Showing Archived Posts

Math, Smath

Posted April 29th, 2011 at 7:57 am (UTC-4)

Recently the Washington Post published an article that carried interesting mathematical news. I know, you didn’t think there could BE such a thing, so boring is mathematics. But there’s news, all right: Many states are now requiring high-school students, no matter how mystifying they find numbers and formulas, to take not only basic math but […]

The South, Homogenized

Posted April 27th, 2011 at 2:32 pm (UTC-4)
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Mississippi writer William Faulkner once remarked that in the American South, the past is never dead.  It’s not even past.  Defeated and largely impoverished by the nation’s Civil War a century-and-a-half ago, the South developed a distinctive culture that is studied and celebrated around the world. But that culture, which I soaked in with great […]

For (Paisano) Pete’s Sake

Posted April 25th, 2011 at 2:55 pm (UTC-4)
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Famous structures have come to symbolize many U.S. cities and towns.  Just about every American knows San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge as well as the Gateway Arch to the West in St. Louis and the Washington Monument obelisk in the nation’s capital. And wherever you are, I’ll bet you, too, have heard and seen photos […]

Air-Traffic Controllerzzz

Posted April 22nd, 2011 at 1:37 pm (UTC-4)

You may well have heard by now that five U.S. air-traffic controllers — a rather shocking number — have been found literally asleep at the switch on the overnight shifts of several U.S. airports just since late March.  So many — including a supervisor — that federal transportation secretary Ray LaHood has ordered that a […]

No Middle, America

Posted April 20th, 2011 at 3:57 pm (UTC-4)

You probably missed the New York Times photograph that showed a revealing picture of New Yorkers riding into work on commuter trains.  The photographer stood behind a long series of rows, three seats to a row.  In the photo, every window and aisle seat — and not ONE middle seat — is occupied.  The train […]

Hello? Who’s There? No One

Posted April 18th, 2011 at 1:40 pm (UTC-4)
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Let’s talk telephones, with a big nod to Pamela Paul, editor of the New York Times Book Review, who recently wrote about phones in the Times.  At the risk that you’ll go there and not return, I’m going to link to that story — though the Times’s pay wall could possibly keep you from reading […]

Exporting American Culture

Posted April 14th, 2011 at 11:28 am (UTC-4)
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As uprisings and near-revolts were popping up in various places throughout the Middle East over the past few months, there were many references to the “stirrings of democracy” in the statements of those leading the insurgencies.  We Americans, who talk a lot about enabling or “exporting” democracy, have shaped our interpretation of that term over […]

The Young and the Restless

Posted April 12th, 2011 at 11:00 am (UTC-4)
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I recently wrote about “discouraged workers” — often older ones — who have lost jobs and sought new ones, but have given up hope of finding decent any.  And I came across a corollary, and chilling, article in the New York Times.  In it, Matthew C. Klein, a research associate at the Council on Foreign […]

The Heartland

Posted April 7th, 2011 at 4:41 pm (UTC-4)
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A longtime colleague and friend, VOA science reporter Art Chimes, had the nerve to retire and move to St. Louis.  Even though he had lots of good reasons to pick the city where a stunning Gateway Arch beckons travelers to the threshold of the American West, his decision was a bit of a shock.  After […]

Curating Fun! 21st-Century Style

Posted April 5th, 2011 at 1:31 pm (UTC-4)
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At times during January’s uprising in Egypt, 1,000 people or more were tweeting on a single hash tag every 10 seconds. Let me explain hash tags and then take you on a brief tangent before I tell you about all the fun that curators are having, as mentioned in my title. A hash tag is […]

Ted Landphair


This is a far-ranging exploration of American life by a veteran Voice of America “Americana” reporter and essayist.

Ted writes about the thousands of places he has visited and written about as a broadcaster and book author. Ted Landphair’s America often showcases the work of his wife and traveling companion, renowned American photographer Carol M. Highsmith.

Ted welcomes feedback, questions, and ideas. View Ted’s profile. Watch a video about Ted and Carol by VOA’s Nico Colombant.

Photos by Carol M. Highsmith


April 2011
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