Friday, July 29, 2011

Programs for the Week of 8/1

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): Is Democracy Coming to China?: MIT Professor Edward Steinfeld cast new light on China as a country that, in his view, is inching its way toward democratic reform, following in the footsteps of Taiwan and South Korea. Particularly fascinating to me were the passing references to artists Han Han and Ai WeiWei who both remind me of Frank Zappa.

Monday: The Dacha Days of Summer: For centuries, Russian city dwellers have spent their summers relaxing and gardening at rural cottages called dachas. (like gotcha!) Mellissa Caldwell spoke to hundreds of "dachniki" about their beliefs in the healing power of land and the strange way time passes in the country, leading to her conclusion: To understand the dacha is to understand the Russian soul.

Tuesday: St. Francis and the Sultan: When St. Francis crossed enemy lines to meet the Sultan Malek el-Kamil during a Crusade, he fully expected to be martyred. Instead, he was embraced as a friend. Hear the full story when I talk with Muslim Sufi master Jamal Rahman and Gabrielle Uhlein, a Franciscan sister, who are teaming up for the Christine Center's third annual interfaith retreat (to be facilitated by yours truly).

To register for this Interfaith retreat, call 715-267-7507 or e-mail the Christine Center at

Wednesday: Norway's Response to Tragedy: In the wake of the recent massacre in Norway, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told the world, "The answer to violence is even more democracy, even more humanity." Will Norway be able to sustain its commitment to openness and tolerance?

Thursday: TBA:

Friday: Kings of Pastry: Sixteen of France's top pastry chefs compete for the ultimate accolade, the collar of the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, best craftsmen of France, in the "Kings of Pastry" competition. The contest takes place every four years and involves 16 chefs over three exhausting days concocting 40 different recipes in a race against the clock.

On a personal note, our technical wizard, the man usually responsible for all the great sound and music in the program, Joe Hardtke has suffered an injury, having broken his collar bone last weekend, and undergone surgery on Wednesday of this week. Also soon to be among the missing is our beloved Swiss Miss, Dominique Haller, who will be leaving us next month to become a full-time graduate student in the art department. If you happen to know of any likely candidates for the position of Here on Earth producer, we’re anticipating at least one, and maybe two openings to be announced in the near future. Stay tuned and meanwhile, pray for us!



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