One Man's Monkey, America's Infrastructure, the World's Economy and Your Baby Daddy

Listen to Alison and Luke get their show pilot on

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Another day, another pilot, friends. But we're not even done for the week, as we'll have the video of our interview with The Hold Steady up shortly. We caught up with them backstage last night before they played a packed free show in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Here's a brief rundown of what you'll find in today's pilot...

- The Dow dropped 387 points yesterday. If you're like us, you know you should care, but you still don't. That's why we asked Terri Cullen, who writes the "Fiscally Fit" column for The Wall Street Journal Online, to play Make Me Care.

- Is America's infrastructure crumbling? President Bush says no, but Popular Mechanics Magazine isn't so sanguine. Check out the op-ed they ran a few weeks ago. We talked to Deputy Editor Jerry Beilinson about the state of the States.

- If your birth certificate says you're 34, your clothes say you're 16, and your CD collection says you're 12, you just might be a kidult. We'll talk to Rob Walker, who writes the "Consumed" column for the New York Times Magazine, about the phenomenon.

- As we said, we'll be posting the full video of our interview with Craig Finn and Tad Kubler from The Hold Steady, but this pilot includes a small taste. We also talk paternity tests with the founder of one of the nation's biggest paternity testing companies. Someone has to do Maury Povich's dirty work.

- We'll do The Week in Iraq with Anthony Shadid, and we'll talk to NPR's own Nancy Solomon about the latest in those Newark schoolyard shootings. Nancy lives just a few blocks from where the murders took place.

- In The Ramble we'll tell you about the guy who smuggled a monkey onto a plane, the amazing story of baseball player Rick Ankiel, the American Idol contestant who did her performance while in labor, and the New Zealand couple who are naming their son "Superman," because the government wouldn't let them name him "4Real."

Enjoy!

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Kidults? Tweens? Let's make up more words!

Gosh, y'all are stubborn on keeping the top story before the first newscast.

Obviously, my "Make Me Care" video about Paris Hilton hasn't worked on Alison yet as she remains upset at Luke for mentioning her. I guess that my attempt didn't work on me either.

Why do New Hampshire and Iowa have to hold their Presidential primaries and caucuses first? What makes these states so deserving of such "honors?" Yeah, I studied politics in college, but make me care because even with my academic background, I don't anymore. However, please wait until after the presidential nominees are determined later today...

We shouldn't care about the volatility of the stock market? LOL! That's a great way to start the "Make Me Care" minute. However, I would argue that increased standards to get mortgages should make us care -- especially for us younger folk.

A kid is named Superman. 4Real!

I wonder if that American Idol hopeful's tryout tape with her having contractions makes the actual show.

At first, I was a bit weary about the paternity test story even as I know that BPP is stretching what news is NPR worthy (I don't mean that in a bad way), but I like how the interview covered legality and how it ties into the immigration debate.

Second newscast: I'm really digging the story about Lance Armstrong's former cycling team disbanding. Could BPP interview some representatives of companies who sponsor cycling and ask them how they feel about the sport's ongoing doping scandal(s)?

Nancy Solomon is the second interview that seems to go overtime so far in this pilot since the closing music started playing well before the chit chat ceased.

I like the transition filler music before the Week in Iraq segment.

If y'all are going to stop playing Linkin Park in the Week In Iraq segment, don't pick it up again until the very end unless you'll keep it going for a while.

Bad audio happens. Don't worry about it in The Hold Steady segment.

Here's a kidult confession. As a 25 year old, I have chocolate gram characters that I eat with cake icing at work. One of my coworkers thinks that I'm awesome for that.

Good show, gang!

Sent by Steve Petersen | 4:05 PM | 8-10-2007

I want to chime in on liking the week in Iraq; how is that going to work with a daily show? Just on Mondays? I disagree with Steve about the paternity piece; I liked it from the beginning. Luke says "finally something relevant to my life" but doesn't elaborate, ha ha! I agree with Steve about hearing more about Discover Channel disbanding: maybe you could even get Lance on the line: I'd be absolutely glued; they just finally signed Cantador for god's sake. What's the deal with his contract now? Free agent? "Make me care" is great: how about the Iowa straw poll, or the farm bill?

Sent by purple R | 1:28 AM | 8-11-2007

I think I am done with the BPP. I have tried to like it, and there are some good things about it, but it is too NPR Lite for me. The interview with the guy about paternity cses was lame. Luke asks him if they are important, what's he going to say? No? I don't think so when he runs a company that does them. This was all fluff. How about getting an expert to talk about the paternity tests, not a company spokeman. Lukes comments are childish as well. " Finally something relevant to my life"? Luke yelling "McShaane!" during the art heist piece...Luke is trying too hard to be cool. At 43 I am just over the demographic you are looking for, so maybe I just don't get it.

I like Allison a lot and there are some interesting topics, but no depth.

Sent by Jim Trenton | 1:30 PM | 8-13-2007

Maybe I'm totally stuck in the past, but I still prefer the idea of a newscast *before* the top story. If you're not going to do it straight away, maybe there shouldn't be a traditional newscast???? In the morning, especially, I want to know if the world is still in one piece. Also, if this is going to have a hole for a local cast, it might be tougher for stations to work with a non-standard clock. I'm just sayin, is all. I do like the sense that the newscaster is in the same room with the hosts, part of the same team, not the same as every other NPR cast. I think that's a great approach.

Something new I learned today: Popular Mechanics has op-eds!

Thanks for "Make Me Care" about the stock market. I haven't been able to really understand the issues around this, and your guest was super-helpful. Why not keep the clock ticking underneath the whole 60 seconds?

Good try with the paternity test story, but the guest was a little less than compelling. I'd never thought about the immigration angle, though.

It was nice hearing Nancy Solomon ... she had a lot of good things to say, and great to have her as a local. Pretty interesting to hear from someone who was at the press conference. I would have preferred to hear her in the studio rather than over the phone, but I understand that's not always possible.

One question: is this show ever going to include the kind of sound-rich piece that we usually hear on NPR? Something BPP-style, of course, but with lots of juicy audio that makes you stop and listen? Maybe listeners as a whole don't care about that stuff ... and I can tell you from experience that you can't hear it all while listening to the podcast on the subway ... but that's kind of NPR's signature, and it would be nice to hear some material like that included.

I feel like the "voice" of the BPP is coming together and starting to coalesce. It's fun to watch the process. Thanks for sharing it!

Sent by tara | 5:29 PM | 8-13-2007

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