In these interesting times, Northern Soundings is trying for flexibility. I’m practicing good social distancing and interviewing guests remotely from home.
Unfortunately, the audio quality isn’t the best. So, I’m offering shorter pieces that won’t tax the ear but still get Alaska voices before the public. I call this new venture Northern Soundbites.
Stay safe and care for others!
5/28/20: Pandemic Politics. As the roiling markets and sky-high unemployment jostle for attention in popular media, the positions of the two presumptive party presidential candidates are shifting as well. In with analysis are our political mavens, UA Press Director Nate Bauer and UAF political scientist Alexander Hirsch. You can listen to the segment here.
5/27/20: Virtual Summer Camp. In the topsy-turvy world of COVID-19, Americans cautiously plan for the summer, including summer camp. In this Northern Soundbite, Summer Sessions director Michelle Bartlett says when UAF administrators closed the campus she and her team scrambled to put together a plan B. You can listen to the segment here.
5/21/20: Pandemic Politics. A new but familiar figure is back in the political spotlight. Northern Soundbites’ political mavens Alexander Hirsch, political scientist at UAF and Nate Bauer, director of the UA Press discuss the re-emergence of Barack Obama. You can listen to the segment here.
5/7/20: Pandemic Politics 2. My conversation with Alexander Hirsch, political scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Nate Bauer, Director of the University of Alaska Press continues. Coming off of South Korea’s elections last month many pundits saw the landslide results for the ruling government as an endorsement of its policies towards the pandemic. What, I wondered, would the United State’s response to COVID-19 bode for Republicans in November? You can listen to the segment here.
5/5/20: Thursday a new podcast, Alaska Voices, premiers that highlights the people and research taking place in Alaska. On this Northern Soundbites we hear from two of the researchers behind the venture, Jessie Young-Robertson, research assistant professor and Bob Bolton research associate professor, both at University of Alaska Fairbanks. You can listen to the segment here.
5/3/20: A Model Pandemic. COVID-19 has prompted dramatic changes around the world. Beyond the isolation and economic shock there is a growing awareness of some of the science behind pandemics, including modeling. Almost daily we hear about the need for more data to fine-tune predictions and response. But what do epidemiologists mean by a model. To answer that, I turned to KUAC’s “Math-Guy” John Gimbel, mathematics professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. You can listen to the segment here.
4/22/20: Bus Pilgrimage. Last week another pilgrim to the bus near Healy where Chris McCandless died in 1992 had to be rescued. McCandless is figured in Jon Krakauer’s non-fiction book Into the Wild. In this Northern Soundbite, Fairbanks psychologist Steve Parker says while it’s important to have pilgrimage sites, many journeying to the bus probably don’t know the disturbing backstory captured in McCandless’ sister’s book, The Wild Truth. You can listen to the segment here.
4/20/20: Viral War II. In an ongoing Northern Soundbite series about the metaphor of war against COVID-19, I turned to retired University of Alaska Fairbanks linguist and practicing Quaker Charley Basham. She says as a professor she often used a book by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson called Metaphors We Live By. You can listen to the segment here.
4/17/20: The First Fairbanks Earth Day. There is a week long series of events scheduled for Fairbanks. You can discover them by going to the organizers’ Facebook page. I spoke with two of the organizers, Rich Seifert and Dave Norton about the first event in Fairbanks. Norton says the town and state were ready. You can hear the entire conversation here.
4/12/20: Viral War. The Trump administration has declared war against COVID-19. But how useful is that as a policy when your enemy doesn’t even know you exist? I turned to writer, reviewer and professor emeritus from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Frank Soos for a reflection. You can listen to the segment here.
4/7/20: A Virtual Seder. Passover starts Wednesday. The eight-day holiday, which celebrates the ancient Israelites’ escape from bondage in Egypt, traditionally begins with a meal, called a Seder. Normally, the Seder brings together family, friends and even unexpected guests. But with COVID-19 things are not normal. Retired University of Alaska Fairbanks Anthropology professor and administrator Phyliss Morrow describes this year’s virtual solution. You can listen to the segment here.
4/5/20: Welcome to another installment of my series of shorter conversations called Northern Soundbites. We often think of first responders in terms of police, fire-fighters and healthcare providers. But often those facing serious illness look for spiritual solace and guidance. I asked Rev. Dr. Nancy James, chaplain at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, how her work had changed in the pandemic. You can listen to the segment here.
4/1/20: Author and reviewer Frank Soos was my first Northern Soundings guest and I’m pleased to offer his review of Boccaccio’s Decameron as the first installment of Northern Soundbites. You can listen to the segment here.
4/1/20: I continue my series Northern Soundbites with a discussion about viruses with microbiologist Professor Mary Beth Leigh. There is a bevy of fine reports about COVID-19, locally on KUAC-FM, Alaska Public Media, and NPR. But I’ve been interested in the natural history of viruses, what do we know about their origins, evolutionary success and “life” cycle, even though, as you’ll hear, viruses aren’t strictly alive. You can listen to the discussion here.