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Preview: PRI: RadioWest

RadioWest Podcasts

A radio conversation where people tell stories that explore the way the world works. Produced by KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City and hosted by Doug Fabrizio.

Last Build Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 09:02:07 +0000



Mon, 24 Oct 2016 17:00:00 +0000

Monday, we’re taking a haunted tour of America with writer Colin Dickey. Don’t worry though, we won’t try to convince you that ghosts or the paranormal are necessarily real. Dickey’s new book explores the bigger cultural questions behind these tales. Traveling to haunted mansions, brothels, industrial ruins, parks, and more, he asks why we tell these stories and how they help us make sense of our world. Dickey joins us to talk about what he calls “an American history in haunted places.”

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Fri, 21 Oct 2016 17:00:00 +0000

Abortion may be legal in America, but conservative legislatures have been working for years to pass laws that restrict women’s access to it. Hundreds of those laws have been enacted this decade, and they’ve forced many abortion clinics to close their doors. In a new documentary, filmmaker Dawn Porter tells the stories of clinic workers and lawyers fighting the restrictions designed to regulate abortion out of existence. Porter’s film is called Trapped, and she joins us Friday to talk about it. (Rebroadcast)

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The Perfect Horse

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 17:00:00 +0000

Thursday, the story of a daring rescue of horses caught up in the Third Reich’s vision for genetic supremacy. Horses still played a role in the military, and Hitler aimed to use stolen purebreds to create the ideal war horse. But with the stud farm under imminent threat from the starving Russian army, the Nazi officer in charge asked General Patton himself for help. Author Elizabeth Letts joins us to explain why soldiers set aside alliances and risked their lives to save The Perfect Horse.

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The Gardener and the Carpenter

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 17:00:00 +0000

The psychologist Alison Gopnik is worried about modern day parenting, including her own. It’s too much like being a carpenter, she says, where you shape chosen materials into a final, preconceived product. Kids don’t work like that. In a new book, Gopnik suggests parents think less like carpenters and more like gardeners: creating safe, nurturing spaces in which children can flourish. Gopnik joins us Wednesday to discuss how we can raise better kids by changing our approach to parenting.

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The Hidden Brain

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 17:00:00 +0000

NPR’s Shankar Vedantam says that in some ways, human behavior is the ultimate frontier of science. After all, there’s a lot we don’t know about why behave the way we do. But if we can get a glimpse at the unconscious patterns that influence us, Vedantam argues we have the potential to make big changes in our lives and our world. Shankar Vedantam is host of the popular podcast Hidden Brain, and Tuesday, he joins us to explain how science and storytelling can improve the human experience. (Rebroadcast)

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Evan McMullin, Utah, and the 2016 Presidential Election

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 17:00:00 +0000

A recently released poll of Utah voters threw another wildcard into the already abnormal presidential election. The polls show that late-running independent candidate Evan McMullin has garnered a surprising amount of support here, putting him in the running for Utah’s electoral votes. Pundits say his surge is due in part to the decline of Republican candidate Donald Trump, whose appeal here has never been up to par. A panel of guests joins us Monday to talk about McMullin’s rise and how the 2016 presidential race is shaping up in Utah.

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Hooligan Sparrow

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 17:00:00 +0000

Friday, we're talking about a thrilling exploration of the power of protest and the efforts to contain it. Filmmaker Nanfu Wang will join us to talk about her documentary film Hooligan Sparrow, which follows the efforts of activist Ye Haiyan as she and fellow protestors work to shed light on sexual exploitation in China. They’re marked as enemies of the state and routinely harassed by thugs, and the web of trouble also threatens Wang’s film, not to mention her personal safety. (Rebroadcast)

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Families and Open Adoption

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 17:00:00 +0000

There was a time when adoptions were a source of shame for a birth mother, and weren’t discussed in the adoptive family. But that slowly changed with birth control, a demographic shift in babies available for adoption, and the “adoption rights movement.” Today, 95% of infants in the U.S. are placed in “open adoptions” where the birth mother and the family have some sort of contact. Thursday, we’re talking about how adoption has changed over time, and what it means for children and families.

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The Life of David Brower

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 17:00:00 +0000

David Brower is widely regarded as the father of the modern environmentalism movement. He served two decades as executive director of the Sierra Club and fought fiercely to defend wilderness and rivers in the American West. Supporters admired his passion, vision, and unyielding efforts, while his opponents found him polarizing and reckless. In a new book, the journalist Robert Wyss explores Brower’s complicated personal life and his fearless stewardship of the environmental movement.

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Julie Jensen's "Winter"

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 17:00:00 +0000

Tuesday, we’re talking about Utah playwright Julie Jensen’s Winter, premiering this week at Salt Lake Acting Company. It’s the story of a woman sinking into dementia and determined to end her life before she loses her dignity. Her husband isn’t ready to carry out their pact though, and her sons argue over what they think is best for their parents. Jensen and others join us to talk about the difficult choices facing each character, and why Jensen says this subject is “hideously important.”

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The Controversy Over Three Cups of Tea

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 17:00:00 +0000

In his book Three Cups of Tea, mountaineer Greg Mortenson details his humanitarian efforts to build schools in Pakistan. His story brought him worldwide acclaim and sold lots of books. There’s just one problem, says the writer Jon Krakauer: Mortenson’s story is a lie. Krakauer has written at length about holes he’s found in Mortenson’s tale, allegations the journalist Jennifer Jordan pushes back against in a new documentary film. Jordan and Krakauer join us Monday to discuss the controversy over Three Cups of Tea.

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The Sting of the Wild

Fri, 07 Oct 2016 17:00:00 +0000

Entomologist Justin O. Schmidt is on a mission. Some say it’s a brave exploration, others shake their heads in disbelief. His goal: to catalogue the painful effects of stinging insects on humans, mainly using himself as the gauge. Most people regard stinging insects as horrible pests, but by investigating their lifestyles and adaptations, Schmidt hopes to spread his passion for the inherently interesting story every animal on earth has to tell. Schmidt joins us to explore the world of stinging insects. (Rebroadcast)

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Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 17:00:00 +0000

A few years ago, as the debate raged over the so-called Ground Zero Mosque, religion scholar Stephen Prothero watched and wondered what all the fuss was about. Hoping to better understand our current culture wars, he began researching similar clashes in America’s past, and he arrived at a provocative conclusion. Conservatives, Prothero says, almost always start the culture wars, and, equally often, liberals end up winning. Thursday, we’ll talk to Prothero about America’s long history of moral and religious battles and why liberals win.

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Chasing the Last Laugh

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 17:00:00 +0000

Wednesday, we’re telling the story of what author Richard Zacks calls Mark Twain’s “raucous and redemptive round-the-world comedy tour.” Twain was once America’s highest paid writer, but he was also a remarkably bad businessman. In 1895, with his career on the rocks and with what today would be millions in debt, Twain embarked on a 5-continent speaking tour he hoped would save him. Zacks joins Doug to talk about Twain’s wildly popular humor, his missteps, and what drove his quest for redemption. (Rebroadcast)

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Gerontocracy and the Future of Mormonism

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 17:00:00 +0000

Of the major U.S. religions, the LDS Church is the only one whose top leader serves until he dies. That wasn’t an issue in the 19th century when medicine rarely prolonged life after a serious illness. But today, researcher Gregory Prince says that as Church presidents live longer, they’re more likely to experience age-related conditions like dementia. It’s something he explores in a forthcoming article, and Tuesday, he joins us to explain what this “gerontocracy” means for the future of Mormonism.

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The Evolution of Fitness Culture

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 17:00:00 +0000

For years, Daniel Kunitz lived the life of the mind. His body though “became a trash depot.” Then he started running, which led to swimming, weightlifting, and eventually CrossFit. His health and his life steadily improved. Kunitz’s personal quest got him wondering how fitness culture has changed through the years. Why were the Greeks so buff? Why do guys do dumbbell curls? How have women changed exercise as we know it? Kunitz joins us to share what he’s learned about the evolution of fitness. (Rebroadcast)

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On the Front Lines of Opioid Abuse

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:00:00 +0000

Friday, we’re following up on our conversation about opioid addiction in America with three people on the front lines of the epidemic right here in Utah. Huntsman Cancer Institute anesthesiologist Shane Brogan, treatment specialist David Felt, and DEA Agent Jeff Bryan joined Doug at the 2016 Utah Heroin and Opioid Summit. They talked about the problems they face in addressing opioid abuse and about what measures could make a difference as they work to help people crippled by addiction.

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Fewer Cars, More Bikes, Better Cities

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 17:00:00 +0000

Making it easy for people to get from Point A to Point B is a big concern in urban areas. Here in Utah most people simply drive. Urban designer Mikael Colville-Andersen wants that to change. He wants more people to bike and walk, not for their health, but because they’re the easiest ways to get around. They aren’t, yet, but Colville-Andersen wants to change that, too. He joins us Thursday to discuss how better designed cities can make it effortless for people to get from here to there without driving. (Rebroadcast)

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America's Opioid Epidemic

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:00:00 +0000

Each month, 24 people die from prescription drug overdoses in Utah, a statistic that makes us 4th in the nation for drug poisoning deaths. Here and across the country, opioid addiction is a problem that effects people from all walks of life. The journalist Sam Quinones calls it an epidemic, and Wednesday, he joins us to explain how we came to this crisis. We’ll talk about how opioids work on the brain, how they were developed, and how Quinones says they’ve been relentlessly marketed to patients.

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Through the Lens: Splinters of a Nation

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 17:00:00 +0000

During World War II, 8,000 German prisoners of war were interned in Utah. Many of them worked alongside American civilians on the state’s farms and factories, where unlikely friendships and lasting memories were created between sworn enemies. In a new documentary film, filmmaker Scott Porter explores this little-known chapter in Utah history, the end of which was marked by a tragic massacre in the rural town of Salina. Porter joins us Tuesday to talk about his film. It’s called Splinters of a Nation.

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