Sunday, August 30, 2009

Aug 31 - Sept 4 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: As the host of Here on Earth, I relish every opportunity to bring great breakthrough stories in world news to the airwaves, so Tuesday’s program about the women of Liberia and their extraordinary success in ending a particularly brutal civil war and bringing Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to power was a joy for me. That having been said, I also greatly enjoyed Wednesday’s program with British psychologist Adam Philips talking about the forgotten pleasures of kindness. It brought out so many wonderful responses from callers.

NB: Get ready on Tuesday for Ramadan: The Fast and The Feast, another program in our ongoing series Inside Islam.

Monday: Elle Es el Matador: Just when bullfighting per se is going out of fashion, along comes this POV documentary about Female matadors. In Elle Es el Matador (She is the Matador) Spanish filmmakers Gemma Cubero and Celeste Carrasco discover a long and surprising history of women with a passion for this theatrical and bloody ritual.

Tuesday: *Inside Islam: Ramadan: The Fast and the Feast: Why is fasting common to almost all faiths? Why do Muslims the world over look forward with joy to a month of fasting? What are the special challenges that American Muslims face? And what are the Ramadan specials that Arab Muslims are watching on satellite tv? Guests: Naeem Randhawa, director of American Ramadan; Souheila Al-Jadda, producer of Ramadan Primetime. Don’t miss this fascinating and fun show.

Wednesday: Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories: In 2003 Anna Baltzer visited the West Bank to discover for herself the realities of everyday life for Palestinians living under the Israeli occupation. Apart from details about checkpoints, land settlements, etc. what’s new here is accounts of non-violent resistance that remain largely ignored by mainstream Western media.

Thursday: Permaculture Made Real: Mark Sheperd’s New Forest Farm: We talked with one of the gurus of permaculture in the Midwest during our broadcast from the Energy Fair earlier this summer. In this follow-up program we explore with Mark Sheperd what it’s like to be a permaculture farmer. Mark Shepard’s New Forest Farm in southwestern Wisconsin was one of the very first examples of permaculture farming in the United States. Can you design a farm to be as self-sufficient as a forest?

Friday: To be announced.

What’s YOUR pick of the week? We’d love to know. Please write to us at or leave a message on our hotline: 1-877-GLOBE07. And thanks for listening.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Aug 24-28 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the (Short) Week: I really enjoyed the mental workout on Wednesday’s program Into the Wild on international nature writing. There was a moment of real revelation when I surprised myself by blurting out, “There is no such thing as nature.” The fact is – and this is what emerged in the course of the conversation – what we call “nature” differs dramatically from culture to culture and is heavily influenced by religious belief. The transcendentalists looked to nature as a way to get beyond ordinary experience. But our Pilgrim ancestors thought of the wilderness as an evil place full of heathens and devils. I still think we need a new kind of nature writing, one that displaces Adam from the Garden of Eden, and comes to terms with the new evolutionary understanding that we are as much the product of evolutionary processes as trees and bats and wolves – all those things that we persist in thinking are “Out there.” There is no escaping nature or ourselves, and whatever fate lies in store for the planet - i.e. “Nature” - is entirely in our hands.

Next Week on Here on Earth:

Monday: Cold: With the mind of a scientist and the heart of a poet, Bill Streever, author of Cold, takes us into places most people never venture : the coldest places on earth. In July, he immerses himself in 35 degree F. water on a beach three hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle, to experience firsthand the laws of thermodynamics!

Tuesday: Pray the Devil Back to Hell: The amazing story of how Liberian women forced an end to a brutal civil war and brought Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman to lead an African nation, to power. We’ll talk with producer Abigail Disney.

Wednesday: On Kindness: British psychoanalyst Adam Phillips argues that a life lived in instinctive, sympathetic identification with others is the one we should allow ourselves to live.

Thursday: We’ll be commemorating the 46th anniversary of the March on Washington—at which Marion Anderson sang—with composer Bruce Adolphe and librettist Carolivia Herron, creators of the one-act opera, Let Freedom Sing: The Story of Marian Anderson.

Friday: The Psychology of Wine: Writer/sommelier son and psychologist father, Evan and Brian Mitchell present their case with humor and verve: that wine has evolved to be a mirror of ourselves.

Nice line-up?

Have a great weekend,


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Aug 17-21 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Well, you know me, I always go for the fun show. So, even though we had a lot of meat this week, what with Hooman Majd sorting out some of the complexities in Iran, and Christopher Caldwell dancing around Muslims in Europe, my pick goes to Paul Theroux. I’m taking my copy of Ghost Train to the Eastern Star with me to read to my husband on our road trip this weekend. And didn’t Joe do a great job finding the perfect train music?

Lori Skelton will be filling in for me on Monday and Tuesday of this week while I’m at a family reunion in North Carolina. Thanks Lori! Here are Lori’s notes for Monday and Tuesday’s shows:

Monday: Life Lessons from West Africa: Wisconsin graduate student Katie Krueger went to Senegal intending to improve her French and expand her knowledge of economics, but soon discovered that “Man plans, God decides.” In adopting the Senegalese way of life, Katie learned to replace efficiency with meaning, eventually creating a non-profit program to feed schoolchildren in Dakar. Her book is Give With Gratitude – Lessons Learned Listening to West Africa.

Tuesday: The S/V Denis Sullivan: In 1991, a small group of Milwaukeeans dreamed of building a tall ship to honor Wisconsin’s maritime heritage and work to improve the health of Wisconsin waters. Today, The S/V Denis Sullivan is a floating classroom and laboratory for freshwater exploration, science education and nautical training, sailing throughout the Great Lakes, the Atlantic Ocean and the Carribean.

Wednesday: Into the Wild: International Nature Writing: Words Without Borders is devoting the first of two issues of the online mag to nature writing, but don’t expect to find any Wordsworths, Thoreaus, or Leopolds in this packet. It’s not nature writing in the usual sense that the editors are after, but rather the confrontation between humans and their environment. Interesting stuff. From lyrical reports about life in unfamiliar territories, both hot and cold, to brooding accounts of the fever that nature puts into the mind and work of writers around the world.

Thursday: We’re working on a program about Afghanistan's presidential election.

Friday: The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: Too many tomatoes? (there can never be too many tomatoes). Tune in for classic and exotic recipes from around the world with Brian Yarvin, author of The Too Many Tomatoes Cookbook.

I hope you’re enjoying these lazy hazy last days of summer as much as I am.


Friday, August 07, 2009

Aug 10-14 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Apologizing for Slavery: What a head spinning show this was, with multiple perspectives coming from both guests and lots of great callers.

Here’s what’s in the works for the coming week on Here on Earth: What a line-up!

Monday: Imperial: William T. Vollmann’s latest blockbuster concerns the tragic and volatile U.S.-Mexico borderland of extreme southeastern California Imperial County, where he spent ten years talking with everyone from farmers to border patrolmen to prostitutes in his search for the fading American-Mexican dream.

Tuesday: Instability in Iran: As Iranian President Ahmadinejad is sworn in for a second term, the ceremony itself shows deep riffs in Iran’s ruling elite. Hooman Majd, author of The Ayatollah Begs to Differ, joins us with analysis of the complexities of the current situation.

Wednesday: Travel writer Paul Theroux took a train from Europe to East Asia half a lifetime ago and wrote about it in the book now considered a classic, The Great Railway Bazaar. Thirty-three years later he retraces his steps and finds a vastly different world in Ghost Train to the Eastern Star.

Thursday: Muslims in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West: Christopher Caldwell’s Reflections on the Revolution in Europe has been called a how not-to book about immigration. P.J. O'Rourke says "Thanks to Caldwell’s careful reporting and keen analysis we know exactly what we shouldn't do when new people move to our country."

Friday: Here’s Julie!: Julie Powell joins us to talk about her misadventures with Julia Child. The New York administrative assistant wrote a 2003 blog about her yearlong effort to cook all the recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The blog inspired Julie and Julia, the new culinary movie starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child.

Is that enough for one week on Here on Earth? Does it make up for some of the goofs we’ve had lately? Tell us about your ideas for topics and guests on our show. August is a difficult month to book. We could use your help. Send your program ideas to And thanks!


Sunday, August 02, 2009

Aug 3-7 Programs

Friday, July 31, 2009 (Primo Levi’s 90th birthday!)

July is dust; here’s what’s coming up on Here on Earth on the first week in August:

Jean’s Pick of the Week: China Safari: Beijing’s Expansion into Africa: How refreshing to get a balanced view of China’s adventures in Africa from two European journalists. Paolo Woods’ photographs were particularly telling and so much fun to describe. Neocolonialism? Or China testing its master plan to take over the world – not militarily, but through capitalism at its most ruthless. Ouch!

Monday: Interested in coaching a kids’ soccer team in Senegal? Helping to protect sea turtles in Georgia? Monitoring climate change in the Arctic? Maybe work with AIDS orphans in Zambia? Pam Grout joins us to talk about the best of 100 Volunteer Vacations to enrich your life.

Tuesday: The Power of Apology: The recent arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates re-ignited the national conversation about racism. Not so, the apology for slavery that just went through Congress with hardly a whisper. What’s the purpose of such an apology and can it really contribute to racial healing? Join us to advance the conversation with Professor Roger Conner, and professional mediator Marvin Johnson.

Wednesday: Tracking the Global Gumshoe: In the last 20 years Noir has gone global, with Swedish fiction writer Stieg Larsson copping the number two place as best selling author in the US, and crime fiction showing up in countries like Algeria, Turkey, and India. Join us with Detectives Beyond Borders blogger Peter Rozovsky and Delhi Noir editor Hirsh Sawhney.

Thursday: Are we “wired” to cooperate? Primatologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy makes her case based on her study of the social and caretaking activities of our great ape ancestors. Join us as we discuss her latest book, Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding.

Friday: The Beer Summit and who the heck wants to drink Bud Lite? (And I thought he had class) . Join us on the eve of the Great Taste of the Midwest to find out about the latest innovations in the world of microbreweries.

All good?

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to tune in next week!