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Programming Archive

Sunday, June 30, 2013 - 10:00pm

In an encore episode, Steve D'Agostino, chief pilot of Best Rate of Climb, interviews Paul Adler, owner-operator of Southern New England Solar, which is based in Chilmark on Cape Cod and is the exclusive distributor of the SolarBeam for the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. They talk about making solar power work for your  business or home.

There are three primary ways to heat water with the sun for residential or commercial use: a flat-panel collector; an evacuated-tube collector; and now a parabolic solar concentrator (also called SolarBeam). For a typical residential home, if you are just heating your domestic hot water, a flat-panel or evacuated-tube system would be more than adequate. However, if you have a large heating need, the best choice would be a parabolic solar concentrator.

In 2012, SolarBeam also began producing up to four kilowatts of electricity at the same time it is heating your water using the latest multi-junction solar-cell technology, currently designed by Boeing for space vehicles, which are 60 percent for more efficient than any other current photovoltaic cells currently available. These high-heat cells are used in conjunction with a new technology called CPV, or concentrator photo voltaic. SolarBeam is already the most powerful solar thermal collector in the world, for its size, using the latest two-axis tracking system and made in the USA.

The installation cost is similar to the cost for installation of flat-panel or evacuated-tube systems. In addition, the payback time is greatly reduced due to the higher efficiencies, the hotter water temperatures, and the two-axis direct-solar tracking.

Sunday, June 30, 2013 - 9:00pm

You may think you know a definition of life, but you would be wrong. Many biologists and scientists are struggling to come up with a theory of life that we can test. In recent decades bacteria have been discovered living in hot springs in temperatures high enough to cook all other life. Life has now been found living in sulphur springs, in caustic soda lakes, deep in the earth’s crust and even in the salt lakes. All places we thought life could never exist. But these extremophile forms of life are only the beginning. Supposed there is life not based on the Carbon atom? Could there be Silicon life? Or could there be life that uses Arsenic? Is it possible there is life that lives in hydrogen fluoride or sulphuric acid or ammonia? The answers may surprise you. Tonight we talk with DAVID TOOMEY, associate professor of English and the Director of the Professional Writing and Technical Communication Program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His new book WEIRD LIFE: THE SEARCH FOR LIFE THAT IS VERY, VERY DIFFERENT FROM OUR OWN will change the way you think about “life”. 

Nikola Tesla was one of the most dynamic and controversial figures in the history of electricity and science. His significant contributions in the use of Alternating Current, radio and radio-controlled devices have often been ignored by the history books. Yet others worship him as the counter-culture father of free energy and a man who communicated with extraterrestrials. David Bowie even played him in a film. What is the truth about Tesla and his inventions? My guest tonight is W. BERNARD CARLSON, Professor of Science, technology and Society in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor of History at the University of Virginia. His new dynamic and thorough biography is TESLA: INVENTOR OF THE ELECTRICAL AGE and it is the first book to portray Tesla in all his brilliance and folly.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 6:00pm

As the keyboardist for the trio Medeski, Martin, & Wood, John Medeski has brought jazz & fusion to rock audiences for more than two decades. He recently began playing solo piano performances in venues world-wide. This week Medeski joins host Jon Weber to perform new pieces from his solo piano album as well as a surprising duet or two.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 4:00pm

The story of Paul Du Chaillu’s life was as astounding as it was complex. As a young man he led a pioneering expedition into the interior of Gabon, Africa and brought back specimens of the little known legendary gorilla. He then became the toast of Victorian Britain just when Darwin’s ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES was published and walked right into the hard fought battles over the differences between a man and an ape. Then,suddenly, he became a discredited figure hated by the academics and public who had supported him. This amazing story is captured in all its detail and complexity in a new book titled BETWEEN MAN AND APE:  AN UNLIKELY EXPLORER, THE EVOLUTION DEBATES AND THE AFRICAN ADVENTURE THAT TOOK THE VICTORIAN WORLD BY STORM. Author MONTE REEL has woven together all the various threads to give us a fascinating story of celebrity, evolution, academic rivalries, empire, religion and race. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 6:00pm

Author, educator and classical and jazz pianist Stuart Isacoff explains how the openness and improvisation of jazz has affected his writing and other creative endeavors.

Monday, June 24, 2013 - 6:00pm

"The trombone comes the closest to the human voice with its bent pitches, scoops, and smears, and that very human quality is evident in everything that [James Weldon] Johnson wrote," says Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra  trombonist Chris Crenshaw.  Crenshaw  draws on his gospel roots to connect  secular music to poetry in this sprawling suite based on the James Weldon Johnson poem.

Sunday, June 23, 2013 - 10:30pm

If dedication and hard work iare the recipe for success then Michael Trujillo is living proof. As president and winemaker of Sequoia Grove winery in California Michael he has consistently produced award winning wines. While here visiting on the East coast he stops by to speak with Al about his work and his life. Tune in this Sunday evening at 10:30 for a truly interesting look at the life of a world class winemaker.

Sunday, June 23, 2013 - 9:00pm

Writer, artist and modern day Izaak Walton, JAMES PROSEK returns to Inquiry to talk about TROUT OF THE WORLD: the new, revised and updated book that showcases the beauty and endless variety of the planets trout species. This book features an outstanding collection of watercolors done by James of the trout coupled with written descriptions, stories and fascinating discussions. Tune in and learn about the amazing diversity of native trout and why fish taxonomy seems to be such a mess. If you have ever marveled at the beauty of a trout you caught in some remote wild stream, be sure to tune in.

There are 389 species of birds that are considered “Endangered” by BirdLife International. An additional 197 species are considered to be “Critically Endangered” meaning that if something is not done quickly, these species will soon become extinct. An additional 4 species are effectively extinct in the wild, but hang on in small captive populations. Why are so many species of birds in trouble and what can be done about it? Tonight on Inquiry we talk with ERIK HIRSCHFELD, a freelance writer, guide and consultant in ornithology. Together with Andy Swash and Robert Sill, they have written THE WORLD’S RAREST BIRDS, a state of the art volume that describes and illustrates all of those endangered bird species and explains why those species got to be so rare. It is one of the finest books on the challenges facing the natural world today and what it will take to save these endangered species for future generations.

Friday, June 21, 2013 - 6:00pm

There’s contrast between the intimate vocal sound of Ms. Parlato and the smokin’ hot all-star Cookers playing music by band members Billy Harper and Cecil McBee, at a long-running outdoor festival just north of New York City.

The 20th Anniversary Caramoor Jazz Festival takes place July 25-27, 2013.

Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 7:00pm

Disaster Songs, Songs of Challenge & Tragedy, and more....Such songs are an old folk tradition, and host Nick Noble will play four hours of classic tracks from the Limeliters, Woody Guthrie, Barbara Dane, Schooner Fare, the Highwaymen, the Chad Mitchell Trio, Gordon Lightfoot, Phil Ochs, and MANY MORE!

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