Letters: Human Edge, Salmon Vodka

Listeners respond to our new series, The Human Edge, and a story about salmon-flavored vodka. Robert Siegel and Melissa Block read from listeners' e-mails.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Now for some of your comments about two of our fishier stories. Yesterday, we kicked off our new series The Human Edge. It's about how humans got where we are today biologically, intellectually and culturally. In our first story, we explored how fish have a great deal in common with humans on a basic genetic level.

SIEGEL: Well, as you can imagine, that stirred an evolutionary debate on our website. And two listeners, Patrick Headland(ph) and Gary Myer(ph) of Pine Mountain, California, sent us a jointly signed email to take issue with the part where we said only humans do radio shows.

BLOCK: Not so fast, they write. What about broadcasts of bird songs in the morning, elephants communicating six miles away via slow-wave infrasound, inaudible to human ears, or humpback and blue whales broadcasting songs thousands of miles across entire ocean basins? The technology used by these creatures to communicate over long distances has not yet been fully understood by humans, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Hubris may be a uniquely human quality, however.

SIEGEL: Hubris, perhaps, but I'm still convinced. That's not a radio show he's describing.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BLOCK: Whatever.

SIEGEL: Anyway, our other fish tale was actually more of a taste-test of salmon-flavored vodka. Sound weird? Well, it struck us a little funny, too, but then we had foreign editor Loren Jenkins and NPR librarian Katie Daugert try it out.

LOREN JENKINS: Well, surprisingly, I like it. You do taste the smoked salmon. It tastes good.

KATIE DAUGERT: It's actually not bad. I didn't expect to like it at all, and I think it's not bad. It's kind of fishy. I can see how it would be really good in a bloody mary.

BLOCK: Well, Chris Duckworth(ph) of Arlington, Virginia, was surprised by something other than the taste. He writes: I was more than a bit dismayed that a piece about the serious political situation in Iraq was followed by an oddly done, on-air taste-test of salmon-flavored vodka. Taste-tests don't work too well on the radio, FYI.

SIEGEL: Well, Rob Grinnell(ph) of Burnsville, North Carolina, was excited by the possibilities of salmon vodka. He writes this: I can hardly wait for my first new Sunday brunch cocktail: one jigger each of salmon vodka, cream-cheese vodka, Bermuda-onion vodka and, of course, fresh-toasted-bagel vodka served with a crisply Sunday New York Times.

BLOCK: Well, if you like your vodka or your news straight up or on the rocks, we want to hear from you. Please write to us by visiting npr.org and clicking on contact us.

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