Scratching the Surface

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Ira Glass talks about adapting "This American Life" for television! Also, Carlos Fuentes discusses his new novel, Destiny and Desire. Then, Stephen Ives, producer and director of the new documentary “Panama Canal,” describes the mammoth engineering project and its shocking human toll. Plus, Carl Safina looks into the connection between environmental degradation and human rights issues.

Ira Glass on "This American Life" on TV

Ira Glass, host of Peabody Award-winning radio program “This American Life,” talks about the show and about creating the “This American Life” television series, which was originally shown only on Showtime but is now on Current TV and available on basic cable.

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Carlos Fuentes on Destiny and Desire

Carlos Fuentes talks about his new novel, Destiny and Desire, an epic of passion, magic, and desire in modern Mexico. Set in a world where free will battles with the wishes of the gods, the story blends mysticism and realism.

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The Panama Canal

Stephen Ives, producer and director of “Panama Canal,” tells of the drama behind the creation of the canal, which opened August 15, 1914, connecting the world’s two largest oceans and ushering in America as a global superpower. Building the canal took over a decade of grinding work, cost $350 million, and took more than 5,000 lives. “Panama Canal,” part of the PBS series American Experience, airs January 24, at 9 pm.

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Carl Safina on The View from Lazy Point

MacArthur fellow Carl Safina argues that environmental problems affect matters of human justice, well-being, and our prospects for peace, and looks at the ways our world is changing and how we should respond.  In The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in the Unnatural World, he takes us through the four seasons to the four points of the compass, and from the high Arctic to Antarctica, from the Caribbean to the west Pacific.

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