Salt Lake City, UT – On September 11, 1857, pioneers traveling from Arkansas to California stopped to rest in present day Washington County, Utah. In what is now known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre, 120 people were killed by the Mormon Militia and Paiute Indians. 150 years later, and the question of who gave the orders is still creating controversy. A new fictional account of the tragedy opened this weekend and Wednesday, Doug is joined by historians and film experts for a look at its portrayal of the events.
Salt Lake City, UT – The title of Michael Cobb's book on the rhetoric of religious violence may induce a wince or two. It's called God Hates Fags. Still, the words may not be as provocative as the ideas he explores. Cobb gets the title from the ugly language used by some extreme religious organizations. But instead of dismissing that language, Cobb is recommending gay people learn to understand its place in American culture and to actually adapt it for their purposes. (Rebroadcast)
Salt Lake City, UT – What's going on when a dog wants to endlessly dash after a Frisbee on the lawn. A lot of us assume that while it may look fun, for an animal there's got to be more to it than that. But the researcher Jonathan Balcombe says that in fact the animal kingdom is rich with pleasure. And we're not just talking domestic pets. Balcombe says iguanas, sparrows, even Moray eels seek out pleasure. We talked with Balcombe last May when he made the case that animal enjoy themselves. (Rebroadcast)
Salt Lake City, UT – The scholar Nicholas Ostler has written a history of our world through the prism of the languages that we speak. Today, there are between six and seven thousand language communities, and their stories range from conquering nations spreading culture across the globe to small groups struggling for survival. Nicholas Ostler is with us Thursday for a look at our history - and our future - through the words we speak.
Logan, Utah – The 21st annual small satellite conference at Utah State University in Logan recently ended. Throughout the week, attendees from the military, academia, aerospace industry and government agencies and even children--gathered to share ideas and explore emerging spacecraft technologies. Producer Sheri Quinn has this report.
Salt Lake City, UT – Today on RadioWest, we're rebroadcasting our conversation about America's Constitution. The scholar Akhil Reed Amar calls his book about America's founding document a biography. It's more than an exploration or an interpretation of what the Constitution says. Amar is trying to explain why it says it. He joined us to talk about how the 8,000 words of the Constitution reflect the story of America. (Rebroadcast)
Salt Lake City, UT – Though some support groups refer to it as "neurodiversity," a life lived with Asperger's Syndrome is - in the words of Tim Page - lived "alongside, but distinctly apart from, the rest of humanity." It wasn't until his mid-40s that Page, the Pulitzer-prize winning classical-music critic for The Washington Post, was diagnosed with Asperger's. Wednesday on RadioWest, Doug talks to Tim Page about the preoccupations, the social isolation and even the advantages of this autistic condition.
Salt Lake City, UT – Writer and journalist Charles Bowden traveled some 7,000 miles documenting the experience of the thousands of illegal immigrants who make their way across the border of the southern United States. It's a dark portrait, but also humane and completely honest. On Friday, we're rebroadcasting Doug's conversation with Bowden about his conclusion that illegal immigration has become an issue beyond the reach of power and will.
The British journalist Jon Ronson had always wondered whether the theories - or parts of theories - of conspiracy theorists were true. Ronson set out to settle the matter for himself. In his book, "Them: Adventures with Extremists," he explores a world of fringe dwellers, which includes Islamic fundamentalists, Ku Klux Klan members and Christian separatists. On Thursday, Doug talks with Ronson about what he's learned.