Friday, July 25, 2008

July 28 - Aug 1 Programs

Dear Friends,

We’re closing in on the last week in July – alas! The older we get, the faster summer flies by. But what better time to bring you a program about HOW TO COOK AT THE SOUTH POLE? (don’t miss this week’s Food Friday)

Also, if you happened to miss today’s program on The Natural Step: The Science of Sustainability, you’ll want to check it out. One of the best holistic systems approaches to sustainability I’ve come across. David Cook, the Chief Exec of TNS International, helped me understand how all our problems, from gas prices to lay-offs, are interconnected, and how initiatives as diverse as composting and rain gardens all contribute to the solution. We touched on so many things – from politics to business to government, weaving it all together.

Here’s the line-up for the coming week:

Monday: Barack Obama’s International Tour: Some are hailing it a global victory lap; others say it was a big mistake. John Nichols weighs in and we may have a journalist from Deutsche Welle joining us as well.

Tuesday: When Elizabeth Pisani is asked what she does for a living, she replies, “sex and drugs”. As an epidemiologist who has studied AIDS for the past fourteen years, she knows her stuff. Elizabeth Pisani joins us to talk about international AIDS prevention and her new book, The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels, and the Business of AIDS.

Wednesday: Books That Open the World: We had so much fun talking about great summer reads for kids, we thought why not do the same thing for grown-ups? So we invited NPR’s Alan Cheuse to join us with his list of new favorites.

Thursday: If you take a look at the U.S.’s first Olympics in St. Louis in 1904, you’ll find a lot of the same rhetoric being used in Beijing today. According to Susan Brownell, who has lifelong experience in Chinese sports as an athlete and anthropologist, the Chinese government is using the Olympics as a model to build a fair and powerful nation. Will the Olympics change China?

Friday: Cooking in the Coldest Place on Earth: Forget the cookbooks and the recipes, you have to be really creative to cook at the South Pole where ingredients take at least a week to thaw and foods like pasta turn to instant mush.

Good stuff, huh?

We’ve added a new occasional Thursday feature, by the way: The Here on Earth Mailbag, with content provided exclusively by you. Didn’t get a chance to be on the air? Send your comments to or call 1-608-890-0269, and you get a second chance.


Friday, July 18, 2008

July 21-25 Programs

Salve, Amici!

Here’s what’s coming up this week on Here on Earth:

Monday: Samuel Johnson once said that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. With Democrats and Republicans waging a war of words over which candidate is the true patriot, how do you weigh in? Join us for what promises to be a lively discussion about the nature of patriotism and its place in this year’s presidential election.

Tuesday: Imagine an American summer camp where no one speaks English and you can’t either. Welcome to the world of language camps, where traditional activities like canoeing and hiking are conducted completely in Spanish, Chinese, or even Arabic. We'll be joined by Donna Clementi of the Concordia Language Villages, and a new camp in the Fox Valleys of Wisconsin.

Wednesday: Life is good for Binti, a young girl living in Malawi. She has a role on a radio play and goes to a prestigious school. But when her father dies of AIDS and she’s sent to live with resentful relatives, Binti has to find a way to remake her life. You might recognize this plot from The Heaven Shop, the latest book from Canada’s award-winning children’s author, Deborah Ellis.

Thursday: “I don’t believe the solutions…will come from the left or the right…They will come from islands of people with integrity who want to do something.” So said the founder of The Natural Step, a program for sustainability based on the laws of thermodynamics that was founded by Swedish scientist Karl-Henrik Robert. Followers include Whistler, BC, IKEA, and groups in Eugene, Oregon, and Madison, Wisconsin.

Friday: In order to save an endangered species, you have to eat it! Or so says the coalition of groups behind Renewing America’s Food Traditions, a project committed to restoring the unique foods of North America as elements of living cultures and regional cuisines.

Think Woody: That’s all, Folks!


Sunday, July 13, 2008

July 14-18 Programs

Dear Here-on-Earthians:

Here’s the line-up for next week:

Monday:When Africa Goes Pop: One of the rising movements in American indie-rock comes out of West Africa. Obscure recordings from the seventies are suddenly flying off the shelves, finding new fans in record stores and on-line. So why are white hipsters listening to old school African fun? If you like music, this will be a fun show to listen to (produced by Joe Hardtke, our musician/drummer/tech guy).

Tuesday: The ex-director of the Royal Geographical Society and expert on all matters Amazonian – John Hemming, author of Tree of Rivers: The Story of the Amazon, regales us with stories of the river’s amazing and tangled history. He knows whereof he speaks – this guy’s done it all: gotten hopelessly lost, contracted malaria, hacked trails through dense rainforest.

Wednesday: Kids Read: In this first post-Harry Potter summer, are you looking for good books for your children? We have some great recommendations. They’re not only fun, but also give young minds an early start on becoming a world citizen.

Thursday: Gregorian Chant Hits the Top of the British Pop Chart: In a quiet monastery deep in the Vienna woods a group of Benedictine monks have become pop stars since their album shot to #7 this spring. What prompted them to get into the music business? And what’s behind the sudden popularity of this ancient style of sacred chant?

Friday: How the California wine industry trumped France: In 1976, the wine world was stunned when red and white wines from unknown California vintners beat out established French wines in a blind tasting. Today, California and France stand at the forefront of a global interest in wine production and consumption. What has happened since the “Judgement of Paris?” Uncork a favorite bottle and listen in as guest host Lori Skelton and author George M. Taber explore the many pleasures to be found between Napa Valley and Bordeaux.

My Pick of Last Week: Thursday with Salman Rushdie; Friday with Adam Gollner and The Fruit Hunters. What’s your?

Thanks for listening and stay tuned!


Sunday, July 06, 2008

July 7-11 Programs

Dear Here-on-Earthians,

Salman Rushdie is coming to Madison this week. He'll be giving a reading at Border's West on Friday at 7:00pm. But if you can't make it, you can talk with him directly Thursday at 3:00 on Here on Earth! Here's what else we've got in store for you this week:

Monday: Muhaja Babes: Meet the New Middle East -– Young, Sexy and Devout: veiled young women in the Middle East who combine traditional piety with a secular sensibility, wearing tight bluejeans with their headscarves, following pop stars and religious leaders with equal devotion. Guest: Allegra Stratton former BBC producer.

Tuesday: Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique: According to Michael S. Gazzaniga -– one of the world's leading neuroscientists -– language, memory, emotion and perception determine the difference.

Wednesday: We're hoping to reschedule Guantanamo Bay Diary. We promised you this program last week but got it back on the docket. It was Google that got Mahvish Khan to Gitmo. Then a student of the University of Miami School of Law and native speaker of Pashto, Mahvish was the perfect candidate to work as a translator for Guantánamo Bay detainees. But she could never have anticipated the stories that she would hear on her trips down to Cuba.

Thursday is Salman Rushdie Day. His latest book is a historical novel that goes back and forth between 16th century Florence and the hedonistic Mughal capital of India. But we'll try to get him to talk about sex and Satan as well.

Friday: Ever tasted a cloudberry, an ice cream bean, or a peanut butter fruit? From the apple orchards of Washington to the forests of Bali and beyond, Adam Gollner, author of The Fruit Hunters, traveled the globe in search of its most delicious and exotic fruits.

Have a great week!