On the Blog: A Swimsuit Issue What's clicking on the blog today.
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On the Blog: A Swimsuit Issue

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On the Blog: A Swimsuit Issue

On the Blog: A Swimsuit Issue

On the Blog: A Swimsuit Issue

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What's clicking on the blog today.


Okay. We get a break from posting slideshows and yacking it up on Twitter. THE BPP is going to take up knitting. Those are our new orders…


Some of us already did.

STEWART: …from our Web editor, Laura Conaway. Easy.

Hi, Laura.

LAURA CONAWAY: Hi. How are you?

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: Extreme knitters. Are we really doing it?

CONAWAY: Yeah. We're doing it. I'm a believer now. Caitlin Kinney, one of the producers here, put up a slideshow yesterday about people who knit all kinds of incredible things including entire coverings for park benches. They've knitted it. They call them tags, and they've put a knit tag on the Great Wall of China and on light poles. They're based out of Houston. And a listener down there, Julie(ph), actually picked up on the slideshow, and she wrote in. You want to read that one, Alison?

STEWART: She wrote to us. It's neat to be driving to work and see a bridge railing or a stop sign pole covered in a knitting cozy. It brightens up an otherwise aggressively urban landscape with a bit of unexpectedness and whimsy. I always wondered who these clever folks were and then wonder who the killjoys are who removed the cozies.

CONAWAY: Isn't that mean?


(Soundbite of laughter)

WOLFF: What? To remove the cozy?

CONAWAY: Because the cozy is just a piece of yarn.

STEWART: Hey, you know what? The story, the interview we did with that woman is one of the most e-mailed at NPR.

CONAWAY: Yeah. Check it out. Check out the slideshows. It's called extreme knitters rocked the yarn, and it's every bit of fun. It sounds like it might be. So, that's pretty cool.

STEWART: What else?

CONAWAY: We have another slideshow coming. These kids at St. Mary's College in Maryland did the second annual Polar Bear Dip. It's like - we're calling it our swimsuit issue. They take off their clothes. And, boy, did they look great, let me tell you. And they all run into the water, and they rescue somebody dressed up in sort of in a mascot suit, like a polar bear.

Anyway, Pauline Bartolone put this thing together. This guy, Shane Hall(ph) was there. I'll let him tell you about it.

Mr. SHANE HALL: Everybody came down, changed in our boathouse, put on their bathing suit, signed a safety form. Stood around, we had our - the president of our environmental group Joanna Gibson(ph) got up to the megaphone, gave out a rallying speech.

Ms. JOANNA GIBSON: It's the annual polar bear splash.

(Soundbite of people cheering)

Mr. HALL: Reminded us, we're not to suppose to drown while we're out there.

Ms. GIBSON: And we're going to be really (unintelligible).

STEWART: So, there's a point to it. They're environmentalists.

CONAWAY: They're environmentalists. Yeah.


CONAWAY: The idea is, you know…

STEWART: Not just wacky kids running into the water.

CONAWAY: No, no, no. I'm sorry.

WOLFF: They're wacky kids who are environmentalists.


CONAWAY: Well, yeah. Anyway, so you don't want to miss, you know, this many college kids in bathing suits. Definitely, it's all there for you.

On a little bit more serious note, today I'm going to post the final conversation with Lee Siegel, who's the author of "Against Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob." He's a really smart guy who has some real problems with the way the Internet is working on our human lives. Sometimes, I have a problem with the way it's working on mine.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CONAWAY: He's been gracing our blog and our Twitter feed. I just want to say thank you to Lee Siegel for being such a great guest.

STEWART: I love him. He's been a very good sport.

CONAWAY: He's been a very good sport. He got on the Twitter feed yesterday and you could see just how different he is from a lot of people. He was on there writing about James Madison and, you know, Greek democracy. And people got on him a little bit, but he's really stuck with it. And I got to say thanks to Lee Siegel.

And last, I wanted to read a little bit of response that we had - a blog item Rachel Martin put up about the tough treatment of cows on their way to the slaughter in this California butchering operation. You guys know about this one?

WOLFF: Yeah.

STEWART: Yeah. We're talking about it at yesterday's meeting a little bit.

WOLFF: They had some horrifying sound effects, too, as I recall.

CONAWAY: Yeah. Somebody got a camera inside this one slaughter house, and basically it's, you know, cows who couldn't otherwise really walk to their own deaths. They're being sort of helped along, let's say. And basically, Rachel Martin blogged about it and asked whether it makes a difference if your T-bone comes from an ailing cow prodded along by electric shocks.

Alison, you want to take over?

STEWART: Yeah, Moira(ph) wrote-in. Sure, it matters in the same way that it matters if the company is a sweatshop for child labor.

CONAWAY: Yeah. I mean, Moira's one of our - she's a person who comes up on our blog a lot.


CONAWAY: I always think of her as part of the family. And it was just interesting to see, you know, people you know through the blog and through the Twitter feed, responding to this idea. I mean, we eat meat. We'd had people on this show talking about, like, my Michael Pollan talking about…


CONAWAY: …ethical meat. It's a big subject right now. And yet, here is this news coming out that makes you look at where some of your meat comes from.

Another person, Alice(ph), another frequent flier on our blog wrote, if you're going to eat meat that's produced by the meat industry, I think it give up the rights to complain about how the animal is treated. They're bred and raised to be slaughtered. If that bothers you, consider becoming a vegetarian.

WOLFF: Or hunting.

CONAWAY: Or hunting.

WOLFF: I mean, no joke, you know?


WOLFF: That (unintelligible) runs around with a crossbow. You know why? Because that's what he does to eat. Okay. If you have a problem with the way they treat animals, go get a crossbow.

CONAWAY: So, check it out. The thread is still open and it's great for you to come and jump in on it.

STEWART: All right. And music lovers, it's a Jack Johnson video exclusive podcast.

CONAWAY: That's right. There's one on the blog and one on the podcast, come check it out.

STEWART: All right, npr.org/bryantpark. The lady in charge of that all is Laura Conaway. Thanks, Laura.


WOLFF: The great Laura Conaway.

CONAWAY: Thanks for having me.

(Soundbite of music)

STEWART: Coming up on the show, Daniel Holloway, our movie guy, is here with the rundown of what to watch or not to watch.

WOLFF: Lean times at the movies.


(Soundbite of laughter)

WOLFF: Lean times.


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