On the other hand, Mary Ann wore gingham.
How do these quilted patterns come together for a four-minute radio feature?
I choose a question based on a simple test. Will I be able to answer this? If I think I can, I pursue its conclusion without pity. I have never turned back.
"Lin, can you explain black holes?"
This may shock those few of you who know me well. I am not a physicist. Yet, it was a question that bore examination. So for three hours I read as much as I could about "black holes," which led me to read about The Large Hadron Collider and the God Particle, and I realized that it would be easier to make stuff up.
"I don't want to know how the universe came to be. I want to know why."
As the structure of Lin's Bin takes shape, I send an email to a demented genius who lives in Ohio. "Pete," I'll write, "this Friday we will answer the question, "Who decides who the cool kids are?" And Pete Crozier, who began producing Lin's Bin when it was invented by program director Norm Winer 10 years ago, sends me pages of movie or television quotations that refer to the cool kids.
I hunt for songs whose lyrics can punctuate a well-turned phrase. I construct a miniature soundtrack for these short stories.
The recent Lin's Bin piece entitled "Is it still a man's world?" included James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's World"; Liz Phair's "Never Said"; Motley Crue's "Girls, Girls, Girls"; The Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb"; and Urge Overkill's "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon." There were cultural references culled from "Pride and Prejudice," "Tootsie," "The Office" and the HBO series "Girls."
In the final draft, it is a script with directions and insertions. I record my voice and send it to Pete. It will take him a few hours to layer music and bits of dialogue on top of my voice. If he feels more music is needed, he will find it. Time has built a level of trust where he has become like the director who has earned "final cut."
I meet listeners who say to me, "Those Lin's Bins are pretty good. Who writes them for you?"
I do. Every syllable. Without editorial comment. Only one person on earth reads Lin's Bin before I record it. My wife. She keeps me out of trouble.
Lin Brehmer hosts the XRT Morning Show with News Anchor Mary Dixon from 5:30 to 10 a.m. Monday-Friday. Lin's Bins is a feature that runs at 7:15 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. Mondays and Fridays.
A recent show
As a young high school teacher, all I hear about from veteran teachers is how "kids nowadays are just not the same as they used to be." What makes kids today different from those of the past? —Brette Book, Chicago
Lyric: It's a different world today and I just don't understand
What makes kids different from those of the past?
Instantaneous access to any information lessens the urgency of learning.