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Politics, Portraits

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

On today’s show: Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin tell us how they became the faces of the Tea Party Patriots. We’ll hear about a new exhibit of Renaissance portraiture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The BBC’s A History of the World in 100 Objects continues with a look at a sculpture from the Parthenon. Plus, our word maven, Patricia T. O’Conner, takes your calls on the English language.

Tea Party Patriots

Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin tell us how they started the Tea Party Patriots in 2009, one of the largest grassroots political organizations in America. In Tea Party Patriots: The Second American Revolution, they explain how the Tea Party was created, the party’s fundamental beliefs and goals, and they outline a strategy for the organization going forward.

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The Renaissance Portrait at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Curators Keith Christiansen and Andrea Bayer discuss the exhibition "The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini," on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 18. It celebrates Italian 15th-century portraiture, bringing together approximately 160 works by Donatello, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Verrocchio, Ghirlandaio, Pisanello, Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini, and Antonello da Messina, and includes painting, manuscript illumination, marble sculpture and bronze medals. 

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Patricia T. O'Conner on the Talk of the Deli

Our word maven Patricia T. O'Conner investigates the talk of the deli: who invented "pastrami." And she answers questions about English language and grammar. An updated and expanded third edition of her book, Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English, is available in paperback, as is  Origins of the Specious, written with Stewart Kellerman.

If you have a question about language, grammar, or deli meats, leave a comment or call us at 212-433-9692!

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A Good Dog

Yesterday at the 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show I caught up with our recent guest, Grand Champion Willcare To Fly Under The Radar, RN, better known as Walter. The chocolate-coated Labrador Retriever and his owner-handler-breeder Sue Willumsen were in good spirits—out of the 38 Labrador Retrievers competing for Best In Breed, he was the only the dog to win the Judge’s Award of Merit, his second consecutive win.

We chatted backstage in the benching area, a crowded service ramp in the depths of Madison Square Garden, packed with hundreds of the best canine specimens in the world waiting for their turn to prove themselves in the ring. Described by some as “a cross between a hair salon and Baghdad” the benching area was buzzing with the sound of blow-dryers and electric razors, but curiously few barks from the many dogs lassoed to their grooming tables for last-minute preening. Walter, however, was relaxing. “They’re wash n’ wear” says Willumsen, “the maintenance is not as extreme as other long hair dogs.”

Back home in Kingston, NH, Willumsen plans on teaching her prize pup how to be a hunting dog, one of the many jobs Labs were bred for. But three-year-old Walter’s show career is far from over, and Willumsen hopes to return to Westminster next year for an even bigger win. “He meets the American Kennel Club description of the Labrador Retriever,” says Willumsen, “but it’s his kind spirit and nature, as well as his sense of humor, that makes him my best buddy.”

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