Letters: Memorial Day, 'Nasty Bits' and Teen Repellant Robert Siegel and Melissa Block read from listeners' letters and emails. Among this week's topics: our Memorial Day stories about three soldiers from three wars as told by their family members; Michele Norris's interview with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain; and Melissa Block's interview with Howard and Isabel Stapleton about the 'Mosquito' Teen Repeller.
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Letters: Memorial Day, 'Nasty Bits' and Teen Repellant

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Letters: Memorial Day, 'Nasty Bits' and Teen Repellant

Letters: Memorial Day, 'Nasty Bits' and Teen Repellant

Letters: Memorial Day, 'Nasty Bits' and Teen Repellant

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5445317/5445318" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Robert Siegel and Melissa Block read from listeners' letters and emails. Among this week's topics: our Memorial Day stories about three soldiers from three wars as told by their family members; Michele Norris's interview with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain; and Melissa Block's interview with Howard and Isabel Stapleton about the 'Mosquito' Teen Repeller.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

Thursday's the day we read from your email and an item on our Memorial Day show brought in a number of letters.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

On Monday we heard three remembrances of three servicemen from three different wars, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. They were from family members of the men who died.

SIEGEL: Mary Ellen Krikora(ph) of Reno, Nevada writes, "I listened and had an uncommon flood of tears and deep pain for each family member. The pain was compounded by the announcement from my 18-year-old son, Luke, who informed me that he had come across a National Guard recruiter and was thinking he would join. I've been hoping and praying that I can keep him safe just a little longer from his own vulnerability, his own passion. I could only have hoped the same thing that each of these families must have hoped for all of these years, to keep our sons and daughters safe from all harm, safe from their own path."

BLOCK: Michele Norris's conversation with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain touched a few nerves, specifically this comment from Mr. Bourdain.

ANTHONY BOURDAIN: The idea of a vegan, you know, being lucky enough to go to Thailand or Vietnam. It just, it's rude. There's so much great stuff and great people in this world who would just be shocked and completely not understand someone who would say to them, oh no, I'm sorry, I don't eat anything that's cooked. I reject your hundreds if not thousands of years of culinary culture. It's an affront.

SIEGEL: Well those words were an affront to many of our vegan listeners.

BLOCK: "Boorish and offensive," writes John Surgala(ph) of Amherst, New York. He writes, "I became vegan while fighting cancer over 20 years ago. I'm very happy with my vegan lifestyle and it has served me well. I also travel extensively and love to try exotic food. I've had no problem finding delicious vegan food throughout Southeast Asia or elsewhere."

SIEGEL: Mike Kraft(ph) of Fargo, North Dakota adds, "Mr. Bourdain's dismissal of veganism as culturally arrogant and selfishly driven rubbed me raw. I chose to go vegan not as Bourdain assumes, to protect my colon, but as a daily personal protest against animal cruelty and modern meat production practices. Why must it be vegans who assume the defensive posture while Bourdain profits and glories in the bloody, nasty bits of human dietary tradition?"

BLOCK: Finally, the sound that apparently sends teenagers running and sent a number of you to your computers to write.

A sound similar to that is being used by shop owners in the U.K. to keep teens away. They apparently don't like frequencies that high. Adults don't really mind, because they can't hear them.

(SOUNDBITE OF HIGH FREQUENCY TONE)

SIEGEL: Well our story reminded listener Doug Wisecoff(ph) from Cincinnati of an incident a few years back while he was filling up his car with gas. "As I stood there holding the gas nozzle," he writes, I suddenly realized they were playing a very enjoyable Mozart symphony.

"When I went inside the mini-mart to pay for my gas, I complimented the man behind the counter and his choice of music. He laughed and informed me that it was because the students from the high school across the street used to hang out in front of his store being obnoxious, being loud and constantly littering. He tried playing classical music to see if it would influence them to behave better and he found that it actually drove them off instantly."

BLOCK: If our program is driving you away from the radio or bringing you in closer, we'd love to hear from you. You can reach us by going to NPR.org and clicking on Contact Us at the top of the page.

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