Showing Archived Posts

Is Email at Death’s Door?

Posted July 27th, 2012 at 4:50 pm (UTC-4)

A lot of Internet tech talkers are preparing a coffin for electronic mail.  Some are even shoveling dirt on it.  And while it’s pretty obvious that email is not dead dead at age 41, it’s looking pretty pallid. Those of us who must swim through a daily email stream of spam, scams, advertising pitches and […]

The Incredible Shrinking Newspaper

Posted June 29th, 2012 at 6:56 pm (UTC-4)
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If you’re a regular reader, you know a bit about New Orleans, the old, southern seaport where I once lived and that I still love.  When my family dwelled in that historic, dreamy place for five years in the 1980s, I had four daily rituals:   • drink strong chicory coffee, preferably accompanied by a […]

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Posted November 14th, 2011 at 2:31 pm (UTC-4)

As those of you who check in regularly know, I was away for a couple of weeks on a trip from which I’ll have a few stories for you in the days ahead. I returned to find 1,800 emails on my office computer.   These included faithful reports by my colleagues to their editors that, yes, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Potting It Down

Posted March 10th, 2011 at 2:44 pm (UTC-4)

At the risk of agitating reader Brad, who already calls me “old and cranky,” let me tell you about a nostalgic email that I got from Dean Everette, a friend and old radio hand who laughs that he, like many in that transient profession, “was fired every couple of years or so.”  (I was fired […]

Radio Daze

Posted December 13th, 2010 at 2:53 pm (UTC-4)
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In 1897, the gifted American humorist Mark Twain dashed off a note to the New York Herald newspaper.  The recent rumor of his death, he wrote, “was an exaggeration.” Can the same be said for the death knells that are ringing for American radio?  Let’s look back. Television was absolutely going to kill off radio […]

Bite-sized America

Posted November 17th, 2010 at 3:28 pm (UTC-4)

Every once in awhile, you’ll hear a radio host or a comedian joke that “a letter poured in,” implying that a lot of response to something was expected, but a minimal amount was received. Nowadays, not even one letter would pour in. An e-mail or two, perhaps. Or a text message. When one receives an […]

Bad Fruit on the Email Tree

Posted October 21st, 2010 at 2:05 pm (UTC-4)

Once you start forwarding lighthearted email — jokes, puzzles, wacky cat videos — to friends and colleagues, you’re sure to get a blizzard more in return.  Many of the messages will contain amazing purported “facts” that seem perfectly plausible.  A lot of them turn out to be blatantly inaccurate “urban legends” or worthless bunkum. I […]

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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