Bo Xilai and Corruption in China, Bach 360, a Novel set in Vichy France, Animal Drones

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

We’ll look at the recent downfall of Bo Xilai and how it revealed a major power struggle within the Chinese Communist Party. Graham Parker and pianist Simone Dinnerstein talk about WQXR’s Bach 360 festival and about Dinnerstein’s performance of the Goldberg Variations. Nancy Kricorian talks about her novel, All the Light There Was, about an Armenian family’s struggle to survive in Vichy France. And we'll find about insects and animals engineered to be drones!

China's Bo Xilai Scandal

Wenguang Huang explores the scandalous story of the corruption of the Bo Xilai family—the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood; Bo’s secret lovers; the secret maneuverings of Bo’s supporters; the hasty trial and sentencing of Gu Kailai, Bo’s wife. In A Death in the Lucky Hotel Huang argues that it was just the first rumble of a seismic power struggle that continues to rock the foundation of China’s all-powerful Communist Party and has reached all the way to China’s new president Xi Jinping.

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Graham Parker and Simone Dinnerstein on Bach 360

Graham Parker, General Manager and Vice President of WQXR, and Simone Dinnerstein, one of the best-known contemporary Bach interpreters, discuss WQXR’s all Bach festival, Bach 360, March 21 (Bach’s birthday)–March 31.WQXR 105.9 FM in New York and will break with its regular programming to present an all-Bach playlist, playing every single piece by the composer—every cantata, every chorale prelude, every keyboard study—more than 1000 works total.  Dinnerstein’s album of Bach’s Goldberg Variations ranked 1 on the US Billboard Classical Charts in its first week of sales, and she’ll be performing her rendition of Bach’s Goldberg Variations on March 28, at 12 pm, in The Greene Space.


All the Light There Was, a Novel

Nancy Kricorian talks about her novel, All the Light There Was, which tells the story of an Armenian family’s struggle to survive the Nazi occupation of Paris in the 1940s. An Armenian family who survived the genocide in their homeland have come to Paris to build a new life. But the Nazi’s arrive, and the family realizes that the occupation is not simply a temporary outrage to be endured.

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Cyborg Insects and Remote Controlled Rats

Researchers are beginning to understand how to “hack” the central nervous systems of certain animals in ways that would allow us to control their movements—including a flying beetle which can be remotely steered.

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Fossil Fuels v. Alternative Energy in the U.S.

New York Times reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal looks at how much the United States really needs fossil fuels like oil and gas and whether alternative, clean energy from wind, the sun, and the water will ever be able to compete with fossil fuels to provide our energy needs. Her article “Life After Oil and Gas,” was published in the Sunday Review section of the Times.


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Guest Picks: Simone Dinnerstein

Classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein was on the Leonard Lopate Show recently to talk about WQXR's Bach 360 Festival. She also told us about some of her favorite things!


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