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Geoff Dyer: ‘Another Great Day at Sea’

Author Geoff Dyer

Author Geoff Dyer

The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (foreground). Photo courtesy of: Official U.S. Navy Imagery/ http://bit.ly/1l1a6wb

The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (foreground). Photo courtesy of: Official U.S. Navy Imagery/ http://bit.ly/1l1a6wb

By Rick Kleffel:

I was intrigued with ‘Another Great Day Day At Sea’ pretty much from the moment it landed in my hands. Geoff Dyer’s prose voice was delightful and the subject seemed so odd and yet so obviously fascinating.

This wasn’t my first experience with Dyer, though. I’d read another odd little book by him titled ‘Zona,’ about one of my favorite movies of all time, Stalker, by Andrei Tarkovsky, based on the novel ‘Roadside Picnic’ by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky.


The Poetry Show: Rodger Kamenetz, Guest Poet


08 - rodger-headshot-webPoet and dream worker Rodger Kamenetz joined host Dennis Morton for the Poetry Show on June 8, 2014. Kamenetz was in the middle of a busy few days in Santa Cruz. On Saturday and again earlier on Sunday, he led workshops on Dreams and Poetry. On Tuesday, he’s the featured reader at the regular second-Tuesday event at Bookshop Santa Cruz, sponsored by Poetry Santa Cruz. Well-known local poet Stephen Kessler completes the bill for that event.

This was Rodger Kamenetz’s first visit to the poetry show, but he is nationally well-known for his writing, both poetry and non-fiction. His biography informs us that:


Interview with Matt Taibbi

Author Matt Taibbi

Author Matt Taibbi

By Rick Kleffel | The Agony Column

Make no mistake about it. Taibbi is dead serious in his examination of the New American Dystopia, but he and I also managed to laugh, early and often, at his wonderfully tweaked portraits of hell on earth. It’s hard not to laugh at some of the mind-bogglingly outlandish exploits that Taibbi documents.

“… the biggest bank robbery in the history of the world …”

— Matt Taibbi

In our previous interview, he and I discussed material similar to this from ‘Griftopia.’ This time around, we once again were talking about the financial scammers who are real-life Bond villains. It’s all in good fun until somebody steals 45 billion, that’s BILLION with a B, dollars from millions of small investors and pension funds.


Unorthodox Marine Biologist Asha de Vos


From the 7th Avenue Project w/ Robert Pollie – Broadcast May 4, 2014 -

Growing up as an aspiring marine scientist in Sri Lanka, Asha de Vos didn’t have any local role models – other than sci-fi writer/undersea explorer Arthur C. Clarke. At times she’s had to make her own way with a combination of persistence, pig-headedness and duct tape. That hasn’t stopped her from becoming an expert on a population of “unorthodox” blue whales and a noted ocean conservationist.

We talked about Asha’s path to ocean science, her defining moment (involving whale poop), the wonders of cetology, her efforts to protect whales from ship collisions, and how she’s inspiring a new generation of marine biologists.

Learn more about Asha at her website.

Asha was a 2012 TED Fellow and had the honor of being muppetized:

Asha de Vos. photo: Courtesy of http://ashadevos.com/

Asha de Vos. photo: Courtesy of http://ashadevos.com/

On ‘Your Call’: How are Independent Bookstores Surviving and Thriving?


93 independent bookstores in California borrow a theme from record stores – offering special content to draw in customers to local shops.

By Ali Budner | KALW -

On this Your Call we’ll celebrate California Bookstore Day by talking the owners of Green Apple Books, Walden Pond Books, and Bookshop Santa Cruz. Independent bookstores are not just stores, they’re community centers and local anchors run by passionate readers. What is your favorite bookstore and why?  What does your bookstore add to your community?  And what do we lose when independent book sellers disappear? Join the conversation on the next Your Call with Rose Aguilar and You.


Pete Mulvihill, co-owner of Green Apple Books in San Francisco

Paul Curatolo, co-manager of Walden Pond Books in Oakland

Casey Coonerty Protti, owner of Bookshop Santa Cruz


California Bookstore Day

Green Apple Books

Bookshop Santa Cruz

Walden Pond Books

Contra Costa Times: Oakland: Walden Pond Books celebrates 40th year on Grand Avenue

Juan Felipe Herrera, Guest Poet Laureate

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Juan Felipe Herrera

The Poetry Show for April 20, 2014 had a distinguished guest, current California poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera. Now in the second year of the two-year appointment, Herrera keeps a busy schedule traveling around the state, but found time last Friday afternoon to record an interview at the KUSP studio, and to read a few of his poems.

Author of more than 25 published works, Juan Felipe Herrera is also a proponent of and participant in live performance poetry, and has been a member of several music and poetry performance ensembles. He also contributed poetry to the PBS TV drama series American Family.

20 - S. Kessler

Stephen Kessler

Poetry Show host Dennis Morton was joined by a past host, Stephen Kessler,  who has known Juan Felipe Herrera for many years.  The three-way conversation covered a wide range of topics informed by Herrera’s life and 40+ years in the California Latino poetry scene. During his time as poet laureate, Herrera has initiated a number of projects designed to bring poetry into the lives of California residents, especially school children.

KUSP Captures Two Murrow Awards

2014 Edward R. Murrow AwardsToday the Radio Television Digital News Association announced the regional winners of the 2014 Edward R. Murrow Awards. KUSP, I’m happy to say, has two wins this year!

kusp.org earned an award for best broadcast affiliated Web site. The Water Squeeze, our ongoing series explaining Monterey Bay area water planning, was recognized for continuing audio coverage of a major developing issue.

I’m very pleased the judges recognized what’s been achieved by the community volunteers and professional staff who collaborate on kusp.org –and we are grateful for the high-level peer recognition for The Water Squeeze, one of our many reporting initiatives at KUSP and one we’re especially proud of.

The awards highlight the steady growth of KUSP’s efforts to meet the information needs of the Monterey Bay area and keep up with how Monterey Bay area residents get their news.
“The Murrow Awards honor journalism at its finest,” said Mike Cavender, Executive Director of RTDNA. “Local newsrooms serve their communities 365 days a year, and we’re proud to recognize the great work they do.”


Leon Panetta 2014 Lecture Series


KUSP is proud to broadcast the Leon Panetta 2014 Lecture Series.

Click here to watch past  lectures.

The theme this year is ‘Learning the Lessons of History: Is the Past Prologue to the Future?’

The four announced lectures are:

War and Peace — 100 Years Since World War I
Speakers: Nicolas Burns, Michèle Flournoy, James Stavridis

Role of Government — Depressions, Wars, Equality and Poverty
Speakers: Barney Frank, Alan Simpson

Security Versus Freedom — Sedition to Internment to Surveillance
Speakers: Barton Gellman, Michael Morell, Robert Mueller

How Presidents Make Decisions — Leadership, Crisis, Politics and Trust
Speakers: David Axelrod, Erskine Bowles, Andrew Card, Jr., Kenneth Duberstein
More details on the lectures available here.

Echoes of the Big Bang: Cosmologist Anthony Aguirre on the BICEP2 Experiment


From the 7th Avenue Project w/ Robert Pollie. Broadcast on March 23, 2014.

The BICEP2 was built specifically to detect evidence of gravity waves in the cosmic microwave background radiation. And whaddya know – it worked.

The BICEP2 was built specifically to detect evidence of gravity waves in the cosmic microwave background radiation. And whaddya know – it worked.

By Robert Pollie:

Big physics is on a roll. It seems like only yesterday we were applauding the discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider. And then this week came word that the BICEP2 microwave telescope at the South Pole had found evidence of gravitational waves from the inflationary epoch – a glimpse of the universe at the time of the Big Bang, or maybe even before. “Holy crap!” was my reaction, but I needed something more for a radio show, so I got in touch with Anthony Aguirre. Cosmic inflation is one of his specialties, and I thought he’d be a great person to explain the new findings. He was. And I stand by my initial assessment: holy crap!

For more background on inflation theory, our 2011 interview with Anthony is an excellent start.

New School Standards Could Encourage Teachers to Take Field Trips

O’Neill sea Odyssey Education coordinator Laura Barnes. Photo: J.D. Hillard

O’Neill sea Odyssey Education coordinator Laura Barnes. Photo: J.D. Hillard

California and most of the other states will switch next school year to a new set of math and English standards called the Common Core. The hope is this change will help U.S. students improve their progress. A ‘Next Generation Science Standard’ is expected to roll out in a couple years.