From Our Listeners

Letters: Immigration, Video Store, Pomegranate

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Listeners responded to the story on the country's overburdened immigration system, the Montana video store saved by a happy customer, and the Pomegranate's harmonica function.


Now to your emails. Yesterday, we brought you a story about the country's overburdened immigration system. We heard from an illegal immigrant identified as Juan, who's been moved among detention centers, away from his lawyers and his family without prior notice.


This is what listener Matthew Murray wrote in Los Angeles. Juan was convicted of multiple DUIs and driving on a suspended license. He also broke federal immigration law. Juan has demonstrated that he has no interest in following the laws of the United States, and he deserves to be deported. I'm glad the federal government is making that process more efficient.

BLOCK: And John Alexander(ph) of Seal Beach, California had this to say. Surely this provocative story on the plight of an illegal alien was meant as some kind of satire. As I sit at home unemployed, am I supposed to be sympathetic to an illegal with a U.S. job and three DUIs?

SIEGEL: We also heard from some of you about our interview yesterday with the owner of a small Montana video store and a customer who kept the store from going out of business by stepping in with a loan.

Listener Keith McClay(ph) of Yardley, Pennsylvania wrote to thank us for that bit of good news. Every single economic story I've heard on NPR has been about someone going down the tubes, Mr. McClay writes. If I were to base my opinion solely on these stories, I would assume that all the businesses have closed and everyone is eating bird seed. Some balance is nice.

BLOCK: Finally, on Tuesday's program we brought you the enticing tale of a cutting-edge new smart phone.

(Soundbite of music)

Unidentified Man: Welcome to the Pomegranate, the one device that puts more things in the palm of your hand than you ever thought possible.

SIEGEL: The amazing functions featured on the Pomegranate interactive Web site - a built-in coffeemaker, shaver, video projector - were all part of a marketing campaign for Nova Scotia, and we talked with the campaign's creator about his use of stealth marketing.

We also talked about one of the Pomegranate's most ingenious features.

(Soundbite of music)

Unidentified Man: Just when the day is starting to drag, break out the Pomegranate harmonica.

BLOCK: Well, Dominic Batton(ph) of Los Angeles was one of several of you who wrote to tell us: I think you revealed just how slim your own grasp of mobile phone technology really is. A harmonica on a cell phone has been around for real for a while. Apple has a harmonica application that you can download to your iPhone.

Okay, let's point out right here that the difference between the Pomegranate and the iPhone is that the Pomegranate actually has holes to blow through. They're built right into the phone - if it actually existed, which it doesn't.

So what we've done is we've gotten the eHarmonica application here in-house, and we have put it in the hands of NPR producer and harmonica player Peter Sonny Boy Breslow, and he's here to show us how it's done. Peter, what do you got?

PETER BRESLOW: Yes, this is more like playing notes on a telephone than a harmonica because it's very difficult to do it with your mouth and especially if it's not your iPhone, which this isn't, and of course I've slobbered all over it. But I will attempt to do it with my fingers.

(Soundbite of music)

BLOCK: And what does it sound like if you're actually breathing onto the phone, activating it that way?

(Soundbite of music)

BLOCK: Peter, I think I've heard enough. You want a Pomegranate right now.

BRESLOW: Just give me back my regular old harmonica, please.

BLOCK: Well, you have it in your hand.


BLOCK: Why don't you take us out with something?

(Soundbite of music)

BLOCK: That's NPR's Peter Breslow.

SIEGEL: Well, we want to hear from you. Visit and click on Contact Us at the top of the page.

(Soundbite of music)

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