Werdinger, Roberta: Barbed Wire and Flowers

Barb Wire and Flowers: A daughter’s story of her perception and relationship with her father.  He, a survivor of the holocaust, and she, his adult child describes the strength of his life incumbent on her youth, and their visit to one of the two concentration camps where he was interned by the Nazis in World War Two.

Roberta Werdinger, a storyteller, writer, publicist, editor, is our guest in this edition of Radio Curious.  Raised as a non-secular Jew and ordained as a Buddhist Monk, plans to include Barbed Wire and Flowers in the memoir she is currently writing.  I heard her public reading of Barbed Wire and Flowers here in Ukiah in June, 2016 I invited her to visit Radio Curious.  She did on November 21, 2016.  Our visit begins with her reading, and I invite you listen for the next 17 minutes. Our conversation follows.

This program was recorded on November 21, 2016.

Click here to listen.

McGourty, Glenn — Euphoria of Wine: Varietals and History

The lack of pure water was one of the several things that resulted in the development of wine as a source of potable liquid for human intake.  Putting that aspect of human history in a time and place in relation to social and political events, and the tracing of the different varietals of wine is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.

Our guest is Glenn McGourty, the Winegrowing and Plant Science Advisor at the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources located in the hills a few miles northeast of Hopland, in rural Mendocino County, California. This locale has been called the university of our back yard by many of us who live nearby.

Glenn McGourty’s specialty is the history of wine and it’s evolution–how so many varietals came to be and were further developed.  When Glenn McGourty visited the Radio Curious studios on October 18, 2016, we began our conversation with his reflections on the history wine making.

The book Glenn McGourty recommends is “Cold Mountain,” by Charles Frazier.  

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Dyer, Michael — The Life of Whalers in the 19th Century

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 this program, part two of our visit with Mike Dyer, we began when he described 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.

Ley, David — The Myth of Sex Addiction, Part One

 Most people are familiar with sex. Some like it. Some like it a lot and seek to engage in sex more than others. Some people are inclined to think that the desire for “too much sex,” however much that may be, is due to a mental disorder.

 In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with David J. Ley, Ph.D. the author of “The Myth of Sex Addiction.”

 In this first of two conversations with Dr. Ley, the argument that “sex addiction” is a fraudulent concept is presented. In part two we discuss the evolutionary development of human sexuality and the many cultural approaches to sexual expression.

 We spoke by phone from his office in Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 6, 2012, and began part one when I asked him to explain why he characterizes “sex addiction” as a fraud, not as a disorder.

 The books Dr. David Ley recommends are “Nymphomania: A History,” by Carol Groneman, and “Is There Anything Good About Men?: How Cultures Flourish By Exploiting Men.”

 Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Stiefel, Frank — “Ingelore” Speaking Without Hearing

What would it be like for you if you were deaf? If you could not speak your first word until you were six? If you had three years of education, your first language was German, and you later emigrated to another country where they speak English?  Ingelore is the first name of a woman who was born in Germany in 1924, and came to America in 1940 at the beginning of the Third Reich, right after Kristallnacht. The film “Ingelore” was made by Inglelore’s son Frank Stiefel, and it tells his mother’s story.

In this edition of Radio Curious, we begin with Ingelore in her own words from the documentary “Ingelore.” As you hear her ability to articulate words in English it’s important to remember she cannot hear.

This interview was recorded on May 29th, 2010 with Frank Stiefel from his home in Santa Monica, California.

The books that Frank Stiefel recommends are “Hand Of My Father,” by Myron Uhlberg, and “The Road,” by Cormac McCarthy.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Tom Weidlinger: “The Restless Hungarian”

The true, but stranger than fiction life story of Paul Weidlinger, characterized as The Restless Hungarian, is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.    At age 25 Weidlinger , who hid his Jewish roots in plain view, fled to Bolivia to escape the Holocaust.   Five years later he resettled in the United States and became one of the most important and creative structural engineers of the 20th Century.

“The Restless Hungarian” is a book and a feature-length documentary about to be the 30th movie written and produced by Tom Weidlinger, Paul Weidlinger’s son.   The story is set against the larger canvas of the Hungarian Jewish Diaspora, and reflects the experiences of so many immigrants who made a name for themselves in America after World War II.

The Beaconreader,  which funds journalism projects around the world is currently hosting a crowd source fund for “The Restless Hungarian”.

When award winning film-maker Tom Weidlinger, a previous Radio Curious guest, and I visited by phone  on January 9, 2016, we began when I asked to explain how the life experience of his father Paul Weidlinger is relevant today.

The book Tom Weidlinger recommends is “Euphoria,” by Lily King.

Please click here to begin listening.

 

Peru: Ancient History and Today

Peru is a county about which I’ve been curious for over 60 years, beginning when I first learned of the Inca Empire.  Ten years later the Peace Corps sent me to Peru as volunteer for two years in 1964.

Peru’s current societies are windows into a world in which many Andean people live in the three adjoining countries of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.   The complex societies which flourished in this region, centuries before the Inca Empire was destroyed by the Spanish invaders in the 16th century are still very much a part of the lives of people whose homes and communities are located high in the Andes between 10,000 and 14,000 feet above sea level.  Many still enjoy and celebrate the traditions rooted in the ancient cultures of their land.

When Radio Curious visited Peru and Bolivia in the fall of 2015 we engaged in several conversations about ancient and current times in Peru. Edith Zapata, an independent licensed Peruvian tour guide, based in Cusco, Peru, is our guest in this edition of Radio Curious.

Edith Zapata and I visited in the court yard of a somewhat noisy guest hostal in Cusco, Peru, on November 10, 2015.  We began our conversation with her description of the geological history of the Cusco valley, and moved forward in time to how some of the current leaders of the Catholic Church and some of the people of the greater Cusco area related to each other.

Edith Zapata, a licensed independent Peruvian tour guide, based in Cusco, Peru.  You may contact her by email at ezv27@hotmail.com.  The movie she recommends is “In Search of Happyness,” starring Will Smith.

Click here to listen, or download this program on the link below.

 

 

Jespers, Jean-Jacques — Effects of Paris Attacks in Belgium

In this program we visit Brussels, Belgium, to discuss the effects of the November 13, 2015, Islamic extremist terrorist attacks in Paris, France. 

Our guest is Jean-Jacques Jespers, who recently retired as the anchor for the television news broadcast aired nightly in French on the Belgium National Television Network.  While the terrorist attacks occurred in Paris, France, investigations led authorities to neighboring Belgium in search for the suspects-causing a state of emergency in the country’s capital city, Brussels.

Currently Jean-Jacques Jespers is a journalism professor and a member of the Belgian Journalist’s Committee on Human Rights.  Jean-Jacques Jespers and I first met here in Mendocino County, California, in 1977, when he was the leader of a television news magazine team reporting on California. 

When Jean-Jacques Jespers and I visited by phone from his home in Brussels on November 28, 2015, we began when I asked him to describe what occurred and what the Belgian people’s reactions were to the November 13, 2015, terrorist attacks in Paris and the lock-down in Brussels.

The books Jean-Jacques Jespers recommends are the three volume “Century Trilogy” by Ken Follette. Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Blincoe, Bob — Kurdish People:  Their Struggle to Keep Their Homeland

In this 1997 edition of Radio Curious, we visited with Bob Blincoe, a Presbyterian minister, who lived and worked among the Kurds in the Zagros Mountains from 1990 to 1996.  

The Kurdish people have long been aptly referred to as a “millet.”  This is a Turkish term that originated in the Ottoman Empire when it ruled parts of central Europe to the near east from 1430 to 1921.  It means “any ethnic group.” Until the 20th century millets, were able to control their way of life and effectively rule themselves.  Now approximately 25 million Kurdish people live in the Zagros Mountains, where the borders of eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, and northwestern Iran converge.  These Kurdish people live stateless and many homeless in their ancestral homeland.  Currently they have been able to successfully defend themselves from brutal ISIS attacks. 

When Bob Blincoe lived among the Kurds and worked as a community organizer in their ancestral homeland he first spoke Arabic, so he wouldn’t stand out.  He quickly learned Kurdish which he spoke only with great discretion. His stories of the Kurdish people are important to consider now in light of terrorism and other dangers inflicted against them.

When Bob Blincoe and I visited in the studios of Radio Curious in the spring of 1997, we began our conversation when I asked him to describe the Zagros Mountains where so many Kurdish people live.

The book Bob Blincoe recommends is “A Peace to End All Peace,” by David Fromkin.

This program was originally broadcast in May 1997.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

McPherson, Guy Ph.D. — Near Term Human Extinction Part One

Imagine the human habitat in which we all live changing so rapidly that life as we know it is extinguished. Temperatures that are getting hotter than ever, decades long droughts, catastrophic fires, melting polar ice, rising sea levels, and unprecedented winter storms are expected to radically limit food production and availability of potable water. 

In this, the first of a series on near term extinction of the human species, we visit with Dr. Guy R. McPherson, Professor Emeritus of Natural Resources, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. Professor McPherson is co-author with Carolyn Baker of “Extinction Dialogs:  How to Live With Death in Mind.”  Together they present what appears to be overwhelming scientific evidence that our environment is headed for swift apocalyptic collapse.  Not only is this extinction likely, it is occurring every day. “How to live with death in mind” is the goal; living with urgency is the practice. 

The point from which average global temperature rise is measured dates back to 1750, the beginning of the industrial revolution–the time at which the ever increasing use of fossil fuels began. Since 1750, 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.

When Guy McPherson and I visited by phone on September 14, 2015, while he was traveling near New York, we began our conversation when I asked him to describe the indicators that reveal we’re in an era of unstoppable climate change.

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Click here to listen to part two and here to listen to part three–a conversation with “Extinction Dialogues” coauthor Carolyn Baker.