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Conversations and 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. KUER 90.1  (9 a.m. and 7 p.m.); Streaming at

Wednesday, we're previewing our latest partnership with Plan-B Theatre Company: the radio drama "Sherlock Holmes and the Blue Carbuncle." Holmes expert Leslie Klinger and playwright Matthew Ivan Bennett will join us. Klinger says part of Holmes' appeal is his dedication to justice, not legality. In this holiday whodunit, Holmes solves the crime of course, but reminds us that Christmas is the season of forgiveness. We'll talk about the story and perform a scene from the play which premieres in December.

The writer David Foster Wallace is regarded by many as the most important novelist of his generation. His door-stopper tome Infinite Jest made him a literary rock star, and his writing probed the very nature of what it means to be human. Sadly, he took his own life in 2008. New Yorker staff writer D.T. Max has written a biography of Wallace, revealing him as a restless soul who dealt with agonizing depression and addiction even as he created work of immense artistic import. Max joins us on Tuesday to examine Wallace’s life and work.

The Religious Test

Sep 17, 2012

Monday, we’re broadcasting live from the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, where we'll be discussing a wide range of political issues facing Mormons during the "Mormon Moment." Twenty percent of Americans say they wouldn’t support a Mormon presidential candidate, and a new documentary called The Religious Test explores the issues informing their bias. They range from polygamy to the LDS church's support of California's Proposition 8, and its historic refusal to grant blacks certain ecclesiastical privileges.

Why Read Moby Dick?

Sep 13, 2012

Friday, we're talking about why you should read "Moby-Dick." Our guide is the historian Nathaniel Philbrick, whose award-winning book "In the Heart of the Sea" told the story of the real-life shipwreck that inspired Melville's novel. Philbrick says "Moby-Dick" is as close to an American Bible as we have. It's eloquently written, it's full of wisdom and you can return to it again and again. Nathaniel Philbrick joined Doug last year to share his passion for one of our nation's great literary works.

Richard Ruggerio via <a href="" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a>

In the desolate deserts of Namibia, the esteemed nature writer Rick Bass espied glints of hope in a time of ecological disaster. He writes in his new book that people in that nearly waterless land are pursuing new solutions to pressing problems, and they’re drawing inspiration from an incredible animal: the critically endangered black rhino. Bass joins Doug on Thursday to discuss what one country is doing to deal with one problem, “with a near-eternity of problems still remaining,” and what we can learn from those efforts. 

<i><a href="" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a></i>

Wednesday, Doug is joined in studio by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei. ElBaradei served three terms as the general director of the International Atomic Energy Agency. During that time, he addressed Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear program, worked to keep nuclear arms out of terrorists’ hands and disputed the U.S.’s claim that Saddam Hussein was producing nuclear weapons. ElBaradei is in Utah this week to speak about global security and the need for an alternative to nuclear weapons, a new system that can bring lasting peace to a changing world.

<i>Image by <a href="">David Smith</a>/<a href="" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Tuesday, Doug talks to Norman Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute and Thomas Mann of the left-leaning Brookings Institution. Mann and Ornstein have been studying Congress for some 40 years and say they've never seen it this dysfunctional. In their latest book, they make no bones about their central thesis: the Republicans are the problem. Mann and Ornstein are in Utah and join us to explain how gridlock has become the status quo and why they say the problem will likely get worse after the November elections.

Bunch of Amateurs

Sep 10, 2012

You probably know some amateurs, people driven by a singular passion for whatever, birdwatching, maybe, or home brewing or space elevators. The writer Jack Hitt certainly knows the type. He’s written a book about semi-professional people in the grip of passion, and he argues that they've powered America’s success and innovation. From Benjamin Franklin to a young Bay Area woman trying to splice a fish’s glow-in-the-dark gene into yogurt, Hitt has documented American amateurs, and Monday we're rebroadcasting our conversation with him.


Sep 6, 2012
<i>Image by <a href=" ">Wry&Ginger</a>/<a href="" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

For many, The Book of Revelation lays out a terrifying vision for the end of days: war, famine and plague visited on the Earth. Religion scholar Elaine Pagels says that with its symbolic language, the Bible’s final book has been subject to a range of interpretations though. She says it’s about hope as much as fear. Pagels’ latest book is called “Revelations” and Friday she joins us to explain what ancient prophecies can teach us not just about good and evil, but about humankind as a whole. (Rebroadcast)

How Children Succeed

Sep 5, 2012
<i>Image by D Sharon Pruitt/Creative Commons via flickr</i>

The journalist Paul Tough says that for decades, we’ve educated our kids under the assumption that their success depends on how much information they can cram into their brains. But in recent years, new research is demonstrating that what matters most in a child’s development are qualities like persistence, grit and curiosity. In a word: character. Tough joins Doug on Thursday to talk about this new way of thinking and its implications for how we raise our children.