Monday, September 6, 2010

I Heart Ira

On our recent road trip to California, John and I listened to a lot of NPR. Before the trip John downloaded a bunch of programs onto the I-pod since the mountain areas between Utah and San Diego do not always have the best radio reception. Our favorites were This American Life's recollection of Summer Camps, the best story in my opinion being the one about the Israeli military camp, and Super Powers . This story gave us a lot to talk about: If you had the choice of just one, would you choose to have the power of invisibility or flight? John chose flying, and then I asked what if the stipulation was that every time you flew you had to be naked. He again affirmed flying. There was also a fun story on a bounty hunter named Zora.

A Way with Words was a program my mom recommended. It deals with the origin and meaning of words. It was interesting, and I could see how a bibliophile and logophile such as my mom would love this show. By the way, did you know that the saying "cliff hanger" is derived from the Thomas Hardy book A Pair of Blue Eyes ?

We also listened to Selected Shorts, which is a program where short stories are read aloud. The episode we listened to featured Shirley Jackson's The Summer People and a story called The Suitcase, which was read by Sex and the City's Cynthia Nixon. Both were thoroughly enjoyable and Jackson's stories always have a foreboding creepy effect that is fun for a drive.

I know that summer is almost over and you may not be taking any road trips after labor day, but if you have a long commute by car, subway, or bus, these are great to take along. All the programs are available for free as podcasts.


molly said...

i'm going to have to check out selected shorts. do you kids ever listen to "wait, wait, don't tell me" it's my favorite ever! I also love radiolab. NPR is so awesome!

Melinda said...

Yes! We actually listened to an episode of "Wait, wait, don't tell me" too! I forgot to mention that. I'll have to try radiolab.