Monday's Show

Tim Hetherington, http://www.timhetheringtontrust.org/

Sebastian Junger on Conflict and Coming Together

The journalist Sebastian Junger has noticed that for many veterans, and even some civilians, war feels better than peace, and he has a theory about why that might be. War, he says, compels us to band together and support one another in pursuit of a clear goal. But under the normal conditions of modern culture, we lose those connections, and we feel lonely and lost. Monday, we're rebroadcasting a conversation with Junger about why we’re stronger when we come together and what tribal societies can teach us about leading meaningful lives. (Rebroadcast)

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Being a Beast

Dec 16, 2016
Henry Holt & Co.

Charles Foster wanted to know what it was like to be a beast. What it was really like. So he tried it out. He slept in a dirt hole and ate earthworms like a badger. He chased shrimp like an otter. He spent hours rooting in trash cans like an urban fox. A passionate naturalist, Foster came to realize that every creature creates a different world in its brain and lives in that world. He joins us to talk about his experiment and the values of wildness, both outside us and within us. (Rebroadcast)

Words on the Move

Dec 15, 2016
Tama Leaver via CC/Flickr http://bit.ly/1mhaR6e, http://bit.ly/2gMBl1m

If you’re worried that the word “literally” now means “figuratively,” or if you fret that acronyms are replacing actual words, today’s show will do one of two things: make you pull out your hair, or it’ll change your mind. The linguist John McWhorter says that changes to the English language are nothing new. Language, he says, isn’t some static thing that just is, “it’s actually something always becoming.” McWhorter will join us to discuss how languages evolve and why we should embrace the changes.

Best Music of 2016

Dec 14, 2016
Sur Name, via Flickr/CC http://bit.ly/2huquIt, http://bit.ly/1mhaR6e

NPR music critic Bob Boilen says 2016 was a year of surprises—good and bad. It started in January with the unexpected release of a new David Bowie album. Two days later, Bowie was dead. That loss, and many others, was bookended by a terrific new record by Leonard Cohen, who then also passed away. Both are in Boilen’s list of the top 10 albums of 2016, which includes debutants, hidden gems, and another elder statesman. Boilen joins us Wednesday to talk about his picks for the best music of the year.

Eleanor and Hick

Dec 13, 2016

Tuesday, we’re telling the story of the unconventional relationship that deeply influenced Eleanor Roosevelt. When FDR entered the White House in 1932, Eleanor feared her independent life would take a back seat to the ceremonial role of first lady. But on the campaign trail she had met Lorena Hickok, a feisty reporter who would become her advisor, confidante, and lover. Biographer Susan Quinn joins Doug to explain how Eleanor and “Hick” used their bond to better depression-ravaged America.

Austen Diamond, https://goo.gl/5VyVXA

Monday, we’re talking about the system of laws that control the sale of alcohol in Utah, including the infamous “Zion Curtain” regulation that’s been getting lots of attention lately. Proponents argue that these laws are crucial to protecting public health and safety, and that they provide safe spaces for the state’s teetotalers. The other side claims the laws are based on flimsy logic and harm Utah economically. They also contend the state monopoly on liquor distribution needs to be dissolved.

 

Niccolò Machiavelli lived hundreds of years ago, and though he was a gifted political strategist, he knew nothing about democratic republics. So the scholar Maurizio Viroli recognizes that it’s a bit extravagant to consult a 15th-century Florentine for electoral advice in 21st-century America. But Machiavelli, Viroli says, remains the most competent, honest and disinterested political counselor we could ask for. Viroli joins us to examine what Machiavelli can teach us about choosing leaders. (Rebroadcast)

Radio Hour Episode 11: Yuletide

Dec 8, 2016
Public Domain

RadioWest and Plan-B Theatre Company return with Radio Hour Episode 11. This year's radio drama takes on the holidays, with three stories adapted by local playwright Matthew Ivan Bennett. The first two are family-friendly classics: "The Little Match Girl" and "The Gift of the Magi." The last one though is a French Christmas legend about Hans Trapp, an anti-Santa character who cooks and eats the children who are naughty. It's called "The Black Knight."

Whether the holidays mean sitting at home next to a fireplace or travelling in a cramped airplane, our guests on Wednesday have the perfect literary companion for anyone on your gift list. Catherine Weller of Weller Book Works, Betsy Burton of The King's English, and Ken Sanders of Ken Sanders Rare Books join Doug to suggest fiction and nonfiction that will fit neatly under the tree for both children and adults.

Tuesday, we continue our Through the Lens series with a poetic and provocative documentary film about terraforming. That’s the idea of altering another planet and making it suitable for life. Director Ian Cheney’s film “Bluespace” is a kind of thought experiment, asking what it would take to reshape Mars in Earth’s image. In the end, it’s less about the red planet than it is about our own very blue planet. As Cheney says, “The more you study other worlds, the more we come to understand our own.”

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.

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Tuesday's Show

Artondra Hall via CC/Flickr, http://goo.gl/qVxgS4, http://goo.gl/sZ7V7x

Biblical Literalism

Retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong presents a provocative idea in his latest book. Reading the Bible literally, he says, is heresy. He bases his argument on a close reading of the Gospel of Matthew, which he argues was written by Jews for Jews. Spong says the gospel was not written as a literal account of Christ’s life, but rather as an interpretative portrait of God’s love. Spong joins us to talk about biblical literalism and his uniquely progressive approach to Christianity. (Rebroadcast)

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Through the Lens Free Screening

Tower

Join RadioWest and the Utah Film Center on January 17 for a screening of the documentary TOWER. It tells the story of the first mass school shooting in America through the people who were there.

On the Move

We've Moved to 9:00 a.m.

With Diane Rehm’s retirement, RadioWest has moved from 11 a.m. to 9 a.m. beginning. Of course, you'll still be able to catch us at 7 p.m. and on the podcast.

VideoWest

Jetty

Join us for an encounter with Robert Smithson's monumental work, his exploration of space, and Smithson's own meditation on Spiral Jetty.

Utah Profiles

Utah is full of characters that make our state a vibrant home. Here's a collection of conversations we've had with some of these passionate and thoughtful people.

Connect With Us

Find RadioWest and KUER on your preferred social media platform. Share your own thoughts and find photos, info on upcoming events, behind the scenes details and more.

LDS Topics

Conversations on LDS faith, history and culture

Local Music Series

There's a young vibrant music scene in Utah. RadioWest brings some of the newest and best bands into the studio to talk about and to play their music live.

About RadioWest

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