Friday, September 25, 2009

Sept 28 - Oct 2 Programs

Jean's Pick of the Week: I do have a secret. It's probably shared by most of the people of my generation -- I have always hated Hip-Hop. That's is until Wednesday's show where not only did I have fun, but actually overcame a lot of my prejudices.

Monday: A memorial service in honor of Thomas Berry, the beloved and revered author of The Dream of the Earth, and The Great Work will be held this Saturday at St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City. Miriam Macgillis, a Berry disciple and the founder of Genesis Farm, will be in attendance. We’ll talk with Miriam about the life and legacy of the man who called himself a “geologian.”

Tuesday: God, Brahman, Nirvana, Allah, Dao; humankind has gone to great lengths to experience a sacred reality. So why is God so unbelievable in our modern world? This is what Karen Armstrong set out to understand in writing her new book, The Case for God.

Wednesday: The Khaarijee is a memoir about six orphans, a dog, a Muslim man, and an inexperienced American journalist from the Midwest -- thrust together in post-9/11 Afghanistan. Author J. Malcolm Garcia joins us to tell this story of friendship in the midst of war.

Thursday: From the depths of history, to the classroom, to the stage, how do we understand the enduring influence of the story of Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl? Francine Prose, adoring fan and author of Reading Like a Writer will join us to discuss the book, the life, and the afterlife.

Friday: I simply wanted to live in a place with the best food in the world. Is it any wonder then, that Eric Dregni, ended up in Modena, Italy, the birthplace of balsamic vinegar, parmigiano cheese, Ferrari, and Luciano Pavarotti? He joins us to talk about his three years in Italy and his memoir Never Trust a Thin Cook and Other Lessons From Italy’s Culinary Capital.

Have a good weekend,


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sept 21-25 Programs

Jean's Pick of the Week: I went home Tuesday night with a headache and spent the rest of the evening on the couch reading Juan Gabriel Vasquez wonderful book, The Informers. About halfway through, my husband, who grew up in Latin America, asked me if I was learning anything about Columbia. After I thought a minute, I had to say, "No." The whole first third of the novel -- and this is one of the reasons it was so absorbing -- is devoted to an exploration of the intricacies of a complex relationship between a father and a son who both share the same name -– Gabriel Santoro. The son writes a book that causes his father to denounce it and reject him. The son shows up unannounced in his father's class and sits in agony for a whole week while his father steadfastly ignores him. It's only after the father has a heart attack that the two reconcile, and it's fascinating to watch the power dynamic shift between them. I really recommend this novel. You will learn a lot about Columbia, but you'll also learn a lot about family dynamics.

It's been a scramble this week, but we got it together:

Monday: U.N. International Peace Day: Former Prime Minister of Norway, Kjell Magne Bondevik, and his colleague, Ambassador Thomas Loftus, share the ongoing work of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights. (These are the folks who brokered the Middle East peace accord). They’ll be participating in the Lubar Institute symposium, "Negotiating Religion Internationally" in Madison on Friday, September 25.

Tuesday: Bronx Princess: Breaking away from family is never harder than when you’re growing up between two cultures. In this POV documentary, we meet Rocky Otoo who grows up in the Bronx rebelling against her mother’s strict rules and flees to her father, a chief in Ghana. Out of the frying pan into the fire?.

Wednesday: Teaching Through Hip-Hop: Alex Kajitani [kah-ji-TAH-ni] was a struggling new teacher at a tough, inner-city school in San Diego. Fed up with students unable to remember simple math concepts but every word of the latest rap song, he began teaching math through hip-hop. It worked so well that his math rap is now a teaching tool used nationwide. We’ll talk with Alex and other educators about the pros and cons of hip-hop in the classroom.

Thursday: Beethoven in Afghanistan?: William Harvey is a young classically trained violinist, but he sees a role for music well beyond the doors of symphony hall. He’s the Executive Director of Cultures in Harmony, an organization that uses music as a medium for cross-cultural understanding. And he’s heading to Afghanistan.

Friday: Rosh Hasahana, the Jewish New Year begins today (Sept. 18) at sundown, but since we couldn’t find a Jewish cook with an hour to spare just before the holiday meal, we’ve decided to postpone our conversation about Syrian Sephardic holiday cooking until next Friday, (Sept. 25th) when the holiday season will still be in full swing. Jennifer Abadi, author of A Fistful of Lentils will be joining us.

Shana Tovah!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sept 14-18 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Thursday’s program with Helen Fisher, author of Why Him? Why Her?, the research biologist who’s been studying the brain chemistry of romantic love for thirty years and hasn’t lost her sense of its mystery, its poetry, and its romance! (check out her Ted Talks – you’ll find links on our website)

Monday: Death Panels and the Fear of Dying: When Georgia Weithe’s father was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1997, she approached his impending death with absolute terror. To her great surprise, the experience deepened her life in ways she could not have anticipated, and she came to the conclusion that death is a teacher and a friend. Georgia is the author of Shining Moments: Finding Hope in Facing Death.

Tuesday: Whenever Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Tracy Kidder comes out with a new book I always pay attention. His latest, Strength in What Remains, is the story of a young medical student named Deogratias (!) who narrowly survives civil war and genocide in Burundi before arriving in New York City with no English and $200 in his pocket. Two years later he’s enrolled in Columbia University. The storyline might be a bit clichéd, but what’s really illuminating is the way Deo manages his PTSS.

Wednesday: Juan Gabriel Vásquez is the first Columbian novelist since Gabriel Garcia Marquez to start a literary buzz. His debut novel, THE INFORMERS, explores the dark history of Nazism in post-World War II South America.

Thursday: The World Has Curves: It’s not just American women who have a thing about their bodies: journalist Julia Savacool takes us on a world tour—from China, where the plastic surgery industry is booming; to South Africa, where a heavier shape signals health in a country ravaged by disease; to Afghanistan, where the burka once again reigns supreme. Exploring the topic of women's bodies and our collective judgment of the perfect shape.

Friday: We’re hoping to book The Occidental Brothers, on their way to Madison for the Forward Music Fest. They’re a five-person band that combines the traditional music of West Africa with jazz, and underground rock

I hope you’re enjoying this gorgeous end–of-summer weather.


Sunday, September 06, 2009

Sept 7-11 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: (soon to arrive by video!) Here on Earth producers are constantly scanning for practical visionaries – big picture guys who are working with ideas that have to potential to change the way we think and work. Mark Shepard is one of those people. I had my eye on him when he and his wife Jen were just starting their great pioneering experiment at New Forest Farm, which is now the first model for successful permaculture farming in the US. Listen to him. He’ll tease your brain cells. And he makes great apple cider too.

Monday: Labor Day! The Here on Earth team gets the day off, and we’ve chosen a program we think worthy of re-airing and just right for the holiday: “Playing for Change:” Mark Johnson and his film crew traveled to four continents to capture the power of music. Listen to musicians from South Africa, New Orleans, Barcelona, India and elsewhere all singing the same song, Stand By Me. Really fun.

Tuesday: When the World Health organization rated the national health care systems of 191 countries, the US ranked 54th. How is it that all the other industrialized democracies provide health care for everyone at a reasonable cost, except the US? We’ll ask T.R.Reid, author of The Healing of America.

Wednesday: Don't believe the hype you hear about the decline of America and the dawn of a new Asian age. Minxin Pei, director of the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies, joins us to pick apart this familiar narrative.

Thursday: A World Without Love: Helen Fisher, the author of Why Him? Why Her?, a new book about love, talks about why we fall in love with one person rather than another, brain scanning and her data on the evolution of the brain systems for lust, romantic love and attachment.

Friday: He loves his mother’s light Chinese cooking; she loves her father’s heavy Italian cooking: Is there hope for this marriage? Join us for The Gastronomy of Marriage: A Memoir of Food and Love by Michelle Maisto.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!