Robin's Recommendations

So much of our reporting in the last couple of weeks has been of course about the Gulf, and while I highly recommend the informative conversations with former Labor Secretary Robert Reich about a proposed government take over of BP, and Congressman Ed Markey (D- Massachusetts) about a bill to force oil companies to contribute to developing new technologes, I practically INSIST that you also listen to a volunteer fire chief from Magnolia Springs, Alabama named James Hinton.
His story of a small town trying to stem the tide of oil just gets down to the heart of the matter. Producer Kevin Sullivan called a few days later and got this heart breaking follow up.
Some other popular stories of late include our conversation with Harvard Psychologist Ellen Langer about living with "mindfulness", as opposed to mindlessly accepting dictums about old age.
Shanasia Bennett, a senior at the Edward M. Kennedy Career Academy in Boston, caused quite a stir when she made a push to ban 'daggering', a lewd and dangerous dance form, from her high school prom.
We soared!  sort of, with red tailed hawks, and we landed hard with extreme action choreographer Elizabeth Streb, and the indie band Passion Pit provided some soaring falsetto fun as well, check them out!
(Posted June 11, 2010)

I’ve jokingly referred to Michael Lewis’ “The Big Short” as required reading!
But I’m sort of not kidding. Michael’s been a frequent guest on the program and we were glad to clear a nice patch of time for him to look a the financial collapse.

Bruce Fieler is also a favorite guest, but he came back recently on a somber note. Bruce has written a number of books on religion, from “Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses” to “America’s Prophet: Moses and the American Story," but his latest is a personal account of battling his own cancer, and creating a Council of Dads- male friends who could take his place if need be. Powerful stuff.

Let’s see.. our look at college financial aid got a lot of response.

Here & Now's Deb Becker’s visit with parents of kids with special needs struck quite a chord as well.

Canada’s Nikki Yanofsky is an old soul in a 16-year-old body, you may have heard her at the Olympics, she’s taking the U.S. by storm, as they say. And Kathy Gunst brought us all the latest food trends .. recipes are out, improv in!!! Finally!

Thanks for listening!

(Posted May 25, 2010)

I recommend Jane Clayson’s recent conversation with gun rights advocate John Pierce about his campaign to openly carry handguns in public.  As listener Angel Schroeder of High Point, North Carolina wrote: “I nearly wrecked my car when he compared denial of carry permits with the Civil Rights movement…. but I really appreciated the opportunity to hear a viewpoint I oppose.” And those who sided with John Pierce thought it was a fair representation of their views. So take a listen.

I thought the segment on scam artists selling phony “obamacare” insurance was fascinating and informative... one guy is selling protection against death panels!  Neither exist.

And teacher jobs are on the chopping block, we checked in with Tamar Lewin of the New York Times.

Some crowd favorites:  there was a lot of response to our conversation with atheist Rebecca Goldstein, author of “36 Arguments for the Existence of God, A Work of Fiction.”  Believers had fun challenging her thinking, others identified with Goldstein's thinking.  John Noss of Ypsilanti Michigan wrote us: “her words affected me so profoundly that I had to stop my car.”

And for many of you.. the religious experience was Steve Almond on how Rock and Roll saved his life! In fact, our most downloaded segment in recent memory.

(Posted April 28, 2010)

We like primers. With all the news swirling it's always great to go back to square one, so we asked Binyamin Applebaum last week to remind us, where are we on Credit Rating Agency regulations? And what role did they play in the financial crisis?

We also spoke recently with Diane Ravitch, the noted education historian who was a big backer of No Child Left Behind and now has completely changed her mind. She's causing quite a stir in education circles.

Speaking of which (a stir), our segment on proposed legislation at the state and federal level to raise awareness about postpartum depression, touched quite a nerve. We'll link you to the segment and a follow-up letters segment.

Also... by far, the most listened to story recently came from a colleague of ours, whose late mom forged a friendship decades ago with a school classmate who escaped the Holocaust, and no one believed the stories the girl told except her new friend.

And.. Ella! Snap along with some recently released music from the late great Ella Fitzgerald.
Welcome Spring.
(Posted March 22, 2010)

And there are a lot of stories that we think deserve your attention, so here goes. We asked oncologist and author Dr. Jerome Groopman, where are we in the war on cancer? He gave us a great primer, including the pretty stunning statement that vitamin supplements not only don't prevent cancer, but may feed cancer cells.

Our story on child trafficking in China, including an interview with an American mother who worries that her adopted daughter may not have been an orphan, as she was told, brought a lot of traffic to our site.. here it is again.

We spoke with Christian counselor Don Schmeirer, author of "An Ounce of Prevention: Preventing the Homosexual Condition in Today's Youth," and a past member of the board of Exodus International, an organization devoted to helping gays leave homosexuality. Don was one of three other Americans who spoke at a conference in Uganda, shortly before that country proposed a law to imprison or even kill homosexuals.

You had a lot of opinions on that last story, as we expected, but we had no idea that: accordions would be so popular!

We spoke with 23 year old World Digital Accordion champion Cory Pesaturo, you can listen again here. And finally, it always makes us smile to think of the sensitive female chord that men can play too.

(Posted January 14, 2010)


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