Wednesday's Show

Courtesy Steven Barclay Agency

A Conversation with Michael Pollan

Food and nature writer Michael Pollan says his literary heroes led him astray when he first planted a garden. Theoreau and Emerson had taught him that wilderness is the ultimate form of nature. So, he skipped the fence, only to find himself in a gruesome battle with a woodchuck over the vegetables. Pollan is coming to Utah, and Wednesday, he joins Doug to talk about practical relationships with nature, his journey as a writer about food culture, and his latest interest, psychedelic consciousness.

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U.S. Department of the Interior, CC BY-SA 2.0

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke submitted a report to the White House over the weekend recommending Bears Ears National Monument be shrunk. While there are places there he thinks should be protected by the Antiquities Act, Zinke says the boundaries should be revised. He also suggests congress consider different conservation plans for the area, re-examine wilderness designations, and approve co-management by Native American tribes. Tuesday, we’re talking about what all this means for the future of Bears Ears.

Memory's Last Breath

Jun 12, 2017

In 2010, Gerda Saunders learned that she has dementia. She was 61 years old at the time, and soon had to leave her post teaching at the University of Utah. So Gerda started writing what she calls her field notes on dementia. The result is a new memoir due out this week. We’ve been following Gerda over the last year with a series of short films documenting her journey, and Monday, Doug sits down to talk to her about her book. It’s called Memory’s Last Breath.

In her latest book, media analyst Brooke Gladstone tries to understand the current landscape of “fact” and “truth” in the United States. Facts, she says are crucial for negotiation and compromise in a democracy. Truth, though, is subjective. So how have we reached a point where reality is so fractured? Gladstone joins Doug to talk about lies, the Trump administration, journalism, and why we all need to know more about each other's truth.

Greg Westfall (cropped), via CC/Flickr, https://goo.gl/GWoald

 

For years, Daniel Kunitz lived the life of the mind. His body though “became a trash depot.” Then he started running, which led to swimming, weightlifting, and eventually CrossFit. His health and his life steadily improved. Kunitz’s personal quest got him wondering how fitness culture has changed through the years. Why were the Greeks so buff? Why do guys do dumbbell curls? How have women changed exercise as we know it? Kunitz joins us to share what he’s learned about the evolution of fitness. (Rebroadcast at 7 p.m. MDT)

2017 Summer Reading

Jun 7, 2017

There are a couple of book trends this year that may not come as a surprise: politics is hot and the New Yorker recently declared this a “golden age” for dystopian fiction. Wednesday, we’re gathering Utah booksellers Ken Sanders of Ken Sanders Rare Books, Catherine Weller of Weller Book Works, and Betsy Burton of The King’s English with their recommendations. But it is a summer reading list, so we’ll temper some of that pessimism with poetry and mysteries, children’s books and more.

The Nature Fix

Jun 6, 2017
Mark Stevens via CC BY-NC-SA 2.0/Flickr http://bit.ly/1hYHpKw

 

For centuries, great minds like Beethoven, Tesla, and Einstein have extolled the benefits of the outdoors. But these days, our lives are increasingly lived indoors and onscreen. Wondering if we could all use some more exposure to the natural world, the writer Florence Williams set out to explore the science of “our deep, cranial connection to natural landscapes.” She’ll join us to discuss how nature can make us healthier, happier, and more creative. [Rebroadcast]

American Nations

Jun 5, 2017
Used with permission: Colin Woodard and Tufts University

You don’t need to be a scholar or veteran political observer to see that America is divided, but journalist and historian Colin Woodard says this is really nothing new. Woodard argues that America has always been divided, because we’re actually eleven distinct regional nations, with different cultures and ideas about how the world works. He joins us Monday to explain the historic roots of these nations, and how that past is still influencing the country today. (Rebroadcast)

Public domain

 

If you’ve ever seen paintings by the 15th-century Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch, such as The Garden of Earthly Delights, you’ve probably wondered what they mean and what kind of person could have imagined such fanciful scenes. Problem is, we know very little about Bosch’s personal story. That leaves the paintings, which present their own puzzles. Art historian Gary Schwartz will join us to discuss the fearless artist’s life and his inventive art. (Rebroadcast)

Pinpoint

Jun 1, 2017

Even if you didn’t use GPS to find your way around town today, there’s every chance it touched your life. The Global Positioning System is now integrated into almost every part of modern existence. It helps land planes, route cell phone calls, predict the weather, grow food, and regulate global finance. Our guest, Greg Milner, has written a book that traces the history of GPS. He also examines the frightening costs of our growing dependence on it. (Rebroadcast)

Matthew D. LaPlante, For the Deseret News

The homicide rate in El Salvador is 20 times higher than it is in the U.S., and nearly 5% of Salvadorans fled their county because of violence in 2016. Utah journalist Matthew LaPlante recently went to El Salvador to try and understand the impact of this on the nation’s children, and the desperation of many families to get their kids out. Wednesday, he joins us to talk about what he learned about life and survival in one of the world’s most dangerous places, and the risks of sending kids north.

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Short Film

Gerda: Dementia Field Notes

Gerda Saunders has a fabulous sense of style, but she also has a progressive form of dementia. So will the effort she puts into her appearance be worth it once she can no longer manage it herself?

Calendar of Events

Heard it on RadioWest

A guide to the lectures, screenings and other happenings you've heard on the show.

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LDS Topics

Conversations on LDS faith, history and culture

About RadioWest

Listen weekdays at 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. MT on KUER 90.1