Bronze Sculptures Sold for Scrap
ALISON STEWART, host:
Hey, thanks for spending part of your day with THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT.
I'm Alison Stewart along with the John Fugelsang.
And John, you got to see our morning editorial meeting where people come with the strangest, oddest tidbits from various parts of the news media universe.
JOHN FUGELSANG, host:
I was very impressed, yes, because we're beginning the show with such important topics as the Omnibus Bill and the war on drugs and it's nice to know that here at THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT, you've got something for each hemisphere of your brain.
(Soundbite of laughter)
STEWART: It's true. It's something we call The Ramble.
(Soundbite of music)
STEWART: Okay, I don't know how you feel about this subject as people being able to use their cell phones on public transportation. But people in Boston might want to get used to it: Boston's T Subway System. Well, you can now use your cell phones in tunnels and everybody else around who gets to hear, I'm all and she's all and then they're all. A company called Inside Wireless built the underground network and they're paying Boston's public transit and BTA $4 million over 15 years for the right to charge cell phone providers to use their system. Three biggies signed on: AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.
Now, apparently, the MBTA says that they will push for courteous use of cells underground with ads and slogans like: Peace and quiet, it has a nice ring to it. We are so sure that's going to stop them.
FUGELSANG: That's a deterrent right there.
STEWART: Right there. Other cities, they have their service. D.C.'s metro has had it for about 10 years but only for Verizon customers. BART, that's Bay Area Rapid Transport out in San Francisco, has limited service now. And in New York, thankfully, the traffic authority doesn't want to bring the service to the tunnel. They say because installation would disrupt trains. I think it's because something else would be disruptive.
FUGELSANG: Yes. Violence will be prevented.
FUGELSANG: Well, George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton are the most admired man and woman in America. Did you know this, Alison?
STEWART: Strange bedfellows.
FUGELSANG: For the sixth year in a row, and he edged out Bill Clinton and Oprah in the USA Today Gallup poll. Again, it's six years in a row these two have won as the most admired man and woman. Bush just kind of squeaks by this time. Only 10 percent of those polls have picked him, the lowest margin since he became president. But the sitting commander-in-chief has won the tile of most admired man every year since 1981.
STEWART: Oh, that was a slam-dunk then.
FUGELSANG: Yeah. Since Reagan took office, he became trendy again. Clinton got 18 percent of the admiration, just above Angelina Jolie, Laura Bush and our favorite video blogger Queen Elizabeth II.
STEWART: This is a really interesting and controversial story from the U.K. The Alzheimer's Society, which is a charity, is going to back a proposal that suggest using a GPS essentially - electronic tagging on patients who have suffer from Alzheimer's. As many people know, Alzheimer's patients often they wonder, they like to go outside and obviously it causes a lot of pain, and frustration and fear for the families not to mention their own safety.
Now, advocates of this GPS tagging said it would give them freedom to move about, it would relieve caregivers of their worries, you know. But obviously this is a fine line. The chief of the Alzheimer's Society Neal Hunt said there's a careful balance to strike between empowering people and restricting their movements and this technology can never be used as an alternative for high quality domestic care. People on the other side of the bay say this is really just about the caregivers and it's the convenience. So this is a little bit of a debate about that.
FUGELSANG: Yeah, it's the fine line between safety and personal dignity.
STEWART: Yeah. We may have to put that up on our blog and see what people think about it.
FUGELSANG: Well, here's a story a bit lighter and it's about pirates.
FUGELSANG: But not the fun kind that say, arrgh. But it is kind of interesting. In a landmark ruling by the World Trade Organization, the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Veruda have won the right to violate U.S. copyrights on DVDs, CDs and software. How do they get this right, you might ask. Well, it's kind of funny. Antigua had sought damages of $3.4 billion a year when the U.S. wrongly blocked online gambling operators from the island nation. So the WTO ruled in favor of Antigua but said 3.4 billion, a bit too much and instead said, you know what? Go ahead and bootleg all you want. You now have the right to break intellectual property laws. There is one catch, though, Alison, before you get excited about…
FUGELSANG: …running off with your bootlegs. While Antigua is now free to distribute American movies and music, they're only allowed to make $21 million a year doing it.
STEWART: Okay. I want to see who's in that meeting at the WCF.
(Soundbite of laughter)
STEWART: (Unintelligible) go down. Three men in Vermont, they stole bronze sculptures that aid at about a million dollars. They only got about 4,000 bucks for them because they worked trying to palm them off in the art market. They wanted them for the materials they were made of. They wanted them for the copper to sell as scrap metal. A scrap yard owner. He actually saw the photo of the sculptures in paper. He phoned it. He said, hey, you know, this guy is trying to pawn off the sculptures. They're bronze. The copper in the bronze. It's - copper theft to such a big issue right now. Telephone wires, old TVs, air-conditioners. We heard about games in a Texas. We did a story about it, a football game that had it cancelled because they stole the copper wire out of the lighting?
FUGELSANG: The "Sopranos," explain this thoroughly.
(Soundbite of laughter)
STEWART: The as cultures, though, apparently were from a pretty Well known artist. If the artist chooses, have a period of the Moma(ph)…
FUGELSANG: Oh, no.
STEWART: …and the Gallery Shimada in Japan so they were melting down.
FUGELSANG: Your stripping art.
STEWART: …That's pretty high art. Hey, you know what? That does it for The Ramble. You can find these stories and a whole lot more on our Web site at npr.org/bryantpark.