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".

Flathead Lake's Wild Horse Island.
Aaron Bolton

Just the name – Wild Horse Island – sends the imagination soaring. The short boat trip to this island on the west side of Flathead Lake about ten miles north of Polson is magical. This is certainly not an area where humans have left nothing but footprints. Even the name suggests a story.

Greg Patent Vs. The Orange Puff Cake Recipe

Nov 3, 2019
iStock

Maeta Heatter - who died recently at the age of 102 - was known as the "Queen of Cake," thanks in part to her 1974 cookbook, "Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts."  The moment that 'Food Guy' Greg Patent discovered it, he resolved to bake all 267 recipes in the book. Eighteen months later, he'd done so--except for the recipe on page 107 for Mildred Knopf's Orange Puff Cake.

Hidden Brain Host Shankar Vendantam talks with MTPR's Michael Marsolek about big ideas, understanding our blind spots and upcoming topics for the show.

S&K Technolgies CEO Chad Cottet.
Courtesy

Any investor I know would be ecstatic to see a return of $40 million on an initial investment of just $150,000. But that is exactly what has resulted from the seed money that the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes invested in a tribally-owned startup in 1999, and which has remarkably operated debt free ever since.

S&K Technologies has grown since then to a family of five companies of more than 900 employees with offices throughout the U.S. and around the world. From its headquarters on the Flathead Reservation, nestled in the Mission Valley in rural St. Ignatius, Montana, the company manages a complex government acquisition business that includes a landmark $4.2 billion contract from the U.S. Air Force.

Home Everywhere is a suitcase full of souvenirs scavenged from lives liberated, briefly, from the cares of the world. A random collection of tourists embarks on a ten-day budget trip to parts unknown. The parts are destined to stay that way, while the tourists fixate on the actions and trappings of being alive. In the tradition of pilgrims across the ages, they seek spiritual salvation, physical healing, alluring accessories, and good bargains. Soon their sacred places emerge as elusive versions of home. Private sorrows persist. The daily itinerary holds hints of escape, but in the end, gravity prevails, and they head back to normal life, hopes unrealized and undiminished, their secret dreams following in the jet stream.

Order in the Roost

Oct 27, 2019
Wild turkey
Daniel Parks (CC-BY-NC-2.0)

Once the turkeys had returned to the trees, a dance began. They leaped from branch to branch and sometimes switched trees, trying to get higher and higher—or so I thought. I began to wonder if the social hierarchy, so well-established for turkeys while on the ground, carries to the roost. Was it possible that the ideal vertical place in a tree could be the middle, high enough from land-based predators, yet far enough below flying threats from the night skies?

Fast food illustration
Svajune Garnyte (CC-BY-NC-4.0)

In May 2019, the journal Cell Metabolism published the results of a small randomized, controlled study comparing two diets: minimally-processed foods vs. ultra-processed ones. According to the article, this N.I.H. study is the first to show causality between degree of food processing and human weight gain.  When dinner is chicken tenders and french fries instead of home-cooked roast chicken and baked spuds, we pack in more calories--because we overeat.

Alan Pelaez Lopez crossed the Mexico-US border at age 5 as an undocumented migrant. In this interview, they discuss various elements of their journey, from childhood to adulthood, as well as how they use art as activism. Alan Pelaez Lopez’s poetry offers an unflinching look at how humans treat one another, from the afro-indigenous slave trade to modern US legal practices that threaten a sense of history, identity, and deep humanity. In the face of all of this, Alan Pelaez Lopez retains a voice of resistance, love, hope, and even joy. This is an interview full of necessary truths, told from the heart.

The Bitterroot Mountain range, part of the Idaho Batholith
Beth Anne Austein

The difference in temperature between the crust, mantle and core creates an effect where hot molten rock, called magma, slowly moves toward the surface in plumes, much like the wax of a lava lamp. This phenomenon, called convection, slowly moves the plates of the earth’s crust, grinding them against each other, causing volcanoes, earthquakes -- and mountains.

Pasta With Kale Sauce: It's Easy Being Green

Oct 20, 2019
First leaves on lacinato kale
Flickr user, Redmudball (CC-BY-NC-2.0)

The Food Guys summarize Joshua McFadden's "superbly simple" 2018 recipe for pasta with kale sauce, which was inspired by a dish at London's River Cafe. Its vivid green color, from lacinato kale, makes it a converation piece.

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