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Programming Highlights

Sunday, January 25, 2015 - 9:00pm

Tonight on Inquiry we talk with writer CHRISTOPHER MILLER who has compiled and hilarious and fascinating encyclopedia of funny objects and conventions from the comics, jokes and films of the early decades of the Twentieth Century. Included are citations on anvils, hen-pecked husbands, B.O., pie fights, Limburger Cheese  and so much more. If you have ever watched a Three Stooges short and wondered what “alum” was, tune in tonight when we discuss: AMERICAN CORNBALL: A LAFFOPEDIC GUIDE TO THE FORMERLY FUNNY.

Why do we cry during movies when we know they aren’t real? Why do some people believe the most outrageous conspiracy theories? Why do we find gossip so compelling? Tonight on Inquiry we talk with JIM DAVIES, Professor at the Institute of Cognitive Science of Carelton University and the Director of the Science of Imagination Laboratory. He will discuss his new book which answers these questions and many others: RIVETED: THE SCIENCE OF WHY JOKES MAKE US LAUGH, MOVIES MAKE US CRY, AND RELIGION MAKES US FEEL ONE WITH THE UNIVERSE.

Sunday, January 25, 2015 - 10:00pm

 

In an encore of The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D’Agostino, strategic partner of Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of Climb, interviews Katie Picchione of the Rotaract Club of WPI and the WPI Student Chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA, Richard Simon of the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley and Carl Gomes of the Rotary Club of Worcester. They talk about bringing clean drinking water to the world.

This episode aired originally on October 26. In the spirit of full disclosure, Steve does volunteer public-relations work for Rotaract WPI.

A group of Worcester Polytechnic Institute students is taking new steps toward creating social change and improving water security in remote parts of the world. Since 2009, the WPI chapter of Engineers Without Borders USA has been working with the rural, indigenous community of Guachtuq, Guatemala to improve water security. Having water security means having access to adequate quantity and quality of water to meet needs. Currently, most families in Guachtuq rely on a polluted water basin to meet all their water needs. During the dry season (February through  April), community members line up at the basin in the middle of the night to get enough water for drinking and cooking alone.

WPI students work with these families to build rainwater harvesting systems, which improve all three dimensions of water security. Over the past two years, they built 12 rainwater harvesting systems with families; 25 more will be constructed in May 2015, improving water security for all remaining families in Guachtuq.

Last summer, the WPI group developed relationships with the Rotary Clubs of Worcester and Nashoba Valley. Rotary International is a global community of committed professionals working together to serve others and advance peace. More than 1.2 million members in more than 34,000 Rotary clubs worldwide volunteer in communities at home and abroad.

Rotary Worcester has sponsored students from WPI’s Engineers Without Borders chapter to start a new Rotaract Club at WPI, which is being mentored by Worcester Rotarian Carl Gomes. Rotaract is a service club for young men and women ages 18 to 30 who are dedicated to community and international service.

Since last August, WPI Rotaract has been working closely with WPI’s Engineers Without Borders chapter to further the rainwater harvesting project in Guatemala. With the Rotary Nashoba Valley, the WPI students are in the process of applying for a $35,000 Rotary Foundation Global Grant. Rotary Nashoba Valley’s Richard Simon has worked tirelessly to gain support for the grant from Rotary Clubs throughout Massachusetts and spread the word about the good work these WPI students are doing. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015 - 10:30pm

Staff Sergeant Joe Hickman was a loyal member of the armed forces and a proud American patriot. When he re-enlisted after 9/11, he served as a team leader and Sergeant of the Guard in Guantánamo Naval Base. From the moment he arrived at Camp Delta, something was amiss. The prisons were chaotic, detainees were abused, and Hickman uncovered by accident a secret facility he labeled “Camp No.” On June 9, 2006, the night Hickman was on duty, three prisoners died, supposed suicides, and Hickman knew something was seriously wrong. So began his epic search for the truth, an odyssey that would lead him to conclude that the US government was using Guantánamo not just as a prison, but as a training ground for interrogators to test advanced torture techniques. Tune in this Sunday evening at 10:30 to hear Hickman's account of that  riveting night.

Monday, January 26, 2015 - 6:00pm

Two years ago Jamison Ross took first place in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition.  The 26-year-old drummer has played with both veterans Carmen Lundy and Wess Anderson, and young talents like Jon Batiste and Cécile McLorin Salvant. Ross’ roots in jazz and gospel give him unfailing feel, and thrill-inducing chops.  His trio celebrates Prestige Records’ 65th anniversary, live at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Monday, January 26, 2015 - 7:00pm

Without Sam Cooke, it's safe to say there'd be no Aretha, no Rev. Al, no Curtis, and no Stevie. From his gospel roots to his 30 Top 40 hits, this genius of soul left the world way too early, but paved the way for soul music as we know it. Join host Tom Shaker as we celebrate Sam Cooke's musical legacy. It all starts at 7pm!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 6:00pm

Trumpeter Duke Heitger isn’t a native New Orleanean, but has lived there many years and talked with Judy about the challenges and advantages of a career in this most musical of cities, when you aren’t a native. Recorded onstage at the Ascona Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 7:00pm

Old favorites, tracks from CDs newly arrived at the station, and special guests Doug Kwartler and Susan Levine live in the studio!

Sunday, February 1, 2015 - 9:00pm

Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden” was published in 1854, and it is still read and revered today. But what is Walden Pond today versus what it was in Thoreau’s time? The DECORDOVA SCULPTURE PARK AND MUSEUM is now hosting an exhibition of contemporary artists interpretation of Thoreau’s ideas and Walden Pond in particular. Tonight on Inquiry, we talk with DINA DEITSCH, curator of WALDEN, REVISITED and two of the artists whose work is in the show GINA SIEPEL and OSCAR PALACIO.

Are we significant in the universe? Is life on this planet a unique accident of chemistry or are there several or maybe even many planets that host life? Those are just a few of the very big questions that tonight’s guest on Inquiry will attempt to answer. CALEB SCHARF is Director of Astrobiology at Columbia University and his new amazing book on how planets and life evolve is titled THE COPERNICUS COMPLEX: OUR COSMIC SIGNIFICANCE IN A UNIVERSE OF PLANETS AND PROBABILITIES.

Sunday, February 1, 2015 - 10:00pm

In an all-new The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D’Agostino, strategic partner of Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of Climb, interviews Jeff Duquette, a partner with the Westboro law firm of Dingman, McInnes & McLane, LLP, which specializes in intellectual-property law. They talk about the business of IP law.

In the spirit of full disclosure, Jeff is a board member of 90.5 WICN.

As the Data Center Journal wrote, in part one of a two-part series, in 2013, “Big data; security; the cloud; outsourcing. These are all hot topics in IT today, and they all focus on applications of technology to meet various needs. But another topic that is increasingly garnering headlines is intellectual property — particularly, in the case of IT, patents.”

As the Data Center Journal continued, in part two, “To get a revealing and sometimes humorous look at intellectual property today, run an Internet search for ‘patent infringement case.’ A solid portion of the hits are likely to involve technology giants like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and others, many of whom constantly sue each other (and smaller companies) over transgressions of their IP portfolios. The amount of money spent on legal fees—to say nothing about awards when cases are judged—is staggering. But should this money be spent hiring lawyers and paying supposed damages when it could be spent on innovation? Or is the money spent on litigation necessary to protect innovation?”

Sunday, February 1, 2015 - 10:30pm

Despite gains in recent years, professional females still report many challenges that their male counterparts do not experience. Despite a recent surge in female CEOs, the number is still far smaller than the number of male CEOs. Many women believe that they have a harder time in balancing both their personal and professional lives. Why is this? What can they do? This week Al is joined by
Dr. Rachel Elahee,, a leading psychologist and author of the new book, Choose You!, tips that can help women balance both personal and professional lives.

Monday, February 2, 2015 - 6:00pm

Jazz Night in America presents the exclusive East-Coast appearance of Our Point of View, Blue Note Record’s newest supergroup. With Robert Glasper, Ambrose Akinmusire, Lionel Loueke, Marcus Strickland, Derrick Hodge, and Kendrick Scott, Our Point of View is a rare opportunity to see six leaders join forces to present original work and Blue Note classics.

Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 7:00pm

Four hours of Cowboy and Western songs, evoking an oft-neglected part of the folk music tradition.

Sunday, February 8, 2015 - 9:00pm

Students in Finland and Poland consistently score better at math and problem solving than American students. Why? What are their school systems doing that we aren’t? Tonight on Inquiry we talk with literary journalist Amanda Ripley about her very important new book The Smartest Kids in the World, and How They Got That Way. Tune in and find out why Korean students are better prepared than American students for the global economic world of the twentieth century.

Quantum theory and quantum mechanics revolutionized physics in the Twentieth Century, but to the non-physicist this science seems to consist of crazy concepts and impossible notions. Despite this, terms, phrases and concepts from quantum theory have crept into our culture in films, names of companies, literature and jokes. Tonight on Inquiry we talk with ALFRED SCHARFF GOLDHABER, professor of Physics at Stony Brook University. Together with Robert P. Crease, a Professor of Philosophy at Stony Brook, they have written a book that explores the fascinating cultural impact of the quantum: THE QUANTUM MOMENT: HOW PLANCK, BOHR, EINSTEIN AND HEISENBERG TAUGHT US TO LOVE UNCERTAINTY.

Thursday, February 12, 2015 - 7:00pm

The show’s theme speaks for itself. Cuddle up with someone special and tune in!

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