Letters Listeners share their thoughts on coverage of the current Mideast conflict, the travel series "A Hundred Bucks of Gas" and the difference between the mean, median and mode. Day to Day senior producer Steve Proffitt sorts through the mail bag with Noah Adams.
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Letters

Letters

Letters

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Listeners share their thoughts on coverage of the current Mideast conflict, the travel series "A Hundred Bucks of Gas" and the difference between the mean, median and mode. Day to Day senior producer Steve Proffitt sorts through the mail bag with Noah Adams.

NOAH ADAMS, host:

This is DAY TO DAY. I'm Noah Adams, joined now by our senior producer, Steve Proffitt, who's here to help share some of your comments.

STEVE PROFFITT reporting:

Noah, lots about the fighting between Hezbollah and the Israelis. Haven't the Israelis suffered, asks Cora Rubenstein of Washington D.C.?

ADAMS: Like a number of people who wrote to us, she feels our coverage has focused too much on Lebanese victims of the fighting. As she puts it, if one only listened to NPR, one would assume the Israelis never suffer from terrorism.

PROFFITT: Differing views, though, on the subject from listeners such as Jessica Brown of Philadelphia. She writes, thank god Hezbollah didn't kidnap 10 Israeli soldiers. If they did, Israel would have pulled out the nukes.

ADAMS: Response to another topic, a conversation about when to cut a newborn's umbilical cord.

PROFFITT: Right, Noah. We talked about a study that shows waiting at least two minutes before cutting the cord helps prevent infant anemia.

ADAMS: Alicia Benhua(ph) was one of several who note, this has been standard procedure among midwives for generations. She wrote to us from Santa Cruz, California.

PROFFITT: And A Hundred Bucks of Gas. That's the name of a travel series we've been running this summer.

ADAMS: Cynthia Limpert(ph) asks, can you find a writer who drives a Toyota Prius? She says she has one and gets about 55 miles to the gallon on the highway.

PROFFITT: Ms. Limpert figures she could go about 1600 miles on a hundred bucks of gas. And she adds she'd really like to do a story for us, but...

ADAMS: She just can't, not this summer, anyway, because her daughter is getting married. Congratulations to you, on both the wedding and especially on your fuel economy.

PROFFITT: Now, this observation, Noah, regarding a story we did earlier this week on the difference between the mien and the median when it comes to economic news.

ADAMS: This is a bit above my head. The mien is the mathematical average of a group of numbers. The median is the number exactly in the middle.

PROFFITT: And Clark Seer(ph), who listens in Bellevue, Washington, wondered whether politicians wouldn't be more interested in the mode.

ADAMS: The mode, M-O-D-E.

PROFFITT: The mode. And let me disclose here that I was an art major, but I think I can explain this. The mode would be the most common value in a set of data. Say six people rated this broadcast. One gave it an A, three gave it a B and two gave it an F.

ADAMS: Mode then has got to be B.

PROFFITT: You're right.

ADAMS: And I guess that's why politician's would be interested. Thanks to all of you who wrote to us.

PROFFITT: If you have comments, questions, corrections, suggestions, go to our website, npr.org.

ADAMS: And click on the Contact Us link. It's at the top of every page. Steve Proffitt, thank you.

PROFFITT: You're welcome, Noah.

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