Herm, Eric — Son of a Farmer, Child of the Earth

From the Radio Curious archives we visit with Eric Herm a 4th generation farmer from Ackerly Texas and author of, “Son of a Farmer, Child of the Earth: A Path to Agriculture’s Higher Consciousness.” Herm is transitioning his family farm into an organic farm. He recently returned from a march that began in Baltimore, Maryland, in October, 2011, and ended in front of the White House in Washington D.C. to oppose the use of genetically modified organisms, GMO’s. When we visited with Eric Herm from his farm in Ackerly, Texas on October 24th, 2011 began when I asked him to describe his experience in Washington D.C.

The book that Eric Herm recommends is, “The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture,” by Wendell Berry.

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Marianchild, Kate: The Unique Oak Woodlands of California

To many of us who live in California, oak woodlands may seem rather ordinary. In reality, that is not the case. Oak woodlands are home to more species of plants, fungi, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects and mammals than any other terrestrial ecosystem in the California.

In this edition of Radio Curious, we visit with Kate Marianchild, author of Secrets of the Oak Woodlands: Plants & Animals Among California’s Oaks. Her book, now in its 4th printing, was a finalist in the Science, Nature and Environment Section of the Indie Next Generation Book Award.

Secrets of the Oak Woodlands describes many of the flora, fauna and fungi that inhabit the plentiful oak woodlands in California, and explains their intertwined connections and mutual support systems. More details are available on her website.

In this program, Marianchild describes how acorn woodpeckers, manzanita, newts, the western fence lizard, and woodrats, among others, live and survive together in a symbiotic ecosystem.

You may listen to the full interview here.

The book she recommends is The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, by Elisabeth Tova Baily.

This program was recorded on June 5, 2017.

 

Dvorak, John Ph.D. – Earthquakes: Why and When? (Archive)

To many of us who live along the coast of California, earthquakes are a living legend. Much of that legend is closely associated with the San Andreas Fault, a line that runs roughly 800 miles through California, forming the tectonic boundary between the Pacific and North American Plates.

As you might expect, this edition of Radio Curious is about earthquakes. Our guest is John Dvorak, Ph.D., a geophysicist and author of Earthquake Storms: The Fascinating History and Volatile Future of the San Andreas Fault. He is currently employed by the United States Geological Survey, working for the Institute for Astronomy in Hilo, Hawaii. He previously taught at the University of Hawaii, UCLA, Washington University in St. Louis, and at the Smithsonian Institute.

Barry visited with Dr. Dvorak on October 31st of 2014, from his office in Hilo, Hawaii. The book John Dvorak recommends is Daughters of Fire, by Tom Peek.

You can listen to the interview here.

McPherson, Dr. Guy R.: Near-Term Extinction of the Human Species, Part 1 (Archive)

In September of 2015, Barry visited with Dr. Guy R. McPherson, co-author with Carolyn Baker of “Extinction Dialogs: How to Live With Death in Mind.” McPherson is Professor Emeritus of Natural Resources, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. This archive program is the first of a series on near-term extinction of the human species. Dr. McPherson’s words about the possible effects of climate change are hauntingly prescient, heard a year and a half year later.

As you listen, consider the following: Is what McPherson predicted occurring? Has climate change affected your life? What have you done, or what are doing differently, as a consequence? What are your future plans regarding climate change?

The point from which average global temperature rise is measured dates back to 1750, the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and the time at which the ever increasing use of fossil fuels began. Since then, the planet has warmed by more than 1 degree centigrade. McPherson’s book Extinction Dialogs: How to Live With Death in Mind, explains how this small global rise in temperature is leading to a large scale mass extinction on the planet.

This interview was originally recorded on September 14, 2015.

You may listen to the full program here.

 

Muir, John — An Early American Conservationist

Muir, John — An Early American Conservationist

Posted on April 8th, 2013 in American History,Chautauquan,Environment by LeGov

One of the greatest early conservationists of America was a Scottish immigrant named John Muir who, as a young boy, went first to Wisconsin and then later, as a young man in the 1860s, he moved onward to California. A friend of president Theodore Roosevelt, he successfully sought to preserve the spectacular Yosemite Valley and the Sierra Nevada range, it was joy in his lifetime. Yet the loss of the equally spectacular Hetch Hetch Valley to a dam to provide water for San Francisco was his greatest sorrow. John Muir founded the Sierra Club and is credited with founding the National Park system in the United States.

I visited with John Muir in the person of Lee Stetson in the studios of Radio Curious in October of 1995 and discussed his life and observations.

Originally Broadcast: October 1995.

Click here to visit and listen to our archived program or click on the media player below.

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The Galapagos Islands and Charles Darwin

Who was Charles Darwin and what led him to describe what we now call the theory of evolution? These curious questions are ones that I have been following since I was about ten years old. In 1978 I had the good fortune of visiting the Galapagos Islands, 600 miles west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands in 1831 for month as part of a five-year voyage around the world. There he saw birds and animals that helped him formulate some of his ideas about evolution he published The Origin of the Species, 22 years later in 1853. Since then the world, science and religion has not been the same.

Now, at a time when concepts of evolution and natural selection are attacked from certain theological and political perspectives, “The Darwin Conspiracy,” a novel has been written by John Darnton, a writer and editor for the New York Times. “The Darwin Conspiracy,” although fiction, is said by John Darnton to be 90% accurate. It covers Darwin’s life and thinking before and after his publication of “The Origin of the Species.”

I spoke with John Darnton from his home in New York City at the end of October 2005. He began by describing who Charles Darwin was, in his time and place.

The book John Darnton recommends is “Snow,” by Orhan Pamuk.

Click here to listen now.

Dyer, Michael — The New England Whale Hunt  

Whaling in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the home of Herman Melville, author of “Moby Dick,” is our topic today.  Our guest is Michael Dyer, the senior historian at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.  The Whaling Museum reveals the lives of the largest mammals on earth.  The museum’s social history collection shares the monumental stories of those who spent their human lives whaling at sea between the New England coast and half way around the world, as well as their families who yearned for their return.  It explains how the seamen lived at sea, who they were, as well as the captains and owners of the sailing vessels and all those in between. It also explains the economics of the whale oil that lit and lubricated the industrial revolution.

In part one of our series on whaling I met with Mike Dyer at the New Bedford Whaling Museum on September 2, 2016.  To put matters it into perspective, we began with I asked him to describe the sperm whale.

In part two of our visit with Mike Dyer, he discusses the lives of the men who went to sea to hunt the whales.

The book Mike Dyer recommends is “Marine Mammals of the Northwestern Coast of North America,” by Charles Melville Scammon.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Cohen, Dr. Gene — The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain

 Do people over a certain age necessarily loose mental acuity? According to Dr. Gene Cohen, the answer is “no.”  Dr. Cohen, a psychiatrist and gerontologist has determined that certain genes are activated by experience as we age, allowing our personalities to grow and change. The brain has reserves of strength and agility that compensate for the effects of aging on its other parts.

 Dr. Cohen has found that the information processing in the 60 to 80 year old brain achieves it’s greatest density and reach. He explains these and other developing concepts in brain research in his book, “The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain.” I spoke with Dr. Cohen in March 2006 from his office on Aging, Health & Humanities, in Washington D.C., where he is the Director. We began our conversation with his description of the importance of the role of creativity on the mind.

 The book Dr. Gene Cohen recommends is “Tuesdays with Morrie: A Young Man, An Old Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson,” by Mitch Albom. 

 This program was originally broadcast on April 18, 2006.

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Maestriprieri, 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 product 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 his description of the close relationship humans have with other primates.

 The book Professor Dario Maestripieri recommends is “Auto-da-Fe,” by Elias Canetti.

 Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Dr. Alondra Nelson – Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome

 

Who we are and where we come from is a crucial question that now we are more able to answer than ever before. The examination and analysis of our individual DNA, in addition to answering a myriad of medical and forensic secrets also reveals the mix of our individual ancestors and the paths they took. This analysis provides significant and untold information about who we are, from where we came and how we may connect with our relatives.

Dr. Alondra Nelson, the Dean of Social Science and professor of sociology and gender studies at Columbia University, in New York City, is our guest in this edition of Radio Curious.

Professor Nelson is the author of The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome. She s also the author of Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination, which she and I have previously discussed on Radio Curious.

To discuss The Social Life of DNA, Professor Nelson and I visited by phone from her office n New York City, on February 19, 2016. We began by noting that although all human beings are members of the human race, people are grouped by skin color and/or facial features and characterized as being of a different race.

The book she recommends is “Come Out Swinging,” by Lucia Trimbur.

This program was recorded on February 19, 2016.

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