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Sundance 2015: Finders Keepers

Shannon Whisnant has a nose for a bargain. But when he bought a used grill at a North Carolina auction, the severed human leg he found inside was not part of the deal. The leg belonged to John Wood, and his connection to it was as emotional as it was personal. Their battle over possession of the leg is profiled in a hysterical and insightful documentary film called Finders Keepers. Directors Bryan Carberry and Clay Tweel join us Friday as we warp up our coverage of the Sundance Film Festival.
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Jaimie Marie via CC/Flickr

Did you go to “high skull” instead of “high school?” Maybe you put “melk” in your coffee instead of “milk”. Have you seen a cougar “ki’uhn” in the “mou’uhns” of “Lay-uhn?” If so, you speak like a Utahn, especially if you call fried bread a “scone.” In the age of globalization and cultural flattening, regional accents and vocabularies are thriving, especially in urban areas. Thursday, we’re talking about the way we talk, not just on the Wasatch Front, but across America. [Rebroadcast]

Blood Will Out

Dec 31, 2014

Doug is joined in studio by the writer Walter Kirn, whose latest book is the story of his friendship with a man he knew as Clark Rockefeller. Kirn found him charming, intelligent, if a bit eccentric, and he enjoyed rubbing elbows with someone well-off and upper-class. But it was a ruse, and the man was eventually exposed as a fraud, a sociopath and a murderer.  So how was Walter Kirn so handily duped? "Rockefeller" himself explained it this way: vanity, vanity, vanity. (Rebroadcast)

Between Earth and Sky

Dec 30, 2014

Whether you are sitting at your desk, in the kitchen, or walking down the street, you’re likely near something that came from a tree. But biologist and world-renowned tree expert Nalini Nakarni says that our relationship with trees goes much deeper than the resources they provide. From spirituality and recreation to medicine and the arts, trees play many roles in our lives. Tuesday, Nakarni joins Doug to discuss what trees can teach us about our place in the world.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo by <a href="" target="_blank">Wally Gobetz</a>, CC via Flickr

Monday, the acclaimed British historian Bettany Hughes is joining us to talk about one of history's most fascinating characters, Socrates. You know much of the story: Socrates was a brilliant, disheveled figure of 5th-century Athens who wandered around the city barefoot asking random people the most important questions about life. Hughes says Socrates is relevant for us now in a materialistic society because he's asking "what is the right way to live?" [Rebroadcast]

The Science of Humor

Dec 26, 2014
Quin Dombrowski via CC/Flickr

"I just shot an elephant in my pajamas," said Groucho Marx. "How he got in my pajamas I don't know." To the neuroscientist Scott Weems, jokes like Groucho’s aren’t just funny; they’re opportunities to explore the brain’s inner-workings. Weems wants to know why we find things funny and why our brains and bodies respond to inconsistent ideas by laughing. He joins us Friday to talk about what humor reveals about how we think and feel, and its deep connection to elephants in pajamas…and our humanity. (Rebroadcast)

Image by Katherine H via flickr,

Well, Christmas day has finally arrived, a day for gifts and giving. We're hoping you can finally put the busy-ness and commercial hubbub of the season aside and settle in to enjoy our gift to you. Thursday on RadioWest, we've got two great holiday stories for your enjoyment: Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory" and Ron Carlson's "H Street Sledding Record." (Rebroadcast)

The First Christmas

Dec 24, 2014

Let's face it, 2000 years ago there was no such thing as Black Friday, inflatable lawn snow globes or even a Santa Claus. Whatever Christmas traditions - good or bad - have developed, the celebration is very different from its origins. Wednesday, Doug talks to the scholar John Dominic Crossan about what happened on the first Christmas and about what the stories of Jesus Christ's birth actually mean. (Rebroadcast)

The writer Anthony Doerr’s new novel All the Light We Cannot See tells the tale of a blind French girl in possession of a possibly cursed jewel, a German boy fascinated by radios, and their intersecting fates during World War II. For Doerr, it was a chance to explore the effects of war on children and his research for the book at times haunted him. Tuesday we're rebroadcasting a conversation with Doerr about his latest novel, his approach to writing, and about the profusion of miracles we encounter every day. [Rebroadcast]

Automation and Us

Dec 22, 2014

If you always use GPS to navigate your destination, do you ever learn where you are? If spell-check keeps you from making mistakes, do you eventually forget how to spell? Nicholas Carr says automation is a fine tool, but we have to be careful about what we concede to computers. Monday, he joins Doug to explain how giving up our decision making means giving up something essential to being human. (Rebroadcast)

At the center of author Richard Rubin’s latest book, The Last of the Doughboys, are several dozen extraordinary individuals, all more than a century old, all now passed away. They were the final survivors of the millions who made up the American forces that fought in World War I, 19th-century men and women living in the 21st century. Rubin’s book chronicles their remarkable stories and he joins us Friday to tell some of them and to relate how the forgotten war and its forgotten veterans created the modern world. [Rebroadcast]


RadioWest @Sundance

Conversations from 4 years of our Sundance Film Festival coverage

Free Event | February 5, 2015

Live with Tony Kushner

February 5, 7:00 p.m. Join RadioWest live at Kingsbury Hall as Doug sits down with Pulitzer-winning playwright Tony Kushner. The event is free, but tickets are required.


The Nude Photographer

Trevor Christensen is a photojournalist in Provo, and he's created a "Nude Portraits" project. Trust us, it's not what you think. His story is the latest film from The Good Line and VideoWest.

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.

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Listen weekdays at 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. MT on KUER 90.1. Join us at 801-585-WEST or