From Our Listeners

Your Letters: LeBron James; Oil Skimmer

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Host Scott Simon reads listeners' letters, including reactions to NBA star LeBron James' one-hour special announcing his move from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat and questions about an oil skimmer that's scooping up heavy crude in the Gulf of Mexico.

: I take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well and hope these few lines will find you enjoying the same God's blessing.

Well, we hope you'll enjoy these few lines from your fellow listeners. Time for your letters.


: Last weekend, NPR's David Schaper reported on a new oil skimming device being used in the Gulf of Mexico that its creator say is able to scoop up more heavy crude, more efficiently, than traditional skimmers. Several listeners were left with a question, after Raymond Butler, a BP project manager, explained how the new skimmers work.

RAYMOND BUTLER: The water still passes through this mesh, but it captures sheen and heavy oil. When it's full, what we'll do is cinch it closed, just like this. We'll lift it with these rings out of the water - it'll weigh about a ton, ton and half - and throw it away.

: Ellen Neleen(ph) of St. Louis writes: The BP project manager in describing how the skimmers work stated that when they pull the net up, they throw the whole thing away. Good Lord, where do they throw it? What location? And what type of location is being polluted with the oil and trash they've accumulated? We seem to continue to create new problems by ignoring the consequences of our actions.

Some fans commented on my conversation with Howard Bryant about LeBron James' announcement during a one-hour ESPN special, that he was going to leave Cleveland and sign with the Miami Heat.

: I find it both interesting and disheartening that people are okay when corporations, like the NBA with their draft lottery, the New York Athletic Club with the Heisman, the Kentucky Derby, put on one of these bloated hour-long programs with two minutes of content, but are aghast when an individual does it. I'm not displeased that Mr. James asserted his manhood right to ply his trade wherever he wants.

And some music fans weighed in on my interview with two members of the South African group Freshlyground, performed on the theme song for the World Cup.

: As I lay awake Saturday morning listening to Kyla-Rose Smith and Zolani Mahola talk about their latest album, I was transported back to a most magical evening: New Years Eve 2006, when I saw the band live in Cape Town, their energy is incredible, their music surprising and infectious, reflecting in every way the complexity and the beauty of South Africa.

FRESHLYGROUND: (Singing in foreign language)

: We enjoy the complexity and beauty of your letters. You can go to our Web site,, click on Contact Us. You can also reach us on Facebook and Twitter @nprweekend, or you can send me a tweet @nprscottsimon.


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