MTPR

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".

Darryl and Kanga are brothers with a deep, dark secret that could get them killed. You see, the boys are robots, hiding in plain sight among their robophobic human neighbors in 1990’s small-town Michigan. Darryl—the “mom” of the pair—is content for he and his brother to fly under the radar as forgettable weirdos, avoiding any undue attention. But when Kanga shows a preternatural talent for basketball and makes the junior varsity team, both of the boys are thrust into the spotlight and the danger of being discovered increases exponentially. 

Ant lion larva
Jonathan Numer (CC-BY-SA-3)

Ant lions, or "doodlebugs" have impressive mandibles, are adept at camouflage, and are very successful at trapping and ambushing their prey. "Field Notes" takes a closer look at these fascinating insects.

Glacial erratic in Yellowstone Park's Lamar Valley
Jo Suderman - National Parks Service

Few sights have the romantic appeal of a lone tree growing in the grasslands of Montana. While these trees are beloved by photographers and artists for the serenity and peace they evoke, their origins typically lie in a more abrasive past. As the Wisconsian and Pinedale glaciations began their slow march from the mountains of western Montana and greater Yellowstone, they picked up rocks of varying sizes from pebbles to house-sized boulders. When the climate shifted and the glaciers melted, the rocks trapped in the ice settled on the ground and became known as glacial erratics.

Julie (CC-BY-2.0)

The Food Guys, Greg and Jon, praise Montana's annual huckleberry bonanza. Greg prefers the intensity he finds in small, early purple huckleberries for sale at Montana farmers markets from early to mid-July. As long as it's a huckleberry, Jon's not particular. "The difference between a blueberry and a huckleberry is the difference between Cheez Wizz and cheese."

Full of wisdom, passion, and insight, The Banker and the Blackfoot compellingly portrays a time when people in that part of the Old West looked for ways of getting along and getting on with the things that mattered to them all. Their remarkable story offers hope for all of us today.

Loon Calls: From Inquisitive To Bone-Chilling

Jul 29, 2019
When a boat steers too close to a nest, the owner loon will snap its bill open and closed, transforming air into wavy notes that writer John McPhee described: “If he were human, it would be the laugh of the deeply insane.”
(PD)

Loon calls flow through our veins, seep into our bones and sinew. For a moment, we become the wild flute music that curls into every recess of the lake. The echo pulses within us long after the stillness returns.

Loons call in four ways, each carrying a meaning that, at some level, humans have come to understand.

A heart-rending tale of family, love and violence… Through these characters, in a prose that can hum gently, then spark like a fire, Wilkins fashions a Western fable which spirals down to a tragic end. Following in the literary roots of Montanans Jim Harrison and Rick Bass, Wilkins packs a lot of story and stylistic wallop into this gripping, outstanding novel.” –Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Dear Flabby: 'The Food Guys' Answer Culinary Questions

Jul 21, 2019
Flickr user, genibee (CC-BY-NC-2.0)

Greg Patent and Jon Jackson have the answers to all sorts of food questions you might -- or might not -- have thought to ask. Introducing the food advice feature, "Dear Flabby."

100 Days is a collection of poems that ask us to consider the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. In 100 poems, written in 100 days during the summer of 2014, Okot Bitek grapples with how language, nature, music, memory and voice can betray, and still offer solace in poetic form.

Bug Bytes: Evolution And 'The Predicted One'

Jul 15, 2019
Xanthopan morganii praedicta moth
kqedquest, https://www.flickr.com/photos/kqedquest/3256354461/ (CC-BY-NC-2 [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/])

When it comes to the topic of evolution Charles Darwin is "the man." In 1859, his book, On the Origin of Species provided compelling evidence that transformed the theory of evolution into widely accepted fact.

Evolution is the process by which an organism changes over time to better adapt to its environment. This theory includes the idea of coevolution — where two or more species evolve together for their mutual benefit.

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