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


Air Date: Week of

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This week, we dip into our mailbag to hear what listeners have to say.



CURWOOD: Time now for comments from you, our listeners.

Ed Lowe, who hears us on KUOW in Seattle, wrote in about our story on the use of depleted uranium munitions by the U.S. in Iraq.

“You got things turned around,” he writes. “You called it ‘enriched,’ when it isn’t, and you called it ‘a coating for projectiles,’ when it is the core of the projectile.”

Thanks for the correction, Mr. Lowe. For the record, depleted uranium is just that-- depleted, not enriched. And it is only 60 percent as radioactive as natural uranium. And “DU” typically forms the core of the tip of a round of ammunition. The 25 mm rounds used in the first Gulf War contained about a third of a pound of DU.

Robin Robinson listens to KPBX in Boise, Idaho. She enjoyed our interview with author Rupert Isaacson, who wrote “The Healing Land: The Bushmen and the Kalahari Desert”.

“For years I’ve read about the Bushmen and their complex language with the clicks,” writes Ms. Robinson. “This is the first time I ever heard what their language sounded like. Thank you very much for putting on the audio clip of the conversation between the Bushmen. Now I have some idea.”

Several listeners heard our recent commentary about the danger at the bird feeder and wrote in with their own methods of out-foxing predatory cats.

This advice from Ann Walker, who listens to Living on Earth on WPSU in University Park, Pennsylvania: “Since nesting season occurs during the spring, summer and early fall, it coincides with the natural feeding season,” she writes. At this time of year, nature supplies songbirds with seeds, berries, and all manner of sustenance. Once the snow stops falling, we need to take down the feeders and allow birds to find their own food. Their natural diet supplies them with appropriate nutrition and keeps them from becoming dependent on a human population.”

We read all your suggestions, kudos, and corrections. Our e-mail address is: letters@loe.org. Once again: letters@loe.org. Or, you can call our listener line anytime at 800-218-9988. That’s 800-218-9988.

[MUSIC: West African Balafon Ensemble “Farfina” The Pulse of Life Ellipsis (1992)]

CURWOOD: “There are times of great beauty on a coffee farm,” writes Isak Dinesen in Out of Africa. “When a plantation flowered in the beginning of the rains, it was a radiant sight--like a cloud of chalk in the mist and drizzling rain over 600 acres of land. When the field reddened with the ripe berries, all the women and children were called out to pick the coffee off the trees, together with the men. Then the wagons and carts brought it down to the factory near the river. That was a picturesque moment, with many hurricane lamps in the huge, dark room of the factory that was hung everywhere with cobwebs and coffee husks.”

Thanks to Heritage Africa, you can travel to Kenya and visit a coffee plantation as picturesque as Dinesen’s. Living on Earth is giving away a 15-day trip for two on the ultimate African safari, with visits to several of the continent’s most spectacular wildlife spots, such as Kruger and the Serengeti.

Please go to our website, livingonearth.org, for more details on how to win this 15-day trip to see some of Africa’s most spectacular sights. That’s livingonearth.org.


ANNOUNCER: Funding for Living on Earth comes from the World Media Foundation Environmental Information Fund. Major contributors include the Town Creek Foundation and the Wellborn Ecology Fund. Support also comes from NPR member stations and the Noyce Foundation, dedicated to improving math and science instruction from kindergarten through Grade 12. And Bob Williams and Meg Caldwell, honoring NPR’s coverage of environmental and natural resource issues, and in support of the NPR President’s Council.



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