Shiraz Janjua

Shiraz Janjua

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April 17, 2009

A video of Jon Kabat-Zinn's presentation at MIT as he reflects on life in a 24/7 networked world.

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January 22, 2009

Hear Russell talk about the meaning and influence of music in her writing.

January 16, 2009

Mishra continues his critique of the ideologies of progress and globalization, refreamed for the current global economic situation.

December 24, 2008
December 15, 2008

A preview of Krista's interview with the famed child psychiatrist.

October 23, 2008

Picking actualities and music elements is no small task, and we take it seriously. Here's our approach.

October 13, 2008

This presidential election feels like it’s moving at gastropod’s pace. As subtle as a leviathan, this large body exerts an irresistable gravitational force on everything around it. We keep talking about it here in the office, but we’re also wondering how much politics we can all handle, and trying to balance relevance against saturation.

We’re trying to give voice to some interesting people during this election season, but next week, we’ll back off the political stuff and re-air our show on autism. Following that, a show on leadership, religion, gender, and race with the dynamic preacher Vashti McKenzie. It’s about her but also very much about the issue of biography in this election cycle.

Then comes the weekend prior to the election. What to do…

We will be airing a repeat that week, and the question came up: relevance or saturation? Can we provide a non-political alternative, or should we offer something useful for the occasion? We decided that we couldn’t well ignore the reality of the situation — gravitational pull.

October 03, 2008

Well, Ramadan is officially over and I’ve spent the past few days at various parties celebrating by eating, eating, and, oh yeah, eating. What ends up happening on Eid (after the morning communal prayer at the mosque) is usually this circuit of house visits, going from family to family, eating, popping in and out, eating, seeing people, chatting, eating, then heading off to another house party. At each new house, I’m just too polite to say, “I understand you’ve been slaving over a hot stove all day, but I just came from two other parties. I can’t eat anymore. Touch my belly. Touch it!”

Yesterday was thankfully free of parties, as is tonight, but apparently my cousin and his family (and I) are booked for two Saturday parties, the first at 11:00 am. It’s going to be a long day. To what could I compare all this? Thanksgiving—both the word and the holiday. Eid is basically several days of eating and socializing and, hopefully, feeling happy to be alive.

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September 19, 2008

A collection of photos documenting the Islamic holy month.

September 15, 2008

Recalling Rabbi Heschel's words while fasting for Ramadan.

August 18, 2008

The gang from Speaking of Faith will be at the Minnesota State Fair this Friday, August 22, at the Minnesota Public Radio booth (at the corner of Judson Ave. and Nelson St.), between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Although Krista will be in Mississippi, if you’re in the Twin Cities, come say howdy to Kate, Colleen, Alda, Andy, Mitch, Rob and I (and possibly Trent). Don’t worry, I asked your boss if you could take the day off and your boss said it was OK.

I’ve never been to the State Fair, being from Montreal, so I’m looking forward to the festivities. We Canadians put our cheese curds in a bowl of fries and gravy, so I’ll be curious to see what Minnesotans do with ‘em. See you there, eh!

(photo: stevelyon/Flickr)


July 11, 2008

"crosswords" by m_m_mnemonic

After a group conversation about which Star Wars movie was the best one (discounting the new trilogy, obviously, my favorite The Empire Strikes Back has a strong following), I went out for lunch. In the food court nearest to our building, I saw at a distance a man sitting at a table, pencil in hand, his palm squeezing his forehead. He was looking down at some paper, and looked like he had to figure out a way to balance his finances or die. As I got closer, I saw what he was working on: a crossword puzzle. He was completely taken.

June 30, 2008

"Antony Gormley: Olympic podium" by threefishsleeping

(photo: “Antony Gormley: Olympic Podium” by threefishsleeping/Flickr)

Our company’s marketing folks have asked us to put together a compilation CD featuring material from the past 12 months. This CD will be used to give to public-radio programming directors who are not familiar with the program, as well as to potential funders, and for other marketing uses.

Rather than some edited compilation, we’re thinking of putting together the first half of three separate programs on the CD (each half being about 25 minutes). That way, we can showcase the depth, intimacy and storytelling we aim for. The other criteria? The shows must have been produced in the past year.

June 17, 2008

A couple of interesting items as we approach the show on languages, in which we speak to novelist David Treuer about his efforts at the revitalization of Ojibwe.


June 16, 2008

Katherine Marshall, who has spent three decades in international development, sounds like a really interesting voice. Later this week, she’ll be co-moderating a panel in Washington with Richard Cizik of the National Association of Evangelicals. It’s a meeting of American Evangelicals and Moroccan Muslims who are both concerned about global warming. I introduced myself and she says she’s got tons of stories. I’d love to hear more about this Moroccan thing. Anyway, out to lunch now.


June 16, 2008

Spending the day here at the first day of the PUSH Conference in Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center. I’m actually on the beat for our show idea on the ethics of international aid and development. PUSH, in the words of organizer Cecily Sommers, is about looking at the polarizing forces in our world, and what the space in between those poles offers (sounds familiar). PUSH is an ideas conference that brings together interesting thinkers who have inspiring ideas. Some of our past guests can be found here, like Eboo Patel and Anthea Butler. I think I saw Nathan Dungan in conversation with someone.

The space between those poles is what they’re calling The Fertile Delta, which is the theme of this year’s conference. This morning’s “pole” is economics. Some pretty inspiring stuff so far, and I hope to have some more thoughts later on in the day.


June 12, 2008

These are just some ideas we’ll be researching this summer:

  • The ethics of international aid, the moral impulse behind it, and the relationship between wealthy and poor countries as a matter of policy
  • Music… The “music show” idea just won’t die, but we just can’t seem to find a way to pin down such a broad topic
  • The spiritual scene in China right now as its economy soars and it hosts the Olympics
  • Gay marriage, as Kate posted earlier
  • The relationship between humans and animals, the bonds that exist there
  • The ups and downs of the faith angle in the U.S. presidential campaign/marathon/extended director’s cut of Lord of the Rings

We’re digging up some great names and speakers, but don’t be shy about suggesting someone.


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