Silha, Stephen — The Puckish Whimsical Life of James Broughton

The puckishly whimsical life and times of poet and film maker James Broughton is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious in a visit with Stephen Silha, the producer and director of “Big Joy,” a biographical film of the life and times of James Broughton.

Broughton believed that in order to live an authentic life we each should follow our own weird. He says:

“I don’t know what the left is doing said the right hand.

But it looks fascinating.”

And:

“I may be infecting the whole body

said the Head

but they’ll never amputate me.”

Stephen Silha and I visited by phone from his home near Seattle, Washington on Mother’s Day, 2014.  He began our conversation by telling us what drew him to make a film about his friend James Broughton.

The book Stephen Silha recommends is “The Man Who Fell in Love With the Moon,” by Tom Spanbauer.

The music in this week’s edition of Radio Curious is “Twirl” by Norman Arnold, from the movie, “Big Joy.”

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Miller, Geoffrey — Does What You Buy Make You Happier?

Why do you buy what you buy? What do you hope to gain from it and will it make you a happier, sexier and more successful person? In these days of economic downturn many of us may be questioning whether we really need all this “stuff” and how it impacts our lives?

In this edition of Radio Curious we meet Geoffrey Miller, a tenured professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of New Mexico, and the author of “Spent: Sex, Evolution and Consumer Behaviour.” During our visit we discuss how our purchasing choices are driven by thousands of years of evolution, how marketers can take advantage of this and how we might try to better understand our consumer instincts.

I spoke with Geoffrey Miller from his home in Australia on May 29, 2009 and began by asking him to define his field of evolutionary psychology.

The book Geoffrey Miller recommends is “The Life You Can Save: Acting Now To End World Poverty,” by Peter Singer. 

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Basta, Michael — Relationship Warning Signs

Why some couples get along and others don’t, sometimes to the extent of terminating their relationship, is a curious question, the answer to which is likely to bring both pleasure and unhappiness to each of us. Michael Basta has been a licensed clinical social worker based in Sonoma, County California, since 1988. He is trained and certified as a Gottman Couples’ Therapist. This training identifies the traits and behaviors of couples that are useful to predict how long their relationship will last. Michael Basta visited Radio Curious on May 21, 2010, and began by describing the negative traits and behaviors that indicate a dark future for the relationship.

The book Michael Basta recommends is “The Female Brain,” by Dr. Louann Brizendine.

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Harvey, Sylvia — Children of the Incarcerated

Children of incarcerated parents is topic of this edition of Radio Curious. The estimated 2.7 million children of prison inmates in the United States are losing their visitation rights.

Sylvia A. Harvey, an investigative journalist, is our guest. Her story about the diminishing opportunities for children to visit their incarcerated parents was published in The Nation magazine on December 14, 2015.

Some of Harvey’s most cherished childhood memories are the times she was able to visit her father while he was an inmate at Soledad State Prison, in California when she was between the ages of 5 and 16.

When Sylvia Harvey and I visited by phone from her home in New York City, on January 18, 2016, we began with her personal experience and how not being able visit a parent in prison affects 2.7 million children.

Instead of recommending a book, Sylvia Harvey recommends the song “Ain’t Got No,” by Nina Simone.

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Kupers, Dr. Terry — Solitary Confinement and How to End It

In this edition we again visit with Dr. Terry Allen Kupers, a forensic psychiatrist and the author of “Solitary: The Inside Story of Supermax Isolation and How We Can Abolish It”.

In our first visit, Dr. Kupers describes the abysmal conditions in which an estimated 100,000 incarcerated people, both men and women are held in solitary confinement in the United States. Kept in dark, cold, and often wet cells, more or less eight feet by ten feet in size, they have little or no human contact, sometimes for years on end.  Many suffer from mental illness, prior to or as a result of living solitary confinement.  This results in significant long term damage to these people as individuals and to our society as a whole.

In this second of our two part series, Dr. Kupers shares stories of prisoners held in solitary confinement and what he believes is necessary to achieve meaningful rehabilitation for people who have committed crimes and sentenced to prison.

When Dr. Terry Kupers and I visit by phone from his home in Oakland, California, on February 14, 2018, we began this second visit when I asked him to describe what he calls a rehabilitative attitude.

The book Dr. Kupers recommends is: Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement,” edited by Jean Casella, James Ridgeway and Sarah Shourd.

This program was recorded on February 14, 2018.

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Kupers, Dr. Terry — Solitary Confinement: Locked Away with No Human Contact

 

An estimated 100,000 people are held in solitary confinement in the United States.  The conditions in which they live are abysmal.  They have little or no human contact.   Often they are kept in dark, cold, wet cells eight feet by 10 feet in size. Many suffer from mental illness prior to or as a result of solitary confinement.  This results in significant long term damage to the individuals and our society as a whole.

Dr. Terry Allen Kupers, a forensic psychiatrist, is the author of “Solitary: The Inside Story of Supermax Isolation and How We Can Abolish It”. In this first of a two part series on solitary confinement, Kupers shares interviews with prisoners who have been raped, subdued with immobilizing gas, beaten by prison guards and whose mental and physical health needs have been ignored.  He has found that prisoners of color are much more likely to be held in solitary confinement than are white prisoners.  Kupers argues that solitary confinement is tantamount to torture, and per se violates the constitutional prohibition of cruel or unusual punishment. In part twoDr. Kupers shares stories of prisoners held in solitary confinement and what he believes is necessary to achieve meaningful rehabilitation for people who have committed crimes and been sentenced to prison.

When Dr. Terry Kupers and I visit by phone from his home in Oakland, California on February 11, 2018, we began the first of two conversations when I asked him to define forensic psychiatry, and the background of solitary confinement.

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Vogel, Dr. Lillian Brown — Secrets of a Long Life: In Memory of Dr. Lillian Brown Vogel

This program is presented in honor of my mother, Lillian Brown Vogel, whose vivacious 39,549 days finally caught up with her on December 29, 2017. She died at her home here in Ukiah, California at the age of 108. Smiling until she closed her eyes for the last time, she cherished her well lived life. I dedicate this program to everyone who seeks to lead a long, active and happy life.

My mother played the piano almost daily for 104 years. She voted in every election since 1930, the year she began medical school. She earned a Master’s Degree in 1933 and Ph.D. in 1961, both in psychology. She worked as a clinical psychologist, retiring in 2005, at the age of 96.

In response to many queries about the secret of her long life, she published her memoir, “What’s My Secret?  One Hundred Years of Memories and Reflections,” on her 100th birthday in 2009.

My mother was driven by her curiosity and joy of life. She was able to get to the heart of most any matter with a few simple questions.  And then always wanted to know more.

This interview, originally recorded on October 31, 2009, was poetically updated, as you’ll hear, on September 9, 2014. Now this edition of Radio Curious begins when I asked Dr. Lillian Brown Vogel, my mother and my initial mentor on how to be curious: ‘Mother dear, what makes you curious?’

The book Lillian B. Vogel recommended in 2009, is “The Blue Tattoo: The Life Of Olive Oatman,” by Margot Mifflin.  

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Bayer, Jaciara — Transracial Adoptions and White Privilege

Radio Curious discusses transracial adoptions with Jaciara Bayer, a 30 year old Brazilian born woman, who is currently studying for a master’s degree in social work at the California State University at Hayward.

Jaciara Bayer was adopted and brought to the United States at age 11 months by her single, white-American mother and grew up in Ukiah, California.

A transracial adoption, which may be an international adoption, is the primary focus of Jaciara Bayer’s plan of study for her master’s degree. Sharing her personal experiences, she tells us of being told she’s different, growing up in a white family and white privilege. When Jaci, as she is often known, and I visited in the studios of Radio Curious on March 23, 2015, she began with her earliest memories.

The book Jaciara Bayer recommends is “In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want,” by Iyanla Vanzant.

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Malamud Smith, Jana — Why Mothers Worry About Their Children

Is the concept of “mother blame” a method to control women? Is motherhood a really a fearsome job?  Will a mother’s mistake or inattention damage a child?  Is this different from the fear that fathers have about the safety of their children?

These questions are answered by guest Jana Malamud Smith in her book “A Potent Spell:  Mother Love and the Power of Fear.”  She is a clinical psychotherapist and daughter of writer Bernard Malamud.

Smith argues that the fear of losing a child is central to motherhood, and mostly overlooked as a historical force that has induced mothers throughout time to shape their own lives to better shelter their young, at the expense of their own future.

I spoke with Dr. Janna Malamud Smith from her home in Massachusetts, and asked her to begin by discussing the different level of feat that fathers and mothers have toward their children.

The book Janna Malamud Smith recommends is “Biography of Samuel Pepys” by Clair Tomilin.  

Originally broadcast: February 18, 2003.

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Patrick, William — Loneliness and How it Affects Us

How many of us are lonely? What is loneliness and how does it affect us? Approximately 25 years ago, when asked the number of friends in whom we could confide, most people in the United States said “three.” When that question was asked recently most people said “none.”

Inquires reveal that twenty per-cent of people, — 60 million in the Untied States alone – are feeling lonely at any given moment. And, it appears that chronic loneliness may well compete with smoking, obesity and lack of exercise as a significant health risk.

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with William Patrick, the founding editor of The Journal of Life Sciences and co-author of “Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection,” along with University of Chicago psychology professor John Cacioppo.

My conversation with William Patrick, recorded on October 13, 2008, began when I asked him to define loneliness as used in their book.

The book William Patrick recommends is “The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q and Christian Origins,” by Burton Mack.

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