Adam Gopnik has written frequently — too frequently, he laments — about the gun rampages that convulse America. Following the recent attack at a Colorado movie theater showing The Dark Knight Rises, Gopnik wrote in The New Yorker, “The killings will go on; the cell phones in the pockets of dead children will continue to ring; and now parents can be a little frightened every time their kids go to a midnight screening of a movie designed to show them what stylized fun violence can be.”
Next, earlier this summer, one second was added to the earth's official atomic clock. Turns out the earth is slowing by a few milliseconds a year. If we didn't add these "leap seconds" to the official world clock every few years, experts say the time could stack up and ultimately mess up the calendar.
Then, Planet Tad, a new kids’ book by Daily Show head writer Tim Carvell, is about a 12-year-old who starts a blog in hopes of attracting the attention of Natalie Portman. He struggles with middle school, his little sister, standard preteen fare. But Henry Alford wanted to find out how well it stacked up to reality.
After that, a couple weeks ago, Kurt Andersen talked with the music critic Tim Page about great music that’s been overplayed to the point of inanity. Call it death by heavy rotation — and not even the Beatles are immune. “I’m a guy in his late 50s,” Page said, “and I’ve been listening to, say, Sgt. Pepper since I was 13 or 14. I don’t need to hear it again.”
And finally, Hilary Hahn is a heavy hitter in classical music, a violinist who debuted at 12 and recorded the Bach partitas at 18. She’s powered through the repertoire, mastering Paganini, the Mozart sonatas, the Brahms concerto, Schoenberg, Ives. In her ripe old 20s, she began stretching beyond classical music, playing alongside singer-songwriters like Josh Ritter. Her new project goes even further outside the box. [Broadcast Date: July 28, 2012]
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