The dance scholar Jennifer Fisher says that The Nutcracker, at least in North America, has become as "regular as clockwork." Some may find it cliche and for some it may be obligatory. But Fisher argues that Tchaikovsky's piece is one of the most powerful traditions in the world of ballet and that it tells us a lot about the values we share. Friday, Doug talks to Fisher and Ballet West CEO and Artistic Director Adam Sklute about The Nutcracker and the place it holds in our culture. (Rebroadcast)
Researcher Jeffrey Anderson says Karl Marx wasn’t far off when he likened religion to opium. Anderson is a neuroradiologist at the University of Utah, and he’s been studying how the brain reacts to religious experiences. What he’s found is that religion works like love, gambling, drugs, and music: they all light up the brain’s reward center. He’ll join us Monday. We’ll also talk to science journalist Erik Vance, whose cover article for this month’s National Geographic looks at faith and healing.