Category

Journalism

Journalism, Non Fiction

SEP 08: Stephen Kurczy’s journey to understand The Quiet Zone

Unraveling the Mystery of a Town Suspended in Silence

What if there’s a place where you can totally disconnect from everyday tech? Where you’re not supposed to use cell phones; where forest hikes are never interrupted by ringtones or one-way conversations? Where getting lost means using a map because GPS won’t work?

When Stephen Kurczy began his three-year quest to understand The Quiet Zone, he figured a community based in quiet would be idyllic. He hadn’t owned a cell phone for 10 years, so he’d fit right in … right?

Among the hippies, mountain men, and electrosensitives, he also discovered the darker side of this Appalachian region — unsolved murders, Nazis, a government spy facility. Can you say conspiracy theories?

About Stephen Kurczy

From the muddy jungles of Cambodia to the dense rain forests of Brazil, award-winning investigative journalist Stephen Kurczy, reported stories from around the world for The Christian Science Monitor, The Economist, The New York Times, and other publications. The Quiet Zone is Stephen Kurczy’s debut nonfiction book.

 

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Journalism, Non Fiction, Social Issues

JUN 16: Gabrielle Bluestone with Hype (& Why We Fall For It)

How Scammers, Grifters, & Con Artists are Taking Over the Internet – & Why We’re Following

Gabrielle Bluestone says we are at the natural end of a society primed to trust their own emotions over objective, verifiable facts.”   She joins us to share insight into why scammers do it, and why – despite the availability of myriad resources – we blindly believe what we’re told without verifying facts.

From celebrities to politicians, and the little-known, we discuss why we get sucked into their spiel. The role of influencers and social media. How messaging and soundbites create images that can make or break reputations and campaigns. Why Fyre was the greatest festival that never happened. Where greed plays a role. And why you shouldn’t trust cosmetic surgery photos because even they are often digitally altered.

About Gabrielle Bluestone

Gabrielle Bluestone is a journalist and licensed attorney from New York whose writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, New York Observer, Sunday Times Magazine, and more. She’s the Emmy-nominated producer of Netflix’s  documentary Fyre. And the associate producer of Different Flowers, winner of the 2017 Kansas City FilmFest Festival Prize.

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History, Journalism, Memoir, Non Fiction

May 05: The Explorer Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World

ICEBOUND by Andrea Pitzer

In the 1500s, William Barents became the first Dutch polar explorer to set sail in an attempt to discover a northern route to China. Andrea Pitzer became fascinated by his story. So much so, that she did what all curious journalists would do—she set sail to retrace his journey.

We discuss what Andrea learned about Barents’ three Arctic expeditions, and some of the little known history around his challenges and successes. Andrea also shares how her own expedition to the Russian Arctic was life changing; what surprised her the most. And the highlight of her experience sailing on a tall ship, where she spent time high up the mast.

About Andrea Pitzer

Icebound: Shipwrecked At The Edge Of The World is the latest book by critically acclaimed author and journalist  Andrea Pitzer. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Review of Books, The Daily Beast, Vox, and Slate. Andrea’s two previous books are One Long Night and The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov.

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Biography, Journalism, Non Fiction

NOV 04: Sarah Smarsh with She Come by it Natural

Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs

“Country music…is how we talked to each other in a place where feelings aren’t discussed” writes Sarah Smarsh.

We discuss what Dolly Parton means to working class women living in poverty. Why Sarah describes Ms. Parton as the ultimate “woman of paradox.”  And why, despite her huge success as a sex symbol, creative genius, and philanthropic juggernaut, Dolly Parton does not consider herself a feminist. 

About Sarah Smarsh

Sarah Smarsh is a journalist who’s covered socioeconomic class, politics, and public policy for The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, Harper’s. She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs is Smarsh’s second book. Her first, Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, was a New York Times Bestseller, and a finalist for the National Book Award.

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Journalism, Non Fiction

Apr 22: Death in Mud Lick with Eric Eyre

Death In Mud Lick BookWhy would a  small town called Kermit, with a population of just 382 people, need 12 million pills in 3 years? In his new book, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Eric Eyre investigates the mysteries, tragedies, and government corruption behind the opioid crisis in West Virginia.

The counties where the story unfolds have the highest overdose rates in our country and Eric joins us to share some of his investigative journey to Death in Mud Lick. We discuss the importance of strong independent journalism, and community journalism in particular. The concept of sustained outrage. And how small actions can make a big difference.

Eric Eyre was a reporter for the Charleston Gazette-Mail more than 20 years. In 2017, his  series of investigations into massive shipments of opioids to West Virginia’s southern coalfields was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. His new book, Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight against the Drug Companies That Delivered the Opioid Epidemic.

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Conservation, Environment, Journalism, Social Issues

SEP 02: Multi-time Award-winning Filmmaker John de Graaf

John de Graaf is one of the good guys in our world, always right there with the next important, life-affirming idea,” says The Giraffe Project’s Ann Medlock.  The late 70’s gave birth to John’s award-winning documentary film career that continues to this day.

Today, we’ll explore John’s career as a filmmaker and activist, and find out why he does what he does. We’ll hear about his latest film, REDEFINING PROSPERTIY, and some of the activism he’s engaged in. We’ll discover how John chooses projects, and how he navigated his own prolific creative path while still making a difference in people’s lives.

“I’m an author, filmmaker, speaker, and activist with a mission to help create a happy, healthy, and sustainable quality of life for America,” reads John’s mission statement.

With over 40 documentaries and countless short films to his credit, he has received over 100 regional, national, and international awards for filmmaking.  15 of his films have been broadcast nationally in primetime on PBS, and he has taught filmmaking at the University of Washington, Evergreen State College, and Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts.

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Conservation, Journalism, Non Fiction, Social Issues, Spirituality

JUL 01: James Hoggan’s I’m Right and You’re an Idiot & Aliza Kelly’s Starring You

If you’ve ever wanted firsthand access to some of the extraordianary thinkers of our time, look no further than I’m Right and You’re an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean it Up.  Author and communications expert James Hoggan shares their insights on how our will is manipulated through tribalism and misinformation, and how open-mindedness, empathy, and dialogue are crucial to our strength and unity.

Over the past two decades, James has earned a reputation as a tireless advocate for ethics and integrity in public relations, a field in which he is regarded as one of Canada’s leading professionals. He is president of the PR firm Hoggan & Associates and chair of the David Suzuki Foundation board.

Later, does astrology really work?  That is the question that our second guest, astrologer and author Aliza Kelly, refuses to prove.  Find out why, along with the connection between empathy and astrology as Aliza discusses her new book, Starring You.

Aliza is a New York City based astrologer, host and author, and is the resident astrologer for Cosmopolitan magazine.  She also hosts and podcast, writes horoscopes for Sanctuary, and has contributed to numerous publications including Allure, Bustle, Buzzfeed, and more.

 

 

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Conservation, Environment, Journalism, Social Issues

DEC 10: Award-winning Filmmaker John de Graaf

John de Graaf is one of the good guys in our world, always right there with the next important, life-affirming idea,” says The Giraffe Project’s Ann Medlock.  Beginning in the late 70’s, John embarked on an award-winning documentary film career that continues to this day.

Today we’ll explore John’s extensive career as a filmmaker and activist, and why he does what he does. We’ll hear about his latest film, REDEFINING PROSPERTIY, and some of the activism he’s engaged in. We’ll discover how John chooses projects, and how he navigated his own prolific creative path while still making a difference in people’s lives.

“I’m an author, filmmaker, speaker, and activist with a mission to help create a happy, healthy, and sustainable quality of life for America,” reads John’s mission statement.

With over 40 documentaries and countless shorter films to his credit, he has received over 100 regional, national, and international awards for filmmaking.  15 of his films have been broadcast nationally in primetime on PBS, and he has taught filmmaking at the University of Washington, Evergreen State College, and Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts.

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Journalism, Personal Development, Social Issues

Sep 18: Helene Segura Returns & Nomadland

National Procrastination Day is September 6th … shoot, we put this off by almost two weeks! Nevertheless, Helene Segura MA Ed returns to Conversations Live to help you reevaluate the way you prioritize your time — so no more putting off the things that are most important to you.

Helene is a time management consultant who combines neuroscience, educational psychology, and pop culture to teach clients and keynote/training audiences how to improve work-day efficiencies so they can have a life outside.  Her book is The Inefficiency Assassin.

You might dream about loading up an RV and living a road warrior’s life when you retire, but for some, van-dwelling is their last option.  Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century documents the stories of itinerant citizens who gave up traditional lifestyles to travel from short-term job-to-job, trying simply to survive.

Award-winning journalist Jessica Bruder spent months living in a camper to witness firsthand the “Workamper” lifestyle.  Jessica has taught at Columbia Journalism School for nearly a decade, and been published in numerous periodicals and newspapers.

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Journalism, Memoir, Personal Development

Apr 24: Vegetarian’s Guide to Eating Meat & Learning to Live Your Happy

What? That’s right,  A Vegetarian’s Guide to Eating Meat. Growing up in a household of food-loving Italian-Americans, Marissa Landrigan was always the black sheep, and barely knew how to boil water.

But at college, buoyed by animal rights activism and a feminist urge to avoid the kitchen, Marissa transformed into a hardcore vegan activist, complete with shaved head. So what happened?

A search for ethical food — part memoir, part journalism, all Marissa Landrigan. Join us to find out more, with this self-described “writer, professor, all around nerd”.

Also today, happiness is … well, we all know that sentence can end a thousand different ways.  For those who tend to dwell in the somber valleys of unhappiness, climbing the hill to happiness can be a lot of work.

Maria Felipe struggled to make that trek, but with a little soul searching, she got the “cuckoo voice of the ego” out of her way.  She shares her journey in Live Your Happy: Get Out of Your Own Way and Find the Love Within.

After experiencing success as a model, actress, and host of TV shows for the World Wrestling Federation, Maria followed her true calling and became a reverend.

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