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AMERICAN MOSAIC - August 31, 2001 - 2001-08-30


Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC — VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.


This is Bob Doughty. On our program today:

We play music by John Lennon ...

answer a question about eating eggs ...

and tell about a new book written by someone at VOA.

Key Monster


Lee Dravis is a studio engineer here at the Voice of America. In fact, he is the engineer who is recording this show. Lee Dravis is also a published writer. His newest book is called “Key Monster.” Sarah Long has more.


Lee Dravis says he got the idea for his book from hearing about a mysterious creature in the Chesapeake Bay, near Washington, D-C. This gave him the idea of writing about a man who sees a sea monster but nobody believes him.

The main character in the book “Key Monster” is a boat captain named Eugene Winchell, or Winch for short. He tells people about a mysterious sea creature he has seen in the Chesapeake Bay. No one believes him, so he goes to the Florida city of Key West. But the monster moves in that direction too.

Other people also join Winch in the Florida Keys. One is a baseball player who is trying to escape political problems in Cuba. Another is a former scientist who performs in nightclubs wearing women’s clothes. Also following Winch to the Keys is the former owner of his boat, who wants it back.Lee Dravis visited Key West while writing the book. He says it is not like anywhere else in the United States.

The Florida Keys are a group of small islands between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Only one road links them. Key West is at the very end of these islands. Lee Dravis says that some of the people who live there are very strange. It was the perfect place for the characters in his book.

Lee Dravis worked on the book for six months. He wrote it during weekends while continuing his job at VOA. He is now writing another book, called “Fenwick Street.” Lee Dravis says he likes writing books for the same reason he likes working in radio. You work alone, yet the product of the work could affect thousands or millions of people all over the world.

Eating Eggs


Our VOA listener question this week comes from Vietnam. Truong Ai Hien asks if eating chicken eggs is good for your health.

Eggs contain important protein, vitamins and minerals. These are found in two parts of the egg, the yolk and the white.

The yolk is the yellow part of the egg. It contains a little less than half the protein of the egg. The yolk contains important minerals. And it has more vitamins than the white. These include vitamins A, D and E. Experts say that egg yolks are one of the few foods that contain vitamin D.

The egg white is called the albumen. It contains more than half of the egg’s protein. It also contains important vitamins and minerals.

For many years, people believed that eating eggs increased the chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke because eggs contain cholesterol. Studies over the past few years, however, have shown that eating eggs is not a serious health concern.

Research has found that saturated fat increases blood cholesterol levels the most. Saturated fat comes from animal products. One large egg contains about two-hundred-fifteen milligrams of cholesterol and five grams of fat. About one-and-one-half grams of that fat is saturated. Experts also say much of the concern about eggs was linked to how they were cooked. Eggs fried in butter or eaten with bacon greatly increase the saturated fat.

The American Heart Association says healthy adults should limit their cholesterol to less than three-hundred milligrams a day. It says a healthy person should eat no more than four eggs a week. All the fat and cholesterol in an egg are in the yolk. So there are no limits for eating egg whites.

Eggs sometimes contain bacteria that make people sick. Such bacteria can be killed by cooking the eggs well. Other kinds of organisms can attach to the outside of the egg. Experts say eggs should be kept in a cold place. Never eat eggs that are dirty, cracked, broken or leaking. Never serve food that includes uncooked eggs. And wash your hands before preparing eggs or any other food.

John Lennon Exhibit


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio has a special show about a famous musician. It tells about the life and music of John Lennon. Shep O'Neal tells us more.


Music experts say John Lennon did not invent rock and roll. Yet he did more than anyone else to change it, move it forward and add social meaning to its songs. Many experts call him one of the greatest songwriters in the history of rock and roll.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum organized an exhibit about John Lennon. It opened in October. It honors the sixtieth anniversary of John Lennon’s birth in Liverpool, England, and the twentieth anniversary of his tragic death in New York City.

Visitors can see hundreds of objects from Lennon’s life. There are reports from his teachers when he was a boy about his school work. More than thirty paintings and drawings he made throughout his life. The suit he wore as a member of the Beatles. His guitars and piano. And the handwritten words for twenty-five of his most famous songs.

John Lennon helped form the Beatles in the Nineteen-Sixties. The group changed the sound of rock and roll music. Here the Beatles sing John Lennon’s song “Help!”


Later, John Lennon wrote songs that expressed his efforts for truth, peace and human rights. This one is called “Imagine.”


Recently, a British music magazine asked several songwriters, producers and musicians to name the best songs of the last century. They chose John Lennon’s “In My Life” as the top song.



This is Bob Doughty. I hope you enjoyed our program today. And I hope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC — VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.

This AMERICAN MOSAIC program was written by Shelley Gollust and Nancy Steinbach. Our studio engineer was Lee Dravis. And our producer was Paul Thompson.