TEXT OF LETTERS SEGMENT
Kai Ryssdal: Time to hear what you had to say about what we’ve been saying.
We took a detour into the world of television advertising last week in a story about those Apple ads — the ones with the Mac guy and the PC guy. We pointed out some research that shows the characterizations in those commercials can actually be true: Apple customers can be insufferably hip, as the Mac guy is; PC users sometimes take after the guy in the ads: overweight and balding.
In real life, the PC guy in those ads is John Hodgman. Lots of you’ve seen him on the Daily Show. We know that because you wrote to tell us you don’t really think he’s balding at all. We went straight to the source:
John Hodgman: Perhaps the reporter knows more than I do and has been measuring my hairline, but I think probably more accurate is that I just happen to have one of those hairlines that when properly arranged naturally imitates a comb-over.
You’re wondering, perhaps, what kind of computer Hodgman uses? He’s says he’s been a Mac guy since the 1980’s, if you don’t count a seven-year detour into PCs back during the 90’s. He says he’s got an iMac at home.
Word choice was a theme in our inbox this week. In a report about affirmative action in South Africa, we described cement as something that can be poured.
Lucas Ponce of Garland, Texas, wrote to remind us that cement and concrete are not the same thing at all: cement is the dry mixture; concrete is what you get when you add water to it.
We can always count on our regular commentators to bring a load of letters. Today, it’s David Frum’s turn. Last week, he wondered aloud whether the rising price of a college education is worth it.
That rubbed Norman Hopps of Kiln, Mississippi, the wrong way:
Norman Hopps: His solution is for the middle class to lower their expectations. If there’s a housing crisis, well, why not just rent? If you can’t afford to send your kids to college, well, who says college is such a good idea?
With high school seniors pondering where they might wind up enrolling next fall, we looked into the rising costs of textbooks.
Jan Barber teaches biology at Saint Louis University in Missouri. She said she didn’t much care for a claim in that story that students have to pay for fancy books so that their professors can kick back and relax.
Jan Barber: That is completely ridiculous. Even if I were to use only the slides that they provide, it would still take me hours per lecture to write a lecture the first time.