NPR: Linton Weeks

Linton Weeks joined NPR in the summer of 2008, as its national correspondent for Digital News. He immediately hit the campaign trail, covering the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; fact-checking the debates; and exploring the candidates, the issues and the electorate.

Weeks is originally from Tennessee, and graduated from Rhodes College in 1976. He was the founding editor of Southern Magazine in 1986. The magazine was bought -- and crushed -- in 1989 by Time-Warner. In 1990, he was named managing editor of The Washington Post's Sunday magazine. Four years later, he became the first director of the newspaper's website, Washingtonpost.com. From 1995 until 2008, he was a staff writer in the Style section of The Washington Post.

He currently lives in a suburb of Washington with the artist Jan Taylor Weeks. In 2009, they created The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation to honor their beloved sons.

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11:15am

Wed December 10, 2014
The Protojournalist

Begun The Christmas Tree War Has

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 2:03 pm

Artificial Christmas tree.
iStockphoto

When it comes to Christmas trees, which kind of symbol do you prefer — real or artificial? In recent stat-studded news stories, Americans seem to be conflicted, but leaning toward artificiality.

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11:13am

Fri December 5, 2014
The Protojournalist

The Fine Art Of Deception

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 8:26 pm

An anamorphic installation portrait of Malian actor Sotigui Kouyate by French artist Bernard Pras.
From YouTube

Fooling the eye — with trick-niques like anamorphic sculpture, trompe l'oeil paintings and other optical illusions — is a centuries-old artistic pursuit.

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11:13am

Thu November 27, 2014
The Protojournalist

Wacky Wrestlers Of Yesteryear

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 4:37 am

Two men wrestle in a ring full of smelt during the Smelt Carnival in Marinette, Wis., in 1939.
Wisconsin Historical Society

Hoodslam — a popular spectacle that is staged monthly in Oakland, Calif. — is described by the San Francisco Chronicle as "part wrestling show, part carnival act and all comedy."

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5:51am

Sun November 23, 2014
The Protojournalist

When Thanksgiving Was Weird

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 10:05 am

Oddest thing: Thanksgiving in turn-of-the-20th century America used to look a heckuva lot like Halloween.

People — young and old — got all dressed up and staged costumed crawls through the streets. In Los Angeles, Chicago and other places around the country, newspapers ran stories of folks wearing elaborate masks and cloth veils. Thanksgiving mask balls were held in Cape Girardeau, Mo., Montesano, Wash., and points in between.

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11:13am

Tue November 18, 2014
The Protojournalist

Who Won The Civil War? Tough Question

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 9:41 pm

History quiz: Students on campus.
YouTube

The old joke used to be: Who is buried in Grant's tomb?

Now it's not so funny anymore.

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11:13am

Sat November 15, 2014
The Protojournalist

The Wondrous World Of Tom Thumb Weddings

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 9:20 am

Alex George and Lilliana Bremerkamp pretend to get married in a 2008 Tom Thumb wedding.
Robert LaRouche Courtesy of Holly Bremerkamp

When the "bride" and "groom" walk down the aisle in a Tom Thumb Wedding — as they did just a few weeks ago at the Fellowship Baptist Church on Staten Island in New York — they are:

1) Often not much taller than the backs of the church pews.

2) Paying homage to a pair of 19th century celebrities.

3) Acting out an American ritual with roots stretching back more than 150 years.

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11:13am

Thu November 13, 2014
The Protojournalist

8 Epic Eating Contests In American History

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 2:51 pm

Pie eating contest in 1921.
Library of Congress

As America enters the holiday season, chowing down at a crowded table can become a competitive experience. What was once confined to friendly wagers has blossomed into a full-blown industry.

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11:13am

Wed November 5, 2014
The Protojournalist

The Strange Dating Games Of 1914

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 11:14 am

With a peck of new tech in development, Upstart reports recently, "the dating game may never be the same."

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11:15am

Wed October 29, 2014
The Protojournalist

Halloween For Adults: A Scary History

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 1:03 pm

For Halloween 2014, the National Retail Federation predicts, some 75 million adults will put on costumes. Reuters is reporting that haunted houses for adults are in demand this year, and some 20 percent of celebrants over the age of 18 plan to visit one.

Are adults adulterating Halloween?

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11:13am

Fri October 24, 2014
The Protojournalist

Halloween High Jinks For Fun And Nonprofits

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 2:15 pm

Evelyn FitzGerald, 2 months old, is in a Princess Leia — of Star Wars renown — costume made from recycled clothes by her mother Shenandoah Brettell of El Segundo, Calif. "I made the wig out of yarn and the belt out of felt," says Shenandoah, who listens to NPR member station KPCC.
Shenandoah Brettell

Making costumes from secondhand stuff is a part of the Halloween scene in 2014, according to Goodwill. We call it boocycling.

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11:15am

Thu October 23, 2014
The Protojournalist

Girl Scouts Look For A Way Out Of The Woods

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 12:11 pm

Girl Scouts model contemporary uniforms.
From Girl Scouts of the USA website

The Girl Scouts organization wants s'more — members and leaders, that is.

Membership in Girl Scouts of the USA is on the decline. In the past year, according to the group's official blog, there has been a significant drop nationwide — down 400,000 girls and adults — from 3.2 million to 2.8 million.

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11:13am

Sat October 18, 2014
The Protojournalist

America's Boo-It-Yourself Halloween Spirit

Originally published on Sat October 18, 2014 2:39 pm

Pretend to be a pineapple.
Jeff Mindell

How about we call it boocycling — putting together an adult's or child's costume using recycled, thrift-store clothing?

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11:13am

Wed October 15, 2014
The Protojournalist

What Is Really Tearing America Apart

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 11:16 am

iStockphoto

What separates Americans the most?

Race ... religion ... gender ...

According to Shanto Iyengar, a political scientist at Stanford University, often the most divisive aspect of contemporary society is: politics.

Divided We Stand

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11:13am

Thu October 9, 2014
The Protojournalist

Wrong! 3 Recent Reports That May Surprise You

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 2:13 pm

Carlos Caetano istockphoto.com

From the ancient Greek thinker Democritus who reportedly said, "We know nothing really; for truth lies deep down," to the recent problem-solving advice from Entrepreneur, "Assume Everything Is Wrong," we have to constantly be reminded to be skeptical. And that the one thing we do know is that we don't always know what we think we know.

As neophyte reporters are often told: "If your mother says she loves you, check it out."

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11:22am

Sat October 4, 2014
The Protojournalist

Broken Art: The Closing Of A Washington Museum

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 11:18 am

Necessary steps: A mourner dressed in period clothes for the Corcoran's mock funeral.
Photo by Caroline Lacey

Recently the Corcoran Gallery of Art in downtown Washington — just across the street from the White House — closed its doors.

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11:35am

Thu October 2, 2014
The Protojournalist

The Outhouse — And Other Rooms — Get A 21st Century Makeover

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 1:51 pm

Sonoma Retreat by Aidlin Darling
Marion Brenner Courtesy of ASLA

Americans are discovering — or rediscovering — the allure of outdoor living, according to a 2014 survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Whether the instinct stems from a primordial desire to reconnect with the natural world or to disconnect from in-house clutter and chaos, people who can afford it are transporting traditional indoor areas — kitchens, dining rooms, bedrooms, entertainment centers — outside.

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11:13am

Fri September 26, 2014
The Protojournalist

Show-And-Tell: Show Us Your Angry Face

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 3:47 pm

iStockphoto

You know the look. After all, the Angry Face, according to a recent study, is pretty much the same all over the world.

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11:13am

Mon September 22, 2014
The Protojournalist

Hillary Exhilaration Helps Energize Generation Z

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 4:31 pm

Supporters of Hillary Clinton wait as pro-Clinton volunteers hand out posters and bumper stickers at George Washington University in Washington on June 13.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Question young, first-time voters about whom they will be supporting in the 2016 presidential election — via a callout on NPR's Facebook page — and you will receive more than 700 all-over-the-map responses.

Some thoughtful, some insightful. And a heck of a lot filled with what can only be called Hillary Exhilaration.

Especially among the young women of Generation Z — cultural shorthand for the cohort born in the mid-'90s or later.

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11:17am

Wed September 17, 2014
The Protojournalist

Growing Business — Show Us Your Desk Plant

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 9:21 am

iStockphoto

Post a photo of the plant on your desk in the Comments section below.

That's right: The plant the boss wants you to take home ...

Now you can explain — with some research to back you up — that having greenery in your workspace makes you more productive. And how a ficus near the phone or a lily by the laptop helps grow business.

And maybe your supervisor will make like a plant — and leave.

Rooting Out The Problem

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11:13am

Fri September 12, 2014
The Protojournalist

Your Email Double: A Classic Digital Dilemma

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 1:45 pm

Ron Chapple Stock istockphoto.com

Now that the term Digital World has become redundant, we are able to make mistakes and encounter entanglements that no human — even Shakespeare --could ever have imagined.

Email doubles, for instance. Nearly everyone — even those of us with unusual names — has run into the dilemma. An email double who shares our name.

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11:13am

Thu August 21, 2014
The Protojournalist

Is There Such A Thing As A 'Good Psychopath'?

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 4:16 pm

kuzmafoto.com iStockphoto

Oxymoronic, isn't it, the idea of a "good psychopath"?

But in their just published book, The Good Psychopath's Guide to Success, Andy McNab and Kevin Dutton argue that relying on some psychopathic traits can lead to a more successful life.

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11:13am

Tue August 19, 2014
The Protojournalist

What Exactly Is That Birdlike Thing?

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 3:36 pm

The hummingbird moth — Hemaris thysbe.
Courtesy of Elena Tartaglia

For years I was convinced that there exists among us a strange, unidentified species of animal — something between bug and bird — jetting around gardens and flowers and trees.

Not too long ago one of these natural UFOs buzzed past me in broad daylight. Too big to be a bee, too itty-bitty to be a bird. Slow enough to glimpse, but too fast to identify.

Not exactly a hummingbird ...

Nor a bumblebee ...

What the heck was it?

The mystery was finally solved when a friend told me about ...

... the hummingbird moth.

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11:21am

Fri August 15, 2014
The Protojournalist

What Your Junk Drawer Reveals About You

Originally published on Sat August 16, 2014 5:58 am

Kit Yarrow's junk drawer.
Kit Yarrow

The Great American Junk Drawer can be an accidental time capsule, a haphazard scrap heap, a curious box of memories and meaninglessness. It can also serve as a Rorschachian reflection of your life.

You know what we're talking about: The drawer of detritus. The has-been bin. That roll-out repository where you toss your odds and ends. Sometimes very odd odds and ends. Sometimes whatnot never to be seen again.

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11:13am

Tue August 12, 2014
The Protojournalist

The Bush/Obama Quiz: What's The Difference?

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 7:18 pm

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images Alex Wong/Getty Images

Perhaps this is the sound of history repeating itself.

In the early days of his first term, President Obama was painted as "the anti-Bush" and many of his ideas — for instance his foreign policy and his approach to global terrorism — were considered non-Bushesque initiatives.

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11:13am

Fri August 1, 2014
The Protojournalist

Slow Walkers May Be On Their Way To Dementia

Originally published on Sat August 2, 2014 12:15 pm

Ralph Hoppe istockphoto.com

Wait a minute. Weren't we told by Simon and Garfunkel: "Slow down, you move too fast. You've got to make the morning last"?

And by some other philosopher to "stop and smell the roses"?

Now we learn from new research that walking slow can be a bad thing — or at least reveal that you might be slouching toward Alzheimer's.

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11:13am

Wed July 30, 2014
The Protojournalist

Desk Desk Evolution

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 10:55 am

iStockphoto

11:24am

Sun July 27, 2014
The Protojournalist

Smartsongs: Refrains The Brain Retains

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 3:54 pm

Now that Weird Al week is long past, we can mull over the merits — and demerits — of Al Yankovic's new mishmash of novelty music: Mandatory Fun.

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11:53am

Fri July 11, 2014
The Protojournalist

A Surge In Concierges

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:12 am

iStockphoto

Steve Sims is the founder of Bluefish, a luxury concierge service that takes care of rich people. As Steve posted on Reddit recently: "We've arranged everything from supersonic military jet flights in Russia, submersible dives in the Atlantic Ocean to view the Titanic, sunsets in the Serengeti, deep-sea dives with great whites, performing with rock stars, to flights into space for our clients."

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7:03am

Fri July 4, 2014
The Protojournalist

Bored On The Fourth Of July? Try These Movies

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:10 am

A promotional image for Jaws.
Universal The Kobal Collection

Cinema sites abound with lists such as Top 10 Movies ForThe Fourth Of July from Forbes and 12 Patriotic Movies by the Los Angeles Times. After all, Hollywood knows that Americans love to celebrate American celebrations.

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11:13am

Thu July 3, 2014
The Protojournalist

Freedom To NOT Celebrate Independence Day

Originally published on Fri July 4, 2014 2:41 pm

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
Library of Congress

Celebrating Independence Day on July Fourth is as American as burgers and dogs on the grill, lemonade in plastic cups, apple pie on paper plates, baseball, fireworks and Sousa marches.

Except for those Americans who don't celebrate it at all.

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