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Our sharp listeners get to the point

Kai Ryssdal Sep 9, 2008

Our sharp listeners get to the point

Kai Ryssdal Sep 9, 2008


KAI RYSSDAL: One of the our most-commented-upon stories of the past few weeks came from the world of medicine — ancient Chinese medicine, to be exact. We told you about a community acupuncture clinic in Philadelphia. Group sessions there are making the alternative treatment more affordable.

But Patrick Pierce from San Diego, Calif., wasn’t worried about the economics. He just didn’t care much for the idea of acupuncture at all.

PATRICK PIERCE: I noticed that the subject of whether acupuncture is truly medically effective was not addressed. Perhaps you should do more stories on pseudoscience, quackery, and fraud medicine and the dangers they can pose both directly from injury and indirectly by convincing people to not see a credible doctor and properly treat their conditions.

That struck a nerve in the comments section of our website.

Pennsylvania graduate student Melanie Adley says that after a long day of slogging over her German homework acupuncture works great on her stress.

MELANIE ADLEY: For those who do yoga, it’s like a very good yoga session. You feel totally calm and a little energetic and I felt totally sharp which is not meant to be a pun.

Another story from the health world caught listeners’ ears, too. We looked at the backlog of Social Security disability claims. Social worker Emily Axel from Astoria, N.Y., liked the piece but she thought we left some people out of it.

EMILY AXEL: One important aspect that was not mentioned in your story, however, are the individuals who apply for disability based on a mental health disorder. These applications are most certainly considered “borderline,” and often incredibly difficult to have approved by administrative judges.

This fall’s campaign was in the air over the past few weeks as both parties held their nominating conventions. We asked some of our commentators to tell us what the candidates weren’t talking about but should be.

David Frum’s take on immigration really steamed English language teacher Rene Kreisel.

Rene Kreisel: His idea to implement an immigration policy like Canada’s or Australia’s, which favor highly-skilled individuals, in the end treats people like things. As a wealthy nation, where even the poor are rich in comparison to the world’s poorest, our immigration policy should be primarily humanitarian.

Commentator Will Marshall got a lot of letters too. Not for what he said about energy policy, but for how he said it.

WILL MARSHALL: But there’s a missing element in the party’s platform, and that’s any discussion of the future of nuclear energy. In fact, nuclear power doesn’t rate a single mention in 57 pages.

New-cu-lar . . . sound familiar?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Newculer weapons.

Not that this makes it right, but George Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and Dwight Eisenhower have all pronounced nuclear, at times, as new-cu-lar.

Maybe this does make it right, though. Merriam Webster recognizes both pronunciations. They’ll send you a long explanation of why, if you ask.

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