Wednesday's Show

Pat Mulroy: The Water Problem

In a new book, former manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority Pat Mulroy says we’re facing a tough global reality when it comes to water. Growth, urbanization, and the effects of climate change mean we have to find new ways to manage a resource she says most Americans simply take for granted. Mulroy is coming to Utah, and she joins Doug Wednesday to explain what’s at stake, and how creating a shared vision for our water future is more important than ever.

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Defying the Nazis

Jan 6, 2017
Andover Harvard Theological Library

In January 1939, Unitarian minister Waitstill Sharp and his wife Martha received a call: would they travel to Europe to help Jewish dissidents and refugees under threat of Nazi persecution? While few Americans were paying attention to Hitler’s growing power, the Sharps agreed to the dangerous mission. Their grandson, the filmmaker Artemis Joukowsky, created a documentary that explores their incredible work. He joined us to talk about how the Sharp’s actions saved hundreds and altered the course of their own lives. (Rebroadcast)

Kessop via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/2icgmUb http://bit.ly/1mhaR6e

When Salt Lake City officials announced the proposed sites of four future homeless shelters, opposition from the public was swift and fierce. The new shelters are meant to help people get off the street, while also reducing crime and stress downtown. But residents near the proposed sites say they were cut out of the decision process and that the shelters will endanger their neighborhoods. Thursday, we’re examining the crisis of homelessness in Salt Lake City and the new plan to address it.

The Science of Fat

Jan 4, 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 a new book, Tara explores the science behind our least appreciated organ, and she joins us Wednesday to talk about it.

The psychologist Alison Gopnik is worried about modern day parenting, including her own. It’s too much like being a carpenter, she says, where you shape chosen materials into a final, preconceived product. Kids don’t work like that. In a new book, Gopnik suggests parents think less like carpenters and more like gardeners: creating safe, nurturing spaces in which children can flourish. Gopnik joins us to discuss how we can raise better kids by changing our approach to parenting. (Rebroadcast)

Pinpoint

Jan 2, 2017

Even if you didn’t use GPS to find your way around town today, there’s every chance it touched your life. The Global Positioning System is now integrated into almost every part of modern existence. It helps land planes, route cell phone calls, predict the weather, grow food, and regulate global finance. Our guest, Greg Milner, has written a book that traces the history of GPS. He also examines the frightening costs of our growing dependence on it. (Rebroadcast)

Where does genius come from? Some people say geniuses are born, or that they’re made by thousands of hours of work. But what if genius is actually grown, like a plant? Travel writer Eric Weiner has scanned the globe and come to exactly that conclusion. He says genius arises in clumps at particular places and times when certain ingredients are present. Think Ancient Greece, 14th-century Florence, or modern-day Silicon Valley. Weiner joins us to explain his theory of the geography of genius. (Rebroadcast)

How Eloquence Works

Dec 29, 2016
<a href="http://bit.ly/289uFxL">Jack Thielepape/jmt images, via <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">CC</a>/flickr

We all know eloquence when we hear it. The skillful delivery of language delights us, captivates us, persuades and moves us. Most importantly, says the linguist David Crystal, speakers and listeners alike enjoy eloquent speech. Crystal has dissected the qualities and practice of eloquence. Partly, he wants to better understand how it's achieved. He also wants to show that eloquence is a talent everyone who uses words can possess. Crystal joins us to examine how the gift of gab works. (Rebroadcast)

Public domain

When you think about military science, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Bombs and guns, right? Well, that’s not what interests the writer Mary Roach, who has a habit of seeking out eccentric scientific corners. She’s not so much curious about the killing as she is about the keeping alive. That curiosity led her to research into the battlefield’s more obscure threats: exhaustion, shock, bacteria, panic, even turkey vultures. Roach joins us to explore the curious science of humans at war. (Rebroadcast)

Public domain

If you’ve ever seen paintings by the Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch, such as The Garden of Earthly Delights, you’ve probably wondered what they mean and what kind of person could have imagined such fanciful scenes. Problem is, we know very little about Bosch’s personal story. That leaves the paintings, which present their own puzzles. This year marks the 500th anniversary of Bosch’s death, and Tuesday, art historian Gary Schwartz joins us to discuss the fearless artist’s life and his inventive art. (Rebroadcast)

Coyote America

Dec 26, 2016
Andy Simonds via CC/Flickr, https://goo.gl/F46KAg

Monday, we’re talking about a homegrown American success: coyotes. The country has been at war with the iconic species since white settlers first reached the heartland plains. But coyotes, according to biologist Dan Flores, not only survived our assault on them, they simultaneously expanded their range across the continent and into our cities. Flores joins us to explore the coyote’s fascinating story of resilience and adaptability and how it parallels our own version of Manifest Destiny. (Rebroadcast)

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