Friday, September 23, 2011

Programs for the Week of 9/26

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): India's Anti-Corruption Movement: I’ve been reading about Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement in the New York Times, but it wasn’t until today’s show with New York Times correspondent Jim Yardley and political science professor Sumit Ganguly that its full import came home to me. I’ve been a little sad watching how the great figure of Ghandi has shrunk to a caricature in Bollywood movies and other expressions of Indian popular culture. It’s heartening now to witness the resurgence of his influence in what has become a special moment in Indian political history. Long live Ghandi, and hurrah for Hazare!

Monday: Healing the Heart of Democracy: In this year of the Arab spring, it's a good time to be reminded that democracy is a never-ending process. In his new book designed to re-invigorate American democracy in its most localized settings, and to connect it to those larger global movements that both inspire and disappoint us, Parker Palmer spells out what we can do to form habits of the heart conducive to embracing democracy's endless conflicts.

Tuesday: The Ride of Your Life (encore): Biking season isn't over quite yet! Whether you’re crazy about bikes or just appreciate a leisurely ride, you’ll fall in love with Robert Penn's story about circling the globe on a bike. In his book It's All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels, he explains how the bike continues to change our world. (rebroadcast from May 3rd, 2011)

Wednesday: Time for Outrage!: St├ęphane Hessel is many things: former French Resistance leader, concentration camp survivor, diplomat, ambassador, former UN speechwriter, and in 1948, he helped draft the U.N.'s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In his new book, which has sold more than 4 million copies across the globe, he calls for a return to the ideals that fueled the French Revolution...and for discontented citizens to stand up, get outraged and fight back against injustice.

Thursday: Bridging the Faith Divide: Eboo Patel and the Interfaith Youth Core: In 1998, Eboo Patel noticed that increased religious diversity in America was causing increased conflict. If religious extremists were recruiting young people, he reasoned, then those who believe in religious tolerance should do likewise, a realization that inspired the Interfaith Youth Core, an organization dedicated to service to others as a way of overcoming conflict.

Friday: Mission Street Food and the Pop-Up Restaurant: When Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz opened a food cart on Mission Street in San Francisco, they had no idea that it would catapult them into a "pop-up" restaurant. (If you're new to the term, a pop-up restaurant is one that typically operates clandestinely, sometimes in the middle of the night, inside a pre-existing restaurant.) With an ever changing menu of unique offerings concocted by guest chefs, Mission Street quickly gained a huge following and caused people to rethink the whole idea of a restaurant.

I can't believe it’s finally almost Friday!

Have a great weekend, everybody, and if you’re anywhere near Sundance Theater in Madison, I hear Werner Herzog’s 3D movie, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, with an extended run through the weekend,  is not to be missed.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Programs for the Week of 9/19

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): Ayn Rand and American Politics: I've decided that the Ayn in Ayn Rand's name stands for irony. There are so many ironic inferences to be drawn from her life story, but chief among them, it seems to me, when you consider what a big footprint she’s left on the American political landscape is the fact that we are all suffering from a huge Cold War hangover. And that's supremely ironic given the fact that the Soviet Union doesn't even exist anymore! Why are we so upset about the auto industry and the banking bailout? Why are the Republicans so uncompromising? Why does the Tea Party hate Obama's plan for health care reform? It's all because we’re afraid of a Communist takeover! And what did Ayn Rand herself become? An inverse Marxist fundamentalist. Think about that for a moment. Our current political reality is based on fear of a bogeyman who's already imploded. And she was all about REASON. How rational is that?

Monday: Indigo - The Color that Seduced the World (encore): Indigo, "the bluest of blues," is not just a color, but, as Catherine McKinley puts it, "an attempt to capture beauty." Inspired by her own ancestral entanglement with Indigo, Catherine set out to learn from the last master dyers of West Africa and discovered amazing stories of wealth, power, and divine meaning (rebroadcast from June 1st, 2011).

Tuesday: Murder in Lascaux: The mysterious prehistoric caves in the south of France are the scene of a murder in a new novel by Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden, professors emeriti at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Typical of this dynamic husband and wife team who lived near Lascaux, it's mystery and murder with art, history, and, of course, a great dollop of French food thrown in for good measure.

Wednesday: The Poetry Circle of the Air: In a variation on an old and beloved theme, poet Molly Peacock joins us again this September 21, the day of the fall equinox, together with guest editor Priscila Uppal to give us a preview of the 2011 Best Canadian Poetry in English anthology due out next month.

Thursday: India's Anti-Corruption Movement: Sixty-four years after Gandhi's non-violent movement brought an end to British rule in India, the Indian masses are back in the streets. Led by Anna Hazare, a man whom many hail as a new Gandhi, the movement is going after their own leaders this time, protesting the government's failure to address wide-spread and rampant corruption.

Friday: Eating Smart in France: Don't know your escargot from your maquereau? Ronnie Hess is here to help. Whether you’re searching for an authentic restaurant in Paris, or cooking coq au vin in your own kitchen, here's what you need to know to experience the essence of French culture through its cuisine.

Bon Appetit!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Programs for the Week of 9/12

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): The Little Free Libraries Project: What is it about the appeal of the miniature? Rick Brooks and Tod Bol really hit it big time with their Little Free Libraries, which are now popping up everywhere. Even my friend in Oxford has seen them. Still, it’s a bit mysterious to me exactly why they have caught on. Is it our hankering for community, both visible and invisible? For books themselves as cultural artifacts as they begin to disappear? For something that does an end run around the consumerism trap? I’m really curious. If you have some idea about why big birdhouses filled with books that are free for the taking would go viral and become a global phenomenon, please let me know.

Monday: Rediscovering the Lost City of Machu Picchu: In 1911, American explorer Hiram Bingham climbed into the Andes Mountains and "discovered" the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu. One hundred years later, the site remains as fascinating, yet mysterious, as ever. In his new book, travel writer Mark Brooks journeys to Peru to retrace Bingham's steps to try and finally answer the question: Just exactly what was Machu Picchu?

Tuesday: Ayn Rand: Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged, has become one of the most polarizing figures in American culture, but how much do we really know about her life? History professor Jennifer Burns spent years poring over Rand's private papers and journals, offering a reassessment of the author's life, and her impact on the current conservative political movement.

Wednesday: The King's Speech (encore): While the American public sees the Oscar-nominated film "The King's Speech" as a story about the king heroically overcoming his personal limitations in the face of great adversity, the same film in the UK is perceived as being a story about class differences. What does the film teach us about class in the UK? How did you see "The King's Speech?" (rebroadcast from February 21st, 2011)

Thursday: The Wabi-Sabi Way (Encore): Do you love your rusty, dented old wheelbarrow? How Wabi-Sabi of you! A philosophy of seeing and homemaking, wabi-sabi has its roots in Japanese Zen Buddhism, but it's all about the imperfection of dried leaves, rather than the perfection of a fresh cherry blossom. (rebroadcast from June 2nd, 2011)

Friday: The Golden-Bristled Boar: When Jeffrey Greene moved to Burgundy, France, he had no idea he was entering prime boar country. After a neighbor presented him with a gift of half a boar stuffed into a black garbage bag, he became fascinated and began studying the history and lore of "the last ferocious beast of the forest," compiling some interesting recipes along the way.

While we’re hunting for wild boar, let me remind you that our two current openings for Here on Earth producers (go to for info.) are still not filled. So, if you know of a likely candidate, please encourage him or her to apply.



Friday, September 2, 2011

Programs for the Week of 9/5

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): Slow Violence: Rob Nixon (Slow Violence...) opened my eyes to a whole different environmental ethos coming from the Global South. He piqued my appetite for wanting to know more about writers such as Nigeria’s Ken Saro-Wiwa, Africa’s first environmental martyr, and India’s Indra Sinha who wrote the novel Animal’s People about the afterlife of the Bhopal disaster. Unlike their North American elder cousins – Thoreau, Muir, and Leopold - these writers do not separate humans from nature, and they are passionate about bringing to light the fact that environmental degradation violates people every bit as much as it violates the earth itself.Our Guest producer Chris Malina picked his program Odd Bits as his favorite of the week; watch the video to hear why!

Monday: Remembering the Triangle Factory Fire (encore): 2011 marks the one hundred year anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City. We celebrate Labor Day by remembering its victims and the labor law successes of the early 20th century. (Rebroadcast from April 11, 2011)

Tuesday: Chasing Carnegie: The Little Free Libraries Project: Rick Brooks and Todd Bol, two Wisconsin men, are promoting worldwide literacy and building community, one Little Free Library at a time...and one could soon be coming to a neighborhood near you. Together, they’re on a quest to break Andrew Carnegie's record of creating over 2,500 free libraries.

Wednesday: Somalia through Nuruddin Farah's Eyes: Winner of the Neustadt Prize and frequent nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature, Somali novelist Nuruddin Farah has been writing about his homeland for over 40 years. His works are full of love and longing for the country he left behind, and concern for the direction in which Somalia is heading.

Thursday: Transforming a Nation's Trauma: Nationally recognized citizen diplomat Sahar Taman and Rev. Robert Chase, head of Intersections International in New York City, are collecting and planning affirmative commemorations for the decade anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Beyond Islam, beyond terror, they see the anniversary as a time to deepen community and seek transformation as individuals and as a nation.

Friday: The Cuban Kitchen: Raquel Rabade Roque's The Cuban Kitchen was such a hit in Spanish that she rewrote it to be published in English. She'll give us a tour of the Cuban coffee counters of Miami and the tastes of an ever evolving Cuban-American cuisine.

Wishing you a labor-free Labor Day weekend and juicy end-of-summer bash -