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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of

Living on Earth hears what some of our listeners have to say.


CURWOOD: It’s Living on Earth, I’m Steve Curwood.


CURWOOD: Time, now, to dip into the email bag.

Sue Rosenthal, who listens to our show on KQED in the San Francisco Bay Area, was dismayed to hear our story about sequestering CO2 in ultramafic rocks. She writes that the most common ultramafic rock where she lives is serpentinite, and using it for carbon storage would pose a huge threat to native ecosystems, because “many serpentine endemic plants are rare and endangered.”

Several listeners queried author Jack McEnany’s claim that the slang term “hooker” for a prostitute was related to logging. Ken Kowalchek, who hears us on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, writes, “Legend has it that the popularization of the term came from the band of young ladies who followed the Army of the Potomac commanded by Massachusetts Civil War General Joseph Hooker.”

But Keith Washington, who listens to WBUR in Boston, writes that the term was derived from an area in or near New York City – “Corlear’s Hook” – noted for its many houses of ill fame.

Both these explanations are widespread, but further research suggests the term actually predates the civil war, and probably comes from the verb to hook, or swindle.

Many listeners responded to our story about oil drilling in Central Park. WHYY listener Richard Horwitz from Springfield, Pennsylvania thought it “a revolting idea” and said we should have mentioned that the Central Park Police Station has been generating all its electricity from fuel cells since the year 2000.

But other listeners were on the same page as Pat Fletcher, a New York resident for 14 years, who now lives in Tacoma Washington, and hears us on KUOW.

FLETCHER: That was pretty funny! You had me going at first - On one level, I wouldn't put it past New Yorkers, especially with their current mayor, to do something like this. And then I remembered – APRIL FOOLS!!

CURWOOD: You can hear our program any time on our website or get a download for your MP3 player. The address is loe.org, that’s loe.org. There you’ll also find pictures and more information about our stories. And we’d like to hear from you. You can reach us at comments@loe.org. Once again, that’s comments at loe.org. Our postal address is 20 Holland St. Somerville, MA 02144. And you can call our listener line anytime at 800-218-9988. That’s 800-218-9988.



Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

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Telephone: 617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

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