Friday, October 28, 2011

Programs for the Week of 10/31

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): Vikings in the Attic: I’ve lived in Wisconsin almost thirty years; my son flourished at Eggplant Daycare, a parent co-op that operated in Madison back in the eighties; I’ve been a member of the UW Credit Union almost since the day I arrived; I shop regularly at the Willy Street Coop and buy dairy products from Organic Valley Family of Farms, but until last Tuesday when Eric Dregni enlightened us about how the Scandinavians shaped the culture of the Midwest, I never connected the dots. It’s wonderful to know the place where you live, it’s also wonderful to live there. Thank you, Eric. But you can keep the lutefisk.

Monday: Making an Exit: Sarah Murray never thought about what would happen to her body after she died until her own father passed away, sending her off on a survey of funeral rites from around the world.

Tuesday: Guantánamo: An American History: What’s the history of Guantánamo? How did the US come to occupy a part of Cuba? Harvard historian Jonathan Hansen got suspicious when the Bush administration defended its denial of due process to "detainees" at Guantánamo on the grounds that the prison is outside of US jurisdiction. What he reveals in his book, Guantánamo: An American History, illuminates how difficult it is to overcome our imperial past.

Wednesday: A Road from Lubumbashi: Most of us don’t realize that we are directly linked to the violence and poverty that persists in Congo through our choice of cell phones, play stations and other gadgets. Dan Banda’s film, A Road From Lubumbashi tells that story while also illuminating the ways in which we as consumers can help reduce the conflict.

Thursday: TBA (Encore):

Friday: Cooking Like Our Grandmothers: Michael Pollan suggests eating only foods our grandmothers would recognize as real food. Tamar Adler takes it to the next step – showing us how to cook like our grandmothers, with instinct, using all five senses and every part of an ingredient, and elevating simple food to the sublime. (Lori Skelton hosts)

Happy Halloween!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Programs for the Week of 10/24

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Interfaith Youth Core: Eboo Patel is a solid original thinker who, in my opinion, is moving the culture forward with his Interfaith Youth Corps which is now over 100,000 strong. What a great way to get young people working together in service to others, breaking down faith barriers in the process. W.E.B. du Bois once said that the defining issue of the twentieth century was race; Eboo Patel thinks that the defining issue of our own century is religious discord. By focusing on youth, he’s doing a whole lot to change that.

Monday: Songs of Kabir: Almost 500 years after his death, Kabir remains one of the world's most beloved poets. His poems are full of passion and paradox, of mind-bending riddles and exultant riffs, and a new translation of his poems, by one of India’s most renowned poets, Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, brings Kabir’s poetry to life like never before.

Tuesday: Vikings in the Attic: What does it mean to grow up Scandianvian? In his new book, Eric Dregni tracks down and explores the significant, and quite often bizarre. historic sites, tales, and traditions of Scandinavia’s peculiar colony in the Midwest.

Wednesday: Powering the Future: Two centuries from now, when we run out of oil, gas and coal, will we still be able to generate electricity, run cars, and fly jet planes? Nobel Prize winning Physicist, Dr. Robert B. Laughlin believes we will—but only by using alternate sources of energy, like the sun, wind, animal waste, and even trash.

Thursday: India Calling: Anand Giridharadas grew up in America but returned to India, his parents’ country, to get a closer look at how the India they left had turned into the economic powerhouse that the whole world is watching.

Friday: Made in America: Lucy Lean traveled America, photographing and interviewing master chefs, and collecting their recipes that reinvent our classic and most beloved comfort foods.

That’s all, Folks! I’m headed for sunny Tampa. I’ll be back in time for a reading at the Wisconsin Book Festival on Sunday afternoon. It’s in the Wisconsin Studio of the Overture Center starting at 4:00pm. I hope to see you there!


Friday, October 14, 2011

Programs for the Week of 10/17

UPCOMING EVENT: Jean Feraca will be reading from the new edition of her memoir, I Hear Voices, at the Wisconsin Book Festival on Sunday, October 23, from 4:00 to 5:30 in the Wisconsin Studio of the Overture Center.  The reading will feature her new essay,

Jean’s Pick of the Week: Global Citizen Year: Earlier this year I attended the Summit of the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy at Wingspread in Racine, Wisconsin, where I met many visionary people including Abby Falik who is the founder and CEO of Global Citizen Year, “the Peace Corps for a new generation.” What’s thrilling about Abby’s story is that when she discovered she couldn’t join the Peace Corps after graduating from high school because she wasn’t old enough, she just wouldn’t take no for an answer. With her parents’ blessing, she took off on her own for Nicaragua and then Brazil, and with the hard lessons learned from those experiences plus a Harvard business degree , twelve years later she founded Global Citizen Year, a program that sends promising high school graduates into countries such as Guatemala and Senegal for a year of immersion in language, culture, and service. Kids come out transformed, young leaders ready for almost anything. I was so inspired by the spirit of the summit that I decided to launch a new series on citizen diplomacy this year on Here on Earth. Abby made for a grand start.

Monday: Upside: Good News About the World: Using the best available data, sociologist Bradley Wright shows us that things are not as bad as the media make them out to be. In his new book Upside: Surprising Good News About the State of Our World, Wright reveals surprisingly uplifting facts about global poverty, disease, the environment, and sexual morality.

Tuesday: Jerusalem, Jerusalem: In James Carroll's Jerusalem, the city embodies the world’s greatest philosophies, and its worst impulses. It is a city of faith, wracked by war, a city constantly engaged in "a contest of life and death." And yet, it is also a place of hope, resurrection, consolation, and holds the key to understanding world history and reimagining world peace.

Wednesday: 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.

Thursday: TBA:

Friday: TBA:

This is a short week for me as I’ll be heading to Tampa for the American Italian Historical Association’s annual conference on Thursday, but will be back in time to read from the new edition of my book at the Wisconsin Book Festival on Sunday. I hope to see you there!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Programs for the Week of 10/10

We’re heading into the fall pledge drive this week, and , as usual, we’ve put some extra thought into our programming. Expect lighter fare, and lots of uplift!

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): Comics in the Classroom: If you’ve never yet had the pleasure of reading a really good graphic novel, I highly recommend American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang, who must surely have been a wunderkind. (sorry, I don’t know the Chinese for that). I probably wouldn’t have taken the trouble to read it had I not been a whole hour early for a physical therapy appointment yesterday, but think about what I would have missed – the Monkey King, a lesson on the four disciplines of kung-fu, what it’s like to be the only Chinese kid in an American classroom, and what an unexpected joy it is to read a really grown up comic book about kids! I loved it all. And Gene himself is now a grown up whiz kid without the attitude. Great stuff.

Monday: Columbus: When I saw that Laurence Bergreen had written a biography of Columbus, I jumped. The last time I had him on the show he talked about his amazing biography of Al Capone, which prompted Capone’s nephew to call in from somewhere near Al’s old hideout in northern Wisconsin. Bergreen’s biography of Magellan - Over the Edge of the World - kept my husband up in the middle of the night it was so mesmerizing. So my expectations for this one are very high. I don’t care how much has been written about Columbus – Bergreen will make it fresh. Consider this excerpt from a review: While we judge the man for being a plunderer, a harbinger of genocide and a megalomaniac, we see in Bergreen portrayal a man ridden with self doubt, who eventually lost royal backing and died destitute.

Tuesday: On Creativity and Slowing Down: Christian McEwen believes we get our best creative ideas in the most unlikely places-in the bathroom, on vacation, when we're daydreaming or just twiddling our thumbs. Drawing on literary and spiritual thinkers from Henry David Thoreau to Pablo Neruda, she extols the virtues of slowing down, and making time for creativity.

Wednesday: Integrative Medicine Man: Can empathy cure colds? Can art relieve the pain of hospital patients? For the last decade, Dr. David Rakel has been using integrative medicine, combining conventional and alternative medical treatments to transform the lives of his patients, and promote their long-term well-being.

Thursday: Global Citizen Year: An Alternative Peace Corps: Abby Falik was dismayed when she discovered she couldn’t join the Peace Corps after graduating from high school only because she hadn’t yet turned eighteen. So she started a Peace Corps of her own. Because of her, each yea, a corps of graduating seniors defer college to become Global Citizen Year Fellows in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Abby won the attention of the Clinton Foundation for her work.

Friday: Trout Caviar: Recipes from a Northern Forager: You may have heard Brett Laidlaw on a recent episode of Wisconsin Life. This guy’s the real thing: he forages truly wild foods – chanterelles, nettles, berries, and trout fresh from the stream. He lays out the laws for mushroom hunting, curing bacon, laissez-faire gardening, and more. And best of all, he lives in a rural Wisconsin cabin.

I’ll be in Bayfield this Saturday with Jeffrey Potter, WPR Marketing Director. Come on by!


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Programs for the Week of 10/3

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): Time for Outrage!: Stephane Hessel has been around: He was captured by the Germans during the French occupation, he escaped and made his way to London where he teamed up with General de Gaulle and became one of the leaders of the Resistance. He was captured again by the Gestapo, and again escaped, but not before being water boarded three times. At 94, the man is like tempered steel, and his message, captured in 4,000 words that are resounding throughout the world, is that It’s Time for Outrage! Stand up for what you believe in, take to the streets and fight against injustice wherever you find it.

Monday: The Hare With Amber Eyes: When ceramic artist Edmund de Waal inherits a collection of ornamental Japanese carvings known as "netsuke," he becomes drawn to the story behind them, which becomes the story of his family that stretches through the centuries and across several countries.

Tuesday: Is There a Pan-Hispanic Culture? What is la hispanidad?: Half a billion people worldwide, from the United States and Latin America, to Spain and the Philippines, supposedly share a common identity, called la hispanidad. But what is la hispanidad, and how unified is Hispanic culture really? In their new book, Ilan Stavans and Iván Jaksic come up with a flexible understanding of the elusive concept, one that transcends borders and cultures.

Wednesday: Comics in the Classroom: Since its inception in 1933, the modern comic book has drawn the ire of parents, preachers, and teachers. But graphic novelist and teacher, Gene Luen Yang, believes the tradition of pictorial story-telling has deep historical roots and particular relevance in today’s classroom.

Thursday: Pico Iyer on Chucking it All (encore): Have you ever felt the urge to chuck it all, slip out the back door, and start life anew? That's just what the main character does in Finland's best loved novel, "The Year of the Hare" by Arto Paasilinna. Renowned travel writer Pico Iyer, who wrote the forward to the book, did the same thing when he left for Japan many years ago. He joins us to talk about the new North American edition of the book and about the benefits of leaving it all behind. (rebroadcast from 3/15/2011)

Friday: Apple Love: When you're looking to make that killer apple pie, should you opt for Granny Smith or Esopus Spitzenburg, Thomas Jefferson's favorite? Food writer Amy Traverso has written the definitive guide for all things apple, from recipes and preparation tips to history and lore.

Lori Skelton will be filling in my apple pie while I’m on my way to the glorious Bayfield Apple Festival this weekend. Go ahead. Eat it!