Amazing, Wonderful Notes to Santa

Some of the most popular stories on the Web.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MIKE PESCA, host:

And now it's the BPP's patented collection of the most popular, most read, most blogged, most e-mailed stories from billion Web sites. Notice the common adjectives? It's The Most.

(Soundbite of music)

PESCA: Hmm, where shall we most to first? To the control room, Tricia McKinney.

TRICIA McKINNEY: Here I am in the control room. I have the most e-mail story on msnbc.com. It's actually really sad. It's about an astronaut who's up on the international space station whose mother just passed away in an auto accident. The astronaut is Daniel Tani. He's been - he was actually supposed to come back with the latest shuttle mission, but, you know, they had all that trouble weather-wise - not weather-wise. They don't have trouble with that sensor, so his return from space has been delayed.

In the meantime, Daniel Tani's 90-year-old mother died in an auto accident. And so they had to notify him up in space of what had happened. This is actually really interesting story too. He's the first American astronaut who's ever had to be given that kind of bad news while he was up in space. And apparently, they have a whole preparation for that kind of contingency at NASA. And they asked the astronauts before they go up, you know, what would they want in case something like that happen.

PESCA: Oh.

McKINNEY: And so, you know, he indicated that he would want to know right away. So, you know, this happened on Wednesday. He was notified Wednesday. He's been up and actually continuing his work ever since. And the funeral is now scheduled to Sunday. And there's some question about how he might be able to participate in this funeral. It looks like it's not going to be a video feed, but he might actually get an audio feed.

Oh, we're getting a phone call. So I guess I'll get off this.

ALISON STEWART, host:

Okay.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: Mike, cheer us up a little bit.

PESCA: Yeah, I can do that. By the - talking about the man in red - letters - kids' letters to Santa. I'm in love - I'm a sucker for these kinds of stories, apparently so is the Dallas Morning News. This is one of the most e-mailed stories. Want to hear some of the things that kids are writing to Santa?

STEWART: Sure.

PESCA: Dear Santa Claus, can the reindeer eat carrots with Hidden Valley Ranch?

(Soundbite of laughter)

PESCA: Dear Santa…

STEWART: Well, aren't you going to answer them?

PESCA: I'm not Santa. What can I say? I don't know. What if I say yes and then people start feeding Hidden Valley Ranch to reindeer in the (unintelligible).

STEWART: And they'll have, like, get big hips?

(Soundbite of laughter)

PESCA: Dear Santa - I like this one.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PESCA: Yes, reindeer hip display is a big issue. Are the elves working harder than usually? Have you given them a break? Have you been jolly? Do the elves sleep at night? Are you going to let Mrs. Claus try your sleigh? This is the sort of question I think a kid will be posing to a parent.

STEWART: Yes.

PESCA: And the parent would just like, dummy, do we know Santa Claus? Leave me alone.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PESCA: And then this one - then we take a turn from the theological. I love this. Dear Santa, do you know God? The one and only God who loves everyone even you? I hope Santa will be Christian.

STEWART: Wow.

PESCA: I would think Santa would know God.

STEWART: Yeah.

PESCA: Part of Holy Trinity. I haven't got to a mass in a while, isn't that -Isn't he, Father, Son and Santa? See how that works? M.J., where's M.J.?

STEWART: I think M.J. might've blown us off.

PESCA: There's no M.J.

MATT MARTINEZ: Oh.

STEWART: You know what, I'll do mine and then, M.J., if you're listening to the show, get your tail into the studio.

PESCA: Well, just phone in, we'll put you on.

STEWART: This is from most viewed at CNN.com. And this is something I have been convincing out there, and now there's a CNN report to prove me right. It's called cyberchondria, and the title of this article is, "Are You a Cyberchondriac?"

It's for people who go online, read about all these different illnesses and rashes and what, and then decides they have them. Apparently, it happens to first-year medical students a lot. And they were calling it like first-year medical disease. But now as for cyberchondria, the Internet makes it so easy for you think you have all kinds of issues. You may be a cyberchondriac if you feel worse after Web surfing, instead of better. You - doctors' reassurances don't help.

MARTINEZ: Yup.

STEWART: You move quickly from suspicion to conviction.

MARTINEZ: Yup.

STEWART: Matt Martinez, our producer, is affirming he is a cyberchondriac.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: They say…

PESCA: Even the guy who came in and announced, I got dengue too.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: They say what you need to do is if you're on there and you're surfing, and you start feeling afraid or confused, stop.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: Make yourself stop. Turn off your computer, go outside, talk to (unintelligible). So, CNN most viewed, "Are You A Cyberchondriac."

MARTINEZ: Do you have the rewind…

(Soundbite of imitating rewind sound effect)

MARTINEZ: …sound effect? All right, because here's M.J.

M.J. DAVIS: Hi guys, I thought I might stop in for a second.

MARTINEZ: Yeah, please. Grace us.

(Soundbite of laughter)

DAVIS: So on Dig.com, one of the most e-mailed things today was a listing of recipes from fast food and chain restaurants America. We're talking Cinnabon, McDonald's, Applebee's, Chili's, anything you can think of. And basically, people - I mean, this is - this came from a particular Web site that's a little odd. It was a Web site that sells pit bulls. But as our editor, Trish McKinney, discovered, all over the Web, you can find these Web sites that have called, crazy recipes from fast food chains because, I guess, people love them. My personal favorite was from Applebee's, this tequila chicken with little chips underneath it.

MARTINEZ: Yeah.

DAVIS: They gave you a shortcut though if you don't want to spend (unintelligible).

MARTINEZ: You could actual tequila in the chicken?

DAVIS: There is actual tequila and lime and they say…

MARTINEZ: They're just in the chest making the chicken.

(Soundbite of laughter)

DAVIS: They say, don't marinate it for more than three or four hours because it could become tough, the chicken. And you can skip the two-hour process in making the tortilla shells if you just crunch up some chips.

PESCA: Also, a little of fact, McRib, human flesh. Matt, what do you got?

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTINEZ: I have got the number one most e-mailed story.

STEWART: He's kidding, McDonald's.

PESCA: Yes. That's all.

STEWART: If you were - he's kidding.

PESCA: Come after me, Ron(ph).

MARTINEZ: Making with the kidding. We've got the number one most e-mailed story at npr.org. It's a story about Patti Neighmond. It's called, Generation Next in the Slow Lane to Adulthood. Apparently, people between the age of 18 and 25 are now called Generation Next. I did not know this and I think it was coined by Judy Woodruff. This is - and I just noticed…

PESCA: Yeah, she did a special on that.

MARTINEZ: Yeah, she did a special, yes, yes, yes. Anyway, they are saying that, you know, people are just becoming adults later. They did this survey of 392 unmarried college students and at least one of their parents. And this is Larry Nelson of Brigham Young University with some of the results.

Dr. LARRY NELSON (Developmental Psychologist, Brigham Young University): We Wanted to know if parents considered their child, an l8- to 26-year-old child, to be an adult or not. And we found that over 80 percent of mothers and 80 percent of fathers answered no, our child is not yet an adult.

MARTINEZ: And that's emotionally, financially. So people are extending their childhood until their - the late 20s. Believe it or not.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PESCA: I just turned into Jack Talent(ph).

MARTINEZ: That's the name of the guy.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTINEZ: This has been the most.

STEWART: Thanks, guys.

MARTINEZ: Thank you.

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