Midday | WYPR

Midday

On Midday, Monday-Friday from noon-1:00, Tom Hall and his guests are talking about what’s on your mind, and what matters most to Marylanders:  the latest news, local and national politics, education and the environment, popular culture and the arts, sports and science, race and religion, movies and medicine.  We welcome your questions and comments. E-mail us at midday@wypr.org, tweet us: @middaytomhall, or call us at 410-662-8780.
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Midday programs with Sheilah Kast as host ended on September 16, 2016

Archive prior to October 5, 2015

Tookapic

One of the great joys of the summer season, of course, is cooking and dining outdoors. So today, we’re metaphorically firing up the grill.  Whether you have a traditional charcoaler or one of those gleaming gas ranges, we’ll talk about those fabulous flame-licked creations we make when we have meat or fish or veggies, and even fruit, and we bring on the heat.

Today, Tom hosts a roundup of great ideas for the backyard grill with  Midday's resident foodies: chef John Shields of Gertrude’s Restaurant, and Sascha Wolhandler of Sascha’s 527 Café.  In this installment of What Ya Got Cookin? John and Sascha share some of their favorite recipes for fabulous flame-cooked meals, and offer tips on getting the most out of your summer grilling experience.  Plus, we take your calls, emails and tweets on the subject.

Here's the grilled chicken recipe Sascha describes during the show:

Photo by Britt Olson-Ecker

Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom for our regular Thursday focus on the region's thespian happenings. Today, she reviews the Single Carrot Theatre and STEREO Akt world premiere production of Promenade: Baltimore.

Not your conventional stage production, Promenade: Baltimore invites its audience to board an actual bus and travel around the city, passing through neighborhoods familiar to some, and unknown to others. Audience members watch from their bus as actors on the street perform scenes portraying various aspects of life in Baltimore, accompanied by a live-mixed soundtrack of music, narration, and stories inspired by and, in some cases told by, neighborhood residents.  

Know Your Neighbors: A Promenade Post-Show Roundtable, Thursday, June 22, following the 6:30pm performance.  See the Single Carrot Theatre website for details on this and other post-show events.

Promenade: Baltimore continues at Single Carrot Theatre through Sunday, July 2nd.

Photo courtesy the Brookings Institution

Last night was a long night for Democrats, who lost two more special elections to fill vacancies created by congressional Republicans who left for jobs in the Trump administration.  In Georgia’s hotly-contested 6th congressional district, Republican Karen Handel beat newcomer Democrat Jon Osoff by 4 points, a comfortable margin of victory in what most considered a close race.  And in South Carolina, Republican Ralph Norman defeated Democrat Archie Parnell by about the same margin, which was considered much closer than most people had expected.

That makes it 4-0 for the Republicans in Special Elections since President Trump took office.   

Tom discusses the significance of these election results, and  the state of the body politic, with E.J. Dionne, a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.  He is also a university professor at Georgetown University, and the author of several books, including Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism – From Goldwater to Trump and Beyond.  His newest book, due out in September, is called One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported, which he has co-authored with Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein.

Photo by Doby Photography/NPR

On the very first page of his very unsettling book, Richard Harris points to some of those ground-breaking, fantastic studies that we sometimes hear about as the next big thing, the next miracle cure.  These are studies that are often published in prestigious scientific journals.   And Harris says that “too much of what is published is wrong.”

Harris knows his way around medical studies.  He’s been a science correspondent with NPR for more than 30 years.  His new book is called Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions. 

The book is an assiduously reported indictment of a culture in the scientific community that often allows for short cuts to be tolerated and for basic research principles to be ignored.  Richard Harris joins Tom from the studios of NPR in Washington.

James VanRensselaer Homewood Photography

Last month, the stabbing death of Bowie State University student 2nd Lt. Richard Collins III grabbed national headlines and left students and faculty wondering how the frightening and tragic incident could happen on a college campus. Collins, who was black, was stabbed on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park by UMD student Sean Urbanski. Urbanski, who’s white, was a member of an online hate group that shared bigoted memes and messages. While Urbanski has not been charged with a hate crime, students of color at UMD say Collins’ death is not an isolated incident and that racial climate on campus is fraught with bias and bigotry. In early May a noose was found hanging in UMD frat house. 

College Park is not the only campus battling bigotry. Last month, bananas hung by nooses were found on the campus of American University in Washington, DC. Harvard, Columbia, Dartmouth and other universities across the country have reported dozens of incidents of bias in recent months.   Some scholars have observed that racism on predominantly white college campuses is as old as the universities themselves.  Tom is joined by Lawrence Ross, the author of several books including The Divine Nine:The History of African American Fraternities and Sororities. His latest is called Blackballed:The Black and White Politics of Race on America's Campuses. He is a frequent contributor to TheRoot.com.

Baltimore Link

The Baltimore Link, Charm City’s new transit system, is making its debut. After almost two years of planning, the $135 million dollar revamped system was launched in the wee hours of Sunday morning.  MTA Director Kevin Quinn, along with Brian O’Malley, president and CEO of the Central Maryland Transportation AllianceSamuel Jordan, president of the Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition; and city planner Klaus Philipsen join Tom today to discuss the new system and its impact on city residents. MTA officials say that it will speed up time for commuters and get people closer to more of the places where they work.  But not everyone is convinced.

photo courtesy Arizona Republic

Last Wednesday, on a baseball field in Alexandria, VA, Republican Congressman Steve Scalise and three others were shot, including a Capitol Hill police officer who lives in Baltimore County.  Congressional leaders vowed to tamp down their vitriolic rhetoric.  But in a week that included the anniversary of the worst mass killing in US history, there seems to be no end in sight to this violence,  even in our political discourse. 

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and DC Attorney General Karl Racine filed a lawsuit against President Trump for what they say is a violation of anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution. Congress has filed a suit too.  Jeff Sessions gave often defiant testimony to the Senate Intel Committee on Tuesday.  And there are now published reports confirming that President Trump is himself a subject of an investigation into possible obstruction of justice.  Plenty to talk about with Tom's News Wrap guests, Ayesha Rascoe, a White House correspondent for Reuters, and Alan Walden, who was last year's Republican candidate for Mayor of Baltimore.  

Courtesy Peabody Consort

We end Friday's Midday with a little music from yesteryear.  Like, way yesteryear.  Members of the Peabody Consort join Tom in Studio A.  They specialize in music from the earliest eras of what we have come to know as classical music.  The consort is on their way to the Indianapolis Early Music Festival next week, and in November, they’ll appear at Early Music Hawaii, another prestigious festival (in a great place to be in November).

And this weekend in Baltimore, they'll be giving a concert of music from the three Abrahamic religions, performing at an event called Words and Music of Three Faiths.  It takes place this Sunday night (June 18) at 7:00, at Second Presbyterian Church, located at 4200 Saint Paul Street in Baltimore (21218).  

Today, they join Tom with their instruments to offer a little preview.  Soprano Julie Bosworth is here, and Brian Kay is here with his oud.  The founder of the consort is Peabody faculty member Mark Cudek.

Their performance today features the Cantigas de Santa Maria: "Tanto son da Groriosa" (No. 48) from the Court of Alfonso X or “el Sabio” (1221–1284); an improvisation on the Arabic “oud,” the ancestor of the lute; and a Sephardic romance: the anonymously composed "Cuando el Rey Nimrod,” which closes out the show.

Monday, the 19th of June, is Juneteenth, the day that commemorates June 19, 1865 when enslaved African Americans in Galveston, TX were informed by Union soldiers that slavery was legally over, months after the end of the Civil War and more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln. Juneteenth is one of the most widely celebrated emancipation days in the country. It’s officially recognized in 45 states; Maryland became the 43rd state in 2014. Today a conversation about Juneteenth. What’s the historical significance of the day and as we reflect, how does it inform our understanding of slavery and the reconstruction era?  What was life like for African Americans as they transitioned from bondage to freedom? 

Tom is joined by Dr. Terry Anne Scott; she’s an assistant professor of History at Hood College in Frederick. Also joining are B. Cole and Aisha Pew, entrepreneurs and the owners of the Dovecote Café in Baltimore, and the leaders of Brioxy, a network of innovative people of color who are creating economic opportunity for themselves and others. This weekend they’re hosting a Juneteenth Home and Garden tour in their Reservoir Hill neighborhood.  

David Spence of David Spence Photography

Theater Critic J. Wynn Rousuck returns to Midday with her weekly review of a regional production. This week, she’s talking about Fred’s Diner at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre in Frederick, MD. The new dark comedy by award-winning playwright Penelope Skinner transports the audience to an American Diner on an English motorway, brimming with captivating characters and deadly secrets. After premiering London, this is the 2nd time the play has been produced in the U.S. and first time it's been produced on the East Coast. Fred’s Diner is directed by Peter Wray, and runs through June 18th, 2017.  

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