The Voice of Free Planet X

True stories of fictional people, from Jadzia Axelrod


Episode 47: CURSE Michael Winerip is a writer for the New York Times and an alumus of Harvard. In a recent column, "Young, Gifted, and Not Getting Into Harvard," he talks about the multitudes of young teenagers who come to him for an interveiw, in the hopes of getting into his alma mater. None of them do.

Winerip describes a girl who, during summer vacation, left her house before 7 each morning to make a two-hour train ride to a major university, where she worked all day doing cutting-edge research for NASA on weightlessness in mice.

Let me repeat that. This girl's summer job consisted of working with NASA on the effects of weightlessness. Space travel. She did not get in to Harvard.

Another, a boy, did cancer research in the summer. He played two instruments in three orchestras; and composed his own music. He redid the computer system for his student paper, loved to cook and was writing his own cookbook. One of his specialties was snapper poached in tea and served with noodle cake.

And yet, these kids, despite their brilliance, their drive, their perfect SAT scores, their AP classwork and their parental assistance and assurance, kids who you'd think any college would be begging for them to come to, these kids do not get into Harvard. They do not get in Yale, they do not get into Princeton.

Because it just isn't enough. Not anymore.

What would you do, then, as a parent, to give your child an edge? How far would you go? How much would it cost, and how much would you be willing to pay? Guest reader Mur Laferty explores these possiblities in this episode's story.

Mur Laferty is the creative mind behind "Geek-fu Action Grip" and "I Should Be Writing," as well as being the co-author of "Tricks of the Podcasting masters," and editor of "Pseudopod"

"Asshole" was performed by Jim's Big Ego and was made available curtsey of the of the Podsafe Music Network. You can find out more about them at

This episode also featured "Concerto in D-Dur - Allegro" by Vivaldi, as performed by Telemann Trio Berlin . More information and work by this artist can be found at

Our theme was written and performed by Russel Collins of

Direct download: Episode_47__CURSE.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:40am EDT