Food For The Curious Mind

Oct 14, 2013

This baby Joe, one of the curious cats, at rest. To get a photo of him in his curious mode was impossible.

I have a couple of young cats in my household and I keep waiting for them to grow older and become more sedate like the 8 year olds.  

My house is “cat-proofed” and still, I’ve had to replace lampshades and window blinds.  They are always looking for new things in their environment – rings from the milk bottle, a new box, a shopping bag and the moth hiding on the ceiling. 

But honestly, the myth of the curious cat is no myth.  And -- I like their antics, I think, because they mirror my own mind.

If you are like me, we are always scanning the environment, looking for information.

We consume a lot of information each day – from the sources that give us the “food” we want.  At work and in the car, I listen to KGOU.  At home, I usually have multiple media going at the same time – listening to KGOU, reading the internet, and yes, sometimes the TV on but muted with closed captioning going.  My radio button doesn’t often change from KGOU, and my first stops on the web are always KGOU and StateImpact Oklahoma, and the remainder of my list of bookmarks and RSS feed is pretty long.

I want information but I am beyond headlines and talking points.  I want the news but I also want the history, the in-depth rationale, and the various points of view.  Artificial controversy doesn’t interest me in the same way I drive by roadway accidents without gawking – they usually are uninformative.  What I find is that KGOU is informative – every day – covering the serious news and reminding me that we have an incredibly interesting world to experience.

For example, last Thursday on Morning Edition I heard a range of in-depth stories about the implications of the partial federal government shutdown and the perils of a possible default on the federal debt.  Each of these stories is incredibly important if I am to be an informed voter. 

But I also listened to the Canadian winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Alice Munro, and an exploration of Giuseppe Verdi’s operas and a look at women of Latin hip hop music.  Wow!  And the stories were great, and I never once thought of changing the station or turning the radio off.  In the mix of the serious news with the important information I needed to know more about, I also received a gift -- some information that I might not have chosen to listen to otherwise.

Then I heard announcements about a range of local Oklahoma events, and a story from StateImpact Oklahoma about the increased attendance at Oklahoma state parks and the hardships of businesses somewhat dependent on visitors to closed federal parks.  I heard a promotion for a program to air on Monday about a discussion of the Middle East with Oklahoma experts.  And a promotion for a new program on Friday night and an interview with Stacey Kent, now on tour in Europe, who appeared at the Edmond Jazz Lab.  Again, wow!

I’ve been working in public radio for the 38 years of my professional life, the last 25 years here in Oklahoma. Public radio, now morphing into public media, has always been food for my curious mind. And the ingenious part of the structure of public radio is that not only is it been attractive to those of us who work in the business, but it clearly has become important to the many listeners of the broadcast service and to the readers of the digital service. 

Please add your voice to those who are constantly looking for “food” to satisfy their curious mind and become a member of KGOU.  Thanks!