Listen to me on KTRS/St. Louis Mondays and Fridays, 3-6pm CT

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Larry Olmsted, "Real Food, Fake Food"


Do you know there's wood pulp in your parmesan cheese? Do you know there's probably no lobster in the lobster bisque you ordered? Do you know what makes olive oil "extra virgin"? Do you know that the Kobe beef on a restaurant menu is very unlikely to be real Kobe beef?

These are just a few of the questions answered by my guest Larry Olmsted, author of "Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don't Know What You're Eating and What You Can Do About It." Larry writes the Great American Bites column for USA Today and is the travel and food columnist for Forbes.

We also discussed why the FDA does such a poor job of regulating the food we buy, why you shouldn't buy apples in June, and what the real definitions are of "free-range," "natural," and "organic."

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Peter Nicks, "The Force"


In the years since the Darren Wilson/Michael Brown story in Ferguson, there’s been a lot of talk about police department reform, both here in St. Louis and across the country. Documentarian Peter Nicks spent two years embedded with the Oakland, California, police department, as it tried to reform itself after years of high crime rates and scandals.

The finished product is called “The Force,” which aired last night on PBS as part of the Independent Lens series and is now streaming online. Here's my conversation with Nicks about it.

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Aaron Carotta, "Finding The Current"


Here's my conversation with Aaron Carotta, who took a solo trip in a canoe the entire length of the Missouri River, then down the Mississippi River, and across the Gulf of Mexico -- that's 5,000 miles from Montana to Florida. Considering he had zero experience in a canoe (he didn't even own one) when he started, it's an amazing story, part of which is captured in the documentary "Finding The Current," which will premiere at the Tivoli in St. Louis on February 8th.

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Monday, January 22, 2018

On My Monday Radio Show


I'll be on KTRS 3-6pm CT today. My guests will include:
I hope you'll listen over the air, via the free KTRS app, TuneIn app, or ktrs.com.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Theater Review: "Faceless"


This is why we go to the theater. My wife and I saw a remarkable production last night.

"Faceless" is about Susie Glenn (Lindsay Stock), an 18-year-old white woman from the suburbs of Chicago, who has been arrested for conspiring to commit acts of terrorism. After being recruited online by ISIS, she was on her way to Turkey, and then Syria, to meet the man who had seduced her from afar to join the terrorist group. But before she boarded the plane, federal authorities grabbed her and threw her in a cell.

"Faceless" is also about Claire Fathi (Susaan Jamshidi), a Harvard-educated attorney in her thirties who works for the federal prosecutor who's been assigned Susie's case. Claire, the daughter of a French mother and an Iranian father, is Islamic and knows her faith well enough to recognize that Susie, a recent convert, has been sold a bill of goods by her jihadist recruiter, Reza. Susie's been wearing a hijab for four months; Claire has worn it all her life. Claire originally resists being forced into this prosecution by her boss, Scott Bader (Michael James Reed), the by-the-book US attorney who is obviously using her as a counter-point to the accused. But once she agrees, she's ferocious.

The internal battles of both Claire and Susie, a teenager so desperate to be understood and accepted, are at the heart of the drama as it moves from the courtroom to the media circus surrounding the case, from Susie at a computer meeting her recruiter via Twitter and Facebook to the strategy sessions in the prosecutor's office. We also meet Susie's father, Alan (Joe Dempsey) -- a blue-collar man desperate to save his daughter despite her attempts to push away from him -- and the attorney he's hired to represent her, Mark Arenberg (Ross Lehman).

Four of the five actors in this production of "Faceless" originated their roles at the Northlight Theatre in Chicago, where it debuted last year  (only Reed was not in the original cast). They don't just play these vivid characters, they inhabit them. The dialogue is crisp and smart, the direction and set design perfect (director BJ Jones and the Northlight design team recreated the set, lighting, and sound here).

"Faceless" was written by 22-year-old Selina Fillinger, a recent graduate of Northwestern University. Not that much older than Susie, she knows her attitude well, but also nails Claire's voice -- and those of the men, too. Her terrific script reminded me of "The Invisible Hand" by Ayah Akhtar, which we saw produced here a few years ago. I look forward to seeing what Fillinger comes up with next.

"Faceless" will be in the Studio Theatre at the Rep in St. Louis through February 4th. I heartily recommend you go see it.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Jeff Kreisler, "Dollars and Sense"


Here's my conversation with Jeff Kreisler, co-author with Dan Ariely of "Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter." Jeff explained such terms as opportunity cost, the pain of paying, and anchoring. We also discussed why we don't talk to each other about money, and why our kids don't get a good financial education in school. We also delved into why it's a bad idea to be your own real estate agent, how credit cards make us pay more for things, and what we did before there was money.

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Jeff's next project is PeopleScience.com.

Showbiz Show 1/19/18


This week on the showbiz segment of my show, Max and I review the new movies "12 Strong" and "Den Of Thieves."

In other showbiz news, we discussed more #MeToo fallout, including a contract dispute on "Black-ish," whether James Franco and Aziz Ansari will attend the SAG Awards on Sunday, and a followup on the Michelle Williams/Mark Wahlberg pay gap on "All The Money In The World."

Next we turned out attention to television, including another nineties sitcom that NBC might bring back, Conan O'Brien's upcoming special in Haiti, and the two mother-and-daughter actresses concurrently playing the same character on two different CBS shows.

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Harris Challenge 1/19/18

On this edition of my Harris Challenge -- the most fun you can have with your radio on -- the categories include the He Only Hired The Best People, Around The World In Seven Days, and You Know Her Name. Listen and play along, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Want more Harris Challenges? Click here.

Knuckleheads In The News® 1/19/18


This collection of Knuckleheads In The News® stories include three bizarre airport incidents and one flying car. Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Want more Knuckleheads In The News®Click here.

Friday, January 19, 2018

On My Friday Radio Show


I'll be back on KTRS today for my regular 3-6pm CT show (listen over the air, via the station's free app, or at ktrs.com).

In the first hour, I'll talk with Jeff Kreisler about "Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter."

In the second hour, Max and I will review the new movies "12 Strong" and "Den Of Thieves," along with other showbiz news.

In the third hour, you can test your topical trivia knowledge with my Harris Challenge, and I'll have a new batch of Knuckleheads In The News®, too.