Friday, January 23, 2009

Jan 26-30 Programs

Jean's Pick of the Week: Reaching Out to the Muslim World. The fourth program in our Inside Islam series, broadcast just two days after Inauguration Day and featuring breaking news from the White House and three Muslim experts on what needs to be done to improve relations with the Muslim world. This program and all three that preceded it will be broadcast as a week-long series special Jan. 26 – 29, while I’m on vacation. We’d love to get your feedback. Does the series make sense as a series? Does it have a signature style and feel? Is it opening your mind and heart to a new way of thinking about Muslims and Islam? Does it make you want to learn more? Are there too many guests? What do you remember and take away from listening? Visit to find out what’s coming up in future shows and how you can help us shape the programs. You can also leave a comment on our 24/7 hotline: 1-877-GLOBE07. And thanks you!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jan 19-23 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes: Daniel Everett’s experiences with the extraordinary Pirahã people of the Brazilian Amazon who seem to be completely content with their way of life, live entirely in the moment, and lack any real curiosity about the rest of the world (i.e. they have no interest in being like us!) brought back my own experience in the Peruvian Amazon (which, frankly, blew my mind, and which I wrote about at length in my book, I Hear Voices).

Other highlights: Slumdog’s director, Danny Boyle talking about his enthusiasm for Mumbai; and Hannah Pool’s description of meeting her long lost Eritrean family. And although Tuesday’s program about Gaza was overbooked, we’ve had very positive feedback from Jews who appreciated our perspective.

We have a big week ahead of us, with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the Inauguration, and another Inside Islam program. Here’s the dope:

Monday: The Business of Modern Slavery: While we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. and the American civil rights movement, let’s also remember that slavery has once again reared its ugly head in the form of sex trafficking. For a completely original approach that strikes at the economic heart of prostitution, we’ll talk with Siddharth Kara, a former investment banker and author of Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery.

Tuesday: What Obama Means: Now this is a coup: directly following NPR’s live coverage of the Inauguration, Here on Earth gets to talk with (and this means you too!) celebrated cultural critic Jabari Asim, whose book The N Word made such waves. He’s the perfect guest coming at the perfect time on the perfect occasion. Join us!

Wednesday: Green Urbanism Down Under: city gardens in Melbourne; a koala-friendly housing development; solar lights that send electricity back to the city’s power grid – all transportable ideas that may hold a global solution to our environmental headaches. Guests: Timothy Beatley and Peter Newman.

Thursday: Reaching out to the Muslim World: On January 20, Barack Hussein Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. What is the state of relations between the United States and the Muslim world? How can the new president alter the course of the Bush administration and reach out to Muslims? What are the chances that dialogue and diplomacy will take precedence over a call to arms? What steps do Muslims think the new president should take to repair damages and rebuild trust?

Friday: Bagels Go Global! Boiled and baked, bagels as we know them originated in Poland, but just like the Jews themselves, you can find them all over the world – even in China where the Chinese break them into pieces and put them in their stir-fries!

I hope you’ll be listening – it should be a great week!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jan 12-16 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week – which wasn’t everybody’s! – Godless Commies and Dirty Reds: When my friend Marcin Filutowitcz, who grew up in Communist Poland, tuned into Here on Earth last Tuesday and heard the all-too-familiar strains of the Internationale, he quickly switched us off. I can understand that. But for me it was a form of liberation to host a program about the American Communist movement with someone as unflappable and even-handed as Bob March who grew up in a Communist family in Chicago. I was also reminded in the course of the conversation that I myself have participated in at least two movements that I now recognize as heavily influenced by Marxism: Italy’s Slow Food Movement (founded by Carlo Perini) and the American Women’s Movement at its most strident. And now I say, so what if they are Marxist. It’s just another ‘ism’ like all the other ‘ismatic’ orthodoxies. As Satish Kumar is fond of saying, sooner or later all the ‘isms’ will become ‘wasms.’ Until that happens, the heretics will be kept busy.

Coming in February: (Can you tell I’m excited about this?) Philippe Petit, the Frenchman who once walked a tightrope between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, joins us February 10th to talk about his astonishing feat, the subject of the documentary film, Man on Wire.

This Week on HoE:

Monday: Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes! Behind that sensationalized title is a truly original account of Amazonia written by a man, Daniel Everett, who went there as a Christian missionary expecting to convert the Pirahas, a tribe in Brazil, and was instead converted by them.

Tuesday: Gaza again, this time from the perspective of citizens affected. We’ll talk with moderates from both sides, explore their mutual frustrations, and what can be done to change the rationale for violence.

Wednesday: Slumdog Millionnaire, Danny Boyle’s highly praised film about an Indian boy from the slums who rises to fame and fortune by competing on a television quiz show. We’ll talk with the director and a Bollywood expert.

Thursday: Can you ever truly know who you are if you don’t know where you come from? Hannah Pool, a beauty editor for The Guardian, journeys to Eritrea to confront the poverty of the live that might have been hers in her memoir, My Fathers’ Daughter.

Friday: Science in the Kitchen: At the Stove, a Dash of Science, a Pinch of Folklore and something called "Molecular Gastronomy," a term coined by the French Chef Herve.

Check out our New HoE Hotline: In case you haven’t picked up on it, we have a new 24-hour hotline –- 1-877GLOBE07 –- that lets you respond to Here on Earth programs, suggest topics or guests for upcoming shows, or just sound off in general. Please let us hear from you. Your comment might just end up broadcast in our HoE mailbag.

And, as always, thanks for listening!


Saturday, January 03, 2009

Jan 5-9 Programs

For the first week of 2009, I've taken to heart the criticism we received from one Here on Earth listener who, in responding to our program on the Stalin Archives, had this to say: "I was raised with American Communists many of whom had the best morals of any people I have ever known. My own parents, of course, became disenchanted with Russian Communism but not its ideals. They paid a heavy price for their beliefs during the McCarthy years, but never gave up the fight for peace and justice for all people. Until their deaths, they worked in the communities and were well liked by the people who knew them and understood them to be the fine people they were. I have known many like them.

"But whenever, you do a show on this subject i feel that you are still having a knee-jerk and not very well informed reaction to the subject as if you are still suffering from the fifities when people were afraid they'd find the "dirty reds" under their beds. please consider getting better informed. One suggestion: You might try to talk to my friend and your friend, Bob March, on this subject. "

Bob March will be on the show this Tuesday to talk about "Reds."

Monday: Global Voices: an internet media newsroom for on-the-ground reporting from the developing world, Global Voices is a website run by volunteers that collects, translates, and disseminates all the blogs in the developing world -- an excellent source of citizen journalism, what some critics are calling the wave of the future. Find out what bloggers in the Middle East are saying about events in Gaza, and hear from other global voices in-the-know when we talk with 3 GV editors.

Tuesday: "Reds:" What attracted so many Americans to Communist ideals and what caused them to go sour on the Party? Bob March, UW Professor Emeritus of Physics, grew up in Chicago during the heroic period of union organizing in the thirties. His father was an agitator who served on the Central Committee of the Communist Party and got his son involved in the Youth Movement.

Wednesday: This one's still up for grabs.

Thursday: How do good ideas go "viral?" For 25 years, the TED conference has featured some of the world's most influential thinkers -- Jane Goodall, Stephen Hawking, Al Gore. You may have seen their TED speeches on YouTube. We'll talk with TED curator Chris Anderson about "Ideas Worth Spreading."

Food Friday: Simon Says: Given the English reputation, the words "British" and "chef" put together might strike you as an oxymoron. But Simon Hopkinson is not just a first-rate chef whose recipes reflect all the great cuisines of the world, he's also a brilliant writer whose 2005 cookbook, Roast Chicken and Other Stories was voted "the most useful cookbook of all times." I first learned about Simon while in Beijing in the company of a mad Irishman who walked us nearly to death searching for an obscure Muslim restaurant that served first-rate eel.

I think I need an Irish coffee.

Happy New Year and let's keep talking!