Few questions could ever be as vexing or confounding: why is there something instead of nothing? Faced with that inquiry, most people would just shrug their shoulders. The writer and reporter Jim Holt took a much different approach. He went on an epic journey to uncover past and present attempts to tackle the biggest of questions, and to find out if we’re just a few Einsteins short of getting our origins straight. Holt joins us on Thursday to help us wrap our minds around an infamously knotty concept.
Wednesday, we're paying homage to a few of summer's iconic crops. We'll start off with peaches—those gorgeous, fuzzy flavor bombs, erupting with juice at the slightest bite. The writer and farmer David "Mas" Masumoto and Steven Rosenberg, the Chief Eating Officer at Salt Lake's Liberty Heights market, will tell us how to discern a great peach, and when and how to pick them. We'll also be joined by Amy Goldman, the renowned gardener and author, to worship at the altar of the incredibly diverse heirloom tomato and explore the rich gifts of heirloom melons.
You may know Larry Wilmore from his role as the Senior Black Correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, and if you do, you’re probably familiar with his insightful satire that lays bare America’s difficult dealings with race. Wilmore was in Salt Lake City recently, and he put together a television program that examined—with equal parts intelligence and humor—race, religion and sex in the Beehive State. Tuesday, Wilmore will talk with Doug about his “passionate centrist” point of view, and why race, religion and sex are vital in choosing America’s next leader.
Some call the Colorado River the “American Nile,” but unlike the Colorado, the Nile actually reaches the sea. In a new documentary film, the filmmakers Jamie Redford and Mark Decena trace the path and history of the West’s most iconic waterway, capturing, along the way, the Colorado’s importance to both the landscape and the millions of people who depend on it. The photographer Peter McBride has also extensively documented the river, and he’ll join Redford, Decena and of course Doug on Monday to profile the Colorado River.
When the Hindu philosopher Vatsayana wrote the Kamasutra some 2000 years ago, he said that he did so in a spirit of chastity and meditation – not for the sake of passion. So how is it that the treatise has become synonymous with sexual ecstasy and acrobatic positions? Friday, we're rebroadcasting our conversation with the writer James McConnachie. He joined us earlier this year to tell the story of the Kamasutra’s journey from India to Victorian England and the role it has played in the West’s ongoing wars over sexuality and morality.
Thursday, we’re profiling China’s first global art star, Ai Weiwei. He’s also the country’s most outspoken domestic critic. His work blurs the lines between art and politics, and it tests the boundaries of free speech in a country infamous for censorship and crackdowns on dissent. In a new documentary, the filmmaker Alison Klayman chronicles three years in Ai’s life, capturing his run-ins with the Chinese authorities, his development as an artist and the spirit of an artistic activist. Doug will talk with Klayman and the art curator Mika Yoshitake about the life and art of Ai Weiwei.
It would be foolish to make assumptions about singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash. She's the eldest daughter of country icon Johnny Cash, but her music, writing and curiosity about the world defies genre. She's inspired not only by country, rock, folk, pop and blues, but also literature and theoretical physics. Rosanne Cash is coming to Utah next week and Wednesday, she joins us to talk about the power of art, tradition and the place music holds in her life.
Humans spend nearly a third of their lives sleeping. Most of us love sleep, and yet we have little idea how it affects us. Indeed, sleep is largely a mystery. Even scientistsdon’t know why, exactly, we need to sleep. The reporter David Randall tours the Land of Nod in a new book, exploring the odd, sometimes disturbing and often fascinating things that happen when we’re in dreamland. That’s actually the name of the book—Dreamland—and Randall joins Doug on Tuesday to talk about it.
When Charlie Schroeder was faced with a long march and cold nights at the Battle of Stalingrad, he went AWOL. Only it wasn’t 1942 and Schroeder was able to hitch a ride to a nearby Colorado hotel. It was his first foray into historical reenactment, and over the next 15 months, he tried his hand at everything from the Roman legion to the Union Army. He’s written a book about his adventures, and Monday, he joins Doug to tell stories of the people who immerse themselves in the events that shaped our world.
Millions of years ago, geological forces ripped the world to pieces. Christopher Columbus changed all that though. When he sailed across the Atlantic, he began a process that knit the world back together ecologically and economically. It meant there would be tomatoes in Italy and coffee in Brazil. The journalist Charles Mann says while the costs and benefits are inseparable, 1493 marked the birth of the world we live in today. We spoke with Mann earlier this year about his book called "1493."