Today's show is already breaking some kind of record for communications from the outside world received in advance of the actual episode. As soon as the promo started airing, we started getting emails, and what those emails told us was:
The Pledge of Allegiance is a 20th century creature. It was written at the end of the 19th century by a Christian socialist minister as part of a general push toward American nationalism, with special regard for the flag. I find people all the time who think it dates back to the founding of the United States. The phrase "under God" was added in the 1950s. There are all kinds of stores about how and why that happened. I think it's fair to sum it up as kind of a Cold War thing. The Soviets were godless. We weren't.
"You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity."
So said Ralph Waldo Emerson who saw, even in the 19th century, the way civilization puts artificial spaces in the natural order of things. Nature is wild. Wild animals are savage. The livestock business is brutal. Pigs are sentient. All of these things are true, but we prefer to have them orbit around, flung as far into space as possible.
Yesterday, The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection announced its preliminary findings on the origin of the now-famous Mountain Lion that was struck and killed by a Hyundai SUV in Milford last month.
We spoke with Deputy Commissioner Susan Frechette today to hear the details.
Forests across much of the Northeast are still home to bobcats, and Canada Lynx can still be found in Maine. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently declared the region’s biggest wild cat – the eastern mountain lion -- is officially extinct. That might sound like the end of the story, but a growing number of biologists think mountain lions could return to reclaim their territory in the Northeast. As part of a collaboration with Northeastern Public Radio stations, Brian Mann has our story.
Five years ago this winter, a caver in New York photographed bats with a white fungus on their faces -- and found a few dead bats. Since then, more than one million bats have died in at least 12 states, including Connecticut, from a condition now known as “white nose” syndrome. Connecticut’s environmental agency is asking the public to keep an eye out for odd behavior in bats.