Migration — Missing the Satellite Sisters on the Air

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

One of the great pleasures of Sunday evenings (after browsing through sections of the Times and hosing down the kitchen from various cooking projects) was to turn on the radio and listen to the Satellite Sisters. As they explain, they are five real sisters who grew up in Connecticut. They now live all over the world and connect on the air and on line. And they cover the world in their discussions.

In fact one of my favorite segments is the International News Roundup, in which Julie reports on events, people, ideas, not heard elsewhere, or at least not with the same lively perspective. She’s lived in Russia and Thailand and brings a true journalist’s sensibility to news analysis. Some recent topics: Upheaval in Thailand, including the three-year drift away from democracy. Details about the Russian bombers that have arrived in Venezuela for military exercises. The Medvedev (pronounced correctly) doctrine that has added a distinct Cold War chill to the diplomatic atmosphere.

Naturally a number of the subjects involve women. Yuriko Koike, the “Japanese Katie Couric” running for prime minister; a British parachutist who wants to be the first woman to jump out of a plane above Mount Everest?! Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi infuriating the Spanish by saying the government there was “too pink,” meaning filled with too many women.

Not all the stories are serious. The sisters debated whether Naomi Campbell could be a “spokes passenger” for people when she never experiences the back of the plane. A report about the woes of the German Society of Nudist Walkers elicited gasps and laughs and halted discussion for several minutes. The third World Sudoku Competition in Goa, India, included competitors from 30 countries. Sudoku is so popular that 48,000 people from Bangladesh competed for a spot in the competition. An American won, again. (When I first heard the report, I thought she meant third-world competition, and said to myself, “Man, I know the markets are bad, but how did we go from First World to Third in a day?”)

I’ve got more on these good folks, but I’ll save it for tomorrow.

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