Monday, August 31, 2009

Woman as Matador 8/31

Carly Yuenger

On today's show we discuss the new documentary film by Gemma Cubero and Celeste Carrasco, Ella Es el Matador (She is the Matador), which premiers on television tomorrow night on PBS as part of the new season of Point of View.

Their film documents the desire and motivation of two women training and working as matadors in the Spanish bullfighting ring. It's not an easy profession to get into, even for men, so these women have to really want it.

The spectacle and tradition of bullfighting might be one of those things that is difficult to appreciate if you haven't grown up with it. Have you been to a bull fight? How did you react? Do you see beauty and art, a thrill, or something darker? Share your thoughts and stories about bullfighting, Ella Es El Matador, and female matadors by adding a comment below.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Beauty by the Glass 8/28

Carly Yuenger

On today's show we discuss the pleasures of wine with father and son team, Brian and Evan Mitchell, authors of The Psychology of Wine: Truth and Beauty by the Glass.

What's special about the experience of drinking wine for you? Why have we made wine into an aesthetic object and an art always striving for perfection? Share your thoughts by adding a comment below.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On Kindness 8/26

Carly Yuenger

On today's show we discuss our complicated relationship to the human quality of kindness.

How does being kind make you feel? Can it be a little uncomfortable? Share your thoughts and stories below by adding a comment.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Women Peacemakers 8/25

Carly Yuenger

On today's show we learn how Liberia's women came together, across religious differences, to force their husbands and the men of their country to make peace.

The film, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, is touring around to areas of conflict to serve as an example of how people who are given little power can come together to create the political, cultural, and personal pressure necessary to end a war.

Through using cultural taboos, denying sex to their husbands, locking the warring men into their peace conference, and, after, by forgiving them, Liberian women brought an end to a brutal civil war and saw their nation onto a path of healing.

It's an inspiring story and one that may hold lessons for the rest of the world. What have you learned about the rise of women in politics in Liberia? What role do you think women play in peace making and peace keeping? Can Liberia stand as an example for people living in other areas of conflict? Where else have you seen women harnessing the power in their everyday lives to create a social movement? Share your stories and thougts by adding a comment below.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The World's Cold Places 8/24

Carly Yuenger

On today's show we celebrate the cold places on Earth with biologist and lover of all things cold, Bill Streever. His new book treks through chilly climes for the sake of science and travel.

Have you found yourself in a cold place? Were you sent there or did you go for fun? What was the experience like? Despite evidence of global warming, were you surprised at how cold the Earth can be? Share stories about your travels and travails in extreme cold below by adding a comment.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Too Many Tomatoes? 8/21

Carly Yuenger

On today's show we talk about what to do when you find yourself with too many tomatoes. No, we're not talking about how to slip a couple of pounds of tomatoes into your co-workers' inboxes. We're talking easy, fresh, and new tomato recipes with cookbook author Brian Yarvin.

Help your fellow tomato gardeners--share your recipes and tips for preserving tomatoes by adding a comment below!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Afghans: Voting for Stability 8/20

Carly Yuenger

On today's show we follow Afghans home from the polls and talk about expectations in Afghanistan for election results and for the future of their very young democratic government.

Today's guests, Andrew Wilder and Antonio Donini, have spent a lot of time in Afghanistan over the last 25 years--together, they've seen the Taliban come to power, be ousted, and the aftermath that's followed their fall. They remind us that Afghanistan is a country that struggles under the burden of three decades of armed conflict and that, in many ways, the history of that conflict overshadows today's elections.

Do we need to look backward before we can help Afghans to envision a different future? Is Afghanistan becoming another example of outside help forgetting the complexities of living inside? What is in our best interest about being there? What are the conditions under which democratic practices, institutions, and governments flourish? Add your thoughts, comments, and questions below.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

World Environmental Literature 8/19

Carly Yuenger

On today's show we discuss the latest issue of Words Without Borders, "Into the Wild: International Nature Writing" with Words Without Borders editor, Susan Harris and Rochelle Johnson, Associate Professor of English and Environmental Studies at The College of Idaho.

Here they are! In no particular order, the international works of nature writing we'll discuss and links to the Words Without Border site where you can read each of them:

And, if you have some ideas of international nature writing to add, or you want to share your impressions of those here that you've read, add a comment below.

Short pieces:

Cees Nooteboom, "A Journey to Spitsbergen" : Nooteboom is considered the most important Dutch writer; he's particularly well known for his literary travelogues. A group of literary travel writers have been invited by the Norwegian government to spend a week at the Arctic Circle.

Mohamed Magani, "Seismic Activity": Magani is Algerian and writes novels in French and short stories in English; he's president of Algerian PEN. Wonderful series of associations between writing, earthquakes, cultures.

Laszlo Krasnahorkai, "El ultimo lobo" Hungarian, A tour de force: stream of consciousness, one long driving sentence about a professor thinking about the last wolf in Extramadura and the "civilization" of the wild.

Excerpts from larger pieces:

Manuel de Lope, from the novel Iberia: Spanish author, living in Spain. Narrator returns to the town of Mundaca, on the Biscayan coast, and remembers his near-drowning as a child of seven playing at a summer camp.

Nikos Kachtitsis, from the novel Mezzanine: The author is Greek, deceased; this is the first publication of any of his work in English. This is a Kafkaesque work of alienation and despair; the narrator is a Flemish ex-antique dealer living in Central Africa.

Laurentino Gomes, from 1808: Brazilian, writing in Portuguese. This book about the history of Brazil has sold over 600,000 copies in Portuguese and is unknown in the rest of the world.


Harald Weinrich, "Bestiary": German. The convention of the bestiary, here describing animals reading.

Raul Zurita, "For Love of Chile": Chilean. Sweet topographical ode.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Take a Sail on the S/V Denis Sullivan 8/18

Carly Yuenger

On today's show we explore the water ecology laboratory and innovative classroom aboard the schooner sailboat, the S/V Denis Sullivan.

This replica schooner based in Milwaukee hearkens back to a very different time on the Great Lakes as it gathers data about the giant fresh water ecosystem and looks to the future of fresh water ecology in the Great Lakes by serving as a floating classroom. Check out this video of students on the S/V Denis Sullivan:

With the invasive silver carp making their way up the Chicago River to within miles of Lake Michigan, decades of stress on water resources ahead of us, and idling legislation to protect the Great Lakes water system, what concerns are foremost in your mind when it comes to water ecology today? Share your stories of schooner sailing and your concerns about fresh water ecology by leaving a comment below.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Travel and Culture 8/17

Carly Yuenger

On today's show we talk with Katie Krueger about her year in Senegal. In her book about her travels, Give With Gratitude: Lessons Learned Listening to West Africa, Katie tells the story of her initial culture shock and how she eventually incorporated the Senegalese way of of life into her own.

Has traveling outside your home country taught you more about the culture you grew up in? Did you struggle to break away from your cultural habits? How have you incorporated the ideals, values, and priorities of another culture into your own? Share your stories by adding a comment below.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Noir Around the World 8/5

Carly Yuenger

On today's show we explore how the literary genre of noir and its global incarnations. From Ireland, to Istanbul, to Delhi the detective, the gritty street scene, and that sense of dred and despair have become part of the local setting.

Let us know who your favorite writers of international noir are by leaving a comment below.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Power of Apology 8/4

Carly Yuenger

On today's show we discuss the recent Senate resolution apologizing for slavery and years of segregation with two Professors of Law, Adjoa Aiyetoro and Roger Conner.

Apologizing is never easy, even when it's between two people. How can a nation apologize for it's wrongdoing? Can a national apology help us account for the past and choose a different future?

What makes for a real apology in interpersonal relationships? Can this translate to the scale of a nation? What would be different if a sincere apology was offered for the racial inequalities in which the government was involved? Share your thoughts about the apology and the power of apology in general by adding a comment below.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Volunteer Vacations 8/3

On today's show we discuss the perks and logistics of taking a volunteer vacation--that's right, working for nothing while you travel.

As our guest Pam Grout, author of The 100 Best Volunteer Vacations to Enrich Your Life, explains, volunteer vacations come in many forms and can land you in many different places.

Melissa Lesh embodies just one kind of volunteer travel. She is currently pursuing her dream of working with endangered wildlife in India. Here's Melissa holding a baby Indian leopard:

Does this sound like a crazy idea to you, something you've always wanted to try, or something you're an old pro at? Whichever one you are, share your thoughts and stories below by adding a comment.