Cochran, Gregory — The 10,000 Year Explosion – How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution Part One

Have humans changed in the last 10,000 years?  Are we biologically the same as we have been for the past 60,000 years? Recent evidence suggests that so called civilization has promoted rapid evolutionary change in our species in the last 10,000 years.

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Gregory Cochran, a physicist and anthropologist, who is the co-author of the book “The 10,000 Year Explosion – How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution”.  His book asserts that changes in human biology, lactose tolerance and resistance to malaria for example, represent human evolution accelerated by civilization.

In this, the first of two Radio Curious conversations with Gregory Cochran we discuss some of these evolutions.

In part two we discuss the evolution and genetic mutations of race and physiology.

I spoke with Gregory Cochran from his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 23, 2009 and began by asking him what biological indications exist to show an increase in human evolution in the past 10,000 years and why they occurred.

The book Gregory Cochran recommends is “Twilight of the Mammoths: Ice Age Extinctions and the Re-Wilding of America” by Paul S. Martin

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Blake, Tim — Marijuana & the California Drought Part One

The growing nation-wide acceptance of marijuana for medical and recreational use and how it is grown and evaluated is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.  We visit with Tim Blake, the founder of The Emerald Cup, California’s oldest competition among outdoor growers of organic cannabis. The Emerald Cup originated in an area known for it’s marijuana cultivation as the Emerald Triangle, a region of northwestern California which includes Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt and Mendocino Counties.

In the first of two conversations with Tim Blake, recorded in the studios of Radio Curious on January 17, 2014, we began when I asked him what marijuana growers could expect in 2014, as California is in the midst of the most severe drought in recorded history and considering the fact that water is indispensable to growing marijuana.

The book Tim Blake recommends is Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality, By, Christopher Ryan, Ph.D and Cacilda Jethá M.D.

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Ward, Peter — A World Without Ice Caps Part Two

When the polar ice caps melt, sea level will rise.  That’s happened earlier in the history of the world, and it appears it will happen again.

In this edition of Radio Curious, we bring you a two part series on global warming and sea level rise, with Peter D. Ward, a paleontologist and professor of biology and earth and space sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is the author of “The Flooded Earth:  Our Future in a World Without Ice Caps,” in which he describes expected conditions in 2050, 2300 and 2500.

This series with Professor Peter D. Ward, was recorded on August 2, 2010, from his office in Seattle, Washington.  In part 1, Ward begins with a description of what will happen when the level of the sea rises. In part 2, we begin with a discussion of why, in the face of rather clear evidence, there continues to be a denial of global warming.

The books Peter Ward recommends are, “An Inconvenient Truth,”  by Al Gore and  “Weather Makers,” and any other book by Tim Flannery.

Click here to listen to part two or on the media player below.

Click here to listen to part one.

Ward, Peter — A World Without Ice Caps Part One

When the polar ice caps melt, sea level will rise.  That’s happened earlier in the history of the world, and it appears it will happen again.

In this edition of Radio Curious, we bring you a two part series on global warming and sea level rise, with Peter D. Ward, a paleontologist and professor of biology and earth and space sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is the author of “The Flooded Earth:  Our Future in a World Without Ice Caps,” in which he describes expected conditions in 2050, 2300 and 2500.

This series with Professor Peter D. Ward, was recorded on August 2, 2010, from his office in Seattle, Washington.  In part 1, Ward begins with a description of what will happen when the level of the sea rises. In part 2, we begin with a discussion of why, in the face of rather clear evidence, there continues to be a denial of global warming.

The books Peter Ward recommends are, “An Inconvenient Truth,”  by Al Gore and  “Weather Makers,” and any other book by Tim Flannery.

Click here to listen to part one or on the media player below.

Click here to listen to part two.

Bernstein, Paula & Schein, Elyse — Identical Twins Meet

In our unsatisfied curiosity about the difference between nature and nurture we visit with Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein.  These women are identical twins separated as infants and reunited in 2003 when they were 35 years old.  They are the authors of “Identical Strangers:  A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited.” 

Their mother, as we will hear was unable to care for them and as babies they were placed for adoption.

When we visited by phone on November 10, 2007, we discussed their separate childhoods, how they learned that they had a twin, their similarities and differences, and their attempt to learn about a study of twins in which they unknowingly participated.

We began when I asked them to describe aspects of their twin-ship which they still find strange.

The book that Elyse Schein recommends is “Later, At The Bar:  A Novel in Stories” by Rebecca Barry. The book that Paula Bernstein recommends is “Borrowed Finery:  A Memoir” by Paula Fox.

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Where’s the Water? Ask the Dowser.

Finding water on a ridge top, as in where is a good place to drill and how deep will it be before there’s good water, is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.  Our guest is Rob Schroeder, a water well driller based in Ukiah, California and employed by Weeks Drilling of Sebastopol, California. 

Rob Schroeder says he’s also an amateur dowser.  That’s a person who tries to locate a good spot from which to drill for water by using a divining rod, which is a bent metal rod or a forked branch from a tree.  Rob and I walked in the redwood forest on a ridge top about half way between Ukiah, California and the coastal village of Mendocino, a distance apart as the crow flies of about 35 miles.  In addition to the divining rod, he looked for certain trees and other signs indicating that a vein of water could be near.  You’ll sometimes hear the crunch of leaves as we walked among the trees on November 10, 2013. 

We begin with Rod Schroeder’s description of the divining rod that he uses, how to use it and a guess as to why it works.

The book Rob Schroeder recommends is “Where White Men Fear to Tread: The Autobiography of Russell Means,” by Russell Means and Marvin Wolf.

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Organic Grapes, Wine & Charlie Barra

One might say that wine is the life blood of Charlie Barra, the founder of Barra of Mendocino Organic Wines.  He’s our guest on this edition of Radio Curious.

Barra was born in 1928, close to his winery, about five miles north of Ukiah, in Mendocino County, California.  His parents, both immigrants from the Piedmont region of Italy, had a long history in the vineyards and grew only organic grapes.  Barra continues that policy now in his vineyards and grows only certified-organic crops.

He says that for the past 67 years he never missed a harvest, claiming that pay day comes once a year, after the harvest is sold.

Charlie Barra and I visited in the kitchen of his home in Ukiah, California on November 1, 2013, and began our conversation with stories of his early memories.

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Benally, Leonard — A Navajo Elder Remembered

In this edition of Radio Curious assistant producer Christina Aanestad speaks with Leonard Benally, a Dine’ elder. Dine is the indigenous name for the Navajo people. Leonard Benally lived in an area called Big Mountain on the Navajo and Hopi reservations close to the Arizona-New Mexico border. He died on October 11, 2013 from cancer.

In the 1970′s a Hopi – Navajo land dispute erupted on Big Mountain; some claim it was devised to move the Navajo out of the area because Peabody Coal wanted the coal rich land below their feet. As a result, an estimated 20,000 Dine’ were displaced. A few hundred remain to this day-refusing to leave. Leonard Benally was one of them.  

In August, 2012 Leonard Benally agreed to talk about his life.  He began the conversation by describing the boarding schools he was forced to live in, as a child, one being the school for Navajo children in Tuba, Arizona.

Leonard Benally recommends people listen to XIT an indigenous rock band from the 1970′s. This conversation with Leonard Benally was recorded in August of 2012 and first aired on Radio Curious in October 2013.

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Fuller, Alexandra — Growing Up White in Africa

In the late summer of 2003 Radio Curious visited with Alexandra Fuller who, as a child lived in Rhodesia, Malawi and Zambia in southeast Africa between 1972 and 1990.  After her father sided with the white government in the Rhodesian civil war, he was often away from home.   Fuller’s resilient and self-sufficient mother immersed herself in their rural and rugged life. She taught her children to have strong wills and opinions, and to whole-heartedly embrace life, despite and because of their difficult circumstances.  Alexandra Fuller, author of “Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood,” known as Bobo to her family, developed a love of reading and story telling early on in her life.  

When I spoke with Alexandra Fuller in September 2003 her home was in rural Wyoming.  We visited by phone and began our conversation when I asked her how she choose the title for her book, “Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood.”

The book Alexandra Fuller recommends is “Echoing Silences,” by Alexander Canigone.  

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Martinez, Juan — Shamanism in the Ecuadorian Jungle

Concepts of “reality” have many levels, some of which are gained by fasting, and/or the use of certain plants that allow a person to view the past, present or  and future.  This is especially true for cultures which cherish and practice the oral tradition and thrive among an abundance of flora and fauna, like those located in the Amazon basin of South America.  In Ecuador the knowledge of the effects of the various plants in the Amazon basin is held by Shamans.

Dr. Juan Martinez, our guest in this edition of Radio Curious, is a Professor of History and Anthropology at the University of Cuenca, in Cuenca, Ecuador.  He’s studied, written and lectured about Shamanic practices in the Ecuadorian jungle and the medicinal and spiritual effects of the plants native to the eastern portion of the Amazon basin.

Professor Juan Martinez and I visited in his office in Cuenca, Ecuador on November 17, 2005.  He began by describing the relationship of the people of Ecuadorian jungle to their worlds, the spiritual world, and the world in which they live on a daily basis.

The book Juan Martinez recommends is “Amazon Worlds,” a collected work published by Sinchi Sancha, an indigenous foundation based in Ecuador.

Originally Broadcast: December 5, 2005.

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