“Kennedy, Randall — Can You Say This Word?”

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Few words in the English language have caused so much pain, hurt and emotion as the N-word. It is arguably the most consequential social insult in American history. The long history of the pejorative use of the N-word has given it an unusual power that extends to the judicial system, literature and social settings.

Randall Kennedy, a professor of Law at Harvard University Law School, is the author of “Nigger-the Strange Career of a Troublesome Word.”  His book chronicles the history of this word, in an effort to diffuse and neutralize it.

Originally Broadcast: March 19, 2002

Andy Case – An Aquarium for Kids

Gilbert Van Dykhuisen – Sea Life Mysteries Explained

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71% of the earth’s surface is covered by oceans which are home to 99% of the life on earth. About 250,000 species of ocean life have been discovered so far, but the ocean is home to an estimated 10 million species. The Monterey Bay Aquarium on the central coast of California holds more than 300,000 creatures, representing over 500 species that live in 34 major aquarium galleries. Under the direction of Gilbert Van Dykhuisen, a senior research marine biologist, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has created deep-sea life exhibit which is reflective of the deep-sea canyon located in the Monterey Bay and comparable in size to the Grand Canyon.

Gilbert Van Dykhuisen recommends “The Universe Below,” by William Broad.

Originally Broadcast: October 3, 1999

Donner, Dr. Stanley: Origins of Public Television

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We all know that people listen to radio and watch television. The difference between radio and television is in the image. When you listen to radio, your mind creates the image for you. When you watch television, a ready-made image is flashed before your eyes. The early days of television were days of great creativity, when the questions of “how” and “what should we do” were present at all levels of production, ownership and programming. In the early 1950s, a young professor from Stanford University named Stanley Donner was creatively engaged in the development of public television in San Francisco, California. In the last 50 or so years, Professor Donner has participated in and followed the development of this mind-boggling medium.

Dr. Stanley Donner recommends “The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy’s View of History,” by Sir Isaiah Berlin.

Originally Broadcast: September 11, 1998

Gurian, Michael: Let Boys Be Boys

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The Wonder of Boys & A Fine Young Man

Boys do not have an easy time growing up and maturing in our complex world these days. The same standard of behavior is frequently expected of boys and girls, often without recognizing the special and different needs of boys. Testosterone is a prime mover in the shaping of boys’ behavior resulting in their special and different needs. This is a two-part program from the archives of Radio Curious with Michael Gurian, the author of a 1997 book entitled, “The Wonder of Boys: What Parents, Mentors and Educators Can Do To Shape Boys Into Exceptional Men.” I spoke with Michael Gurian in January of 1998 from his home in Spokane, Washington.

Michael Gurian recommends “Sex on the Brain,” by Deborah Blum & “Beyond the Birds and the Bees,” Beverly Engle.

Originally Broadcast: January 23, 1998 & January 30, 1998

Cole, Dr. Jim: Teaching Tolerance

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Prejudices exist in almost every human context, but how do we overcome them and act without stereotypes? This program’s guest is Dr. Jim Cole, who lives in Ellingsburg, Washington and is a psychologist. We discussed diversity training – the process of becoming more aware of the prejudices we have. This program was originally broadcast in November of 1993, when Radio Curious was called Government, Politics and Ideas.

Dr. Jim Cole recommends books by Jane Lovelock.

Originally Broadcast: November 23, 1993

Boyer, William: The Rights of Our Children

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America’s Future: Transition into the 21st Century

William Boyer, a Professor Emeritus and the former Chairman of the Department of Educational Foundations at the University of Hawaii, is the author of a book called “America’s Future: Transition into the 21st Century.” In this program, we discussed the rights of future generations, how to protect those rights, what they are, and what right we have to determine the rights of future generations. This program was originally broadcast in March of 1993, when Radio Curious was called Government, Politics and Ideas.

Originally Broadcast: March 30, 1993

Donner, Dr. Stanley: Origins of Public Television

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We all know that people listen to radio and watch television. The difference between radio and television is in the image. When you listen to radio, your mind creates the image for you. When you watch television, a ready-made image is flashed before your eyes. The early days of television were days of great creativity, when the questions of “how” and “what should we do” were present at all levels of production, ownership and programming. In the early 1950s, a young professor from Stanford University named Stanley Donner was creatively engaged in the development of public television in San Francisco, California. In the last 50 or so years, Professor Donner has participated in and followed the development of this mind-boggling medium.

Professor Stanley Donner in the Radio Curious Studios in September 1998 to share the story of how KQED was organized and successfully applied for funding within a very few days, just before the opportunity lapsed.

Dr. Stanley Donner recommends “The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy’s View of History,” by Sir Isaiah Berlin.

 

Neufeld, Dr. Gordon: Hold On to Your Kids

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The economic and cultural changes that have occurred in North American society in the past fifty years have resulted in today’s children looking to their peers, instead of their parents, for direction; for a sense of right and wrong; and for values, identity and codes of behavior. This peer orientation works to undermine family cohesion. It interferes with healthy development and fosters a sexualized youth culture in which children lose their individuality and tend to become conformist, desensitized and alienated.

These concepts—and what to do about them to develop strong families and emotionally healthy children—are explained in the book “Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers,“ by Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D. and Gabor Mate, M.D.

When I spoke with Dr. Gordon Neufeld from his home in Vancouver, British Columbia, we began our conversation with a discussion of the importance of developing an attachment between the adult caregiver and the child, beginning at infancy.

The book Dr. Neufeld recommends is “The Anatomy of Dependence,”  by Takeo Doi. More information about Dr. Neufeld’s work may be found on his website.

Fogg, Laura: Traveling Blind

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The ways different creatures, especially us humans, use our senses to guide ourselves through life has long attracted my curiosity. I’ve often wondered how blind people seem able to orient themselves, and also wondered about their dreams.

From time to time, over the years, I would see an attentive woman walk past my office window next to a young person of student age. They would walk together talk, and the young person almost always carried a white cane with a red tip. Laura Fogg is this woman, the author of “Traveling Blind: Life Lessons from Unlikely Teachers,” and our guest in this archive edition of Radio Curious.

Laura Fogg worked as a Mobility and Orientation Instructor for the Blind in Mendocino County for over 35 years beginning 1971. She pioneered the use of the red tipped white cane with very young blind students some of whom had multiple impairments. She traveled long distances over the rather spectacular back roads of Mendocino County to work with each student his or her home.

When she visited the studios of Radio Curious on December 1, 2008, I asked her about the lessons that she learned that have changed her life.

The book Laura Fogg recommends is “My Year of Meats,” by Ruth Ozeki. Published in 1999.