Beth Anne Austein

Host and Producer

Beth Anne Austein has been spinning tunes on the air (The Folk Show, Dancing With Tradition, Freeforms), as well as recording, editing and mixing audio for Montana Public Radio and Montana PBS, since the Clinton Administration. She’s jockeyed faders or "fixed it in post” for The Plant Detective; Listeners Bookstall; Fieldnotes; Musicians Spotlight; The Write Question; Storycorps; Selected Shorts; Bill Raoul’s music series; orchestral and chamber concerts; lecture series; news interviews; and outside producers’ programs about topics ranging from philosophy to ticks.

Ways To Connect

Flickr user, Jason

"An Insect's Guide To Surviving the Winter," written by Ashley King, read by Caroline Kurtz.

With the help of fur, hair, or clothing, warm-blooded mammals keep a consistent internal temperature, no matter the air temperature. That's not true for insects. How do they survive the cold of winter? 

Flickr user, Jon Bunting

Among the artifacts discovered in the tomb of Egypt's Tutankhamen - objects meant to ease the boy king into the afterlife - were 3,000-year-old bulbs of garlic. Giving as well as receiving, Tut supplied daily rations of garlic to his pyramid-building slaves, for endurance and health. Garlic is a fabulous heart helper: its blood-thinning and anti-clotting abilities may slow down atherosclerosis and lower blood pressure.

Courtesy of IOW

After more than thirty years of broadcasts, the final "In Other Words" show on Montana Public Radio aired on Tuesday, November 11, 2014.

Damon Falke

Nov 12, 2014
courtesy of Damon Falke

Poet and novelist Damon Falke's West is a region that begs us to stop and look closely. Falke remembers a mysterious cemetery, perched on the rim of a plateau, where as a young man he would stop and watch and wait, not quite knowing why. In his poem, "Dove Creek" Falke reveals the deep observation practiced by his father, on trips into the desert:

"...There was my father,

Hunched over a cache of stones,

Sorting them out like so many bones

Clay Scott

Dean Blount was a Cold War-era Russian language specialist in Turkey. Back home on Montana's Fort Peck Indian Reservation, he is trying to ensure that his two Native languages - Dakota and Nakota - are passed on. At the Presbyterian church where he is a lay minister, he has taught his tiny congregation to sing hymns in Dakota.

(Broadcast: "Mountain West Voices," 11/12/14. Listen Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m., or via podcast.)

Kim Metez

Chef Ben Thorpe, a home-schooled native of rural Idaho, is the chef at Fort Benton's Grand Union Hotel. From seminary, to an abbreviated career in classical dance, to ministerial work, then a stint as a wine steward, Thorpe came to his culinary career in a roundabout way. "I think the ability to please people, to take ingredients and put them together, and to see people truly feel happiness, is really life-changing.

courtesy of the Umami Information Center

Jon and Greg ask: "What exactly is umami?" (It has nothing to do with anybody's mother.) It's a Japanese word, coined early in the 20th century, meaning "delicious savory taste."  Greg explains: "Every time you eat something that's really yummy, like a well-prepared steak, a mushroom risotto, a spaghetti sauce, anchovies, it probably contains umami factors."  The Umami Information Center adds:

Moscow Ballet

The Moscow Ballet’s North American tour of "The Nutcracker" includes performances in Great Falls, Missoula and Butte, and features a company of forty professional dancers, clothed in elaborate costumes and surrounded by colorful sets. But it's not just Russian dancers on stage. In each city, many of the ballet's roles are danced by local ballet students.

Flickr user Mark Robinson

Ever since nomadic tribes helped spread wild garlic from Central Asia to far-flung parts of the globe, garlic has helped humans fight microbes. Louis Pasteur recognized its antimicrobial power, as did doctors in WWI and WWII battlefield hospitals, where injured soldiers were given garlic to prevent infection and gangrene. Today's warnings of a "post-antibiotic" future mean garlic's power may turn out to be handy as drug-resistant bacteria become widespread.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Walking around old-growth forests this winter, if you're lucky enough to see fur-lined tracks leading to the base of a tree, or scat containing porcupine quills, look up. Scan the treetops. You might catch a glimpse of a marten or a fisher, two members of the mustelid family that roam Montana's winter landscape.

courtesy of Mayapple Press

Tessa Heinemann loves digging up history. On an archaeological dig in the old gold-mining town, Virginia City, MT, she discovered 150-year-old remnants of toys, jewelry, and medicine bottles. "I find it incredibly rewarding to transform the experience of casual tourists. They hold artifacts in their hands and begin to imagine the bustling streets of a real community."

Clay Scott

Montana arachnologist, artist and feminist Dr. Bea Vogel has studied and worked all over the U.S., but found her way back to Helena, Montana: "(Some people) feel that they're owned by where they live. I've always felt that way: I'm of Montana; I need to be here. This is just about my idea of paradise."

(Broadcast: "Mountain West Voices," 11/5/14. Listen Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m., or via podcast.)

When we think of "health," we often think about the well-being of an individual. But Lindsey Krywaruchka, Emily Epperson, and George Burns work on behalf of a different definition of "health:" the well-being of an entire human population. All three work in the public health programs of Montana's Department of Public Health and Human Services.

courtesy of Deep Springs College

Nearly one hundred years ago, L.L. Nunn, an electrical pioneer and the manager of a Colorado power company, founded a two-year college for young men in California's Deep Springs Valley. Deep Springs College isn't the typical American junior college: it's tiny, with just twenty-six students. No one pays tuition or fees.  It's located on a remote cattle ranch and alfalfa farm. The student-faculty ratio is 5:1.

Michael Marsolek talks with Kathy Witkowsky and Linda Grinde, playwright and director of a new comedy, "No Time For Love." Inspired by a real-life evening spent trying to communicate with a friend obsessed with texting his love interest, Witkowsky describes the plot of "No Time For Love" as "taking that theme to ridiculous extremes. The main character finds herself frustrated as she tries to have authentic relationships with people who are constantly being pulled in many directions."

Dave Hitchborne

Greg and Jon follow up on a previous "Food Guys" show about a controversial study linking genetically-modified (GMO) corn to cancer in lab rats. This time they're onto the economic connection between GMO crops and the market for pesticides.

Flickr user, Kent McFarland

In 1905, author Harriet Keeler wrote about the inner bark of the slippery elm tree: “It is thick, fragrant, mucilaginous, demulcent, and nutritious. The water in which the bark has been soaked is a grateful drink for one suffering from affections of the throat and lungs.”

Flickr user, Sandor Weisz

"Plant Morphology in the Supermarket," by Peter Lesica and Annie Garde.

courtesy of the University of Montana

Tamara Linse - "a writer, cogitator, recovering cowgirl" - grew up on a Wyoming ranch where adult women told dumb blonde jokes. Linse's book of short stories is called How To Be A Man. "They thought of themselves," she writes of the ranch women, "as profoundly set apart, a sort of third gender - not quite a man but definitely not a woman.

Clay Scott

The second installment of the story of Joyce Vashro, an Englishwoman who married a U.S. serviceman and came to Montana 70 years ago. She and her baby embarked on the Queen Mary with 2800 other war brides. Like them, she says she hardly knew the husband she was rejoining, and had no idea what awaited her in Montana.

(Broadcast: "Mountain West Voices," 10/29/14. Listen Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m., or via podcast.)

courtesy of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center, University of Montana

Historian, member of the Montana Legislature, and long-time Missoula resident Diane Sands describes in fascinating detail the story of women's suffrage, both in Montana and nationwide.  November 3, 2014 marks the hundredth anniversary of women winning the right to vote in the state.

Flickr user, Meet the Media Guru

"My way of learning was never through a book - it was always through experience. Going out and finding things and thinking about them is basically how I have learned everything. When it comes to teaching a student something, I want that student to do the same thing. I think reading is overrated, quite frankly, and I think there's no reason to read a book and learn about someone else's idea. I think it's more important to experience something and have your own idea."

Greg Patent

“Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness” ~Jane Austen

Jon and Greg's annual homage to apples. Below is Greg Patent's recipe,  Classic American Apple Pie (from The Baking Wizard).

(Broadcast: "The Food Guys," 10/26/14. Listen at 11:20 a.m. Sundays or via podcast.)

Michael Marsolek talks with Arlynn Fishbaugh, Executive Director of the Montana Arts Council, about the upcoming Artists' Showcase and Sale, Saturday, November 1, 2014, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Helena's Red Lion Colonial Inn. (406) 444-4700 or online.

(Broadcast: "Front Row Center," 10/26/14. Listen Sundays, 11:10 a.m., or via podcast.)

David Dickerson

Medicinal use of datura - also known as moonflower - is so ancient, no one is sure where the plant originated. Two important nervous system depressor drugs, atropine and scopolamine, are derived from it. Oracles in the Americas and Greece used it for divinations. Witches in medieval Europe applied it to their skin in ointments. And when modern-day researchers experimented (a risky proposition; one of the researchers died) with those old witches' recipes, they reported intense dreams of flying. Broomstick, anyone?

Liz Rohde

"Mount Aeneas," by Margo Whitmire.

Flickr user, Nssdfdsfds

Greg and Jon share the recipe for "Jean's Spiced Lamb Meatball And Bok Choy Soup:"

(Broadcast: "The Food Guys," 10/19/14. Listen at 11:20 a.m. Sundays or via podcast.)

Joozwa

The alkaloid atropine occurs naturally in plants like deadly nightshade, datura, and henbane. It can keep your heart rate steady after a heart attack, dilate your eyes - think belladonna - or dry up secretions during surgery. Soldiers carry atropine injectors because it's an antidote to nerve gas. But in high doses, it's hallucinogenic and poisonous. Remember the three fates of Greek mythology? One of them, Atropos, determined the mechanism of death for mortals. Atropine is named for her.

Ann Szalda-Petree talks with Shawna Lee, a venue manager who books stage shows in Missoula. Shawna is the go-to woman who locates the sound company, the plexiglass, the M & Ms for traveling and local bands, most of them male. Shawna believes a combination of patience and local connections helped break into this field: "It's a matter of establishing trust."

Michael Marsolek talks with Joe Martinez, Artistic Director of MCT, Inc. / Missoula Community Theatre, about the upcoming production of "Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical," which plays October 31 - November 2 and November 5 - 9, 2014, at MCT Center for the Performing Arts, 200 North Adams Street, downtown Missoula.

Wednesday - Saturday night performances begin at 7:30 p.m.

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