"Farm Sanctuary" by Gene Baur

For those who refer to it as “turkey day”, the feast of Thanksgiving would leave little to be thankful for without a roasted bird, plump and aromatic, in the center of the table. But this year at an unusual farm just west of Watkins Glen, NY there will be an extraordinary gathering, at which people will feed, rather than feed upon, domesticated turkeys. While there they may also take a moment to pet the pigs, visit with the sheep and goats and observe the cows grazing peacefully in the fields. This peaceable kingdom is the Farm Sanctuary, a safe haven for animals who might otherwise be confined to pens or headed to the abattoir and the market. In fact, many of them were rescued from slaughter or destruction following injury and a few were once given up for dead.

Sound Fusion: John Stetch and Laura Orshaw

Sound Fusion, we’ve paired together local musicians, each of different genres. Watch and listen as John Stetch and Laura Orshaw come together to play songs, swap ideas and share their love of music. Each program contains several complete performances by each artist. http://youtu.be/WQ6s05SViqE

Set List from Laura Orshaw:
Rock the Cradle Joe
New Deal Train
Julia Delaney

Set List from John Stetch:
Bright Mississippi
Embraceable You
Zabava
Heavens of a Hundred Days

Set List from Sound Fusion:
The Star of Muenster
The Laura and John Blues

Host: Michael Kinney

"A History of the Paleontological Research Institution" by Warren Allmon

Anyone zipping along the Trumansburg Road north of Ithaca these days can’t miss the big sign at number 1259 indicating (in large letters) The Museum of the Earth at the (written below smaller) Paleontological Research Institution.  The museum – a soaring new building meant to suggest one of Tompkins County’s gorges – opened in 2003.  The Tudor-style building beside it, a former Odd Fellows orphanage, has housed the PRI since the late 1960s.  The institution itself was founded in 1932.  The millions of objects that it collects, studies and displays are millions of years old. The PRI was established by Gilbert Harris (1864-1952), a professor of geology at Cornell University who was one of the leading invertebrate paleontologists of his day and a pioneer in the application of paleontology to oil exploration.  He established several respected scholarly journals of paleontology (which he printed on his own press) and amassed an impressive collection of fossils.  But he felt that Cornell was not providing him with sufficient support or respect, and he feared that his university would waste or lose the acquisitions.  So in 1932 Gilbert Harris founded an institution for the collection and identification of fossils, distinctly independent from Cornell. The PRI became one of the important research bodies in its specialized field but it had no public mission and Cornell was officially kept at arm’s length even as individual students enjoyed access.  Harris was also little concerned about financial support for the PRI.  These closed attitudes were perpetuated after he retired and his student Katherine Palmer, a respected paleontologist, became director in 1952.  Dr. Palmer held the directorship well into her eighties when the assistant director, Dr. Peter Hoover, took charge. The transition also vividly shows that PRI was susceptible to a common affliction of organizations – sometimes called “founder syndrome” – when they make the inevitable changeover in leadership from the founder to a successor who was not present at the beginning.  The failed installations of Kindle and Kirtley – and the ultimately successful but bumpy succession of Hoover – clearly had in common that Katherine Palmer had significant difficulty “letting go” of the institution she had been a part of for her entire professional life… It was not until poor health took her almost completely out of the picture that a truly stable succession was established. — from The First 75 Years
In 1992 Warren Allmon, then an assistant professor of geology at the University of South Florida, became the fourth director of what he described as “an essay in dust, disorder and deferred maintenance.”  Allmon earned his Ph.D. at Harvard, where he studied with the noted paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould.  The conditions that Allmon found at the PRI were so chaotic that he considered moving the institution, possibly to New York City or Florida.  But the Finger Lakes region of New York is home to many natural wonders and has a long tradition of geological research.  So the PRI remained in Ithaca and began its own metamorphosis.  The most prominent changes were an active and lively involvement with the local community, a new relationship with Cornell, and especially the development of The Museum of the Earth.

Youth Concerto Competition & Songwriter Showcase

This week Expressions showcases the talents of three extraordinary young violinists: Meredith Riley, Emerson Millar and Eliot Heaton. They won the 2007 Youth Concerto Competition for the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra. We’ll visit with them (bios below), and get a preview of their March 29th, 2008 performance with the orchestra. We also return to the Songwriter Showcase at Binghamton’s Cyber Café West. We’ll hear the song stylings of Chris Merkley and Brittany Garrison.

Driftwood and Jenni Bank

We’ve paired together local musicians, each of different genres to make for a very interesting time of love for music without genres limitations. Driftwood style is difficult to categorize. “From the Binghamton, New York music scene comes Driftwood, a band with a rock n’ roll soul and a folk art mind. Carving out a name for themselves with electrifying live performances, they bring one of the most unique, raw sounds to the Americana/roots music scene. Incorporating upright bass, banjo, acoustic guitar and violin, the ghost of traditional American folk music lives in their palette.

"The Horse, the Wheel and Language" by David Anthony

Play

The speakers of Proto-Indo-European were farmers and stockbreeders: we can reconstruct words for bull, cow, ox, ram, ewe, pig and piglet… They divided their possessions into two categories: movables and immovables; and the root for movable wealth (*peku-, the ancestor of such English words as pecuniary) became a term for herds in general. –from The Horse, the Wheel and Language

There is a wide swath of the world stretching from Iceland to India where many different languages are spoken. The vocabulary and structure of those languages may be very different (which is why so many people also speak English now) but most of them belong to the Indo-European language group. Later discovery and colonization spread Germanic and Latinate languages into the Western Hemisphere so that today about half the people on Earth learn an Indo-European tongue at their mother’s knee.

"Pilgrimage to a Gingko Tree" by Edward Dougherty

Poet Edward Dougherty likes to mention that he has worked in a pizza shop and prepared VCR instructions for The Cable Guide. Certainly anything can feed and direct a poet in his work. He was also poetry editor of the Mid-American Review. But Dougherty’s deepest experience was the two and a half years that he and his wife lived in Hiroshima, Japan as directors of the World Friendship Center. He was on hand for the fiftieth anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that ended World War II, and came to know survivors, the hibakusha.

"Dream Lives of Butterflies" by Jaimee Wriston Colbert

Play

“There’s an Indian legend that if you capture a butterfly and whisper a wish to it, the butterfly cannot reveal the wish to anyone but the Great Spirit, who hears, sees and knows all. In gratitude for giving the beautiful butterfly its freedom, the Great Spirit grants its wish…” –from Dream Lives of Butterflies

The characters in Jaimee Wriston Colbert’s novel-in-stories are not “happy people with happy problems” (the premise of most TV sitcoms). They are troubled souls who struggle at the margins of society, looking for a place to stay, or a garden patch in the city, or respite from the pains of war. “Dream Lives of Butterflies” features a cast of marginal human wrecks, and while they may be far from any place where they would be truly at home Colbert’s characters are still striving.