This special hour allows us to bring you interesting, unusual and often provocative programs selected from stations and producers from around the world. Some programs are just a single hour, while others present a short series of related programs.
May 16th - June 13th, 2009
The Saturday Special began with five episodes of
Radiolab, produced by WNYC in New York City. Radiolab is described as a series of shows about curiosity, each centered
around one "big idea".
Saturday, May 16th - "Choice"We turn up the volume on the voices in our heads and try to make sense of the babble, as we ponder how we get through the million choices and decisions we make every day.
Saturday, May 23rd - "Sperm"Why so many sperm? We ponder the necessity of males in a world where sperm can be frozen and kept for all eternity.
Saturday, May 30th - "Race"When the human genome was first fully mapped in 2000, Bill Clinton, Craig Venter, and Francis Collins took the stage and pronounced that "The concept of race has no genetic or scientific basis."
Saturday, June 6th - "Diagnosis"Humans intuition and creativity still lead the way both in discovering that nature of a problem, and in dealing with the resulting knowledge.
Saturday, June 13th - "Yellow Fluff and Other Curious Encounters"This program asks the question "Why are inquiry and the pursuit of knowledge so seductive?"
June 20th - July 18th 2009
Five Farms: Stories from American Farm Families
The series tracks five farm families from around the nation for a one-year cycle of the seasons. It's about families who make their living tilling the soil, planting seeds and caring for livestock, working to produce food for American tables.
"Five Farms" follows these families in their orchards, fields and barns to reveal the challenges and rewards that keep them working the
land. The series was produced by Wesley Horner Productions in association with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.
Saturday, June 20thSpring planting on the family farm is the time of the annual gamble - on the alchemies of nature, the health of livestock, on future fall harvest market prices.
"Planting" introduces five families who are among the one-percent of Americans who live and work on farms: the Griffieon family of Iowa; the Pecusas of Hopi, Arizona; the Mains of northern California; the Wise family of North Carolina; and the Hagers, western Massachusetts dairy farmers.
Saturday, June 27thEarly summer is a time of long days on the family farm, perfect for nurturing crops and animals as they approach the peak of growing season.
"Nurturing" illuminates the daily work of farming through the parents and children in each farm family. It also reveals the distinctive challenges and joys of raising a family - and growing up - in farm country.
Saturday, July 4th"Stewardship" focuses on the daily choices farming families make to preserve their land, water and air - the fundamentals of farming.
During mid-summer visits to a Massachusetts milking barn, an Iowa soybean field, an apricot orchard in California, a hog farm in North Carolina and a desert corn field in Arizona, five families describe and demonstrate what sustainability means on their farms.
Saturday, July 11thAutumn is harvest time. That means Iowa corn and soybeans; fruit dried in the California sun; greens, beans, and potatoes; slaughtered hogs and beef trucked to market. It also means Thanksgiving turkeys.
"Harvest" follows the families to the grain elevator, the farmers market and, in a welcome break from work, the State Fair. It's the time of summing up after the long growing season, - the time to decide whether the gamble of early spring planting season has paid off.
Saturday, July 18thFor each of the families of "Five Farms," the question looms large: Who will take over the farm?
"Succession" features the next generation - the young people in each farm family. Who will continue to farm, who won't, and why? Some have gone away to college or to explore work off the farm, and have returned with new ideas and new energy. Others leave farming for good. The program also explores community connections that are part of rural life.
Saturday, July 25th
Bridging the Shores: The Hmong-American Experience
An encore broadcast from Wisconsin Public Radio, the program explores the issues of identity, preservation, adaptability, and perseverance that many Hmong-Americans grapple with in a continually-evolving culture.
Forced to flee their native Laos due to Communist persecution resulting from their serving as allies to U.S. forces during the Vietnam War, thousands of Hmong began arriving in the U.S. in the late 1970s. The immigrants have since struggled to adapt to American customs, yet retain their traditions.
For more information, click here, or visit the companion website at www.wiipps.org. This documentary, premiered on September 12, 2008, is also be available via the audio streaming and archive services on this website.
The Moth Radio Hour is old-fashioned storytelling on modern topics.
The Moth Radio Hour features true stories told live on-stage without scripts, notes, props, or accompaniment. Each Moth Radio Hour mixes humorous, heartbreaking, and poignant tales that captivate, surprise, and delight audiences with their honesty, bravery, and humor.
Saturday, August 1stA batboy for the New York Yankees goes on a wild goose chase for a left-handed bat-stretcher; an Irish-Catholic family obsessed with the Kennedys dedicates a summer to spying on their idols; a comedian experiences the ultimate heartbreak; and a drill sergeant faints at the sight of blood.
Saturday, August 8thA severely stuttering child finds solace in speaking to animals and vows to speak for them if he grows up to find his voice. Years later we find him as the world's premier jaguar expert, having a face to face with an animal in the jungle of Belize. Plus, a Texas tale of moon pies and bedazzlers, and the surprising story of a Harlem man who ends up at a rodeo in Oregon.
Saturday, August 15thHear how celebrated author and writer Adam Gopnik (Paris to the Moon, The New Yorker) embarrasses his son and offends other loved ones by getting lost in the new world of Instant Message abbreviations. Also, stories of first love and unlikely pen pals, and the sad tale of gay man who comes out to his parents with dramatic consequences.
Saturday, August 22ndThis episode of The Moth Radio Hour includes stories from beloved author Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers, Blink, The Tipping Point) about a wedding prank gone horribly wrong; an African-American home care attendant caring for a dying Klansman; and a miracle survivor of a gang initiation.
Saturday, August 29thA man is instructed not to fall in love with his monkey, but fails; renowned performer Sarah Jones (Bridge and Tunnel) finds herself the subject of racial profiling; and the inventor of the Baby Calzone runs into trouble with the Mob.
September 5th, 2009The State We're In:
THE RIGHT TO A GOOD BOSS
A good boss is something all employees hope for, but they can be surprisingly hard to find. Radio Netherlands Worldwide takes us to Italy to meet a truly "enlightened" boss. And we meet the only woman labour leader in Iraq to talk about her job, and workers rights in the country.
September 12th, 2009
A Better Life: Creating the American DreamThe "American dream" has powered the hopes and aspirations of Americans for generations. It began as a plain but revolutionary notion: each person has the right to pursue happiness, and the freedom to strive for a better life through hard work and fair ambition. But over time, this dream has come to represent a set of expectations about owning things and making money. So what exactly is the American dream? How did we come to define it? And is it changing?
September 19th, 2009
Bridge to Somewhere: Lessons From The New DealPresident Barack Obama wants to create jobs by building infrastructure. So did another president. Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried to put people to work by building roads, bridges, dams, sewers, schools, hospitals and even ski jumps. The structures that New Deal agencies built transformed America.
September 26th, 2009
Hard Times in Middletown: How the Middle Class Became The Brittle ClassFor almost a century, Muncie, Indiana has been known as "Middletown," the quintessential American community. But now, as the rust-belt city grapples with deepening recession, many residents are losing their hold on the middle class. Think of them as the brittle class, just one fragile rung above poverty on the economic ladder.
October 3rd - “Stochasticity”
October 10th – "Special Edition"
October 17th - “After life”
October 24th - “Parasites”
October 31st - “War Of The Worlds”
November 7th - “Numbers”
November 14th - “New Normal”
Recorded live, hear highlights from the Wisconsin Teen Poetry Slam Finals held in April at the University of Wisconsin Union Theater. Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Initiatives, the Slam features Wisconsin's brightest young poets competing for a spot at the International Teen Poetry Slam in Chicago.
Language Advisory: This program contains some strong language and content regarding sexuality and violence. Listener discretion is advised.
Here are links to video of Team Wisconsin performances at Brave New Voices, the 2009 International Teen Poetry Slam last summer in Chicago.
This week, The State We’re In offers something different on the idea of giving thanks by remembering the end of The Cold War, December 3rd, 1989. Today, a conversation with two former spies… one from the U.K…. and one from the former Soviet Union… who talk about their experiences working on opposite sides of The Cold War.
December 5th, 2009Early Lessons
Preschool education started as an experiment in the 1960s and economists now say it's the smartest way to spend public money. Fifty years later, researchers are still learning powerful lessons about America's youngest students.
December 12th, 2009Rising by Degrees
Young Latinos are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. and they are the least likely to go to college. For these students, success in college could have a big impact on the U.S. economy.
December 19th, 2009
We know that a good education can be the ticket to a good job. But for many Americans, conventional school isn’t working. Turning workplaces into classrooms is giving marginal students a shot at good jobs and big dreams.
December 26th, 2009
The State We're In Christmas Special: Life-Altering Gifts.
From the Radio Netherlands Worldwide, stories of how the act of giving sometimes comes with unexpected results. We hear from people who gave... and received a gift... and got much more than they bargained for...
For questions or comments about our programming, call Audience Services