Are you chasing your passion? You may recall that during my News Cut on Campus project, I was taken by the story of a young woman with a dream of being an artist who was pursuing another career because her family told her there’s no money in the arts. The story of Tiffany Clay in today’s New York Times reminds me of that. We’re creating a generation of the most talented and wonderful kids, who are giving up their dreams to work as car-hops at Sonic. A dog at the White House gets more attention. (By the way, the day’s most vapid story is here.) I don’t get much (snail) mail at the World Headquarters of News Cut. What mail I do get, however, is almost always a pamphlet for some ridiculous award. A lot of organizations have figured out by sponsoring some cockamamie newsie award, organizations will spend money on entry fees for the right to scream “we got some cockamamie award” later. Where online is concerned, the Webby Awards are an exception. They’re the real deal, which is why I’ve never gotten one.
The finalists were announced on Tuesday. They include Rock the Vote (which should lose because they didn’t bring the big Guitar Hero game to the RNC), this neat climate design wizard (if you live in Australia), the BBC’s Spanish for beginners project, the Mafia Wars app on Facebook, and the Web site for the Asbury Park Boardwalk. You could easily waste all day browsing the nominees. Imagine there’s no heaven. It’s easy if you try. But no sex? Researchers have found an ant in the Amazon that reproduces by cloning itself. The Arizona researcher who made the discovery says there’s an advantage to a world without sex. “It avoids the energetic cost of producing males, and doubles the number of reproductive females produced each generation from 50% to 100% of the offspring,” she said. The down side is that the species is more susceptible to parasites and don’t live that long. There are protests today in which a few dozen people will wave tea bags and several dozen more news photographers, desperate for a tinkle of news, will take pictures of them. And nobody will ask, “Hey, how do they make those things? Too bad, because it’s a way more interesting story. Phascinating Photos. Discover’s gallery of the National Ignition Facility. It’s the world’s largest laser. Ignition experiments begin next year with a goal of creating a self-sustaining source of energy.
Bonus: I know I write too much about aviation, but the audio tape of the conversation with the man who had to land a plane after the pilot died is pretty compelling stuff.
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Midmorning – In the first hour, the state of black America. At 10, reflections on life in Iran.
Midday – A discussion of Somalis in Minnesota in the first hour. At noon, Pulitzer-Prize -winning playwright Tony Kushner
Talk of the Nation – “Political Junkie” Ken Rudin discusses New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “reconversion” to the Republican Party. Second hour: Author Nelson George.
All Things Considered – Laura Yuen and Sasha Aslanian talk to three young women questioned by the FBI about their friendship with some of the missing Somali men in Minneapolis. Pam Fessler at NPR begins a series, Immigrants’ Children, and finds they often don’t get the help they need. Related: Check out Elizabeth Baier’s excellent story on the children of deported parents.