Tom Williams

Program Director | Access Utah Host

Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996.  He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.)  He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah” and “Opera Saturday.”  He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.

Ways to Connect

hsagp.org

  When Bloomberg Businessweek told him it was going to give him the whole magazine to write a single article about computer programming, Paul Ford, a soft-spoken programmer and writer, sat on his couch with a pillow over his head and just let out a long “aaaaaaahhhhh,” like he had just stuck his finger on the ‘A’ key. Ford’s piece started out as a 2,000-, then 4,000-word piece. It grew much longer from there, demanding the efforts of a team of editors, graphic artists and web  developers to make it what it is now: An interactive primer that not only teaches how computers process code, but commits code as part of its narrative. This turned into “What Is Code?”  

 

The acclaimed author of “Refuge” and “When Women Were Birds” and many others is one of the most thought provoking and articulate people you’ll meet and an hour with her is unfailingly interesting.

At twenty-two, Judith Freeman was working in the LDS Church-owned department store in the Utah town where she'd grown up. In the process of divorcing the man she had married at seventeen, she was living in her parents' house with her four-year old son, who had already endured two heart surgeries. She had abandoned Mormonism, the faith into which she had been born, and she was having an affair with her son's surgeon, a married man with three children of his own. It was at this fraught moment that she decided to become a writer. 

 

In this moving memoir, Freeman explores the circumstances and choices that informed her course, and those that allowed her to find a way forward. 

 

Penguin Books; Reprint edition (February 1, 2001)

  With this episode we inaugurate a new series on AU: Our Favorite Books:

In “The Basque History of the World” (published 1999) Mark Kurlansky writes “They are a mythical people, almost an imagined people.”

Straddling a small corner of Spain and France in a land that is marked on no maps except their own, the Basques are a puzzling contradiction—they are Europe's oldest nation without ever having been a country. No one has ever been able to determine their origins, and even the Basques' language, Euskera—the most ancient in Europe—is related to no other current language on earth. For centuries, their influence has been felt in nearly every realm, from religion to sports to commerce.

The monthly DOCUTAH@TheELECTRIC series presents a film of particular interest to the four state Southwestern community and the Native American reservations in the area.  It tells the story of the haunting consequences of the invention of the atomic bomb and the man who led the development teams. "The Day After Trinity: J. Robert Oppenheimer & The Atomic Bomb," will be presented Friday evening, June 24th in St. George Utah.

Island Press

There exists a category of American cities in which the line between suburban and urban is almost impossible to locate. These suburban cities arose in the last half of twentieth-century America, based largely on the success of the single-family home, shopping centers, and the automobile. The low-density, auto-centric development of suburban cities, which are largely in the arid West, presents challenges for urban sustainability as it is traditionally measured. Yet, some of these cities—Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Salt Lake, Dallas, Tucson, San Bernardino, and San Diego—continue to be among the fastest growing places in the United States.

In his new book, Apocalyptic Anxiety: Religion, Science, and America’s Obsession with the End of the World” (University Press of Colorado), Anthony Aveni explores why Americans take millennial claims seriously, where and how end-of-the-world predictions emerge, how they develop within a broader historical framework, and what we can learn from doomsday predictions of the past.


Aimee Cobabe

It's an Access Utah tradition. Every year we gather with members of the band Evening in Brazil in UPR's studio C to enjoy some great Bossa Nova and Samba. 

 


http://www.opb.org/radio/programs/thinkoutloud/segment/physics-lessons-from-the-science-teacher-you-wish-youd-had/

Christine McKinley is a mechanical engineer, musician, and author. Her musical Gracie and the Atom, won a Portland Drammy for Original Score. Her book Physics for Rock Stars was published in 2014 by Penguin Random House. Christine hosted Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on History Channel and Under New York on Discovery Channel.

Christine McKinley is a licensed mechanical engineer and hosts the History channel’s series Brad Meltzer’s Decoded. Her twenty-year engineering career has included projects in power generation, industrial facilities, and commercial construction. She lives in Portland, Oregon

 

umfa.utah.edu/artlandish

As a part of a new series of events called ARTLandish: Land Art, Landscape, and the Environment, presented by the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, a Land Writers Panel will be held on June 16 at 7:00 p.m. at the Salt Lake City Public Library, Main Library. This moderated panel of scholars and Utah-based creative writers will explore the relationship between man and nature in the literature of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries.

 

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

According to NPR, a gunman opened fire on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida early Sunday morning, killing 49 people and leaving 53 more wounded, in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history before being shot dead by police. The case is being treated as a terrorist investigation.

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2014/10/i-had-the-advantage-of-disadvantage/

  It was a meme before meme was a thing. Pulitzer prize-winning author, Idaho native, and Harvard Professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich observed in 1976 in her first scholarly paper (on funeral sermons for women) that “well-behaved women seldom make history.” The comment became a popular slogan appearing on t-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, greeting cards, websites and blogs.  In her book by the same title (2007), Ulrich explains how the phenomenon happened and what it means by looking back at women of the past who challenged the way history was written. The women she writes about range from the fifteenth-century writer Christine de Pizan, who wrote “The Book of the City of Ladies,” to the twentieth century’s Virginia Woolf, author of “A Room of One's Own.” Ulrich updates their attempts to reimagine female possibilities and looks at the women who didn't try to make history but did.  And she concludes by showing how the 1970s activists who created "second-wave feminism" also created a renaissance in the study of history.

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich won the 1991 Pulitzer prize for history for “A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812,” in which she draws on the diaries of a midwife and healer in eighteenth-century Maine, to produce an intimate history illuminating the medical practices, household economies, religious rivalries, and sexual mores of the New England frontier.

Ulrich’s books also include: “The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth,” and “Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750.” She is also a co-author of “Tangible Things: Making History through Objects.”

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2014/10/i-had-the-advantage-of-disadvantage/

  It was a meme before meme was a thing. Pulitzer prize-winning author, Idaho native, and Harvard Professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich observed in 1976 in her first scholarly paper (on funeral sermons for women) that “well-behaved women seldom make history.” The comment became a popular slogan appearing on t-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, greeting cards, websites and blogs.  In her book by the same title (2007), Ulrich explains how the phenomenon happened and what it means by looking back at women of the past who challenged the way history was written.

The History Press

Eileen Hallet Stone is out with a second collection from her popular Salt Lake Tribune “Living History” column. In “Historic Tales of Utah” (The History Press), Stone tells many of the stories of Utah: “Big Bill” Haywood, vilified by the New York Times as “the most feared figure in America,” women bruised on the front lines of suffrage battles, Chinese “paper sons and daughters,” heroic Northern Ute firefighters, downtown Salt Lake City’s “Wall Street of the West,” the off-road cyclist known as the “Bedouin of the Desert,” and Utah’s love affair with sweets.

Graywolf Press

In "Ongoingness: The End of a Diary" Sarah Manguso confronts a meticulous diary that she has kept for twenty-five years. She says she wanted to end each day with a record of everything that had ever happened. But she was terrified that she might forget something, she might miss something important. Maintaining that diary, now 800,000 words, had become, until recently, a kind of spiritual practice. Then Manguso became pregnant and had a child, and these two Copernican events generated an amnesia that put her into a different relationship with the need to document herself amid ongoing time.

Algonquin Books; First Edition edition (May 3, 2016)

For Meridian Wallace—and many other smart, driven women of the 1940s—being ambitious meant being an outlier. Ever since she was a young girl, Meridian had been obsessed with birds, and she was determined to get her PhD, become an ornithologist, and make her mother’s sacrifices to send her to college pay off. But she didn’t expect to fall in love with her brilliant physics professor, Alden Whetstone. When he’s recruited to Los Alamos, New Mexico, to take part in a mysterious wartime project, she reluctantly defers her own plans and joins him.

Knopf; First American Edition edition (May 17, 2016)

 Let’s imagine a man called Captain Tom Barnes, aka BA5799, who’s leading British troops in the war zone. And two boys growing up together in that war zone, sharing a prized bicycle and flying kites before finding themselves estranged once foreign soldiers appear in their countryside. And then there’s the man who trains one of them to fight against the other’s father and all these infidel invaders. Then imagine the family and friends who radiate out from these lives, people on all sides of this conflict where virtually everyone is caught up in the middle of something unthinkable.


Dial Press Trade Paperback (August 7, 2012)

  

Eric Nuzum is afraid of the supernatural, and for good reason: As a high school oddball in Canton, Ohio, during the early 1980s, he became convinced that he was being haunted by the ghost of a little girl in a blue dress who lived in his parents’ attic. It began as a weird premonition during his dreams, something that his quickly diminishing circle of friends chalked up as a way to get attention. It ended with Nuzum in a mental ward, having apparently destroyed his life before it truly began. The only thing that kept him from the brink: his friendship with a girl named Laura, a classmate who was equal parts devoted friend and enigmatic crush. With the kind of strange connection you can only forge when you’re young, Laura walked Eric back to “normal”—only to become a ghost herself in a tragic twist of fate.


Viking

 

Craig Johnson is out with a new novella in his Longmire series. It’s titled “The Highwayman:”

When Wyoming highway patrolman Rosey Wayman is transferred to the beautiful and imposing landscape of the Wind River Canyon, an area the troopers refer to as no-man's-land because of the lack of radio communication, she starts receiving “officer needs assistance” calls. The problem? They're coming from Bobby Womack, a legendary Arapaho patrolman who met a fiery death in the canyon almost a half-century ago. With an investigation that spans this world and the next, Sheriff Walt Longmire and Henry Standing Bear take on a case that pits them against a legend: The Highwayman.

 

The Humane Society

Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, says that conscience and creativity are driving a revolution in American business that is changing forever how we treat animals and create wealth. In his new book “The Humane Economy,” Pacelle shows how entrepreneurs, CEOs, scientists, philanthropists, and political leaders are driving the growth of the “humane economy.”

 


For soldiers who have received a severe wound to the face, there is a moment during their recovery when they must look upon their reconstructed appearance for the first time. This is known as "the mirror test." Utah native J. Kael Weston spent seven years on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan working for the U.S. State Department in some of the most dangerous frontline locations. Upon his return home, he asked himself: When will these wars end? How will they be remembered? And what lessons can we learn from them?


Briana Scroggins

 Women capture Utah: They photograph fires, floods, crime scenes, politicians, sports, the arts, the outdoors, families, clergy and countless personal stories. "Through Her Eyes,"  a photojournalism exhibit at Salt Lake City Library's main branch is sharing Utah's stories as captured through the lenses of 20 of the state's female news photographers. The exhibit, in the Lower Urban Room Gallery, will be on display through June 24.


Penguin Random House

 

At the heart of Shawn Vestal's debut novel "Daredevils," set in Arizona and Idaho in the mid-1970s, is fifteen-year-old Loretta, who slips out of her bedroom every evening to meet her so-called gentile boyfriend. Her strict Mormon fundamentalist parents catch her returning one night, and promptly marry her off to Dean Harder, a devout yet materialistic fundamentalist who already has a wife and a brood of kids. 

 


Penguin Press

“I’m a person who listens for a living. I listen for wisdom, and beauty, and for voices not shouting to be heard. This book chronicles some of what I’ve learned in what has become a conversation across time and generations, across disciplines and denominations.” That’s Krista Tippett, host of “On Being” (heard on UPR Sunday evenings at 6:00) talking about her new book “Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living” Tippett has interviewed many of the most profound voices examining the great questions of meaning for our time.

Graywolf Press

  In the 1960s, humans took their first steps away from Earth, and for a time our possibilities in space seemed endless. But in a time of austerity and in the wake of high-profile disasters like Challenger, that dream seems to have ended. In early 2011, Margaret Lazarus Dean traveled to Cape Canaveral for NASA's last three space shuttle launches in order to bear witness to the end of an era. In her new book "Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight" Dean serves as our guide to Florida's Space Coast and to the history of NASA.

Pages