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KAI RYSSDAL: It’s a rare thing that a single segment on the program annoys two completely different sets of people… But my chat with Diana Nyad a couple of weeks ago about the failing fortunes of the National Hockey League managed to do just that.
Stephen Hendrickson of Washington, D.C., a fan of the NHL’s Capitals, wrote to say we ignored the league’s reasonably healthy financials:
Stephen Hendrickson: It seems instead of trying to ridicule the sport for not being as bloated and overpriced as it once was, it would be more interesting to talk about the potential viability of a quality product with a smaller fan base.
Poker fans were the other set of disgruntled listeners — Diana questioned why something as dull as a card game draws more fans than players racing around on the ice. Stephen Murdoch begs to differ:
Stephen Murdoch: I get that what we do at first glance looks boring. I admit that after several glances it still looks boring. This hides the sophistication of the game that requires a great deal of discipline to truly grasp the merest scratching of its surface.
We took you Oregon earlier this month, up in logging country, for a story about the Bush administration’s plans to open more land for timber cutting. We spoke with a county commissioner there, in Douglas County, about the good old days when logging laws were more lenient:
MARILYN KITTELMAN: We were a healthy community, where people could get out of school with little or no education, go out, work hard, support themselves and live an excellent lifestyle.
Dennis Moore from Washington, D.C., says: C’mon… really?
Dennis Moore: You can’t do that anywhere in the economy any longer. Logging a few more fir trees will only postpone the inevitable — good jobs won’t come without good educations any longer.
On the sunnier side of things, we took a look recently at slumping retail sales, and we pointed out how many stores are blaming warm weather. Robyn Simms from here in Los Angeles says it’s not sun, it’s bad taste.
Robyn Simms: Everything right now looks like Gloria Steinem was wearing it back in 1977… And actually, she was more fashionable than this, you know what I mean? This is just supremely ugly. And somewhere are warehouses filled with supremely ugly clothing that needs to be set on fire.
And a few corrections to get on the record. In a conversation I had last week about the new Fox Business Network, we said Fox had replaced CNN in the lobby of the Dow Jones building — the same Dow Jones that publishes The Wall Street Journal and which is now owned by Fox’s Rupert Murdoch. In fact, it was competitor CNBC that got bumped, which kind of makes more sense, when you think about it.
Our story about the dangers facing lobster divers in the Caribbean talked about them using oxygen tanks when they work… Who knew we had so many scuba divers in the audience? We should have said compressed air tanks.
And when we reported on a new plan to use foreign languages in Internet addresses, we said the Yiddish alphabet would be among the new options. Some of you wrote to say there’s no such thing as a Yiddish alphabet. In fact, there is. It’s based on Hebrew — it uses some additional markings.
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