In the story Dr. Robert Lustig tells about the world's obesity pandemic, the villain is sugar, which is likely the main ingredient in all the candy passed out Halloween night -- sorry for the buzzkill. Lustig contends that sugar, specifically fructose sugar, is a poison that has altered our bodies and made us very sick. Friday we're rebroadcasting our conversation with Lustig about how the collision of science, politics, and history surrounding sugar has created a perfect storm for poor health. [Rebroadcast]
Thursday, our guests are political scientists David Campbell and Quin Monson, co-authors of a new book that explains Mormons’ place in the American political landscape. Some facts they outline won’t come as a shock, like that Mormons are primarily conservative. But there are surprises in the research. For instance, there are more Republican LDS Church members than ever before, and the numbers seem to be growing. We’ll talk about what makes Mormons tick politically, how America responds, and what it teaches us about faith and politics.
Jason DaSilva was 25 when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. As a filmmaker, he eventually decided to try and make sense of the disease through his art form. So, he set out to capture what he calls the transformative experience of becoming disabled. DaSilva let the camera run as he dealt with his loss of vision, muscle control, and many other complications. Next week, we’re screening When I Walk as part of the Through the Lens documentary series. Wednesday, DaSilva joins us to talk about it.
A study released last week declared Utah the “worst state for women.” According to the business media website 24/7 Wall St., women in Utah earn significantly lower wages than their male counterparts, hold relatively few management positions in business, and make up a very small percentage of our state legislature. Tuesday, we’re assembling a panelist of female guests to discuss whether the study accurately reflects life on the ground for Utah’s women, and we hope to hear from our listeners, too.
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)