Named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World Today, Harvard Professor Steven Pinker our special guest. He just released the book Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. Faced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, one could easily think we live in the most violent age ever seen. Yet as New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows in this startling and engaging new work, just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millennia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species's existence. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, pogroms, gruesome punishments, deadly quarrels, and genocide were ordinary features of life. But today, Pinker shows (with the help of more than a hundred graphs and maps) all these forms of violence have dwindled and are widely condemned. How has this happened? Steven Pinker is a cognitive scientist whose thorough studies of language have led him to insights into the way humans form thoughts and engage the world. He has authored seven books, including the New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize finalist The Blank Slate and the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist How the Mind Works.
Virginia farmer Joel Salatin rejoins the show to discuss his new book Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World. The book discusses how far removed we are from the simple, sustainable joy that comes from living close to the land and the people we love. Salatin has many thoughts on what normal is and shares practical and philosophical ideas for changing our lives in small ways that have big impact. Salatin, hailed by The New York Times as "high priest of the pasture," originally ventured out into the world to build a journalism career. With two generations of family farming behind him, he couldn’t resist and the farm called him back. Salatin returned to Polyface Farm full time in 1982 building upon and refining his parents’ ideas. As a result, Polyfare Farm now services 3,000 families, 10 retail outlets and 50 restaurants. Salatin and Polyface Farm have been featured in Gourmet, The Smithsonian and National Geographic magazines, as well as ABC World News. Salatin was also the farmer prominently featured in Michael Pollan’s bestselling book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Joel is also featured in the latest Time Magazine with a piece called This Land is Your Land.
One of the founding fathers of the pop art movement James Gill our special guest. Fascination St. Fine Art welcomes Gill to its Cherry Creek North gallery space. This special exhibition of Gill’s paintings and limited editions will take place Friday, October 21 through Sunday, October 23. This will be Gill’s first time showing at a Colorado gallery and one of only a handful of showings across the country for 2011. James Gill is credited with helping to found the Pop Art movement in the 1950s and 1960s, and has been named as a major influence on Andy Warhol and others of the same genre and recognition. He experienced a rapid ascent in the art world, getting his work into major collections such as New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, The Whitney, and The Smithsonian Institute early in his career. Gill also received various commissions, including the cover of Time Magazine in 1968. Shortly after his rise to the top, Gill dropped out of the art scene in the 1970s. Now, after a 30-year hiatus, he has re-emerged to do a “comeback tour,” showcasing his work at galleries in select U.S. cities.
Steve Almond joins us for a take on news events that matter and to give us a new music suggestion. This week it's The Devil's Harp by The Barr Brothers. Steve Almond has a new book coming out late October called God Bless America Stories. In this book he offers a comic and forlorn portrait of these United States: our lust for fame, our racial tensions, the toll of perpetual war, and the pursuit of romantic happiness. Each of these thirteen stories is an urgent investigation of America's soul, its particular suffering, its injustices, its possibilities for redemption. Watch the youtube explanation from Steve hereYou can also pre order here and get 30 percent off. Steve is also the author of several other books including Candyfreak and most recently Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life.