Clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh was born in Damascus, but now lives in New York, where he wakes up to bad news each day. One of his compositions, “A Sad Morning, Every Morning,” is dedicated to the victims of the Syrian conflict, now in its third year.
Also featured tonight will be works by Joseph Haydn and Mieczyslaw Weinberg and the world premiere of two compositions by the composer Kareem Roustom-- also born in Damascus. Roustom has not been back to Syria since 2008; Azmeh since July 2012 , but the people who are suffering in their war-torn homeland are never far from their hearts or their music. We spoke to Kinan Azmeh and Kareem Routsom from Dartmouth’s studio about homeland.
If you’ve ever avoided a conversation about death, you are not alone. While death scenes are plentiful in movies and on television, witnessing the real, degenerative, disorienting process of death and dying is avoided…unmentionable…a taboo. A new Showtime series faces that taboo head-on. “Time of Death” follows eight terminally ill people ranging in age from nineteen to seventy-seven over the course of nine months to their final hours and even moments of life.
Reviews and conversations cropping up around the series praise its raw, sometimes agonizing realism and wonder if anyone will watch; if our death denying culture can take such an unflinching look at death? The Huffington Post’s religion reporter Jaweed Kaleem wrote about the series. He’s covers one of HuffPo’s most unusual beats: death.
Also joining us is Miggi Hood co-executive producer for the Showtime series, “Time of Death.”
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy fifty years ago this month, left a country in shock and disbelief and as the years went on, awash in conspiracy theories. Nearly a thousand books have disputed the central finding of the Warren Commission: that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone when he shot the president. Today, almost two-thirds of the American public doubt believe that Oswald, and his assassin, Jack Ruby, were part of a larger conspiracy.
Richard Mosk was a 23-year-old attorney when he became the youngest member of the commission established by President Johnson to investigate the murder of JFK and his assassin. He’s now associate justice on the California court of appeals. In an article for Stanford magazine, Mosk wrote that he is “apprehensive” about the upcoming anniversary – which will again stir up the conspiracy theories that have shadowed the Warren Commission’s findings for half a century.
Enjoying the Saturday edition of Word of Mouth is like sipping a hot cup of cocoa on a crisp fall day. Rest assured, this is an indulgent cup of public radio goodness, topped with the whipped cream and sprinkles you've come to expect from the WoM team. So why not take a break from raking those leaves for an hour and curl up with us. On this week's show:
Schottenfreude: Need a word to describe your feelings? Perhaps the German language can lend a hand. Ben Schott joins us to share a few new words that borrow from German to add to your lexicon.
Are You Cool?Dan Kois talks about Slate's month long series that investigates what cool is and where the term comes from.
If you’ve been keeping up on the scope of NSA data harvesting and reports of corporations selling – or losing – your personal data, you may well be:
a) scared out of your wits
b) changing your passwords, securing your routers taking steps to protect your data or
c) throwing your hands up in the air and surrendering to the new insecurity state. There is also the option of throwing out your smart phone, pulling down the shades, and curling up in a ball.
Adam Penenberg is an editor for PandoDaily, a technology news site and a professor of journalism at New York University. He wrote about hiring hackers to test his own security – and found himself to be more vulnerable than he thought.
Richard Pryor changed stand-up. He created comedy with no jokes. Instead, he unleashed a parade of street characters rarely glimpsed by white people and mortifying to middle class African Americans. Pryor wrote that the neighbors, whores and winos he saw growing up around his family’s bars and brothels inspired a lifetime of comedic material.
Pryor’s stand-up was outrageously blunt, fearlessly black and openly angry. His talent ran in tandem with episodes of self-destructive, violent, behavior -- often triggered by drug use – which jeopardized his career and endangered his life. Yet, in movies, Grammy-winning albums, and even a short-lived TV special, Richard Pryor’s unapologetically irreverent comedy crossed over to capture a huge American audience; Brothers Dave and Joe Henry among them. Dave is a screenwriter, Joe is a singer and songwriter and together they’ve written Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him.
This Saturday, the Metropolitan Opera’s “Live in HD” series will broadcast worldwide. The live performance will be streaming to more than 700 theaters in the United States, seven of which are right here in New Hampshire. Starring in the opera is soprano Patricia Racette of Manchester, New Hampshire.
In 2007, researchers from the University of Texas categorized 237 motivations for humans to have sex. Recently, researchers at the University of Toronto divided the most common into two broad categories: approach motives pursue a positive outcome, like increasing intimacy; avoidance motives aim to avoid conflict or guilt. The Canadian team found that adding the fairly un-sexy drives of duty, resignation and guilt which significantly affect the health of a relationship, and could spell the difference between a happy marriage and a rocky one. Elizabeth Bernstein is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, where she wrote about the studies published by University of Toronto in October.
This photo was used to illustrate Schuster's story with the following caption: Photographs from Nadezhda Ladygina-Kohts, Infant Chimpanzee and Human Child. Originally published in 1935, the book offers a comparative study of the behavior of a human child (Ladygina-Kohts’s own son Roody) and an infant chimpanzee named Joni. The bottom two images in this plate show Joni reacting to being tickled.
The sensation of tickling has baffled great thinkers since the days of Aristotle, who used human ticklishness to distinguish people from animals. Later, Freud puzzled over the strange mix of pleasure and pain caused by tickling.
Indeed, we tickle kids or siblings, sometimes affectionately, sometimes edging towards cruelty. Still unknown is why people laugh when tickled, and why you can’t tickle yourself? Why do some people enjoy tickling and others not? And what is tickling, after all? Contemporary philosopher Aaron Schuster picks up those questions. He’s on the faculty at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam and wrote “A Philosophy of Tickling” for Cabinet Magazine.
Lucifer, Beelzebub, the Prince of Darkness…whatever he's called, some seventy percent of Americans believe in the existence of the Devil. That’s according to a 2007 Gallup Poll, and that number has increased steadily since 1990, when only fifty-five percent believed in evil personified in the form of Satan.
Now, researchers are looking at the implications of belief in “pure evil” on psychological and social behaviors. Piercarlo Valdesolo is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Claremont Mckenna College and contributor to Scientific American’s “Mind Matters” blog, where we found his article, “The Psychological Power of Satan.”
In German, there's an expression for kicking through piles of leaves, and for the conviction that all large houses must have secret passages. In other words, Germans have expressions for things we don't, and they're pretty great. Just think about the ones we've adopted without thought, like 'Wanderlust.'
AuthorBen Schott’s Miscellanies and annual almanacs have sold millions and been translated into more than a dozen languages. Now, he’s completed a compendium of compounds to describe the inexpressible. It’s called Schottenfreude: German Words for the Human Condition.
If you have not seen “The Empire Strikes Back,” Darth Vader reveals a shocking secret to Luke Skywalker:
"Luke, I am your father."
Now, think back, did that scene completely surprise you, or did someone tell you it was coming? Since the film came out in 1980, we’re pretty sure that we didn’t ruin it for you. Today, however, spoilers flourish on social media where there are no rules for revealing the surprising twists and plot devices in movies or T.V. shows. Chris Klimek has come up with some guidelines for reviewers, he’s a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Slate, The Washington Post, and TheVillage Voice, where we found his taxonomy and guidelines, “The Four Types of Spoilers and How Reviewers Should Handle Them.”
The afternoons are getting darker, the trees are bare, and the furnace is snapping on; it’s November in New England. A time when we shift indoors and enjoy some quiet before the holidays are upon us. It’s also a great time for movies, when the studios trot out their Oscar contenders and the crush of holiday blockbusters have yet to arrive with guns blaring and special effects thrusting.
Amy Diaz is editor and film critic for The Hippo, she and film consultant and commentator, Garen Daly are with us to talk movies. Specifically what you see between now and Thanksgiving.
In the spirit of thinking about how we eat over what we eat, a team at Cornell University conducted a study to see how we can make the buffet—that most tempting and often fattening arrays of food — into part of a balanced breakfast.