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KERA Think Rundown – Week of 12/19/11

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Think airs Monday to Thursday from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. on KERA FM. Encore airings of Think can be heard Monday to Thursday nights on KERA FM beginning at 9:00 p.m. Podcasts and streamed video are available online at www.kera.org/think.

Monday, 12/19

Hour 1:  From the archives – What are the chemicals, drugs and synthetically-produced products in our lives really doing to our bodies and our health? In May we talked with journalist McKay Jenkins, author of “What’s Gotten into Us?: Staying Healthy in a Toxic World” (Random House, 2011).

Hour 2:  From the archives – What was life really like during the 1890s Alaska and Yukon gold rush? We found out last spring with bestselling nonfiction author Howard Blum who tells the intertwining stories of three men and their parallel pursuits of fortune in his book “The Floor of Heaven: A True Tale of the Last Frontier and the Yukon Gold Rush” (Crown, 2011).

Tuesday, 12/20

Hour 1:  From the archives – How should we deal with the prolonged terminal illness of a family member or friend? Our guest in this archive program might argue that there are a few silver linings to a “long goodbye.” We talked in August with Barbara Okun, Ph.D, professor of counseling at Northeastern University and clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School. She’s the co-author of the book “Saying Goodbye: How Families Can Find Renewal Through Loss” (Berkley, 2011).

Hour 2:  From the archives – What caused one of the most famous gun battles in history and how did it shape our view of the American West? We spent an hour in May with historical journalist Jeff Guinn whose most recent book is “The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral-And How It Changed the American West” (Simon & Schuster, 2011).

Wednesday, 12/21

Hour 1:  From the archives – What would our lives be like if we spent as much time with nature as we currently do with technology? We’ll revisit our conversation with journalist and author Richard Louv. His recent book is “The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder” (Algonquin Books, 2011).

Hour 2:  From the archives – Where did President Obama get his drive, dedication and commitment and who shaped his value system as a child? In May we talked with journalist Janny Scott, whose deeply researched recent book is “A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother” (Riverhead, 2011).

Thursday, 12/22

Hour 1:  From the archives – How does an actor prepare to become a character on the stage or screen and how does the art of improvisation contribute to their success? Last June we discussed the craft with Academy Award winner Alan Arkin whose recent memoir is “An Improvised Life” (Da Capo, 2011).

Hour 2:  From the archives – Why did many Americans choose to travel to Paris between 1830 and 1900 and how did their experiences there influence life back home in the States? We spent an hour last summer with two-time Pulitzer Prize and two-time National Book Award winner David McCullough whose most recent book is “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris” (Simon & Schuster, 2011).