Sunday, March 30, 2008

March 31-April 4 Programs

Dear Here-on-Earthlings,

Before launching into the line-up for next week, I just want to thank all of you who've been calling in to make our programming come alive this week. I particularly enjoyed your contributions to Thursday’s conversation "Against Happiness" and "Tastes Like Cuba," Friday’s food show.

We’ll start next week with two programs about education:

Monday: They listen to heavy metal, don’t have much homework, dye their hair and waste hours online, so…..American educators are trying to figure out What Makes Finnish Kids So Smart?

Tuesday: A Sustainable Education: Parker Palmer says American higher education gives people the skills to manipulate the world but very little in the way of self-knowledge. We’ve teamed him up with the director of the Schumacher School in the UK where people attend seminars in ecological and spirituality.

Wednesday: In progress: We’re working with the BBC on a program about the Tibetan struggle for independence.

Thursday: Isabel Allende joins us to talk about her latest book, The Sum of Our Days, a sequel to her elegiac memoir about her daughter, Paula. “We lived as a tribe, Chilean style; we were almost always together” she tells us, writing about her close-knit family.

Friday: To celebrate the start of National Poetry Month, we’ll mix in a little poetry with our Friday food program this week: Jewish-American poet Barbara Goldberg just won the Felix Pollak Award for her latest collection, The Royal Baker’s Daughter. Her poems read like “A Gourmand’s Prayer” – dumplings, head-cheese, pickled beets, mutton and leeks - all this food and I’m starving.

I’m heading north this weekend. I’ll be reading from I Hear Voices and signing books at The Loft in Green Bay at 6:00 on Saturday, and at LaDeDa Books in Manitowoc at 2:00 on Sunday. I’m hoping I’ll see some of you there!


Friday, March 21, 2008

March 24-28 Programs

Happy Spring Here-on-Earthlings!

I’m happy to be back in the radio saddle after hiking the deserts of Death Valley and performing with No. #2 son Dominick at The Strand in New York City.

Here’s what to look forward to next week:

Monday: Want to know how to live longer? A longevity study pinpoints three isolated communities – in Okinawa, Sardinia, and Linda Loma, California – that seem to have figured it out.

Tuesday: An Iranian and a Jew get together to talk about Middle East politics, religion and society. Reza Aslan, a young Iranian American fiction writer with degrees in Religious Studies, has been traveling with Gideon Yago, his Jewish counterpart. The two are part of this year’s UW Distinguished Lecture Series.

Wednesday: Direct from Kazakhstan: Roksonaki! Kazakhstan’s most experimental folk-rock band. We’ll hear the band play live and talk with director Ruslan Kara, who pioneered arrangements that combine ancient Kazakh instrumentation with contemporary rock and jazz.

Thursday: Sick of all these insufferable exhortations on how to be happy, happy, happy? You’ll find what Eric Wilson has to say about the American obsession with the pursuit of happiness refreshing. He’s the author of Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy.

Friday: Tastes Like Cuba: Esteemed playwright Eduardo Machado tells his life story – from his childhood in Cuba during the revolution to his life in America – through the culinary memories of his homeland. Kudos to Carmen Jackson who worked her charms to get Machado on Here on Earth.

Thanks for lending your ears!


Friday, March 14, 2008

March 17-21 Programs

Hi, all!

Thank goodness the spring is in the air. And thank goodness Jean is coming back from vacation on Monday. Sorry that we had to shuffle and cancel some programs this week. Next week should be much smoother.

Monday: The Wisconsin Idea Goes to Japan. Robert Gard, the founder and director of the Wisconsin Idea Theater, published a seminal work called "Grassroots Theater" which has just been translated into Japanese. Jean Feraca will talk with the translator and find out why community development through the arts is suddenly such a hot topic in Japan.

Tuesday: You think you know what’s in the Bible? Think again! In a re-configured Manga Bible, Jesus has come as a Samurai.

Wednesday: Here on Earth celebrates Persian New Year with a program about Shiraz: Ancient City of Wine and Song.

Thursday: March 30 is Vincent Van Gogh's birthday. He was named after an older brother, and infant who died. The haunting story of being named for the other, dead brother, is the subject of a beautiful, rich poem by Northern Irish poet Kate Newman. Jean Feraca and Molly Peacock will discuss the Van Gogh poem and others that have a quality of spring light, the light of the equinox.

Friday: Jean Feraca and her guests discuss why yerba mate, an ancient tea-like beverage consumed mainly in South America, is considered a drink of health and friendship.

Have a great weekend!

Lisa Bu
Web Producer
Here on Earth

Friday, March 07, 2008

March 10-14 Programs

Dear Hereonearthlings (Better!),

I'm on vacation this week, leaving the program in the capable reins of Lori Skelton and Veronica Rueckert.

Monday: Psycho-Spiritual Healing: Once you have faced a physical trauma, how do you mend the mind and the spirit? Dr. Charika Marasinghe of Sarvodaya, Sri Lanka's largest charitable organization, discusses psycho-spiritual healing, an integration of western science and eastern philosophy.

Tuesday: For the last two millennia human beings have fought the most over religions. And the winner is ...? According to the guest this hour, historians may one day look back on the next few decades, not as yet another era when religious conflicts enveloped countries and blew apart established societies, but as the era when secularization took over the world.

Wednesday: We’re trying to book Eric Wilson, author of "Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy," or the writer/director of “Persepolis.”

Thursday: A writer uses her favorite examples from languages dead, difficult, and just plain made-up to reveal how language study is the ticket to traveling the world without leaving the comforts of home.

Friday: A native Parisian and passionate explorer of the city’s food scene, Clotilde Dusoulier takes us on a mouthwatering tour of the best restaurants, markets, and shops in Paris.

Have a good one!


Monday, March 03, 2008

March 3-7 Programs

Dear Friends,

It's March! Matso Marzo is how they say it in Italy -– Crazy March. But freakishishness in the weather is fine with me as long as we get some puddles. Speaking of crazy, you might be tempted to think we've gone off the deep end by starting this week with Toilet Talk, but…

Monday: Green urinals, unisex toilets, toilets shaped like soccer balls, fireflies and a baby grand piano. We even found a $4.8 million dollar toilet covered in gold in Hong Kong. Move over Kohler! The Restroom Revolution is coming from "The Far East."

Tuesday: Olympic Athletes Muscle in on Darfur: Getting ready for this summer's Olympics in Beijing, Olympic athletes have been pressuring China to influence the government of Sudan to halt the genocide in Darfur, and it seems to be working. We'll talk with American speedskater Joey Cheek, the founder of "Team Darfur," and Jerry Fowler, chief of "Save Darfur."

Wednesday: "Taxi to the Dark Side," a film about American torture, just won this year's Oscar for Best Documentary. We'll talk with Alfred McCoy (A Question of Torture) who served as a consultant to the film, and Marnia Lazreg (Torture and the Twilight of Empire), who traces the roots of the Bush administration's use of psychological torture back to the Algerian War.

Thursday: Is sailing around the world high on your Bucket List? Beth Leonard, author of Blue Horizons, which just won the 2007 National Outdoor Book Award, shares insights that have come from a deeply felt and fully-lived life circumnavigating the globe on a sailboat, not just once, but twice. She joins us from Patagonia!

Friday: Tapas, Mezze, Sushi. Is "gnoshing" our way through dinner about to displace the great American entrée? How other dining traditions are influencing the way restaurants plan our meals. Join us for a food fight, when Caryl Owens makes her debut hosting this Foodie Friday on Here on Earth.

With the blessings of the gods, I'll be on vacation by the end of the week.

Have a good one!