Local News

Each week, members of the WFPL news team spotlight interesting stories we’ve read and enjoyed, for your weekend reading pleasure:

Gabe Bullard: At some point on Christmas Eve, someone, whether by appointment or accident, will flip to A Christmas Story on television. The 24-hour marathon of this movie on cable makes it a leg-shaped lava lamp of the holidays. You can’t look away.

You may already know that Jean Shepherd is the movie’s narrator, the adult Ralphie (he also plays one of the people in line at the department store). You may also know that he was a beloved but offbeat writer and radio host (and almost got The Tonight Show instead of Carson), and it’s his stories of Midwestern life that inspired A Christmas Story. Well, a whole bunch of Shepherd’s old half-ad-libbed/half-gonzo radio shows are in the public domain and available for download or streaming at archive.org. He’s kind of like the Iggy Pop to David Sedaris’s Ramones. Listen to Jean Shepherd’s radio show.

Laura Ellis:  Look, I’ll level with you. I’m not reading anything. I’m just staring at The 40 Greatest Dog GIFs of All Time. All day long. I cannot look away. Read The 40 Greatest Dog GIFs of All Time.

Rick Howlett: It’s the time of the year when we compile our various best of/worst of lists from the year past. The Poynter Institute has put together some of of the more memorable (and a few profane) media errors and corrections from 2012. Read The Best (and Worst) Media Errors and Corrections of 2012.

Joseph Lord: This is not exactly holiday cheerful, but it’s too important to ignore. This story in Der Spiegel takes a look at the difficult life of a drone pilot. Read Paid Continues After War for American Drone Pilot.

OK, maybe that’s a little deep for someone nursing an eggnog hangover. If that’s you, The Guardian explained the making of that great Christmas song, Fairytale of New York. Read Fairytale of New York: The Story Behind the Pogues’ Classic Christmas Anthem.

Bonus from Gabe: When it comes to holiday reading, I prefer something segmented with a high potential for conversation-starting. Something I can read in between runs to the store to buy last-minute meal ingredients but that will also give me some fun facts to bring up in conversations. Paul Giambarba’s The Branding of Polaroid Blog is just that. 

Giambarba worked for Polaroid when the company was, in many ways, the Apple of its time, under the leadership of founder Edwin Land. His writings are a great insight into design, photography, business and a very interesting time at a very interesting company. Read The Branding of Polaroid Blog.