Friday, November 30, 2007

Dec 3-7 Programs

Dear Friends,

We have an unusually political line-up to kick off the month of December:

Monday: The UN gets a report card on its Declaration of Human Rights created in 1948, almost 60 years ago. We'll talk with members of Wisconsin's Governor's Commission on the UN, the only body of its kind in the US.

Tuesday: Do scientists play God? Turns out, that depends on your religion. We'll talk with Lee Silver, the author of Challenging Nature: The Clash Between Biotechnology and Spirituality, About the East/West Scientific Divide..

Wednesday: Beyond Caudillo: How Michelle Bachelet is changing the legacy of August Pinochet in Chile.

Thursday: At long last, we catch up with Jonathan Groubert and his new program from Radio Netherlands. This week's edition is, appropriately enough, about Overconsumption.

Friday: Spice: Want to know what it took to get those pumpkin pie spices into your Thanksgiving feast? Join us with the author of The Taste of Conquest: The Three Legendary Cities: Venice, Lisbon, and Amsterdam: how their single-minded pursuit of spice helped create the Western diet and set in motion the first great wave of globalization.

Hope you'll be listening and calling!


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Nov 26-30 Programs

Hi Here-on-Earthians,

Question of the Week: Have we dropped the ball in Afghanistan? (See Wednesday's program with former NPR foreign correspondent Sarah Chayes).

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and here's what we have to look forward to when we groan our way back to work on Monday:

Monday: How do you measure the distance from an African village to an American city?: We'll talk with Anne Makepeace, the maker of Rain in a Dry Land, a POV documentary about the challenges faced by Somali refugees confronting racism, poverty, and 21st century culture shock.

Tuesday: Beyond Caudillo: We're working on a program about Chile's woman president, Michelle Bachelet, who is taking her country beyond the legacy of Pinochet.

Wednesday: Once again, we catch up with our gal in Afghanistan, the redoubtable Sarah Chayes who has been helping Afghani entrepreneurs to develop a soap and body-oil business while they all dodge the Taliban's bullets. Have we dropped the ball in Afghanistan? Let us know what you think by sending a message to and posting it on my blog at

Thursday: The Seed Bank: It's a project ongoing in Norway to preserve all the seeds on earth in case of catastrophe.

: Space Food: in the future we may all be eating what the astronauts eat. God forbid.

I hope you can join us, and I mean that in more ways than one. We are in the process of developing a more interactive production process, hoping to solicit your input on issues we tackle in advance of the broadcast so you can play a more active role in helping to shape the program. The first step is in introducing The Question of the Week. See Sarah Chayes' article, “Scents and Sensibility,” in the November issue of Atlantic Monthly for more background on what's going on in Afghanistan.

Enjoy your turkey!



Sunday, November 18, 2007

Nov 19-23 Programs

Hello Everyone!

This will be a short week for us since the crew is taking off for a long Thanksgiving weekend.

Here's what's coming up:

Monday: Words Without Borders, the online magazine for literature in translation, is hosting a big event in Soho called "Tales from the Global Village." We'll talk with some of the featured writers from the University of Iowa's International Writing Program.

Tuesday: Radio wizard David Isay, the creator of StoryCorps, joins us to talk about Listening as an Act of Love, and to share his favorite StoryCorps moments.

Wednesday: It's the season of charitable giving, but with so many choices and so many worthy causes, how do you decide which one to pick? For the Charity Navigator and the Alternative Gift Guru, join us for this program on Internet Philanthropy.


Friday, November 16, 2007

So What Did You Think of Annie?

Friday, November 16, 2007

I met Annie Lanzillotto in Denver a few weeks ago at the AIHA Conference- the American Italian Historical Association. Like Robert DiNero, Al Pacino, Jake La Motta and Anne Bancroft (who grew up on her block), she's a pure child of the Italian-American Bronx. Raw and red-blooded, Annie has the courage and the heart of a lion. And she looks like one too. She wears a long tan leather coat and an Artful Dodger hat. She sometimes goes by the name of Rachele Coraggio. She even had a dream recently in which her father appeared to her and told her that the 'L' in Lanzillotto is for 'lion."

She was sitting in the front row, her big frame slouched in the seat right in front of me, at one of the panels. Then when she got up, turned around and started performing her monologues with names like " The Abandoned Lasagne," "Saving My Grandmother's Leg," "How to Cook a Heart," and " The Iceman Cometh," I knew right away that here was my blood sister, my grandmother, Commara Celestina, my mother, and my brother Stephen all rolled into one. Annie's tongue is bathed in red wine; her heart is full of Barese viagra, and she has the sweet smug smile of a lioness. She's pure gold. I love her.

Now, tell me. Because I need to know. Do you love her too? If you didn't hear the Food Friday program today, listen tonight at 9:00, or listen to the archived program when it gets posted in a few days. I need to know!


Friday, November 09, 2007

Nov 12-16 Programs

Wow! Will Shortz, Leonard Nimoy, and a radioactive food fighter from the Bronx. Brace yourselves for a banner week on Here on Earth!

Monday: Suduko: It's a cross-number puzzle from Japan that's conquered the world. Never heard of it? Neither had I. But not to worry -- Will Shortz will set us straight.

Tuesday: Cuba Confidential

Wednesday: Leonard Nimoy, a.k.a. Mr. Spock from Star Trek, is actually an accomplished photographer who's turned his considerable talent to an unusual topic – Fat Babes!

Thursday: How is the 2008 presidential race stacking up in the eyes of the rest of the world? Can we shake the Cowboy image? Is there a post-militant America in our future? John Nichols weighs in.

Friday: Don't miss this show! I was in Denver last weekend at the American Italian Historical Association's conference where I met Annie Rachele Lanzillotto – I call her Lancelot. Annie is a brilliant, incredibly funny performance artist who does side-splitting monologues about growing up Italian-American in the Bronx. The focus, of course, is on food: Join us for "The Abandoned Lasagne," "Never Leave Home Without a Frittata," and "How to Cook a Heart."

Gotta go.


Friday, November 02, 2007

Hello Friend,

Here’s what’s in store for Here on Earth listening the first week in November:

Monday: one of the most powerful activist voices of the 20th century: Francis Moore Lappe gives us a sneak preview of her Monday night presentation at the Barrymore Theater in Madison when she’ll be talking about her visionary new blueprint for how to revitalize our democracy: Getting a Grip.

Tuesday: Is a solar house in your future? We talk with the leaders of two of America's most innovative solar housing programs, and with an engineer from Montreal, all of whom took part in the Solar Decathlon, a worldwide contest to find the best new solar housing designs. Guests: (1)Stephen Lee, Carnegie Mellon University; (2)Pliny Fisk, Texas A & M University; (3)Nicolas Fiolin, Bell Canada

Wednesday: We read about an 84 year old anthropologist in Egypt who’s been making great strides in ending the practice of FGM: female genital mutilation, which is so widespread it’s almost universal among Egyptian women. Our redoubtable Chinese producer, Lisa Bu, persisted until she made contact and talked her into doing a show with us.

Thursday: A new look at an ancient practice: Green Funerals. The green funeral movement started in Europe, and now it's taking root in the U.S. Since January, six "green burial grounds," natural areas reserved for burials in simple coffins, without embalming, have opened in the U.S., as more and more people opt for a more natural, and less expensive, burial ritual. Guests: (1) Joe Sehee, director, Green Burial Council; (2) Mark Harris, Author, "Grave Matters: A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry"

Food Friday: When The Cheese Stands Alone: find out how to navigate a European-style cheese counter with confidence and learn about fascinating new "live" cheeses and exciting artisanal offerings. Guests: (1) Laura Werlin, author of "Laura Werlin's Cheese Essentials" (2) TBA from Fromagination (

I’ll be spending this weekend in Denver as a participant in the American Italian Historical Association’s meeting, reading from I Hear Voices.

Thanks for listening!