Why is a mouse on the floor a pest, but a mouse in a cute cage a pet? Why is it fine to feed white rats to boa constrictors, but people would shudder and scream if anyone tried to feed kittens to a snake? The way we think about animals defies logic. It’s emotionally complicated and differs dramatically depending on culture. Tonight’s guest is HAL HERZOG, one the world’s leading anthrozoologists, a scientist who studies how humans think about animals. His new book is titled SOME WE LOVE. SOME WE HATE. SOME WE EAT. WHY IT’S SO HARD TO THINK STRAIGHT ABOUT ANIMALS. Tonight we talk about if there are differences between “dog people” and “cat people”; if children who abuse animals grow up to be violent adults; what happens when vegans backslide, and why everyone seems to hate snakes. The answers will surprise you.
Tonight we welcome back writer, critic and long-time columnist and blogger for Vanity Fair JAMES WOLCOTT who continues his conversation about his book LUCKING OUT: MY LIFE GETTING DOWN AND DIRTY IN SEVENTIES NEW YORK. Tonight, James Wolcott discusses how long it took for him to be considered an established New York critic, the proliferation and mainstreaming of porn during that decade and finally his discovery and deep love of ballet.
Armed ONLY with a letter of introduction by Norman Mailer, JAMES WOLCOTT left college and headed for what he hoped would be a brilliant career as a critic in New York City in the early 1970s. As luck would have it, he managed to land an entry position at the Village Voice. Thus began a whirlwind decade for Wolcott as he was introduced into the heady world of the legendary writers who worked in the city during what he calls “the Feudal Age of film criticism”. He becomes one of Pauline Kael’s posse and a regular at CBGB’s and there witnesses the first performances of the likes of Patti Smith and the Ramones. And that’s only the beginning of his story. Today, James Wolcott is long-time columnist and blogger for Vanity Fair, and a well-known critic and fiction writer. Tune in tonight as James Wolcott talks about his salad days as recounted in his just published fabulous memoir LUCKING OUT: MY LIFE GETTING DOWN AND SEMI-DIRTY IN SEVENTIES NEW YORK.
Birds are important indicators of the health of an environment. Mass Audubon has just published an important summary of what is known about the health of bird populations in Massachusetts, what species are increasing, what species are declining and what habitats are endangered. Tonight on Inquiry, we welcome JOAN WALSH, Director of Bird Monitoring at Mass Audubon and one of the authors of STATE OF THE BIRDS 2011: DOCUMENTATING CHANGES IN MASSACHUSETTS BIRD LIFE. If you love natural history, are concerned about the future of open space in the state and especially if you enjoy birds, be sure to tune in. To obtain a PDF copy of this beautiful and important report, go to:
The relationship between art and architecture is a complex and at times an uneasy one. In the twentieth century a number of artists works have focused on commenting about our relationship to the physical structures in which we work and live. Tonight on Inquiry, we welcome back DINA DEITSCH, curator at the DECORDOVA SCULPTURE PARK AND MUSEUM. Tonight she talks about a current large and ambitious show at the museum titled TEMPORARY STRUCTURES, that involves built environments, performance art and video work that all comments of buildings, houses and museums. For more information , go to: http://www.decordova.org
Tonight on Inquiry we have a fascinating talk with writer BERND BRUNNER about the history and evolution of the aquarium. What started out as an attempt to bring a small bit of the wild and unknown ocean into the home eventually become a worldwide hobby and public entertainment. But are fish really meant to be “kept in a box?” Tune in to find out. Brunner’s beautiful and unique social natural history is titled THE OCEAN AT HOME: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE AQUARIUM.
Amazingly, there are a small set of numbers, values and constants that define the way our entire universe works and has evolved. Tonight on Inquiry we talk with a man who has written a wonderful book about these very important numbers: Professor of mathematics at California State University JAMES D. STEIN. His entertaining history of science and mathematics is COSMIC NUMBERS: THE NUMBERS THAT DEFINE OUR UNIVERSE. Tonight we talk about the value of Absolute Zero, the coldest anything in the universe can get, and what weird things happen to matter as it is brought to this ultimate “big chill”. We finish our conversation by discussing the Omega value, a number that may well determine the fate of the entire universe.
Tonight on Inquiry we welcome back artist, writer, children’s book author and illustrator JARRETT J. KROSOCZKA. He has a brand new book coming out, OLLIE THE PURPLE ELEPHANT; a new volume of his very popular LUNCH LADY series of graphic novels; a beautiful e-book of his sketches and if all that wasn’t enough a ten year retrospective of his work will be at the Worcester Art Museum’s education Wing October 11-November 13! Titled MONKEY BOY TO LUNCH LADY , a very special “celebration, book signing and more” event will be had at the museum on OCTOBER 23 from 1-4PM. See: http://www.studiojjk.com/10yearretrospective.html
With everyone texting, Twittering and on Facebook today, there can be little doubt that we live in the age of the incredible shrinking message. Being able to cut through the plethora of voices and posts we read everyday to get someone’s attention requires new rules of writing not found in Strunk and White. We are living in a world wide Algonquin Round Table and to get someone’s attention you need to be pragmatic, economic, witty and creative. Tonight on Inquiry we talk with CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON, verbal branding consultant, blogger and author. His new book, MICROSTYLE: THE ART OF WRITING LITTLE, details this new “rhetoric for the web age” and is for anyone who texts, writes copy or designs a brand. Tune in and learn about the new rules for this new literacy. Johnson’s website is: http://www.thenameinspector.com
Tonight on Inquiry, we welcome HONEE HESS, Director of Education at the Worcester Art Museum and KATRINA STACEY, Assistant Curator of Education at the Worcester Art Museum. They introduce an upcoming exciting exhibition at the museum titled IN SEARCH OF JULIEN HUDSON: A FREE ARTIST OF COLOR IN PRE-CIVIL WAR NEW ORLEANS. This complex exhibition, which involved “detection, speculation and invention” attempts to piece together the details of the life of this important American artist. This is Part One of a series about this show.
Joan Jett was and continues to be one of the hardest playing and hardest working musicians in rock. The fact that she was a pioneer for women to be considered serious players in the rock world is only one of her many accomplishments. Today, in her 50s, she continues to play and write and music that is quintessential rock and roll. Tonight on Inquiry we talk with prolific author DAVE THOMPSON about his new biography: BAD REPUTATION: THE UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY OF JOAN JETT. Tune in and learn about Jett’s early days in the Runaways and how the Black Hearts eventually came to be.
In the late 70s and early 80s, bands like The Talking Heads, Devo, the B52s and OMD help define an exciting and progressive modern pop music that was called “New Wave”. But is there an easy definition for this extremely varied music ? Tonight on Inquiry, we talk with THEO CATEFORIS, Assistant Professor of Music History and Culture in the Department of Art and Music Histories at Syracuse University. His new book ARE WE NOT NEW WAVE? MODERN POP AT THE TURN OF THE 1980S brings a surprising scholarly analysis to this progressive music that defined a generation of alternative music listeners. Tune in and find out why Devo epitomizes a neurotic disorder of the late nineteenth century and how Adam Ant found his groove in the Burundi Beat.
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