The Big Buzz

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Monday, August 01, 2011

Guest host Julie Burstein fills in for Leonard. She’ll speak with Ben Zimmer about what your e-mail writing style says about you. Then, New Yorker executive editor Dorothy Wickenden tells the story of two Smith College graduates (one of them her grandmother) who headed West in 1916. Gully Wells talks about her parents, Dee Wells and A. J. Ayer, and their inner circle in 1960s London. We’ll take a look at how Google affects our memory. Plus, we’ll learn about the difficulties and rewards of bee keeping!


Julie Burstein

Decoding Your E-Mail Personality

Ben Zimmer, executive producer of and, and New York Times contributor, explains how forensic linguists try to detect "fingerprints" in e-mails and other digital writing. His article "Decoding Your E-Mail Personality" looks at the how it's done and what your e-mails and digital writing reveal about you.

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Nothing Daunted

New Yorker executive editor Dorothy Wickenden talks about the adventures of Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood, who moved to the wilds of northwestern Colorado in the summer of 1916 to teach in a remote mountaintop schoolhouse. In Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West, Wickenden—the granddaughter of Dorothy Woodruff—gives an account of their journey and experience “settling up” in the West.


The House in France

Gully Wells discusses her memoir of her mother and stepfather—Dee Wells, the glamorous and rebellious American journalist, and A. J. Ayer, the celebrated and worldly Oxford philosopher. In The House in France, she tells of their lively lives, at the center of the intellectual circle of the 1960s, and the family’s old farmhouse in France, where her parents and their friends came together every year, and where Gully herself learned some of the enduring lessons of a life well lived.

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Google and Memory

Columbia University psychologist Betsy Sparrow discusses her research into how search engines affect our memory and are changing the way we remember information. Her paper in Science, “Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips” is believed to be the first research of its kind into the impact of search engines on human memory organization.

Comments [2]

Confessions of a Bad Beekeeper

Bill Turnbull explains the difficulties and rewards of beekeeping. In Confessions of a Bad Beekeeper Turnbull describes his misadventures and moments of triumph in the curious world of backyard beekeeping, and also highlights the threat to our bee population and looks at what we can do to help these vital little creatures do their important work.

Comments [2]

Guest Picks: Bill Turnbull

Bill Turnbull stopped by The Leonard Lopate Show to share some of his favorite books, music, and more!


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