Monday, the writer Hampton Sides joins us to talk about his new book, an epic survival tale in the world’s most unforgiving region. In the late 19th century, theories abounded about what lay at the North Pole, with one cartographer speculating that warm ocean currents sustained a verdant Arctic island. Bankrolled by a wealthy newspaper magnate, the U.S.S. Jeanette set sail to discover what was on top of the world. The resulting tale involves madness, starvation, and a desperate fight for life.
Greek yogurt. Chia seeds. Croissant-donut hydbrids. Natural, organic, farm-fresh, bacon-flavored everything! The list of food trends is ever-changing and seemingly knows no end. According to the writer David Sax, whether or not you personally pay much attention to these trends, they reach into every nook and cranny of our culture. Sax has written a book about our evolving tastes. He joins us Friday to explore where food trends come from, how they grow, and where they end up. (Rebroadcast)
Like most middle-class American parents, Hanna Rosin pays a lot of attention to her children. But it hasn’t always been that way. Just a generation ago, kids enjoyed immense freedom from adult supervision. Rosin says that today's kids are under perpetual surveillance. In an article in The Atlantic magazine, she investigated why Americans are so protective of their children. Thursday, we're rebroadcasting our conversation with Rosin about how our obsession with child safety has stripped childhood of independence and the joys of discovery. [Rebroadcast]
Wednesday, we’re talking about Bram Stoker’s classic 1897 novel “Dracula.” Historian Jim Steinmeyer says it wasn’t just folk legends that inspired Stoker’s creation. His book drew from popular theater of the day, from literary contemporaries like Walt Whitman and Oscar Wilde, and even real-life headlines of Jack the Ripper. Steinmeyer joins Doug to talk about the monster Stoker made, and why Dracula remains an undead icon today.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about religious freedom, and it seems to have intensified as gay marriages have become legal in many states. Sen Orrin Hatch calls judges “uniformly hostile to religion.” Pundits see Sen Ted Cruz building a presidential campaign on the idea that religious liberty has “never been in more peril.” But the researcher and activist Jay Michaelson says this is a political strategy to marshal allies in the ongoing culture wars. He’ll join us to dissect what he sees as a “covert campaign against civil rights.”
The Rocky Mountains have always posed a forbidding obstacle for travelers, but there’s one place where "God ran out of mountains," and passage is relatively easy. For generations, Indians, fur traders, missionaries, and explorers moved through South Pass, a treeless valley in southwestern Wyoming. It’s a place rich with history and extraordinary tales, and it's the focus of historian Will Bagley's latest book. He joins us to explain how South Pass figured in the development of the American West. (Rebroadcast)
Religion scholar Candida Moss began thinking about Christian martyrs when she heard a sermon comparing the plight of today's believers to that of the early church. But when she started exploring what early Christians really endured, she learned that these stories of victimization had been exaggerated and even invented to inspire the faithful. Friday, Moss joins Doug to talk about what she calls the myth of persecution and how those stories continue to create the "us vs them" mindset of today. (Rebroadcast)
RadioWest and Plan-B Theatre return our radio drama series to the Halloween season with this year's Radio Hour Episode 9: Grimm. Playwright Matthew Ivan Bennett has adapted three beloved Grimm Brother stories to their original, dark tellings: Little Snow-White, Rapunzel, and The Juniper Tree. We'll broadcast the performance live at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, and we'll air it again Thursday at 11:00 a.m.
If you always use GPS to navigate your destination, do you ever learn where you are? If spellcheck keeps you from making mistakes, do you eventually forget how to spell? Nicholas Carr says automation is a fine tool, but we have to be careful about what we concede to computers. Carr is speaking at the Utah Humanities Book Festival this week, and Tuesday, he joins Doug to explain how giving up our decision making means giving up something essential to being human.
Monday, University of Utah President David Pershing joins us to continue our conversation about sexual assault on college campuses. We'll ask him how he's thinking about the issue as both leader of Utah's largest public university and as a father. We'll then talk to journalist Robin Wilson and Westminster College's General Counsel Melissa Flores to discuss how it is that universities became responsible for handling assault cases and what new federal regulations mean for the way institutions protect their students.