Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dec 1-5 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Obama vs. Obama: I really enjoyed the muscular give and take between Dhuvan Shah and Doug MacLeod, and the callers. The perspective provided by Imam Talib from New York was truly illuminating.

Don’t miss the third program in our ongoing series Inside Islam: Dialogues and Debates coming up on Thursday, Dec. 4 on Women and Shari’a.

This is a short week and I’m rushing to get home to deliver a rabbit to a friend (!), so forgive the shorthand:

Monday: The Best of Italian Americana: I was part of a panel at this year’s AIHA conference in New Haven recently (AIHA stands for American Italian Historical Association) and once again, I found some very simpatico people – talented and clever writers – that I’m sharing with you in this program we’re calling Wild Dreams – the title of a new anthology of Italian writers. Guests: anthology editor Joanna Clapps Herman; performance artist Annie Lanzillotto (back again!); poet George Guida. Expect a good time.

Tuesday: Laser Monks! They live in Sparta, Wisconsin, and they’ve come up with a way to make ink cartridges that radically undersell the competition. Turns out monks are great entrepreneurs, basing their business acumen on the 15 hundred year old Benedictine rule.

Wednesday: It’s not just Sarah Palin who thinks Africa is a country. Lots of Americans do. The UW Geography Department is hoping to correct that by teaching kids all about the real Africa during National Geography week. We’ll find out how successful they’ve been.

Thursday: Women and Shari’a: You’ve probably been hearing some of the same horrifying stories about the fate of Muslim girls that we’ve been hearing: stonings, rapes, murders, even young Pakistani girls buried alive for opposing arranged marriages. We’ve invited Asifa Quraishi, a crack shot UW Law Professor to untangle what part of all this is Shari’a and what part tribal customs. And is there any way to separate them after all? Who speaks for Muslim women?

Friday: Olives and Oranges: a new take on Mediterranean cooking from a woman who’s been everywhere and loves it all.

I’m grateful to all of you,


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nov 24-28 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Every once in a blue moon it happens that a guest we’ve booked turns out to be a soulmate. That turned out to be true last Tuesday when I talked with Terry Tempest Williams about her amazing odyssey from Ravenna to Utah to Rwanda, described in her highly original book, Finding Beauty in a Broken World. This program was so moving to me that at times I found it difficult to talk.

Monday: Closing Guantanamo Bay: In his first televised appearance since the election, President-Elect Obama told CBS Sixty Minutes that he intends to close Guantanamo Bay prison and end the practice of torture. It turns out that’s not going to be so easy. There are 50 inmates at Guantanamo, some of them violent extremists. We’ll explore Obama’s options and look into the success rate of Islamist rehabilitation programs with Christopher Boucek in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Foundation.

Tuesday: Can the Coral Reefs Be Saved? There’s at least one success story in Apo Island in the Phillipines that suggests we can. It’s told in the Wild Reef exhibit currently at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. We’ll talk with George Parsons, Director of Fishes at the Shedd about the Project Seahorse, an international group of marine biologists fighting to save the world’s underwater wonders.

Wednesday: Al Qaeda Insults Obama: A lot of people around the world are cheering Obama’s victory. Al Qaeda isn’t among them. Osama bin Laden’s top deputy went out of his way to insult the new President Elect with a racist remark last week, calling him a House Negro. We’ll talk with UW-Madison Journalism and Mass Communications Professor, Doug McLeod, about the implications of al Zawahri’s video.

Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving! To celebrate, we’re featuring an encore presentation of one of our favorite holiday programs: Listening is an Act of Love with Story Corps founder David Isay.

Friday: Definitely worth hearing again at the open of the hunting season, our wild and woolly Food Friday program, Got Moose?

And once again, let me say that one of the things I most grateful for, not just this Thanksgiving, but for the last 25, is your ears!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Nov 17-21 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: The World According to Sesame Street!

Monday: Fred Ho, a one-of-a-kind Chinese-American musician, composer, writer, political activist and leader of the Afro Asian Music Ensemble and the Monkey Orchestra, pre-views his upcoming performance of Revolutionary Earth Music…at the Wisconsin Union Theater on Nov. 22.

Tuesday:Finding Beauty in a Broken World: Starting from the mosaics of Ravenna, Italy, moving to her home in the American Southwest, and then to the rubble of the Rwandan genocide and elsewhere in the broken world, Terry Tempest Williams finds a way of making the world whole again using the metaphor of the mosaic.

Wednesday: The World in the Year 2033: Projections of the World Policy Institute in the next 25 years.

Thursday: The International Children’s Literature Conference is bringing Meshack Asare to campus this week. Born in Ghana, Asare is one of Africa's top children's writers and illustrators who has won numerous awards including the 1999 Unesco First Prize for Children and Young People's Literature in the Service of Tolerance.

Friday: Everything we eat is burdened with social, political, religious, and even militarized meaning. Cuisines of the Axis of Evil and Other Irritating States dishes out a saucy culinary feast of facts on ten controversial countries, their policies, and, of course, the food that unifies us all. Consider it a Dinner Party approach to international relations.

Tell us about your Pick of the Week on The Blog Without Borders:

And, as always, thanks for listening.


Friday, November 07, 2008

Nov 10-14 Programs

Attention, all you boomer Beatles fans who want to "give peace a chance!" Chances are you’ll enjoy listening to Monday’s program with Philip Norman, who just published anew biography of John Lennon:

Monday: Peace activist, edgy artist, international icon. It’s hard to sum up John Lennon and his influence on fans worldwide. Biographer Philip Norman takes an unflinching look, casting light on a man who shaped a generation’s outlook on politics, religion and art.

Tuesday: Bruce Laine’s Togo Project: French filmmaker Brice Laine spent the best years of his childhood growing up in the tiny West African country of Togo where he witnessed firsthand the dramatic impact of a locally run development project that brought a dying village back to life. He made a movie about it called “The Dancing Forest” which movingly illustrates The Value of Women.

Wednesday: Feeding Haiti: Following her husband’s untimely death, Margaret Trost visited Haiti hoping to heal her broken heart through service. She partnered with a local community and together they developed a program that now serves thousands of meals to those in need. On That Day Everybody Ate tells the story of her remarkable journey.

Thursday: The World According to Sesame Street: In Germany, everybody swears Burt and Ernie are German, and you haven’t lived until you’ve heard Rubber Ducky sung in Mandarin!

Friday: Fry, Baby: It's no secret that Americans love doughnuts but it might surprise to learn that the rest of the world loves them too. The Italians have zeppole, the Mexicans have churros, and the Greeks have loukoumades.

That’s it! I’m outa here!


Saturday, November 01, 2008

Nov 3-7 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: What Do Vampires Eat? Really classy interaction between our Goth Prof, Neil Whitehead, and Charlaine Harris, the creator of The Southern Vampire Mysteries, a sweet southern belle who was born in a cotton field and surely knows her vampires. The conversation ranged from the scary to the hilarious, from horror to glee. We even had our token Roumanian call in at the end of the hour thanking us for honoring his country! What more can you ask from a talk show? Thanks to Joe Hardtke for producing this show, and to Brian Dunbar for suggesting that we book Charlaine Harris.

Monday: While Americans are getting used to the idea that Barack Obama may become our first African-American president, what is the rest of the world saying about it? We’ll ask a group of international journalists who are here in the States studying the election and filing their reports back home.

Tuesday: The World of Children Awards: Dubbed the “Nobel Prize for Children,” the World of Children Awards program searches the globe to find and support those individuals who are pioneering life-changing programs to benefit children – and some of the honorees are children themselves!

Wednesday: She’s a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, a campaigner for young girls, fair trade and human rights. And, in her spare time, she still manages to record and perform beautiful songs with political fire. I’m Jean Feraca, join us with Grammy-Award winning singer Angelique Kidjo.

Thursday: Honor Among Thieves: I spent a glorious week on the island of Crete last summer and so, naturally, I’ve been wanting to do a program about it ever since. But I could never have imagined the turn it’s taken: Michael Herzfeld, a renowned Harvard anthropologist has been studying the politics and ethics of animal theft – something that’s been practiced in the mountain villages of Crete for eons. What does it have to do with the way we live today? Plenty.

Friday: Cinnamon – Everybody’s Favorite Spice: Where it comes from, why it’s prized, and how to work kitchen magic with it.

Happy Halloween!