RadioWest Podcasts

Weekdays Live at 9:00 a.m. Mountain / Rebroadcast at 7:00 p.m. Mountain

A radio conversation where people tell stories that explore the way the world works.

Hosted by Doug Fabrizio, KUER's award-winning program features conversations with authors, politicians, artists and others. Listeners can join live at (801) 585-WEST or radiowest@kuer.org

  • KUER 90.1  (9 a.m. and 7 p.m.)
  • Streaming at www.kuer.org (9 a.m. and 7 p.m.)

Is there anybody out there? Is there life on other planets? If the answer is yes, and we can prove it, the physicist Jim Al-Khalili says that would be a revolutionary moment in science, up there with Copernicus proving that Earth is not the center of the universe. Considering the vastness of space, scientists mostly agree that somebody or something else is out there. Al-Khalili joins us Wednesday to explore where that life might be, what it might be like, and what would happen if we found it—or it found us.

Public Domain

The Salem witch trials haunt the American imagination as a time of extreme injustice. The story is most often told from the perspective of the accused and the accusers, but historian Richard Francis has spent years exploring the actions of Samuel Sewall. Sewall was among the judges who issued the harsh verdicts, but five years later, he became the only judge to issue an apology for his role in the trials. Richard Francis joins Doug to talk about Sewall, his idealism, and his conscience.

On Trails

Jul 24, 2017
Rich via CC/Flickr, https://goo.gl/uk4xos, https://goo.gl/xYWc9B

When he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, Robert Moor began to wonder about the paths beneath our feet. On every scale of life on earth, he says, trails form that “reduce an overwhelming array of choices to a single expeditious route.” But how do they form? Why do some paths improve while others disappear? How does order emerge from chaos? Moor joins us to explore how pathways serve as an essential guiding force for trailblazers and trail followers, alike. (Rebroadcast)

Nowadays, all kinds of devices exist to help us find our way through the world. But before all that stuff, before even cartography, humankind navigated with nature as the guide. The adventurer Tristan Gooley is committed to recovering and teaching the lost arts of natural navigation. He sees compass hands everywhere he looks: in rocks, trees, grass, ducks, puddles, clouds, and the wind. Gooley joins us to share what he’s learned about natural navigation and the joys of learning nature’s subtle signs. [Rebroadcast]

Phenomena

Jul 20, 2017
Photo by Tim Wang, CC via Flickr, http://bit.ly/2q4xD8L

 

If you’re a skeptic, you’re going to be outraged by the “scientific projects” conducted by the U.S. government into mind reading and other paranormal phenomena. For more than 40 years the government hired magicians and hypnotists to try to figure out what the enemy was up to. Investigative journalist Annie Jacobsen’s latest book tells the story of this top secret program, and Thursday, she joins us to explain what would make people spend so much time, energy, and money on such strange ideas. (Rebroadcast)

We’re live Wednesday morning, talking about Millennials and Mormonism. Religion scholar Jana Riess has been studying what she calls “The Next Mormons,” and while nearly all say they believe in God, the way they practice their religion is very different from older generations. And like other faiths around the country, the LDS Church is experiencing its share of young adults leaving the fold. We’ll talk with Riess and others about this generational shift, and what it means for Mormonism.

Steve Jurvetson via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/2vvx5bp

Robots have been displacing human workers since the dawn of the industrial revolution, and that’s not about to change. If anything, says the futurist Martin Ford, the accelerating pace of tech innovation means that robots will be taking more jobs, including some we thought couldn’t be automated. White-collar workers like paralegals, journalists, even teachers, may soon find themselves replaced by artificial intelligence. Ford joins us Tuesday to explain what the rise of the robots means for the future of work.


Henry David Thoreau famously went to Walden Pond to “live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life.” But as the scholar Laura Dassow Walls shows in a new biography, there was much more to Thoreau’s life and work than his brief experiment at Spartan living in the woods. He was an inventor, a manual laborer, a gifted naturalist, a writer of great originality, and an uncompromising abolitionist. Walls joins us Monday to explore Thoreau’s profound, complex, and influential life.

Words on the Move

Jul 14, 2017
Tama Leaver via CC/Flickr http://bit.ly/1mhaR6e, http://bit.ly/2gMBl1m

 

If you’re worried that the word “literally” now means “figuratively,” or if you fret that acronyms are replacing actual words, today’s show will do one of two things: make you pull out your hair, or it’ll change your mind. The linguist John McWhorter says that changes to the English language are nothing new. Language, he says, isn’t some static thing that just is, “it’s actually something always becoming.” McWhorter will join us to discuss how languages evolve and why we should embrace the changes. (Rebroadcast)

The film High Noon was a hit when it debuted in 1952, and it remains a revered Hollywood classic. But the tale of a sheriff awaiting a showdown held deeper meaning for screenwriter Carl Foreman. For him, it was a political parable. Communist fear gripped the nation, and Foreman was called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities to answer for his past. Journalist Glenn Frankel has written a book about the making of High Noon and its high-stakes allegory. He joins us Thursday to talk about it. (Rebroadcast)

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