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Letters from our listeners

Kai Ryssdal Apr 1, 2008

Letters from our listeners

Kai Ryssdal Apr 1, 2008


Kai Ryssdal: We took you down to Louisiana last week for a story about corruption. Corruption reform in the Bayou State, actually.

Dan Fourrier lives in Los Altos, Calif. now, up near San Francisco, but he says his hometown of Baton Rouge is never far from this thoughts — and neither are its politics:

Dan Fourrier: All you have to do is read the newspaper to see that there are people who are being placed on hiring committees. These people have contracts with the people they’re supposed to be doing the hiring for and that seems like a big conflict of interest to me.

We told you Friday about federal contractors and a Government Accountability Office report that says the government’s using too many of them. Part of the story was that applicants for federal positions are in short supply.

Winifred Bellido from Houston, Texas says we skirted the real issue, that contractors pay 27 percent better than the government does.

Winifred Bellido: If I had the choice of working for the government at 27 percent less, which one would I choose?

We had our technology guy Kevin Pereirra on last week. He and I talked about gadgets that are being marketed with women in mind.

Heather Cronk of Takoma Park, Md., said she for one wasn’t thrilled with our choices.

Heather Cronk: Because a camera shakes less, I don’t know that that’s more appealing to a woman. You would have to really read into it in order to make it a woman’s product.

On the other hand, Ann Scanlan — she’s an American technical writer living in Ireland’s County Cork — wrote to say she enjoyed all the toys we talked about, save one: an alarm clock that gets e-mails and news feeds called…

Ann Scanlan: The Chumby. I am really conflicted about The Chumby. The guy is really cute, but the device is not cute yet. It’s not little enough and it doesn’t come in enough colors.

So, it could conceivably be cute in the future, right? Although I’ll be honest, I did the segment and I’m still not sure what you’d do with the thing.

I did an interview a couple of weeks ago with a guy named Dan Roam. He’s got a book out about how office presentations could be improved with more napkins and less PowerPoint. “Back of the Napkin,” it’s called.

I did a little test where I asked him to sell this program with a back of the napkin sketch. Convince stations to carry it. His pitch was that people who listen to financial programs have money and influence.

Not so, says Boston artist Ann Scott. She has to carry two part-time jobs to get by.

Ann Scott: And as an artist, I love it when the market roars, because I sell paintings when that happens — and someday may get to dump one of my part-time jobs.

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