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The Daily Need

Photo: Cow-abunga!

Standing next to Freddie the bull is Swallow, an 11-year-old cow from West Yorkshire in northern England. At 33 inches from hind to foot, she has been named the world's smallest cow by Guinness World Records. Photo: Guinness World Records

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    Reunited after the explosions
    An unidentified Boston Marathon runner, center, is reunited with loved ones near Copley Square.
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    Obama boards the Rosa Parks bus
    President Barack Obama sits on the famed Rosa Parks bus at the Henry Ford Museum.
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    Puppet theater
    After disappointing results in the Mississippi and Alabama primaries this week, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich vowed that his campaign would continue.


  • Blueheeler

    Wow. And to think you guys replaced Bill Moyers… That reminds me, I have to pick up a USA Today; forget about the New Yorker.

  • Michael Brennan

    Wow, I bet Swallow tastes DELICIOUS…..mmmm, miniature world record steak……

  • Anonymous

    Dear Blueheeler,

    We didn’t actually replace Bill Moyers. We merely, and humbly, took the general time slot that his show used to occupy. And we would never presume to fill his giant shoes. We do, however, feel that there is tremendous “need to know” value in stories about childhood obesity, rape in the Congo, the epic dilemma of nuclear waste, mental illness, urban sprawl, unemployment, and the difficulty even the U.S. military seems to have in understanding what the hell is going on in Afghanistan (all of which the NTK team did in the last week), as well as those about media, art, entertainment, humor, and even — yes — the existence somewhere in the world of a 33-inch cow. How wonderful! What a relief, in fact, in this maelstrom of hard truths to know that this creature exists, and that someone with a special eye took the time to capture it so exquisitely on film.

    This weird little cow speaks to us of the beauty and strangeness of the individual, of the rare triumph of the underdog, of experimentation, of the anthropomorphic fallacy, of superlatives, of contrast, of expectations exploded and limits breached, of maximum and minimum, of the foreign, the natural, the food chain, the known and the unknown, of light on grass, of man’s complicated and contradictory relationships with animals, of dizzying variety and surprising juxtaposition. If this isn’t something you need to know, we are sorry. But we are experimenting. In the process we are surely going to annoy, but we also might provoke and educate and delight — and hopefully reveal a broad, complex and unique portrait of the world.

    We appreciate being held to certain journalistic standards — in fact, welcome the reminder — but we also need a little leeway to explore and take risks. Certainly that was how a weird little award-winning cow came to be.

    –Catherine Quayle, Interactive Editor-in-Chief

  • Wastelander

    Kudos to Ms. Quayle. The collapse of PBS’ market share is due in part to the schoolmarmish tastes of many of it’s aged loyalists. PBS must take creative and ideological risks in order to be valuable to a new generation of Americans.