Chain Reaction

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On today’s show: Stanford biologist Nathan Wolfe explains the co-evolution of human beings and viruses. Linda Lavin discusses her role in the family drama “The Lyons.” We’ll take a look at a new collection of essays written by the mid-century cultural critic and contrarian Dwight MacDonald. And the gurus of how-to, Al and Larry Ubell take your calls on home repair!

Viruses, Humans, and the Dawn of a New Pandemic Age

Stanford biologist Nathan Wolfe looks at the history of viruses and human beings. He explains how deadly viruses like HIV, swine flu, and bird flu almost wiped us out in the past; and why modern life has made humans vulnerable to the threat of a global pandemic in The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age.

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Linda Lavin in "The Lyons"

Tony Award-winner Linda Lavin discusses her role in "The Lyons," playing at the Vineyard Theater. Ben Lyons is dying. When his wife, Rita, and grown children gather to say goodbye, they learn that, despite being a family, each of them is utterly isolated. Ben’s death pushes them into foreign territory — human connection. She also has a new CD called, "Possibilities," which will be released later this fall.


John Summers Talks About Critic Dwight Macdonald

John Summers, the editor of The Baffler, discusses the American critic and writer Dwight Macdonald, an uncompromising contrarian, a passionate polemicist, an anarchist, and a pacifist. Summers assembled new selection of Macdonald’s finest essays, Masscult and Midcult Essays Against the American Grain. It shows Dwight Macdonald as a critic of America’s susceptibility to cultural fakery—he dubbed this phenomenon “Midcult” and he attacked it on aesthetic and on political grounds.

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The Gurus of How-To on Preparing for Fall and Winter

The Gurus of How-To, Al Ubell and Larry Ubell, are here to offer advice on home repair matters, from drooping stoop steps to leaking roofs and sagging wood floors.

Call 646-829-3985 with your questions or leave a comment below.

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