Friday, November 05, 2010

Nov. 8-12 Programs

Friday, November 5, 2010

Note: Please recall that this is the last week this blog will be updated! Future updates will appear on our Blog Without Borders

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): Muslims, Mosques, and American Identity: We really lived up to our series title, and went Inside Islam, with this program, probing with the erudite Akbar Ahmed, author of Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam, exactly what goes on in American mosques – all kinds of things, as it turns out – everything from hostility toward Christians and Jews to committed interfaith dialog. And why shouldn’t it, after all? Why should we expect Muslims to be one of a kind when the rest of us are so determinedly different?

Jean’s Upcoming Presentations: It’s a busy month! I’m in La Crosse this weekend, in New York next weekend, and keynoting an event at the Women’s Expo in Madison on Sunday, Nov. 21. Whew! After Thanksgiving, I’m going into hibernation.
  • Smalls Jazz Club in Greenwich Village – I’ll be reading poetry and excerpts from my memoir, I Hear Voices, at Smalls Jazz Club in Greenwich Village at 5:00pm on Saturday, Nov. 13 and you don’t even have to be in New York to listen! Smalls broadcasts every show live over their video stream, so people can watch anywhere in the world for free. So come down or watch at Smalls is located at 183 West 10th Street, basement, between 7th Ave South and West 4th Street.

  • Madison Women’s Expo – “Bound and Determined:” Jean Feraca talks about her dizzying route to becoming a public radio talk show host at the Madison Women’s Expo, Noon on Sunday, Nov. 21 at the Alliant Energy Center. Book signing to follow.
Here’s the line-up of shows for the coming week:

Monday: Chasing the Sun: No, he’s not a surfer. From the man who wrote a worldwide history of swordplay, comes an around-the-world odyssey in search of an elusive moving target – the sun. Scholar-adventurer Richard Cohen traveled to twenty countries, from Mount Fuji to Antarctica to interpret what the sun has meant throughout the ages.

Tuesday: The Power of Beliefs: In pegging terrorists as fundamentalist believers, have we forgotten that we, too, hold very strong beliefs? Professor and public intellectual Jacqueline Rose reminds us that we in the West are also motivated by stubborn belief, religious, political, or otherwise.

Wednesday: Francophilia Revisited: What images come to your mind when you think of France? While France has always had symbolic meaning for Americans, some of those meanings have changed over time. We’ll find out how Francophilia has evolved and how learning French will give you access not just to the real France, but to an entire francophone world outside of France.

Thursday: TBA: The Here on Earth team has a number of prospects in the works for this Thursday. Tune in and be surprised or check back later on our website for an update!

Friday: Gourmet Cookies for Thanksgiving: Are you scrambling to find unbeatable cookie recipes for the holidays? Join us to discover a selection of the best cookie recipes from all over the world, collected over 68 years of Gourmet Magazine’s existence.

Hope to see you in La Crosse this Friday – I’ll be giving the keynote at the Women’s Fund Luncheon.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Nov. 1-5 Programs

I’ll be in La Crosse on Thursday and Friday of this week, appearing at The Wine Guyz for an informal reading and book signing around 7:00pm on Thursday night, and then I have the honor of delivering the keynote at this year’s Women’s Fund Luncheon on Friday November 5th. I hope I’ll get to meet and greet many of you there.

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): Living in a Global Age: Well, I have to be a chauvinist and say that even though it was a pain in the neck to prepare, and I don’t usually take orders from my guest, yesterday’s program with my son, Giancarlo, and his friend Bali (who were just at my house together last weekend) on Living in a Global Age was my favorite this week, although Ian Frazier’s conversation on Travels in Siberia came in a close second. The wonderful thing about Living in a Global Age was that, without intending it, the discussion about the decline of the nation-state tied together so many of the themes that recur on Here on Earth: world citizenship, international cooperation, universal values, and the rise of Islamophobia. It was an expansive hour with much to chew on. I hope you found it as stimulating as I did.

Note: Tuesday of this week marks the debut of our third official series on Inside Islam: Dialogues and Debates.

Monday: It’s the Day before Election Day – Let’s Lighten Up!: What figure or place in American history makes you feel warm and fuzzy about democracy? Illustrator and Israeli immigrant Maira Kalman set out, Alexis deToqueville style, to document democracy in America circa 2009. The result is an optimistic love letter to America that reminds us all of what we have to be proud of.

Tuesday: Muslims, Mosques, and American Identity: What goes on in mosques in America? Are mosques a part of the tradition of religious pluralism in America? Can a Muslim be an American? Islamic Studies luminary Akbar Ahmed traveled for a year around the country, visiting over a hundred mosques to find out how Muslims are living every day in America. We want to know about the mosques in your hometown, whether you’re a member of the Muslim community or not. What’s your experience? We’ll collect your responses at or on our hotline: 1-877-GLOBE07 and use the best of them in the program.

Wednesday: Russia Rocks: What do you know about Russian rock music? Russia’s best known music critic and cultural commentator, Artemy Troitsky, gives us a tour of Russia’s Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, from the early influence of The Beatles to the development of Russian “Bard Rock,” to today’s subversive Russian rappers.

Thursday: Freelance Diplomacy: After 15 years in the British diplomatic corps, Carne Ross found himself disagreeing with UK policies that led to the Iraq War. Disenchanted with conventional diplomacy, he re-invented himself as a "freelance diplomat," and founded Independent Diplomats, a bold nonprofit organization advising populations that would otherwise not have a voice in international relations. How far would you go for what you believe in?

Friday: What’s Home without a Kitchen?: Food world personality Nigella Lawson’s new book is set in the heart of the home and is born of her own love affair with her favorite room in the house. She’ll share her thoughts on the well stocked pantry and how to reclaim the traditional rhythms of the kitchen.

Let us know how we’re doing. Call the hotline 24/7 with your comments: 1-877-GLOBE07. We love to hear from you!


Don’t forget to follow our Blog without Borders, where these updates will appear starting next week!

Consolidating Our Blogs

Dear Readers,

The Here on Earth team has decided to consolidate this blog with the producers’ blog. With this change, we hope to increase the amount of feedback from our listeners by making our internet presence more accessible.

Starting Friday November 5th, you will find the weekly show lineup as well as updates on special events, insights into our work, and extra content such as guest videos on our producer’s blog: Blog without Borders.

As always find us on
Facebook, and keep an eye out for more updates to the website and our weekly email bulletin coming soon!

Best regards,
LeeAnn Ziegler
Here on Earth Web Producer

Friday, October 22, 2010

Oct. 25 - 29 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Europe’s Anti-Muslim Politics: I learned a lot from this program. For starters, Pam Geller, our own homegrown American Islamophobe, who writes the blog Atlas Shrugs, is the deep pockets behind Gaert Wilner’s far right wing Party of Freedom in the Netherlands. It was also interesting to explore some of the deep causes underlying the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment, e.g. the creation of the EU itself which brought about an erosion of national identity and pride; and the excesses of multiculturalism which made it politically incorrect to draw any distinctions among people or cultural critiques. And so the pendulum swings to the right.

Monday: Ian Frazier’s Travels in Siberia: Ian Frazier is in love with Russia. He calls it “the greatest horrible country on earth,” and Siberia its swampy backyard. He made five trips there and Travels in Siberia is what came of them.

Tuesday: Mario Vargas Llosa and the Nobel Prize: One of the leading authors of his generation, Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, was finally awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature this year. Like many of his fellow South American writers, he lived his life between literature and politics. We’ll find out what makes him unique.

Wednesday: The People vs. The Mafia: The Mafia still is a bleak reality in much of Italy, but there is a young, courageous generation of Italians who are fighting the mafia with everything they’ve got: ideals, ideas, and smart business. Could this, finally, be the beginning of the end?

Thursday: The West and the Rest: Does living in a global age change the way we understand the past? Over the past few years, world history has become one of the fastest growing – and most controversial – fields. This hour we’ll talk with a historian at its forefront who’s written a book that puts Turkish explorers of the 16th century in the same league – and competing directly - with the Portuguese.

Friday: Feeding the Dead in Oaxaca: No one has done more to introduce the world to the authentic, flavorful cuisines of Mexico than Diana Kennedy. The “Julia Child of Mexican cooking” joins us to talk about her gorgeous new book Oaxaca al Gusto, and to spill the beans on the foods prepared on the Day of the Dead.

Didn’t I promise you a great line-up?


Friday, October 15, 2010

Oct. 18 - 22 Programs

Jean’s Upcoming Event: Get Thee to a Winery: A Day of Reflection on Benedictine Hospitality at Holy Wisdom Monastery More than a dozen years ago I spent a formative summer at St. Ben's, as it was called in those days, which I wrote about in my memoir in a chapter called "Get Thee to a Winery." I was at a critical juncture in my life - contemplating a possible third marriage to a Jewish atheist scientist as I reflected on the mistakes of the past. The answers I received during those weeks couldn't have come from a truer or a more surprising source. The Benedictines hold hospitality in its widest meaning at the center of their spiritual life. My experience of that hospitality - being welcomed and received in all my brokenness - was not only deeply healing, but led directly to the work I do now as the "host" of the program you know as Here on Earth. I am looking forward to telling you "the rest of the story" in this Day of Reflection on Benedictine Hospitality at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton on Saturday, October 30. To register or for more information on the day retreat I Hear Voices: A Journey of Faith, Family and Freedom, contact Jerrianne at (608) 836-1631, ext. 158 or

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Moral Ground One of my favorite moments on Here on Earth occurred last Wednesday during the program we did with the editors of the new book about the ethical dimensions of the environmental crisis. Toward the end of the program Catherine – I’m pretty sure that was her name – called in to talk about her fight to save a beloved rustic road and its environs from being paved over. Her testimony was so eloquent and so full of love that it actually redeemed the heartbreak she felt at losing the fight. It was a moving moment in the show, and a great example of what it means to hold your moral ground.

Monday: Rabbi Kushner on Conquering Fear How do you face your fears? Fear comes in many guises: fear of losing your job, losing your looks, fear of illness, of aging, fear of a terrorist attack or a natural disaster. Harold S. Kushner teaches us how to confront and embrace fear to live a more fulfilling life.

Tuesday: China’s Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Peace Prize is not the Nobel the Chinese government has been hoping for. Or is it? We’ll talk with historian Timothy Cheek about how the prize may play into the hands of liberal leaning members of the Communist party and regular citizens who want a more democratic China.

Wednesday: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian Avi Steinberg, a lapsed Orthodox Jew, found his real yeshiva behind the bars of a tough Boston prison. Should prisons have libraries? Who goes to prison, and what do they read?

Thursday: Europe’s Anti-Muslim Politics Starting with the ban on minarets in Switzerland, Europe has been swept with a wave of overt anti-Islam sentiment that has found its way into the political mainstream in the past year. From Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party in the Netherlands to the book written by one German politician that blames Germany’s “downfall” on immigrant Muslims: Can the debate still be saved by reason?

Friday: The Spice Necklace Who hasn’t dreamed about dropping everything and sailing to the Caribbean? Ann Vanderhoof and her husband did just that. We catch her just before setting off on her next sailing adventure to talk about oregano-eating goats in the hills and other essential flavors in great Caribbean food.

Thanks, everybody, for all your support during our Fall Membership Drive, and especially for helping to keep Here on Earth pledge-free for most of the drive!


Friday, October 08, 2010

Oct. 11 - 15 Programs

We’re in the middle of our Fall Pledge Drive here at Wisconsin Public Radio. We’ll be taking your pledges in support of Here on Earth and other WPR programming, but Here on Earth will be pledge free all week until Friday. But don’t miss this Food Friday. We’ll be offering as a special Food Friday thank you gift: A World of Cake: 150 Recipes for Sweet Traditions from Cultures Near and Far. How sweet it is!

Jean’s Pick of the Week: In the old days before the advent of Facebook, Twitter, scripts, and editorial meetings, when I never had enough time to prepare for my programs, I used to fly by the seat of my pants and just riff with my guest. It was like a form of jazz; I never knew where the conversation would take us. That was what it was like to spend an hour on the radio with author and NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu.

Monday: How do Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving? We’ll ask the two editors of a brand new anthology of Canadian poetry, out later this month, who have agreed to take time out from their respective holiday celebrations to join us on Canada’s Thanksgiving Day.

Tuesday: Where Good Ideas Come From: People often credit their ideas to individual "Eureka!" moments. But Steven Johnson shows how history tells a different story. He takes us from the "liquid networks" of London's coffee houses to Charles Darwin's long, slow hunch to today's high-velocity web.

Wednesday: Moral Ground: Do we have a moral obligation to take better care of the earth? While scientific knowledge tells us what the facts are, it does not tell us how to act. But now, a new book brings together over eighty visionaries from all over the world who embrace a moral vision for environmental repair and sustainability.

Thursday: After Columbus: In honor of Columbus Day, the Day of the Race in Mexico, and the finale of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ll trace the evolution of today's vibrant Latino culture right back to Columbus and the mixing of Old World and New World. The new PBS documentary about the first hundred years after Columbus, When Worlds Collide, is now available online. We’ll be joined by the documentary’s host, award winning journalist and author, Rubén Martínez.

Friday: It’s a World of Cake! In China you steam them, in Africa you fry them, maybe you grew up baking them; around the globe cake takes a central role in celebrations from births, to weddings, to national holidays. Now that fall is here and it’s finally time to bake, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to globalize your baking repertoire. Tell us about your family cake tradition and pitch in during our Fall Pledge Drive. Krystina Castella’s brand new, picture and history packed book A World of Cake will be our gift to you for pledging $150 or more in support of Here on Earth and Wisconsin Public Radio on the last day of our Fall Pledge Drive.

That’s all, Folks! We really love those pledges. And what we love even more is the privilege of bringing you Here on Earth programs day after day, and all through WPR’s Fall Membership Drive. Please, stay tuned, and thank you so much!


Friday, October 01, 2010

Oct. 4 - 8 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: I never liked Spanglish – or at least I thought I didn’t until I met Susana Chávez-Silverman and heard her “code switching” between English and Spanish when she read from her two memoirs Killer Crónicas and Scenes from la Cuenca de Los Angeles y otros Natural Disasters on Wednesday’s show. And yes, I do feel handicapped because I know only one language. If we pride ourselves on being a hybrid nation, why do we cling to monolingualism when half of the rest of the world knows how to speak two or more languages? Isn’t it time to claim with Susana the richness of all our mother tongues?

Monday: Andrei Codrescu: Romanian-born poet, writer, and long time NPR contributor, has a new book out and is in town this week for a public lecture at the University. But first, he’ll join us in-studio to talk about his experience as an immigrant writer, swimming between English and his mother tongue, and about why he’s so excited about the upcoming generation of immigrant writers and artists.

Tuesday: The Fate of Nature: As the reporter who spent more time reporting on the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska than any other journalist, Charles Wohlforth has seen a lot of human caused destruction of the environment. But in his new book The Fate of Nature, he makes the argument that our connection to other people, to animals and to wild places is even deeper than our need for material comfort. Do we have it in us to square with nature before it's too late?

Wednesday: The Sheikh’s Batmobile: Pop culture commentator Richard Poplak sets out on an unusual mission: to find out what happens to American pop culture – Hollywood sit-coms, shoot-‘em up video games, muscle cars and punk music – when they collide with the Muslim world.

Thursday: What’s Funny About Canada? Husband and wife team Kerry Colburn and Rob Sorensen have written two humorous books about Canada, our great Northern neighbor, busting—and playing with—the myth that the 2nd largest nation in the world is more of a 51st state. Join us in crossing the world’s longest border and in pledging your support to Here on Earth during the kickoff week of our Fall Pledge Drive, and the eve of Canada’s Thanksgiving Day Weekend.

Friday: Heritage Foods From the Americas: In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, food historian and blogger Frederick Douglass Opie is tracing hominy, plantains, spicy peppers, and tomatoes through the Pre-Columbian cuisines of the Aztecs, Incas, and Arawaks to today. Curried Yucca Crab Cakes with Piquillo Pepper Sauce and Mango-Papaya Chutney anyone?

I’m off to hear Kathleen Hill read from her memoir, Who Occupies This House.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Sept. 27 - Oct. 1 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Raving about Rara! If you were tuning in to Here on Earth on Thursday when we hosted the Brooklyn-based Rara band DJA-Rara live in Buck studio, you might have thought you had the wrong channel. The riotous cacophony of homemade instruments, horns, cymbals, drums, and rattles, played by 15-odd Haitian rabble rousers raised the rooftop and evoked the sound of joyous revolution. To quote our technical director Joe Hardtke: “Every once in a while, public radio needs to take off its white-collared shirt and get a little rough and dirty.”

Monday: Building with Whole Trees: Living in a treehouse is every kid’s dream. Visionary architect Roald Gundersen has turned this dream into an ecologically sound reality: houses made from whole, unmilled trees. We’ll explore our relationship to the forest and the spiritual dimensions of shelter with Roald and with Sister Gabriele Uhlein, a Franciscan nun and future resident of one of his treehouses.

Tuesday: Jerusalem's Sacred Esplanade: Jews and Christians call it the Temple Mount, Muslims call it the Noble Sanctuary, but for the new book Where Heaven and Earth Meet scholars from all three religions call it “Jerusalem's Sacred Esplanade.” We’ll talk with Jewish and Islamic scholars about the meaning of the sites. Plus, Norway’s former Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, joins us to talk about his work in creating a “Universal Code on Holy Sites."

Wednesday: The New Bilingual Literature: Susana Chávez-Silverman’s memoirs might make you look twice unless you, too, grew up in a bilingual family. Susana is one of only a handful of bilingual writers who code switch mid-sentence, moving back and forth between Spanish and English.

Thursday: The Politics of the Brokenhearted: Just when you were about to despair of our democracy, along comes Parker Palmer with an invitation to participate in a conversation on the politics of the brokenhearted for citizens who want to reclaim the heart of American democracy and help heal the deep divides that threaten it.

Friday: The Honey Trail: From the Mississippi Delta, to the jungles of Borneo, to the deserts of Yemen, Grace Pundyk visited ten countries in her pursuit of liquid gold, vanishing bees, and a place to call home. Amazingly enough, she was also eager to get up at 4:00am to join Here on Earth from Singapore for this edition of Food Friday.

Have a great weekend!


Friday, September 17, 2010

Sept 20-24 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Thursday’s show on Mexican Independence Day. I think we succeeded in getting underneath the steady drum beat of headlines about drug cartel murders and government corruption to a feel for what the real Mexico has to shout about.

Monday: The Syringa Tree: The Syringa Tree is a gripping play about a young girl growing up in an Africaner family in apartheid South Africa. On the boards at APT this season, Colleen Madden turns in an astonishing virtuoso performance, playing all 24 characters. We’ll talk with Colleen and director Michael Wright.

Tuesday: Marrakech Gets a Facelift: In the October issue of Conde Nast Traveler, Raphael Kadushin reports how a dynamic group of local Moroccans and European expats came together to revive Marrakech's medina--one of the world's greatest, intact, walled medieval city centers, effectively salvaging not just the historic quarter but much of its rich culture as well.

Wednesday: Ramsey Clark Speaks Out on American Torture: For his new book, The Torturer in the Mirror, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark teamed up with Iraqi dissident Haifa Zangana and sociology professor Thomas Reifer to reveal the scope of American culpability in the torture carried out during the war on terrorism. Ramsey Clark takes a historical view of torture and Professor Reifer discusses the ways the Obama administration has so far failed to clean up the policies of his predecessor.

Thursday: Madison World Music Festival: For a sneak preview of one of this year’s most exciting performances from this year’s UW-Madison World Music Festival, join us for a special live performance from DJA-Rara, the Brooklyn-based Haitian rara band. There are many explanations of the origins of rara, but whatever its beginnings, this raucous, peripatetic, and subversive music has endured and been embraced by the Haitian American community in New York City as an expression of Haitian pride, culture and identity.

Friday: Eating Animals: Vegetarianism is nothing new, but for some reason Jonathan Safran Foer’s 2009 book, Eating Animals, sparked a nationwide conversation about how we eat. The paperback edition of this bestseller comes out this week and Jonathan Safran Foer joins us to continue the conversation he started, this Food Friday.

Wedding Report: And yes, I did survive three days of wedding festivities in Minneapolis last weekend when my son, UMN Ottoman historian Giancarlo Casale married UMN Ottoman art historian Sinem Arcak. The celebration began with an all-female henna party on Friday night that ended in a ritual mock kidnapping, followed on Saturday by a lamb and camel-rib roast held in Giancarlo’s backyard where an extraordinary Italian feast was prepared and furnished for the rehearsal supper entirely by the father of the groom, followed on Sunday by a mid-afternoon ceremony in Loring Park that featured vows and readings spoken in three languages – English, Turkish, and Aramaic, (I read the from Walt Whitman’s 1855 Preface to Leaves of Grass). The whole bash concluded with a Turkish feast prepared and orchestrated by the mother of the bride. Much dancing and drinking of wine. Altogether an extraordinary and exhausting affair. I came home nursing blisters on both feet.

Still recuperating!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Get Thee to a Winery

Jean Feraca to Present a Day of Reflection on Benedictine Hospitality at Holy Wisdom Monastery

More than a dozen years ago I spent a formative summer at St. Ben’s, as it was called in those days, which I wrote about in my memoir in a chapter called “Get Thee to a Winery.” I was at a critical juncture in my life – contemplating a possible third marriage to a Jewish atheist scientist as I reflected on the mistakes of the past. The answers I received during those weeks couldn’t have come from a truer or a more surprising source. The Benedictines hold hospitality in its widest meaning at the center of their spiritual life. My experience of that hospitality – being welcomed and received in all my brokenness – was not only deeply healing, but led directly to the work I do now as the “host” of the program you know as Here on Earth. I am looking forward to telling you “the rest of the story” in this Day of Reflection on Benedictine Hospitality at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton on Saturday, October 30.

To register or for more information, contact Jerrianne at (608) 836-1631, ext. 158 or

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sept 13-17 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: The Art of Listening: Our conversation with British sociologist Les Back actually slowed me down and brought me back in touch with what I’ve always loved most about radio – its intimacy. So easy to lose sight of in this age of multitasking and social networking. How rewarding to simply listen deeply to what another human being has to say.

Monday: Life With the Maasai: Robin Wiszowaty’s home town couldn’t have been closer to normal, and from a young age she knew the world beyond was more complex and interesting. Into the world she went, ending up in Kenya, adopted into a Maasai family. In her book, My Maasai Life, now out in paperback, she balances the insights gained through living this double life.

Tuesday: Wild Justice: What if Aesop’s fables were actually inspired by real events? There is more and more evidence that animals have an innate sense of cooperation, empathy and justice. How do these findings change the way we see our human morality? We talk to Marc Bekoff, ethologist, and Jessica Pierce, philosopher, about their book Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals.

Wednesday: Who We Are in Antarctica: Lucy Jane Bledsoe is a science writer who has written a lot of award-winning fiction about Antarctica. In her latest book, a novel called The Big Bang Symphony, she describes the impact of Antarctica's extreme environment on three different women who go a long way to find their way home.

Thursday: After Columbus: In honor of Mexican Independence Day, we investigate the evolution of today's vibrant Latino culture. Later this month, PBS will broadcast When Worlds Collide, a special program exploring the century after "Old World" encountered "New World," hosted by award winning journalist and author, Rubén Martínez

Friday: World-Class Wisconsin Cheese!: Cheesemaking has a long and storied tradition in Wisconsin, but it’s also an ever-evolving tradition. In honor of the opening of Green County’s Cheese Days, we’ll talk to one homegrown and internationally acclaimed cheesemaker, Sid Cook of Carr Valley Cheese Company, about his move from commodity, to specialty, to original cheeses. We’ll also be joined by Carol Chen of the Center for Dairy Research who will lead us through the tasty process of “cheese profiling.”

I’m heading to the Twin Cities on Friday to attend my Number One Son’s Turkish-Italian wedding, featuring roast camel! Report to follow, Inshallah!


Friday, September 03, 2010

Sept 6-10 Programs

Jean's Pick of the Week: I loved today's program about the kyosho jutaku movement of micro houses in Japan. It always makes me happy when Here on Earth introduces a new idea drawn from another culture that listeners grab and run with. We're planning another program about new ideas in architecture for later this month (Sept. 27th), this one closer to home, featuring the astonishing treehouse designs from a firm called, appropriately enough, Whole Trees in Stoddard, WI. I walked into one of their half-finished houses that's going up at the Christine Center and said, "Oh, my God, this is the future."

Monday: For Labor Day, we've chosen a fun show from our recent archives featuring Canadian Hip Hop artist Baba Brinkman, author of The Rap Guide to Evolution. Having once re-made Chaucer's Canterbury Tales into a very clever Hip Hop album, Baba (that really is his name) was approached by a microbiologist "to do for Darwin what he did for Chaucer." It's a pretty amazing piece of work and a great way to teach evolution.

Tuesday: Virtual Cosmopolitanism: The Internet was supposed to be a tool that would open us to the world. But in his research on its use, Ethan Zuckerman finds that it does just the opposite. What are the dangers of allowing the Internet to form our worldview, and how can they be avoided?

Wednesday: The Art of Listening: British Sociologist Les Back has been thinking a lot about famous listeners like Studs Terkel, about the importance Holocaust survivor Primo Levi placed on the connectivity offered by listening, and about why, despite the central role listening plays in a healthy political sphere, it just seems to be getting harder and harder to be good at it.

Thursday: TBA

Friday: Breaking Bread with Immigrants: While teaching new immigrants English in Boston, Lynne Christy Anderson found that sharing food was the perfect way to get to know her students. Stories of home tend to be the central ingredient in the delicious recipes she shares in her book Breaking Bread: Recipes and Stories from Immigrant Kitchens.

I'll be on my way to my son's wedding in Minneapolis by the time Lori opens up the show on Friday. I'll tell you all about it.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!


Thursday, September 02, 2010

Science and the Public in Europe - 9/1

Dominique Haller

The guest of yesterday's show, Dominique Brossard, UW-Madison Associate Professor of Life Sciences and Communication, grew up in six different countries on three continents: Argentina, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Uruguay, France, and the US. This diverse life experience has given her some interesting insight into how other societies deal with controversial scientific issues. She talks with Jean about participatory engagement in Scandinavia and France:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Aug 30 - Sept 3 Programs

Jean's Pick of the Week: I was very pleased with the way our program about the so-called Ground Zero Mosque controversy turned out yesterday. The way Ed Linenthal and Moustafa Bayoumi complemented each other allowed for a rich diversity of responses, some of them downright inspiring. We talked about it at today’s editorial meeting and all agreed that we learned a lot from that program. Kudos to Here on Earth producer Saideh Jamshidi, our Iranian-American summer intern, whose last day was today.

Monday: Who we are in Antarctica: Lucy Jane Bledsoe is a science writer who's written a lot of award-winning fiction about Antarctica. In her latest book, a novel called The Big Bang Symphony, she describes the impact of Antarctica's extreme environment on three different women who go a long way to find their way home.

Tuesday: Remember Charlie Chan, that grammatically challenged, Chinese-aphorism slinging detective who became an icon of American film? More than just a discarded racial stereotype, his new biographer says we can learn a lot about American attitudes toward China from Charlie Chan.

Wednesday: Science, The Media, and the Public Debates: The debate about stem-cell research has flared up again since a federal judge put a halt to it last week. What are the cultural and political factors that influence such scientific issues? What makes them take a different course in different countries?

Thursday: Smaller Living Designs from Japan: Japanese architects may have a jump on the rest of the world in cultivating what is sure to become a top virtue of the 21st century: doing more with less. A new design trend in Japan -- kyosho jutaku -- is building creative houses on teeny tiny parcels of land. Architect Azby Brown will take us on a tour of the cutting edge in ultra-small living. He has lived in Japan for years and has written about sustainable living during Japan's Edo period, way before anyone was talking about global warming.

Friday: Eating Animals: Vegetarianism is nothing new, but for some reason Jonathan Safran Foer’s 2009 book, Eating Animals, sparked a nationwide conversation about how we eat. The paperback edition of this bestseller comes out this week and Jonathan Safran Foer joins us to continue the conversation he started, this Food Friday.

Now, isn't that a pretty great line-up? But it ain't nothin' without you!

I'm hoping to see some of you avid memoirists at the workshop I'm giving this weekend at Woodland Pattern Bookstore in Milwaukee.



Friday, August 20, 2010

Jean's Pick of the Week for August 16th

Jean's Pick of the Week: Why People Run:Well, let’s face it, it’s the end of August, school is about to begin again and we felt the need to lighten up. I hope you’ve enjoyed this week on Here on Earth as much as I have. It’s hard to pick a favorite – we even found a way to have fun with Inside Islam – but since I have to choose, I’ll pin my star on Born to Run. Christopher McDougall’s book about the ultrarunners of the Tarahumara has been out for a year, he’s done a slew of interviews, but you’d never know it from his level of enthusiasm, and what a great way to celebrate the gifts of an indigenous tribe. Long may they run.

August 23 - 27 Programs

Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010

Calling All Memoirists! I’ll be hosting a memoir writing workshop at Woodland Pattern Bookstore in Milwaukee next weekend on Saturday and Sunday. For those of you who don’t yet know, Woodland Pattern is one of the last great independent bookstores in the country, especially dedicated to supporting new and established writers and artists. I was thrilled when they asked me to teach this workshop, and I understand that there are still some places available. For more information, call Jenny Henry at 414-263-5001

Monday: Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter : is on a crusade to improve the lives of Americans with mental illness. In her new book, Within Our Reach, she says we still have a long way to go to remove the stigma that surrounds mental illness.

Tuesday: The Rise of A Middle Class in the Middle East : As part of the Inside Islam series this week we will discuss the force for change that is welling up in the Middle East - the rise of a mobile middle class of entrepreneurs, investors and consumers. Although almost invisible to the West, our guests see in this newest of social movements the key to tipping the scales of power away from extremism.

Wednesday: Mosque Madness:The proposal to build an Islamic Community Center that includes a mosque near Ground Zero in New York City has roused a hornet’s nest of controversy. Nine years after 9/11, what does it tell us about the state of American values, the purpose of a public monument, and the level of Islamaphobia?

Thursday: Healing From Trauma: Jim Finley grew up in a rough family in Akron, Ohio, and escaped into a Trappist monastery as soon as he could. Today he’s a clinical psychologist who uses principles derived from his monastery training to teach people how to heal from trauma.

Friday: TBA

Have a great weekend!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Aug 16-20 Programs

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I have another presentation coming up this month. I will be offering a premium two-day workshop on Writing a Literary Memoir at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 28-29. For more information, call 414-263-5001, or visit Deadline for sign-up is Friday, Aug. 20.

Jean's Pick of the Week: Having been a student of drama, I can’t resist a topic that leads with Greek tragedy. Theater of War allows us to confront the real psychic cost of warfare across nations and across time. A former West Point graduate I had a talk with recently told me that the only people who come back sane from the theater of war were psychopaths to begin with.

Monday: Roman Catholic Women Priests: The world was shocked when the Vatican recently equated the sin of pedophilia with the sin of women’s ordination. In spite of the ban, the ordination of Roman Catholic women priests goes on unabated. To talk about the issue, we’ll be joined by Maryknoll priest and activist, Roy Bourgeois, who has been excommunicated for his support of women’s ordination, and Reverend Alice Iaquinta, Regional Program Coordinator for Roman Catholic Women Priests in the U.S. who offers a structural critique of the Vatican’s rhetoric.

Tuesday: Why People Run: Born to Run is a book of wild narrative full of insane characters, extreme sports and one crazy idea: running barefoot is the answer to safe, pain-free and endurance. Christopher McDougall gathered information about Mexico’s Copper Canyon unknown tribe of the Tarahumara’s running style and put them in test. The result became a book that goes against all odds of multi-million dollar shoe making industry that promotes the jelly and soft cushion shoes.

Wednesday: Mullah Nasruddin: Islam’s Holy Fool:In his interfaith congregation in Seattle, Jamal Rahman, a Muslim Sufi minister and one of the Interfaith Amigos, usually opens his sermon by quoting his favorite Sufi visionary teacher: Mullah Nasurddin: “I am getting sick and tired of this lousy cheese sandwich,” complained Mullah repeatedly. “Mullah, tell your wife to make something different,” his co-workers advised. “But I am not married,” Mullah replied. “I am the one who is making these sandwiches.”

Thursday: The Adventures of Tintin:is one of Europe’s all time favorite comics. Not only did generations grow up with the reporter hero and his dog, Snowy (called Milou in French) but the comic has been translated into dozens of languages and adapted for television, film, radio and theater. We’re working on a program that will take us through the decades and around the world with this classic comic. My son Giancarlo loved his Tintin comics and I truly believe they were one of his major early influences on his international career.

Friday: Egyptian Comfort Food:

Nabil Seidah is a renowned biochemist, one of my husband’s closest friends, and a great Egyptian cook. He and his wife Anneke rolled out the red carpet for us when we visited them at their home in Montreal last winter where Nabil cooked complex earthy comfort food for us based on recipes, techniques, and ingredients he learned in his mother’s kitchen.

I’m off to Paint the Town Blue…Have a great weekend and stay in touch…