On Monday’s AU we revisit our conversation with Paul Bogard:
Paul Bogard, author of “The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light,” spent his childhood summers in a cabin on a lake in northern Minnesota, where shooting stars cut across swaths of countless stars, the Milky Way reflected off the lake, and the woods were so dark he couldn’t see his hands in front of his face. In our modern world of nights as bright as day, most of us no longer experience true darkness. Eight out of ten Americans born today won’t ever live where they can see the Milky Way. Bogard believes that a starry night is one of nature's most magical wonders. Yet in our artificially lit world, three-quarters of Americans' eyes never switch to night vision and most of us no longer experience true darkness.
On the last day of summer in 2006, a Utah college student named Reggie Shaw killed two rocket scientists while texting and driving in Cache Valley. In his new book, “A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention” Pulitzer prize winning New York Times reporter, Matt Richtel, follows Shaw through the tragedy, his denial of its cause, the police investigation, the state’s groundbreaking prosecution (at the time there was little precedent to guide the court), and ultimately Shaw’s improbable admission of guilt, and his redemption.
In the wake of his experience, Shaw has become a leading advocate against distracted driving, and his story has helped spark a national public relations and legislative effort targeting distracted driving, even as cars are increasingly becoming mobile communications centers and our digital devices enmesh themselves into almost every aspect of our lives. “A Deadly Wandering” tells Shaw’s story and those of his victims and the people who pursued justice. These stories highlight our human strengths and fragilities as we collide headlong with technology of unprecedented power.
Learn about pumpkins (soup recipe included!), an easy-to-grow dracaena, the pinon pine, and food preservation.
Listen to the Full Progam
SQUASH & APPLE SOUP
From Too Many Tomatoes: A cookbook For When Your Garden Explodes
(Serves 6) 1 medium winter squash 3 tart green apples, chopped 1 onion, chopped 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram 4 cups chicken broth 1 tsp salt 1/8 tsp pepper 1/4 tsp curry Bake the squash at 425ºF until done — 45 minutes to an hour. Halve, remove pulp and seeds. Set aside. Combine the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes. Add squash pulp. Blend well in blender. Reheat before serving.
At age eleven, Kenan Trebincevic was a happy, karate-loving kid living with his family in the quiet Eastern European town of Brcko. Then, in the spring of 1992, war broke out and his friends, neighbors and teammates all turned on him. Pero - Kenan's beloved karate coach - showed up at his door with an AK-47 - screaming: "You have one hour to leave or be killed!" His only crime: he was Muslim. In his new book “The Bosnia List: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Return” Trebincevic tells the story of his miraculous escape from the brutal ethnic cleansing campaign that swept the former Yugoslavia, and of his return. After two decades in the United States, Trebincevic honors his father’s wish to visit their homeland. And he makes a list of what he wants to do there. He decides to confront the former next door neighbor who stole from his mother, see the concentration camp where his dad and brother were imprisoned and stand on the grave of his first betrayer to make sure he’s really dead. Back in the land of his birth, Trebincevic finds something more powerful—and shocking—than revenge.
Anthony Doerr is author of the New York Times bestseller “All the Light We Cannot See,” about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Doerr says the novel is about the magic of radio, propaganda, a cursed diamond, children in Nazi Germany, puzzles, snails, the Natural History Museum in Paris, courage, fear, bombs, the magical seaside town of Saint-Malo in France, and the ways in which people, against all odds, try to be kind to one another. And he says, referring to the book’s title, that there are countless invisible stories still buried within World War II — that stories of ordinary children, for example, are a kind of light we do not typically see. And that, ultimately, the title is intended as a suggestion that we spend too much time focused on only a small slice of the spectrum of possibility.
More than 300,000 people marched through the streets of New York City on Sunday in what organizers called the largest climate-change demonstration in history (USA Today.)
Participants in the People’s Climate March demanded that “bold ideas” be presented at a United Nations summit on climate change on Tuesday. In the meantime, Americans are deeply divided, not only on how to address climate change but whether it's a problem at all. “Carroll Doherty of the Pew Research Center says in a poll last month, 68 percent of Democrats called climate change a major threat to the U.S., concern on a par with Islamic extremism. But only 25 percent of Republicans feel that way.” (NPR)
Recently I got a call from a telemarketer telling me that all my neighbors were getting together to hire her company to spray about their houses to kill hobo spiders.
Hobo spiders are unwelcome.
I picked up the call because she didn’t phone from a 1-800 number, and she was so pleased that I was being polite that she must have run through three or four pages of script before I could say a word. She was warning me about the dangers of these homeless spiders, saying that they are more aggressive as the football season gets underway because that’s when these railroad vagabonds mate and move in with people.
When she finally did take a breath, I told her the honest truth, which is that I am a poor person, and while I feared all kinds of spiders equally, homeless or not, I could not afford her company’s services.
“How much would it cost to have one of your people drive by my house and yell, ‘Yo, spiders, get away from that house right now!’ " I asked her, using my best Rocky intonation.
That threw her off her rhythm a bit and she switched to the page you read if disturbed people say they are too poor to buy from you.
I am more afraid of spiders than anyone I know, but that is, in part, because I understand all spiders are basically tarantulas.
I do several things at nearly the same time if a tarantula gets on my person.
1. I emit a noise that sounds like several turkeys being electrocuted. Have you ever heard a siren that sounds like a turkey being electrified? Well, that was probably me.
We tend to talk about Air Quality in the winter when inversions are trapping us in especially bad air. But this is a serious ongoing problem. So, on Monday’s AU, we’ll ask: What does the latest research tell us about our air pollution problem? And what are our current plans to ameliorate the problem?
On Friday’s AU we revisit our conversation with Kevin Fedarko on his book, “The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon.” In the spring of 1983, a massive snowmelt sent runoff racing down the Colorado River toward the Glen Canyon Dam. Worried federal officials desperately scrambled to avoid a worst-case scenario: one of the most dramatic dam failures in history. In the midst of this crisis, a trio of river guides secretly launched a small, hand-built wooden boat, a dory named the Emerald Mile, into the Colorado just below the dam’s base and rocketed toward the dark chasm downstream, where the torrents of water released by the dam engineers had created a maelstrom so powerful it shifted giant boulders and created bizarre hydraulic features never previously seen.
The river was already choked with the wreckage of commercial rafting trips. The chaos had claimed its first fatality, further launches were forbidden, and rangers were conducting the largest helicopter evacuation in the history of Grand Canyon National Park. The captain of the dory, Kenton Grua, aimed to use the flood as a hydraulic slingshot that would hurl him and two companions through 277 miles of some of the most ferocious white water in North America and, if everything went as planned, catapult the Emerald Mile into legend as the fastest boat ever propelled through the heart of the Grand Canyon. Listen here