West Virginia Public Radio Presents

The Science of Smart

Sep 5, 2014

Until recently, we didn't know much about the best ways to learn. Now that's changing. Over recent decades, experts working in cognitive science, psychology, and neuroscience have opened new windows into how the brain works, and how we can learn to learn better. In this American RadioWorks program, we look at some of the big ideas coming out of brain science. We meet the researchers who are unlocking the secrets of how the brain acquires and holds on to knowledge. And we introduce listeners to the teachers and students who are trying to apply that knowledge in the real world.

The Really Big Questions--Why Does Music Move us Thursday night at 9 p.m. on West Virginia Public Radio Edit | Remove

Music exists in every culture. Does that mean it offers an evolutionary advantage? What drives humans to make music? And why does music get so deeply embedded into our lives? We’ll delve deeper into what music can teach us about the human brain – with musicians and researchers including:

For many Americans, Hawaii is a tropical playground, the place of surf, sun and dream vacations. Behind the tourist façade, though, is one of the most unique multicultural states in the nation, one still dealing with the complicated legacy of the circumstances under which it become part of this country. And so much of how Hawaii is now comes back to one game-changing element: sugar. For decades, long before it was a tourist’s paradise, what Hawaii did was grow sugar.

Do you feel happy today? How about happily disgusted? Maybe sadly surprised, or sadly disgusted? Human emotions are complex. But at least they’re the common language that unites us all – except when they don’t. A tribe in Namibia might interpret our expression of fear as one of wonderment. And people with autism don’t feel the emotions that others do.

Can you hear it? Click, whir, wait, shake - ahhhh! 

Listen Thursday night at 9 p.m. on West Virginia Public Radio, Shake it- a modern Polaroid love story.

Taking a Polaroid picture is a totally sensory experience. But it is more than just the sensation of a snapshot; there is something special and social about seeing, giving & receiving that white-framed photo.

BackStory with the American History Guys Monumental Disagreements: Memorials in America Thursday night at 9 p.m. on West Virginia Public Radio Edit | Remove

As American founding father, and second U.S. President, John Adams noted: "Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives". In honor of this weekend's Memorial Day celebrations, we're traveling the world for musical reflections, tributes and remembrances of those who gave their lives, for their country, and wise words on the importance of such patriotic acts. Beginning in our own United States, we'll be touring Europe, South America, Asia, Africa, and beyond, w/ a special tribute to our original celebration of 'Decoration Day' in Civil War days.

Intelligence Squared U.S. brings Oxford-style debating to America -- one motion, one moderator, two informed and provocative panelists for the motion, and two against. John Donvan of ABC News -- Nightline is the official moderator of Intelligence Squared debates. The debate series takes on the hot-button issues of the day to inform, enlighten and entertain.

Join us Thursday night at 9 p.m. on West Virginia Public Radio.

In this one-hour special, Radio Ambulante presents the best English-language stories from its first season with reporting from North Carolina, Chile and Mexico.

Tune in for Radio Ambulante, with host Martina Castro, Thursday night May 8, at 9 p.m. on West Virginia Public Radio.

Featured stories:

Gluten Free? Why bother?

Apr 25, 2014

     America's Test Kitchen has been the number one cooking show on public television for 14 years. (The January 2014 Nielsen rating was a heavyweight 1.68 with 2.3 million viewers per week.) But America's Test Kitchen Radio was launched just two years go.

The first 2014 radio special investigates the mysterious, perplexing world of gluten-free baking. Gluten, the essential protein in wheat flour, creates structure and helps baked goods rise. Without it, cookies spread like hot lava, breads rise up out of their loaf pans, and pizza tastes like crackers.

On America’s Test Kitchen, we speak to Cara De Silva, the editor of In Memory's Kitchen: A Legacy from the Women of Terezin, a cookbook written by starving women in the Czechoslovakian ghetto/concentration camp of Theresienstadt. Find out how these brave women used their culinary heritage as an act of defiance by talking about food and trading recipes.

Hear the latest radio special in honor of National Poetry Month Thursday, April 24 at 9 p.m. 

In addition to being a public radio host, Al Letson is also a poet, playwright, and actor.

In this hour-long program,  Letson will explore all facets of poetry. Poets from all over the country will speak about the craft, the lifestyle, and the resurgence of poems.

Handel's Messiah on Classical Music with Matt Jackfert

Apr 17, 2014

On Friday during Classical Music with Matt Jackfert, Matt will be airing the Calvin Oratorio Society's 2013 performance of Handel's Messiah, the complete oratorio for Easter.

Tune in to West Virginia Public Radio at approximately 12:50 p.m. and enjoy the performance until 3 p.m.

Conductor:  Joel Navarro

Soloists: Awet Andemicael, soprano; Martha Hart, mezzo-soprano; Drake Dantzler, tenor; Benjamin Clements, bass


West Virginia Public Radio Presents is broadcast Thursdays at 9 p.m. and features a variety of insightful programs that explore life, politics, and culture in and around the Mountain State.

Produced by Larry Groce (host of Mountain Stage) these three one-hour programs  dramatize five of the short stories from G.D. McNeill’s book, "The Last Forest."