Sunday, October 26, 2008

Oct 27-31 Programs

The BIG NEWS in the week ahead: Please join us for Young Muslims and the Media, the second program in our Inside Islam series coming up this Wednesday, Oct. 29th. Reza Aslan will be our main guest along with videoblogger Baba Ali and other savvy young Muslims trying to confront stereotypes and change the face of Islam. Question: Can you really fight terror with YouTube?

Monday: Life in a Jar: If it hadn’t been for three high school girls in Kansas, we might never have known about the work of Irene Sendler, an unsung heroine of the Holocaust. A Polish Catholic social worker, she saved about 2,500 Jewish children from the Waraw ghetto. We’ll talk with one of the girls, Sendler’s translator and the state of anti-semitism in Poland today.

Tuesday: My Father’s Paradise: Ariel Sabar is one of a handful of people on earth who speaks Aramaic, the ancient language of Jesus. That’s because he is a Kurdish Jew. He tells the amazing story of his people who’ve managed to keep their faith, their language, and their culture alive over nearly three thousand years despite the greatest odds.

Wednesday: Young Muslims and the New Media: Way beyond Al Jazeera, the expansion of open media in the Arab world is changing the socio-political landscape of the region in dramatic ways. We’ll consider Noor - the Turkish soap opera likened to Dallas and dubbed into street Arabic that has become so wildly popular that imams in Saudi Arabia and Gaza have issued fatwas against anyone who watches it. Nobody pays attention. Or the work of Ali Ardekani, a 33-year-old videoblogger who cast as Baba Ali. He’s funny and hip and has a huge following. He’s one of a growing movement of young Muslims trying to change the face of Islam through new media. If Osama bin Laden were really smart, he’d be paying attention.

Thursday: Here on Earth Folklorist-in-Residence Harold Scheub joins us with his unique take on the folklore of Election 2008.

Friday: The fact that Halloween happens to fall on a Friday this year has not been lost on us. So our approach to food this week will be a bit deviant: You’re invited to join us at a table for the undead where you’ll find our favorite ghoul, Neil Whitehead. He can describe, with relish, just what vampires eat.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Oct 20-24 Programs

Want to know what’s coming up next week?

Monday: Obama supporters may be justifiably horrified by the racism that’s been incited by the McCain campaign. But what about the potshots aimed at Sarah Palin? Richard Harwood says we are all in this together and nobody gets to higher ground unless we all hold ourselves accountable.

Tuesday: British geography teacher Daniel Raven-Ellison had an idea: choose a city, walk across it, and take a photograph every eight steps. He’s done it now in London, Mumbai, and Mexico City. He calls his project “Urban Earth.”

Wednesday: Raphael Kadushin, the editor of a new anthology of gay travel writing called Big Trips, says gays make the best travel writers because they don’t get sidetracked by tourism trivia but focus instead of the stuff that counts: love, adventure, and a new sense of place.

Thursday: Well, I expect to be preparing all week for this one: The New York Times recently profiled Alaa al Aswany, the Egyptian journalist who is also the world’s best-selling Arab-language novelist. His new novel, Chicago, is set in The Windy City with a cast of American and Arab characters “achingly human.”

Friday: (thank God) Marcella Hazan, the duenna of Italian cooking who single-handedly introduced Americans to Italian regional cooking, swore she would never write another book, but she couldn’t help herself. Borrowing from Fellini, it’s called simply Amarcord: Marcella Remembers. Don’t miss it.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Oct 13-17 Programs

My Pick of the Week: Go figure, but I have to admit that the most fun I had on the radio this week was with John Nichols who is an absolute wizard as a pitching partner. He managed to build so much momentum during yesterday’s program that, after setting an arbitrary goal of 50 calls, actually generated 74! By the end of the hour, we had raised altogether over $4000 which I didn’t think was possible. So thank you so much, all of you, for making Thursday a banner pledge day for Here on Earth.

We have an indigenous theme going next week:

Monday: Columbus Day, not such a big deal here in the Midwest, but a huge deal in New York where I grew up among Italian-Americans. Since coming to Wisconsin I have become sensitized to the way Native Americans think about Columbus Day, much like a Jew who discovers the Palestinian word for “The Catastrophe.” So we’re going to focus the program around the theme of Indigenous Intelligence and talk with the director of the film Whaledreamers, about an Australian aboriginal tribe fighting for its right to existence.

Tuesday: Uwen Akpan is a Jesuit priest from Nigeria who won a prestigious award for his first collection of short stories, Say You’re One of Them, which he completed while working on his MFA in creative writing at the University of Michigan.

Wednesday: Mami Wata (pidgin English for Mother Water) A major exhibit celebrating African water spirits is opening soon at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, honoring the essential sacred nature of water. We’ll talk with UW-Madison Professor of African Art Henry Drewell, curator and sailor.

Thursday: The gifted modern nomad Stephanie Elizondo Griest (Where in the World is Stephanie?) stopped her wanderings long enough to write a probing memoir titled Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines. She’s coming to Wisconsin to take part in next week’s Book Festival and she joins live on the air today at 3:00.

Friday: We’re working on a program with Chris Fair, a political analyst and the author of the intriguing (cook?) book, Cuisines of the Axis of Evil and Other Irritating States: A Dinner Party Approach to International Relations.

As Bugs Bunny says, That’s all, Folks!


Friday, October 03, 2008

Oct 6-10 Programs

Friday, October 3, 2008

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, as the saying goes. The gift this week is that only two out of our five programs will be devoted to soliciting your support for WPR during this Fall Membership Drive. So if you’re as grateful for that reprieve, as I am, and you enjoy Here On Earth, especially when the programming is uninterrupted, how about a show of gratitude by pledging your support on line at or calling in a pledge to 888- 202-2552. We are oh so grateful for your support.

Monday: Creationism Goes Global: Is creationism contagious? For years, this peculiarly American movement seemed to be contained within our borders. But in the last several years, creationism had become a global phenomenon, as readily exportable as hip-hop and bluejeans. Science historian Ron Numbers joins us along with WPR’s Steve Paulson who just returned from a trip to Turkey, one of the country’s where creationism is taking hold.

Tuesday: Refusing to be Enemies: Twelve women living in Ann Arbor, Michigan – 6 of them Arabs and the other 6 Jews – manage to accomplish together what world leaders have thus far failed to do: make peace across the great divide.

Wednesday: Monique and the Mango Rains: Years ago, when we first launched Here on Earth, we did a program with Kris Holloway, a Peace Corps volunteer whose assignment in Mali led to an extraordinary friendship with a midwife named Monique. Ironically, after Kris came back home, Monique died in childbirth, but that wasn’t the end of the story. Kris joins us with an update.

Thursday: John Nichols: A Global Perspective on the US Presidential Election.

Friday: Will Allen, ex basketball star turned urban farmer, joins to talk about Growing Power, his urban farm in downtown Milwaukee and what he plans to do with his MacArthur genius grant.

Don’t touch that dial! And don’t forget to pledge to WPR –

Thank you Thank you Thank you!