Friday, December 23, 2011

Programs for the Week of 12/26

Jean’s Pick of the Week (watch video): The Muslim Jesus: Who knew? And why didn’t we know? The Jesus of the Qur’an and the Hadith is a fascinating figure who points to the Prophet Mohammed in much the same way that John the Baptist points to Jesus. His mother, Maryam, the only woman mentioned by name in the Qur’an, has a chapter all her own, but there is no mention of Joseph. Both traditions share a belief in the Annunciation, the Virgin Birth, the Ascension, the Second Coming and the Day of Judgment. Most Muslims do not believe that Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead, which is, of course, the heart of Christology, but our amazing Muslim scholar, Suleiman Mourad acknowledged that references to both the crucifixion and the resurrection can, in fact, be found in Islamic scriptures, and that their existence had probably been suppressed for polemical reasons. I do believe this was one of our most illuminating Inside Islam programs, however controversial.

Monday: Vikings in the Attic (Encore): 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.

Tuesday: The 99 (Encore): What power do superheroes really have? Naif al-Mutawa believes that they can change the world. That’s why he created The 99: superheroes inspired by the 99 attributes of Allah. Together with The 99, Naif is out to fight radical Islam and Western misconceptions about Islam. Ever since, The 99 have teamed up with Superman to fight for a better world, and President Obama has publicly recognized the importance of Naif’s work.

Wednesday: Time for Outrage! (Encore): Stéphane 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 Resistance...and for discontented citizens to stand up, get outraged and fight back against injustice.

Thursday: Making an Exit (Encore): 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.

Friday: The Golden-Bristled Boar (Encore): 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.

With a limited staff on hand for the holidays, we’ve chosen to repeat some of our favorite 2011 Here on Earth programs for the coming week.

Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Programs for the Week of 12/19

Monday: The Barber Shop in the Tate Museum: When he is not making art, Faisal Abdu Allah runs a men's barbershop/salon. In fact, he even opened a barber's shop in the prestigious Tate museum in London, where he gave haircuts to visitors who ventured to sit in his barber's chair. This unusual performance artist is gutsy and fun, and has a lot to say!

Tuesday: Sea Change: Whales and the Future of our Oceans: Dr. Roger Payne, best known for discovering that Humpback whales sing songs, combines oceanography science with poetry to remind us that our survival hinges on the entire web of life.

Wednesday: The Muslim Jesus: Jesus has a unique role as a divine figure in Islam. He is highly revered and esteemed as a super prophet, on a par with Mohammed, and in certain respects, even above him. Two Islamic scholars join us to talk about how two of the world’s greatest faith traditions differ in their understanding of one of the most important religious figures of all time.

Thursday: The Jewish Annotated New Testament: What would a New Testament edited by Jewish scholars tell us about the Judeo-Christian heritage? Growing up as a secular Jew, Hebrew scholar Amy-Jill Levine remembers being accused of killing Christ even though she knew and loved many of the stories from the New Testament. In an attempt to reconcile the two traditions, she’s now the co-editor of The Jewish Annotated New Testament which places the Christian scriptures in their original Jewish context.

Friday: Christmas in Africa: The pressure of shopping for the "perfect" Christmas tree, finding the "right" presents and serving up a sumptuous feast can drive a person to distraction during the holiday season. Today we'll pause and explore the simple joys of celebrating Christmas the African way.

For a very special variation on The Poetry Circle of the Air, please tune in to our show about the poetry of whales on Tuesday, December 20, when I’ll be making an equally special once-in-a-lifetime announcement. I’d love you to be there.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Programs for the Week of 12/12

Jean’s Pick of the Week: World Peace and Other Fourth Grade Achievements: I was very happy with our choice of topic for Pearl Harbor Day: John Hunter, the creator of The World Peace Game, is not only a visionary teacher, he’s a great man. Those fourth grade students who get plunged into the complex matrix of The World Peace Game under his expert non-guidance, are lucky indeed. They emerge from his classroom as ready-made world citizens, and that’s a benefit to all of us.

Monday: The Feminine Divine: December 12 is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and we’ve found the perfect guest to talk about the importance of the icon throughout Mexico and elsewhere. Nineteen years after the publishing sensation of Women Who Run With the Wolves, Jungian feminist Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés discusses the rise of the divine feminine and liberates the traditional image of the Blessed Mother in her new book, Untie the Strong Woman.

Tuesday: Christmas Music from The Rose Ensemble: If you’re planning on tuning out our one-day pledge drive, think again, because you’re in for a treat. The Rose Ensemble, one of the most renowned early music choirs in the country, sings Christmas music from three distinct traditions. It’s gorgeous stuff, guaranteed to bring you joy and lift your spirits.

Wednesday: Russia, America, and the Nutcracker: What do the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Mouse King, Gingerbread Soldiers and a Nutcracker-prince have in common with Tsarist Russia? How did a failed ballet come to represent all that is magical about the holiday season? And, how is the fate of kings, courts and states bound up with something as ethereal as ballet?

Thursday: Kingdom under Glass:

Friday: From the Jewish Heartland: Baklava studded with cranberries, turnovers made with sweet cherries from Michigan, rich Chicago cheesecakes, savory gefilte fish pounded out from Minnesota northern pike: immigrant Jews recreated the foods of their homelands working with what they found at hand.

As the winter solstice draws closer, we need each other more and more. Thank you for all your support throughout the year, but especially at this time.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Programs for the Week of 12/5

Jean’s Pick of the Week: The Pirates of Somalia: It’s true that it’s hard to break into journalism these days, so you have to admire a young man who’s been living in his parents’ basement in Chicago, writing boring market reports, who one day says, “What the hell,” and takes off for Puntland in a dilapidated Russian Avatar where he chews khat with Somali pirates and writes a book about them. Jay Bahadur’s hutzbah paid off big time.

Monday: Uncovering Hemingway's Cuba Archives: Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, IL, but found his true home in Cuba, where he wrote some of his greatest works. Fifty years after his death, his publisher’s granddaughter embarked on a quest to find Hemingway’s lost papers, leading to an unprecedented collaboration between Cuba and the United States to preserve a trove of never-before-seen letters and documents.

Tuesday: Why the West Rules - For Now: Few historians have been so bold as to try and answer the big questions of why and how the West came to dominate the world. Stanford historian, Dr. Ian Morris does just that, and then goes one step further, predicting what the next century will bring.

Wednesday: World Peace and Other Fourth Grade Achievements: They face war, economic meltdowns, border disputes, ethnic strife, and the devastating effects of global warming, while trying to keep cool heads and guide their countries to peace, stability, and prosperity. And they are only in the fourth grade. John Hunter teaches children how to make peace, but can the lessons fourth-graders have to teach us really be learned?

Thursday: Is Burma Finally on a Path Toward Democracy?: Are Burma’s leaders serious about political reform? More than a decade after the military junta declared martial law, changed the country’s name to Myanmar, and killed thousands in pro-democracy crack-downs, is it finally loosening its strangle-hold?

Friday: From the Jewish Heartland: Baklava studded with cranberries, turnovers made with sweet cherries from Michigan, rich Chicago cheesecakes, savory gefilte fish pounded out from Minnesota northern pike: immigrant Jews recreated the foods of their homelands working with what they found at hand.

It’s December, my favorite month, the season of both darkness and light. Come enjoy it with us!