“Wildman” Steve Brill – NYC’s wild edible plant forager extraordinaire

For years, a pith helmet, nearly comic determination, and astounding know-how have combined to fashion Steve Brill’s persona, as he leads expeditions through Central Park and New York’s other semi-wild places in search of edible plants and flowers.  Adventurers get a dose of accomplishment and renewed respect for the bounty of nature, right here in one of the most man-made environments in the world.  Come with us!

Posted in Health, Oral History-oid, Science Tags: , , , , , ,

Conflict Resolution: What it is and How it Works (VOA 1995)

In the mid-1990s, I was the initiator, designer and lead producer for a very ambitious series about the emerging field of conflict resolution and its applications. It covered everything from war, to marital discord to the role of the media in preventing or stoking discord, to the psychology of violence, peace and forgiveness. This 20 minute story was the first in the series (which also took me to South Central LA and South Africa, among many other places) that explained the field, and explored its potential range.

Posted in Health, History Tags: , , , , , , ,

Gary, West Virginia: A Coal Town Flickers Out

At its peak, the town of Gary was completely alive with the sound of coal mining, lunchtime whistles, and the ethnic music that its immigrant laborers made during their rare off hours.  US Steel had built the town, and the workers were proud to be there, albeit under very difficult, even backbreaking and dangerous conditions. All that changed in the late 1980s, when the company closed the mines because Central American coal was cheaper to mine and ship. When I visited the town, there was 95 percent unemployment and wolves were roaming the streets because the town could no longer afford the streetlight electricity.

This is the first piece I did for “All Things Considered” and I was very proud when it was broadcast.

See also my story about Gary’s early 20th century ethnic life, and my many other stories about Appalachian mountain culture.

Posted in Americana, Health, History

Gifts of the Rainforest: Indigenous Healing Systems of Belize (NPR)

A sound-rich odyssey in which Adam explores various healing systems that use the plants of the rainforest for physical and spiritual healing. Includes interviews with Mayan shamans, and peasant Catholic and Creole healers.

Posted in Health, Immigrants and Ethnic Life, Religion, Science, Spirituality, Travel outside the USA Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ken Steele and the Experience of Schizophrenia

Many of us are familiar with people who walk down the street conversing with people and other entitities that we cannot say, but which exist in a hyper-real and undeniable way to them.  What is it like  inside their minds, what do those voices sound like and what do they say?  And what happens when the voices quiet down after a lifetime due to Rispardal or other psychiatric drugs? Meet the late Ken Steele, who vividly described his lifelong struggle with paranoid shizophrenia, and the road back to the shared world.

Posted in Health, Science Tags: , , , , ,

Montana’s Blackfeet Indians: Tradition Meets Today

Native Americans are far more likely than their mainstream counterparts to die young and be poor along the way. This story examines, through interviews and sound, how the Blackfeet Tribe of western Montana are trying to hold on to traditional ways while bettering themselves economically.

Posted in Americana, Health, Immigrants and Ethnic Life, Religion, Spirituality Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Profiles of People with Disabilities (Berkeley CA)

Americans with disabilities are, in one sense, just like everybody else: they come from varied backgrounds, and cope with the challenges life presents them in many different ways. But living a full, satisfying life with a physical or mental handicap is no ordinary struggle.  Adam spoke with several people living with disabilities in the San Francisco area, and learned a few of their remarkable stories.

Posted in Health, Profile, Science, Spirituality Tags: , , , , , ,

Radical Acceptance: The Buddhism of Tara Brach

In our culture, self-denigration and unease with ourselves and others is a common theme.  Our internal dialogs can mesmerize us, making us unhappy, and our lives unproductive and robotic.  Being at peace in the moment, whatever arises, in a compassionate mode is a Buddhist way.  In this piece, I discussed Radical Acceptance with  Dharma teacher Tara Brach, who has written a brilliant book on this very subject.

Posted in Buddhism, Health, Religion Tags: , , , , , ,

Ram Das on Spirituality and the Dying Process (RAW INTVW)

Ram Das aka Richard Alpert, the author of “Be Here Now,” is one of the spiritual giants of the 20th and 21st century. This is a raw interview I did with him in connection with a 20 minute story I was doing for VOA about spirituality and the dying process, and how several spiritual tradition can use the imminence of death as a way to “wake up” and get real.

I offer this interview warts and all (they are all mine). Also see my interview with Steven Levine (author of “Who Dies?” on the same theme, and the finished doc, which is also in this blog.

Posted in Buddhism, Health, Long form docs (15" and up), Religion, Spirituality

Spirituality and the Dying Process (documentary)

Almost all the world’s religions and spiritual paths agree: how you you live is how you die, so you better get ready.  This long form doc explores the wisdom of several perspectives on this urgently relevant topic.  Listen, laugh, and get going! Includes lots of talk with Ram Das and Steven Levine, Robert Thurman, and many others.

Also of interest: Ram Das long form raw interview connected with this story.  Also Steven Levine’s interview.

Posted in Buddhism, Health, Long form docs (15" and up), Religion, Spirituality
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