Showing Archived Posts

The Empire State Building: No. 2 in New York, 1 in Our Hearts

Posted May 4th, 2012 at 4:37 pm (UTC-4)

The real-estate consortium that is organizing a public stock offering for the world-famous Empire State Building might consider this pitch line, slightly modified from the old slogan that worked splendidly for Avis Rent-a-Car: We’re No. 2! — Again No. 2 in height in New York City, that is, ever since workers at One World Trade […]

America’s High-Speed Rail: ‘I Think I Can, I Think I Can’

Posted June 28th, 2011 at 7:07 pm (UTC-4)

A dozen or so years ago, Carol — my photographer wife whose images often grace this space — was hired by Amtrak to go to Pueblo, Colorado,  where the passenger railroad was testing America’s version of the Japanese “bullet train.”  Although our nation was embarrassingly late to the party, high-speed train travel was finally pulling […]

We’re No. 1? Not in World Expos

Posted June 24th, 2011 at 1:50 pm (UTC-4)

Last time, in a grand tour of the six great world’s fairs hosted by the United States in the single decade of the 1930s — Depression times, no less — I pointed out that it has been 27 years since tour nation threw such a party for the world.  And there won’t be another one […]

The Office

Posted June 2nd, 2011 at 2:29 pm (UTC-4)

I’ve written a lot about work — about office etiquette and stresses and violence; promotions and firings and telecommuting; and about “office politics” and what passes for office humor.  See the comic strip “Dilbert” and the hit American TV show “The Office” for more about workplace humor, much of it doleful, akin to sarcastic “jailhouse […]

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 […]

Light and LOL

Posted February 17th, 2011 at 2:21 pm (UTC-4)

You’ve seen those cartoons in which a light bulb with rays bursting outward appears above someone’s head. It represents an idea, usually a new and brilliant one!  And sometimes we hear certain people described as “dim bulbs,” meaning they’re not terribly bright. But can such metaphors work once the gaudy, porcelain-white glow from today’s halogen, […]

Generation ZZZ

Posted February 4th, 2011 at 4:11 pm (UTC-4)
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Last summer, I told you about a challenging retreat that some of us at VOA attended.  The subject was the “convergence” of many media in the world of journalism, and how we might keep up with it.  No longer are the consumers of our information relying on traditional newspapers, radio, and television alone.  Not only […]

Lessons from Long Ago

Posted January 24th, 2011 at 4:10 pm (UTC-4)
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If you’re into the U.S. Civil War of the 1860s, this is your year in heaven. It’s the 150th anniversary of the beginning of that brother-against-brother conflict in which more than 600,000 Americans died, many quite miserably in hand-to-hand battle. For the sesquicentennial year, a number of Civil War scholars are trotting out new books […]

Rudolph, Our Hero

Posted December 24th, 2010 at 10:09 am (UTC-4)
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  I’m posting this early on Friday, Christmas Eve.  For millions of American children, tonight will be the most exciting night of the year.  Bigger than New Year’s Eve.  Bigger than Independence Day’s fireworks at dusk.  Even bigger than Halloween, when they can beg bagfuls of candy from their neighbors. Kids get so excited on […]

Smart Towns, Clueless Kids

Posted October 15th, 2010 at 4:13 pm (UTC-4)

Americans love lists and rankings — the Top 10 this, the Hottest that, the Best and Worst something else — and many magazines and Web sites get their highest readership when they publish a list., for instance, recently dug through U.S. Census data and compiled a list of the 10 metro areas with the […]

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


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