Letters: 'The Moment,' Twins And Calendars

Watch a Talk of the Nation listener's YouTube video of the "knuckle trick" for remembering the number of days in each month.

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show topics, including the moment that changed your life, differences between identical twins, and a proposal for a new calendar.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. The editors behind the six-word memoirs books launched a new project, "The Moment," and we asked you to tell us about the moment that changed your life. Meg Tatakahama(ph) in Hawaii emailed: I had taken it a break from accounting job in Hawaii to spend a summer volunteering at Fort Necessity National Battlefield in western Pennsylvania. I researched and put together my ranger talk and was assigned to give park tours. During one of my talks, someone in the crowd shouted out, I wish you'd been my history teacher. I also had several people ask me where I taught, what I tutor or mention how I sparked their interest. I returned to Hawaii and went back to school to get a teaching degree. Fifteen years later, I'm still teaching and love my job. I often think back to that comment from a stranger in a crowd.

You can read what other listeners told us at our website at npr.org. We also talked last week about identical twins and what makes them different. Robert Lee(ph) wrote: My brother and I are identical twins. I'm married with one child, while my brother is a bachelor. My one-year old daughter has stranger anxiety but she loves my brother, so much so that we call him fake daddy because although she won't let anyone but mommy hold her if mommy's around, she'll actually go to my brother but not me.

On the Opinion Page last week, we heard about a proposal to trash the current Gregorian calendar in favor of a calendar that puts holidays on the same day every year, among other changes. A caller during that segment asked why Sunday is treated as the first day of the week. Our guest said he didn't know.

But Brandon Keim promised to look into it, so here's what he found. Some early religions treated Saturday as the week's seventh day, many still do. For them, Sunday was the week's first day. The same held true for European pagans whose astrologically inspired day names we've inherited. Sunday, the sun's day, was the most important and naturally came first. In the fourth century, Emperor Constantine designated Sunday the first day of the week. Modern industrial culture made it widespread, if not quite universal.

And if you have trouble remembering which months have 30 days and which have 31 under the current calendar, you can check out the knuckle-counting trick. We've posted a link to a video at npr.org, click on TALK OF THE NATION. And a correction. I mislocated Tet, the Asian Lunar New Year, which in fact generally falls in January or February.

And during our conversation about the role and independence of unregistered voters, a caller told us that primary voters in South Carolina must declare a party affiliation. Alan Herd(ph) emailed from Hilton Head Island with a correction. South Carolina does not have registration by political party. Registration is nonpartisan. A registered voter may vote in the primary election of either political party.

And one more correction. When we talked about Facebook's policy on photos, our guest misspoke. Facebook told us that their policy does allow parents to ask that photos of their children under the age of 13 be removed from the site.

If you have a correction, comment or question for us, the best way to reach us is by email. The address is talk@npr.org. Please let us know where you're writing from and give us some help on how to pronounce your name. And if you're on Twitter, you can follow us there, @totn.

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