Friday's Show

The Rise of Addictive Technology

Marketing professor Adam Alter begins his new book by noting that Steve Jobs didn’t let his own children use an iPad, a product he invented, because he was worried they’d get addicted to it. That’s what Alter’s book is about: our increasing addiction to technology. These days, we aren’t just hooked on substances, like drugs and alcohol. We’re addicted to video games, social media, porn, email, and lots more. Alter joins us to explore the business and psychology of irresistible technologies. (Rebroadcast)

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You may have said this before … a lot of us do … “I’m completely OCD.” Though doubling back to make sure you locked the doors and turned off the coffee maker or constantly reaching for your phone to check for text and other alerts may not be signs of clinical Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, science writer Sharon Begley says that compulsion is a way of coping with our daily anxieties. Begley joins Doug to talk about the neuroscience of compulsion, and why we “Can’t Just Stop.”

The next documentary in our Through the Lens series is a true story of desperation, scams, and goat testicles. Director Penny Lane joins us to talk about John Romulus Brinkley, a man who claimed to have a cure for impotence and many other ailments in 1920s Kansas. He took to newfangled radio to tout his unorthodox treatments, but soon found his nemesis in one Morris Fishbein, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Lane’s film is called NUTS!

On the 4th of July, we're broadcasting our conversation with writer Nathaniel Philbrick about George Washington and Benedict Arnold. Arnold has long been regarded as the archetypal American traitor. But before he betrayed his country, he was actually one of Washington’s favorite and most trusted generals. In his book, Philbrick examines the complicated relationship between the two men. Ultimately, he says, it’s about their different reactions to a dysfunctional Congress that was driven by self-righteous opportunism. (Rebroadcast)

The Science of Fat

Jul 3, 2017
Laura Lewis via Flickr/CC, http://bit.ly/2ix26sf

Body fat is a source of shame for many people, something to be hidden, fought, and burned away. But fat, says the biochemist Sylvia Tara, isn’t just unsightly blubber, it’s an essential and deeply misunderstood organ that’s vital to our existence. It enables our reproductive organs, strengthens our immune system, protects us from disease, and may even help us live longer. In her book, Tara explores the science behind our least appreciated organ, and she joins us Monday to talk about it. (Rebroadcast)

Cannibalism

Jun 30, 2017

Scientists have long regarded cannibalism as a bizarre phenomenon with little biological significance. In Western culture, it’s regarded as the ultimate taboo, the subject of horror movies or sensational tales of real-life flesh-eaters. But the true nature of cannibalism, says zoologist Bill Schutt, is even more intriguing, and more normal, than the misconceptions we often accept as fact. Schutt has written about the natural and cultural history of cannibalism, and he joins us Friday to talk about it. [Rebroadcast]

Mormons and Sex

Jun 29, 2017

Thursday, we’re talking about Mormons and sex. LDS therapist Jennifer Finlayson-Fife says that Mormon theology of the body is very different from many Christian traditions. Within marriage, sex isn’t just for procreation, but also for pleasure, intimacy and becoming god like. So, what’s the disconnect in a culture where there seems to be so much shame and guilt around sexuality? She’ll join us live, along with LDS sex therapist Kristin Hodson and Chris Duce of the “Celestial Sex” podcast.

Courtesy Steven Barclay Agency

Food and nature writer Michael Pollan says his literary heroes led him astray when he first planted a garden. Theoreau and Emerson had taught him that wilderness is the ultimate form of nature. So, he skipped the fence, only to find himself in a gruesome battle with a woodchuck over the vegetables. Pollan is coming to Utah, and Wednesday, he joins Doug to talk about practical relationships with nature, his journey as a writer about food culture, and his latest interest, psychedelic consciousness.

The Atlantic

Tuesday, we’re asking what the United States should do about North Korea. The secluded country has South Korea in its military cross hairs, and its goal is to pose a nuclear threat to the U.S. The regime of Kim Jong Un fired a missile last month that went farther than any attempt, and experts say it’s only a matter of time before they can reach American soil. Journalist Mark Bowden has written an article about what the United States can do to confront this threat, and he’ll join us to discuss it.

Nobody Speak

Jun 26, 2017

Monday, we're talking about what happens when the right to privacy comes up against a free press. Director Brian Knappenberger's film uses as a case study the trial over Hulk Hogan's sex tape. With the funding of an internet billionaire, Hogan sued and ruined the online tabloid Gawker. It’s a tawdry story, but the film explores the ways big money can silence the media. It’s called Nobody Speak. (Rebroadcast)

The Seeds of Life

Jun 23, 2017
CC0 Public Domain

It’s a timeless question, asked by every kid that’s ever lived: where do babies come from? It turns out even the great scientific minds of the Enlightenment didn’t really have an answer. While navigators and cartographers seemed to have mastered the heavens and the Earth, other scientists were conducting bizarre experiments to put their finger on how exactly humans create life. Science writer Edward Dolnick joins us to tell the story of 250 years of searching and the meandering ways of scientific discovery.

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Through the Lens Free Screening

Street Fighting Men

Join us for a free screening of Utah-based filmmaker Andrew James's documentary STREET FIGHTING MEN. It's a poignant examination of economic inequality's devastating impact on the black working class.

Monday's Show

Public domain

The Life and Legacy of Richard Nixon

“Few came so far, so fast, and so alone,” writes John Farrell in a new biography of President Richard Nixon. Nixon was an idealistic dreamer when he returned from World War II, and he quickly scaled the political ladder. After winning the presidency in 1969, he and his staff pursued progressive reforms and opened relations with China. But Nixon, says Farrell, had another, darker legacy: a divided and polarized America. Farrell joins us Monday to discuss Richard Nixon and the world he made. (Rebroadcast)

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Short Film

Unruly Things

Mushrooms are the perfect symbol for Ardean Watts' philosophy of life … a love of unruly things. Watts died July 21 at the age of 89. We had the chance to go on a walk with him in 2015.

LDS Topics

Conversations on LDS faith, history and culture

From the Archive

RadioWest and the Bard

Are you a fan of Shakespeare? We have to confess that we are too. Here's a collection of some of our conversations about the Bard.

About RadioWest

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