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Letters from our listeners

Kai Ryssdal Feb 19, 2008

Letters from our listeners

Kai Ryssdal Feb 19, 2008


Kai Ryssdal: The first thing to say is that we don’t get many actual letters from listeners anymore.

Most of ’em are emails, which presumes a certain amount of technological know-how among you — and it explains why our story explaining how America Online is shutting down its support for the web browser Netscape drew so many reponses.

Software developer Ben Combee of Austin, Texas, wrote to remind us that the rumors of Netscape’s demise are premature.

Ben Combee: The Netscape program lives on in the Firefox web browser. It’s free and easy to use and it’s getting many active users today.

We ventured into the field of nanotechnology last week. Scientists have developed new materials that could someday be made into clothing that would generate electricity.

We made it sound like the nanofiber revolution is coming soon to a closet near you.

Irene Kaganman of Brooklyn, New York, writes and edits for science journals. She says a nanoresearcher does not a tailor make.

Irene Kaganman: Your story said that a shirt — an entire shirt — was made. In reality, Dr. Wong’s team assembled six nanowares, which are about a thousand times smaller than a human hair.

Last week, commentator Brian Pallasch lobbied for the free-speech rights of Washington lobbyists.

Bruce Dickson here in Los Angeles wrote with a rebuttal. Lobbyists, he says, have plenty of well-paid-for access to the protections of the first amendment.

Bruce Dickson: Yeah, free speech is lovely, but if you have more money, you have more access to free speech than people who don’t.

Speaking of buying affection, last week, we took a look at how advertisers push the jewelry du jour for Valentine’s Day.

Here’s a clip from the story. Marketing expert Jan Drexler on how guys try, but fail.

Jan Drexler: It’s not that they’re stupid or lazy; it’s just that men are kind of clueless when it comes to gifts.

A generalization, I know, but still… it hurt, because most of us really do try.

Todd Beaubean of Austin Texas wasn’t thrilled either. He points out Valentine’s Day is a chance for women to spend some cash as well.

Todd Beabian: If all they’re doing is sitting on the couch, waiting for a present worth hundreds of dollars or more, I hope their clueless partners heard this story and wise up.

Finally…a clarification. A couple of weeks ago we mentioned some Girl Scout troops have gone online to help sell their cookies.

[clip from story]: …and we have peanut butter patties and we have shortbread…

Tagalongs, I said, are my favorites.

Which got troop leader Julia Mandeville of Londonderry, New Hampshire excited. She set me straight about the difference between peanut butter patties and tagalongs.

Julia Mandeville: They’re the same thing. They’re just have different bakers. So some of the cookies have different names because of the different bakers who’ve named them differently.

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