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.

When you leave the office to take a walk in this wicked wintry weather, it's 24 degrees Fahrenheit outside. You feel cold. As you stroll through the streets of Washington, you realize the temperature around you is dropping. To 22°F. To 20°F.

You are getting colder and you begin to wonder if there is a temperature at which the average human can no longer feel any "colder".

In other words, does 20°F – without wind — feel about the same as 10°F or 0°F, when it comes to how we sense the coldness?

Through one lens, the National Football League — on the threshold of Super Bowl XLVIII — looks to be at the top of its game. Revenues are ridiculously high: more than $9 billion a year, CNN reports. Television ratings are roof-piercing: 34 of the 35 most-watched TV shows of autumn 2013 were NFL games, according to the NFL.

Awards season is upon us. And on top of us. And all over us with red carpets, acceptance speeches and actor antics.

Fifty years ago this month, the landmark U.S. Surgeon General's report linking cigarette smoking and lung cancer was released.

Over the past half-century, America has become more and more inhospitable to people who smoke — and to tobacco companies. In a recent statement, the Department of Health and Human Services declares its desire "to make the next generation tobacco-free."

Look. Up in the sky — and in that little package with the A-to-Z logo. It's a bird. It's a plane.

Maybe it all started with ugly Christmas sweaters. Or with cheesy inflatable Santas. Or hideously inappropriate tree ornaments. But Christmastime – at least its visible trappings and accoutrements – seems to be getting tackier.

Created by a British-American wordsmith, the very first Word-Cross appeared in the New York World on Dec. 21, 1913.

Created by a British-American wordsmith, the very first Word-Cross appeared in the New York World on Dec. 21, 1913.

Blocks grow with you — from basic alphabet blocks and geometric building blocks, to Tinker Toys and Legos and girder and panel sets, to bricks and

Resolved: That blocks are the best toys ever.

The usual question for Americans on an Anniversary of National Significance is: Where Were You When...?

Where Were You When you learned that: Martin Luther King Jr. had been shot on April 4 in 1968? Neil Armstrong walked on the moon on July 21, 1969? The twin towers of the World Trade Center were attacked on Sept. 11, 2001?

But there is another question of orientation: Who Were You When ... a certain nation-changing event occurred?

This is who I was — 50 years ago this month — when I heard that President John F. Kennedy had been shot.

We are a country at war, yet we live as if we are at peace. We are in economic turmoil, but the stock market soars, and corporations and banks prosper. We decry violence in real life but celebrate violence in entertainment, such as Grand Theft Auto V and Breaking Bad. We warn our young people against promiscuity, while society's sexualization of young people continues.

And on and on.

Starter: Hello. Is that whiskey you're drinking?

Let me tell you about the debt that whiskey drinkers owe to women. Fred Minnick, a writer for the beverage industry, says so in his new book, Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch and Irish Whiskey.

First there was recycling — reusing old material instead of throwing it away.

Recently there has been an eruption of revelations from below the surface of the Earth: Major aquifers beneath Kenya and a vast volcano deep in the Pacific Ocean.

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