RadioWest

Fridays from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

A show for the wildly curious. Doug Fabrizio explores the world through in-depth conversations with writers, filmmakers, scientists, thinkers and others. From KUER in Salt Lake City.

When science writer Florence Williams was breastfeeding, she decided to have her milk tested for environmental contaminants. Her results were average for American women and included chemicals found in flame-retardants and jet-fuel. It's not, she says, what her daughter had in mind for dinner. It set her off on a journey to study the history of breasts: how they evolved and what modern life is doing to them. Williams is in Utah on Monday and joins Doug in studio.

Friday on RadioWest the historian Will Bagley is with us to talk about his epic quest to chronicle the westward migration of American settlers. Bagley's book tells the story of the Overland Trails that brought more than half a million Americans to the far West of Oregon and California. It's the story of families and fortune hunters and the effect that all of it had the native people who for centuries had already been calling the West home. (Rebroadcast)

Richard Dutcher has been called the “father of Mormon cinema,” though he actually left the LDS church in 2007. Dutcher says he has always tried to make films that exhibit great personal integrity and appeal to viewers with every manner of belief. His film FALLING chronicles the devastating spiritual and emotional collapse of an ambitious videographer, and it mirrors his own personal and professional crises. The movie is currently showing in Salt Lake City, which gives us an opportunity to talk to Dutcher on Thursday.

Wednesday on RadioWest, we're rebroadcasting our conversation about Maurice Sendak's classic children's book "Where the Wild Things Are." The brilliant writer and illustrator died yesterday at the age of 83. His book changed children's literature when it was first published in 1963. Like most good art, it was seen as subversive and outrageous. We'll talk about translating it into a movie - but mostly, our fond memories of Max and his extraordinary adventure. (Rebroadcast)

Vibrator Rx

May 7, 2012
From New York's "The Syracuse Herald," 1919

In 1978, technology historian Rachel Maines was researching needlework when she came across ads for vibrators in 19th century magazines. They were sold as medical treatment for women with "hysteria." Symptoms were depression, irritability, confusion and more. Maines' research is the basis of a play on stage in Salt Lake and a Hollywood film that opens here next month. Tuesday, we'll talk to Maines about the history of the vibrator and what it can still tell us about women's roles in society.

The Guardian Poplar

May 4, 2012
KUED Channel 7

When former University of Utah President Chase Peterson began writing his memoir, it was largely to displace panic after a cancer diagnosis. He says his book is not the story of an academician, a scientist or a physician, though Dr. Peterson is all of those things. It's what he calls a "human and spiritual journey," that took him from the American West to New England and home again. Monday, Chase Peterson talks with us about the people he has served and the moments that brought his life meaning.

God's Jury

May 3, 2012
Edward Sorel's illustration from the cover of God's Jury

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. But not everybody really knows what it is, either. The writer Cullen Murphy has written a book about the Catholic Church's 700-year persecution of its enemies, both real and imagined. And he says the "inquisitorial impulse" lives on - in America's massive surveillance and routine use of torture in the wake of 9/11, for example. Murphy joins Doug on Friday to remind us the Inquisition isn't something safely relegated to the past (Rebroadcast)

From "Bully"

Thursday, we’re joined by Lee Hirsch, director of the troubling and powerful film “Bully.” It’s the latest in our Through the Lens documentary series. Hirsch has said he wanted to bring the hidden lives of young people who are bullied out in the open. He spent a year following five families – including two trying to find some resolution after their sons took their own lives. We’ll talk to Hirsch about the film and present free screenings at 4:35 and 7:10 at the Broadway Centre Cinemas.

<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/merydith/5882357227/">Will Merydith</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Wednesday, farming and gardening experts, young and old, join Doug to help ring in the 2012 growing season. Local farming guru Fred Montague and ecologist Gary Paul Nabhan will discuss soil health – because good food starts with good soil – and the increasing need for small, local gardens to help counteract the ill side effects of industrial food production. Then we’ll switch gears to explore the rise of America’s new crop of farmers who are adapting old techniques to fit their new agricultural ethos.

Frank Sinatra called Spencer Tracy “The Gray Fox.” Some actors called him “The Pope.” The biographer James Curtis calls Tracy the greatest actor of his generation. Through the years, Tracy’s legacy has faded, eclipsed by that of Katharine Hepburn, one of his great loves. Curtis has written a biography of Tracy that refurbishes his story, detailing his relationship with his wife, Louise, his love affair with Hepburn, his drinking problem and his inimitable acting chops. Curtis joins Doug on Tuesday.

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