Friday, February 26, 2010

March 1-5 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Crazy Like Us: Not only did Ethan Watters critique of our mental health industry and its exports provoke an interesting on-air discussion, it also stimulated our very first simultaneous live Facebook chat –- how cool is that?

Our February membership Drive will be in full swing by Monday, March 1, and since Here on Earth has been granted a selective reprieve from active pitching, we hope that our programming line-up for the week ahead will serve both to satisfy and soothe. (Look for The Return of the Craft Series.) Have mercy on the loyal WPR listener, we heard you say.

Monday: Charles Dickens: This new biography by Michael Slater, Emeritus Professor of Victorian Literature at the University of London, has been named a Best Book of 2009. Although there are not many mysteries about Dickens’ life, you may not really know him until you hit Hard Times.

Tuesday: Solastalgia? Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht has coined a new term - solastalgia – for the feeling of loss we experience when the environment we live in undergoes drastic change. We’ll talk with him and with ecological artist Aviva Rahmani about what it takes to keep our environment healthy.

Wednesday: Negotiating with the Taliban? What about the War? At a recent conference in London, broad international support was expressed for the reintegration of Taliban fighters into Afghan society and President Karzai has already opened the door to those who would lay down their weapons. Is it time to negotiate with the Taliban? We’ll talk to two experts about the non-military solution in Afghanistan.

Thursday: Craft Series returns: The handmade garments from Alabama Chanin are “grown-to sewn” in the U.S.A, but if you ask Natalie Chanin what her company is all about, she’ll say it’s about something bigger than sustainable fashion. That’s why she holds workshops, collects histories, and why her new book contains a recipe for deviled eggs.

Food Friday: Hunger in Wisconsin: You’ll be surprised to learn about how it’s escalating, and how easy it is to help. We’ll talk with the CEO of Second Harvest and Helen Hazelmare of the Goodman Center.

It’s nearly March. In Italy, the Italians call it Matzo Marzo –- Crazy March. Thanks for helping me get through a rather beautiful winter. It only took me 26 years to appreciate it!


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Feb 22-26 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Bread of Angels, hands down. I so delighted in Stephanie Saldana’s memoir about the year she spent in Damascus, learning Arabic, exploring her ancient Christian roots and diving into the Qur’an, that I called her up and told her Bread of Angels is a book I’d like to sleep with. On top of all that, it’s the most delicate love story I think I’ve ever come across. It explained so much about the greater jihad, the Muslim Jesus, and Maryam, the Muslim Virgin Mary, that this could easily have been an official part of our Inside Islam series.

Monday: A Road Trip Through China: Peter Hessler, in his new book, Country Driving, views China through the windshield, showing us how the automobile is at the constantly moving boundary of modernization in China, from farm to factory.

Tuesday: The Future of Journalism: Media critics John Nichols and Bob McChesney are at it again. In their latest critique, they’re saying traditional journalism is in trouble and needs to reinvent itself in order to survive.

Wednesday: Crazy Like Us: Ethan Watters is tracking mental illness around the globe, and he’s finding that the world is going crazy—American style. As doctors and pharmaceuticals cross borders, illnesses as defined by Western medicine, like depression and anorexia, are popping up in places they never before occurred while local ways of understanding mental health issues—from melancholy to what we call schizophrenia—are being lost. We’ll talk about cultural differences in understandings of the inner life, and why homogenization might not be a good thing.

Thursday: The Routes of Man: Roads bind our world both metaphorically and literally and transform landscapes and the lives of the people who inhabit them. Ted Conover, author of the book The Routes of Man, explores six of these key byways worldwide. From highway checkpoints in the West Bank to congestion and chaos on Nigerian freeways to a road that will forever change the lives of the inhabitants of the Indian Himalayas, he tells us harrowing stories of the impact that roads have on our world and our lives.

Friday: Lucid Food: How do you integrate food politics into a daily cooking practice that is convenient, affordable, and delicious? Sustainable chef and caterer Louisa Shafia will show us how to make simple, earth-friendly choices in the kitchen, and share recipes from her new cookbook, Lucid Food: Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life.

Despair not! Spring is in the air! Have a lovely weekend,


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Feb 15-19 Programs

Jean's Pick of the Week: Valentine’s Day in Ghana: for sheer novelty and the surprise of discovering that when it comes to love and dating, Ghananians and Americans are amazingly alike.

Monday: The Bread of Angels: When I heard about this book, I jumped all over it. In 2004, twenty-seven-year-old Stephanie Saldaña moved from Harvard Divinity School to Damascus, Syria, to study the role of the Prophet Jesus in Islam. At a time when the Iraq war towers over the presence of this young American woman in the Middle East and Syria faces serious political turmoil, she lived among war refugees, Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and gradually worked her way to a deeper understanding of herself, her faith, and the possibility of true love. (P.S. She lived for a time in a monastery thinking she might become a nun, but ran away with a monk instead!)

Tuesday: Avatar vs. Confucius in China: The Chinese government’s efforts to censor the sci-fi film Avatar and replace it with a movie about the life of Confucius seems to have backfired. Scholar of Chinese philosophy and politics, George T. Crane joins us to explain why.

Wednesday: The March issue of Harper’s Magazine, out this week, includes contributing editor Scott Horton’s devastating exposé on the deaths of three Guantánamo detainees. His report challenges the widely accepted official account that the men committed suicide, reveals a secret black site at Guantánamo, and finds evidence for a massive three and a half year cover-up of possible prisoner homicides. Scott Horton joins us as does Pardiss Kebriaei, a lawyer for two of the deceased men.

Thursday: We return to our Inside Islam series with a provocative look at Islam and Science, Past and Present. Did you know that the Islamic empire was once at the forefront of scientific development? So, what caused the decline in modern times, and what have we overlooked?

Friday: Noodle Wars. Tagliatelle, ramen, semolina, and soba -- noodles are central to both Italian and Japanese cuisines. Chefs Francesco Mangano and Justin Carlisle are gearing up for two “Noodle War” dinners at Madison’s Osteria Papavero and Restaurant Muramoto.

Dare I say it? – Happy Valentine’s Day!


Sunday, February 07, 2010

Feb 8 - 12 Programs

Jean's Pick of the Week: My heart tells me "Whales," but my head says, "Equity vs. Equality." I have had a soft spot for the movie Moby Dick ever since my brother took me to see it when I was a kid and my parents asked him to babysit for me one night. Philip Hoare apparently has the same soft spot. His account of going nose to nose with a sperm whale was heart-stopping. I loved the show, but I learned more from our two epidemiologists who managed to persuade me that the more equitable the society, the happier and healthier the people therein. Hosting Here on Earth has taught me a great deal about the world.

Monday: Einstein's God: Science and religion are often portrayed as being in conflict. But, according to Krista Tippett who hosts the Peabody award-winning program Speaking of Faith heard on Minnesota Public Radio, scientists often find spiritual enlightenment on their way to proving scientific truth. Tippett has a new book, Einstein’s God, based on her interviews with scientists.

Tuesday: Perfection: We are hardwired to desire perfection, says communication scholar Michael Hyde, but, whether it's war or anorexia, it's a desire that can kill us. From the idea of God to the film As Good As It Gets, Professor Hyde constructs a history of human perfection and explains why this most basic of human virtues both threatens and motivates everything good about the human project.

Wednesday: Mandela's Free! – 20 years later: Twenty years ago, Nelson Mandela was released from prison after having been incarcerated for 27 years. What gave South Africans the strength to keep up the struggle against apartheid during his incarceration? And what can South Africa do to keep Mandela's legacy alive in the future? Our old friend Harold Scheub joins us for this special occasion along with Invictus writer John Carlin.

Thursday: Valentine's Day in Ghana: In the last few years Ghanaians have started to ask some fundamental questions about love and dating. Is it ok to move in with someone before you get married? How do you share a household? Can you expect men to wash their wives' underwear? Scholar Jo Ellen Fair joins us to explain how Valentine's Day is changing everything about love in Ghana.

Friday: The Hmong Cookbook: Anne Bramley included a recipe for Hmong slaw in her Eat Feed Autumn Winter Cookbook. Now we've got a whole cookbook full of Hmong recipes to choose from –- and it's about time. Since the 1970s, more than 130,000 Hmong have settled in the United States, many of them in Wisconsin. Many Hmong have continued their agrarian traditions in the U.S. by growing urban gardens filled with traditional plants. A new cookbook featuring specialty dishes from Hmong cooks in the Chippewa Valley has recently been released. The authors will share their knowledge of Hmong culture and cuisine.

Happy cooking, happy eating, happy listening!