Monday's Show

Public domain

The History and Power of the Swastika

The swastika. Few symbols, few words even, evoke such visceral reactions in the Western world. It stands for genocide and hatred. But it wasn’t always that way. For centuries it symbolized good fortune, success, and well-being. It held deep religious and spiritual meaning for people around the world. Graphic designer Steven Heller has long been fascinated by the swastika, and he joins us Monday to discuss its power and history. Can it ever be seen in its original context again?

Read More
<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/a_sorense/3489209778/">Andrew Sorensen</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

The “Star-Spangled Banner” is a song about war and resolve that began life as a drinking tune. We sing it all the time, but often struggle to sing it correctly.  Even professional musicians sometimes butcher our anthem. In a time of uncertainty about national unity, the anthem is one of the few things that can get thousands of Americans to stand up as one.  Guest host Matthew LaPlante looks at the song's complicated history and how it stacks up against other national anthems.

Thursday, We're talking about the life and career of Robert Redford. Biographer Michael Feeney Callan says he became interested in Redford because the actor is more than just a pop icon. As much as he's recognized for his legendary film roles, he is also known for his environmental activism and his impact on filmmaking through The Sundance Institute. But for all that, Redford has remained an enigmatic figure. Callan joins us to talk about the man he came to know in 15 years of writing "Robert Redford." (Rebroadcast)

Tuesday, Doug talks to the scholar Nadja Durbach about the age of the freak show. She's written a book that examines the era when so called "freaks of nature" were marketed and displayed for paying customers - figures like The Elephant Man and Laloo the "Double-Bodied Hindoo Boy." Durbach's interest goes beyond the questions of taste and exploitation. She found that these displays revealed something deeper about body differences and the idea of otherness. (Rebroadcast)

Among the Truthers

Sep 12, 2011

Journalist Jonathan Kay says that a vast conspiracist subculture is spreading like wildfire through North America. Kay spent two years trying to understand the people who adhere to incredible theories on everything from 9/11 and Barack Obama's birth to vaccines. Monday, he joins Doug to explain what he's learned about these "truthers," and why they may be doing real damage to the unity and health of our society. (Rebroadcast)

Endgame

Sep 9, 2011

Friday on RadioWest we're talking about the eccentric chess genius Bobby Fischer. Frank Brady is our guest; he knew Fischer and has written a biography that explores his life. In 1972 at the height of the cold war, Bobby Fischer became the world chess champion by defeating the Soviet Boris Spassky. His success created a phenomenon. He became a superstar. but then he practically disappeared. His life came to be dominated by paranoia and fanatacism. The book is called "Endgame". (Rebroadcast)

Beethoven's Ninth

Sep 8, 2011

This Friday and Saturday, the Utah Symphony will perform an Beethoven Ninth Symphony under the direction of Maestro Thierry Fischer. We're taking the opportunity to rebroadcast our conversation on the story behind the most famous piece of classical music in Western culture. Our guest is the Harvard professor Thomas Forrest Kelly - who says that to appreciate the Ninth Symphony, you have to hear it the way audiences did when it was first performed in Vienna, in 1824.  (Rebroadcast)

Packing for Mars

Sep 7, 2011
<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dotpolka/86705778/">dotpolka</a>/<a href=" http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Popular science writer Mary Roach says that when planning a space mission, everything that's taken for granted on Earth has to be "rethought, relearned and rehearsed." After all, flying a flag with no wind or managing to urinate in zero gravity is no easy feat. Roach's latest book is called "Packing for Mars," and she joins Doug for a look at space exploration and what it teaches us about being human. (Rebroadcast)

Tuesday on RadioWest the historian Will Bagley is with us to talk about his epic quest to chronicle the westward migration of American settlers. Bagley's book tells the story of the Overland Trails that brought more than half a million Americans to the far West of Oregon and California. It's the story of families and fortune hunters and the effect that all of it had the native people who for centuries had already been calling the West home. (Rebroadcast)

Farm City

Sep 5, 2011

Monday, we're talking about urban farming with the writer Novella Carpenter. Carpenter sometimes hears from people that they're moving to the country to farm. She said the problem is you get great food, but you don't have anyone to share it with. Carpenter wanted to farm and stay in her community - a very urban neighborhood in Oakland, California. Novella Carpenter joins Doug to talk about her book "Farm City." (Rebroadcast)

Painter Douglas Snow

Sep 1, 2011
V. Douglas Snow, Cockscomb Near Teasdale, 1985, courtesy the Springville Museum of Art collection, 1989.069

Most of us know the paintings of the artist Douglas Snow through his public installations - at the airport and the lobby of the Pioneer Theatre. His pieces are often shocking when you first come upon them and they prompt a strong reaction. That reaction must have delighted Snow, who never created his works to simply blend in. Doug Snow died in 2009 and a retrospective of his work has just opened in Salt Lake City. Friday, we're rebroadcasting our conversation with him about his connection to place. (Rebroadcast)

Pages

RadioWest Films

A diagnosis, and healing in Utah's mountain rivers.

Tuesday's Show

If Our Bodies Could Talk

We all want to make good health decisions, but every day a new study comes out that seems to change the game. Fat’s bad for you; then it’s good. Count calories. Don’t. Add in all the marketing and news media, and it’s hard to tell the good stuff from the snake oil. James Hamblin is a doctor-turned-journalist, and in his writing for The Atlantic magazine he wades through the noise to find the signal. He joins us Tuesday to help us better understand how to listen to and take care of our bodies.

Read More

LDS Topics

Conversations on LDS faith, history and culture

From the Archive

RadioWest and the Bard

Are you a fan of Shakespeare? We have to confess that we are too. Here's a collection of some of our conversations about the Bard.

About RadioWest

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