"Grandpa Chopras's Stories For Life's Nourishment Retold" By Ashok Kumar Malhotra


In one of the stories that Grandpa Hari Chopra told to his grandson Ashok Kumar Malhotra, a young Buddhist monk has lived a life of reverence and self-discipline but after twelve years still has not seen the Buddha.  Resentful about his lost youth, the monk sets off for a drunken bender.  On the way he sees a puppy being attacked by maggots and, with a respect for life that stops him from even harming a maggot, he stoops down and starts to lick the maggots away and save the innocent puppy.  At which moment, the Buddha appears.  The monk is still resentful but the Buddha tells him, “I was always there to greet you but your meditation was overshadowed by your big ego.  Only when you saw the puppy’s suffering, you discarded your ego and felt compassion for him.  Since I am present in every selfless act of compassion, here I am to greet you.” http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/national/local-national-1025912.mp3

Today, Dr. Ashok Kumar Malhotra is SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy (the highest title granted by the Regents) at the State University College at Oneonta.  He is the author of more than a dozen books on Eastern and Western philosophy, including an important work on yoga and the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre.  His writings on Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism clarified those belief structures for westerners.  He founded the Yoga and Meditation Society and edited its journal. He has written about the life and ideas of Mahatma Gandhi.  And he is founder and leader of the Ninash Foundation, which has built and supports schools for the poorest children in India.  But with a gesture that brings together the breadth of his scholarly interests and good works, Dr. Malhotra reveals where his knowledge began and offers “Grandpa Chopra’s Stories for Life’s Nourishment”.  It is a light book of forty parables, starting with simple tales that bear a resemblance to the “Arabian Nights” or the Hindu Panchatantra Tales, the oldest stories in Indian culture. Or Aesop’s Fables, ancient stories that culminate in a moral. Before they went into the book, Ashok Malhotra told the stories to his own grandchildren.

Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci


Music Director John Mario di Costanzo and Stage Director Martha Collins explain the stories of the operas Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. Singers from the casts perform selections accompanied by pianist Daniela Candillari. Check out a synopsis of the operas by The Metropolitan Opera. http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/national/local-national-1025698.mp3

Cavalleria Rusticana
Turiddu: Kirk Dougherty
Santuzza: Sarah Kennedy
Alfio: Patrick McNally

Tonio: Robert Heep-Young Oh
Nedda: Inna Dukach
Canio: Kirk Dougherty
Silvio: Patrick McNally


Photo courtesy of WikiCommons.

Bronze Sculptor Gary Weisman

The process of making bronze sculptures dates back to the Greeks and Gary Weisman has been creating since the 70’s. Concentrating on the classical nude, His works can be seen in gardens, museums, private collections and colleges around the world.

Poetry by Leslie Heywood, Nicole Santalucia and Listeners To 'Off The Page'


Poems submitted to OFF THE PAGE by 30 of our listeners — an anthology of the air.  Click on a poet’s name and read them here. Every poet needs to find a “voice” — not merely the vocalization and sound of presentation, as important as that may be to the appreciation of the poet’s work — but a distinct style, attitude and pattern of thought that will propel words and rhythms and ideas as nothing else can.  At its most effective, a poetic voice can be both individual and universal, taken up as the voice of the people.  It is what makes poetry meaningful to so many.  It’s also a big reason why poets find radio such a good platform. http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/national/local-national-1025585.mp3
April is National Poetry Month and in an annual tradition, OFF THE PAGE offers a program of poems by established published poets as well as from listeners, sent to OffThePage@WSKG.ORG (in the body of the message, not as an attachment).  There is no set theme for the poems; the invitation has always brought in a range of written expression that reveals the personal feelings and concerns of members of the unseen audience. In the studio will be two fine poets with much to say:
Leslie Heywood is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Binghamton University.  Her poems have been widely published, both in her books, including “The Proving Ground”, “Natural Selection” and the memoir “Pretty Good for a Girl”, and in her new volume of poetry, “Lost Arts”.  She has also been published in leading literary magazines, including Prairie Schooner and Women’s Studies Quarterly.   Dr. Heywood’s interests and professional activity extends into gender studies, distance running and evolutionary neurobiology.  She writes, “From the beginning…my research has explored connections between kinesis, consciousness, and embodiment as these are articulated by a specific set of themes—body, gender, affect, and identity—posed from a number of different perspectives:  literary historical/feminist; sociological/cultural; evolutionary; neurophysiological and neuropsychological; and creative.” Nicole Santalucia, who grew up in Johnson City, is a Ph.D. candidate at Binghamton University and founder and coordinator of The Binghamton Poetry Project, which is holding workshops around Broome County for both adults and young people and published an anthology.  She is also poetry editor of the university’s literary journal, Harpur Palate.

Ice Sculptor Mark Crouthamel

Mark Crouthamel has a very ‘cool’ job, he is the lead sculptor and owner of Sculpted Ice Works. Mark is a member of the National Ice Carvers Association and has over 15 years experience. He carves ice sculptures for events of any kind including weddings, festivals, corporate events and their own company annual event called “Crystal Cabin Fever”.  

"Baseball Myths" By Bill Deane


Every sport has its oddities.  There are the football players who ran the wrong way, scoring a touchdown for the opposing team.  There is the legend of Rosie Ruiz, the pseudo-marathon runner who tried to win the New York City Marathon by hopping a ride on the Subway, then attempted a similar trick in Boston.  But baseball seems to wear the green jacket in the winner’s circle (to shamelessly mix our sports metaphors) for generating an abundance of misconceptions and mythology. http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/national/local-national-1025251.mp3

The National Pastime is filled with reports of relief pitchers who won a game without ever actually throwing a pitch, or of three baserunners — one of whom just hit a triple — all holding up on third.  Of course, some of the best stories are true: in 2008 second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera of the Cleveland Indians executed a rare unassisted triple play, then (really!) tossed the history-making ball into the stands.  But often the tales are hatched and circulate for years, like the pre-1915 home run that only flew 65 feet before landing in an umpire’s pile of baseballs, indistinguishable from the balls not in play, while batter Grover Land circled the bases.  Neat story, but it never happened. To set the record straight (and probably to settle some long-standing arguments) there is now a book called “Baseball Myths: Debating, Debunking and Disproving Tales From the Diamond.”  It was written by Bill Deane, author of six books, former senior research associate at the Baseball Hall of Fame and former managing editor of Total Baseball.  He is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and is the recipient of several SABR awards.  He lives in Cooperstown, where baseball wasn’t invented.  Indeed, Deane opens “Baseball Myths” by clearing away the misinformation about baseball originating in one small village on Otsego Lake and tells about the mistakes, egoism and general confusion that led to the Baseball Hall of Fame settling in Cooperstown, an honor the community has respected since 1939.  The game of Base Ball evolved over several centuries and the reference library at the Hall of Fame is an excellent resource for tracing that evolution and the recent history of the game. Having a feel for the folklore is as important as knowing where to start tracking down the truth.  For instance, in “Baseball Myths” Deane takes on the claim that the 1927 New York Yankees team was so powerful that a World Series practice session at the Pittsburgh Pirates ballpark just psyched out the home team so badly that the Pirates never had a chance.  In fact, Deane points out, although the Yankees won the Series the record shows they did so with just a one-run edge in two games.  The great 1927 Yankees (and it was a great team) sparked by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, was the same squad that had lost the Series a year earler.  The ’27 Pirates were likely just fatigued.  And then there’s the report that Ted Williams almost lost out on finishing his 1941 season with the Boston Red Sox with a .400 batting average, risking a record that still stands by playing in the last game of the season.  Deane’s close scrutiny of the statistics — down to a potential .4004 had Williams struck out — proves that “there was no real gallantry or risk in what he did on the season’s final day.” Babe Ruth receives an entire chapter, including an investigation into whether the Sultan of Swat really stepped up to the plate and pointed to the spot where, a few seconds later, he would smash another mighty home run.  Deane consults both written accounts, still photography and motion picture footage and no fewer than twenty-five quotes to arrive at something of a conclusion.