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Letters: Antarctica, Airlines, Sancho Panza


Time now for your comments.

Our Climate Connections story following tourists on a cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula brought a comment from Steven Gail of Gilbertsville, New York. While there was a brief mention of the environmental jeopardy of sending so many people to such a fragile place, your focus was on romanticizing trophy tourism.

We need not celebrate those who bagged seven continents or sneak a handful of Antarctic pebbles for their trophy case. The fragile Antarctic environment will be better off if you stay home and watch the DVD on your unnecessarily large flat-screen TV.

INSKEEP: Ooh! If you have an unnecessarily large computer monitor, all the better to watch our video about the effects of tourism and climate change on Antarctica. It's at NPR.org/climateconnections.

MONTAGNE: And whether on a trophy tour or a business trip, some airline passengers can pay extra for seats with more legroom, which is why I asked airline expert David Field, are the airlines taking out seats, meaning for passengers who don't pay extra, they have less legroom?

Mr. DAVID FIELD (Airline Expert): No one loses legroom and they didn't actually take out seats. They just sort of rejiggered it.

INSKEEP: So George Entenmann of Chapel Hill, North Carolina wondered if we could do a follow-up telling him how he can rejigger the seats in his car to make more legroom. Something has got to give, he writes, when room is, quote, "added" between seats.

MONTAGNE: And if the airlines are charging extra for legroom, Carol Lou Simons would like a corresponding discount. The Southold, New York resident writes that she's barely five feet tall. She's offering to give back some space if the price is right.

INSKEEP: Passengers of all sizes are supposed to watch safety demonstrations, which Delta Airlines plans to encourage by featuring a flight attendant who's been compared to Angelina Jolie in this video...

Unidentified Woman: Smoking is not allowed on any Delta flight, and federal law prohibits tampering with, disabling, or destroying a restroom smoke detector.

INSKEEP: Maneesh Rumish(ph) of Stanford, Connecticut writes: kudos to the airline industry for finally realizing that the ADHD generation does not watch their safety videos and there is a new need for new packaging.

MONTAGNE: But for D.H. Strong the videos aren't strong enough. Nobody pays attention to the safety video no matter who she looks like. She could be stark naked and you'd only get two or three people a day to notice.

INSKEEP: Some of you noticed when we talked about Don Quixote and a story about a dancing donkey. In fact, Suzy Forbes of Gail's Ferry, Connecticut almost drove off the road laughing. In Charlottesville, Virginia, Spanish teacher Jim McDonald reports he nearly choked on his coffee.

MONTAGNE: All because I called Don Quixote's portly sidekick Poncho Sanchez. Turns out I inverted the name. Most of you would have heard my later correct version, Sancho Panza; Panza, Mr. McDonald writes, being a play on the Spanish word for belly.

INSKEEP: Drop us a line if you notice something strange here on "ORNING MEDITION." Go to NPR.org and click on the button that says Contact Us. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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