Sunday, December 28, 2008

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."

Michael Pollan Interview by Bill Moyers (video)
November 28, 2008

Nutritionist Michael Pollan Accepts No Imitations

Pollan proposes a new (and very old) answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. By urging us to once again eat food, he challenges the prevailing nutrient-by-nutrient approach -- what he calls nutritionism -- and proposes an alternative way of eating that is informed by the traditions and ecology of real, well-grown, unprocessed food. Our personal health, he argues, cannot be divorced from the health of the food chains of which we are part.

The Omnivore's Dilemma

"In his new book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, journalist and writer Michael Pollan argues that many Americans suffer from a national eating disorder based on super-sized, corn-fed diets."

Talk of the nation Science Friday
April 14, 2006

Fresh Air - Dinner: An Author Considers the Source
April 11, 2006

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression

Hard Times, by Studs Terkel

Recordings from Hard Times

Terkel interviewed hundreds of people across the United States for his book on the Great Depression of the 1930s. In 1973, he selected several interviews that were included in his book to be broadcast in eleven parts on the Studs Terkel Program on WFMT radio (Chicago, IL). This gallery includes the interviews in those programs.

Terkel questions people about their recollections of employment problems, the crash of 1929, organized labor issues, “farm holidays” where crops were destroyed, and U.S. President Franklin Delanor Roosevelt’s New Deal programs. He asks them how they managed financially and personally through the economic slump and what personal qualities surfaced as a result. In particular he seems interested in exploring the relationship between their personal plight and values and their awareness of national issues and society’s values.

Studs Terkel

Thursday, October 23, 2008

African American Lives

PBS: African American Lives

"Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois professor of the Humanities and chair of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES, an unprecedented four-part PBS series, takes Alex Haley's Roots saga to a whole new level through moving stories of personal discovery. Using genealogy, oral history, family stories and DNA analysis to trace lineage through American history and back to Africa, the series provides a life-changing journey for a diverse group of highly accomplished African Americans: Dr. Ben Carson, Whoopi Goldberg, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Dr. Mae Jemison, Quincy Jones, Dr. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Chris Tucker and Oprah Winfrey.

The series works to restore the participants' lineages in reverse chronological order. Starting with the oral histories of the individuals' families, and drawing on photographs, film clips, music and early personal records, Professor Gates begins to trace their family trees back through the 20th century. Noted historians and expert genealogists around America help fill in missing branches, in the process explaining how such major events as Jim Crow segregation and the post-World War I "Great Migration" from the South to the North helped shape African-American families."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Frontline: Heat

Frontline: Heat, Original Broadcast Oct 21, 2008

Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.

"Melting glaciers, rising sea levels, fires, floods and droughts. On the eve of a historic election, award-winning producer and correspondent Martin Smith investigates how the world's largest corporations and governments are responding to Earth's looming environmental disaster.

The world needs to dramatically cut the carbon emissions responsible for wreaking havoc on the planet's climate, according to Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, whose organization, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), shared last year's Nobel Peace Prize. "If we don't take action immediately, we face a crisis," Pachauri tells Smith. "Climate change is caused by human actions, and we need to do something about it. The sooner we realize that, the better."

With that sense of urgency in mind, Smith traveled to 12 countries on four continents to investigate whether major corporations and governments are up to the challenge. HEAT features in-depth interviews with top policy-makers and with leading executives from many of the largest carbon emitters from around the world, including Chinese coal companies, Indian SUV makers and American oil giants. The report paints an ominous portrait. Despite increasing talk about "going green," across the planet, environmental concerns are still taking a back seat to shorter-term economic interests."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tesla Motors and Roadster

Tesla Motors, Inc. is private a Silicon Valley automobile startup company focusing on the production of high performance, consumer-oriented battery electric vehicles.

The Tesla Roadster is a fully electric sports car. It is the first car produced by electric car firm Tesla Motors.

The car can travel 244 mi (393 km) on a single charge of its lithium-ion battery pack and accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.9 seconds.

The Roadster's efficiency, as of February 2008, is reported as 199 W·h/km (3.12 mi/kW·h), equivalent to 105 mpg–U.S. (2.24 L/100 km / 126.1 mpg–imp)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Frontline: The Choice 2008, Original Broadcast Oct 14, 2008

Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.

"It has been called one of the most historic presidential elections in our nation's history -- Barack Obama versus John McCain. It is a race that pits the iconoclast against the newcomer, the heroic prisoner of war against the first African American nominated by a major party. FRONTLINE's critically acclaimed series The Choice returns this election season to examine the rich personal and political biographies of these two men in The Choice 2008.

The Choice 2008 draws on in-depth interviews with the advisers, friends and those closest to these unlikely candidates, as well as with seasoned observers of American politics, who together tell the definitive story of these men and their ascent to their party's nominations.

When FRONTLINE first aired a profile of presidential candidates during the 1988 election, The Choice redefined political journalism on television. Now, in an unprecedented election year, veteran FRONTLINE producer Michael Kirk (Bush's War, Cheney's Law) goes behind the headlines to tell a deeper political story about the candidates, the decisions they made, and why their nominations may indicate a historic change in American politics."

Sunday, October 05, 2008

This American Life: Another Frightening Show About the Economy

This American Life
Chicago Public Radio
October 3, 2008

Episode 365: Another Frightening Show About the Economy

Alex Blumberg and NPR's Adam Davidson — the two guys who reported our Giant Pool of Money episode — are back, in collaboration with the Planet Money podcast. They'll explain what happened this week, including what regulators could've done to prevent this financial crisis from happening in the first place.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy (2002)

Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy confronts head-on Americans' critical concerns about the new interconnected world. Based on the best-selling book by Pulitzer Prize-winner Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw, this groundbreaking series explores our changing world—the great debate over globalization and the future of our society.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

MIT makes solar energy breakthrough

Major discovery' from MIT primed to unleash solar revolution

Daniel G. Nocera, the Henry Dreyfus Professor of Energy at MIT, has developed a simple method to split water molecules and produce oxygen gas, a discovery that paves the way for large-scale use of solar power.

MIT researchers have developed a new catalyst, consisting of cobalt metal, phosphate and an electrode. When the catalyst is placed in water and electricity runs through the electrode, oxygen gas is produced. When another catalyst is used to produce hydrogen gas, the oxygen and hydrogen can be combined inside a fuel cell, creating carbon-free electricity to power a house or an electric car, day or night.

With Daniel Nocera's and Matthew Kanan's new catalyst, homeowners could use their solar panels during the day to power their home, while also using the energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen for storage. At night, the stored hydrogen and oxygen could be recombined using a fuel cell to generate power while the solar panels are inactive.

Monday, June 23, 2008

How to kick the oil habit

As prices rise, the race for new energy sources--from wind farms to liquid coal--heats up. Get ready for the withdrawal symptoms.

"If anyone harbored any doubts that hybrid cars are hot, last week the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show put them to rest. Carmakers practically ran over one another promoting their versions in attempts to catch up with Honda and Toyota, the technology's pioneers. Companies such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Mazda, Mitsubishi, GM, Volkswagen and Porsche showed new models or talked about plans to sell them by the end of the decade at the latest." Oct 23, 2005

Michael Klare on Entering the Age of Resource Wars

(The Party's Over)

Michael Klare on Entering the Age of Resource Wars: The Twilight Era of Petroleum August 4, 2005

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Frontline: Young & Restless in China

FRONTLINE presents Young & Restless in China
Originally Broadcast Tuesday, June 17, 2008, from 9 to 11 P.M. ET on PBS

Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.
“This generation will be running China in a few years. They are the next international politicians and business leaders, and their choices will affect us all,” says FRONTLINE producer Sue Williams about the new generation shaping China’s future.

In Young & Restless in China FRONTLINE presents intimate portraits of nine young Chinese over the course of four years, examining the reality of their lives as they navigate their way through a country that is changing daily. They are westernized, savvy about today’s interconnected world, ambitious – and often torn between their culture and their aspirations. Set to an original soundtrack of Chinese rock and hip-hop music, this provocative film presents an in-depth look at what it means to be young and Chinese today.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Unforgivable Blackness (2004)

film description

"Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson is a documentary by filmmaker Ken Burns based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Geoffrey C. Ward (2004)."

Unforgivable Blackness @

download "Unforgivable Blackness" via bittorrent (requires bittorrent client)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Frontline: Bush's War

Frontline: Bush's War, Original Broadcast March 24 & 25, 2008

Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.

Now, on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, the full saga unfolds in the two-part FRONTLINE special Bush's War. Veteran FRONTLINE producer Michael Kirk draws on one of the richest archives in broadcast journalism -- more than 40 FRONTLINE reports on Iraq and the war on terror. Combined with fresh reporting and new interviews, Bush's War will be the definitive documentary analysis of one of the most challenging periods in the nation's history.

"Parts of this history have been told before," Kirk says. "But no one has laid out the entire narrative to reveal in one epic story the scope and detail of how this war began and how it has been fought, both on the ground and deep inside the government."

Bush's War is the sixth in a series of Iraq war stories from FRONTLINE producer Michael Kirk, including Rumsfeld's War, The Torture Question, The Dark Side, The Lost Year in Iraq and

Monday, March 03, 2008

Gorée Senegal Diaspora

African Diaspora

The African diaspora was the movement of Africans and their descendants to places throughout the world such as the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Much of the African diaspora is descended from people who were enslaved and shipped to the Americas during the Atlantic slave trade, with the largest percentage sent to Brazil. Brazil obtained 37% of all African slaves traded, and more than 3 million slaves were sent to Brazil.

The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade

The Trans-Atlantic Slave trade resulted in a vast and as yet still unknown loss of life for African captives both in and outside of America. Approximately 8 million Africans were killed during their storage, shipment and initial landing in the New World. The amount of life lost in the actual procurement of slaves remains a mystery but may equal or exceed the amount actually enslaved. If such a figure is to be believed, the total number of deaths would be between 16 and 20 million. Most historians now agree that at least 12 million slaves left the continent between the fifteenth and nineteenth century, but 10 to 20% died on board ships. Thus a figure of 11 million slaves transported to the Americas is the nearest demonstrable figure historians can produce.

Goree Island, Dakar Senegal

Gorée is famous as a former center of the Atlantic slave trade from where many Africans were forcibly departed to the Americas. Gorée is a small island 900 m in length and 350 m in width sheltered by the Cape Vert Peninsula. Now part of the city of Dakar, it served for many centuries as one of the principal factories in the triangular trade between Africa, Europe and the Americas.

The House of Slaves

Gorée is best known as the location of the House of Slaves used as a holding and transfer point during the slave trade. The House of Slaves is one of the oldest houses on the island. The Door of No Return in the House of Slaves is said to be the final exit point of the slaves from Africa.

The House of Slaves is powerful, not because millions of slaves actually left through The Door of No Return, but because Africa's descendants have made this their place to honor them.

Descendent's of the Gorée Diaspora

The slaves from Gorée were destined essentially to the French colonies in the Caribbean (prominently Haiti) and in Louisiana, as well as to the Spanish colonies (Cuba essentially) and to the Portuguese colonies in Brazil. Very few African Americans from the U.S. have ancestors who went through Gorée, as the English colonists had other sources of "import" for their slaves. Those who can with most certainty consider Gorée as a transit point for their ancestors are the African Americans whose family are from the south of Louisiana, some of which actually still speak some sort of French. As African Americans have migrated a lot throughout the US in the last 100 years, it can be difficult to know with certainty which families were originally from French Louisiana.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience

Legendary scholar-activist W.E.B. Du Bois labored to complete an "Encyclopedia Africana" before his death in 1963. Just over 35 years later, two Harvard educators, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Ghanaian-born Kwame Anthony Appiah, have brought Du Bois' intellectual dream to life in Africana, the most complete and comprehensive record of the Pan-African diaspora compiled into one volume.

The two Harvard professors have commissioned and condensed more than 3000 articles by more than 400 scholars. Though the bulk of the entries are devoted to the African continent and its descendant cultures in Latin America, the Caribbean and North America, the encyclopedia also addresses the African presence in Europe, Asia and the rest of the world.

Don't care where you come from
As long as you're a black man
You're an African

No mind your nationality
You have got the identity of an African

'Cause if you come from Clarendon
And if you come from Portland
And if you come from Westmoreland
You're an African

No mind your nationality
You've got the identity of an African

'Cause if you come Trinidad
And if you come from Nassau
And if you come from Cuba
You're an African

No mind your complexion
There is no rejection
You're an African

'Cause if your plexion High, High, High,
If your complexion low, low, low
And if your plexion in between
You're an African

No mind denomination
That is only segregation
You're an African

'Cause if you go to the Catholic
And if you go to the Methodist
And if you go to the Church of Gods
You're an African

No mind your nationality
You have got the identity of an African

Peter Tosh

Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route

Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (Hardcover)
by Saidiya Hartman

Author Finds Heritage in Africa
News & Notes, January 23, 2007

" As part of NPR's Crossing the Divide series, author Saidiya Hartman talks about one of the oldest and deepest divides in America: slavery. In Hartman's new book, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route, she returns to Ghana to do research, but instead finds personal transformation."

"In this rousing narrative, Berkeley professor Hartman traces first-hand the progress of her ancestors-forced migrants from the Gold Coast-in order to illuminate the history of the Atlantic slave trade. Chronicling her time in Ghana following the overland slave route from the hinterland to the Atlantic, Hartman admits early on to a naïve search for her identity: "Secretly I wanted to belong somewhere or, at least, I wanted a convenient explanation of why I felt like a stranger." Fortunately, Hartman eschews the simplification of such a quest, finding that Africa's American expatriates often find themselves more lost than when they started.

Instead, Hartman channels her longing into facing tough questions, nagging self-doubt and the horrors of the Middle Passage in a fascinating, beautifully told history of those millions whose own histories were revoked in "the process by which lives were destroyed and slaves born." Shifting between past and present, Hartman also considers the "afterlife of slavery," revealing Africa-and, through her transitive experience, America-as yet unhealed by de-colonization and abolition, but showing signs of hope. Hartman's mix of history and memoir has the feel of a good novel, told with charm and passion, and should reach out to anyone contemplating the meaning of identity, belonging and homeland."

W.E.B Du Bois, 1868-1963
(W.E.B = William Edward Burghardt)

W.E.B Du Bois, Citizen of Ghana

"Du Bois was invited to Ghana in 1961 by President Kwame Nkrumah to direct the Encyclopedia Africana, a government production, and a long-held dream of his. When, in 1963, he was refused a new U.S. passport, he and his wife, Shirley Graham Du Bois, became citizens of Ghana, making him dual citizens of Ghana and the United States. Du Bois' health had declined in 1962, and on August 27, 1963, he died in Accra, Ghana at the age of ninety-five, one day before Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech."

Works by W.E.B. DuBois at Project Gutenberg:

“It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.” W. E. B. Du Bois

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Smile Please

A smiling face is an Earth like star
A frown can't bring out the beauty that you are
Love within and you'll begin smiling...
There are brighter days ahead

Don't mess your face up with bitter tears
'Cause life is gonna be what it is
It's okay, please don't delay from smiling...
There are brighter days ahead

A smiling face you don't have to see
'Cause it's as joyful as a Christmas tree
Love within and you'll begin smiling...
There're brighter days ahead

Love's not competing, it's on your side
You're in life's picture, so why must you cry?
So for a friend please begin to smile - Please
There are brighter days ahead

Bum bum di ti bum,
Bum bum di ti bum,
Bum bum di ti bum

Please smile for me

Stevie Wonder
Fulfillingness First Finale
"Smile Please"

Thursday, January 03, 2008

WGBH (Great Blue Hill)

is an established public television and public radio broadcast service located in Boston, Massachusetts. It operates over ten broadcasts: primarily WGBH 2 and WGBX 44 (television) and WGBH 89.7 FM (radio). WGBH is a member of PBS in regard to its television broadcasts, and both a member of NPR and an affiliate of PRI for its radio broadcasts. The license-holder is the WGBH Educational Foundation.

WGBH produces many shows for the above organizations, including nearly a third of PBS's national prime-time TV.

"GBH" stands for Great Blue Hill, the location of WGBH's FM transmitter, as well as the original location of WGBH-TV's transmitter. Great Blue Hill in Milton, Massachusetts, has an elevation of 635 feet (193 m) and is the highest point in the Boston area.

Blue Hill Ave.

WGBH Forum Network - Weekly Podcasts and New Downloads