36590 at http://ktep.org Forget Speed-Reading. Here's Speed-Writing FootGolf: A New Sport Explored In 19 Questions http://ktep.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 36584 at http://ktep.org FootGolf: A New Sport Explored In 19 Questions I Just Hate Rants http://ktep.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 36337 at http://ktep.org I Just Hate Rants The Elegant Secrets Of Flying Snakes http://ktep.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 36182 at http://ktep.org The Elegant Secrets Of Flying Snakes Climate Strange: 5 Monster March Snowstorms http://ktep.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 16:17:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 35876 at http://ktep.org Climate Strange: 5 Monster March Snowstorms 50 Cliches Of Gray: In Defense Of Old Truisms http://ktep.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 35551 at http://ktep.org 50 Cliches Of Gray: In Defense Of Old Truisms A Life Story In 6 Songs — Part 1 http://ktep.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 35318 at http://ktep.org A Life Story In 6 Songs — Part 1 Rethinking The First Signs Of Spring http://ktep.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 35168 at http://ktep.org Rethinking The First Signs Of Spring What We Might Learn From Snoring Weather Cats http://ktep.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 34887 at http://ktep.org What We Might Learn From Snoring Weather Cats We Are Just Not Here Anymore http://ktep.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 16:13:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 34593 at http://ktep.org Sonic Dictionary: An Aural History Project http://ktep.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 34268 at http://ktep.org Sonic Dictionary: An Aural History Project 6 Odd College Courses In America http://ktep.org/post/6-odd-college-courses-america About college courses, actor Tom Hanks recently told <a href="http://www.nj.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2012/10/tom_hanks_still_exploring_huma.html" target="_blank">The Star-Ledger</a>: "I had thought, oh, college, you have to take chemistry and stuff and sit there slogging through work in the library. And then it was like, wait, you can go to college and study theater? And act in plays? Mon, 03 Feb 2014 16:12:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 34049 at http://ktep.org Fixing The NFL: Put Robots In The Super Bowl http://ktep.org/post/fixing-nfl-put-robots-super-bowl Through one lens, the National Football League — on the threshold of <a href="http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/48" target="_blank">Super Bowl XLVIII</a> — looks to be at the top of its game. Revenues are ridiculously high: more than $9 billion a year, <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/01/news/companies/nfl-money-super-bowl/index.html" target="_blank">CNN reports</a>. Tue, 28 Jan 2014 16:12:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 33656 at http://ktep.org Fixing The NFL: Put Robots In The Super Bowl Warning: In Bitter Cold, Beware The 'Umbles' http://ktep.org/post/warning-bitter-cold-beware-umbles Icy vortices, trains of snowstorms, treacherous temperatures — many people are having to learn some harsh lessons about harsh weather.<p>"When the weather is bitter cold," says Dr. Campbell McLaren, "we have to be vigilant — not just to protect ourselves, but those around us."<p>And we have to watch out for the "umbles."<p>As an emergency room doctor in northern New Hampshire, McLaren has specialized in hypothermia and other deleterious effects of extreme cold. Sun, 26 Jan 2014 16:12:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 33540 at http://ktep.org As Time Goes By, What Makes A Movie Timeless? http://ktep.org/post/time-goes-what-makes-movie-timeless Awards season is upon us. And on top of us. And all over us with red carpets, acceptance speeches and actor antics.<p>America is smack in the middle of its annual three-month making-much-of-movies mania. Wed, 22 Jan 2014 16:15:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 33268 at http://ktep.org As Time Goes By, What Makes A Movie Timeless? Quick Question: Time To Leave Smokers Alone? http://ktep.org/post/quick-question-time-leave-smokers-alone Fifty years ago this month, the landmark U.S. Surgeon General's <a href="http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/retrieve/Narrative/NN/p-nid/60" target="_blank">report</a> linking cigarette smoking and lung cancer was released.<p>Over the past half-century, America has become more and more inhospitable to people who smoke — and to tobacco companies. Wed, 15 Jan 2014 16:12:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 32828 at http://ktep.org Can Amazon's Jeff Bezos Save Planet Earth? http://ktep.org/post/can-jeff-bezos-save-planet-earth Look. Up in the sky — and in that little package with the A-to-Z logo. It's a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Bird-X-OWL-Prowler-Moving-Wings/dp/B0019FAMT4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1389011967&sr=8-2&keywords=robot+bird">bird</a>. It's a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Green-Toys-AIRB-1027-Airplane-Blue/dp/B008LQXR9Q/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1389013562&sr=8-3&keywords=airplane" target="_blank">plane</a>. Wed, 08 Jan 2014 16:12:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 32369 at http://ktep.org Can Amazon's Jeff Bezos Save Planet Earth? Project Xpat: When Do You Become An 'Immigrant'? http://ktep.org/post/project-xpat-when-do-you-become-immigrant <strong>You are an American</strong> living in another country. Are you a tourist? An expatriate? An immigrant?<p>When does a visitor morph into something more? When does your home-away-from-home become your home?<p>The United Nations <a href="http://esa.un.org/unmigration/wallchart2013.htm">reports</a> that more people than ever are living in countries other than their own. In 2013, some 232 million people — about 3.2 percent of the planet's population — were migrants. The U.N. Sun, 15 Dec 2013 20:11:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 30956 at http://ktep.org Project Xpat: When Do You Become An 'Immigrant'? The Scent Of Pepper Spray Is In The Air http://ktep.org/post/scent-pepper-spray-air Just in the past few days:<p><ul><p><li>In Baton Rouge, La., joggers concerned about a recent attack on a runner are carrying <a href="http://theadvocate.com/news/7738328-123/in-wake-of-attack-police" target="_blank">pepper spray</a>.</li><p><li>In Missoula, Mont., a woman files a complaint against a man for <a href="http://missoulian.com/news/local/missoula-man-pleads-not-guilty-to-pepper-spraying-dog-owner/article_8aadeee8-5bbe-11e3-94bc-0019bb2963f4.html" target="_blank">pepper-spraying</a> her golden retriever.</li><p><li>In Denver, Colo., inmates say law enforcement officials have used <a Sat, 07 Dec 2013 21:47:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 30433 at http://ktep.org The Scent Of Pepper Spray Is In The Air Project Xpat: What It Means To Be An Expatriate http://ktep.org/post/project-xpat-what-it-means-be-expatriate <strong>When American expatriate </strong>Charles Trueheart was young, he lived all over the world — in Ankara, London, Saigon and Paris. His father was an American diplomat.<p>When Charlie was older, he moved back to the U.S. He went to college at Amherst. Eventually, he and his wife, Anne Swardson, became international correspondents for <em>The Washington Post</em>.<p>I was Charlie's editor at the <em>Post</em> for several stories. He is a lovely writer and a good friend.<p>In 1996, Charlie and Anne — and their children Louise and Henry — moved to Paris. Thu, 05 Dec 2013 16:29:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 30281 at http://ktep.org Project Xpat: What It Means To Be An Expatriate Quick Question: Is Cyber Monday Passe? http://ktep.org/post/quick-question-cyber-monday-passe Cyber Monday. The phrase seems so quaint. Like <a href="http://oldcomputers.net/floppydisks.html" target="_blank">floppy disk</a>. Or information superhighway.<p>But the idea of making a big deal about everybody shopping online on a given day seems even more quaint.<p>So quick question:<strong> Is the notion of Cyber Monday passe?</strong><p>In one way it is: The term Cyber Monday — as we know it today — dates back to the mid 2000s. Mon, 02 Dec 2013 16:39:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 30052 at http://ktep.org Quick Question: Is Cyber Monday Passe? Project Xpat: Thank You For Posting http://ktep.org/post/project-xpat-thank-you-posting Thanksgiving — like the universe — is expanding.<p>Traditionally a time for Americans to pause and give thanks to a Supreme Being — for health or harvest or happenstance, Thanksgiving is evolving before our very eyes into a holiday where we give thanks to each other as well.<p>Just this week we received Thanksgiving-themed thank-you notes from a doctor's office, a lawyers' association, a New Jersey congressman and others. Can Thanksgiving-themed gift cards be far behind?<p>It's not a bad idea. Thu, 28 Nov 2013 23:08:00 +0000 Linton Weeks 29901 at http://ktep.org Project Xpat: Thank You For Posting