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Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Witch weighing, African swallows, a bloodthirsty bunny, God himself… We’re talking of course about Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Sure, the movie is epically silly, but behind the humor lay countless cultural and historical references. According to BYU film studies professor Darl Larsen, in crafting their 1975 cult-classic film the Pythons drew from Arthurian legend, the Medieval period, and the hard times of 1970s Great Britain. Larsen joins us Thursday for something completely different.
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Mormon Rivals

Jun 3, 2015

Wednesday, the Salt Lake Tribune’s Matt Canham and Thomas Burr join us to tell the story of political powerhouses Jon Huntsman Jr. and Mitt Romney. The men have a lot in common and their families have been allies. But the past decade of presidential politics has created a bitter rivalry with the two pursuing different directions in the Republican Party. We’ll discuss their faith, their politics, and how the next generation of Romneys and Huntsmans could influence the future of Utah and the nation.

Why Men Fight

Jun 2, 2015
Gilberto Tadday

  When a mixed martial arts studio moved in across the street from literary scholar Jonathan Gottschall’s office, the timing couldn’t have been better. Gottschall was in a mid-life crisis; he was out of shape and his academic career was stalling. So joining the gym was personal, but he was also fascinated by these questions: Why do men fight and why do we like to watch? Tuesday, Gottschall joins Doug to talk about his experience in the cage, and about violence and the rituals that contain it.

The Water Knife

Jun 1, 2015

In his new novel, the writer Paolo Bacigalupi imagines what would happen if our greatest fears for water in the West came true. He sets his story of speculative fiction in a near future when extreme drought has the poor paying $6 for a gallon of water while the rich live in lush high-rise cities. Western states war with each other for dwindling water shares and hire mercenary “water knives” to claim the few sources left. Bacigalupi is coming to Utah, and he joins us Monday to talk about his novel The Water Knife.

Friday, literary historian Leslie Klinger is with us to talk about an early master of science fiction and horror. H.P. Lovecraft’s writing was a departure from his gothic predecessors. He created a strange mythos in which aliens and unspeakable creatures shared our world. And that world was shaped by Lovecraft’s own troubling realities: he was terrified of going insane and he was a deeply racist man. We’ll talk about Lovecraft’s rise from obscurity and his influence on writers today. (Rebroadcast)

Can everyone be creative? The psychologist James Kaufman says yes, with a caveat. Not many people are going to be a Mozart or a Frida Kahlo. But you can nurture your creative side, and research shows it can make you happier, funnier, and even sexier. Thursday, we’re kicking off a series of short #creativeutah challenges in partnership with the Utah Arts Festival. Kaufman will join us to explain what science says about our creative potential. (Hint: it does require follow-through and hard work.)

Religion scholar Candida Moss began thinking about Christian martyrs when she heard a sermon comparing the plight of today's believers to that of the early church. But when she started exploring what early Christians really endured, she learned that these stories of victimization had been exaggerated and even invented to inspire the faithful. Wednesday, Moss joins Doug to talk about what she calls the myth of persecution and how those stories continue to create the "us vs them" mindset of today. (Rebroadcast)

Elephant Company

May 26, 2015

When author Vicki Constantine Croke saw an illustration of an elephant and rider on a precarious cliff ledge from 1943, she wanted to know more. It was of “Elephant Bill” Williams, an Englishman who was a gifted trainer and champion of elephants in Burma. His work made headlines though when the Japanese invaded, and his “Elephant Company” managed a daring escape over treacherous mountain terrain. Monday, Croke joins us to tell the story of Williams, the animals he loved and the lessons they taught him about courage and trust.

We Refused to Die

May 25, 2015

In 1942 the Japanese army forced about 70,000 US and Philippine prisoners of war to march some 80 miles across the Bataan Peninsula on the way to a prison camp. More than 10,000 died or were summarily executed along the way. Among the survivors was Gene Jacobsen, who published a book about the ordeal. Jacobsen died in 2007 at the age of 85. Today, we're rebroadcasting his story of three and a half years as a prisoner of war. (Rebroadcast)

The Rocky Mountains have always posed a forbidding obstacle for travelers, but there’s one place where "God ran out of mountains," and passage is relatively easy.  For generations, Indians, fur traders, missionaries, and explorers moved through South Pass, a treeless valley in southwestern Wyoming. It’s a place rich with history and extraordinary tales, and it's the focus of historian Will Bagley's latest book. He joins us to explain how South Pass figured in the development of the American West. (Rebroadcast)

Mary Norris has spent more than three decades in The New Yorker's copy editing department, maintaining the magazine’s high standards for grammar, punctuation, and style. In a new book, she shares her vast knowledge, good cheer, and sharp pencil with the rest of us. It’s partly a book of practical advice on language usage, and it also offers a peek inside the hallowed halls of one of the world’s most important publications. Norris joins us Thursday to share what she's learned as a self-proclaimed "comma queen."

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VideoWest

Perfect Little Machines

Jean-Michel Arrigona has the weirdest, coolest shop you'll ever see in a strip mall in Midvale. It's wall to wall with preserved butterflies, beetles and skeletons, and he's made look alive again.

#CreativeUtah

RadioWest and Utah Arts Festival are partnering on a series of Friday challenges to get your creative juices flowing. Unleash your creative powers and share your work by tagging #CreativeUtah

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.

21st Century Fitness

What does it take to be fit and healthy? We consult the brightest minds to try to cut through the fat and find out.

About RadioWest

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