Samuelson, Kristine — 20,000 Crows in Tokyo

The more than 20,000 crows that inhabit the largest metropolis in the world, have come to be an imposing and sometimes harassing influence on the daily lives of the people with whom these clever birds share the city of Tokyo, Japan.

“Tokyo Waka: A City Poem” is a film poem about these crows and their people. In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with filmmaker Kristine Samuelson, a Professor of Humanistic Studies in the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford University. She is the co-creator, along with her husband John Haptas, of the film “Tokyo Waka.”  Their website is Stylofilms.

Our visit with Kristine Samuelson from her home in Berkeley, California on May 3, 2013 began when I asked her to describe the nature of their film poem.

Kristine Samuelson recommends two films: “Oblivion,” and “Underground Orchestra,” by Heddy Honigmann, a Peruvian born Dutch filmmaker.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Click here to download the podcast.

Meese, Mike — The Buffalo Kill

The buffalo that for most of the year inhabit Yellowstone National Park may be the only genetically pure buffalo population in North America.  They still follow their migratory instincts and are the only buffalo to have continuously lived on their historic habitat since prehistoric times.  Until the mass slaughter of buffalo that began in the mid-nineteenth century, tens of millions of these creatures roamed North America.  Today the fewer than 4,000 wild buffalo that exist are under constant attack by livestock interests.

In this edition of Radio Curious, we visit with Mike Mease, the coordinator of the Buffalo Field Campaign, based on West Yellowstone, Montana, at the front end of his journey to Oregon and California in the fall of 2012.  Mike Mease and others from the Buffalo Field Campaign are prepared with stories, video, music and activism inspired by the Yellowstone Bison in their efforts to protect America’s remaining buffalo.  Mike Mease and I spoke by phone during the campaign’s first stop in Newport, Oregon, on September 17, 2012, and began our visit when I asked him to describe the current circumstances of buffalo in Montana.

The Buffalo Field Campaign will visit the Mendocino Recreation Center, 998 School Street, in the Village of Mendocino beginning at 7 p.m. on September 27, 2012.  For more information call 707 937 4295.

The book Mike Mease recommends is “Confederacy of Dunces,” by John Kennedy Toole and Walter Percy.

You may contact the Buffalo Field Campaign at PO Box 957, West Yellowstone, MT 59758, telephone (406) 646-0070.

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Click here to download the podcast.

Maestripieri, Dario — The Primate Within Us

We humans are a lot like the other primates on earth, but because we don’t associate with them, we often assume that our interpersonal behavior, how we make friends, work together, interact with strangers, relate to our spouse is the produce of our unique personalities and environment.

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Dario Maestripieri, author of “Games Primate Play: An Undercover Investigation of the Evolution and Economics of Human Relationships.”  He’s a professor Comparative Human Development, Evolutionary Biology, Neurobiology and Psychiatry, and Behavior Neuroscience at the University of Chicago.

Professor Maestripieri and I visited by phone from his office in Chicago, Illinois on April 16, 2012 and began with a description of the close relationship human have with other primates.

The book he recommends is “Auto-Da-Fe,” by Elias Canetti.

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Click here to download the podcast.

Feigin, Keith — Liquid Gold on Lovers Lane

This program is about honey. We visit with Keith Feigin, owner of Lovers Lane Farm, at his bee keeping center in Ukiah, California. We discuss bees on the loose, how they orient themselves to a new location, communicate with each other and how Keith harvests the “liquid gold.”  Keith was just leaving to catch up with some bees on the loose when I arrived, and that’s when our conversation began in mid August 2011.

The book that Keith Feigin recommends is the “Secret Life of Bees,” by Sue Monk Kidd.  You may contact Keith Feigin via email at loverslanefarm@gmail.com.

This interview was recorded on the streets of Ukiah and at Lovers Lane Farm in Ukiah, California on August 15, 2011.

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Click here to download and subscribe to our podcast.

Most, Stephen — River of Renewal, Myth & History in the Klamath Basin

Since the last Ice Age ended about 12,000 years ago, human beings have traveled along the Klamath River and it tributaries in the northwest corner of California and the coast of southern Oregon.  Many people finding an abundance of food, have stayed. The main source of their food was salmon. The power of the myth of the salmon may derive from the fact that wild salmon spread out across the Pacific Northwest about the same time that human beings did, at the end of the last Ice Age.

In this edition of Radio Curious we have an archived visit with Steve Most, author of “River of Renewal, Myth & History in the Klamath Basin,” a book that tells the story of the history of the Klamath River and the people who have continuously lived there for the past 12,000 years. Steve Most is a playwright and documentary storyteller. Among many other works, he wrote the texts of the audio voices and videos for the permanent exhibit of the Washington State History Museum. In this interview recorded in mid-March 2007, I spoke with Steve Most from his home in Berkeley, California. We began our conversation when I asked him to give a perspective of the geological and human aspects of the Klamath River and its place in history.

Stephen Most recommends the “Essays and Letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson.”

Originally Broadcast: March 21, 2007

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Click here to download and subscribe to our podcast.

Joy, Melanie Ph.D. — Why We Eat Some Animals and Not Others

Carnism is the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals. It is the opposite of vegetarianism or veganism; “carn” means “flesh” or “of the flesh” and “ism” denotes a belief system. Most people view eating animals as a given, rather than a choice; in meat-eating cultures around the world people typically don’t think about why they find the meat of some animals disgusting and the meat of other animals appetizing, or why they eat any animals at all.  This is the topic of a conversation with Melanie Joy, Ph.D., author of , “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows, an Introduction to Carnism.”

The interview with Melanie Joy, Ph.D. was recorded in Ukiah, California on November 29, 2010.  Joy’s website is www.carnism.com The book she recommends is, “Food Revolution: How your diet can save your life and our world,” by John Robbins.

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Click here to download and subscribe to our podcasts.

Raffles, Hugh — Insects Galore!

Insects and the world we humans share with them is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.  Our guest is anthropologist Hugh Raffles, the author of “Insectopedia,” an exploration of some of the most beautiful creatures in the world, or depending on one’s personal and cultural perspective, some of the most scary. I spoke with Hugh Raffles by phone from his home in New York City, on March 22, 2010, and began by asking him, “What is an insect.”

The books Hugh Raffles recommends are both by Roberto Bolano: “The Savage Detectives,” and “2666.”

Click here to begin listening.

Click here to download the podcast of this program.

PlayPlay

Bishop, Becky — Reading Dogs

Learning to read is often a confusing and frustrating experience.  Parents and teachers sometimes create stress flowing from their personal angst to the frustration of the learner.  Reading to a non-judgemental creature, who never comments and always appears to pay attention helps to create reading fluency.  In the second of a series inspired by Jane Goodall’s movie “When Animals Talk,” we visit with Becky Bishop, founder of Reading With Rover, (www.readingwithrover.org), a program to help children learn to read, and Puppy Manners, (www.puppymanners.com) a dog training school located in Woodenville, Washington, about thirty miles from Seattle.  Becky Bishop relies on the close bond between children and dogs creating calm moments and encouraging a learning environment. “Reading With Rover” couples children who have difficulty reading with a dog who listens.  Becky Bishop joined us by phone from her home in Washington on February 22, 2010, began by explaining why dogs are better listeners than a teacher or parent and what methods Becky uses to train these pets.

The books Becky Bishop recommends are “Living Life As A Thank You: The Transformative Power Of Daily Gratitude,” by Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammon, and “Walter the Farting Dog,” by William Kotzwinkle, Glenn Murray, Elizabeth Gundy, and Audrey Coleman.

Click here to begin listening

Click here to download the podcast of this program

PlayPlay

Dalton, Joan — Dogs In Juvenile Hall

Several weeks ago I had the good fortune of seeing “If Animals Could Talk,” a movie made by Jane Goodall.  A segment was about The MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn, Oregon. The boys incarcerated there have committed serious criminal offenses, some of them are given an opportunity to train dogs, develop relationships with the dogs and in doing so learn  responsibility, patience and respect for other living creatures. There is a zero recidivism rate among the juvenile inmates who spend time training dogs at MacLaren.  Joan Dalton is the founder and executive director of Project Pooch, a non-profit corporation linked with MacLaren.  Joan Dalton and I visited by phone from her home near Portland, Oregon on February 15, 2010. We began our conversation when I asked her to tell us how Project Pooch came about and then about Project Pooch itself.

The books that Joan Dalton recommends are “Children And Animals: Exploring The Roots Of Kindness And Cruelty,” by Frank R. Ascione and “Rescue Ink: How Ten Guys Saved Countless Dogs and Cats, Twelve Horses, Five Pigs, One Duck,and a Few Turtles,” by Rescue Ink and Denise Flaim.  You may visit the Project Pooch website at www.pooch.org.

Click here to begin listening

Click here to download the podcast

Menasian, Helen — No Child Left Inside

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Helen Menasian, director of the Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project, located north of Ukiah, California. Ukiah is a small town in a long narrow valley that has been occupied by the Pomo People for about 11,000 years. About 150 years ago when Europeans and other foreign settlers arrived  the wilderness of the Ukiah valley was interrupted by pavement, waterworks and mechanical noise.

The book “The Last Child In The Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder,” by Richard Louv describes some of the central ethos behind outdoor education for children. The book reminds us that parents have the power to ensure that their son or daughter will not be “the last child in the woods,” and discusses the importance of the nature-child reunion. During this conversation we hear how the Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project seeks to regain that connection. We began by asking Helen Menasian to explain just what the project does. This interview was recorded in the studios of Radio Curious, Ukiah, California on February 8th 2010.

The book Helen Menasian recommends is “The Last Child In The Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder,” by Richard Louv.

Click here to begin listening

Click here to download the podcast of this program