A Utah woman was recently the first person in the country charged for violating a so-called ag-gag law. The ordinances are aimed at preventing undercover activists and journalists from documenting illegal and questionable treatment of farm animals. Those who favor the laws say they protect the privacy of farmers and ranchers. To detractors, ag-gag laws remove a vital protection for animals and even threaten free speech. We'll hear from both sides of the issue on Monday.
Few questions could ever be as vexing or confounding: why is there something instead of nothing? Faced with that inquiry, most people would just shrug their shoulders. The writer and reporter Jim Holt took a much different approach. He went on an epic journey to uncover past and present attempts to tackle the biggest of questions, and to find out if we’re just a few Einsteins short of getting our origins straight. Holt joins us to help us wrap our minds around an infamously knotty concept. (Rebroadcast)
Thursday on RadioWest, we continue our Local Music series with singer-songwriter Joshua James. A Nebraska native, James found both his musical inspiration and his urban-homestead-on-the-range when he moved to Utah a decade ago. He’s since released a number of critically-acclaimed records that showcase his vibrant sonic palette, incredible vocal range and diverse musical inspirations. James’ folksy indie Americana tunes are drawn from his life on the farm, where birth, growth, death, decay and harvest all tell their own stories.
Last week, Elizabeth Smart spoke at a human trafficking forum about her 9 months as a kidnap and sexual assault victim. She said one reason she didn't run away was a story she remembered that equated a girl that had sex to a chewed stick of gum that no one would want. It's an object lesson on purity that many LDS women recognize and it's sparked a conversation on the language we use to discuss chastity, sex and a woman's worth. Wednesday, Doug is joined by Mormon writer Joanna Brooks and others to talk about it and we hope to hear from you as well.
Tuesday, we're talking to the writer Cheryl Strayed about her memoir Wild. Strayed was 22 years old when her mother died of cancer, and she says the loss brought her to a "most savage self." Her marriage was falling apart, she was sleeping with other men and was using heroin. She needed healing, and she found it on a grueling, 1100-mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. Strayed joins Doug to talk about facing her demons and finding her way back. (Rebroadcast)
Monday, Doug’s guest is journalist Jeff Chu, author of the book “Does Jesus Really Love Me?” Chu calls himself a gay Christian. He was raised deeply Baptist and it was the commandment, “Thou shalt not lie,” that encouraged him to come out of the closet. Chu wanted to understand the complicated relationship between faith and sexuality, so he spent a year interviewing more than 300 people around the US – straight, gay and in-between. He joins us to explain why he says we’re a county that wants to love, but is conflicted about how to do so.
Dave Madden has never gone hunting. He's never mounted an elk hide on a plaster cast of a trophy bull. And yet, he's fascinated by taxidermy. His fascination began with his love of museum habitat dioramas, those fake frozen scenes of "nature," and it grew into a new book about taxidermy that explores the obscure subculture, as well as human relationships with animals, hunting, death and, in a sense, the after-life. Madden joins Doug to talk about his book, The Authentic Animal. (Rebroadcast)
On their surfaces, the morning network TV shows are all smiles and perkiness. But behind the sets, there’s a cutthroat competition for the best guests and the most viewers, not to mention hundreds of millions of dollars in ad revenue. New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter went backstage at the morning shows to capture that reality for his first book. It’s an inside look at a media phenomenon Stelter admits many people dismiss as fluff: it also happens to be incredibly big business. Stelter joins us Thursday to talk about it.
Fire, water, air, and earth – these are the classical elements of cooking. According to food journalist Michael Pollan, they help us transform stuff from the natural world into delicious food and drink. But increasingly, cooking isn't done in the home; it’s done by corporations and restaurants, and that’s disconnecting us from the very idea of food and how we eat it. Pollan joins us Wednesday with his newest book, Cooked, to explore how this trend affects our planet, our culture, our food, and our health.
In the early 1980s, Utah anthropologist Kevin Jones was part of a team studying the Aché Indians in eastern Paraguay. The Aché lived as hunter-gatherers until competition for their forests abruptly pushed them from the Stone Age to the 20th century. The shock, Jones says, was unimaginable. Kevin Jones wanted to share their story with an audience beyond his academic community and the result is his first novel. Tuesday, he joins Doug to talk about "The Shrinking Jungle" and to explain what he learned about all of us from some of the last hunter-gatherers.