Richard Price on "The Wire"

Question: Is it hard to write for a show with a cult following?

Richard Price: No. It has a cultish following because it’s so riveting and I had been watching the show for two years before they approached me. So I was up to speed on every character. In fact, David Simon told me The Wire was based on Clockers. He wrote Homicide: A Year in the Life on the Streets and I wrote Clockers, both in 1992. We had the same editor, John Sterling. John Sterling put us together the night of the Rodney King verdict rioting. He and I had our first play date when we went over to Jersey City to watch the riots. So we’ve been friends since 1992 and he said Clockers is the book he meant to write so he did The Wire instead. You’ll see a lot of Clockers, especially in the first year or two. But he took Clockers. I never sort of rose about the trenches but he went all the way to the State Assembly. He went places I just didn’t have the smarts to go. I didn’t know enough. The Wire just became so panoramic that in fact, when he finally asked me to write for the show, my first reaction was to say no because I didn’t want to disappoint them because everybody thought since I wrote Clockers, I knew this stuff inside out. I emptied my pockets with Clockers. I thought these guys thought I had something special in a backpack. I was tapped but I got involved anyhow. They’re going to take what’s not working and make it work. That’s part of the collaborative medium.

Recorded On: 3/3/08

Price says he doesn't feel the pressure of writing for a show with such a cult following.

Smartly dressed: Researchers develop clothes that sense movement via touch

Measuring a person's movements and poses, smart clothes could be used for athletic training, rehabilitation, or health-monitoring.

Technology & Innovation

In recent years there have been exciting breakthroughs in wearable technologies, like smartwatches that can monitor your breathing and blood oxygen levels.

Keep reading Show less

Do you worry too much? Stoicism can help

How imagining the worst case scenario can help calm anxiety.

Credit: OLIVIER DOULIERY via Getty Images
Personal Growth
  • Stoicism is the philosophy that nothing about the world is good or bad in itself, and that we have control over both our judgments and our reactions to things.
  • It is hardest to control our reactions to the things that come unexpectedly.
  • By meditating every day on the "worst case scenario," we can take the sting out of the worst that life can throw our way.
Keep reading Show less

No, the Yellowstone supervolcano is not ‘overdue’

Why mega-eruptions like the ones that covered North America in ash are the least of your worries.

Image: USGS - public domain
Strange Maps
  • The supervolcano under Yellowstone produced three massive eruptions over the past few million years.
  • Each eruption covered much of what is now the western United States in an ash layer several feet deep.
  • The last eruption was 640,000 years ago, but that doesn't mean the next eruption is overdue.
Keep reading Show less

Study: People will donate more to charity if they think something’s in it for them

A study on charity finds that reminding people how nice it feels to give yields better results than appealing to altruism.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels
Personal Growth
  • A study finds asking for donations by appealing to the donor's self-interest may result in more money than appealing to their better nature.
  • Those who received an appeal to self-interest were both more likely to give and gave more than those in the control group.
  • The effect was most pronounced for those who hadn't given before.
Keep reading Show less