When Charles II returned to Britain to restore the monarchy in 1660, it was a pivotal time for that nation. Exhausted after suffering through the seemingly endless bloody battles of Cromwell’s reign, the British people then made a choice that explains why today there is still a monarchy in Britain. Youthful and flamboyant Charles II set a new standard for modernity at Whitechapel. He loved tennis, boating, gadding about in the park, and dallying often with his mistresses. But most of all, he wanted to heal the wounds of the revolution. But Parliament, who held the purse strings, had other agendas. Like revenge and religious persecution. So Cromwell’s corpse was unearthed and put on trial and hung. And that was just for starters. Tune into tonight as Inquiry welcomes back noted British historian JENNY UGLOW for part one of a lively conversation about what life was like at the time of big wigs, old London and delicious court intrigue. Her wonderfully rich and entertaining history is A GAMBLING MAN: CHARLES II’S RESTORATION GAME.
In the late 1980s, at an international conference on herpetology, research scientists began to realize that certain populations of frogs and salamanders were rapidly declining or becoming extinct around the world. Though it had been widely recognized that many species of amphibians were in decline due to habitat destruction caused by human changes, many of these new declines were occurring in pristine environments like the Monteverde cloud forest in Costa Rica, where the stunningly beautiful Golden Frog became extinct in a manner of just a few years. What was happening? Tonight, Inquiry talks with JAMES P. COLLINS, the Virginia M. Ullman Professor of Natural History and the Environment in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. With Martha L. Crump, he has written EXTINCTION IN OUR TIMES: GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE one of the best summaries of how scientists began to discover the complex answers to this alarming trend. Tune in and find out what is now known about the causes of these extinctions, what is being done and what the future looks like for the frogs, toads and salamanders that have been found all around us. This is a critically important story that everyone should know the details of. Attention biology teachers and professors: This is also one of the best books written to date about how science is actually done.
It has become obvious to many biologists and conversationalists that preserving isolated parks and reserves are just not working. In order to save a representation of the rich biodiversity of the planet we have to think bigger, MUCH bigger. We have to start thinking in terms of what Michael Soulé has called “cores, corridors and carnivores.” Like the huge Yosemite to the Yukon proposed rewilding corridor. Or the vast and contentious “Peace Parks” proposed to link key wildlife areas over several rival countries in southern Africa. Writer and reporter CAROLINE FRASER traveled around the globe to look into the successes and failures these ultimate conservation projects, which may also offer the last best hope we have for the planet in reversing global warming too. Tune in as we talk about Caroline’s very important book on REWILDING THE WORLD: DISPATCHES FROM THE CONSERVATION REVOLUTION.
Inquiry welcomes ADAM ZAHLER, a member of Stage Directors and Choreographers and a freelance director and actor. He is now an Assistant Professor of Theatre in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Worcester State College. Professor Zahler offers a real insider’s view of theatre life. He describes what the main duty of a director should be and how he personally accomplishes that daunting task. Adam also talks about his fascinating experiences directing productions in New York, Boston, Russia and Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. His current production of Moliere’s classic TARTUFFE will begin at Worcester State April 15. For further information, call: 508 929 8843 or http://www.worcester.edu/VPADept/default.aspx . If you love the theatre, don’t miss tonight’s show!
POETRY & JAZZ & SAGOV & PINSKY is the moniker of two exceptional music and poetry performances taking place at the Regattabar on Friday, March 5. Pianist/bandleader Stanley Sagov will be joined by world-renowned poet Robert Pinsky. Pinsky will read his poems in tandem with the music of the Remembering The Future Jazz Band, creating a unique combination of jazz and poetry. The Remembering The Future Jazz Band features Stanley Sagov on keyboards, John Lockwood on acoustic bass, Bob Rakalam Moses on drums, Stan Strickland on sax, flute and vocals and Mike Peipman on trumpet. Past performances of the Remembering the Future Jazz Band have sold out; with poet Robert Pinsky on the program, tickets are likely to sell out very quickly.
Robert Pinsky’s first two terms as United States Poet Laureate were marked by such visible dynamism, and such national enthusiasm in response, that the Library of Congress appointed him to an unprecedented third term. Throughout his career, Pinsky has been dedicated to identifying and invigorating poetry’s place in the world. As Poet Laureate, Robert Pinsky became a public ambassador for poetry, founding the Favorite Poem Project, in which thousands of Americans —
of varying backgrounds, all ages, and from every state — shared their favorite poems. Pinsky believed that, contrary to stereotype, poetry had a vigorous presence in the American cultural landscape. The project sought to document that presence, giving voice to the American audience
for poetry. The anthology Americans’ Favorite Poems, which include letters from project participants, is in its eighteenth printing. The new anthology, An Invitation to Poetry, comes with a DVD featuring twenty-seven of the FPP video segments, as seen on PBS.
The poetry editor for the online magazine Slate, for seven years Pinsky appeared regularly on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. He writes the weekly “Poet’s Choice” column for the Washington Post. He was elected in 1999 to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Pinsky’s poems appear in magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly,The Threepenny Review, American Poetry Review, and frequently in The Best American Poetry anthologies. He teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University. Robert Pinsky is also the winner of the PEN/Voelcker Award, the William Carlos Williams Prize, the Lenore Marshall, and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture’s 2006 Jewish Cultural Achievement Award in Literary Arts. He is one of the few members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters to have appeared on “The Simpsons.”
About Stanley Sagov:
Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Dr. Stanley Sagov has always been crazy about jazz-based musics. Sagov, who is a keyboardist and composer with extraordinary talents. A family practice physician by day with a full-time medical practice in Greater Boston, Massachusetts, his evenings and weekends are spent with his jazz, his family and his photography.
After graduating from medical school in South Africa, Dr. Sagov moved to New York City where he had the opportunity to perform with many of his musical heroes . . . among them Booker Ervin, Howard McGhee, Jimmy Garrison, Billy Hart, Elvin Jones, Roland Kirk, Ted Curson, Sheila Jordan, Bob Moses and many other wonderful musicians.
In 1970, he moved to Boston where he attended the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music; he graduated with a degree in jazz piano and oboe. His mentors while at NEC included Jaki Byard, George Russell, Thad Jones, John Lewis, Kenny Dorham, Bob Brookmeyer, Frank Foster, Gerry Mulligan, Cecil McBee, Buell Neidlinger, Tom McKinley and others. Dr. Sagov found that he hated touring, but loved the music, so in addition to his full time medical livelihood, he now produces his music at home and independently markets it on the internet. Sagov also loves to cook and has been offering his South African recipes to Henrietta’s Table Chef Peter Davis for use on his show nights at the Charles Hotel.
Guest: David Walker,former Comptroller General of the United States
As comptroller general of the United States and head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO)—"the nation's top auditor"—Walker warned Congress and the Clinton and Bush administrations as the federal surplus became a giant deficit. As president and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, he now works full-time to raise public awareness regarding mounting debt burdens being imposed on future generations. Comeback America is his crucial manifesto, a way for President Obama to end out-of-control government spending and reform our tax, retirement,
health care, defense, and other systems—before it's too late.
Walker believes that by 2030, absent significant reforms to current government programs and policies, federal taxes could double from current levels, meaning less money and poorer education for kids—which will hurt families along with our nation's economic strength and position in the
world. If our foreign creditors—such as China—decide to buy fewer of our Treasury bonds, interest rates will rise and cars and homes will become less affordable.
Britain at the end of the 18th Century was a volatile political minefield. There was widespread suspicion of the effects the French Revolution would have on British society and this lead to numerous riots and serious government instituted repression. It was during this turmoil that scientist and prolific writer Thomas Beddoes set up his controversial Pneumatic Institute. This institution was part research laboratory to study the application of chemistry to medicine and part hospital for the poor who suffered consumption and other incurable disorders. Beddoes was also a vocal critic of the British government and a suspected Jacobean sympathizer. Dr. Beddoes and Humphrey Davy’s experiments with gases eventually led to the discovery of nitrous oxide and its unexpected and hilarious effects on anyone who inhaled the gas. What followed is a complex, strange and wild history of medicine and politics that has never been taught in schools. Tonight on Inquiry we speak with science and medicine historian MIKE JAY about his entertaining and enlightening history THE ATMOSPHERE OF HEAVEN: THE UNNATURAL EXPERIMENTS OF DR. BEDDOES AND HIS SONS OF GENIUS.
Tonight on Inquiry we welcome poet JOHN DERVISHIAN. One of his latest cycle of poems is titled PURIFICATION: CLEANSING OF A CONTAMINATED SOUL. It is a decades long poetic accounting of John coming to grips with the effects of drugs, alcohol, love, lust, dysfunctional family and most of all himself. John talks about coming out as a poet to his friends and the long process of discovering his artistic talents. John also reads some work from his last two books.
From Publishers Weekly
How does national memory determine national heroes? Waugh, a UCLA
history professor, probes the subject in an engaging study of the
making of Ulysses S. Grant's reputation. At the time of his death in
1885, he was perceived as on a level with George Washington by former
Unionists and Confederates alike. His memoirs were a bestseller. His
image combined the honorable soldier and the generous victor: a heroic
war leader who believed in the ideal of national reconciliation in both
regional and racial contexts. Even Grant's flaws were part of his
greatness, linking him to his countrymen in a distinctively American
fashion. That image began to change as lost cause romanticism nurtured
reinterpreting the Civil War as not merely tragic but arguably
unnecessary. The eclipse of this approach has restored Grant's
reputation as a general. Now his presidency is the target of criticism:
corrupt, ineffective and above all incomplete in terms of the racial
issue. Waugh convincingly interprets Grant as symboliz[ing] both the
hopes and the lost dreams of the Civil War. But while that war remains
our defining—and dividing—event, Grant's image, Waugh says, will remain
Tune in Sunday 3/6/10 at 7:30 a.m. for Looking at Worcester. City Manager Micheal O’Brien talks with Audrey Hall about his proposal to the city council for saving 14 million dollars in Worcester’s budget in light of imminent state funding reductions; AND the proposed CSX rail infrastructure changes which will impact jobs, transportation, development and the local economy. That’s Sunday at 7:30 a.m.