When considering all the things, one must include dinosaurs. That’s the inarguable point of an 8-year-old NPR listener who recently wrote to his local NPR station to suggest that All Things Considered could “talk more about dinosaurs and cool things.”
The kid isn’t wrong.
As NPR pointed out in a gracious response, “All Things Considered is about to turn 50 years old. NPR’s archivists found the word ‘dinosaur’ appearing in stories 294 times in the show’s history. By comparison, ‘senator’ has appeared 20,447 times.”
Leo Shidla, the letter writer, also suggested the show might change its name to Newsy Things Considered if it did not plan to sort out its imbalanced levels of dino content.
In a very charming turn, NPR put Leo in touch with Ashley Poust, who works at the San Diego Natural History Museum, so he could ask a few questions about dinosaurs and what it’s like to be a paleontologist (which is what Leo wants to be when he grows up). His questions include, “How did dinosaurs grow to be so big and why aren’t humans and mammals the size of dinosaurs today?” which is a slightly distressing concept, but Poust has a good answer. (Partly, it’s dinosaurs’ “weird bones.”)
NPR also compiled a related playlist, “Nature, Dinosaurs And Cool Things For Leo.” If your news consumption has been lacking in dinosaurs, you’ve got a place to start.