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Friday
Jul242015

The Bob Edwards Show Schedule (July 27-31, 2015)

 

Monday, July 27, 2015: Decision fatigue can affect everyone from a judge on a long day of hearing cases, to a quarterback late in the game, to a shopper at IKEA trying to pick out wall mounts and drawer pulls. But what people don’t realize is that making decisions uses the very same willpower that you use to say no to doughnuts, drugs or illicit sex. New York Times science writer John Tierney investigates the connection in his book titled Willpower: The Science Behind Decision Making and Self Control. Then, Bob talks with multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird about his career and the music from his CD called Break It Yourself. Primarily known as a violinist, Bird has been playing since he was four, and collaborated with the Squirrel Nut Zippers during their later recordings.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015: The rest of the week is devoted to birthdays. Jim Davis turns 70 today. He started out writing and drawing a comic strip called Gnorm Gnat.  It ran for five years in an Indiana newspaper, but when Davis tried to take it national, an editor told him, “Your art is good, your gags are great, but bugs — nobody can relate with bugs!” And so the bugs were replaced with an ornery, chubby, orange cat who loves lasagna and hates Mondays. Garfield made his first appearance in 1978.  It’s now the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world — translated into 45 languages and delighting more than 200 million readers. Jim Davis has kept the Garfield operation in his home state, Indiana, where Paws, Inc., employs about 50 people, most life-long employees.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015: Long before he directed The Last Picture Show and Mask, Peter Bogdanovich was an enthusiastic moviegoer who spent hours upon hours in the theater, watching everything he could. So it makes sense that in 2005 Turner Classic Movies asked him to host The Essentials, their weekly showing of Hollywood’s greatest movies. Bob and Bogdanovich talk about his list of essential movies, the history of American film, and about the director’s art. Bogdanovich is turning 76 years old.

Thursday, July 30, 2015: Blues guitar great Buddy Guy celebrates his 79th birthday today. His father bought him his first guitar, a “worn-in instrument with two strings,” for $4.35.  Since then, Guy says life “ain’t never been the same.”  Bob talks to Guy about his music and journey from Lettsworth, Louisiana to Chicago and beyond.  Buddy Guy wrote about it all in his memoir titled When I Left Home: My Story.   

Friday, July 31, 2015: Stanley Jordan is one of the most innovative jazz guitarists around today.  Known for his “tapping technique,” which he demonstrates for Bob, Jordan has inspired an entire generation of musicians. Jordan joins Bob in the studio to play a few tunes, discuss his career and his passion for music therapy. Today, Stanley Jordan celebrates his 56th birthday.

 

Friday
Jul242015

Bob Edwards Weekend (July 25-26, 2015)

HOUR ONE:

In 2012, Joshua Oppenheimer made a very disturbing documentary film about a genocide in Indonesia that happened 50 years ago. The Act of Killing was nominated for an Oscar and showed the bizarre and casual callousness of those who carried out the crimes in the 1960s.  Now Oppenheimer has followed that film with a brand new sequel called The Look of Silence. He’s here to discuss how the survivors and family members live among the now elderly perpetrators – many of whom are still powerful in Indonesia. 

Plus a short remembrance of novelist E.L. Doctorow who died Tuesday at the age of 84.

 

HOUR TWO:

Bob talks with his old friend Simon Winchester.  The erudite Brit used to inform Bob and millions of public radio listeners about the news in the rest of the world when he was a journalist for The Guardian newspaper in England. Since those days, Winchester has become an American citizen and written many non-fiction best-sellers - about interesting people, historic events, brilliant ideas, even the biography of an ocean. His latest book is for kids – a first for Winchester. It’s called When the Earth Shakes: Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tsunamis.

 

Monday
Jul202015

Buzz Aldrin's Magnificent Desolation 

NOTE: This blog entry is from May 2013

The first time Buzz Aldrin filled out the forms to be a NASA astronaut, his application was turned down.  He was a jet fighter and the newly formed space agency was only interested in test pilots.  Aldrin applied again and this time he was accepted, partly because NASA was intrigued by the thesis he had recently completed at MIT: “Guidance for Manned Orbital Rendezvous” – an outline of a plan for two piloted spacecraft to meet in space.  This would hardly be the first time Aldrin would have ideas for NASA.  The underwater training for the first Apollo mission was his idea. And he holds three US patents for his schematics of a modular space station, reusable rockets and multi-crew modules for space flight. 

 

Many decades have passed since Aldrin stepped onto the moon’s surface and uttered the words that popped into his head: magnificent desolation.  And he still has a lot more ideas fo space exploration: cycling ships and a flexible path concept; Block 1 Exploration Modules and the Aldrin Mars Cycler — all things he talked about in his interview with Bob.  Aldrin also talked about an infamous punch he once threw. You can see it here:

 

Aldrin’s new book, published by National Geographic, is Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration

Friday
Jul172015

The Bob Edwards Show Schedule (July 20-24, 2015)

 

Monday, July 20, 2015: On this date in 1969, humans left the Earth and reached another world for the first time in our history. To mark the occasion, Bob talks with astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to ever set foot on the moon. Then, what can those guys possibly do for an encore? Bob finds out when he talks with author Andrew Smith. Smith tracked down nine surviving astronauts who’ve stepped on the lunar surface. His book, Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Tell to Earth explores the lives of these Moonwalkers before and after their historical steps.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015: We continue our appreciation of the Apollo missions to the moon.  Today, Bob talks with astronaut Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the lunar surface. Bean is the author of Painting Apollo and he’s also an artist, whose works features lunar landscapes and fellow astronauts. Then Bob talks with director David Sington about his documentary titled In the Shadow of the Moon. It gathers the stories of the only 12 people to have walked on the moon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015: Today we’ll talk about some trips that are a little closer to home.  First, Bob talks with travel writer Rick Steves.  Throughout his career, Steves has advocated for thoughtful and informed traveling in his PBS series, his radio show, and of course his best-selling travel guide books.   In his book, Travel As a Political Act, Steves writes about why we travel and how being a good traveler creates positive ties with the citizens of other nations.  Then, Bob talks to Keith Bellows, editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler magazine. Bellows compiled a list of the 500 greatest trips the world has to offer, encompassing every continent and every possible mode of transportation, including the world’s top 10 elevator rides.

Thursday, July 23, 2015: Bob enjoys a new conversation with his old friend Simon Winchester.  The erudite Brit used to inform Bob and millions of public radio listeners about the news in the rest of the world when he was a journalist for The Guardian newspaper in England. Since those days, Winchester has become an American citizen and written many non-fiction best-sellers - about interesting people, historic events, brilliant ideas, even the biography of an ocean. His latest book is for kids – a first for Winchester. It’s called When the Earth Shakes: Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tsunamis. Then, a seismic shift in the office.  There’s a good chance you’re sitting at one as you read this.  Cubicles, whether we like it or not, are part of many of our jobs.  Writer Nikil Saval looks at the week-day setting of many of our lives in his book Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace.

Friday, July 24, 2015: In 2012, Joshua Oppenheimer made a very disturbing documentary film about a genocide in Indonesia that happened 50 years ago. The Act of Killing was nominated for an Oscar and showed the bizarre and casual callousness of those who carried out the crimes in the 1960s.  Now Oppenheimer has followed that film with a brand new sequel called The Look of Silence. It’s in limited release now and opens in Washington DC and many other cities next week. He’s here to discuss confronting the now elderly perpetrators – many of whom are still powerful in Indonesia – and to explain how addressing the atrocities can help set the country on a path of reconciliation.  In desperate situations, fear can give us the adrenaline we need for survival, or drive us to total terror and impede our ability to think clearly.   Science writer Jeff Wise, columnist for Popular Mechanics, examines how and why we respond to fear in his book Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger.

 

Friday
Jul172015

Bob Edwards Weekend (July 18-19, 2015)

HOUR ONE:

Louis Ferrante has been on this show a few times before. This is a brand new interview. In the past, he told us about his former life of crime as a member of the Gambino family in New York. We heard about his time in prison and how the power of literature and books changed his life. Ferrante wrote a memoir called Unlocked then another book that compared Mob Rules with those of “legitimate” businessmen. Now he’s here to discuss his new book titled The Three Pound Crystal Ball: How the Dreaming Brain Can See the Future. Ferrante also talks about his time in the Clinton Correctional facility, what life in prison is really like and the difficulties ex-cons face after jail.

 

HOUR TWO:

Documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney is back – yet again. The Peabody and Oscar Award-winner is here to share the life and work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. The pioneering author and journalist was born 78 years ago this weekend. That documentary is titled Gonzo. Then – a bonus feature from Gibney. Magic Trip features archival footage shot in 1964 by Ken Kesey and “The Merry Band of Pranksters” as they traveled by psychedelic bus from the West coast to the World’s Fair in New York City. They documented their LSD-fueled trip to the “World of Tomorrow” with 16mm film, but never quite finished editing the hours of footage.