A Conversation with Shimon Peres

March 27, 2007

Producer: WEOS (58:57)

Review by Chris Chambers for PRX

Is it possible to broadcast an hour long live speech followed by a Q&A session? My instinct would be to say no not really. However, I was fascinated with this piece. I was absorbed from beginning to end. Shimon Peres is a wonderful speaker. Thoughtful, precise and engaging. I was surprised. I’ve always thought of him as lacking charisma and of being the ‘also man’ – even though he’s been around longer than any other Israeli politician and has held practically every important post in the government there. One wonders though, if someone of his sensibilities (as it comes across here anyway)and his stature isn’t able to bring peace to the region, then who can?
This is a programme of two halves. The first half an hour is a speech. His main thrust is that the economy and business are the most important aspects of a society. “Governments have budgets and not money,” he says cynically. Modernising is important and that the current clashes are with those who’re afraid of losing their way of life.
Also, the questions put to him were thoughtful and intelligent. This can sometimes be the trouble with Q&As. Questions can be trite and boring.
There are some very powerful moments especially when he describes as prime minister seeing the first suicide bombing of a bus in Jerusalem and the chants of traitor directed to him fom his own people.
The only problem with this is that of course it is one sided. Israel comes across as a country that is just defending itself from outside aggression and is reacting to circumstance. Isn’t it a bit more complicated than that!
However, pushing that aside, it’s worth listening to just to hear the views of a man steeped in history.



Listen: Behind The Superficial

January 8, 2007

Behind The Superficial

from BBC 4 Radio

“It’s surprising how little we really know about places we think we’ve got the measure of. This series explores places we assume we know – a tourist trap or an industrial site – and discovers that, on closer inspection, there’s a cracking scientific story hidden just Behind the Superficial. ”

Listen to all three episodes of the series here 

Listen: Hollywood Science

December 19, 2006

from PRX

producer: Spectrum Radio

“Spectrum Radio’s Susan Hassler investigates two physicist film reviewers who critique and rate Hollywood films for good and bad science.”

Listen to program here 

Listen: Am I Normal? Series #2

December 19, 2006

Am I Normal? (Series 2)

from BBC Radio 4

In this series, Vivienne Parry finds out how the doctors decide who’s in the normal box and who’s not when it comes to cancer, madness, metabolism, autism and drinking. “

Listen to series #2 here

A little more about programs 1-5 of series #2 (from BBC 4 Radio)

  1. Cancer: “ Is it normal for us to have cancer? Public opinion might be that cancer is abnormal, but medical professionals disagree.”
  2. Madness: “ One in 10 of us has had a mad or psychotic experience at some time in our life.”
  3. Metabolism: “ What is a normal metabolism? Our thyroid controls our body temperature and therefore plays an important role in our metabolism”
  4. Asperger Syndrome and Autism: “ Ten times more children are diagnosed with autism or Asperger syndrome than 40 years ago.”
  5. Alcohol: “ Britain is a nation of drinkers. We now drink twice as much alcohol as 50 years ago, with scant regard to the recommended intake. “

Listen: Am I Normal? Series #1

December 18, 2006

Am I Normal? (Series 1)

from BBC 4 Radio

Vivienne Parry is not normal according to her friends but medically speaking she’s mercifully within the normal range for most things. In this series, Vivienne finds out how the doctors decide what’s normal in terms of our weight, height, cholesterol level and state of mind. “

Listen to the first series here

A little more about programs 1-4 of series # 1: (from BBC 4 Radio)

  1. Weight: ” You may have been told by your doctor that your weight is just fine, but be aware, they may soon change their minds.”
  2. Height: “ Is being short a medical condition or just a fact of life? “
  3. Heart: “ Is your heart healthy? Is it normal? We join Vivienne Parry as she gets her cholesterol and blood pressure checked to find out her risk of heart disease.”
  4. Depression: “ How do doctors decide if what’s going on inside someone’s head is normal?”

Listen: Sharpen Your Memory – Pt. 4 of 6

December 3, 2006

Part 4: Information Recall

from BBC 4 Radio

“It’s often been said that our memories play a more important role in controlling our future than informing our past. But how can we remember to remember the right stuff at the right time?”

Listen to the program here

Listen: Sharpen Your Memory – Pt 1 of 6

November 28, 2006

Part 1: Memory and Identity
from BBC 4 Radio

“In a new series Mariella Frostrup talks to leading scientists and artists to find out how your memory works.
In the first programme Mariella looks at how your memory defines who you are.”

Listen to MEMORY and IDENTITY here