25 December 2007

Dec. 31 show: Alan Johnston and Singing Salvation Army Bellringer

Before you hit the town on New Year's Eve, take time for great radio. We'll air a pair of stories, one from reporter Alan Johnston on his 114 days in captivity in Gaza and the other a portrait of a Singing Salvation Army Bellringer. Read more about both in posts located just below this one.

21 December 2007

Alan Johnston: My 114 Days As a Hostage

Alan Johnston is an experienced foreign correspondent working for the BBC. But nothing could have prepared him for the day he was snapped up by a group of men with guns in Gaza. They held him captive for 114 days while his family in the U.K. wondered whether he'd live or die. He wondered the same thing. On December 31 at 7 p.m., we'll air a 22-minute essay from Alan Johnston on his life as a hostage. He speaks about the boredom, the food, his captors and fear. I listened to a podcast of the story the other day and cried.

Alan Jackson: Singing Salvation Army Bellringer

I met Alan Jackson while reporting a story for The World. I was hanging out with Icelanders at the Mall of America when I noticed an engaging Salvation Army bellringer. Had he been a run-of-the-mill bellringer, I would have recorded him for a bit and moved on. But he was fantastic. He opened doors for shoppers. As they scooted out of the mall, he reminded them to wear seat belts. And he sang. This story aired on NPR's Day to Day on December 19. You can hear it on the Listening Lounge on December 31 at about 7:20 p.m. Cheers.

Amen! Visit the House of Mercy

It's the hippest church in the city. Musicians Ralph Stanley and a member of the Violent Femmes have performed at House of Mercy church in downtown St. Paul. Take a visit there yourself. Listen to Joel Grostephan's story on this quirky house of worship. It's available at the KFAI archives until December 30. Just click on Listening Lounge and enjoy.

03 December 2007

Stories From the Heart of the Land - Airing Now

If you could tell any story about people and the natural world, what would it be?"

That's the question radio curator Jay Allison asked his favorite producers and they went ... all over.

All this month on the Listening Lounge, we'll air Stories from the Heart of the Land, collected by Jay Allison

On December 3 and December 10, we air the following stories:

1. Out in the Great Bear Rainforest, Elizabeth Arnold discovers that, though she may be ready for the "Great", and for the "Rainforest", she is not so ready for the "Bear."

2. Armed only with a tent, a pack of hot dogs, and a twelve-year old, Jonathan Goldstein confronts his fear of the woods.

3. The Kitchen Sisters' portrait of activist Mark DuBois and his dramatic effort to save a wild river in the west.

4. What is it like to be exiled from a landscape that you can see from your window? When his legs fail him, Chris Brookes finds out.

5. The story of one man's prairie, and his work to let it flourish, even after he dies. Kelly McEvers visits Bob's Prairie in Illinois.

6. Through every season, 97-year-old rancher Attilio Genasci tends to his cattle and his alpine valley in California. A portrait of a man in his landscape by Jesikah Maria Ross.

On December 17 and December 24, we'll air these stories, most of them tackle the subject of nature.

1. Wild Crafting
For more than 25 years, Nova Kim and Les Hook have made a living by foraging the woods of Northern Vermont. Produced by Emily Botein.

2. Graun em i Laif
Papua New Guinea
After a rootless childhood and a hopscotch youth, Skye Rohde settles down in Papua New Guinea and discovers what it's like to belong to the land.

3. Stone by Stone
Lake District, United Kingdom
For twenty years, rain or shine, Andrew Loudon has been building stone walls in the Lake District. Produced by Kim Normanton.

4. Faith in Fishermen
Stonington, Maine
These things are clear about Maine fishermen: They keep secrets. And they distrust scientists. Unless, of course, you're Ted Ames, who is both fisherman and scientist. Produced by Neenah Ellis.

5. Desert Blooms
Charles Bowden on the ecstasy of Selenicereus plerantus, which offers its bloom on just one night -- the hottest and blackest of the year. Produced by Jeff Rice.

6. Elbow Room
Alaska, China and Mongolia
How much land does a person need? Elizabeth Arnold, who lives in Alaska, goes in search of even more wide-open space and ends up with a case of claustrophobia in Outer Mongolia.

The Listening Lounge airs Mondays at 7 p.m. on KFAI, 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul and streaming online at www.kfai.org.