On the Radio

Week of February 7, 2016

Coca-Cola elevator in Las Vegas

Big Soda

February 7, 2016

Do you ever get the feeling that this is Big Soda's world and we're just living in it? Even though soda sales have declined in recent years, Big Soda looms large in our popular culture. In this hour, we explore "Coca-Cola Capitalism" and soda politics. 

Hour letter: 
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  1. Soda Politics

    Marion Nestle is a long-time food industry activist and the author of "Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning)." She explains why sodas are about race and class in America.

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  2. The Vestibules -- Laurence Olivier for Diet Coke

    The Canadian surrealist sketch comedy trio, The Vestibules, with their brilliant commercial parody, "Laurence Olivier for Diet Coke."

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  3. The Secret History of Soft Drinks

    Did you know that 7 Up was originally called Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda?  Good thing they changed the name.  That's one of the fascinating facts from Tristan Donovan's book, "Fizz: How Soda Shook Up the World." Donovan takes us on a guided tour of the secret history of fizzy water.

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  4. Coca-Cola Capitalism

    How did the Coca-Cola Company become such a powerhouse? Bart Elmore's the guy to ask. He's the author of an environmental history called "Citizen Coke: The Making of Coca-Cola Capitalism."

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  5. Coke and Cocaine

    One of the most enduring questions about Coke is does it contain cocaine? Or did it used to? Bart Elmore has the answers.

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  6. Why Football Matters

    With the Carolina Panthers facing off against the Denver Broncos in Superbowl 50, football is on our minds this week. And for many of the millions of fans who tune in every Sunday to watch their favorite teams compete, football is little more than a weekly ritual. For English professor Mark Edmundson, the football field is a staging ground for some of life's most important lessons. In his book "Why Football Matters," Edmundson looks back to his own high school years playing the sport and reflects on how it taught him courage, resilience, determination, and other values he'd draw on as an adult.

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Wearing it On Your Sleeve (update)

February 7, 2016

With shows in Milan, Paris and New York, it's fashion month across the Western World, and people are turning their eyes to runways. But does fashion really matter? Truth is, the garment industry is worth trillions of dollars, and employs millions of people. In this hour, we take a look at the role of clothing in our identities, cultures, economies and environment.

 

  1. Jacki Lyden on Why Fashion Matters

    "If you ask NPR audiences, 'Do you care about fashion..?' Ninety-five percent of them said 'No.' But if you ask them, 'Do you care about culture?' Ninety-five say 'Yes.'" Jacki Lyden is perhaps best known for her reporting from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But in a new project, she's turned her attention to fashion. Here's why.

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  2. A Philosophy of Fashion

    Philosopher Lars Svendsen talks about how fashion--the search for the new, for the sake of novelty--was born during the early renaissance, with the rise of Modern individuality. He says fashion shapes not just the clothes we wear, but almost every part of our lives.

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  3. Gender and Race on the Runway

    A lot of people dismiss fashion as frivolous, but Media Studies professor Minh-Ha Pham says it's a great lens through which to study race, gender and class politics. "Fashion and so many other kinds of culture and practices that are traditionally associated with women... are often seen as frivolous," she says, and "that dismissal of fashion is linked to a larger, a broader sexism in our culture."

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  4. Fashion, Fast and Slow

    Whether or not you're a person who cares about fashion, how and where our clothes are made has environment, social, and economic consequences. The global garment industry is a trillion dollar business, that employs millions of people. Elizabeth Cline is an advocate for so-called "slow fashion."

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  5. The Hindus: An Alternative History

    American Wendy Doniger holds two doctorates in Sanskrit and Indian studies from Harvard and Oxford. She’s the author of numerous books on Hinduism and has translated several Sanskrit texts. She’s widely considered one of the most important scholars on Indian religion in the world. So it might surprise you that there is one country in the world she can’t visit: India.

    Doniger’s books have been targeted by Hindu Nationalists and by India’s ruling right-wing BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). Her latest, “The Hindus: An Alternative History,” was the subject of a major lawsuit in India, and its publisher, Penguin Books India, not only pulled the book from circulation but destroyed all remaining copies. Since then, Doniger has received many death threats inside of India and no longer feels safe visiting there. But as she told Steve Paulson, her writing about Hinduism hasn’t changed in over 40 years. What has changed is India.

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