Montana Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Author interviews, food, natural history, poetry, and more from "The Write Question", "The Food Guys", "Field Notes", "Home Ground Radio", "Front Row Center", and "Reflections West".

River otters in winter
Flickr user, USFWSMidwest (CC-BY-2.0)

What happens to otters in winter when the lake is frozen, I wondered. Does the family stay together or disperse? Do otters have any special survival strategies to get through the cold times?

Chicken rotisserie
Negative Space Design (Pixabay)

Costco, the warehouse shopping club, is vertically integrating its loss-leader $4.99 rotisserie chicken production with a new, huge poultry processing complex in Fremont, Nebraska and poultry contracts with more than a hundred Nebraska farmers. Food Guys Jon and Greg react to a widely-cited 2018 article in Civil Eats about Costco's supply-chain experiment.

Matthew Haynes is a multi-genre writer, professor, and coffee shop owner in his hometown of Butte, America.  His work scours the human experience, interrogating loss, ambivalence, and difficult choices, all with a needlepoint specificity. In this interview, Matthew speaks to absence, the lure of Hawaii, and his own version of paradise.

Brigitta Miranda-Freer
Courtesy of Brigitta Miranda-Freer

Imagine pulling out a new board game's instructions and discovering that the normally skinny pamphlet runs thousands of pages and spells out the rules of the game from soup to nuts. That's what an international trade agreement looks like: it's comprehensive, it's years in the making, and millions of people's livelihoods depend on it.

'The Food Guys' Say: Embrace The Bean

Feb 9, 2020
dried legumes and pulses
Ulrike Leone (Pixabay)

It's a new year, and The Food Guys are urging us to emulate the ancient Romans by cooking with beans. According to Jon Jackson, pulses and beans were so integrated into Romans' culture and cuisine that four prominent families got their names from one: Fabius (fava bean), Lentulus (lentil), Piso (pea), and Cicero (chickpea).

How Do Ants Keep Warm In Winter?

Feb 9, 2020
red wood ant mound
Thue (PD)

On a recent stroll around a local bird refuge, I was struck by the appearance of a large ants’ nest, covered with a thatch of pine needles. The type of ants who construct these nests are called “mound builders,” and this particular mound was made by red wood ants. What do they do to survive the cold, I wondered?

Martians Land At Montana Public Radio

Feb 3, 2020
Listen as the Montana Repertory Theatre presents 'War of the Worlds' live on MTPR, Feb. 7, 2020 at 8 p.m.
Montana Repertory Theatre

Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt our program of Montana news, arts & hand-picked music to bring you a special bulletin. Astronomers report observing several explosions of incandescent gas, occurring at regular intervals on the planet Mars. The spectroscope indicates the gas to be hydrogen and moving towards the earth with enormous velocity, "like a jet of blue flame shot from a gun."

Due to the unusual nature of this occurrence, we have arranged a live interview with the noted experts at the Montana Repertory Theatre. Tune in to MTPR Friday, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. to get the latest updates on this breaking story.

Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-20)

"When you’re tied to gratitude on the one hand and dependence on the other, it gives your ego less space to operate inside of your heart, mind and soul. This is very important in our market-driven, celebrity-centered culture where people primarily are concerned about being the next spectacle, the next image, the next exemplar of success that that reinforces the egoism and narcissism. No: we begin with revolutionary piety."

Who Put The Hole In The Doughnut?

Feb 2, 2020
Homemade doughnuts
Karolina Grabowska (Pixabay)

"They say that man cannot live by doughnuts alone, but I say: why not?"  - "Food Guy" Jon Jackson.

This week, The Food Guys sprinkle out bits of doughnut history and glaze them with doughnut-baking tips. It turns out that American-style doughnuts are actually Dutch, and they didn't always have a hole in the middle.

Kristamonique (Pixabay)

Walking in a heavy snowstorm at night is one of my favorite ways to experience winter. There is something quite magical about being wrapped in the hug of falling snow. Snowflakes land delicately and melt on the tip of my nose. The trees are covered in a lacy latticework of icy crystals. The world slows down for a while and becomes quiet, save for the scrape of shovels on driveways and sidewalks, or the thwop of snow as it slides en masse from roof to yard.