News , Society & Culture
[LESS INFO] 116 VIEWS | ADDED 00:43:10 04/03/10
A nature photographer and Nebraska native, Michael Forsberg shares his work documenting this vast landscape, its lakes, prairies along with its plants and animals. This program was recorded in collaboration with the California Academy of the Sciences, on March 23, 2010. The Great Plains are a dynamic but often forgotten landscape -- overlooked, undervalued, misunderstood, and in desperate need of conservation. Forsberg's book helps lead the way forward, informing and inspiring readers to recognize the wild spirit and splendor of this irreplaceable part of the planet. - California Academy of the Sciences Michael Forsberg is a Nebraska native and has focused much of his work in North America's Great Plains, once one of the greatest grassland ecosystems on Earth. His goal has been to try to capture the wild spirit that still survives in these wide-open spaces and put a face to the often overlooked native creatures and landscapes found there. His hope is that the images can build appreciation and go to work to inspire conservation efforts on the land far into the future. Forsberg received a degree in geography with an emphasis in environmental studies from the University of Nebraska, and worked briefly as a seasonal ranger in the National Park Service before accepting a job as a staff photographer and writer producing natural history stories for NEBRASKAland Magazine, the state's conservation publication. He worked at the magazine for six years before starting his own photography business and gallery. Forsberg's work has appeared in publications including Audubon, National Geographic, National Wildlife, and Natural History, and recognized in the Pictures of the Year and Wildlife Photographer of the Year competitions. In 2001, his image of a Nebraska tallgrass prairie was selected for an International Postage Stamp. In 2004, he was awarded a Conservation Education Award from The Wildlife Society. Recently, he was featured in the PBS documentary "Crane Song," and was the 2009 recipient of the North American Nature Photographer's Association Mission Award.
[LESS INFO] 117 VIEWS | ADDED 00:56:01 03/27/10
Sam Keen talks about his book, In the Absence of God: Dwelling in the Presence of the Sacred. This program was recorded in collaboration with the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, on March 11, 2010. As global residents within a culture of fanaticism, materialism, and greed, is it possible to bridge our differences and dwell in harmony in the twenty-first century? Celebrated author Sam Keen believes that a new understanding of the role of religion in our lives is essential for such a transformation. And that nothing less than our existence hangs in the balance. In In the Absence of God, Keen offers a provocative critique of the present state of religion and leads the way down a new path -- one of renewal for us and our troubled society. By recovering the experience of the sacred, Keen argues, we may renew our own relationship with God and discover the religious commonality we all share, ending bridging differences that have divided Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and others. Known throughout religious and philosophical circles alike, Keen has spent his life asking the "big questions," and in In the Absence of God, he does not shy away from some of the most difficult and provocative questions concerning religion today: What does religion offer us in today's world? How has religion failed us? Must we choose between religious fundamentalism and atheism -- or is there a hopeful alternative? How can religion address the challenges and violence we face every day? Keen reminds us that the answers to these questions lie at the heart of religion and shows us how to access them. By reviving the sacred in everyday life through an appreciation of such elementary emotions as wonder, gratitude, anxiety, joy, grief, reverence, compassion, outrage, hope, and humility, we may rediscover God for ourselves and find a way to live in peace. - Berkeley Arts and Letters Sam Keen is a noted author and lecturer, who has written thirteen books on philosophy and religion. He earned graduate degrees from the Harvard Divinity School and Princeton University, and spent twenty years working as an editor of Psychology Today. Keen co-produced the Emmy-nominated PBS documentary "Faces of the Enemy," and was the subject of a PBS special with Bill Moyers titled "Your Mythic Journey."
[LESS INFO] 209 VIEWS | ADDED 18:17:31 03/19/10
Hosts Jaime Hyneman and Adam Savage discuss their Discovery Channel show, "Mythbusters," in a conversation with Wired Magazine's Kevin Kelly. This program was recorded in collaboration with the Commonwealth Club of California, on March 13, 2010. Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, the men behind Discovery Channel's "MythBusters," share behind the scenes stories from their daring, often rudimentary and typically inadvisable tests of myths, rumors and complete hogwash with Kevin Kelly, Wired magazine's founding executive editor. - Commonwealth Club of California Hailing from Indiana farm country, Jamie Hyneman is a multifaceted man: wilderness survival expert, boat captain, diver, linguist, animal wrangler, machinist and cook, to name a few. His career has been as equally diverse: Hyneman earned a degree in Russian languages and ran a sailing/diving charter business in the Caribbean for several years before he moved over to the visual-effects industry. Once he had joined that field and had worked for several special-effects companies, Hyneman found his way to Colossal Pictures' model shop, where he managed the production of models and special effects for hundreds of commercials and movies. Then, 16 years ago, Hyneman took over the shop and created M5 Industries Inc. Hyneman has worked on over 800 commercials for major automobile manufacturers, soft-drink companies, athletic shoe companies and numerous other products. And in the midst of all this activity, Hyneman's company diversified into toy prototyping and research and development in a variety of other areas as well. Adam Savage has spent his life gathering skills that allow him to take what's in his brain and make it real. He's built everything from ancient Buddhas to futuristic weapons, from spaceships to dancing vegetables, from fine art sculptures to animated chocolate and just about anything else you can think of. Since 1993, Savage has concentrated on the special-effects industry, honing his skills through more than 100 television commercials and a dozen feature films. Today, in addition to co-hosting Discovery Channel's "MythBusters," Savage teaches advanced model making, most recently in the industrial design department at the San Francisco Academy of Art. Somehow, he also finds time to devote to his own art - his sculptures have been showcased in over 40 shows in San Francisco, New York and Charleston, W.Va. Kevin Kelly is a member of the the Long Now Foundation board of directors. He is the editor at large (formerly editor in chief) at Wired Magazine.
[LESS INFO] 91 VIEWS | ADDED 00:14:10 03/13/10
Shane Harris, a reporter for National Journal, talks about The Watchers: The Rise of America's Surveillance State. Harris charts the rise of America's surveillance state over the past 25 years and highlights a dangerous paradox: he argues the government's strategy has made it harder to catch terrorists and easier to spy on civilians. In 1983, Admiral John Poindexter, President Reagan’s National Security Advisor, realized that the U.S. might have prevented the terrorist massacre of 241 Marines in Beirut, if intelligence agencies could have analyzed in real time the data they had on the attackers. Poindexter poured technical know-how and government funds into his dream–a system that would sift reams of information for signs of terrorist activity. Decades later, that elusive dream still captivates Washington. After 9/11, Poindexter returned to government with a controversial program, called Total Information Awareness, to detect the next attack. Today it has evolved into a secretly funded operation that can gather a trove of personal information on every American and millions of others worldwide. Despite billions of dollars spent on this quest since the Reagan era, we still can’t discern future threats in the vast data cloud that surrounds us all. But the government can now spy on its citizens with an ease that was impossible-and illegal-just a few years ago. Drawing on unprecedented access to the people who pioneered this high-tech spycraft, Harris shows how it has moved from the province of right-wing technocrats into the mainstream, becoming a cornerstone of the Obama administration’s war on terror.
[LESS INFO] 158 VIEWS | ADDED 21:58:18 03/05/10
Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger talks about his memoir, "Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters," in a conversation with journalist Dan Ashley. On January 15, 2009, Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger had less than three minutes to plan and execute the water landing hailed around the world as "the miracle on the Hudson". In a talk about work, priorities and challenges, Sully reveals how he'd spent his entire life preparing for those minutes in the cockpit of US Airways Flight 1549, when his actions would mean life or death. This program was recorded in collaboration with the Commonwealth Club of California, on November 30, 2009. Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger is a pilot from Danville, California. He is also the author of Highest Duty. On January 15, 2009, Sullenberger successfully executed an emergency water landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River near New York City, an event that became known around the world as "the miracle on the Hudson." On March 3, 2010, Captain Sullenberger announced his retirement from US Airways.
[LESS INFO] 122 VIEWS | ADDED 02:23:26 02/27/10
Acclaimed author and playwright Eve Ensler discusses her book, I Am An Emotional Creature, in a conversation with author Daniel Handler. This program was recorded in collaboration with the Commonwealth Club of California, on February 16, 2010. Since creating her groundbreaking first work, The Vagina Monologues, Ensler and the performers she inspired have grown into nothing less than a global movement. A best-selling author, award-winning playwright and anti-violence activist, Ensler has been the voice for women and girls across the globe for over a decade. In this conversation with author Daniel Handler, she reveals the daily struggles faced by modern women around the world. - Commonwealth Club of California Eve Ensler is the award-winning author of The Vagina Monologues. The Vagina Monologues has been translated into over 45 languages and is running in theaters all over the world, including sold-out runs at both Off-Broadway's Westside Theater and on London's West End (2002 Olivier Award nomination, Best Entertainment.) Ms. Ensler has devoted her life to stopping violence, envisioning a planet in which women and girls will be free to thrive, rather than merely survive. The Vagina Monologues is based on Ensler's interviews with more than 200 women. With humor and grace, the piece celebrates women's sexuality and strength. Ms. Ensler is the recipient of many awards including the Guggenheim Fellowship Award in Playwriting, the Berrilla-Kerr Award for Playwriting, the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Solo Performance, and the Jury Award for Theater at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, as well as the 2002 Amnesty International Media Spotlight Award for Leadership and The Matrix Award (2002). Daniel Handler is an author, screenwriter, and accordionist whose novels include Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, and Adverbs. Under the alias "Lemony Snicket," he is the author of the internationally-acclaimed thirteen volumes of A Series of Unfortunate Events.
[LESS INFO] 117 VIEWS | ADDED 00:00:26 02/20/10
Michael Pollan, one of the best-known names in food-related issues, offers a guide about health and food. Food Rules: An Eater's Manual is a set of memorable ideas for eating wisely. Many of them are drawn from a variety of ethnic or cultural traditions. Whether at the supermarket or an all-you-can-eat buffet, this handy, pocket-size resource is for people who would like to become more mindful of what they are eating. This program was recorded in collaboration with Book Passage bookstore, in San Francisco, CA, on January 23, 2010. Michael Pollan is the author of In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, The Omnivore's Dilemma and The Botany of Desire. A contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine, Pollan is the recipient of numerous journalistic awards, including the James Beard Award for best magazine series in 2003 and the Reuters-I.U.C.N. 2000 Global Award for Environmental Journalism. Pollan served for many years as executive editor of Harper's Magazine and is now the Knight Professor of Science and Environmental Journalism at UC Berkeley. His articles have been anthologized in Best American Science Writing 2004, Best American Essays 2003, and the Norton Book of Nature Writing. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, the painter Judith Belzer, and their son, Isaac.
[LESS INFO] 157 VIEWS | ADDED 01:03:17 02/13/10
Journalist Ethan Watters talks about his book, Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche. This program was recorded in collaboration with Berkeley Arts and Letters, on February 4, 2010. American culture is homogenizing the way the world goes mad. Our exportation of everything from movies to junk food is a well-documented phenomenon. But neither our golden arches nor our bomb craters represent our most troubling impact on the world: the bulldozing of the human mind itself. In Crazy Like Us, leading trend-spotter and science writer Ethan Watters shows that we are not only changing the way the world treats and understands mental illness, we are actually changing the symptoms and prevalence of the diseases themselves. - Hillside Club Ethan Watters is the author of Urban Tribes, an examination of the mores of affluent "never marrieds" and the coauthor of Making Monsters, a groundbreaking indictment of the recovered memory movement. A frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine, Discover, Men's Journal, Details, Wired, and NPR, he has appeared on such national media as "Good Morning America," "Talk of the Nation," and CNN. His latest book is Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche. Todd Oppenheimer works as a journalist at The Writers' Grotto. He is the author of The Flickering Mind: Saving Education from the False Promise of Technology, a finalist for the Investigative Reporters and Editors Book Award.