90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
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 19, 2014
No campaigners celebrate as results come in at the Scottish independence referendum count at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh,Scotland,Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Scottish voters have rejected independence and decided that Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom. The result announced early Friday was the one favored by Britain's political leaders, who had campaigned hard in recent weeks to convince Scottish voters to stay. It dashed many Scots' hopes of breaking free and building their own nation. (AP Photo/David Cheskin)

ISIS and arming Syrian fighters. Scotland rejects independence. NFL turmoil. US troops and Ebola. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Sep 19, 2014
Joseph O'Neill (courtesy of the author)

Author of “Netherland,” novelist Joseph O’Neill is back, with “The Dog,” on globalization, capitalism, and self-discovery in Dubai.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 18, 2014
(Flickr/AisleTwentytwo)

Billionaires. We’ll look at the super super rich, and their global shaping of our world.

 
Sep 18, 2014
Flickr/Steve Rhodes

After a summer of deadly clashes between Gaza and Israel, we talk to Jews on the left and right about the future of liberal Zionism. Some say it’s over.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: September 19, 2014
Friday, Sep 19, 2014

Lots of big, contentious topics on the show this week — from Zionism to early education, corporal punishment to development in the Grand Canyon.

More »
Comment
 
Talking Through The Issue Of Corporal Punishment For Kids
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

On Point dove into the debate over corporal punishment on Wednesday — as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces charges in Texas after he allegedly hit his four-year-old son with a switch.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

More »
Comment