Letters: Northern Lights; John McCarthy

Michele Norris and Melissa Block read emails from listeners.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MICHELE NORRIS, HOST:

Now, your emails. First, about a rare show of Northern Lights. Earlier this week, they illuminated the sky, much further south than usual.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

I spoke with Robert Moore of the University of West Georgia, who was lucky enough to catch the display.

ROBERT MOORE: What we saw was the whole northern horizon pretty much light up with this gorgeous red curtain of light that stretched from horizon up to about the North Star.

NORRIS: That brought back memories for Mary Gray of Bellingham, Washington, who tells us that she grew up on a farm in North Carolina.

BLOCK: A place, she writes, that had at that time no light pollution. My father called me outside sometime in late fall or early winter and said: Look at the sky. It's the Aurora Borealis. Imagine all of the syllables elongated in the Piedmont accent. I looked up and saw a deep red, shimmering sky.

NORRIS: And one other story also brought back memories of a simpler time. Becky Hanks, of Pinson, Alabama, heard our remembrance of the man who coined the phrase artificial intelligence. And it reminded her of another kind of intelligence, something she learned from her father, an electrical engineer who loved his job.

BLOCK: She writes this: I liked my job, too. But there were some tasks I just didn't care to do. I asked him if there was ever anything he didn't particularly care for in his job. He said, of course. I said, but how do you do such a good job on even those things you don't like to do? His answer: Little girl, you have to generate artificial enthusiasm.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

NORRIS: Well, our enthusiasm for your letters is never artificial. Write to us at npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BLOCK: You are listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.