Jun. 8, 2000


by Louis Jenkins

Broadcast Date: THURSDAY: June 8, 2000

Poem: "Flight," by Louis Jenkins, from The Winter Road (Holy Cow Press).

It's the birthday of mystery writer Sara Paretsky, born in Ames, Iowa (1947). She earned a Ph.D. in history (1977), but during the month preceding her oral exams she read 24 mysteries—"which should have given me a clue about what my real interests were." Her detective books Deadlock (1984), Blood Shot (1988), and Tunnel Vision (1994) all feature detective Victoria Iphigenia Warshawski, known as V.I. Warshawski, or "Vic," a Cubs fan who is good with a Smith & Wesson and adept at karate.

Today is the birthday of Andrew Weil, born in Philadelphia (1942), the author of Spontaneous Healing (1995) and other alternative health books.

Today is the birthday of actor Robert Preston, born in Newton Highlands, Massachusetts (1918), best known for playing Professor Harold Hill in Meredith Willson's musical comedy The Music Man—on Broadway (1957) and on screen (1962).

It's the birthday of biophysicist Francis Crick, born in Northampton, England (1916). With American biologist James Watson and fellow Englishman Maurice Wilkins, he made one of the most important discoveries of 20th-century biology, decoding the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA. Crick and Watson constructed a molecular model of DNA (1953). Then, in 1958, Crick proposed that the DNA determines the sequence of amino acids in a polypeptide by means of a triplet code. Three years later, he, Watson and Wilkins shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Crick wrote about the revolution in molecular biology in his books Of Molecules and Men (1966) and What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery (1988).

Today is the birthday of "the father of science fiction," John W. Campbell, born in Newark, New Jersey (1910). His first published story, "When the Atoms Failed" (1930), contained one of the earliest versions of a computer to appear in fiction. He predicted, in 1939, that atomic energy could be attained through the release of energy from Uranium 235.

It's the birthday of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, born in Richland Center, Wisconsin (1869). He said, "No house should ever be on any hill or on anything. It should be of the hill, belonging to it, so hill and house could live together, each the happier for the other."

It's the birthday of novelist Charles Reade, born in Ipsden, Oxfordshire, England (1814), whose best known historical romance was The Cloister and the Hearth (1861), and whose motto was "Make 'em laugh; make 'em cry; make 'em wait."

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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