Another batch of amusing or interesting short items from NPR's Morning Edition over the last couple of weeks....
Here's one that's reminiscent of John Cage, or Karlheinz Stockhausen:
Morning Edition, September 22, 2006 — Cell-phone haters will really hate a concert coming up in Chicago next month. During the debut performance of his "Concertino for Cellular Phones and Orchestra," jazz composer David Baker wants members of audience and the orchestra to turn on their cell phones. They can even turn up the volume on their ringers. Baker hopes the effect will illustrate how cell phones bring both order and chaos to our lives.
If you thought the faux-eBay "phishing" messages were bad, be sure to keep your kid away from the computer:
Morning Edition, September 27, 2006 — Leave a toddler alone with e-Bay and you may soon own a car! In England, three-year-old Jack Neal saw a pink convertible on his mom's computer screen, clicked "Buy it Now" and put the brakes on other bids. But the car dealer says he won't hold Jack to the $16,000 sale.
Another in the growing list of "It would be funny if it weren't so frightening" incidents of vigilante-style airport "security":
Morning Edition, September 29, 2006 — A university professor was traveling through Europe by plane, while wearing a long beard. Naturally, three fellow passengers thought he might be a terrorist. During a layover in Madrid, the three approached the bearded man and demanded to search his carry-on bags. Professor Pablo Gutierrez Vega declined, and the pilot took his side. He offered to throw the luggage vigilantes off the plane, an offer the professor declined, though he is preparing to sue.
I think this one needs no comment:
Morning Edition, October 10, 2006 — Only in America do we dream that anybody could grow up to be President or, if that doesn't work out, at least win the world championship for eating Jalapeno peppers. Christopher Huang entered the contest in Texas, though he normally doesn't eat spicy food. He swallowed 53 brutally hot peppers before surrendering. He couldn't feel his face afterward. Victory went to a retired accountant who swallowed 247 peppers in eight minutes.
And I honestly don't know what to make of this one:
Morning Edition, October 11, 2006 — A UCLA study says women tend to put their best fashion foot forward when they are most fertile. In the study, a panel of men and women looked at photos of college students taken during their most and least fertile phases of the month. Researchers say the judges picked the photo in the fertile phase 60 percent of the time. Other animals release powerful scents, or change color, when they are ready to mate. Apparently women just need to go shopping.
Here, I have to wonder... isn't it unsafe to hire deaf people as professional drivers? Don't we use our hearing often when we drive, to hear car horns, emergency sirens, train whistles...?:
Morning Edition, October 11, 2006 — Drivers for UPS won a round in court Tuesday when a federal appeals court ruled that the shipping company could not bar the deaf and hearing-impaired from driving delivery trucks.
This item's a little longer; listen to the full story. I've wondered when this would start happening:
Morning Edition, October 11, 2006 — These days you can buy almost anything with a credit or debit card. But Snap, a cafe in Washington, D.C.'s, Georgetown neighborhood is taking it one step further. Snap's owner has decided to stop accepting cash.