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Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Selleck, Humorist A.J. Jacobs

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May 5, 2024 3:59 pm

Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Selleck, Humorist A.J. Jacobs

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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May 5, 2024 3:59 pm

Hosted by Jane Pauley. In our cover story, Lee Cowan gets an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the latest single from Randy Travis, the country singer who lost his voice following a stroke. Also: Seth Doane interviews Whoopi Goldberg about her new memoir, "Bits and Pieces: My Mother, My Brother, and Me"; Tracy Smith talks with "Blue Bloods" star Tom Selleck; David Pogue looks back on the remarkable Mars mission of NASA's Ingenuity helicopter; and John Dickerson talks with bestselling author and humorist A.J. Jacobs about his "Year of Living Constitutionally."

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Download the free Rakuten app and never miss a deal, or go to Rakuten.com to start getting the most bang for your buck. That's R-A-K-U-T-E-N. Good morning. I'm Jane Pauley, and this is Sunday Morning. We've heard a lot lately about the possible risks of artificial intelligence. But along with warnings, there is promise. When a stroke in 2013 all but took away country music superstar Randy Travis' singing voice, he feared he'd never record new music again. Yet more than a decade later, the seven-time Grammy winner is back with a new song, one that blends art with artificial intelligence. Lee Cowan takes us into the recording studio for a most improbable encore. He has one of the most recognizable voices in country music, until he mostly lost his ability to speak more than a decade ago.

So, what exactly is this? How Randy Travis got back on the radio, coming up on Sunday Morning. She's a lightning rod talk show host, winner of an Oscar and an Emmy, Tony, and Grammy. And now Whoopi Goldberg is the author of a new memoir. She's looking back this morning with Seth Doan. She grew up with few financial resources, but enriched by her mother and brother. And today wishes she could share this place with them. They're not coming back. And so, I wanted to write all of this down, just in love with them, because I was so in love with the two of them.

Ah, yeah. Relaxing and reminiscing in Italy with Whoopi Goldberg, later this Sunday morning. After spending a year of your life living biblically, what do you do after that? Well, you could try to live constitutionally, which is exactly what author A.J. Jacobs has just done. He tells our John Dickerson all about it. Writer A.J.

Jacobs just spent a year living constitutionally, as if it were 1789. I notice when you hold up your hand, you are, in fact, an ink-stained wretch. Thank you for noticing.

Yes, I am an ink-stained wretch. A most unusual exploration of the U.S. Constitution, ahead on Sunday morning. Tracy Smith talks about the end of television's Blue Bloods, and more with actor Tom Selleck. David Pogue shares the story of the little copter that could, and did, on Mars. A story from Steve Hartman. And more, this Sunday morning for May 5th.

Cinco de Mayo, 2024. We'll be right back. This episode is brought to you by Progressive Commercial Insurance. As a business owner, you take on a lot of roles.

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Discounts and coverage selections not available in all states or situations. We've all heard about the promise and perils of artificial intelligence, but lest you have any doubts about its potential, consider this report from our Lee Cowan. Even if you're not into country, you can't help but bathe in the baritone that is Randy Travis. His voice goes down like whiskey always has. Ever since his first album in 1986 with record producer Kyle Lenny. I thought if we sold 40,000 copies, they might let us make a second record. What did that first?

About 4 million. I'm a genius. Randy Travis and that voice helped build Warner Music Nashville into what it is today. Chris Lacey is the label's co-chair and co-president. What was it about his voice that was so unique? How do you describe a thing that just hits you in the center of your chest, you know, and unconsciously makes you feel full and familiar and known?

How do you describe something like that, you know? His was a god-given talent and then fate took it all away. Another serious medical blow to country music star Randy Travis. He suffered a stroke last night at a hospital in Texas. It felt like it could be the end of an era.

I thought we would we were going to lose him. He was given just a two percent chance of survival. Besides the paralysis, the area of his brain that controls speech and language was hit the hardest. Music is what he's made of. Music is his heart. It's his soul. His wife Mary does most of the talking these days.

He knows what he wants to say but it doesn't come out. You've made peace with it? Yeah.

And how do you do that? Oh no. Three years after the stroke with Mary at his side, Randy Travis was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and gave amazing grace new meaning.

There wasn't a dry eye in the house. In his absence though, he's heard a lot of AI-generated fakes of his voice. A simple Google search brings up sites like these promising to convert anyone's vocal into a Randy Travis sound-a-like. It doesn't sound good and it doesn't sound real because it's not. And that got his record label thinking. We started with this concept of what would AI for good look like for us? And the first thing that came to mind was we would give Randy Travis's voice back. There were however more than a few skeptics.

It sounded like you know like a parlor trick or something. But Kyle Lenning with Randy's blessing decided to try. He and Warner Music started by pulling 42 Randy Travis tracks from the vault.

Operator please connect me. Like this one, the original recording of his hit 1982. And then they stripped away the music leaving only the vocal. For what I didn't do. Wow.

I sure do need to tell her. That was half the recipe, the other half. Needed to be provided by a donated or surrogate voice. So I have to get a level on you. In this case that voice came from country music singer James Dupre.

Being a part of new Randy Travis music I mean that's like what? She had eyes like diamonds when they caught the light. That's what was put into the model. The model. It's the secret sauce. Here's the vocal.

Load it in. An AI program that takes Randy Travis's voice and overlays it on top of James Dupre's singing. It's hardly an exact science. It's not about how it sounds it's about how it feels. And that's not something a computer can figure out.

Not yet. Kyle knows Randy's voice almost better than Randy does. They've worked together for 40 years. This time though the task was to take a computer-generated voice and give it Randy's country heart. Him being here and him being able to be you know a vital part of the decision-making process makes all the difference to me. In the end they finally landed on something they felt worthy of a voice no one but those who knew him best could replicate. It's Randy Travis. Randy's on the other side of the microphone. It's still his vocal.

There's no reason he shouldn't be able to make music and to deprive him of that if he still wants to do that that's unconscionable to me. Two months ago Warner Music gathered a small circle of fellow musicians in a recording studio. Randy sat with a Cheshire Cat's grin and then they hit play. The reaction to his first song in more than a decade was a mix of joy and wonder.

For his wife, tears. You forget how much you missed it until you hear it again. For Randy's country friends like Grammy-winning superstar Carrie Underwood there was confusion. For Cole Swindell who just won three ACM awards. It reminded him of why he became a country singer in the first place. For y'all let me hear it that means a lot. Damn I'm glad to hear you sing. And veteran country star Clay Walker. And there ain't no more where that he was simply over the moon. Even Randy's own family hadn't heard it until two weeks ago. It's so weird to kind of explain everything that goes through your head when you're listening to it.

It was perfection with a caveat. We don't exactly know how to get here again. You want to laugh at me as I try to sing this chorus? The second song they're working on is proving a harder nut to crack. Sometimes angels spill whiskey on their wings. Wow that is so crazy.

I hear how all the vibrato doesn't work right? Yeah yeah. There's still work to be done clearly and a lot of questions to answer about what this all means going forward. But rebel in this after a decade-long absence After a decade-long absence Randy Travis is back on the radio. His post-stroke debut song Where That Came From was released this past week. For Randy Travis it's not just a single. It's a victory. It's a life inspiration.

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David Pogue has a modern variation that's truly out of this world. And liftoff as the countdown to Mars continues. In 2020, NASA's Perseverance rover launched for Mars and the vehicle has gone to closed loop guidance. With a stowaway. The helicopter ingenuity actually stowed away on the belly pan.

I don't know if you can see it. It was a tiny four-pound drone created by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Travis Brown was its chief engineer. This is the solar panel and then moving down we have what we call the web or warm electronics box. I first met this machine in 2018 when it was still under development. Why?

What's it for? We as human beings have never flown in the atmosphere of Mars, right? So this is like the Wright brothers equivalent, right? On Mars.

According to then project manager Mimi Ong, Mars has only one percent of the atmosphere of Earth. That's hard for a flying machine. And the entire vehicle has to be very light.

Oh my gosh it's like a dead leaf. I mean I'm not kidding this thing I could blow this thing like a Kleenex. NASA classified Ingenuity as a tech demo.

A low-budget high-risk side experiment incorporating off-the-shelf parts to save money. And was this idea of a stowaway technology demo under the rover universally enthusiastically embraced? No. No it was not. There were definitely people against it. Not just concerned but wholeheartedly against it and trying to prevent it from happening.

Project manager Teddy Zenetos. Mars 2020 to be fair is a science mission. Go get some samples and prepare to bring those samples back home. Anything that's not that is taking away resources. In the end NASA decided that Ingenuity could fly briefly five times tops in the first 30 days. After that no more distraction from the main mission. By some miracle Ingenuity survived the seven-month journey to Mars. The landing sequence and the drop-off. Now Mars is so far away that it takes up to 20 minutes for a signal to reach the helicopter.

So every instruction would have to be transmitted in advance. We'll uplink a flight on Monday and we'll if we're lucky we'll get the data on Tuesday. Sometimes it's longer. So for all you know it's a smoking heap of wreckage on Mars. Right. And you won't know till the weekend's over? Yep that's right.

That is that happens all the time. And so on April 19, 2021 the team waited for the news of the drone's very small first flight. Altimeter data confirms that Ingenuity has performed its first flight of a powered aircraft from another planet.

But the hardest part wasn't flying. It was surviving the frigid Martian nights 80 below zero Fahrenheit. The joke is that Ingenuity is a battery in a heater that happens to fly once in a while.

Most of the mass is battery and most of that battery is actually spent heating. Despite the cold the helicopter flew four more times. Five in all. Mission complete. But then an administrative miracle. When people saw this thing flying and taking pictures you know I think everybody realized this is more than just a toy. This is a real flying machine. Hovard Griep was the chief pilot. NASA told us hey you guys get to continue. Can you scout on behalf of the rover so we can see where the best ingress points are into this area. Ingenuity was no longer a tech demo. NASA promoted it to be the rover's eye in the sky.

Scouting ahead to help the rover choose its routes and destinations. So Ingenuity kept flying. Kept beating its own records for distance, speed, altitude, duration. And not just for 30 days.

For 100, 200, 400. Through the long Mars spring, summer, and fall. But then winter came. Tell us about Mars day 427. Radio silence. And so the first thing you're thinking is okay well battery froze everything broke we're probably dead. Mission's over right? For three days the team tried to get a response. And then on the third day another miracle. In the morning when the sun rose and the system thawed and charged up enough the electronics turned on. Lo and behold it you know came back and talked to us.

And we'll say here's your flight plan go ahead and fly now and late in the afternoon. And she'd do that flight knowing full well the controllers here on earth that she would freeze again the next day. So the thing froze to death every night all winter? Yeah. And then thawed again in the morning?

For like yeah hundreds of times. It was like groundhog day right so until finally you got through winter and you got to spring again. But even Ingenuity didn't have an infinite supply of miracles. The thing cannot last forever I mean so we were sort of ready. This past January NASA got the bad news. Ingenuity had suffered a hard landing.

The top blade is clipped on one side and completely missing on the other. We're missing enough of the rotor system there's no way she'll ever fly. Right. But I mean this thing is still ticking. Well you're using the present tense. This thing grounded. It's still alive in terms of sending you messages and data.

Yeah I mean we just I talked to it this morning. We can still collect solar data. We can take pictures still. We have a phrase on the team Wendy. We're not dead yet.

It's true. Three years after its mission was supposed to end the helicopter is still running. Now as a ground station we no longer receive its photos and measurements because the rover was its relay station and the rover has driven on.

But Ingenuity could keep collecting data for decades to be retrieved later. The little copter that could has changed NASA's thinking forever. We've been working on the next generation of helicopters from Mars larger more capable helicopters and go to areas like a cliff wall fly down a lava tube go to the poles go to the equator you name it. As for that Wright brothers analogy turns out the Mars stowaway helicopter harbored a stowaway of its own. It's the fabric used for the wings on the Wright brother flyer.

We have a little piece about the size of a quarter underneath the solar panel of the helicopter and it's our little good luck charm and ballast for the baby. And did everybody in the chain of command know that this was there? No no no I'm sworn to secrecy about certain details of that but but no it was the entire chain was not aware of that. In all Ingenuity flew 72 times over the course of a thousand days for a total of over two hours in the thin air of Mars. It was a small scrappy team of engineers right very very passionate about what they were doing.

It has a special place in in the history of NASA for being the first flight on another planet right. We're all amazed everybody here is is amazed you know we didn't expect it and you know we're just really proud of it. From Magnum P.I. to Blue Bloods and more actor Tom Selleck has ascended to heights he never imagined. Now he's taking in the view with our Tracy Smith. On the highest hill at Tom Selleck's California ranch it's hard to beat the panorama. I tell you for a guy who values his privacy you couldn't pick a better spot than this.

Thank you. At 79 you could say the actor is very familiar with the view from the top. Hey come on don't overthink this guys you're as tough as they come. For the past 14 years Selleck has starred in the hit CBS show Blue Bloods as the head of the NYPD and the head of a strong and often headstrong family. I knew that you and dad would be for that rule even if it wasn't actually a rule.

But the rule does make enormous sense. The show is set to end this year but there's been some pushback on that most notably from Selleck himself. Is Blue Bloods ending?

Well that's a good question. I will continue to think that CBS will come to their senses. We're the third highest scripted show in all of broadcast.

We're winning the night. All the cast wants to come back and I can tell you this we aren't sliding off down a cliff we're doing good shows and still holding our place so I don't know you tell me. It's not the first time Tom Selleck has been at odds with the powers that be in a career that's been long and legendary. In his most famous role in the 80s the character Thomas Magnum wore a Detroit Tigers baseball cap. That's a nod to the town in which Tom Selleck himself was born.

Long before Magnum and the mustache he was an athlete at the University of Southern California and after a less than stellar academic career he found work in ads. People are switching to Ban Basic. Selling products like Ban Basic and bar soap. Safeguard doesn't need heavy perfume to mask odor. Good morning. Good morning. He smells just the way a man should smell. Clean.

Yep that's Terry Gar and Penny Marshall back when they were all young and struggling. You told yourself early on going to auditions and interviews you would literally say to yourself in the car you're good enough Tom. I'd say you're enough but that's thank you. Maybe that good would have helped but I didn't think of that. But you were enough Tom. You'd say that to yourself. I did.

I did. But little of what he did in his early career was ever enough. Not the soap opera gig.

I could use a little transfusion this for me. Or the six tv pilots he made. And then he was signed to do Magnum P.I. And around the same time Selleck was offered another role from Steven Spielberg. Steven said here's the script go read it tell me if you like it because we want you from Indiana Jones. So I got to about page eight in Steven's office and I just went oh this is really good. But in a story that's become legend he was forced to turn down Raiders of the Lost Ark for Magnum. In a long-awaited memoir out this week Selleck shares the details of what he calls the world's series of disappointments and how he quickly made peace with it.

You can make yourself a victim or just smile and say that's really ironic. And you chose to smile? I had a good job coming up.

A job I would have dreamed of Raiders or not. Magnum P.I. debuted in 1980 on CBS about a former Navy SEAL and Vietnam vet turned private investigator.

The studio wanted to look the studio wanted to lose the Vietnam element. Back then the wounds of the war were still fresh but Selleck and his producer fought hard to keep it in and the show was a hit. Among its biggest fans Frank Sinatra who once told Magnum co-star Larry Minetti that he'd like to be on the show. Larry comes to me and says Frank wants to do the show and he said but he wants to be asked so you have to call him and he wanted to do it right away. So I said well we're going to have to write it for you.

What what do you want to do? He said oh I don't care just make sure I get to beat somebody up. That was his condition. Yeah um that's Frank. The Magnum P.I.

guest shot was Sinatra's last acting job. We got him honey. But it was only the beginning of Tom Selleck's reign as an 80s sex symbol. That smile. That swagger. That mustache. In private however Selleck was smitten by British actor Jilly Mack whom he first spotted when she was in the London production of Cats.

I got checked out by some of the cats never Jilly. One of the cast members told her at halftime he says you know who keeps staring at you? Tom Selleck.

And I don't know how to clean this up. She just said who the that um she didn't know who I was from Adam which to me was the greatest thing in the world. They married in secret in 1987 just before Magnum entered its final season.

They've been together ever since. By that time Selleck says he was burned out but he knew he'd helped create something that was more than just more than just a tv show. When Magnum ended we got a call from the Smithsonian and they said we want to honor Magnum. We need some artifacts and they took my hat and my the ring I wore the team ring in Vietnam and my Hawaiian shirt the red one and we went back there and they read the citation. They gave us credit for being the first show that showed Vietnam veterans in a positive light. So the fight was worth it.

He said it was for him. These days he spends most of his non-working time on his ranch and it's not hard to see why. You know hopefully I keep working enough to hold on to the place. Seriously that's an issue if you stopped working? It's always an issue if I stop working yeah. Am I set for life?

Yeah but maybe not on a 63 acre ranch. Happily he likes his job and after 60 years in front of the camera Tom Selleck knows he's enough. So bigger picture when you look down the road what do you see?

Hopefully work. As an actor you never lose I don't lose anyway that sense that every time I finish a job it's my last job. Do you still have that sense? I like the fact that there's no excuses. You just go to work and you do the work and I have a lot of reverence for what I call the work and I love it and I'd like to keep doing it. make your selections visit one travel dot com slash podcast or call 877-290-1880 plan it book it live it one travel normally being a little extra might be a bit much but not when it comes to health care that's why united health care's health protector guard fixed indemnity insurance plans underwritten by golden rule insurance company supplement your primary plan so you manage out of pocket costs learn more at uh1.com steve hartman this morning explains how sometimes small acts of kindness can have huge consequences inside buck feather an outdoor sporting store in batton rouge louisiana we met a great american success story because it's about you at 42 owner matt busbus and his partners have built and sold several outdoor companies worth hundreds of millions but matt says he's never felt richer than he did the day he got the dollar i haven't had that much faith in humanity in a very long time he says it all began about a month ago it was early morning and the fire alarm was going off inside his condo complex so matt shot out of bed and raced down the stairs only to discover there was no fire but he's awake now so even though he was wearing mismatched clothes and all disheveled matt decided to go out for a cup of coffee and as he was about to enter the shop he remembered he hadn't done his morning prayer so as the security camera shows matt stepped to the corner of the patio and uh i start to slowly open my eyes and there's a kid coming at me about my height and with his fist clenched so matt prepared for battle and he goes and reveals a dollar bill and i go what if you're homeless here's a dollar this is nine-year-old kelvin ellis junior i always wanted to help a homeless person and i finally had the opportunity kelvin says he had just gotten the dollar for good grades it was the only money he had to his name matt was so touched he invited kelvin in for a snack connected with the boy's father who was next door and promised to stay in touch what's up dude as a reward for his kindness matt gave kelvin a shopping spree 40 seconds to pick out whatever he wanted in the store including a new bike kelvin says it was great but definitely not what he wanted to get for his dollar what were you hoping would come from that joy joy because i helped someone give some away you feel like you've got a lot of things from it if you give you're actually going to get more out of that i couldn't grasp that as a kid and if we can spread that around everything changes a dollar so well spent cheers to friends forever this is a standout performance in the movie ghost from the housing projects of new york to hollywood and beyond she's done it all and this morning she's telling all to our seth dohne whoopi goldberg has been in the spotlight for four decades ah yeah this is your spot this is this is it this is it this is everything what she craves today is this quiet spot in the sun lots of people just need some place they can go and just she's found a vacation home and tranquility on the italian island of sardinia the more i wrote about my mom i thought i would have loved to have given this to her same with my brother she's been thinking a lot about her mother emma and brother clide who both passed away their subjects of her new memoir which is out this week in the book you paint your childhood as pretty idyllic here and it was i was very lucky before taking the name whoopi goldberg she was karen johnson growing up in this housing project in new york city's chelsea neighborhood for me it was a great time and to be able to have the freedom with a mother who really just said listen you're gonna have to figure some of this out for yourself i can't give you all the answers her mom was a teacher here and when the young karen johnson dropped out of school she made a pact with her mom to use the cities museums and libraries to keep learning you know a lot of folks had two parents i only had one and that parent acted like 900 people you know she never made it about what we didn't have she made it about what we did have and how to celebrate that so like i said like what's the problem goldberg started acting on stage up to broadway and i'm like whoa and landed an oscar nomination for her first major film role until you do right by me everything you think about is gonna cry for a period it's said she became the highest paid actress in hollywood why you don't have any rhythm she'd also see her mom had a talent for acting like when marlon brando stopped by my mother would turn into uh the other emma she came in and i and i got up specifically to say as she's coming towards us don't be freaked out that is marlon brando sitting on the couch but i couldn't so all i could say was hey mom come meet marlon brando who came to visit us and she just went like this mr brando it was just like wait wait who are you after making more than 100 films here there are lots of places to sit come even in italy hollywood is never far patrick swayze wanted you yeah in ghost yeah it's funny this particular part of the peninsula reminds me of him molly you're in danger now you can't just blurt it out like that and quit moving around where you could start to make me dizzy i'll just tell her in my own way molly you in danger girl goldberg won an oscar for the supporting role she played as a psychic in ghost he knows where he lives write it down he wants you to write it down you write it down ain't no damn secretary i ain't no damn secretary just do it add to that two emmys a grammy and a tony making her one of just about 20 people with egot status her book chronicles the start of her career and does not hold back detailing problems with drugs going on welfare and learning marriage is not for her after three tries are you still in love with the idea of being in love where that's just gone i think other people seem to sparkle when they're in love and i like to see that but for me it's like i sparkle when i'm not in love which is kind of okay you know and the older i get the happier i am and so just in case and i'm directing this to folks who may want to write me on the internet here's the deal i know how cute i am so you don't have to tell me i'm not attractive enough to have a boyfriend because shockingly are you always as confident as you seem you know i'm i'm very confident but i'm also confident in the fact that i make gigantic mistakes and step in lots of poo along the way on the talk show she's co-hosted for 16 years well as it turns out there are a lot of major issues happening goldberg made a remark about the holocaust which she says was misunderstood she apologized but abc suspended her for two weeks in 2022 when you look back at that Holocaust comment on the view the one that you were suspended for do you regret that i'm in a quandary at how to answer that because people are waiting for me to say something i said what i had to say they suspended me i respected what they said i respected everybody's opinion um and if anyone's ever really interested in it in its entirety they can look it up but i will not uh put myself in that position again she's been a long-time advocate on a range of issues often using the show as a platform the whole idea of some man yeah deciding what happens with my body is so abhorrent to me yeah you can see now you're on a peninsula there's water on that side there's water on this surrounded here in Sardinia she can detach from the world she motors through audiobooks has about 9 000 of them and sometimes just sits my gosh how do you ever do you ever leave very reluctantly she dreams of finding a way to spend six months a year in Sardinia i'm ready to not be scrutinized quite as as tightly as i am and i think the further away i get from from opinion television easier it might be for a while at 68 years old she's a great grandmother whoopi goldberg's trailblazing journey has been one of reinvention and determination i'm a singular kind of person i think she says she was well equipped starting with those lessons from her mom in that two-bedroom apartment in new york it makes her perch here all the more impressive it's the end of a peninsula i mean i come from the projects i got a peninsula this is a long way from a long way from chelsea when it comes to picking the perfect treats for your dog stewart makes the choice easy by keeping it real real ingredients real nutrients real benefits stewart dog treats are free from additives corn soy wheat and grains plus they're freeze-dried to lock in all the great nutrition and natural flavor your furry friend deserves stewart freeze-dried dog treats big tail wagging nutritional benefits available on amazon.com today introducing bluehost cloud ultra-fast wordpress hosting with 100 uptime want a website with unmatched power speed and control of course you do 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more often and he put on socks aj tell me why you're wearing what you're wearing a couple of years ago i realized i had never read the american constitution but every day i'd open the news and there's another story about how this 230 year old document is affecting our lives and i said i need to know more about our founding document and the way i like to learn is i like to go all in all in means total immersion for his best-selling book the know-it-all jacobs spent 18 months reading the entire encyclopedia britannica for the year of living biblically he tried to follow all the rules in the old and new testaments i do look deeply absurd but i am also deeply serious about this project and now his latest immersion the year of living constitutionally part of my goal is to get inside the minds of these founding fathers as much as i can right accordingly jacobs joined the new jersey third regiment of revolutionary war re-enactors i actually died i did die for my country but i died in the shade and i put it all in put the powder in these re-enactors are very committed of course we were not using lead balls we were using blanks this is a real deal from the 1700s i got it online which i assume is not how they did it back then to explore his second amendment rights jacobs also carried his antique firearm around new york city i was at a coffee shop in line with my musket and the guy in front of me said you go ahead i'm not i'm not messing with you we played along speaking with aj jacobs at the 1765 morris jumel mansion in manhattan where general george washington briefly made his military headquarters what scared the creators of the constitution they had just fought a war to get rid of the monarch that's one of the most brilliant parts of the constitution is how they built in these mechanisms to stop some one person or one branch from taking over this balance of power i never really appreciated the balance of power it has helped keep us from having a tyrant so far aj jacobs research also took him to washington d.c 423 signatures to dive into the first amendment right to petition the government jacobs brought a very long one to oregon senator ron wyden to reconsider ben franklin's idea of having more than one president you are injecting logic and common sense which often is lacking in public discourse how did he receive your petition i think he considered it for about five seconds and that was the end of the consideration i will say he totally bought my underlying thesis that the president has too much power while doing his research jacobs used a quill pen which meant living the rest of his day with stained fingertips i love writing by hand there is something wonderful about taking out a quill pen dipping it in ink and just writing those sentences i love the sound of the scratch scratch scratch aj's wife of 24 years julie jacobs not so much we've lived through a lot together so this is nothing this is nothing are you the world's most patient wife i think so feel free to call me saint julie whenever you like oh that looks lovely aj not only wrote with a quill pen he scratched his words on parchment parchment is not paper it is a stretched and dried animal skin something like a calf skin goat skin or sheep skin to learn how it's made what would you describe the smell as somewhere between rotting flesh and really strong cheese it's kind of like you're slicing deli meat jacob's got a lesson from brothers jesse and stephen meyer who run pergamina very drum-like one of the few places parchment is made in north america this is basically what they did for the constitution this is what they did and now that parchment is under glass displayed at the national archives in washington you cannot break this glass and it's in the state of the art all the air that it needs to breathe is in there is it just regular air or does the constitution breathe special air it has special air yes historian jesse kratz gave jacob's an early morning tour people come here and they look at it and they're rejuvenated and maybe they will go vote not just in a presidential election but maybe in a local election i don't want to say just read the constitution that's not really the point read the constitution and talk about it with people especially people who disagree with you that to me is what democracy is about all this running around might seem like a gimmick but jacob says the immersive approach helped focus him on the key lessons of the system we still live under today they thought about rights but they also thought about responsibilities it was so ingrained in them that they had a responsibility to their community to their country but i feel we've lost some of that it's all about putting others before yourself sometimes that lesson isn't just a pleasing notion it's vital to the constitution's survival were you more optimistic or pessimistic after this project george washington sat in a wooden chair at the constitutional convention and it had a carving on the back of the sun but not the full sun just half the sun the top half so you couldn't tell is it setting or is it rising at the end of the convention against all odds they have this constitution ben franklin says now i know the sun is rising on america and my question was is the sun still rising on america it's up to us because if we do nothing then the sun will set thank you for listening please join us when our trumpet sounds again next sunday morning if you like cbs sunday morning with jane polly you can listen early and ad-free right now by joining wondery plus in the wondery app or on apple podcasts prime members can listen ad-free on amazon music before you go tell us about yourself by filling out a short survey at wondery.com survey i've been a reporter for more than three decades and along the way i've been talking to myself in notebooks i've carried in my back pocket they've captured thoughts about life parenthood death friendship and more i'm john dickerson and i'd like you to join me in figuring out what these 30 years of notebooks mean in my new podcast navel gazing each episode we dig through the piles of notebooks that i've been collecting and from their entries try to sort out what makes a life this collection of audio essays is available wherever you get your podcasts hi this is jill slezinger cbs news business analyst certified financial planner and host of the money watch podcast this is the show where your money is not scary and it's not boring it is a show that's all about you it's your questions that make it possible for me to provide unconventional and entertaining insights on your money and maybe more importantly on your life i'm going to be your financial coach someone who brings common sense and an insider's perspective on how to manage your money and your emotions and i promise we are going to have a little bit of fun along the way have a question from retirement to career changes to college funding just send us an email at askjill at jillonmoney.com follow money wash wherever you get your podcasts you can listen ad-free on the amazon music or wondery app
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-05 16:17:47 / 2024-05-05 16:36:06 / 18

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