Domingo Sarmiento & Daniel Lewis – An Argentine President

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Domingo Sarmiento, a teacher and later President of the Republic of Argentina, spent several years traveling in Europe and the United States in the mid-19th Century. He spent six weeks in the US in the fall of 1847 and later published his account of this visit, selectively interpreting what he saw and experienced to conform to his ideas. In this archive edition of Radio Curious, I visit with Domingo Sarmiento in the person of Professor Daniel Lewis, a scholar-presenter in the 1996 Democracy in America Chautauqua. I met with Domingo Sarmiento during a break in the Chautauqua programming in Ukiah, California, and asked him what he saw the future of the American Union to be, from his perspective in 1843.

Domingo Sarmiento recommends any book by James Fenimore Cooper. Daniel Lewis recommends “The Invention of Argentina,” by Nicolas Shumway.

Originally Broadcast: July 27, 1996

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Richard Brodie – How Ideas Travel

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The Virus of the Mind

The developing field of science called the science of memetics is based on evolution, studies memes: how they interact, replicate, and evolve. The biological definition of a meme is a basic unit of cultural transmission. The psychological definition of a meme is a unit of cultural heredity analogous to the gene, the internal representation of knowledge. A working definition of a meme is a unit of information in a mind whose existence influences events such that more copies of itself get created in other minds. “The Virus of the Mind” is a book devoted to the study of memetics and memes and was written by Richard Brodie, who also was a writer of the first version of Microsoft Word. He was our guest for this edition of Radio Curious that was originally broadcast in July of 1996. We began when I asked him what is the importance of studying memetics.

Richard Brodie recommends “The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History” by Howard Bloom.

Originally Broadcast: July 31, 1996

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Rodolfo Gomez – A Walk in the Costa Rican Rain Forest

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On the eastern slope of the Continental Divide, about an hour’s drive east of San Jose, Costa Rica, is the Rain Forest Aerial Tram, a tramway that travels through, above and below the rain forest canopy. The rain forest canopy is home to more diverse forms of flora and fauna than anywhere else in the known universe. Rodolfo Gomez, trained as an architect, has found his calling as a tour guide in Central America and specifically Costa Rica. My daughter Molly and I met with Rodolfo in the rain forest, near the aerial tram and recorded this program in April of 1995.

Originally Broadcast: June 20, 1995

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Prof. Alberto Kattan – Argentinian Environmental Issues in 1993

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The late Professor Alberto Kattan, a Professor of Law at Buenos Aires University and one of the foremost litigators of environmental issues in Argentina, is my guest on this archive edition of Radio Curious. In our conversation originally broadcast in March 1993, we discussed the future of the penguins that he was and endeavoring to protect, dolphins, the use of 245T, and problems with the tobacco industry in Argentina.

Originally Broadcast: March 7, 1993

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Wilkerson, Isabel — America’s Great Migration: 1915-1970 Part Two

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In the years between 1915 and 1970 almost six million black American citizens from the south migrated to northern and western cities seeking freedom and a better life. Our guest is Pulitzer Prize winner, Isabel Wilkerson author of “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.” Her book tells the untold experiences of the African-Americans who fled the south over three generations.

Wilkerson interviewed more than 1,000 people for her book. She is the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize and is a recipient of the George Polk Award and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. Her parents were part of the great migration, journeying from Georgia and southern Virginia to Washington D.C.

In part one she discussed what she called the “biggest untold story of the 20th century.”  In part two of our conversation, recorded from her home near Atlanta, Georgia, on September 28, 2012, Isabel Wilkerson describes the inspiration behind her narrative non-fiction story of the six million African-Americans who migrated from the south between 1915 and 1970.

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Asian Art Museum — The Dragon’s Gift – Sacred Arts of Bhutan

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In this edition of Radio Curious we would like to take you to the country of Bhutan, East of Mount Everest and bordered by India and Tibet. Bhutan is a mystical kingdom considered by many as The Last Shangri-La. We visit “The Dragon’s Gift: The Sacred Arts of Bhutan,” an exhibit which was displayed at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, California, in the spring of 2009.

We start in conversation with Therese Bartholomew, the curator of the exhibit who helps us to understand what inspired the exhibit and the trials and tribulations of transporting such valuable religious objects from monasteries at the top of Bhutanese mountains to the city of San Francisco.

We will also visit the exhibit itself and hear some of the ceremonies, meet the monks who have travelled with the exhibit and tour the museum docent Henny Tanugjaja.

Therese Bartholomew is the Curator Emeritus of Himalayan Arts at the Asian Art Museum San Francisco the book she recommends is “My Life and Lives, The Story of a Tibetan Incarnation” by Rato Khyongla Nawang Losang.  We visited with Therese Bartholomew from her home in San Francisco on the March 27, 2009 and began by asking her what makes Bhutan and Bhutanese arts so special?

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Dennis O’Brien- Protecting Outer Space for Humanity

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The 2018 International Astronomical Conference held in Bremen, Germany, during the first week of October, 2018, was attended by approximately 2000 people from over 100 counties from the planet earth.

One of the attendees is Dennis O’Brien, a retired Ukiah California, attorney. He was presenter at the International Astronomical Conference and is our guest on this edition of Radio Curious.

The paper O’Brien presented focuses on the future of space law.  He addressed potential issues as humanity goes into outer space, and concepts on how to structure a new treaty to protect humanity, while at the same time allowing for the development of outer space commerce.  For on-line information contact spacetreaty.com, or spacetreaty.org for O’Brien’s work.

Dennis O’Brien is a retired Ukiah, California attorney.  O’Brien attended the 2018 International Astronomical Conference held in Bremen, Germany, where he presented a paper addressing the future of space law, and how to protect humanity’s interests, while at the same time allowing for the development of outer space commerce.

The books Dennis O’Brien recommends are: “Stranger in a Strange Land,” by Robert A. Heinlein, and “The Foundation Novels,” by Issac Azimov.

This program was recorded on October 20, 2018.

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Philip Weiss – Cover-up of a Peace Corps Murder

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American Taboo, A Murder in Peace Corps

In this edition of Radio Curious, we take a look at murder and getting away with murder. In the small island kingdom of Tonga, an American Peace Corps Volunteer murdered another American Peace Corps volunteer in October 1976. “American Taboo, A Murder in Peace Corps,” by Philip Weiss, is a detailed story about the murder, how and why it happened, the legend that developed, the subsequent cover-up, and an interview with the murderer.

Philip Weiss recommends “McArthur and Southerland, The Good Years,” & “McArthur and Southerland, The Bitter Years,” both by Paul P. Rogers

Originally Broadcast: June 29, 2003

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Chikazawa, Owen and Krogh, Mary Ashley: Two Millennials “Bound for Nowhere”

Two bold millennial adventurers, born in 1988 and 1989, serendipitously parked their Volkswagon Westfalia Camper Van in a campsite adjacent to the Radio Curious Mobile Studio–also a Westfalia Camper Van–near Lone Pine, California. Lone Pine is at the eastern base Mt. Whitney, about 90 miles west of Death Valley.

Mary Ashley Krogh, who goes by MAK, and her husband, Owen Chikazawa have been on the road, “bound for nowhere“, since the end of April, 2016. They’re my guests on this edition of Radio Curious.

MAK and Owen live and work in Stanley. That’s the name for their camper van home, which provides about 18 square feet of living space. MAK and Owen, both graduates of Savannah College of Art & Design support themselves as designers and illustrators. MAK creates apparel graphic art, branding and graphic designs. Owen designs, illustrates and animates broadcast television and startup explanatory videos. As they foment and pursue their wanderlust bound for nowhere, they remotely focus on their clients’ goals and meet their needs.

MAK, Owen, and I visited in their home office, aka Stanley, at Tuttle Creek Campground, just outside Lone Pine, California, on March 17, 2017.

You can listen to the full interview here.

The books that Owen Chikazawa recommends are The Martian by Andy Weir and The 39 Steps by John Buchan. The book that MAK recommends is The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson.

 

Slater, Linda: Death Valley: The Hottest Place on Earth, and the Driest and Lowest Place in North America

Death Valley, the hottest place on earth and the driest and lowest place in North America is a spectacularly beautiful 3.4 million acre National Park. 91% of this outdoor “classroom,” has been designated as a Wilderness and protected by Congress.

Our guest in this edition of Radio Curious is Linda Slater, a National Park Ranger for the past 30 years and currently the Chief of Interpretation at Death Valley National Park.

In this wildly beautiful and dangerously hot place is the lowest point in North America, at 282 feet below sea level. Death Valley, replete with rolling sand dunes, deep winding smooth marble canyons, spring-fed oases, and crusted barren salt flats averages 2 inches of rain per year.

We visited with Linda Slater on March 15, 2017, in the Radio Curious mobile studio. While parked next to a rock strewn area, so white that it appeared to be covered in snow, yet the outside temperature was 100 degrees, our conversation began with Linda Slater’s description of that white material.

You can listen to the full interview here.

The books Linda Slater recommends are: Death Valley and the Northern Mojave: A Visitor’s Guide by William C. Tweed and Lauren Davis, and Deserts – A Comprehensive Field Guide, to the Wildflowers, Birds, Reptiles, Insects, and Other Natural Wonders of North America’s Deserts, from Oregon to Mexico, by James A. MacMahon.