Friday, April 24, 2009

Joes Tour of the Here on Earth Studio

Joe Hardtke

Our webmaster, Lisa Bu, snuck her camera into the Here on Earth control room the other day. Take a look at our studio console and see how your Twitter messages make it to the air in this video blog entry.

I hope to pull back the curtain a bit more in the future. It would be cool to show you how we prepare the sound of the show and other parts of our daily routine.

Another way to approach it would be to leave the ball in your court! What would you like to see on the video blog concerning how we produce the show or podcast? Leave your suggestions or questions here and we'll answer them on upcoming blog posts.

Gregg Mitman on Earth Day - 4/22

Update - 4/22/09: You can download the mp3 of our Earth Day show from the archives. Let us know what you think!

Joe Hardtke

Gregg Mitman, author of the book Reel Nature: America’s Romance with Wildlife on Film, stopped by the Here on Earth studios Wednesday to talk about Disney's new film Earth and other environmental documentaries. In this Here on Earth video blog entry, Mitman talks briefly with our host Jean Feraca about his upcoming nature film series in November at the University of Wisconsin campus.

You can listen to Gregg's full interview on the show by downloading the mp3 from our Here on Earth archive. Have you seen Earth or other nature films like March of the Penguins? Do these films actually change your thoughts and actions about the environment or are they just entertainment in the end? Leave your comments at the Here on Earth hotline - 1-877-GLOBE-07 - or respond here at the Blog Without Borders.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Playing for Change - Airdate - 4/21 - 4 p.m. (ET)

Update - 4/21/09: You can download the mp3 of today's show from the Here on Earth archives. Let us know what you think!

Joe Hardtke

Mark Johnson has had quite a trip. He and his co-director Jonathan Walls have been to four continents and 13 locations recording an amazing musical collaboration. New Orleans blues singers are paired with South African choirs, Russian chamber groups and many, many others all through the magic of Mark's laptop. Called Playing for Change, the project first caught our attention when it was featured on Bill Moyers program last fall.

Now Mark's project is hitting DVD and CD on April 28th, with even bigger plans coming up through their Playing for Change Foundation. You can talk with Mark and hear how his project is helping others, Tuesday at 4 p.m. (ET) You can also leave you messages for Mark here or call the Here on Earth hotline with your questions, 1-877-GLOBE-07, and we'll play them back on the show.

Eco-Trip - Airdate - 4/20 - 4 p.m. (ET)

Update - 4/20/09: You can download the mp3 of today's show from the Here on Earth archives. Let us know what you think!

Joe Hardtke

You might know Brit David de Rothschild from his wild adventures. (He's one of the youngest people to reach both the North and South Poles and he crossed the Pacific Ocean on a boat of recycled plastic products.) You may know his expedition group fighting climate change, Adventure Ecology. But have you heard of his new Sundance Channel television show, Eco-Trip? In the program, de Rothschild travels the world, tracing the origins and environmental impacts of everyday products like chocolate or that cotton t-shirt you're wearing...

David will join us on Monday's show to talk about Eco-Trip and the things he's learned from his many journeys. You can call in during the program, but if you can't, no worries! Just call 1-877-GLOBE-07 and leave your questions for David or post your thoughts right here. We'll play (or read) them back on the show.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dalia Mogahed After The Show - 4/14

Update - 4/15/09: You can download the MP3 of yesterday's program from our archive. Let us know what you think!

Joe Hardtke

Dalia Mogahed, Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, joined us on the air yesterday to discuss their new survey of Muslims worldwide. In this exclusive Here on Earth video blog, she provides some additional insight to themes explored in the program.

You can download the complete show at our Here on Earth archive, or sign up for our podcast. You'll also find Kaitlin's exclusive web interview with Dalia at the Inside Islam blog.

In other news, Jean is unfortunately under the weather this week. Thankfully, Lori Skelton has stepped in to pinch-host and will join us again tomorrow for a live interview and performance with the great Hank Sapoznik. Join us then!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Afterglow: Obama in Turkey

By Giancarlo Casale (Jean's son)
Professor of Ottoman History, University of Minnesota

Senior fellow at the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations in Istanbul

(President Barack Obama addresses his remarks at a town hall meeting Tuesday, April 7, 2009, at the Tophane Cultural Center in Istanbul. White House Photo/Chuck Kennedy)

A day after his departure, Turks are still basking in the afterglow of President Barack Obama’s first visit to their country. His arrival on Sunday night followed weeks of anxious speculation about the reasons for his visit, concerns that he would be unprepared to navigate bewildering minefield of Turkish politics, and dark rumors that he intended to publicly embarrass the country by raising delicate issues that continue to weigh on its collective conscience. But now all of this is a distant memory. “Hussein” has taken the country by storm.

In fact, the love fest had already begun even before the President’s arrival on Sunday night, as earlier that day he had delivered a speech to European leaders in Prague chastising them for not moving more decisively to include Turkey in the European Union. By the next morning, rapturous reports of Obama’s goodwill towards Turkey were on the front page of every newspaper, and were further confirmed by Obama’s first meeting with the Turkish press. There, when asked if his decision to include the country on his first official overseas tour as president was a sign of its special importance, Obama surprised the room with a resounding “evet”—Turkish for “yes.”

Thereafter, he could do no wrong. His red tie was interpreted as a show of respect for the Turkish flag; His visible fatigue during a visit to Ataturk’s grave explained as the effect of his being overcome with solemn emotion; His appetite at lunch an indication of his love for Turkish cuisine.

By Monday afternoon, Obama was ready to being tackling serious issues, but even so still managed to appear all things to all people—a seeming impossibility in a country racked by divisions between secularists and Islamists, Turks and Kurds, and civilian and military authorities. He held a sympathetic meeting with the parliamentary leader of Turkey’s Kurdish party, and then another with the head of the country’s resurgent party of extreme Turkish nationalists. He told the Islamist prime minister that he was “inspired by his leadership,” then announced that Turkey’s real strength was its secular democracy. He even managed to convince the members of the country’s powerful Military High Command to visit parliament for his speech, something they have refused to do since Kurdish autonomists were first elected as MPs in 2007.

All of this presaged most delicate moments of the visit, which came during Obama’s address to parliament. Here he raised pulses by bringing up dangerously controversial subjects such as Turkey’s refusal to acknowledge the Armenian genocide, and its poor record of civil rights for ethnic and religious minorities. But he did so with characteristic tact and delicatesse, quoting from Turkish proverbs, bringing up the United States’ own spotted history of minority rights, and otherwise taking pains to assuage national pride even as he provoked. He ended the speech by announcing a new day in US relations with the Muslim world, and outlining Turkey’s role as central to this project. In so doing, he sent the room into paroxysms of applause when describing the large number of Americans who have Muslims in their families or have lived in Muslim countries, adding for emphasis “I know, because I am one of them.”

Admittedly, not every moment of Obama’s visit went off without a hitch. On Monday, he visibly jumped at the sound of a 21-gun salute in his honor—interpreted by some as an unseemly sign of skittishness for the commander-in-chief of the world’s greatest army, and by others as an indication of a lack of confidence in Turkey’s security apparatus. And on Tuesday, he opened a “town hall” conversation with a group of university students by suggesting the meeting be cut short in order to accommodate the Muslim noon prayer—something unthinkable in the secular culture of Turkish universities.

But in the end, these were minor hiccups in an otherwise blazing performance. No public figure has done so well for himself here since Pope Benedict visited Turkey in 2006. Now the only question is: “When will he come back?”

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Being Muslim and Gay - Airdate - 4/9 - 4 p.m. (ET)

Update - 4/9/09: You can download the MP3 of today's program from our archive. Let us know what you think!

Joe Hardtke

Journalist, blogger and director Parvez Sharma is gay. He also identifies as Muslim. He explores the divide between the two in his latest documentary film, A Jihad for Love.

You can watch the entire movie at the Logo website right now for free.

Sharma traveled to 12 countries during the making of the film and he'll share what he's learned about the international gay Muslim movement through the course of his journey. You can leave your thoughts and questions for Parvez right here at the Blog Without Borders, or you can call in advance of the show at the Here on Earth Hotline - 1-877-GLOBE-07. We'll play your comments back on the air for Parvez tomorrow.

And, of course, we hope you can listen live, 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Thursday. Talk to you then!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Noam Chomsky After the Show - 4/7

Update - 4/7/09: You can download the MP3 of today's program from our archive. Let us know what you think!

Joe Hardtke

Noam Chomsky was in the studio today talking with Jean about Obama's foreign policy trip, Israel, Palestine, North Korea and more. It was a great show with lots of tough questions from the audience and you can hear the full program in the archive.

After the show, Noam continued his critique on the media in a video blog with Here on Earth's webmaster Lisa Bu. He focused on public radio, where he's been censored in the past, most recently on stations in the northeastern U.S.

You can leave your comments on Noam's video blog, and the program itself, right here. We'll read them back on a future show. Thanks!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

John Nichols After The Show - 4/2

Update - 4/2/09: You can download the MP3 of today's program from our archive. Let us know what you think!

Joe Hardtke

John Nichols, writer for The Nation and The Capital Times, appeared on Here on Earth today to discuss Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon and his attempt to indict former members of the Bush administration on torture charges.

After the show, John had some additional thoughts for the Blog Without Borders on subject of torture and the program itself:

Do you agree with John? Leave your thoughts here and we'll feature them on a future show.

Say Hello to Reem!

Joe Hardtke

Hey everyone! Meet Reem, our new producer on the Inside Islam series for Here on Earth. I hope Reem will post some updates on what she's working on in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, she shares a bit of her background in this "vlog" entry:

Welcome aboard, Reem!