Tuesday's Show

The Atlantic

How to Deal With North Korea

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.

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American Heiress

May 1, 2017

Monday, our guest is author Jeffrey Toobin, who’s written a book about the 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst. Hearst was 19 and heir to her family’s fortune when the “Symbionese Liberation Army” took her, and it soon seemed that she had adopted their incoherent, revolutionary cause. We’ll explore the controversy over Hearst’s involvement in their crimes, the atmosphere that gave birth to the SLA, and why Toobin says the story sheds light on a time when America was on the brink of a nervous breakdown. (Rebroadcast)

The Story of Pain

Apr 28, 2017

What is pain? You know it when you feel it, but it’s almost impossible to properly describe. And it turns out, our idea of what that suffering is and means has changed significantly over the centuries. Friday, Doug’s guest is British historian Joanna Bourke, who has written a book that investigates “The Story of Pain.” We’ll explore how knowing the history of pain helps us acknowledge our own sorrows and the suffering of others. (Rebroadcast)

Thursday, we’re broadcasting our conversation with Latina writer and activist Sandra Cisneros, who was in Utah as a guest of the Tanner Humanities Center. Her 1984 novel The House on Mango Street has become a staple of American literature, but Cisneros says that only the “right kind” of immigrant is welcome in this country. She was born in Chicago, but it’s taken her decades to find home. Cisneros joins us to talk about heritage, identity, and how stories can be a bridge between people.

Wednesday, we’re talking about a volatile dispute roiling the University of Utah. The school’s president, David Pershing, and University Health Care Director Vivian Lee last week dismissed Mary Beckerle from her position as CEO and director of the Huntsman Cancer Institute. That brought the ire of John Huntsman Sr., the billionaire businessman who helped found the research center. He said Lee and Pershing should be removed from their posts for their actions. Beckerle has since been reinstated, but the story continues to play out.

Tuesday, we’re talking about the 19th-century women who measured the cosmos. Science journalist Dava Sobel is among our guests. Her latest book is about the women employed by Harvard Observatory to serve as “human computers.” They did calculations based on the observations of their male counterparts, but became astronomical pioneers in their own right. Pygmalion Theatre Company is staging a play based on the life of one of these remarkable women, which gives us an excuse to talk about them and discoveries.

The Chaffetz Effect

Apr 24, 2017

Last week, Jason Chaffetz abruptly announced he would not seek reelection for Utah’s 3rd congressional district in 2018. He’s also said he might not even finish the term he started just 4 months ago, which has a number of Utah Republicans eyeing his seat. Monday, we’re talking about Chaffetz’s decision and its fallout. We’ll ask what it means for the congressional oversight committee Chaffetz chairs and how his next moves, including a possible run for governor, could affect Utah politics.

In America today, nearly 10% of the population has diabetes; more than two-thirds of us are overweight or obese; and one out of 10 kids are thought to have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The journalist Gary Taubes blames all of these afflictions on one culprit: sugar. In his latest book, Taubes argues that sugar is the “principal cause of the chronic diseases most likely to kill us … in the 21st century.” Taubes joins us to make the case against sugar and why we’d be healthier without it. (Rebroadcast)

Cannibalism

Apr 20, 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 Thursday to talk about it.

When novelist Ella Joy Olsen set out to write her first book, she wanted a topic close to home. And what could be more tangible then the walls surrounding her? Olsen’s first book is an imagined genealogy of her house, exploring the lives of five women who occupied the same space over a century. We’re using Olsen’s work as a jumping off point to talk about how the history of our houses effects the way we live in them today.

Ali Noorani says America’s debate over immigration isn’t just a political issue, it’s a cultural one. Noorani directs the National Immigration Forum, and he says at the heart of the debate is fear about jobs, security, and our identity as a nation. So, Noorani set out to look for solutions not in the halls of government, but in churches, businesses, and communities across the country. Noorani is in Utah this week; he’ll join us to talk about meeting the challenge of American immigration.

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