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The lake (once the fourth largest in the world) has been shrinking since the 1960’s, when the Soviet Union diverted two rivers to provide irrigation for farms. This year a drop in rain and snow levels lowered the water level even more.
A new study finds that individuals who are least sensitive to bitter compounds consume significantly more vegetables compared with those who are most sensitive.
"What we think [is that] if somebody finds some vegetables too bitter, they sort of generalize to all green vegetables," said researcher Valerie Duffy of the University of Connecticut.
Photo: Claire Eggers for NPR
I’m fascinated by the pumpkin craze, so I searched our archives for related stories. I came across this neat 1996 All Things Considered interview about the origin of the pumpkin. The transcript is copied below. Photo: iStockphoto.
DANIEL ZWERDLING, Host: And finally, to prepare you and your loved ones for Halloween, we have called Marjorie Cuyler [sp], author of The All Around Pumpkin Book, and we’ve asked her some of the pumpkin questions that undoubtedly you have been yearning to ask.
QUESTIONER: What is the origin of the pumpkin?
MARJORIE CUYLER, Author: The prevailing theory is that the first Indians who came to the Americas brought seeds with them from Asia.
DANIEL ZWERDLING: How long ago?
MARJORIE CUYLER: Thirteen thousand B.C.
QUESTIONER: What is the oldest pumpkin ever found?
MARJORIE CUYLER: The oldest evidence is actually in the mythology, in the Eastern part of the world. There’s a creation myth in eastern Indochina that the world was created from a pumpkin, and in Africa there’s some old, old stories about the pumpkin. There’s one about the devil dying and the pumpkin being born at that moment.
QUESTIONER: Why do we carve pumpkins at Halloween?
MARJORIE CUYLER: When the Europeans came to America, they brought certain customs with them. Certainly the ancient Celts had a tradition of carving turnips as part of the celebration of Samhain, S-A-M-H-A-I-N, which is a festival they held on October 31st to mark the end of the summer.
DANIEL ZWERDLING: Turnips?
MARJORIE CUYLER: And they would carve turnips because they felt that after 30- the 31st, winter would begin and spirits would walk the Earth during the darkness of winter. And if they could carry turnips with lights, candlelight inside of them, these lanterns would keep the evil spirits away from the people.
DANIEL ZWERDLING: So how did carved turnips from the- from England get to be pumpkins carved in the United States?
MARJORIE CUYLER: Well, when the Europeans came to America, the Indians were very helpful in teaching them how to grow pumpkins in mounds that were included among the corn crops. And as the settler- early American settlers began to grow pumpkins they realized that they could be used for the purpose of carrying lights inside. So they just felt that pumpkins were a more efficient vegetable than turnips or beets.
QUESTIONER: What are some great moments in pumpkin history?
MARJORIE CUYLER: On January 21st, 1950, a man named Alger Hiss was sentenced to five years in prison. Now back in the ’30s, in fact in 1938, he had been working for the State Department, and while he had that position he passed secret documents to the communists. Now the man who accused him in the ’50s, in 1950, was an ex-communist named Whittaker Chambers. And in court Mr. Chambers produced microfilm of the papers that he said Mr. Hiss had given to the Russians, and Mr. Chambers had kept the microfilm hidden in a pumpkin on his farm in Maryland. And that’s quite a famous story, and it certainly put pumpkins on the map.
DANIEL ZWERDLING: Marjorie Cuyler is author of The All Around Pumpkin Book. And for this evening, that’s All Things Considered.
Happy 90th Birthday Jimmy Carter!
James Earl Carter, Jr., thirty-ninth president of the United States, was born October 1, 1924, in the small farming town of Plains, Georgia. His father, James Earl Carter, Sr., was a farmer and businessman; his mother, Lillian Gordy Carter, a registered nurse.
Jimmy was educated in the public school of Plains, attended Georgia Southwestern College and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and received a B.S. degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1946.
In the Navy, Jimmy became a submariner, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets and rising to the rank of lieutenant. Jimmy was chosen for the nuclear submarine program and took graduate work in reactor technology and nuclear physics. He served as a senior officer of the Seawolf, the second nuclear submarine.
Jimmy Carter served as president from January 20, 1977 to January 20, 1981. Significant foreign policy accomplishments of his administration included the Panama Canal treaties, the Camp David Accords, the treaty of peace between Egypt and Israel, the SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union, and the establishment of U.S. diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. He championed human rights throughout the world.
On December 10, 2002, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2002 to Mr. Carter “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter volunteer one week a year for Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that helps needy people in the United States and in other countries renovate and build homes for themselves. He teaches Sunday school and is a deacon in the Maranatha Baptist Church of Plains. The Carters have three sons, one daughter, nine grandsons, three granddaughters, four great-grandsons and five great-granddaughters.
Jimmy at the age of one month with mother, Lillian Carter. November, 1924.
Jimmy in his Annapolis Naval Academy uniform. 1943.
Jimmy Carter, campaigning for the presidency. 1974.
The Carters walk to the White House from the Capitol building. Inauguration Day, 1/20/77.
Anwar Sadat, Jimmy Carter, and Menahem Begin at the signing of the Treaty of Peace Between Egypt and Israel. 3/29/79.
Jimmy Carter receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. 12/10/02.
Happy Birthday Jimmy Carter! The former president spoke to NPR in March about his recent book, A Call To Action.
From: Mark Memmott*
Subject: Guidance on how to say Ebola
We’ve noticed some differences in the way we’ve been saying “Ebola.”
*We checked with Mark before posting this. He sent along this reply:
It’s important to note that this is guidance, not a dictate from on high. We want to say things correctly, but we also realize that we have correspondents from around the world and that when they speak they may say some things differently. In this case, NPR’s Ofeibea Quist-Arcton is from Ghana. She says “eh-BOH-la.” It’s natural to her. We wouldn’t want to try to force her to say “ee-BOH-luh.”
Wolves in Wyoming are once again being protected under the Endangered Species Act, just two years after those protections were taken away. A federal judge’s ruling last week found the state’s management plan for the animal “inadequate and un-enforceable.” In February, NPR’s Nate Rott took a comprehensive look at the wolf situation in the Western U.S.
Photo credit: David Gilkey/NPR
Last Friday, Laurel Dalrymple asked our Facebook audience for feedback. Here’s what they said. Take a read through. It’s interesting. I really like when we’re transparent like this.
Here’s 10 things I learned from coworkers or at the Online News Association conference this past weekend. (Did you learn something at ONA or another conference? Please send it our way for inclusion in the newsletter!)
1. The BBC has readers use emoji to respond to stories in WhatsApp. The emoji allow the audience to tell how they feel about a story, not just what they think.
2. The Department of Making and Doing is a design/fabrication shop in Philadelphia that encourages learning through making stuff. This is the highest form of engagement there is: when your audience uses your platforms/space/information to transform something and then make something.
3. How to build for inclusive community participation — a speech by LaurenEllen McCann (Related: How Arts Groups are creating opportunities for active participation (pdf))
5. People in Hong Kong are using a chat app that doesn’t require Internet access to communicate amidst government shutdowns (h/t Wright Bryan)
6. Vox took the best parts from This American Life’s Goldman Sachs episode this past weekend and made a really informative post. (h/t Eric Westervelt)
8. The lines between journalism and PR are rapidly becoming blurred as businesses start up their own news organizations
10. Reddit’s traffic last month? 135m unique visitors and 5.5 billion page views: that’s more than CNN, BBC, ESPN
See something? Working on something awesome? Let us know!
Plankton are microscopic organisms drifting in oceans, seas, and bodies of fresh water. The word “zooplankton” is derived from the Greek zoon meaning “animal”, and planktos meaning “wanderer” or “drifter”. So, zooplankton are small drifting animals.
Zooplankton are the food supply on which almost all larger aquatic organisms ultimately depend. The scientists in this photo are sampling zooplankton from under the ice in the Canadian arctic.
Image Rights: Doug Barber © Zooplankton sampling in the Amundsen Gulf (Arctic Ocean). Do not reproduce without permission
NPR & Friends
Yesterday, at the end of the segment on the death of the Saturday morning cartoon, Matt had the idea to ask listeners to share their favorite show. It worked well!
We don’t have to do anything with these responses but they offer a nice way to interact with listeners [and pick up new followers on Twitter].
The Wider World
Tory Starr of PRI’s The World sends in this useful set of takeaways from ONA Chicago:
- To bridge the connection between engagement and impact, hold events with the local community — it will matter to people. Hold “solutions summits” and talk through ways to make an impact. (Lesson from CIR’s “Dissection F”)
- We are on Twitter. Our audience is not. Our audience is on Facebook. (Lesson from “Charting a Course Through The Twitter Tempest”)
- Create a bite-sized analytics report with info that matters to people. Don’t emphasize page views, but sharing and comments. (Lesson from “Read This First: Using Analytics To Improve Readership”)
- ChatApps are a huge time investment for little return right now. But their potential reach is massive. (Lesson from “Chat Apps: New Frontiers of Mobile Audience Engagement”)
- Attribution does not excuse infringement — if you want to display someone else’s images without written consent, ONLY embed or Storify will suffice. (Lesson from “Hey, That Photo’s Mine!”)
- Ephemeral content will become more mainstream in the next 24 months. Experiment with Snapchat or other ephemeral tools like Slingshot or Cluster. (Lesson from “10 Tech Trends in Journalism”)
Start using Twitter lists! That’s the advice from Gene Demby for people who want to tame the chaos of Twitter. Create lists of coworkers, industry peers and close friends. Lists allow you to see and enter conversations more easily. Check it out:
- How to create a Twitter list
- Lists created by Code Switch, including a staff list
- My list of current and former Social Media Desk staff
That is all for today. We’re all ears if you have any news or tips you want to share with us.