Monday's Show

Religion and the Brain

Researcher Jeffrey Anderson says Karl Marx wasn’t far off when he likened religion to opium. Anderson is a neuroradiologist at the University of Utah, and he’s been studying how the brain reacts to religious experiences. What he’s found is that religion works like love, gambling, drugs, and music: they all light up the brain’s reward center. He’ll join us Monday. We’ll also talk to science journalist Erik Vance, whose cover article for this month’s National Geographic looks at faith and healing.
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The Nutcracker

Dec 2, 2016
Luke Isley, Courtesy Ballet West

The dance scholar Jennifer Fisher says that The Nutcracker, at least in North America, has become as "regular as clockwork." Some may find it cliche and for some it may be obligatory. But Fisher argues that Tchaikovsky's piece is one of the most powerful traditions in the world of ballet and that it tells us a lot about the values we share. Friday, Doug talks to Fisher and Ballet West CEO and Artistic Director Adam Sklute about The Nutcracker and the place it holds in our culture. (Rebroadcast)

Leah Hogsten | Salt Lake Tribune

Salt Lake City resident Pierre-Richard Prosper is the son of Haitian immigrants, a former district attorney in Los Angeles at the height of the gang violence there, and he was the lead prosecutor in the first trial for genocide and rape as war crimes. Those are just a few of his stories, but in many ways they’ve shaped his view of the world. Prosper believes deeply in the law’s ability to right wrongs that we could have prevented in the first place. He joins us Thursday to talk about his fascinating life.

Casanova

Nov 30, 2016
Courtesy of personal collection / Bridgeman Images

The name Casanova is synonymous with seduction and sexuality. And while biographer Laurence Bergreen says that Giacomo Casanova’s favorite place was a brothel, it might surprise you that his second favorite was a library. The 18th century Venetian was born in poverty. He was intent on working up the social ladder though and saw sex as both pleasure and a “weapon of class destruction.” Thursday, Bergreen joins Doug to talk about Casanova’s writing and philosophy … as well as his 120+ lovers.

American Heiress

Nov 29, 2016

Tuesday, our guest is author Jeffrey Toobin, who’s written a book about the 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst. Hearst was 19 and heir to her family’s fortune when the “Symbionese Liberation Army” took her, and it soon seemed that she had adopted their incoherent, revolutionary cause. We’ll explore the controversy over Hearst’s involvement in their crimes, the atmosphere that gave birth to the SLA, and why Toobin says the story sheds light on a time when America was on the brink of a nervous breakdown. (Rebroadcast)

Vszybala via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/2fCvqsa

Lions were once feared as the king of jungle. But their influence on the world and in nature now pales in comparison to the diminutive, purring, and demanding house cat. In a new book, the journalist Abigail Tucker, investigates the natural and cultural history of house cats. Despite their ubiquity in modern life, she says, we know very little about what cats are, how they came to live among us, and why we love these furry freeloaders. Tucker joins us Monday to talk about the lions in our living rooms.

Modern American manners leave much to be desired. People answer their cell phones in the middle of meals, they shush loudly in movie theaters and even clip their toenails on the train. Henry Alford wanted to learn a little more about 21st century etiquette, so he went to Japan, AKA the Fort Knox of good manners, interviewed etiquette experts and even played a game called "Touch the Waiter." Friday, Doug talks with Alford about how we behave and how we could behave better. (Rebroadcast)

Courtesy of Kristen Oney / Plimoth Plantation

In a documentary for the PBS series American Experience, filmmaker Ric Burns tells the tale of a small group of extreme people whom history and myth record as the founders of a new nation. The Pilgrims faced countless challenges when they came to the New World in 1620. The fact of their survival and success is not only commemorated every November, it also exists in the very myth of America’s origins. Thanksgiving Day, we're rebroadcasting our conversation with Burns to winnow fact from fiction about the Pilgrims. (Rebroadcast)

Nowadays, there are all kinds of devices to help us find our way through the world. But before all that stuff, before even cartography, humankind was navigating with nature as the guide. The adventurer Tristan Gooley is committed to recovering and teaching the lost arts natural navigation. Rocks, trees, grass, ducks, puddles, clouds, and the wind are all compass hands to him. Gooley joins us Wednesday to share what he’s learned about natural navigation and the joys of learning nature’s subtle signs.

19th century Utah photographer Charles Ellis Johnson was a son-in-law of Brigham Young with access to the state’s elite. He trained his camera on the LDS Temple and leaders like the prophet Wilford Woodruff. So what should we make of his brisk mail-order business of “spicy girls”? Art historian Mary Campbell says at a time when most Americans thought of the Saints in terms of the “barbarity” of polygamy, Johnson’s erotic photography helped make Mormons mainstream. Tuesday, she joins us to explain.

A few years ago, Paul Tough wrote a book about research showing that character traits like grit, self-control, and optimism are critical to a child’s success. Tough’s latest book builds on that research by explaining how to put it into practice. He argues that a child’s home and school environments are the principle barriers to his or her success. Improve the environment, Tough says, and you can improve the child. He joins us Monday to explain his theory of helping children succeed. (Rebroadcast)

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Radio Hour with Plan-B Theatre

December 8, RadioWest and Plan-B Theatre deliver two family friendly holiday tales with THE GIFT OF THE MAGI and THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL. Then, slip in your earbuds for anti-Claus THE BLACK KNIGHT.

Calendar of Events

Heard it on RadioWest

RadioWest interviews many guests who have events in and around the state or in cyberspace. Trying to plan your month? Here's your guide to the lectures, screenings and other happenings you've heard on the show.
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Utah Profiles

Utah is full of characters that make our state a vibrant home. Here's a collection of conversations we've had with some of these passionate and thoughtful people.

VideoWest

Building a Language

Trent Pehrson lives in American Fork with his wife and 8 children. As a child, he started creating his own language, "Idrani." Language, he says, is the world we build inside of our own mind.

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LDS Topics

Conversations on LDS faith, history and culture

Local Music Series

There's a young vibrant music scene in Utah. RadioWest brings some of the newest and best bands into the studio to talk about and to play their music live.

About RadioWest

Listen weekdays at 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. MT on KUER 90.1. Join us at 801-585-WEST or radiowest@kuer.org