The 1950s and early 1960s witnessed the birth of a new kind of comedy in America. Playing at small, intimate clubs like the “hungry i” in San Francisco, comedians like Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, Bob Newhart and Mike Nichols and Elaine May redefined what was funny. Their material was topical, satirical and personal and their on-stage style unlike anything like that of the older “Copa and Catskill comedians”. Some brought newspapers on stage and read from them; others sat on a stool while delivering long monologues about politics. Others like Steve Allen and Ernie Kovacs changed TV and paved the way for people like David Letterman. Tonight on Inquiry, we welcome back writer and media historian GERALD NACHMAN for the first part of an interview about these rebels. Nachman’s book is titled SERIOUSLY FUNNY: THE REBEL COMEDIANS OF THE 1950S AND 1960S.
Book: Newspaper Blackout
Date May 2
Poet and author Austin Kleon grabs a newspaper, permanent marker and eliminates words that he doesn’t need. The end result is poetry that Kleon feels rivals his contemporaries. Kleon feels this method is a great way to get children and your people to use cultivate their creative talents and at the same time have fun.
For hundreds of years European Christians battled eastern Mediterranean Muslims during the Crusades. Finally, the Muslims led by the Mamluks won the ultimate battle for the occupation of the Levant. Why did the Crusades happen? Did the Muslim world provoke the Crusades or were these Latin Holy Wars of Aggression? Is there a lasting legacy of the Crusades to found in wars in the Middle East today? Tune in tonight when Inquiry talks with THOMAS ASBRIDGE, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at Queen Mary University London about his monumental book THE CRUSADES: THE AUTHORITATIVE HISTORY OF THE WAR FOR THE HOLY LAND. For those of you who wish to learn more, the full conversation about this important topic can be found in our Archives.
Drawing on both new and neglected evidence, this book reconstructs Old John Brown’s aborted “war” to free the 3.8 million slaves in the American South before the Civil War. John Brown’s War Against Slavery chronicles how this aged American apostle of violence in behalf of the “downtrodden,” this abolitionist “fanatic” and “terroriser,” ultimately rescued his cause by going to the gallows with resolution and outward calm. By embracing martyrdom, John Brown helped to spread panic in the South and persuaded northern sympathizers that failure can be noble and political violence “righteous.”
Many people in America don’t give insects a second thought other than how to remove them from their homes. But in many other parts of the globe, human cultures have a more complex, a more intimate relationship with the hordes of six legged invertebrates. In China, cricket fighting is an arcane and beloved sport that goes back many centuries. In Japan there is a mania for raising large rhinoceros and stag beetles supported by beetle stores, magazines, manga and even a popular Sega game. A once popular and beloved celebration of spring in Florence Italy, home of the writer of Pinocchio and the “grillo parlante” (talking cricket), has now vanished because of a ban enforced by the Green Party. In Niger, farmers battle hordes of locusts that devastate their crops, while at the same also time depend on other species of grasshoppers for sustenance. These are just some of the complex and marvelous topics HUGH RAFFLES, teacher of anthropology at the New School, writes about in his stunning new book INSECTOPEDIA. This book is one of the most profound looks at how humans use and make sense of the natural world . Be sure to tune in tonight for a far-ranging and always interesting conversation about crickets, beetles and even lice.
The oldest known surgical procedure that we have evidence for goes back to the Neolithic period. It was not setting a broken leg or repairing a flattened nose. It was cutting a three-inch hole in the skull using primitive stone tools! Yikes!!! Trepanation or trephination, was a known surgical practice to the Indians of Cuzco, the Ancient Greeks and was done in many European countries. It is still being done in certain cultures of Africa. The amazing thing is that most patients lived! Tonight on Inquiry we talk with DR. CHARLES M. GROSS, a neuroscientist specializing in vision and the functions of the cerebral cortex. His latest collection of interesting essays A HOLE IN THE HEAD: MORE TALES IN THE HISTORY OF NEUROSCIENCE reveals what is known about trephination and how it was done. Other essays in his book look at Dutch and Flemish art that show the infamous “The Stone of Folly”, Rembrandt’s paintings of anatomy lessons and whether in fact our brain can grow new neurons. Tune in tonight for a unique and far-ranging discussion of art, science and medicine.
NaviCare HMO is a health-care program sponsored by Fallon Community Health Plan whose aim is to help you get the most out of your Medicare and MassHealth Standard benefits and offers you extra services that can help you stay healthy at no extra cost.
Under NaviCare, your primary-care physician will work with a team to develop your own personal-care plan based on what kind of care you need.
You will have a geriatric-support-service coordinator who will help arrange for community services.
You'll also have your own personal nurse case manager and navigator, who will work together to coordinate and manage your health-care needs along with your doctors, social workers and other health-care specialists.
My guests are: Katherine “Kathie” Metzger, executive director of NaviCare; and Lynn Patterson, director of government-services clinical programs for Fallon Community Plan.
Scent of the Missing is the true story of search and rescue
volunteer Susannah Charleson and her rescue dog Puzzle. Together they
forge a close relationship as they search for the lost, missing, and
injured. From the earliest air-scent lessons to her final mastery of
whole-body dialog, Puzzle emerges as a fully collaborative partner in a
noble enterprise that unfolds across the forests, plains, and cityscapes
of the Southwest. Along the way Susannah and Puzzle learn to read the
clues in the field, and in each other, to accomplish together the
critical work neither could do alone and to unravel the mystery of the
The Velvet Underground, featuring Lou Reed and vocalist Nico, began as a side project of Andy Warhol’s performance art ensemble The Erupting Plastic Inevitable. Sounding like nothing else in the mid-60s, Velvet Underground went on to record only a handful of albums. But as Brian Eno once quipped, exaggerating only slightly, no more than 100 people ever saw The Velvet Underground, but everyone who did then went out and formed a band. And those people included such rock legends as David Bowie and Iggy Pop. Tonight on Inquiry we have a wild and rollicking chat with writer and rock historian DAVE THOMPSON about this very complicated and strange era of rock that still influences bands and music. His definitive history is titled YOUR PRETTY FACE IS GOING TO HELL: THE DANGEROUS GLITTER OF DAVID BOWIE, IGGY POP AND LOU REED.
Underwriter of the Week
Arts, sciences and humanities build healthier, more livable, vital communities. They are essential to a strong education system. They contribute enormously to our economy.