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".

Bug Bytes: Jumping Spiders

Jun 12, 2020
A phidippus johnsoni, more commonly known as a Johnson jumping spider.
Glenn Marangelo

Of all the different kinds of insects and arthropods we encounter, on average, people tend to be most afraid of spiders. But with their big eyes and fuzzy little bodies, jumping spiders are the cute puppy dogs of the spider world.

Shonda Buchanan can tell a story like no other. Her writing pulls at the thread of truth with deep compassion, grace, and humor. In this conversation, she shares what it means to be Black Indian both within intimate family relations as well as in the broader cultural and historical contexts. Her work is prescient and her voice is disarming: “This is our country and we have a right to stay. We have a right to be here and we have a right to fight. . . For me, writing is fighting.”

Graphic reading 'what's yours story'
iStock

Montana Public Radio will host StoryCorps for 4 weeks to record the stories of local residents and preserve them in the Library of Congress

As of June 10, all the slots have been filled, but you can still get on the waiting list in case of cancellations.

There are also two self-serve options available to participate in. Neither are facilitated but the recordings can still end up at the Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The StoryCorps App it is available for free on your phone and is a perfect way to record if the people being interviewed are in the same location. StoryCorps Connect uses the same virtual platform as StoryCorps, and allows people to interview each other from different locations via the internet.

Joe Anderson, co-founder of Reflex Protect
courtesy of Joe Anderson

In July 1993, a gunman opened fire at the San Francisco law firm of Pettit & Martin, killing eight people and wounding six more. Several of the casualties were friends and former colleagues of Joe Anderson, who'd worked at the firm. Joe is an entertainment attorney, a fourth-generation Montanan from Shelby, and a serial entrepreneur. After the shooting, an enduring question haunted him: “Is there a reliable way to stop violence without being violent?”

You May Be Tough, But You're Not Tardigrade-Tough

Jun 9, 2020
Dr. Diane Nelson, N.P.S. (PD)

It’s early summer time in the Northern Rockies, a time for some bears to go into a hibernation-like state.  Yes, you heard that right: bears that hibernate in the summer.  What kind of bears are these, you might ask?  They are the waterbears, also known as tardigrades.

UM geographer and social scientist Sarah Halvorson during her fall 2019 run of Bhutan's Snowman Trek.
Courtesy of Sarah Halvorson

University of Montana geographer and social scientist Sarah Halvorson studies the mountainous region across the Pacific Ocean known as High Asia.

“High Asia just offers just an incredible foray into amazing mountain geography and mountain building processes, but also the opportunity to interact and learn from really unique communities that have been living in that landscape for thousands of years,” Halvorson said.

Last fall, Halvorson joined three other Missoula women on a 21-day expedition in the Himalayas known as the Snowman Trek. It takes hearty travelers across 14 high-mountain passes, all over 14,000 feet in elevation.

The Food Guys' Guide to Making Pasta

Jun 7, 2020

To a novice cook, making pasta from scratch sounds like a daunting task, and it does take some time and patience. Still, if you've got a food processor, a hand-cranked pasta machine and a pot of boiling water, it's mainly a process of flattening out a dough made of flour and eggs.

Why Do Red Crossbills Have Scissor-Like Bills?

May 31, 2020
Red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)
Pixabay

As winter faded into spring and the last remnants of snow remained in shadowy patches atop higher peaks, I wandered into the Rattlesnake Wilderness, outside of Missoula, Montana.  The air was filled with male songbirds singing to attract a mate for the season. The crackling call of the corvid, the rasp of the chickadee, and the delicate honk of the red-breasted nuthatch were giving way to the springtime calls of warblers and thrushes. 

Recipe: Morel Mushroom Lasagna

May 31, 2020

For Montanans, the 2017 summer of wildfires led to a 2018 bonanza of morel mushrooms. Food Guy Greg Patent found some for sale and put them to use in morel mushroom lasagna, a delicious and light alternative to meat lasagna.

Wave Books

Can poetry fail us? Can it feel too precious in times of great upheaval? Prageeta Sharma interrogates these questions and more in her collection "Grief Sequence," published after the death of her husband. In this interview, we begin by discussing the relationship between poetry and grief, both in regards to her loss as well as the collective uncertainty of COVID. We also grapple with themes of misunderstanding, witness, and beauty in an effort to make sense of the what it means to be human. Prageeta speaks to us from her shelter-in-place residence in Claremont, CA.
 

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