Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Heads-up for 5 October 2010

Radio Lab (WNYC)
The Walls of Jericho
In this podcast, Jad and Robert throw some physics at a bible story. We find out just how many trumpeters you'd actually need to blow down the walls of Jericho.
(review, feed)

Inspired Minds
One-to-One with author Stuart MacBride
The Scotsman Stuart MacBride has successfully put the city of Aberdeen on the map of crime-writing. His first crime novel with Detective Sergeant Logan McRae and his slightly clumsy yet most endearing unorthodox superior, Detective Inspector Roberta Steel, came out in 2005, and he has been publishing a book a year ever since. In this week’s Inspired Minds Ulrike Sárkány talks to the author about his Aberdeen inspiration, the surprise of his success on the highly competitive crime fiction market and how he likes the reader to decide for themselves just what Detective Sergeant Logan McRae looks like.
(review, feed)

KQED's Forum
Deepak Chopra
Alternative medicine and spirituality advocate Dr. Deepak Chopra has written more than 50 books, including novels about Jesus and Buddha. He joins us to discuss his newest fictional biography, "Muhammad: A Story of the Last Prophet."
(review, feed)

Volkis Stimme
Nicht in Frankfurt
Eine kurze Theaterkritik mit Hilmar, dem Zauberbruder. Ausserdem eine unserer gefürchteten Impro-Einlagen.
(review, feed)

Silent Spring

We have seen a diametrical change of mindset in our life time. We started off by thinking that Nature was huge, robust and inexhaustible, but today many people view Nature as fragile, sensitive, nearly exhausted and in need of protection. We can replace nature in the the previous sentence with Earth or Eco-System, if you like, and improve the accuracy of what has happened, but I think you see what I am driving at. And I recall it from my youth: if you protested against throwing garbage in the river next to our village and said something about pollution, you were laughed at. The whole idea seemed ridiculous, but today there are cleaning systems at work, huge fines for polluting and tremendous social control. It is the same river and it may even be cleaner than thirty years ago, but it is treated fundamentally differently.

Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring is frequently credited to have set this major shift in motion, or at least profoundly contributed to it. If you listen to Witness (BBC), you can hear one of last week's issues (that will soon be taken out of the feed, so hurry with download) that talks with Carson's adopted son and discusses the conception and reception of the work. Carson was among the first to warn the world for fatal pollution of the environment. She was ridiculed and attacked. Today nobody doubts that the environment can be fatally polluted and many think we are very close to doing so and in some realms already have passed that point.

If you look for 'Silent Spring' in iTunes you will find a number of lectures that bear that name and even though they do not directly relate to Carson or her book, they do relate to the subject of it: how pesticides cause irreversible damage to flora and fauna. You can find an old issue of Science & The City that reports how DDT (which Carson warned about) is returning to the scene in 2007 (feed). And in iTunesU is a series from Carnegie Mellon University called Interdisciplinary Collaboration Audio which contains a fine lecture by Tyrone Hayes about the devastating effect of pesticides on amphibians which is a very captivating listen. (feed)

More Witness:
Oslo Accords,
Witness BBC.