Friday, April 30, 2010

May 3 - 7 Programs

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jean’s Pick of the Week: We couldn’t have found two more perceptive, well-informed, or articulate guests to talk about the gritty topic of Securing the Bomb than Pulitzer Prize winner David Hoffman (The Dead Hand – check it out. If you’ve lived through the Cold War you’ll want to know what was really going on while we were watching Lassie) and Matthew Bunn (Securing the Bomb). It’s particularly wonderful when great guests know each other and respect each other’s work, as these two obviously did.

Monday: The Secret World of Doing Nothing: Waiting, daydreaming and doing nothing might seem like empty spaces in our busy daily lives, but they are actually full of meaning. We talk to Orvar Löfgren, co-author of The Secret World of Doing Nothing, and find out why taking a close look at doing nothing can be enlightening.

Tuesday: The Shanghai Expo: To many Americans, the World Fair is a spectacle gone the way of the dodo, but to the rest of the world — which knows them as “Expos” — they are still a regular and awe-inspiring event, and Expo 2010-Shanghai, opening this weekend, will be no exception. It’s set to become the largest, best-attended, and highest-tech Expo in world history.

One-Day Pledge Drive on Wednesday: John Nichols on International News: Nobody does it better than our own Here on Earth Correspondent John Nichols. John weighs in on the top international stories of the year to date.

Thursday: We’re working on a program about endangered languages that still survive in the great ethnic melting pot of New York City.

Friday: The Pasta Cure: If food is love and love heals, does that mean that food heals? After Paula Butturini’s husband John was struck by a single sniper bullet that almost killed him, the couple’s life was turned upside down. John plunged into deep depression. But the restorative powers of Italian meals, shared three times daily, brought the couple back to life.

Catch you later!


Friday, April 23, 2010

April 26 - 30 Programs

Thursday, Earth Day, April 22, 2010

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Well, how can you not pick Heaven? I was expecting a more secular perspective from a Newsweek editor, but Lisa Miller seemed unapologetic about expressing her Jewish beliefs, even in an area as curious as bodily resurrection. As for my own skepticism about that particular item in the Apostles’ Creed, I’m sorry to have upset a number of you, but, after all, isn’t belief in the spirit of free inquiry part of what public radio stands for?

Monday: The Virgin of Guadalupe in New York: (Oh, God, not another program about religion – actually, this one’s about Mexican immigration ) Almost 500 years ago, the dark-skinned Virgin of Guadalupe is said to have appeared to an indigenous Mexican Indian. In today’s New York City, Mexican immigrants rely on her image to guide them through hardship and help mobilize their fight for their rights.

Tuesday: Being With Animals: Beginning with the cave paintings in France to the Elephant God, Ganesh, to the American Bald Eagle, animals have dominated our psyches thousands of years. But, why? What accounts for their enduring power?

Wednesday: Securing the Bomb: Was President Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit a success? We’ll talk with Harvard scientist and author of the annual report, Securing the Bomb, Matthew Bunn and journalist David E. Hoffman, who just won a Pulitzer for his book on the dangerous legacy of the Cold War about what was accomplished and what remains to be done in securing the world’s nuclear material.

Thursday: And Now: From Inside Islam - The Program You’ve All Been Waiting For: Jihad: We’ll talk about its several meanings, how it developed in the Qur’an, in Islamic law, and inside Al Quaeda with scholars who understand its use in both the West and the East (by both Napoleon and Ronald Reagan!), and how terrorists use it to justify operating outside the law.

Friday: A Cooking Tour of Japan: Are you sushi fan? Or do seaweed and tofu turn you off? Sarah Marx Feldner shares her story of how she fell in love with the cuisine while traveling through Japan.

I’m on my way to the Earth Dinner at the Wisconsin State Historical Society.

Happy Earth Day!


Friday, April 16, 2010

April 19 - 23 Programs

Thursday, April 15 (!), 2010

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Nick Lantz: A Poet’s Way of Knowing and Not Knowing: Everybody seemed to really dig Nick’s poetry. To tell the truth, I had to wrestle with it at first. It's so different from the way I was taught to write with Donald Hall and the Imagist School back in the seventies! Then, too, his subject matter is so dark. I had to really work to find the light that shines through the cracks. But it’s there. And it’s luminous. We didn’t have time for him to complete his reading of “The Year We Blew Up the Whale – Florence, Oregon,” but he waited long enough after the show to allow us to take his picture for our website and record him reading the rest of the poem. Click here to watch the video.

Monday: To Uphold The World: Over 2000 years ago, Afghanistan was part of a peaceful, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural empire ruled by the Indian emperor Ashoka. Ashoka was the first political figure to think of leadership in global terms. Bruce Rich, author of To Uphold the World, argues that Ashoka’s political legacy can help us find the path towards a peaceful 21st century.

Tuesday: Local Identity in the World Market: The idea of an indigenous entrepreneur seemed like an oxymoron until not too long ago. But in South America, some indigenous communities have recently marketed their indigenous identity to be a part of the world market, with success. What are their options and possible limitations in participating in a global economy?

Wednesday: Heaven! Dante and Milton both attempted to describe Paradise, but now, with Newsweek’s religion editor Lisa Miller’s new book, Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination With The Afterlife, we have a journalist’s diverse perspectives on the way we imagine life after death.

Thursday: Earth Day: The Greenest Building in America: Three Benedictine Sisters have quietly built the greenest building in America on a tranquil prairie setting outside Madison, Wisconsin. The new chapel at Holy Wisdom Monastery was not only awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum rating by the US Green Building Council but received 63 out of a possible 69 points – the highest LEED Platinum rating in the country to date.

Friday: Food and Identity: Why do Jews keep kosher and shun pork? What is the purpose of food taboos? Jordon Rosenblum has some interesting explanations.

I’m on my way to my annual retreat at Cedar Valley Center. We’ll talk again on Monday.


Madison Country Day School - Oxfam Hunger Banquet

Friday, April 16th, 2010

I had a remarkable experience at the Madison Country Day School last January when I was invited to give a little talk at the Oxfam Hunger Banquet the school was hosting. If you haven’t yet experienced an Oxfam Hunger Banquet, I really recommend it. While one group was dining sumptuously by candlelight, I chose to sit on the floor under a tent, Bedouin style, with the group that was offered just a handful of rice served in a banana leaf with a cup of water. In spite of the meager provisions, there was a cozy feeling under that tent, and the rice was cooked to perfection and seemed to me quite delicious even though the whole point of the exercise was to experience solidarity with the millions of poor people on earth who live in extreme poverty. What impressed me most about the event was the quality of the students who presented themselves with real compassion and professionalism and who were also extraordinarily warm and welcoming. I was especially grateful to Sandra Fernandez who helped organize the event and sent me the invitation. What made the evening all the more poignant was the fact that news of the earthquake in Haiti had just broken and the uppermost in my mind was the fact that even before the quake had hit, many Haitian children were subsisting on mud cookies made with water from Port o’ Prince sewers.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Islamic Feminism on Inside Islam: Dialogues and Debates: For sheer exhilaration, inspiration, and a real intellectual work-out, this program about the growing Islamic feminist global movement really stands out in our ongoing Inside Islam series. And we even got a tweet from Malaysia!

Monday: Marrying Out: Where better to test the potentials of interfaith relations than a marriage? Join us with Professor of History and Religious Studies and director of the Lubar Institute for the Study of Abrahamic Religions, Charles Cohen, (he’s Jewish) along with his wife Christine Schindler, (she’s Christian) as they lead a conversation about the challenges and rewards of marrying out.

Tuesday: The Music of Vodou: In the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, the government has been calling back its vodou priests from the Diaspora to assist in the nation’s healing. Erol Josue is one of them. An accomplished musician whose music reflects his immersion in Haitian religious practices and beliefs, he says music is as central to vodou as the Bible is to Christianity.

Wednesday: Nick and the Candlestick: Nick Lantz’s new collection of Poetry, We Don’t Know We Don’t Know, takes its title and inspiration in part from this and other cryptic Rumsfeldisms from Bush’s former Secretary of Defense, but just to show how eclectic he is, this amazing and puzzling new poet also borrows from Pliny the Elder and has written a scalding long poem about torture, “Will There Be More Than One Questioner?” which you may remember from our program about the Guantanamo cover-up. Come help me get inside this remarkable new poet’s head.

Thursday: The Desert of Forbidden Art: How does art survive in a time of oppression? During the Soviet rule, artists following their own vision were persecuted. But Igor Savitzky, a passionate young art collector, tricked the Soviet rulers into giving him money to salvage 40,000 works of forbidden art and to create a unique collection of Russian Avant Garde paintings in the desert of Uzbekistan. We talk with the filmmakers of the film Desert of Forbidden Art, featured at this month’s Wisconsin Film Festival.

Friday: What We Eat When We Eat Alone: We’re resurrecting this archived program from our collection of Food Friday favorites: What do you eat when no one is watching? Fried spam with grape jelly? Left-over spaghetti sandwiches? A glass of zabaglione? Cookbook author Deborah Madison has been collecting answers to that question and the results may make your jaw drop.

Think daffodils and help me bring back the spring!


Friday, April 02, 2010

April 5 - 9 Programs

Thursday, April Fools’ Day!

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Jamming with Wales: There’s something so delightfully whimsical about the idea of chasing whales around the world, playing your clarinet and hoping that the whales will jam with you. But David Rothenberg is quite serious about his interspecies musicianship, first with birds and now with whales, and he’s broken through some amazing barriers with his experiments in making music with animals. I think of him as a first-class 21st century man.

Monday: The Wall: The story of the West Bank Barrier separating Israel from the Palestinian territories, which will be completed later this year, is a sad tale. And we wouldn’t be telling it if we hadn’t found a Here on Earth angle: French journalist René Backmann has been covering the conflict for 25 years and has written a book about the wall from both sides. He joins us with an Israeli couple whose organization, Yesh Din, helps carry Palestinian grievances through the Israeli justice system.

Tuesday: Mixing the Races: In his first memoir, John Phillip Santos traced his father’s Mexican mestizo family back into an indigenous world that flourished before the Spanish conquest. In his new memoir—or, you could say the other half of his first—he turns his gaze to the conquerors—his mother’s ancestors. How far back do you have to look on your family tree to find someone of another nationality, allegiance, or race?

Wednesday: A Different Way to Fight Extremism: “Do I like the legacy I’m leaving behind?” After asking herself that question, Julia Bolz, who was once practicing law in Seattle, is now devoting her life to fighting extremism by building schools in Afghanistan.

Thursday: Islamic Feminism: A Sister-wide Global Movement: Saudi Arabia’s recent plan to remove women from praying near the Ka'ba was scotched by a huge global outcry coming from Islamic feminists, even from inside Saudi Arabia, claiming gender discrimination that violates the Qur’anic principle of equality. What does Islamic feminism have to offer? Where does it come from and where is it going? Expect some surprising revelations and illuminations to come from this next program in our Inside Islam series.

Friday: Corked: Kathryn Borel was like her father in every way but one: she just didn’t get it when it came to wine. So she decided to take him on a drunken father-daughter road trip through the French countryside, where they finally connected – over wine.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a believing Christian or not, this is one weekend to celebrate all that rises!

Happy Easter!