Saturday, July 25, 2009

July 27-31 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: I was very happy with the way this week’s Inside Islam program about Aisha, the Prophet Mohammed’s favorite wife, turned out. Kamran Pasha is Hollywood’s only Muslim producer and writing the historical novel, Mother of the Believers , was a labor of love for him. In general, I’m not much of a fan of historical novels, but I did learn quite a bit about the origins of Islam from reading it and Aisha was a genuine little spitfire – my kind of woman, and Pasha has a such a cinematic imagination, I kept seeing the book as a movie. Alas, that will never happen since portraying the Prophet is forbidden in Islam. Jennifer Heath provided a great counterpoint to Pasha and the callers – a convert, a Jew, and a young woman – contributed quite a bit. Check it out if you haven’t heard it already.

We got quite a bit of feedback from our show on Reforming Health Care last Wednesday, and you’ll notice that we’re continuing the theme this week:

Monday: Will to Live: Aids Therapies and the Politics of Survival: Success stories about HIV-AIDS are scant, but we found one in Princeton University anthropologist Joao Biehl’s moving account of how Brazil got its act together and became the first nation to provide free treatment to all, in spite of inequities.

Tuesday: China Safari: On the Trail of Beijing’s Expansion in Africa: China's growing investment in Africa is causing both excitement for those who see better trade, infrastructure, and resources finally being invested in the continent, while others worry about corruption and exploitation. Author Serge Michel is former West Africa correspondent for Le Monde; we’ll also talk with photo-journalist Paolo Woods.

Wednesday: Paul Farmer, founder of Partners in Health, is being considered by the Obama administration to head up USAID. Since 1987, his NGO has been highly successful in delivering health care in poor countries like Haiti. We'll talk with PIH Executive Director Ophelia Dahl.

Thursday: Primo Levi: I’m a great fan of the Italian humanist Primo Levi, best known as a memoirist of Auschwitz, but he was also a scientist, fiction writer, and poet: in short, a Renaissance man. Primo Levi’s Universe by Sam Magavern, published to coincide with Levi’s 90th anniversary on July 31st, gives us a chance to find out what made this great humanist tick.

Friday: We’re hoping to book Bittman to talk about his new book, Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express, featured this week in the New York Times article, “The Minimalist: 101 Simple Salads for the Season.”

It’s been a long week. Have a great weekend, everybody!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

July 20-24 Programs

Jean is returning on Monday! Here's our lineup for next week.

Monday: Best Volunteer Vacations. Pam Grout is author of several travel books and in her new book, The 100 Best Volunteer Vacations to Enrich Your Life, she has compiled everything you need to start planning your first (or second) "feel good" vacation. Join our conversation about how to bring added value to your vacations through volunteer work.

Tuesday: Mother of the Believers. Kamran Pasha will join us for our next Inside Islam program to talk about his book, Mother of the Believers: A Novel of the Birth of Islam. This novel tells the story of the rise of Islam through the eyes of Aisha, the Prophet Muhammad’s youngest wife and one of the most influential women in Islamic history. As Mother of the Believers shows, Aisha is more than the controversy around her age; she was a teacher, political leader, a warrior, and, with her incredible memory, an invaluable source of information on all aspects of the Prophet Muhammad’s life.

Wednesday: Global views on healthcare. A healthcare bill is slated to be up for a vote in the House by the end of the month. Wednesday we speak with doctor, educator, and international healthcare advocate, Cynthia Haq, about her work to increase access to healthcare both here in the United States and abroad and the lessons she’s learned about public healthcare in China, Mexico, Uganda, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Thursday: Young Russia, Old Russia. President Obama stopped in Moscow on his recent trip abroad to discuss nuclear proliferation, hoping to find an opportunity for the two nations to finally move away from a Cold War mentality. But what does civil society look like in Russia and does Russian youth really represent a turn away from old ideologies? We’ll speak with UW-Madison sociology professor and Director of the Center for Russian, East Europe, and Central Asia who participated in a meeting between the President and civil society leaders in Moscow.

Friday: Feasting in the Ottoman Empire, circa 1550. Have you ever wished you could experience an historical period first hand? What do you know about the Ottoman Empire? This Food Friday, professional chef and food historian Channon Mondoux invites us to Sarayi in Turkey to relive an ancient feast in the palace of Suleyman the Magnificent. Join us for the history, food, and music of this culturally distinct time and place.

Happy listening,

Here on Earth team

Sunday, July 12, 2009

July 13-17 Programs

Jean will be on vacation next week. But the show goes on. Here's what we have prepared for you:

Monday: Welcome to Ghana! Obama speaks from Ghana over the weekend and on Monday we’ll bring on some experts on Ghana and Africa to talk about Ghana’s place in Africa and what Africans can expect during the Obama administration. With us are: Vincent Odamttenk, professor of English at Hamilton college, and Adotei Akwei, vice president of government affairs at Care USA.

Tuesday: Mozambique’s Majestic Gorongosa National Park: Did you catch the 60 Minutes segment with Gregory Carr, social entrepreneur and founder of the Carr foundation? We’ll continue this week’s focus on Africa with a conversation with Gregory Carr about his work in Mozambique to preserve its natural resources and native animal species.

Wednesday: The Happiness Project: There are so many studies these days that try to figure out who are the happiest people in the world. The verdict is still out, but Charles Spearin has found a unique take on the question through his music. You might know Spearin as a member of the Canadian supergroup Broken Social Scene. With his new solo album, The Happiness Project, he asked his friends and neighbors to speak about what makes them happy and then transformed their voices into musical notes and songs. Listening to the musicality of unique people talking about their happiness might just give us a new way to measure the good things in life. You can read more about Spearin’s Happiness Project, watch a music video and leave questions for the upcoming interview at the Blog Without Borders.

Thursday: International Noir Fiction. Do you think of hot and dusty offices in LA and New York when you think of Noir? It has expanded to Scandinavia, Ireland, Italy, and even Israel, India, and Trinidad! We explore the ever-widening popularity of crime fiction and noir around the world. What international crime fiction are you reading?

Friday: Today we rebroadcast one of our favorite Food Friday shows from our archive: Cuisines of the Axis of Evil, which aired last November. Author Chris Fair dishes out a culinary feast of facts on ten controversial countries, hoping to find an edible approach to foreign relations.

Happy listening,

Here on Earth team.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

July 6-10 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Bruce Adolphe on Self Comes to Mind: From the first moment I spied the headline in the New York Times: Music as the Evolution of Human Consciousness and read the review of the performance that took place at the Museum of Natural History in New York City the night before (ouch! I missed it by three blocks), I knew I wanted to do a program about it. We didn’t have the benefit of Hanna Damasio’s brain imagery to watch, but we did have the composer himself and his music, plus some of the best moments from the conversation that took place between Bruce, Antonio Damasio and Yo Yo Ma directly following the performance. Not as good as being there, but, all in all, pretty terrific. God bless radio.

Here’s what’s coming up on Here on Earth the first week in July:

Monday: Sex and the City (Beirut, that is): She’s very brave and very beautiful. Poet Joumana Haddad has launched Jasad in Beirut, a quarterly magazine in Arabic featuring sex and the human body that’s breaking all the taboos.

Tuesday: Biomimicry: Forget the notion that technology improves upon nature. Science writer Janine Benyus introduces us to pioneering engineers making technological breakthroughs by uncovering and copying nature's hidden marvels.

Wednesday: Travels Along the Camino De Santiago: An international bestseller, and soon to be released as a major motion picture, I’m Off Then is German comedian Hape Kerkeling’s account of his travails along the Camino De Santiago, Spain’s most traveled pilgrim’s route since the first century AD.

Thursday: President Obama will be giving his next big speech on July 11, this time from Ghana. Although it’s angered a lot of other African nations, the choice of Ghana seems calculated to reinforce the idea of Africa as a place of emergence rather than of despair since Ghana is Africa’s success story in terms of its economy and its democracy. Guest to be announced.

Friday: All about Ice Cream (repeat): Enjoying a cool sweet treat on a hot day is a beloved pastime for people around the world. We explore the history, culture, and flavors of ice cream in America, gelato in Italy, and kulfi in India.