Posts Tagged ‘all things considered’

National Public Radio’s Eleanor Beardsley reported recently on a borrowing trend.

Nothing to do with Mary Norton’s Borrowers, who gather up all the buttons and safety pins you’ve lost and store them in their home somewhere under your floorboards. No, this is about you needing a rarefied plumber’s tool to replace the kitchen faucet and deciding to borrow one for a day. (Maybe two days if a two-year-old I know offers to help.) All you need is an app called Peerby.

“It isn’t surprising that the idea for the borrowing platform Peerby [peer nearby] originated in one of the world’s most densely populated countries — The Netherlands,” says Beardsley.

“Founder Daan Weddepohl says he had the idea for the startup after his house burned down, and he had to borrow everything. At first, he says, he felt dependent, but then realized people generally like helping each other because it creates a bond. …

“In June, Peerby was selected best urban app in the AppMyCity! competition, held as part of the New Cities Summit in Dallas. Peerby hooks up 100,000 borrowers and lenders each month in the Netherlands. Since its launch in 2012, the company has expanded to Belgium, Berlin and London. …

“Cindy Bakum, an Amsterdam native, is a regular Peerby user.

” ‘Last time I had a friend over, and we were watching a movie on his laptop, but he forgot his adapter, and my adapter didn’t fit,’ she says. ‘So I put out a request, and it was actually my neighbor. He really lived on my block, and he had an adapter, so we could finish watching the movie. So that worked very well.’ ”

It’s all about the sharing economy. Read up on it at the All Things Considered blog, here.

Photo: Merriam-Webster

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In Sweden, mangata is the word for the roadlike reflection the moon casts on the water. In Finland there’s a word for the distance reindeer can travel comfortably before taking a break: poronkusema. A terrific German word that people familiar with Concord, Massachusetts, will appreciate is Waldeinsamkeit. What do you think it means? Yep. “A feeling of solitude, being alone in the woods and a connectedness to nature.”

National Public Radio staff say:  “Just as good writing demands brevity, so, too, does spoken language. Sentences and phrases get whittled down over time. One result: single words that are packed with meaning, words that are so succinct and detailed in what they connote in one language that they may have no corresponding word in another language.

“Such words aroused the curiosity of the folks at a website called Maptia, which aims to encourage people to tell stories about places.

” ‘We wanted to know how they used their language to tell their stories,’ Maptia co-founder and CEO Dorothy Sanders tells All Things Considered host Robert Siegel.

“So they asked people across the globe to give them examples of words that didn’t translate easily to English.”

I loved this report. You will, too.  Read more at NPR, here.

Art: National Public Radio, “All Things Considered”

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