Letters: Life of Miners and Baby Einstein Videos
NEAL CONAN, host:
It's Tuesday, the day we read from your e-mails.
During our show on the lives of miners, several callers mentioned the importance of the bond that develops underground.
Eric Kingston(ph) e-mailed us from Boise, Idaho. As a former underground hard rock miner, I can attest to the fraternity of miners, the extreme dangers faced by underground professionals, and the intense mutual trust among coworkers. There's no room for error and no tolerance for those who don't live by the miners' code. Like the song says, it's dark as a dungeon and damp as the do, where the danger is double and the pleasures are few. My thoughts are with the miners in Utah and their families.
A week ago, Kay Hymowitz was on to talk about her op-ed on the value of summer jobs. These days, a lot of students line up for unpaid internships in the summer. And she worries that they're missing out on the lessons of bagging groceries or scooping ice cream.
One thing I learned, wrote James(ph) in South Bend, Indiana, opportunities do not grow on trees. Sometimes, the choice is between advancement with the non-paying internship, and a job that doesn't build up the resume but pays the bills. That choice really stinks.
Those Baby Einstein videos have come under fire lately. Some argued they don't make kids any smarter, other say kids just shouldn't be watching that much TV.
Alicia(ph), a listener in Iowa added: at the very least, these videos reinforce the habit of sitting in front of a television. Diversion or not, it's something I don't think children need to be taught. There are more than enough chances for child to zone out watching TV. I think it's the parent's job to care for their child rather than temporarily getting them out of the way. I must note that I don't have children, and my tune may be very different when that happens.
Another listener who does have kids argued that a few minutes in front of the tube and a few minutes of quiet for mom or dad is no big deal. Today's mom has to do the laundry, groceries, cleaning, making dinner, taking care of the children all between the time she comes home from work and the time she goes to bed. So if a mom, or dad, wants to pop in a video for 30 minutes and have her toddler listen to Mozart and watch a red ball spinning, and that toddler is willing to sit still, I say go for it. I did that with Mr. Rogers in "Sesame Street" with my kids, and they turned out just fine. Give parents a break. That e-mail from Mitsy Tui(ph) in San Antonio.
And speaking of videos, we wrapped up our Summer Movie festival with Murray Horwitz last week. The final category was best high school movies of all time. There were votes for "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "Grease," "Heathers," and the big winner, "The Breakfast Club." We put together a list of all the movies that were mentioned on the show this summer. That's the best trequels, pop star bios, caper movies and movie robots. The full list is at our blog, npr.org/blogofthenation.
And we're open to suggestions for next summer's topics, too. You can e-mail those to us. Or, if you have comments, questions or corrections for us, the address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please, let us know where you're writing from, and give us some help on how to pronounce your name.
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