Fresh Air on WUTC

Weekdays, Noon - 1pm
Terry Gross

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a "talk show," it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights." And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country's leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally by NPR.

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10:31am

Fri July 27, 2012
Author Interviews

In '1493,' Uncovering The World Columbus Discovered

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 12:47 pm

Charles C. Mann is a journalist and contributing editor for Atlantic Monthly and Science.
J.D. Sloan

This interview was originally broadcast on August 8, 2011. 1493 is now available in paperback.

"In fourteen-hundred-and-ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue," goes the old elementary school rhyme.

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4:00pm

Thu July 26, 2012
Music Reviews

Ocean's 'Orange' Revolution

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 6:35 pm

Frank Ocean performs onstage at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in April.
Karl Walter Getty Images

Born in New Orleans and still in his mid-20s, Frank Ocean has already written songs for major pop stars. He sang on the Kanye West/Jay-Z collaboration Watch the Throne, and he's been part of the tumultuous Los Angeles musical collective known as Odd Future. None of which quite prepares a listener for the beautifully moody music that dominates his new album, Channel Orange.

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1:11pm

Thu July 26, 2012
The Fresh Air Interview

Christopher Beha, On Faith And Its Discontents

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:15 pm

Christopher Beha is an associate editor at Harper's magazine and the author of The Whole Five Feet.
Josephine Sittenfeld Tin House Books

In the novel What Happened to Sophie Wilder, writer Charlie Blakeman runs into his former college love after 10 years and finds out that she has converted to Catholicism. Charlie can't make sense of her conversion, but as he finds out more about Sophie's past, he sees her life is more complicated than he previously thought. When Sophie once again disappears, Charlie sets out to discover what has happened to her.

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1:10pm

Thu July 26, 2012
Movie Reviews

In China, A Persistent Thorn In The State's Side

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:05 am

Although Ai Weiwei's art is internationally recognized, much of his worldwide fame comes from his political activism in China. The latter is the focus of Alison Klayman's documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.
Ted Alcorn IFC Films

A couple of months ago, I visited Beijing, and like so many before me, I was stunned by how hypercapitalist Communist China has become — the hundreds of glossy highrises, the countless shops selling Prada and Apple, the traffic jams filled with brand new Audis. You felt you could be in L.A. or Tokyo — until you wanted some information. Then you discovered that Facebook was permanently blocked, certain words in Google searches always crashed your browser, and, as my wife joked, it was easier to buy a Rolls-Royce than a real newspaper. Here was a country at once booming — and repressive.

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12:55pm

Wed July 25, 2012
Religion

Bishop Explains Vatican's Criticism Of U.S. Nuns

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 7:32 pm

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Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio is the bishop who assessed the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. You can hear Blair discuss the nuns' organization here.
Courtesy Catholic Diocese of Toledo

Four years ago, a Vatican group called "The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" began an assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a member organization founded in 1956 that represents 80 percent of Catholic nuns in the United States. The assessment was designed to take a careful look at whether the nuns were acting in accordance with the teachings of the church.

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2:04pm

Tue July 24, 2012
Author Interviews

'The Twilight War' Between The U.S. And Iran

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 3:54 pm

David Crist's father, George (left), discusses operations against Iranian attack boats with Navy Lt. Paul Hillenbrand. George Crist, a Marine Corps general, was commander of CENTCOM from 1985-1988.
Courtesy of David Crist

In The Twilight War, government historian David Crist outlines the secret history of America's 30-year conflict with Iran. The book, based on interviews with hundreds of officials as well as classified military archives, details how the covert war has spanned five American presidential terms and repeatedly threatened to bring the two nations into open warfare.

Crist tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that there have been several incidents that have almost resulted in battle over the past 30 years.

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2:04pm

Tue July 24, 2012
Commentary

Swearing: A Long And #%@&$ History

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 4:29 pm

iStockphoto.com

Sometimes it's small government you need to keep your eye on. Take Middleborough, Mass., whose town meeting recently imposed a $20 fine for swearing in public. According to the police chief, the ordinance was aimed at the crowds of unruly teenagers who gathered downtown at night yelling profanities at people, not just someone who slams a finger in a car door. But whatever the exact idea was, nobody thought it was a good one.

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12:43pm

Mon July 23, 2012
Author Interviews

Unraveling The Genetic Code That Makes Us Human

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 3:18 pm

iStockphoto.com

There's enough DNA in the human body to stretch from the sun to Pluto and back. But don't confuse DNA with your genes, says writer Sam Kean.

"They are sort of conflated in most people's minds today but they really are distinct things," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "Genes are like the story and DNA is the language that the story is written in."

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12:25pm

Mon July 23, 2012
Space

Jill Tarter: A Scientist Searching For Alien Life

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 3:18 pm

The Eskimo Nebula, as shown through the Hubble Telescope.
NASA/Flickr

As a child, astronomer Jill Tarter would walk along the beaches of western Florida with her father and look up at the stars.

"I assumed, at that time, that along some beach on some planet, there would be a small creature walking with its dad and they would see our sun in their sky, and they might wonder whether anyone was there," she tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "But I never thought about it professionally until graduate school."

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1:38am

Sat July 21, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Weaver, Sorkin, 'Dark Knight'

Originally published on Sat July 21, 2012 1:12 pm

Sigourney Weaver stars as Secretary of State Elaine Barrish in the USA Network miniseries Political Animals.
Andrew Eccles USA Network

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Aaron Sorkin: The Writer Behind 'The Newsroom': HBO's new behind-the-anchor-desk drama follows in the footsteps of Sorkin's hit series The West Wing. "I like writing about heroes that don't wear capes or disguises," he says.

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11:55am

Fri July 20, 2012
Music Reviews

Jesse Davis: Live From New York's Other Basement Club

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 4:26 pm

Saxophonist Jesse Davis performs at Smalls Jazz Club in New York.
Michelle Watt Courtesy of the artist

Many jazz musicians, the kind who wear jackets and ties on stage, are often carelessly referred to as playing bebop. In reality most of them are post-boppers, who build on that dynamic style that burst forth after World War II, without bringing it back in pure form. It's the rare modernist who gets an authentic bebop sound on alto saxophone, who catches some of the raw explosiveness and rapid-fire grace of jazz god Charlie Parker. And then there's Jesse Davis.

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11:55am

Fri July 20, 2012
Music Interviews

Eddie Palmieri: Now A True 'Jazz Master'

Eddie Palmieri
Raymond Roig AFP/Getty Images

Pianist Eddie Palmieri has been given many nicknames. He's been called The Latin Monk because of his Thelonious Monk-inspired dissonances. He's been called The Piano Breaker Man, because he hits the keys so hard. He's even been called the 'madman of Latin music.' He's taken many of the innovations of modern jazz pianists and brought them into his Latin bands. But he's never stopped playing good dance music.

In 1994, Palmieri's lobbying culminated in the announcement of a new Grammy Award category for Afro-Caribbean Jazz.

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10:28am

Fri July 20, 2012
Author Interviews

When Zombies Attack Lower Manhattan

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 11:55 am

Colson Whitehead is a 2002 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship. His writing has also appeared in Salon, The Village Voice, and The New York Times.

Erin Patrice O'Brien Doubleday

A zombie plague has wiped out 95 percent of America. Camps of survivors band together in pockets across the country, waiting for small squadrons of human "sweepers" to inch their way across major cities, destroying the remaining zombie-like creatures hiding out in office buildings and shopping malls.

But now the human sweepers have to tackle their biggest challenge yet: clearing the undead from Lower Manhattan.

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12:34pm

Thu July 19, 2012
Remembrances

Fresh Air Remembers Actress Celeste Holm

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 1:44 pm

Celeste Holm, the actress of stage and screen, passed away of a heart attack on July 15. She was 95 years old.

Made famous on Broadway for her role as Ado Annie in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, Holm earned more fans for her performances in All About Eve (1950), The Tender Trap (1955) and High Society (1956).

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11:21am

Thu July 19, 2012
The Fresh Air Interview

Sigourney Weaver's Stately Role In 'Political Animals'

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 5:56 pm

Sigourney Weaver stars as Secretary of State Elaine Barrish in the USA Network miniseries Political Animals.
Andrew Eccles USA Network

In the new USA Network miniseries Political Animals, Sigourney Weaver plays smart, tough Secretary of State Elaine Barrish. It's a role many critics have likened to current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but Weaver says the show's creators were thinking beyond Clinton when they devised the role.

"We've had three remarkable women who've been our secretaries of state in our last three administrations, but somehow we're not willing as a country to elect a woman president," she says. "And I think this show partially investigates what that's about."

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