Saturday, May 31, 2008

June 2-6 Programs

Hello Friends, Thursday has rolled around once again and it’s time to let you in on what the Here on Earth team has in store for you this coming week:

Monday: China’s Earthquake Generation: Our mission, as you know, is to deliver good news whenever we can, so we tend to stay shy of stories about natural disasters. But when we began hearing that in the aftermath of China’s earthquake, hundreds of students had lined up to donate blood and supplies while others went to the earthquake zone, traveling more than 1,000 miles to distribute aid, we knew we had a Here on Earth story.

Tuesday: Green Collar Jobs: What are they and where are they? John Foley, the director of SAGE, the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, joins us to talk about green economics.

Wednesday:Hardcore Zen: The story of a punk whose lifelong quest for truth led him through a path from the aggressive beats of hardcore punk music to the monster movie studios in Tokyo to a temple where he discovered Zen Buddhism. Brad Warner is a Zen monk, a musician, a filmmaker, and the author of Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies, and the Truth about Reality.

Thursday: We’ve heard that The Daily Show is where young Americans get their news. But is it the same in the UK? What about Australia? And should every news story be turned into a joke?

Friday: It’s not Valentine’s Day, but who cares? Any day is a good day to talk about Chocolate: Chocolatier Gail Ambrosius has been all over Central and Latin America, visiting cocoa growers. It’s a little like going to the vineyard before you make the wine.

It’s been a long week. I’m out’a here!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You may have been surprised and delighted, as I was, to hear a promo for this Thursday's Here on Earth program broadcast in Spanish in a sweet little girl's voice. That was Constanza Serrani (a.k.a. Liborio - she changed her name), our student producer from Argentina who convinced us to do a program about Mafalda, the influential Argentine comic strip that features a six-year-old wunderkind famous for her witty political quips and ironic observations about life. The comic strip is intended for an adult audience, a little like Peanuts' Charlie Brown, and its popularity has spread throughout Europe and even into China. Isn't it about time we Americans were introduced? I hope you'll be listening tomorrow and let us know what you think.

Also, we're adding a new weekly feature to our programming: A Here on Earth Mailbag. Beginning next Monday, June 2, I'll be reading some listener comments from the previous week's programs. We figure it's one way to keep you listening through the end of the hour, and of letting you know that we really do read them and want more, more more!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hi Everybody!

Here ‘s what’s coming up on Here on Earth the last week in May:

Monday, Memorial Day: Naples vs. the Nazis: we explore a long-kept secret left over from the last world war: how the Neapolitans fought a guerilla war against the Nazis during World War I, with John Domini, the author of a memoir in progress: Cooking the Octopus: Discovering Naples, My Father, and Myself.

Tuesday: The Garbage Warrior: Michael Reynolds builds houses out of garbage -- literally. He's the subject of The Garbage Warrior, a documentary about his adventures building what he calls "earthships", off-grid sustainable communities made out of beer cans, old tires, and plastic bottles. We'll talk with director, Oliver Hodge, and the Garbage Warrior himself.

Wednesday: American Universities Go Overseas: From Kuwait to Singapore, American universities are expanding. At Kean University, plans for a campus in China are underway. At the University of Washington, a program in Abu Dhabi teaches recent UAE graduates the skills they need to make it in the contemporary workforce. Guests: Kean University President Dawood Farahi; University of Washington program coordinator Marisa Nickle.

Thursday: Mafalda: a comic strip for adults from Argentina, it features a five-year-old girl named Mafalda who is deeply concerned about humanity, world peace, and the current state of society. Written and drawn by the Argentine cartoonist Quino, Mafalda is a huge hit all over Latin America, Europe, and elsewhere, with ambitions to take on the US next.

Friday: “All you need is love. And wine. And beer. And food”, that’s the motto for the next festival of food and music at the University of Gastronomical Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy, an institution dedicated exclusively to the study of food where nobody ever touches a pot.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Street Cries

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I just did one of the best Here on Earth programs ever, thanks to the wizardry of poet/performance artist Annie Lanzilotto and her sidekick, singer/songwriter DePree. Street Cries! Who would have thought that a program about something as commonplace, raw, vulgar, and oh so not midwestern could evoke such a soulful response! We had some wonderful sound lined up from Annie's collection of street cries from all over the world to use in the program, but what callers spontaneously supplied was even better - a garbanzo seller from India, peanut and hot dog vendors at a ballgame, a Vietnamese fish vendor, even an Egyptian hawking cotton candy in Arabic - and so many callers recreating these soul cries right on the air! It was what God intended a talk show should be. The poet in me, the street hawker, rose to the occasion, and Joe Hardtke, our engineer, was just as thrilled. Now, why can't we do that more often? Any ideas?

Friday, May 16, 2008

May 19-23 Programs

Dear Here-on-Earthlings,

Here's what's coming up on Here on Earth:

Monday: Colin Tudge, a BBC commentator and the author of 14 books on farming, food, and ecology, argues in Feeding People is Easy, that we can solve the global food crisis by reverting to small farming practices.

Tuesday: Meet two heroic women who have transformed their war trauma into a force for truth and healing.

Wednesday: We are still working on it.

Thursday: People all over the world read and write science fiction. What do they have in common? Jean Feraca talks with a science fiction buff participating in this year's International Science Fiction Conference in Madison, Wisconsin.

Friday: Whad'a they have that we ain't got? Barry Levinson, the founder of the Mustard Museum in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, reports on his recent mustard-tasting tour of Dijon, France.

Have a great weekend!


Friday, May 09, 2008

May 12-16 Programs

Dahlings, (And by the way, didn’t you love Neal Kernan’s take on Yiddish? Who knew?)

We have a stellar line-up stacked up for you this week – I’m almost sorry I won’t be here for most of it. I’ll be hosting Monday’s program on The Counterfeiters, then heading west for a romp in the California wine country. Veronica Rueckert will be lighting up the airwaves in my place.

Monday: If you haven’t yet seen this year’s Best Foreign Film, The Counterfeiters, you’ve missed a great film experience. It’s the story of a Jewish master counterfeiter who gets sent to Auschwitz where the Nazis force him to head up a counterfeiting operation to help them win the war. It’s based on a true story, and we’ll be talking with Lawrence Malkin who wrote the book behind the movie, Krueger’s Men. I think the movie might still playing at Sundance.

Tuesday: The Man Who Loved China. Simon Winchester, the bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman, brings to life the extraordinary story of Joseph Needham, the brilliant Cambridge scientist who unlocked the most closely held secrets of China, its long and astonishing history of invention and technology Here is a tale of what makes men, nations, and, indeed, mankind itself great—related by one of the world's inimitable storytellers.

Wednesday: When in Rome, do as the Romans. But what if you can't figure out what the Romans are doing? Wednesday we'll crack the code on international culture and tradition with the author of the book Going Dutch in Beijing.

Thursday: A Feminist Version of the Qur’an? The Qur'an is said to be untranslatable, and has so far been the domain of male translators. This hour we'll meet the woman who's tackling the Qur'an with a translation highlighting messages of inclusiveness and tolerance. (The Sublime Qur'an translated by Laleh Bakhtiar, a celebrated scholar of Sufism, a writer, translator, and the only woman to have translated The Qur'an.)

Friday: Remember Paris by Pastry? It was one of our favorite programs last spring, worthy, we thought, of another go. Sink your teeth into the sweets of Paris patisseries as we follow a metro stop guide to pastry shops and the deliciousness of April in Paris with Joyce Slayton Mitchell.

And yes, how sweet it is, this Mother’s Day stuff, these apple blossoms and lilacs, this chardonnay…

See ya…


Sunday, May 04, 2008

May 5-9 Programs

Hi Folks!

First off, I apologize for not getting the bulletin out last week, but I hope you enjoyed our live remote from Conserve School up in Land o’ Lakes last Wednesday as much as I did. I was sick as a dog, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Glorious setting in the north woods, great kids that make you feel like there’s hope for the world after all, and amazing teachers like Jeff Rennicke whose story about how he teaches Jack London’s “How to Start a Fire,” was worth the five hour trip.

Here’s what’s in the mix for this coming week:

Monday: Bananas! Have you ever wondered why bananas are so cheap? Since I married a man who grew up in Venezuela, my banana consciousness has been raised, and we’ve both been waiting a long time for a book like Peter Chapman’s Bananas: How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World. It’s an expose of one of the world’s most controversial multinational corporations.

Tuesday: The Story of Yiddish: a gutter language, and an unlikely survivor of the ages, not unlike the Jews themselves, told by Neal Karlen, staff writer for Newsweek and Rolling Stone and a contributor to the New York Times.

Wednesday: 27 Gumballs: an entrepreneurial microfinance scheme created by a group of clever Stanford students who are turning gumballs into cash for the working poor.

Thursday: John Nichols weighs in on the global food crisis.

Friday: What am I When I was in China a few years ago I met a delightful English woman named Suzy Oakes, a world traveler who has eaten the most amazing things all over the world, and created a website to catalog them with 61,000 entries in 256 languages, including Black Foot!

Oh yes, and thank you so much for supporting WPR!