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.

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The Protojournalist
3:51 am
Sun November 23, 2014

When Thanksgiving Was Weird

Originally published on Sun November 23, 2014 4:52 am

Oddest thing: Thanksgiving in turn-of-the-20th century America used to look a heckuva lot like Halloween.

People – young and old – got all dressed up and staged costumed crawls through the streets. In Los Angeles, Chicago and other places around the country, newspapers ran stories of folks wearing elaborate masks and cloth veils. Thanksgiving mask balls were held in Cape Girardeau, Mo., Montesano, Wash. and points in between.

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The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Who Won The Civil War? Tough Question

History quiz: Students on campus.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 7:41 pm

The old joke used to be: Who is buried in Grant's tomb?

Now it's not so funny anymore.

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The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Sat November 15, 2014

The Wondrous World Of Tom Thumb Weddings

Alex George and Lilliana Bremerkamp pretend to get married in a 2008 Tom Thumb wedding.
Robert LaRouche Courtesy of Holly Bremerkamp

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 7:20 am

When the "bride" and "groom" walk down the aisle in a Tom Thumb Wedding — as they did just a few weeks ago at the Fellowship Baptist Church on Staten Island in New York — they are:

1) Often not much taller than the backs of the church pews.

2) Paying homage to a pair of 19th century celebrities.

3) Acting out an American ritual with roots stretching back more than 150 years.

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The Protojournalist
9:17 am
Thu November 13, 2014

8 Epic Eating Contests In American History

Pie eating contest in 1921.
Library of Congress

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 12:51 pm

As America enters the holiday season, chowing down at a crowded table can become a competitive experience. What was once confined to friendly wagers has blossomed into a full-blown industry.

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The Protojournalist
9:16 am
Wed November 5, 2014

The Strange Dating Games Of 1914

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 9:14 am

With a peck of new tech in development, Upstart reports recently, "the dating game may never be the same."

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The Protojournalist
9:15 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Halloween For Adults: A Scary History

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 11:03 am

For Halloween 2014, the National Retail Federation predicts, some 75 million adults will put on costumes. Reuters is reporting that haunted houses for adults are in demand this year, and some 20 percent of celebrants over the age of 18 plan to visit one.

Are adults adulterating Halloween?

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The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Halloween High Jinks For Fun And Nonprofits

Evelyn FitzGerald, 2 months old, is in a Princess Leia — of Star Wars renown — costume made from recycled clothes by her mother Shenandoah Brettell of El Segundo, Calif. "I made the wig out of yarn and the belt out of felt," says Shenandoah, who listens to NPR member station KPCC.
Shenandoah Brettell

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 12:15 pm

Making costumes from secondhand stuff is a part of the Halloween scene in 2014, according to Goodwill. We call it boocycling.

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The Protojournalist
9:15 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Girl Scouts Look For A Way Out Of The Woods

Girl Scouts model contemporary uniforms.
From Girl Scouts of the USA website

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 10:11 am

The Girl Scouts organization wants s'more — members and leaders, that is.

Membership in Girl Scouts of the USA is on the decline. In the past year, according to the group's official blog, there has been a significant drop nationwide — down 400,000 girls and adults — from 3.2 million to 2.8 million.

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The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Sat October 18, 2014

America's Boo-It-Yourself Halloween Spirit

Pretend to be a pineapple.
Jeff Mindell

Originally published on Sat October 18, 2014 12:39 pm

How about we call it boocycling — putting together an adult's or child's costume using recycled, thrift-store clothing?

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The Protojournalist
9:25 am
Wed October 15, 2014

What Is Really Tearing America Apart

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 9:16 am

What separates Americans the most?

Race ... religion ... gender ...

According to Shanto Iyengar, a political scientist at Stanford University, often the most divisive aspect of contemporary society is: politics.

Divided We Stand

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The Protojournalist
9:16 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Wrong! 3 Recent Reports That May Surprise You

Carlos Caetano istockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 12:13 pm

From the ancient Greek thinker Democritus who reportedly said, "We know nothing really; for truth lies deep down," to the recent problem-solving advice from Entrepreneur, "Assume Everything Is Wrong," we have to constantly be reminded to be skeptical. And that the one thing we do know is that we don't always know what we think we know.

As neophyte reporters are often told: "If your mother says she loves you, check it out."

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The Protojournalist
9:22 am
Sat October 4, 2014

Broken Art: The Closing Of A Washington Museum

Necessary steps: A mourner dressed in period clothes for the Corcoran's mock funeral.
Photo by Caroline Lacey

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 9:18 am

Recently the Corcoran Gallery of Art in downtown Washington — just across the street from the White House — closed its doors.

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The Protojournalist
9:35 am
Thu October 2, 2014

The Outhouse — And Other Rooms — Get A 21st Century Makeover

Sonoma Retreat by Aidlin Darling
Marion Brenner Courtesy of ASLA

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 11:51 am

Americans are discovering — or rediscovering — the allure of outdoor living, according to a 2014 survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Whether the instinct stems from a primordial desire to reconnect with the natural world or to disconnect from in-house clutter and chaos, people who can afford it are transporting traditional indoor areas — kitchens, dining rooms, bedrooms, entertainment centers — outside.

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The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Show-And-Tell: Show Us Your Angry Face

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 1:47 pm

You know the look. After all, the Angry Face, according to a recent study, is pretty much the same all over the world.

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The Protojournalist
9:24 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Hillary Exhilaration Helps Energize Generation Z

Supporters of Hillary Clinton wait as pro-Clinton volunteers hand out posters and bumper stickers at George Washington University in Washington on June 13.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 2:31 pm

Question young, first-time voters about whom they will be supporting in the 2016 presidential election — via a callout on NPR's Facebook page — and you will receive more than 700 all-over-the-map responses.

Some thoughtful, some insightful. And a heck of a lot filled with what can only be called Hillary Exhilaration.

Especially among the young women of Generation Z — cultural shorthand for the cohort born in the mid-'90s or later.

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The Protojournalist
9:17 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Growing Business — Show Us Your Desk Plant

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 7:21 am

Post a photo of the plant on your desk in the Comments section below.

That's right: The plant the boss wants you to take home ...

Now you can explain — with some research to back you up — that having greenery in your workspace makes you more productive. And how a ficus near the phone or a lily by the laptop helps grow business.

And maybe your supervisor will make like a plant — and leave.

Rooting Out The Problem

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The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Your Email Double: A Classic Digital Dilemma

Ron Chapple Stock istockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 11:45 am

Now that the term Digital World has become redundant, we are able to make mistakes and encounter entanglements that no human — even Shakespeare --could ever have imagined.

Email doubles, for instance. Nearly everyone — even those of us with unusual names — has run into the dilemma. An email double who shares our name.

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The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Is There Such A Thing As A 'Good Psychopath'?

kuzmafoto.com iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 2:16 pm

Oxymoronic, isn't it, the idea of a "good psychopath"?

But in their just published book, The Good Psychopath's Guide to Success, Andy McNab and Kevin Dutton argue that relying on some psychopathic traits can lead to a more successful life.

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The Protojournalist
9:32 am
Tue August 19, 2014

What Exactly Is That Birdlike Thing?

The hummingbird moth — Hemaris thysbe.
Courtesy of Elena Tartaglia

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 1:36 pm

For years I was convinced that there exists among us a strange, unidentified species of animal — something between bug and bird — jetting around gardens and flowers and trees.

Not too long ago one of these natural UFOs buzzed past me in broad daylight. Too big to be a bee, too itty-bitty to be a bird. Slow enough to glimpse, but too fast to identify.

Not exactly a hummingbird ...

Nor a bumblebee ...

What the heck was it?

The mystery was finally solved when a friend told me about ...

... the hummingbird moth.

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The Protojournalist
9:21 am
Fri August 15, 2014

What Your Junk Drawer Reveals About You

Kit Yarrow's junk drawer.
Kit Yarrow

Originally published on Sat August 16, 2014 3:58 am

The Great American Junk Drawer can be an accidental time capsule, a haphazard scrap heap, a curious box of memories and meaninglessness. It can also serve as a Rorschachian reflection of your life.

You know what we're talking about: The drawer of detritus. The has-been bin. That roll-out repository where you toss your odds and ends. Sometimes very odd odds and ends. Sometimes whatnot never to be seen again.

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The Protojournalist
9:16 am
Tue August 12, 2014

The Bush/Obama Quiz: What's The Difference?

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images Alex Wong/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 5:18 pm

Perhaps this is the sound of history repeating itself.

In the early days of his first term, President Obama was painted as "the anti-Bush" and many of his ideas — for instance his foreign policy and his approach to global terrorism — were considered non-Bushesque initiatives.

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The Protojournalist
9:21 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Slow Walkers May Be On Their Way To Dementia

Ralph Hoppe istockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat August 2, 2014 10:15 am

Wait a minute. Weren't we told by Simon and Garfunkel: "Slow down, you move too fast. You've got to make the morning last"?

And by some other philosopher to "stop and smell the roses"?

Now we learn from new research that walking slow can be a bad thing — or at least reveal that you might be slouching toward Alzheimer's.

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The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Desk Desk Evolution

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 8:55 am

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The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Sun July 27, 2014

Smartsongs: Refrains The Brain Retains

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 1:54 pm

Now that Weird Al week is long past, we can mull over the merits — and demerits — of Al Yankovic's new mishmash of novelty music: Mandatory Fun.

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The Protojournalist
9:22 am
Fri July 11, 2014

A Surge In Concierges

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:12 am

Steve Sims is the founder of Bluefish, a luxury concierge service that takes care of rich people. As Steve posted on Reddit recently: "We've arranged everything from supersonic military jet flights in Russia, submersible dives in the Atlantic Ocean to view the Titanic, sunsets in the Serengeti, deep-sea dives with great whites, performing with rock stars, to flights into space for our clients."

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The Protojournalist
5:03 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Bored On The Fourth Of July? Try These Movies

A promotional image for Jaws.
Universal The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:10 am

Cinema sites abound with lists such as Top 10 Movies ForThe Fourth Of July from Forbes and 12 Patriotic Movies by the Los Angeles Times. After all, Hollywood knows that Americans love to celebrate American celebrations.

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The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Freedom To NOT Celebrate Independence Day

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
Library of Congress

Originally published on Fri July 4, 2014 12:41 pm

Celebrating Independence Day on July Fourth is as American as burgers and dogs on the grill, lemonade in plastic cups, apple pie on paper plates, baseball, fireworks and Sousa marches.

Except for those Americans who don't celebrate it at all.

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The Protojournalist
9:19 am
Mon June 30, 2014

America's Search For Meming

KnowYourMeme.com and Library of Congress

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 12:58 pm

One reason Internet memes — the quirky photos with societal observations that are passed along like genes or around like germs — work so well, is that they tap into something of the moment, a fleeting notion that captures the here and now.

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The Protojournalist
9:26 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Why America May Be Ready For Some Futbol

William West AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 1:07 pm

Ante-millennium America was ho-hum about soccer as a sport, because it is a game with: nonstop motion, international players, loose rules and corruption, low expectations of scoring and an imprecise ending.

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The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Sat June 21, 2014

The Runner-Up Religions Of America

Courtesy of the ASARB

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 6:30 am

Glance at the map above, Second Largest Religious Tradition in Each State 2010, and you will see that Buddhism (orange), Judaism (pink) and Islam (blue) are the runner-up religions across the country.

No surprises there. But can you believe that Hindu (dark orange) is the No. 2 tradition in Arizona and Delaware, and that Baha'i (green) ranks second in South Carolina?

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