Friday, October 30, 2009

Nov 2-6 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: It’s a short week for me, which means fewer options to choose from, but for hope and inspiration it would be hard to beat The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, the story of a boy growing up in Malawi during a devastating famine who figured out how to make windmill from a photograph he found in a science textbook in the local library. It worked, and now his dream is to bring rural electrification to all of Africa. I would vote this program with William Kamkwamba and his American co-author Bryon Mealer a Here on Earth classic.

Monday: Storytelling seems to be a huge coping skill for Vietnam vets, and Wayne Karlin has quite a story to tell in Wandering Souls, about the courage of a soldier who returned the soul of the man he killed to that man’s family.

Tuesday: Scientist James Lovelock is best known as the originator of the Gaia Theory, which has taught scientists and laypeople alike to see the Earth holistically as a giant living organism. He joins us to discuss his new book, The Vanishing Face of Gaia, in which he issues a dire warning: It’s too late to halt global warming, we must now learn to live in an altered climate.

Wednesday: Poker: An American Metaphor: Playing poker was a key networking tool in Barack Obama’s early political career. Bill Gates collected many of his business strategies and a sizable fund to start Microsoft from his all-night poker games. Eisenhower and JFK used poker tactics to resolve crises with China and the Soviet Union. How did a French aristocratic parlor game turn into a training ground for American risk-takers and power brokers?

Thursday: Garbage Dreams: There’s more to garbage than meets the eye. For several decades, the garbage collectors of Zaballeen in Cairo have made their living by collecting garbage, recycling over 80% of what they collect. In her documentary film “Garbage Dreams,” director Mai Iskander follows three young men who grow up in Mokattar, Cairo’s garbage village. What can we learn from the Zaballeen’s garbage expertise?

Friday: Pastrami on Rye with a kosher pickle, anyone? Join us, and add to our list of reasons why it’s imperative to save the Jewish Deli!

I’ll be in Baton Rouge this weekend, reading poetry and hanging out with Annie Lanzillotto at AIHA, the American Italian Historical Association’s annual conference.

Happy Halloween!


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