Pieces of your minds

Kai Ryssdal Mar 15, 2007

KAI RYSSDAL: One of the many virtues of living in an email world is that you can send it whenever you want. We did an unofficial tally of our inbox.

Turns out many of our listeners do their e-mailing with us in the afternoons. Getting started late’s becoming a national trend in Denmark. We aired a story this week about a Danish organization that’s lobbying businesses to let morning-hating late-risers start work when they can. They call themselves B-people, the letter B. And they say a later way of life would increase producitivity.

Nancy Kullman, from Williams Bay, Wisconsin, wants to know where she can sign up.

NANCY KULLMAN: I was born a B person and struggle to this day to find joy in the morning. Then there’s having to endure the moral superiority of A people. I believe even Mr. Franklin, at least in his later years, honored “early to bed, early to rise” more in the breach than in the observance.

For many workers in the global economy, the daily grind can be deadly. Last week our special series, Working, brought you the story of Pedro Cordova. Pedro’s a mechanic in a metal processing plant in a small town up in the Peruvian Andes. Where the air is so polluted that every child under the age of 6 has been technically, anyway, poisoned. And Pedro’s been diagnosed with a fatal lung disease. Elinor Shock from St. Louis, Missouri, once worked in that same Peruvian town.

ELINOR SHOCK: There are few people like Pedro Cordova in La Oroya who are able or willing to speak out. Pieces like this help give courage to those who are seeking to bring health and wholeness to a community which for too long has been the victim of Doe Run’s pollution and blatant disregard for its well-being.

Oil’s been trickling downward the past couple of days. Somewhere near $57.50 a barrel today in New York at the close. But gas prices are skyrocketing. Better than three bucks a gallon out here in Los Angeles. It’s easy to point the finger at big oil companies when that happens. But this past Monday commentator Ben Stein wanted to know why consumers hate them so much.

David Jackson from Washington D.C. offers this counterpoint.

DAVID JACKSON: Actor and economist Ben Stein may be right that oil companies don’t control the price of oil, but they do control the price of gas at the pump. The record profits made by oil companies over the last two years clearly indicate that they have been increasing their profit margins at the pump by far more than necessary. This is why people hate them, Ben.

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