Salt Lake City, UT – Jim Leach served as a Republican member of Congress for more than 30 years before President Obama asked him to chair the National Endowment for the Humanities. He's been touring the country, calling for increased civility in government, both in rhetoric and in practice. He was in Salt Lake over the weekend to give the commencement address at Westminster College. Leach spoke with KUER's Dan Bammes.
Cherry Creek, AZ – Dr. Bernie Krause is a bioacoustician, which means he studies and records the sounds of nature. Based in California, he has recorded animals and environments around the world, and he has found that opportunities often come in unexpected places at unexpected times. Consider the sound of ants singing south of the Utah border. As part of the Western Soundscapes radio series, here is Dr. Krause in his own words.
Salt Lake City, Utah – In 1942 the Japanese army forced about 70,000 US and Filipino prisoners of war to march some 80 miles across the Bataan Peninsula on the way to a prison camp. More than 10,000 died or were summarily executed along the way. Among the survivors was Gene Jacobsen - who published a book about the ordeal. Jacobsen joined us back in 2004 to share his story of three and a half years as a prisoner of war. (Rebroadcast)
Salt Lake City, Utah – In 1989, a film crew arrived in Morgan, Utah to create a movie - the horrifying tale of a family that becomes the target of man-eating monsters. The result was "Troll 2," widely regarded as the worst movie of all times. It went on to become a cult classic and 20 years later, the film's child star wanted to figure out why. The documentary "Best Worst Movie" opens in Salt Lake this weekend, so we're rebroadcasting our conversation with child actor turned filmmaker Michael Paul Stephenson. (Rebroadcast)
Salt Lake City, Utah – Compare your grocery store with one across the country and you'll find the shelves bulging with much of the same food. But of course, that wasn't always the case. Journalist Mark Kurlansky says that each part of the country reflected a distinctive culture and that much of what happened in the home was rooted in food traditions. Kurlansky found stories of our food past in a forgotten 1940s WPA project and Thursday, he joins us to talk about "The Food of a Younger Land."
Southern Utah – Prairie dogs used to be vastly abundant in the west, numbering in the billions. Today their populations have declined dramatically, and several prairie dog species in Utah are under federal review or protection under the endangered species act. Jeff Rice has this audio postcard for the Western Soundscapes series.
Salt Lake City, Utah – Wednesday, Doug is joined by NPR's Bob Boilen - host and creator of All Songs Considered. They'll take a look at what's happening with music so far in 2010 and suggest songs to make your iPod summer-ready.
Salt Lake City, Utah – The historian Nathaniel Philbrick says heroes are hard to come by in his books, because ultimately, he's writing about complex human beings. He's now turned his focus to the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and says what surprised him was how similar Sitting Bull and George Custer were. They were both successful, but both had trouble adapting to a world that was changing around them. Tuesday, Philbrick joins Doug to explain the story behind one of the great myths of the American West.
Salt Lake City, Utah – The theologian and activist Jim Wallis sees an opportunity in the economic crisis. He says it's a chance to ask questions we couldn't ask before. If ideas like "greed is good" and "it's all about me" got us into this mess - then how do we want to come out of the recession? Monday, Jim Wallis joins Doug to talk about what he calls a "moral compass for the new economy." (Rebroadcast)