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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The Protojournalist
7:13 pm
Sat March 29, 2014

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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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Wed March 26, 2014

What Winter Will Be Like In 100 Years

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 5:57 pm

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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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Tue March 25, 2014

A Life Story In 6 Songs — Part 2

Laura Thompson

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 5:39 pm

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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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Sat March 22, 2014

American Libraries Learn To Read Teenagers

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 5:12 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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The Protojournalist
1:11 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Forget Speed-Reading. Here's Speed-Writing

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:43 am

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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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Thu March 13, 2014

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.

No not The Masters tournament — FootGolf.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Mon March 10, 2014

I Just Hate Rants

istockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 6:18 am

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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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Fri March 7, 2014

The Elegant Secrets Of Flying Snakes

Paradise flying snake.
Courtesy of Jake Socha

Flying snakes are mysterious. How do they soar? Without wings or other helpful appendages, how do they glide from tree to tree?

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The Protojournalist
11:15 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Hemingway Doesn't Always Live Up To His Code

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

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:24 pm

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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The Protojournalist
11:44 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Climate Strange: 5 Monster March Snowstorms

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

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

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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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Sat March 1, 2014

3 Cities With Freeways Going Nowhere

An artist's sketch of the revamped I-10/Claiborne Overpass in New Orleans.
CNU

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 9:00 am

When I was growing up in Memphis in the 1960s, the Feds — and state and local officials — unveiled plans to build a short stretch of Interstate 40 to connect East Memphis with downtown.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Wed February 26, 2014

50 Cliches Of Gray: In Defense Of Old Truisms

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 12:21 pm

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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The Protojournalist
11:37 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Will Smart Things Make Us Less Dumb?

We read about Smart Guns revolutionizing the firearms industry. We shop at Smart Toys stores in the shopping mall.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Sat February 22, 2014

A Life Story In 6 Songs — Part 1

Amy Bailey

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 5:41 pm

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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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Thu February 20, 2014

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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The Protojournalist
11:22 am
Wed February 19, 2014

The Cultish Appeal Of Michelle Obama

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 10:23 am

There are people who do not like Michelle Obama.

This is not a story for, or about, them. This is a story for, and about, people who like the first lady. And perhaps some of the reasons they like her.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Sat February 15, 2014

What We Might Learn From Snoring Weather Cats

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 6:11 pm

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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The Protojournalist
11:38 am
Tue February 11, 2014

We Are Just Not Here Anymore

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 4:56 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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The Protojournalist
11:12 am
Thu February 6, 2014

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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The Protojournalist
11:12 am
Mon February 3, 2014

6 Odd College Courses In America

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 1:21 pm

About college courses, actor Tom Hanks recently told The Star-Ledger: "I had thought, oh, college, you have to take chemistry and stuff and sit there slogging through work in the library. And then it was like, wait, you can go to college and study theater? And act in plays? This is almost a racket."

Check the catalogs at colleges these days and you will see that you can study theater, act in plays and explore a whole lot more.

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