Take Note

Fridays at 1pm and Sundays at 7am

Listen to conversations about issues that matter. WPSU’s weekly community affairs radio program features in-depth interviews with central Pennsylvania newsmakers.

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From the Take Note Archives:  Listen to our 2011 conversation with best-selling author Lisa Genova.  Her debut novel, "Still Alice," about a Harvard professor's journey through early-onset Alzheimer's disease, was a New York Times bestseller.  It's now a film, by the same name, starring Julianne Moore, who's been nominated for a Best Actress Oscar.

Frances Moore Lappé
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Frances Moore Lappé is the author of 18 books about food, hunger and democracy. She’s best known for her book “Diet for a Small Planet.” Lappé was named by Gourmet Magazine as one of 25 people – including “The Jungle” author Upton Sinclair and TV chef Julia Child -- whose work has changed the way America eats. Her new book, coming out later this year, is called “World Hunger: 10 Myths.” Frances Moore Lappé talks about the advances she’s seen in feeding the hungry and what’s left to be done. 

On Sept. 15, 1963, a bomb exploded at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.  Five girls were preparing for worship in the church basement; four were killed by the blast, but the fifth girl survived.  Her name is Sarah Collins Rudolph.  We talked with her about her physical and emotional scars, and about why her story is often overlooked in the larger discussions about the bombing and its role in energizing the Civil Rights Movement.  

George Packer, staff  writer for The New Yorker, talks with us about his book, "The Unwinding:  The Inner History of the New America."  The New York Times called it "something close to a nonfiction masterpiece." The award-winning, bestselling book paints an indelible picture of America in crisis.  

Recent Penn State graduate Remy Maisel and Penn State Professor Sophia McClennen.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Satirical media have been making headlines recently: Cyberhacking and threats shut down Sony’s satirical film “The Interview,” which is about two men trying to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jung Un. Then reaction to satire took a deadly turn when gunmen killed 12 at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Penn State professor Sophia McClennen and recent Penn State graduate Remy Maisel co-authored the book, “Is Satire Saving Our Nation?: Mockery and American Politics.”    

Before his retirement in January 2014, General Robert Kehler served as Commander of U.S. Strategic Command. He had direct responsibility to the President and Secretary of Defense.  He visited Penn State, his alma mater, in early December. We talked with him about national security in the 21st century, about today's nuclear arsenal, and about cyberspace and outer space as potential areas of conflict. 

Jonathan Jansen is the first black president of the University of the Free State in South Africa. A gifted speaker and writer, he’s earned a formidable reputation for his commitment to reconciliation in a racially divided society. We’ll talk with him about the notorious Reitz video that sent shock waves throughout the world, about reconciliation and about the future of Mandela’s rainbow nation.   

More on Jonathan Jansen
 

University of the Free State: Jonathan Jansen

Fifteen thousand children were imprisoned at the Terezin concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. Inge Auerbacher was part of the meager one percent who survived. For years, she suffered from tuberculosis as a result of the terrible conditions during her captivity.

Whitehurst
Whitehurst photo from rollingout.com; Gray image by Kate Lao Shaffner/WPSU

In August, Terrell Jones, Penn State’s Vice Provost for Educational Equity and a well-known expert on diversity issues, passed away after a bout with cancer. Marcus Whitehurst, who worked with Jones for many years, was appointed the Acting Vice Provost for Educational Equity. We talked with Whitehurst about the legacy that Jones left behind for Penn State, diversity and equity issues, and Terrell Jones as a mentor. For the second half of our show, we talked to Penn State Senior Vice President for Finance and Business David Gray about Penn State health care.

On today's Take Note, we'll talk with bird researcher and Pulitzer Prize nominated author Scott Weidensaul. The eastern Pennsylvania based writer was in town for BookFestPA and talked with WPSU’s Emily Reddy before his visit about his best-known book, Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds. Then WPSU's Patty Satalia will interview ClearWater Conservancy's Katie Ombalski and landowner Sally Rothwell about a stream restoration project on the Rothwell Farm in Centre County. Ombalski says the improvements impact water quality all the way to the Chesapeake Bay.

On August 4-7, State College will host the 18th National Autism Conference. Today on Take Note we talk with Dr. Daniel Notterman about the current state of autism research. Dr. Notterman has just stepped down from the position of vice dean for research and graduate studies -- and professor of pediatrics and biochemistry -- at Penn State College of Medicine. He’s going to Princeton University, where he’ll continue his research into the causes of autism. WPSU’s Emily Reddy talked with Dr. Notterman about where we are in our understanding of autism.

Pete Hatemi
Kristine Allen / WPSU

Pete Hatemi teaches Political Science, Microbiology and Biochemistry at Penn State. His research explores the complex connection between evolution and our political attitudes. He speaks with WPSU’s Kristine Allen.

General Norman Schwarzkopf called him “the finest combat correspondent of our generation---a soldier’s reporter and a soldier’s friend.”

In his fifty-years in journalism, Joe Galloway was assigned to cover Japan, India, and the former USSR, among other places, reporting from numerous combat operations. 

In 1998, he received a Bronze Star Medal with Valor for rescuing wounded soldiers while under fire; the only medal of valor the U.S. Army awarded to a civilian for actions during the Vietnam War.

We’ve been hearing a lot about the Common Core recently. Oklahoma and South Carolina withdrew from the national education standards last week. Indiana pulled out in March. State College education expert and former Department of Education consultant Henry Brzycki tells us why he thinks the Common Core and other high stakes testing is not the best answer for educating our kids.

Have attitudes about race and inequality changed for the better? We'll ask our guest, William Darity Jr., the Samuel Dubois Cook professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics at Duke University.  He's also the founding director of the Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality at Duke and served as director of Graduate Studies at the University of North Carolina.

The primary election is May 20th.  Last week you heard from York businessman Tom Wolf and former secretary of the PA DEP Katie McGinty.  They're two of four Democrats vying to win their party's nomination and a chance to unseat Republican Governor Tom Corbett.  Now hear from State Treasurer Rob McCord and Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz.  

Today we talk with two of the four Democratic candidates for Pennsylvania governor. Tom Wolf is a York businessman and the current front runner in the race. He's put $10 million of his own money into his campaign so far and he's flooded the television airwaves with ads. Katie McGinty is a former environmental advisor to President Clinton and former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection under Ed Rendell.

Take Note: Meet the 5th District’s Democratic Candidates

Apr 25, 2014
5th Congressional Candidates
Kerith Strano Taylor and Thomas Tarantella

This week on Take Note, we'll talk with congressional candidates Thomas Tarantella from Renovo and Kerith Strano Taylor from Brookville. They're seeking the Democratic Party nomination to represent Pennsylvania's 5th Congressional District, a seat that's currently held by Glenn Thompson.  

What do you get when you mix a Masters of Fine Arts and a Medical Doctor? The answer is Dr. David Teplica, a Penn State alumnus who uses his unique combination of talents in the Fine Arts and Plastic Surgery to bring about a better understanding of human anatomy. We'll talk with him about how photography has made him a better surgeon, and vice versa, about the need for gender-specific plastic surgery, and about what he's learned from his decade's long study of identical twins.

 

Today’s guest, Jeffry Wert, is a historian and author who specializes in the American Civil War. He's written nine books about the Civil War. His book, Gettysburg--Day Three, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. Wert also taught at Penns Valley Area High School for more than three decades. WPSU's Kate Lao Shaffner talked with him about his career as an author and teacher.

 Bob Zellner’s story starts about as far as you can get from where it ended up. Born in lower Alabama, his father, uncles and grandfather were robe-wearing members of the Ku Klux Klan. In his inspirational memoir, "The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement,” he chronicles his journey to become one of the first white southerners in the early civil rights movement.

Renowned futurist and New York Times best-selling author Peter Diamandis advises the world’s top CEOs on how to make the most of what he calls exponential technologies. April 1, he’ll be the keynote speaker at Penn State’s Shaping the Future Summit on the Impact of Innovation. WPSU’s Patty Satalia finds out why he’s so optimistic about the future.

We remember Col. Gerald Russell, a decorated Marine commander and devoted community volunteer. He died February 24, 2014, at age 97. We share our last interview with him from May, 2007. Plus, historian Jeffry Wert on the significance of Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, which he delivered 149 years ago this week. Some say it’s his greatest speech.

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