Friday, March 26, 2010

March 29 - April 2 Programs

Thursday, Mar. 25, 2010

Jean’s Pick of the Week: The best thing about hosting Here on Earth is the way it opens my mind and challenges my most carefully guarded stereotypes. Last Friday’s food show with Colman Andrew’s did that for me on the subject of Irish Country Cooking (even though they don’t know how to cook brussel sprouts!), and yesterday’s show on Nordic Noir with the completely delightful Nete Schmidt shattered some of my most deeply held beliefs about the morbidly morose Swedes who turn out to be a rather happy bunch after all! But the golden ring this week goes to sound artist Matthew Burtner whose wildly eclectic ecoacoustical music reminded me of just how astonishing it is to be here on earth!

Monday: The Ethical Traveler: On a par with oil, tourism has become one of the world’s biggest industries. But let’s face it, most of us would rather think of ourselves as “travelers” than “tourists.” Jeff Greenwald, founder of The Ethical Traveler, talks about the power of travel, his top destinations for 2010, and what it takes to travel with a conscience.

Tuesday: Jamming with Whales: Remember David Rothenberg, the musician/philosopher who traveled all over the world studying the song patterns of birds to make his music? Well, he’s at it again, this time with whales. His new book and album document his jam sessions with humpback whales around the world.

Wednesday: Leadership Lessons From Nelson Mandela: This is the book we’ve been waiting for: Mandela’s Way, by Richard Stengel, Nelson Mandela’s biographer and long time friend.

Thursday: Jesus the Man: The story of Jesus will be retold many times this week, but not the way filmmaker Paul Verhoeven (Robo Cop, Showgirls) tells it. The only non-theologian member of the Jesus Seminars, Paul Verhoeven, talks about his lifelong pursuit of the historical Jesus of Nazareth and how it has formed and reformed his faith.

Friday: Memories of a Croatian Easter: Stephanie Vuljanic-Lemke left her native Croatia while still a teenager in the aftermath of World War II when Easter meant big bonfires, nettle soup, and piscanica, the traditional Croatian art of embroidered Easter eggs.

I’ll be spending a few days in Montreal this weekend. Thanks to Veronica Rueckert and Lori Skelton for sitting in for me.


Friday, March 19, 2010

March 22 - 26 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Celebrating International Poetry Day: It’s no secret that I love poetry. I don’t always love it in translation, however, so when the new Ecco Anthology of International Poetry arrived this week, I was completely thrilled to discover a real treasure trove of poets from all over the world translated by other poets. There’s something about the book I can’t quite put my finger on that makes it easy to peruse and quite inviting. Plus, there’s a marvelous introduction by the Russian poet Ilya Kaminsky (co-editor with Susan Harris) that makes the most convincing argument I have yet come across for poetry in translation. It really opened my mind.

Monday: New Interfaith Visions: The last time Jim Wallis appeared on Here on Earth, people at the supermarket were collaring me to tell me how much they enjoyed the program. Since Monday is a furlough day at the UW, we thought you might enjoy listening again to Jim as he talks about the search for common ground between Christians and Muslims and how to move beyond a polite ecumenical dialogue to make peace.

Tuesday: Engineers Without Borders: I bet you don’t think of engineers as people- people. I didn’t. It turns out that a whole generation of young engineers is re-thinking the way they go about helping people in the developing world by using community-based design.

Wednesday: Crime literature, Scandinavian style: The film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, based on the first part of Stieg Larsson’s widely successful crime trilogy, will be released this Friday, March 19th, in the US.Why is it that Scandinavia, with its notoriously low crime rates, has produced such an abundant and successful body of crime literature? Guest: Nete Schmidt, Senior Lecturer of Scandinavian Studies at UW-Madison.

Thursday: Sounds of melting ice and wandering sand: Matthew Burtner, visiting sound artist at UW-Green Bay this week, makes wildly evocative eclectic sound pieces out of the natural environment. This program should be a real treat for the senses.

Friday: A Food Friday Favorite: Lake Winnebago Caviar: "I spoon out some eggs to taste and am struck by how firm they are," Jean Feraca remembers her first taste of caviar. "When I gently bite them they explode with a delightful creaminess. I’m swept away into a daydream of seaside villages and Volga River fishing boats, but then I remember I haven’t left Wisconsin."

Now that it is spring
And raining,
Might we have a slightly different expression, O Owl?

I’ve been thinking about that little poem by Basho, translated by Robert Bly, all day. Now it’s yours.


Friday, March 12, 2010

March 15-19 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: On Inside Islam: The Art of Qur’anic Recitation: Working with Anna M. Gade and Reem Hilal on this program made me understand how Muslims who memorize the Koran without knowing Arabic can still be getting the message. Perhaps we in the West over-emphasize cognition in our pedagogy. There are other ways of learning, as anyone who studies poetry can tell you. Being a multifaceted text that defies ordinary notions of what a book is supposed to be, the Qur’an lends itself to many different levels of understanding. Donald Hall, who taught me how to write poetry, used to talk about the difference between semantics – i.e. the dictionary meaning of a word – and somatics (soma meaning body) – i.e. meaning that is conveyed primarily through the sounds that words make. When you combine these two ways of understanding, and more as in Qur’anic recitation, it’s like combining body, mind, and soul.

Monday: Bringing Hope to Liberia: In the wake of a prolonged and particularly vicious civil war, Liberia is still a country without roads, banks, toilets, or even a postal system. So, given those circumstances, how did one former Peace Corps volunteer manage to return to the country and build a school there?

Iron Ladies of Liberia, a film about President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Liberia in the aftermath of its civil war, will be shown at Edgewood College in Madison, Wi, on March 23, call 233-0775 for more information.

Tuesday: The Fight for a Better Burma: Burma is home to the longest-running civil war in the world, which has been taking place between the ethnic group of the Karen and the Burmese state for over 60 years. Mac McClelland spent time with Karen refugees who risk their lives to make their story known. We talk with her about her new book, For Us Surrender Is Out Of Question.

Wednesday: Faith in Schools: The work of American missionaries in places like Eastern Africa is accompanied by promises for a better world but also surrounded by a lot of controversy. We talk with Amy Stambach, Professor of Educational Policy and Anthropology at UW-Madison, about the two-way exchange between missionaries and local people.

Thursday: International Poetry Day: In honor of the spring solstice, we celebrate poetry from around the world with Susan Harris of Words Without Borders.

Friday: Irish Country Cooking: If Irish food makes you think of boiled potatoes and cabbage, Colman Andrews’ new cookbook The Country Cooking of Ireland will change your view. A country rich in bakers, farmers, and cheesemakers, and with sea coasts teeming with fish and fields verdant with produce, Ireland has been a hotbed of farm-to-table dining for centuries. We’ll learn its culinary secrets as we explore its flavorful and earthy fare.

I’m on my way to St. Croix Falls to participate in their Big Read festival honoring Thornton Wilder. I may catch a film at the Arab Film Festival while enroute through the Twin Cities to see my son.

Enjoy the snowdrops while they last!


Friday, March 05, 2010

March 8 - 12 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Our Food Friday program on hunger in America garnered so many donations from you, our listeners, so much so that I'm thinking about volunteering! How 'bout you?

Monday: International Adoption: How does the witness of adult adoptees give us a broader understanding of what it means to adopt and be adopted across borders?

Tuesday: Global Shifts in Liberal Arts Education: Today’s global economy is exerting its power on higher education around the world. As technical skills gain in value, broad liberal arts education is losing its popularity. But in two of the world’s economic powerhouses, the United States and China, there are still those who argue for the enduring value of the liberal arts in creating creative, critical thinkers and citizens. We’ll discuss global shifts in higher education and why it matters.

Wednesday: Tea on the Axis of Evil: A film about daily life in Syria featured in next weekend’s Arab Film Festival in the Twin Cities.

Thursday: Inside Islam: Art of Qur’anic Recitation: Among Muslims, Qur’anic recitation is a highly advanced art form intended to move, inspire, engage, and transport all those who listen. What is the purpose of Qur’anic recitation? How does it relate to life in the 21st century? What’s your personal experience of hearing the Qur’an recited?

Friday: Medicinal Foods: We have a lot to learn from how other cultures approach health and medicine. The authors of Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen: Recipes from the East for Health, Healing, and Long Life, offer dishes as tasty as they are therapeutic: Five Color Stir Fry with Scallops and Ginkgo, Soba Noodles with Miso-Sesame Sauce, and Soothing Shrimp with Asparagus and Gogi Berries.

Spring is on the way!