Monday, March 2, 2009
Wendell Berry, a world-famous writer and social critic as well as a farmer, is about to get himself arrested.Today, Berry will lead a demonstration at the coal plant that literally powers the U.S. Capitol and Congressional office buildings. Berry will create an act of civil disobedience and get arrested to draw attention to our country’s reliance on a dirty fossil fuel. In May, 2005, Bob talked with Berry about the Appalachian Mountains where much of that coal is mined. Excerpts of that interview were heard in our award-winning documentary, “Exploding Heritage,” but the full interview has never been broadcast until now.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Actor Chazz Palminteri wrote and is currently touring in the one-man play "A Bronx Tale." The story follows a young man from a working class family who gets involved in organized crime. "A Bronx Tale" was made into a 1993 film staring Palminteri and Robert De Niro, and in 2007, Palminteri revived his play for Broadway. Then, Bela Fleck is probably the best known banjo player in the world, and he's been lauded for stretching its boundaries with his band The Flecktones. Fleck's latest project centers on a musical pilgrimage to Africa to trace the roots of his beloved instrument. Throw Down Your Heart is the title of his new album and a documentary film, both recorded during the trip. Now, Bela Fleck is preparing a US tour with some of the African musicians featured in the project.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
News outlets are cutting reporters and closing foreign desks but a new web portal has recently hired 60 American correspondents to report from 40 countries. GlobalPost.com went live last month. The site was started by veteran foreign correspondent Charles Sennott and media entrepreneur Philip Balboni. Sennott and Balboni explain how their model works and why they think it will be successful in reviving foreign reporting. Then, the Elgin Settlement (also called 'Buxton') was one of four organized settlements created in Canada for fugitive slaves before the Civil War. Bryan Prince's ancestors escaped to Elgin from outside of Washington, DC and now six generations have remained there. Prince, his wife and four children farm in the area, and Prince is also a volunteer at the Buxton National Historic Site. He has recently written a book about his family's history titled Shadow on the Household: One Enslaved Family's Incredible Struggle for Freedom.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
The statistics are, well, gross: 90% of the world's sewage is dumped, untreated, into oceans, rivers and lakes; 2.6 billion people - 40% of the world's population - have no access to a toilet. Inadequate sanitation kills more people in developing nations than AIDS, tuberculosis, or malaria. It remains the world's number one health risk. In her book, The Big Necessity, journalist Rose George argues that the way a society disposes of its sewage tells you a lot about its economy, politics and religion. Then, Bob first spoke with Mike Birbiglia a couple of years ago, when the comedian was just another stand-up, touring the country. Now Birbiglia is being hailed by everyone from Nathan Lane to Ira Glass for his off-Broadway one-man show, titled "Sleepwalk With Me." In the show, Birbiglia mixes humor and pathos as he describes often frightening episodes of sleepwalking, anxiety over relationships, and uncertainty about growing up.
Friday, March 6, 2009
David Broder of The Washington Post joins Bob to talk live about the latest news from the capital and beyond. Then, Carla Del Ponte’s memoir, Madame Prosecutor, chronicles her work as chief prosecutor of the United Nations war crimes tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. Release of the Italian edition of her memoir in April 2008 stirred controversy across Europe for some of her revelations and the Swiss government barred Del Ponte from making any public statement about her book. Today, as the US edition is being published, Del Ponte is still unable to speak on the issues she has raised. For this reason, former New York Times Balkans reporter Chuck Sudetic, is speaking on her behalf.