Letters: Case-Shiller Home Price Index

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Michele Norris and Melissa Block read emails from listeners about the Case-Shiller home price index.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

It's time for your comments. But, first, we do have one correction. Yesterday's story about a public spat among conservatives about raising taxes incorrectly identified Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss as a former member of President Obama's Bipartisan Deficit Commission. He was not a part of that commission. We apologize for the mistake.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

Now to your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

NORRIS: That's not a baritone warming up, but a vocal rendition of Miami's housing boom and bust over the past decade.

BLOCK: Planet Money's idea of taking the latest Case-Schiller home price index and turning it into song, or at least a string of musical notes, did not strike a chord with listener Tom Anice(ph) of Grinnell, Iowa. He write this: Seriously, we're fighting three wars, the economy is in the dumps but improving, Iowa caucuses are 280 days away. We've got 300 million people in this country with interesting stories and the best thing you can come up with is a bad soprano singing about Miami home prices? Whew, that was annoying.

NORRIS: But some listeners loved the story. Absolutely genius, says Ellie Anders(ph) of Canyon, Texas. I listen to NPR for my news, but I have to confess that when I hear a story about numbers of whatever latest statistic, my brain blurs. I just do not work that way and I don't think I reach too far to assume that many of your listeners have the same kind of artistic mind as mine.

She continues. The representation of the numbers as musical notes finally registered in my brain as a real concept. I was finally able to take the information and make it mean something besides an abstract number.

BLOCK: And Jersey City's Leticia Villalon had this to say. I loved the creative production for this piece. This story would've been just as interesting without the singer but not as memorable. Can you put music now to the projections of the budget, she asked.

NORRIS: Sounds like a good idea. We appreciate your comments and keep those letters coming. You can write to us by visiting NPR.org. Just click on Contact Us at the bottom of the page.

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