On a recent morning, Patty Stonesifer sat cross-legged on the floor of a day care classroom, laughing as pre-schoolers clambered into a fire truck made out of a cardboard carton.
This is a far cry from Stonesifer's old life. She made her fortune in the tech world, where she rose through the ranks at Microsoft to become its highest-ranking female executive.
Later, she became the founding CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — the largest philanthropic organization in the world, with huge, global goals and an endowment of $34 billion when she left in 2008.
When I was 9, I spent a lot of time at a public library just down the street; I was already a theater nerd, and it had a well-stocked theater section. Not just books, but original cast albums for Broadway shows old and new. One day, an addition: The Music Man, about a salesman who was crazy about a girl named, as one song put it, "Marrrrrrrion, madam librarian."
Late summer tends to be a slow month for news. But at All Things Considered, we put on a two hour program, no matter what. So — without a trace of irony — one of our science correspondents offered to help fill some holes in the show with a series of stories about holes. In this edition: Black holes.