Each week, members of the WFPL News team spotlight interesting stories we’ve read and enjoyed, for your weekend reading pleasure:
Gabe Bullard: I love late night television talk shows. But like many of my peers who grew up in the Leno era of the Tonight Show, my love is stronger for the concept than the execution, with a few exceptions—Dick Cavett DVDs and Conan or early Letterman (that phrase, “Conan or early Letterman,” was probably as close as I’d ever come to having a mantra). After a few years of silence, we late night lovers (a title that’s way less exciting than it seems) finally have something new to talk about. We’re waiting to see a puff of Peacock-colored smoke rise from Rockefeller Center, indicating Jimmy Fallon will succeed Leno II at 11:30 p.m. But the interesting thing about this is that isn’t very interesting at all. In an excellent blog post, NPR’s Linda Holmes translates the collective sigh comedy fans let out when we saw the Fallon/Leno headlines. Read Here We Go Again: Leno, Fallon, and Why the Late Night Wars Are So Boring.
Laura Ellis: It’s March Madness season, so this week I offer you an article from the vaults of Sports Illustrated. It’s the story of what some call the greatest NCAA basketball game of all time: The 1963 championship between Loyola of Chicago and Cincinnati. It was the first college game in which most of the players on both sides were African American. George Ireland, who coached Loyola, was a bit of a maverick: “The unspoken rule then was two blacks at home, if you had to play them, and one on the road. I played four, and rarely substituted.” Ireland and his players received hate mail, and in some cities, the team couldn’t all ride in the same taxis or stay at the same hotels. Read It was More Than a Game.
Rick Howlett: From the BBC, a few interesting revelations from the release of a new batch of LBJ tapes, including his plan to show up at the 1968 Democratic National Convention to announce he’ll run for re-election after all. Read The Lyndon Johnson Tapes: Richard Nixon’s Treason.
Devin Katayama: I’ve embarked on The Dude and the Zen Master. The book is a series of conversations between Jeff Bridges (The Dude) and Bernie Glassman (The Zen Master). The two discuss life and personal experiences, often describing existential thoughts that relate to The Dude’s philosophy, to which he abides to in The Big Lebowski. Read this, and be better.
Joseph Lord: Higher education is ever expensive and ever in demand, and some argue that the Internet could use the burden of access and cost for many people. Others disagree. The Awl recently played host to a robust debate on “massively open online courses,” and what they could mean for higher education in the future. All the relevant links to the debate can be found in this pro-MOOC piece. Read How to Save College.