PLEDGE NOW
Consider The Lobster

With Meghna Chakrabarti in for Tom Ashbrook

From sea floor to still life to roll. The lobster in science, myth, art, and on the plate.

In this photo made Thursday, August 2, 2012, Maggy Mulhern, left, and Katharine Mead, prepare a lobster bake for dinner on the shore of a small island in Penobscot Bay Maine. (AP)

In this photo made Thursday, August 2, 2012, Maggy Mulhern, left, and Katharine Mead, prepare a lobster bake for dinner on the shore of a small island in Penobscot Bay Maine. (AP)

Writer Nancy Frazier loves lobsters. She sees them everywhere she looks. They’ve crawled out of the pot and onto the canvas. Ventured from the sea floor and into our mythology and prose. Dali painted surreal lobsters. The Dutch masters captured them in still life. Milton wrote of armored underwater sentinels in Paradise Lost. Lewis Carroll had Alice dance a lobster-quadrille.

But why are we so bewitched by a crustacean that we eat? There’s a deep biology and psychology at work here. One that deserves a closer look.

This hour, On Point: Behold, the surprising lives of lobsters.

-Meghna Chakrabarti

Guests

Nancy Frazier, author of the book I, Lobster: A Crustacean Odyssey.

Diane Cowan, marine biologist at the Lobster Conservancy.

Bob Baines, long-time lobsterman, he is head of the Maine Lobster Advisory Council.

From The Reading List

Gourmet “There are lobster T-shirts and lobster bobblehead dolls and inflatable lobster pool toys and clamp-on lobster hats with big scarlet claws that wobble on springs. Your assigned correspondent saw it all, accompanied by one girlfriend and both his own parents—one of which parents was actually born and raised in Maine, albeit in the extreme northern inland part, which is potato country and a world away from the touristic midcoast.”

Cape Cod “I can recall tugging my mom down the aisle to the back of our local market, anxious to pay a visit to the curious crustaceans. I would gawk for as long as permitted, transfixed by the extraordinary features. Naively, I thought it were the same six or seven “loppers” I was calling on, week after week. I chose to believe they were protected there, like pet fish, in a tank at a restaurant.”

New York Times “A combination of warm weather and good conservation techniques has led to what could end up being a record lobster harvest across Maine waters. The glut is particularly noticeable here in Stonington, a fishing village on an archipelago by the Atlantic Ocean that has more lobster “landings,” or catches, than anywhere in the state.”

Images

Excerpt

Use the navigation bar at the bottom of this frame to reformat the excerpt to best suit your reading experience.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 4, 2015
A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body of a migrant child after a number of migrants died and a smaller number were reported missing after boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized, near the Turkish resort of Bodrum early Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. (DHA/AP)

Migrant crisis in Europe. The Iran deal, cleared. A Kentucky clerk and gay marriage. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Sep 4, 2015
Serena Williams reacts after winning a point against Kiki Bertens, of the Netherlands, during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. (Charles Krupa/AP)

Serena Williams. The undisputed queen of tennis, and what she’s meant in sports and beyond.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 3, 2015
Journalists protest the murder of photojournalist Ruben Espinosa Becerril in Mexico City, on Aug. 2, 2015. (Marco Ugarte/AP)

Three Vice News journalists arrested in Turkey. A wave of journalists in prison. In graves. We’ll look at journalists worldwide under pressure.

 
Sep 3, 2015
A television screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the decision of the Federal Reserve, on July 29, 2015. The Federal Reserve may raise interest rates soon. (Richard Drew/AP)

Should the Fed finally raise interest rates? In spite of the stock market roller coaster? We’ll dig into the Fed weighing the end of free money.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Martin O’Malley On The ‘Rigged’ Democratic Debates, And What America Needs
Wednesday, Sep 2, 2015

Former Baltimore mayor and Democratic Maryland governor Martin O’Malley has single digits in the polls in Iowa but is out there swinging. He joined host Tom Ashbrook on Wednesday.

More »
3 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: August 28, 2015
Friday, Aug 28, 2015

You say #hashtag, we say, #forwhat? That, plus Usain Bolt and the ominous lurking Segway cameraman. Friday!

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: August 21, 2015
Friday, Aug 21, 2015

Do you even click? (And other reflections on link sharing and web commenting).

More »
6 Comments