My media week 01/02/09

In this article Lib and Let Die linguist John McWhorter argues that the well-intentioned effort to reclaim the word “liberal” is doomed.

 

On Material World, a science programme on BBC Radio 4 they did a feature on evolutionary psychology.

 

As part of their This much I know series The Observer has a fascinating interview with Daniel Tammet who has Savant Syndrome, and holds the record for reciting Pi to 22,514 decimal places.

 

Radio 4 is repeating a series they did last year called Fry’s English Delight, which is presented by Stephen Fry. The first programme about Metaphor, is itself built on an extended marine metaphor – that language is shaped, like a coastline, by a flow of metaphors, which erode, break down and eventually become part of everyday speech and writing. Here is the programme website. This I the website from when the show was originally broadcast but I presume it will be possible to listen to them again.

 

In the early 1990s optimism was unleashed in the former Soviet block as shares in state industries suddenly became available and many people swiftly became rich. However, the era lead to chaos and uncertainty for most people and a new study published in the Lancet argues that mass privatisation led to large rises in mortality, the swifter the pace of privatisation the higher the rate of premature death. Laurie discusses the conclusions with authors David Stuckler and Martin McKee. Here is the podcast.

 

The Onion has this satirical piece. Asian Teen Has Sweaty Middle-Aged-Man Fetish

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