Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dec 28 - Jan 1 Programs

This is a short week for Here on Earth staff, with holidays on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Jean's Pick of the (Short) Week
: How Shamans Heal: I’ve always been fascinated by this stuff ever since my trip to the Amazon (I wrote about it in my memoir, I Hear Voices) and had a good chance to sink into Hope Edelman’s harrowing tale of how she rid her daughter of a nasty ‘imaginary friend’ by allowing her to be treated by local healers in Belize. Sure beats Prozac. The story gained credibility through Edelman’s skepticism, but the program was really enhyanced by the participation of the very shaman who worked the magic – Rosita Arvigo, a Chicago-born healer whom I happened to meet at that gathering of healers I attended in the rainforest.

Monday: Global economic recession, climate change, the war in Afghanistan—it’s easy to name the stories that defined 2009. But what about the people behind the news? We sit down with the Managing Editor of Foreign Policy to talk about their special end of the year issue: The 100 Top Global Thinkers of 2009.

Tuesday: Inside Islam Open Line: Inside Islam, our interactive series on Muslim issues and ideas recently received a Brass Crescent Award. But we want to know what you think about it. Are we hitting the mark? Are your questions and concerns about Islam being addressed in this series? Join us for a mid-year open line with Inside Islam producer, Reem Hilal and series advisor, Uli Schamologlu.

Wednesday: John Nichols Looks Back at the Big International Stories of 2009: 2009 brought the first African-American to the White House, gave us a world-wide financial crisis, scaled down the war in Iraq, scaled up the war in Afghanistan, finally passed a health care bill and got serious about climate change.

Thursday: Global Word Play: How many ways are there to say "believe me" in the world? In English, we say "I'm not pulling your leg." In Russian, the phrase is "I'm not hanging noodles from your ear." Author Jag Bhalla collects this and other amusing, often hilarious phrases that provide a unique perspective on how different cultures perceive and describe the world.

Friday: The Woman Who Ruled a Champagne Empire: In the wake of the French Revolution, Madame Clicquot became a widow and single mother at age 27. But widowhood also gave her social permission to run her own business. And she started building a champagne empire and a legacy.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dec 21-25 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Olly and Susy, hands down. How can you beat two wildlife artists who work as one, paint-praising the tigers who are about to eat them?

Monday: 2009 Parliament of World Religions: On December 3rd, thousands of religious and spiritual leaders and practitioners convened in Melbourne for the 7th gathering of the Parliament of the World’s Religions. We’ll talk to two attendees—one Pagan, the other Muslim—about the visions of Justice, Peace, and sustainability that the Parliament hopes to bring about.

Tuesday: Berlusconi Must Go: An angry Italian threw a statuette at Italy’s Prime Minister this week, breaking his nose and several teeth at the same time that protestors have been calling for his resignation. We’ll take a look behind the headlines and find out why he’s the man Italians either love or loathe.

Wednesday: How Shamans Heal: A long time ago, I traveled to the Amazon for a conference called “Pharmacy From the Rainforest” where I met many native healers including the very remarkable Rosita Arvigo, who had just convened a historic gathering of women healers in Belize. Come to find out, she’s the very same healer that journalist Hope Edelman consulted to cure her daughter of an imaginary friend. turned mean.

Thursday: Christmas in Auschwitz: The great Italian humanist, Primo Levi, much to his surprise, received a package of goodies for Christmas while he was in Auschwitz.

Friday: Christmas Food Rituals: On Dec. 24, la vigilia di Natale, Guissepe Scarlata's family will sit down in their home in Trapani to a seven course fish feast: marinated octopus and squid salad, smoked swordfish and thin slices of cured tuna. And that's just for starters. Join us for Christmas food rituals in Sicily.

I’m on my way to Santa Catalina, the island of romance, romance, yadda dah dah dah dah…..

Lori Skelton will be keeping my chair warm until I return on Tuesday.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dec 14-18 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: What’s more fun than talking about lutefisk and baccala? I loved Toni Lydecker’s Christmas Eve Seven Fish Feast From Sicily – it’s even fun to say, and I especially enjoyed horrifying Joe Hardtke, our technical producer, who sent me this message during the show: “Octopus for Christmas? That’s just wrong.”

Monday: Hunting as a Rite of Passage: Does hunting encourage violence or can it teach empathy and compassion? Randall Eaton is a behavioral scientist with an international reputation in wildlife conservation who teaches boys how to hunt in the Native American way. He is the author of From Boys to Men of Heart.

Tuesday: War and Peace: Obama’s Nobel Prize Speech: You might say that President Obama’s pro-war Speech that he gave in Oslo on Thursday was something of a brain-twister. We’re hunting down a rhetorician who can untwist it for us.

Wednesday: American Idol Goes Global: Would it surprise you to learn that there are singing contests in Afghanistan and poetry contests in the United Arab Emirates that look a lot like American Idol? We’ll speak with cultural diplomacy scholar Cynthia Schneider about the universal appeal of talent competitions and how they differ from culture to culture.

Thursday: Painting with Animals: Olly & Suzi, are London-based artist-explorers who have portrayed wild dogs and lions in Tanzania, killer whales in Norway, polar bears and Arctic foxes in Siberia, and many others. The artists collaborate with one another and induce wild creatures to interact with their canvases. Bites, footprints, rips, and slithers are "proof of where they are now,” they say, “but might not be for much longer."

Friday: Let’s call this our annual Christmas Cookie Show. Lori Skelton hosts. I’ll be celebrating my birthday in the Anza Borego desert.

Have a lovely winter wonderland weekend,


Friday, December 04, 2009

Dec 7-11 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: As much as I enjoyed having Nicholas Kristof on Here on Earth – I’ve followed his column in the New York Times for years and have always been impressed with his activist journalism especially in the area of women’s rights – it was really the extraordinary Tererei Trent, who really stole the show. Had it not been for the intercession of Heifer International, Tererei would be an illiterate cowherd in Zimbabwe. She grew up doing her brother’s homework to teach herself how to read and write because as a girl she wasn’t allowed to go to school. Now she holds a Ph.D. from Western Michigan University, setting a great model for her five children. My favorite moment was when she talked about achieving reconciliation with her abusive husband nursing him through the final stages of AIDS.

Lots of themes of myth and ritual coming up in next week’s programming: -- must be something in the air!

Monday: Invictus: Shortly after becoming the president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela found an unusual cause to unite the country after the apartheid -- rugby. How did he turn a white supremacist team into a world champion and symbol of unity? Learn about the true story behind the new film, Invictus, released next weekend in Wisconsin.

Tuesday: Learning Arabic: We’re celebrating World Languages Day a little late this year, talking with the authors of the most popular Arabic textbook in the world, the husband and wife team, Kristen Brustad and Mahmoud Al-Batal. It turns out more people are studying Arabic these days and finding out it’s not so difficult after all.

Wednesday: Hunting as a Rite of Passage: Does hunting encourage violence or can it teach empathy and compassion? Randall Eaton is a behavioral scientist with an international reputation in wildlife conservation who teaches boys how to hunt in the Native American way. He’s the author of From Boys to Men of Heart.

Thursday: The Power of Ritual: What’s the difference between saying, “I’m going to get a cup of coffee,” and saying, “I’m going to get my cup of coffee.” Dr. Bradd Shore wants to debunk the idea that rituals are only powerful in the exotic sphere of The Other. He says, for Americas, the most meaningful rituals may very well be the hidden ones we most easily overlook.

Friday: Christmas Eve Food Rituals: The Sicilians have an amazing Christmas Eve ritual that involves making thirteen different kinds of fish. I once attended one such celebration and ended up with shrimp scampi poured over my head which I took as a blessing. We’ll talk with Toni Lydecker, the author of the all new Seafood Alla Siciliana and find how much he knows about it.

Have a lovely weekend!