Linton Weeks

Linton Weeks joined NPR in the summer of 2008, as its national correspondent for Digital News. He immediately hit the campaign trail, covering the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; fact-checking the debates; and exploring the candidates, the issues and the electorate.

Weeks is originally from Tennessee, and graduated from Rhodes College in 1976. He was the founding editor of Southern Magazine in 1986. The magazine was bought — and crushed — in 1989 by Time-Warner. In 1990, he was named managing editor of The Washington Post's Sunday magazine. Four years later, he became the first director of the newspaper's website, Washingtonpost.com. From 1995 until 2008, he was a staff writer in the Style section of The Washington Post.

He currently lives in a suburb of Washington with the artist Jan Taylor Weeks. In 2009, they created The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation to honor their beloved sons.

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9:13am

Sun April 20, 2014
The Protojournalist

Google Frecking: The Week In Pandas

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 11:23 am

What a week it's been for giant pandas. We know because for the past seven days, we have been Google Frecking for pandas.

Google Frecking is an info-gathering game we devised — at the suggestion of our creative editor — for drilling a little deeper into a subject that intrigues us. In this case: pandas.

Last weekend we set up a Google Alert for pandas. We directed Google to send us news about pandas "when it happens" and we asked for "all results."

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9:13am

Mon April 14, 2014
The Protojournalist

The Grumpy Point: When A Man Turns 70

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 8:39 am

istockphoto.com

The approximate moment when grumpiness kicks in for men, according to a recently released report, is around age 70.

Then you'd better get off his lawn.

Researchers found that as men grow older — from, say, 50 on — they have fewer obstacles and annoyances to worry about in life and, furthermore, they are more equipped to deal with adversity. But around age 70, life — or at least the perception of happiness — begins to go downhill.

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9:13am

Fri April 11, 2014
The Protojournalist

4 Strange Sports In America's Past

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 8:39 am

IFP istockphoto.com

In recent pursuits, we have come upon accounts of once-practiced — and somewhat, shall we say, curious — sports that have long since faded into obscurity.

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9:13am

Tue April 1, 2014
The Protojournalist

5 April Fools' Pranks Gone Bad

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 5:25 pm

Yanik Chauvin istockphoto.com

Perhaps in a calmer, more innocent era — if there ever was such a thing — April Fools' jokes made more sense. Nowadays the world seems overrun with Impractical Jokers, Crank Yankers and Ali G-type tricksters. And gags that once might have made us smile make us just, well, gag.

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5:13pm

Sat March 29, 2014
The Protojournalist

Vladimir Putin Is Right Out Of A Russian Novel

Russian President Vladimir Putin stands in the shadow of the Fyodor Dostoyevsky monument in Dresden, Germany, 2006.
SEBASTIAN WILLNOW AFP/Getty Images

"Russia is a hypothetical culture. Ruled by despots for most of our history, we are used to living in fiction rather than reality," writes Nina L. Khrushcheva, who teaches international affairs at The New School. She is also the great granddaughter of the late communist leader of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev.

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9:13am

Wed March 26, 2014
The Protojournalist

What Winter Will Be Like In 100 Years

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 3:57 pm

iStockphoto

One of the upsides to the seemingly endless winter of 2014 was that you had time to think.

And to ask futuristic questions, such as: What will the American Winter of 2114 be like?

Here are some of the answers.

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9:13am

Tue March 25, 2014
The Protojournalist

A Life Story In 6 Songs — Part 2

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 1:34 pm

Laura Thompson

Sifting through the hundreds and hundreds of replies to NPR's request — Tell Us The 6 Songs Of Your Life — we rediscover just how meaningful music can be in our lives, and the supermagical powers that some songs possess.

I Want To Hold Your Hand, for example ...

  • The song "ties into 7th grade mixers," recalls Leon Ritter, 62, of Indiana, and the "realization that girls weren't yucky."
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9:13am

Sat March 22, 2014
The Protojournalist

American Libraries Learn To Read Teenagers

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 3:12 pm

Way, way back in the 20th century, American teenagers turned to the local public library as a great good place to hang out. It was a hotspot for meeting up, and sharing thoughts with, other like-minded people – in books and in the flesh. It was a wormhole in the universe that gave us tunnels into the past and into the future. It was a quiet spot in an ever-noisier world.

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11:11am

Thu March 13, 2014
The Protojournalist

Forget Speed-Reading. Here's Speed-Writing

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 2:43 am

iStockphoto

Speed-reading all rage. Suddenly many speed-reading apps. Spritz. Spreeder. Others.

Some inspired by method RSVP — rapid serial visual presentation.

"Rather than read words

from left to right,"

says Marc Slater, managing director of Spreeder parent company eReflect.

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9:13am

Thu March 13, 2014
The Protojournalist

FootGolf: A New Sport Explored In 19 Questions

A FootGolfer, in argyle socks.
Courtesy of the AFGL

Springtime. And our thoughts turn to Augusta and lush green courses and a tradition unlike any other.

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9:13am

Mon March 10, 2014
The Protojournalist

I Just Hate Rants

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:18 am

istockphoto

I hate rants.

I can't stand it when people spew and spit and spout off. I hate when folks fume and fulminate. I hate when people go on and on about what they hate, especially superficial problems

* Like when you have to wash all the food off your plate before putting it in a dishwasher – a machine allegedly designed to keep you from having to wash all the food off your plate.

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9:13am

Fri March 7, 2014
The Protojournalist

The Elegant Secrets Of Flying Snakes

Paradise flying snake.
Courtesy of Jake Socha

9:15am

Wed March 5, 2014
The Protojournalist

Hemingway Doesn't Always Live Up To His Code

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 5:24 pm

An undated portrait of Ernest Hemingway in Cuba.
COPYRIGHT Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The air was clear. Our prose was not.

We remembered what Scott had told us about a clean, well-designed place called Future of Storytelling. Scott said we could learn from it. He was right and it was good.

Through the website, we discovered the Hemingway App.

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9:17am

Mon March 3, 2014
The Protojournalist

Climate Strange: 5 Monster March Snowstorms

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 1:56 pm

Snow plows in Manhattan during the blizzard of 1993.
Bill Turnbull NY Daily News via Getty Images

For much of the nation, March has come in with a leonine roar.

Are these late-season snow shows examples of climate change? "No," says weather historian Jim Fleming of Colby College. "The polar vortex is a natural and variable stratospheric event. One of its anomalies hit Russia and Central Europe in winters past. This year it is our turn."

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9:13am

Wed February 26, 2014
The Protojournalist

50 Cliches Of Gray: In Defense Of Old Truisms

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:21 am

iStockphoto

At the end of the day, it is tougher than a nickel steak to banish from American popular parlance certain phrases such as "at the end of the day."

The word police at Lake Superior State University in Michigan have been trying to strike the phrase from public discourse since 1999. Here are their Banished Words Lists from then and from 2014.

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9:13am

Sat February 22, 2014
The Protojournalist

A Life Story In 6 Songs — Part 1

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 12:36 pm

Amy Bailey

Tons of people responded — thoughtfully, wittily, smartly, poignantly — to NPR's recent request: Tell us the six songs of your life.

Sifting through the more than 1,000 annotated playlists, we came up with a few that seem exemplary of the original idea: People telling the stories of their lives — up to this point — through a half-dozen songs.

We were knocked out by the variety of the selections.

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9:13am

Thu February 20, 2014
The Protojournalist

Rethinking The First Signs Of Spring

Chris Smith iStockphoto

For eons in New England, a First Sign of Spring has been sap oozing from a maple tree. In northwestern Montana, officials at Glacier National Park report that a long understood First Sign of Spring is the appearance of a bear — emerging from hibernation.

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9:13am

Sat February 15, 2014
The Protojournalist

What We Might Learn From Snoring Weather Cats

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 4:11 pm

iStockphoto

Sometimes it feels like all the fancy meteorological machinery and prognostication equipment is actually working. And that the weather folks may finally be able to predict — albeit with constant updates and countless hedge words — what the weather is going to be.

At least for the next day or so.

But is that good enough?

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9:13am

Tue February 11, 2014
The Protojournalist

We Are Just Not Here Anymore

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 2:56 pm

At weddings, guests tweet real-time photos of the festivities to friends far away. At sporting events, fans follow scores of games in other cities. In classrooms, students text with friends in other classes and parents out in the world. At funerals, mourners send out selfies to pals in other places.

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9:12am

Thu February 6, 2014
The Protojournalist

Sonic Dictionary: An Aural History Project

Brooke Watson of Duke University gathers sound for the Sonic Dictionary.
Mary Caton Lingold

If you don't know the meaning of a word, says Mary Caton Lingold, you can look it up in the dictionary, but if you don't know what a particular sound sounds like, where do you go? (Besides NPR, of course.)

For instance: What does tobacco harvesting sound like? Or someone clogging? Or a shotgun?

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