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Listeners respond to stories on gold mining, nuclear testing and garlic peeling. Guy Raz reads from listeners' emails.


Well, we've been looking at your email – that is, the email you send us. And we got a lot of comments about our coverage of an issue raised by Newt Gingrich at Tuesday's GOP presidential debate. Gingrich said he was worried about an electromagnetic pulse attack, or EMP. He says it could literally destroy the country's capacity to function. Now, that sounded scary, so we asked for more context from Noah Shachtman, who writes about technology and national security for Wired magazine. His take – an EMP is a possibility but not particularly likely.

In response, we got a long email from Ralph Chatham(ph) of Falls Church, Virginia, beginning this way – Shactman missed the point. Now, we only have time for a short excerpt, but Chatham went on to explain, decades ago, I was charged to worry about EMP for the U.S. Navy. This is a very real and worrisome kind of threat. Any nation dependent upon electronics has to worry that their whole economy can be destroyed by the same kind of weapon.

Well, on to something very different and more fitting for a holiday, we received quite a bit of thanks for an awesome tip on how to peel lots of garlic at once. It involves pressing down hard on a head of garlic and then shaking it between two metal bowls, and the garlic is peeled in seconds.

And it appears just in the nick of time for Heather Hathaway(ph) of Milwuakee, Wisconsin. She writes: as the story was playing, I was caramelizing my turkey giblets. Just as Guy shook his two bowls, I did the same with, I admit, a fair degree of skepticism and – voila – perfectly peeled cloves to put in my stock.

Finally, we also received some appreciative notes on our story about a very special day – November 23rd, 1936. On that day, two musicians made recordings that changed music history – Pablo Casals, a cello prodigy, and Robert Johnson, a blues guitarist.

Well, Don Brown(ph) of Honolulu heard our story and he wrote this: I was making turkey dressing over a hot stove while listening to it on the radio and can't think of a more inspirational kick-off for the Thanksgiving holiday. Your imaginative joining of two people with little in common but brilliance inextricably brought tears to my eyes. And if my Thanksgiving guests complain of too much salt in the stuffing, I will know who to blame.

With thanks, thoughts, or theories, keep your comments coming. Go to NPR.org and click on contact us.

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