Monday, November 3, 2014: Bob speaks with classical pianist Leon Fleisher, who lost the use of his right hand to a neurological movement disorder called dystonia. We begin with their 2004 conversation, recorded just a few weeks after the release of Two Hands, Fleisher’s first solo piano recording in decades. An experimental treatment involving injections of Botox relieved his condition enough to allow Fleisher to perform with both hands once again. Then - an encore interview with the maestro, from 2006 about his follow up release titled The Journey.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014: We begin with a listener request. One simple question - why does my foot hurt? - sent journalist and running enthusiast Christopher McDougall around the globe. In his quest, McDougall ran endurance races across America, visited science labs at Harvard, and spent time with a tribe in Mexico’s Copper Canyons, whose speed and health could match any Olympic marathoner. McDougall’s book is titled Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. Then, born Edward Kennedy Ellington in 1899, the young man who would become the greatest jazz composer of the 20th Century acquired the name “Duke” because he had a “princely” manner of dress and attitude. Terry Teachout, drama critic of The Wall Street Journal, traces Ellington’s complex life story and his music in the richly-drawn biography titled Duke. It comes out in paperback today.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014: Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History, where he is director of the Hayden Planetarium. These days he is best known as the host of the first season of Cosmos on Fox. Bob spoke with Tyson back in 2007 about his collection of essays titled, Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries.
Thursday, November 6, 2014: Academy Award-winning actress Sally Field joins Bob to discuss her career and her 2012 starring role as the First Lady in the feature film, Lincoln. Today Field is celebrating her 68th birthday. Then, another listener request. In 2010, Bob spoke with singer-songwriter Meg Hutchinson about her album The Living Side. One song on the album is called Gatekeeper about Sergeant Kevin Briggs of the California Highway Patrol. For years, Briggs worked on the Golden Gate Bridge, talking hundreds of people out of jumping to their deaths. Bob talks with both Meg and Kevin about the song and Kevin’s work.
Friday, November 7, 2014: As you pack lunches for the kids and begin to think about your Thanksgiving menu, think about this. New York Times reporter Michael Moss won the Pulitzer Prize for his 2010 investigation into the dangers of contaminated meat. Then last year, Moss examined how multi-national corporations use food science and technology to create nearly perfect food-like substances. He wrote about the laboratories where scientists calculate the “bliss point” of sugary drinks and the “mouthfeel” of fat in his book titled, Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us.