Robert Altman was a maverick film director who changed the way we look at many aspects of film: dialogue, casting and the relationship between actors and directors. MITCHELL ZUCKOFF, author and Professor of Journalism at Boston University has written and edited a critically acclaimed oral biography of Altman, using extensive interviews conducted with actors, friends and family and most of all with Altman himself who spent many hours discussing his career with Zuckoff before he died. The result is a unique deeply personal multi-faceted and always lively biography. Tune in tonight and learn about Altman’s extensive career in 50s television, how “ M.A.S.H.” got made, and why Warren Beatty and Altman did not get along on the set of “McCabe and Mrs Miller”. If you enjoy film, do not miss tonight’s show. Zuckoff’s book is titled ROBERT ALTMAN: THE ORAL BIOGRAPHY.
Neil Diamond is one of the most recognized and loved singers in the world. His songs are indelibly etched in our memories. Yet many serious rock fans dismiss his music as corny and overdone. Tonight’s guest, music, film and television journalist DAVID WILD, is out to change all that. His latest hilarious book HE IS…I SAY: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE NEIL DIAMOND is part over the top mash note, part crazed memoir of growing up in New Jersey and part heartfelt musical biography. Tune in and find out if the artist who wrote such classics as “Sweet Caroline”, “Song Sung Blue” and the soundtrack to the film of Jonathan Livingston Seagull is in fact a “musical god” and the “Jewish Elvis.”
Albert “Al” Hartheimer is vice president of The Center for the Study of Economics and past adjunct lecturer in economics at Williams College. He has proposed state legislation, House 2767, to, over several years, phase out the property tax, reduce the state sales tax, and impose a land-value tax.
The land-value tax is a radical idea proposed more than century ago by Henry George. An American writer, politician and political economist, Henry George was the most influential proponent of the land-value tax.
The land-value tax is not to be confused with the property tax. The property tax is imposed on both the land and the buildings, while the land-value tax is imposed only on the land.
According to land-value-tax proponents, the property tax is regressive because it discourages development. However, the land-value tax is totally progressive.
These advocates also say the land-value tax is a quite healthy, sustainable way to go for everyone – not just property owners. When you tax property, you create an incentive for too many owners to land bank – that is, to not develop it until they are sure they will make money doing so. After all, development leads to higher property taxes.
Tax only the land – according to backers of the land-value-tax -- and just the opposite occurs. No financial incentive exists to bank your land. In fact, you have a financial incentive to develop your land because your taxes will not rise as you develop it.
Writer,mother,wife. New Yorker. Abigail Pogrebin is many things, but
the one that has defined her most profoundly is “identical twin.”
Pogrebin's relationship with her sister, both as children, when they
were inseparable, and today, when she longs for that uncomplicated
intimacy, inspired her to examine the phenomenon of twinship—to learn
how other identical pairs regard their doubleness and what experts are
learning about how DNA impacts our sense of identity and shapes our
The Labrador Duck is the least known and most mysterious species that has gone extinct in North America in historical times. Shortly after it was discovered, it seemed it was gone. Unlike other extinct species like Great Auks, Passenger Pigeons and Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, there are only a small number of skins and mounted specimens of this legendary duck extant in the world. Some of these antique stuffed ducks have survived the bombing of Dresden and London, others have been stolen and illegally traded. All of them are coveted as rare treasures. Over the course of more than ten years, ornithologist and behavioural ecologist DR. GLEN CHILTON, made it his obsessive mission to go and see each and every specimen of Labrador Duck, as well as all the eggs and bones purported to exist and even visit the areas where the duck was seen and shot. This mission took Dr. Chilton to some of the great museums and collections of Russia, France, Britain, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Canada and the United States. What he learned on this odyssey of the extinct is the subject of tonight’s interview and his rollicking no-hold barred crazy memoir THE CURSE OF THE LABRADOR DUCK: MY OBSESSIVE QUEST TO THE EDGE OF EXTINCTION.
Lake Baikal in Siberia remains one of the most isolated and wild places on earth. It is earth’s deepest and largest body of fresh water, and has it’s own unique and complex ecosystem which includes numerous endemics the planets only freshwater seals. Inquiry’s guest tonight, PETER THOMSON, was the founding Editor and Producer of NPR’s “Living On Earth” and current Environment Editor of PRI’s “The World”. With his brother, Peter made a unique pilgrimage to Baikal to see this legendary body of water. Peter found that many people who live along Baikal’s shores believe its waters are magical, purifying the numerous pollutants that empty into it every day. Can there be any truth to this fantastic belief or is it only wishful thinking? Tune into Inquiry tonight and find out about the amazing world of Lake Baikal. Peter Thomson’s book is titled SACRED SEA: A JOURNEY TO LAKE BAIKAL.
Here are the life stories of three women who connect us to our national past and provide windows onto a social and political landscape that is strangely familiar yet shockingly foreign. Author and Historian Carol Berkin focuses on three “accidental heroes” who left behind sufficient
records to allow their voices to be heard clearly and to allow us to see the world as they did. Though they held no political power themselves, all three had access to power and unique perspectives on events of their time.
Angelina Grimké Weld, after a painful internal dialogue, renounced the values of her Southern family’s way of life and embraced the antislavery movement, but found her voice silenced by marriage to fellow reformer Theodore Weld. Varina Howell Davis had an independent mind and spirit but incurred the disapproval of her husband, Jefferson Davis, when she would not behave as an
obedient wife. Though ill-prepared and ill-suited for her role as First Lady of the Confederacy, she became an expert political lobbyist for her husband’s release from prison. Julia Dent Grant, the wife of Ulysses S. Grant, was a model of genteel domesticity who seemed content with the restrictions of marriage and motherhood, even though they led to alternating periods of fame and disgrace, wealth and poverty.
Mathematician and quantum physicist Paul Dirac was one of the great scientific theoreticians of the 20th century. His complex work ironed out many of the sticky problems of quantum theory. His ideas predicted the existence of antimatter. The “Dirac Equation” described electrons in such a way as to be consistent with both the principles of quantum mechanics and the theory of special relativity. This equation is a marvel of brevity and beauty and is the only equation found in Westminster Abbey. Yet this Nobel prize winning scientist was an eccentric in the extreme and the victim of a brutal childhood that affected his adult life. Tonight on Inquiry we speak with GRAHAM FARMELO, Senior Research Fellow at the Science Musuem, London and Adjunct Professor of Physics at Northeastern University. His latest book is a fascianting in-depth and entertaining biography of this very mysterious scientist: THE STRANGEST MAN: THE HIDDEN LIFE OF PAUL DIRAC, MYSTIC OF THE ATOM. To access Professor Farmelo’s entertaining Facebook page on this book, go to:
Experimental psychologist COLIN ELLARD returns to Inquiry to talk more about psychogeography and how people navigate and perceive the physical spaces of their lives and how our environment in turn affects us. Tonight Colin Ellard discusses the urban environment and why it is that most modern city plans fail. But modern technology is now allowing planners to experiment with urban spaces, and learn how people feel about them, before they are built. Professor Ellard also talks about the cutting edge research done at his amazing Research Laboratory for Immersive Virtual Environments (RELIVE). Here, using state of the art technology, Ellard studies what happens when people are placed in virtual environments and when people begin to virtually “socialize” and his results are extremely surprising. If you have an on-line avatar or enjoy role playing virtual games, don’t miss tonight’s show. Colin Ellard’s book is titled YOU ARE HERE: WHY WE CAN FIND OUR WAY TO THE MOON, BUT GET LOST IN THE MALL. WHAT SCIENCE SAYS ABOUT OUR SPATIAL INTELLIGENCE AND HOW IT SHAPES OUR CONNECTIONS TO NATURE, CITIES, HOMES AND VIRTUAL WORLDS.
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Arts, sciences and humanities build healthier, more livable, vital communities. They are essential to a strong education system. They contribute enormously to our economy.