KLRU Q cures your holiday hangover with Prohibition

Had a bit too much holiday cheer? Take a break before the work week begins by snuggling up in front of KLRU Q for a night of prohibition. First is all three parts of Ken Burns’ Prohibition series starting at 6 pm. That’s followed by a documentary on the flapper era.

A NATION OF DRUNKARDS
Episode: #101
Since the early years of the American Republic, alcohol has been embedded in the fabric of American culture. But by 1830, the average American over 15 years old consumes nearly seven gallons of pure alcohol a year, three times as much as we drink today. Alcohol abuse wreaks havoc on the lives of many families. As a wave of spiritual fervor for reform sweeps the country, many women and men begin to see alcohol as a scourge. After the Civil War, the country’s population swells with immigrants, who bring their drinking customs with them from Ireland, Germany, Italy and other European countries. The temperance campaign ignites, spearheaded by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. Carrie Nation and her Home Defenders Army bring publicity by attacking Kansas bars with stones and hatchets, and the Anti-Saloon League (ASL) forms to push for an amendment to the Constitution outlawing alcohol nationally. Most politicians dare not defy the ASL, and in 1917 the 18th Amendment sails through both Houses of Congress; it is ratified by the states in just 13 months. When the Amendment is signed into law, Prohibitionists rejoice that America has become officially dry. But Americans are about to discover that making Prohibition the law of the land has been one thing; enforcing it will be another.

A NATION OF SCOFFLAWS
Episode: #102
In 1920, Prohibition goes into effect, making it illegal to manufacture, transport or sell intoxicating liquor. This episode examines the problems of enforcement, as millions of law-abiding Americans become lawbreakers overnight. While a significant portion of the country is willing to adapt to the new law, others are shocked at how inconsistent the Volstead Act actually is. As weaknesses in the law and its enforcement become clear, millions find ways to exploit it. Drys had hoped Prohibition would make the country a safer place, but the law has many victims. Honest policemen are killed on the job, unlucky drinkers are poisoned by adulterated liquor and overzealous federal agents violate civil rights just to make a bust. Alcoholism still exists, and may even be increasing, as women begin to drink in the speakeasies that replace the male-only saloon. Despite the growing discontent with Prohibition and its consequences, few politicians dare to speak out against the law, fearful of its powerful protector, the Anti-Saloon League.

A NATION OF HYPOCRITES
Episode: #103
Support for Prohibition diminishes in the mid-1920s as the playfulness of sneaking around for a drink gives way to disenchantment with its glaring unintended consequences. By criminalizing one of the nation’s largest industries, the law has given savvy gangsters a way to make huge profits, and as they grow in power, rival outfits wreak havoc in cities across the country. The burgeoning tabloid newspaper industry fans the frenzy with sensational headlines and front-page photographs of murder scenes, while Al Capone holds press conferences and signs autographs. The wealthy Pauline Sabin begins publicly decrying that Prohibition has divided the nation into “wets, drys, and hypocrites.” Nearly a century before, women had hoped Prohibition would make the country a safer place for their children. But by the late 1920s many American women believe that the “Noble Experiment” has failed. Sabin unifies women of all classes, refuting the notion that all women support Prohibition and denouncing the law itself as the greatest threat to their families. Sabin and others argue that repeal will bring in tax revenue and provide desperately needed jobs. After the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932, Congress easily passes the 21st Amendment, which repeals the 18th, and the states quickly ratify it. In December of 1933, Americans can legally buy a drink for the first time in 13 years.

Flappers, Speakeasies, and the Birth of Modern Culture
The 1920s shut the door on Victorian values and marked the beginning of an enormous cultural shift. FLAPPERS, SPEAKEASIES, AND THE BIRTH OF MODERN CULTURE explores that tumultuous period in history and how the concept of “the modern woman” emerged from that time. Women were entering the workforce in large numbers during this post-war decade, and even choosing to live on their own outside their parents’ homes. It was the dawn of the age of mass media and advertising. It was the Jazz Age. The documentary brings back this time of social change and upheaval through evocative archival footage and interviews with historians, film experts and fashion editors. It’s an eye-opening yet fun glimpse into a colorful, flamboyant and unforgettable era.

Highlights: January 1-7

Masterpiece Classic at 8 p.m. Sunday presents part four of Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes‘ “Downtown Abbey,” a depiction of the lives of the noble Crawley family and the staff who serve them, set at their Edwardian country house in 1912.

Martin Luther: Driven To Defiance/The Reluctant Revolutionary at 9 p.m. Monday (part one of two) presents the epic tale of the great Protestant revolutionary whose belief in his faith would overthrow the all-powerful Catholic Church and reshape Medieval Europe.

The first episode of the three-part series “Egypt’s Golden Empire” at 7 p.m. Tuesday tracks the hard-fought unification of Egypt under King Ahmose of Thebe and the country’s subsequent rule under an unlikely pharaoh — Hatshepsut, who was a woman. The second episode at 8 p.m. travels back to 1390 B.C., where a gold-laden Egypt was one of the most powerful countries in the world.
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MFI Foundation Renews Support of Public Affairs

The MFI Foundation has renewed its generous support of Overheard with Evan Smith, KLRU’s locally-produced public affairs program.

Overheard provides viewers with unique perspectives on current affairs.  Hosted by Evan Smith, the CEO and Editor in Chief of The Texas Tribune, this weekly 30-minute program features in-depth interviews with noteworthy guests.  Viewers meet politicians, authors, artists, actors, journalists, businesspeople and anyone who’s at the center of things. The series offers smart conversations with the country’s most interesting people, always with an eye toward the news and always with a sense of humor.

KLRU is grateful for MFI’s longtime friendship.  Together, we are inspiring understanding in Austin and beyond.  Thank you!

KLRU Q rings in New Year with Pioneers of Television

Learn about the history of television with KLRU Q’s New Year’s Eve Pioneers of Television marathon. We’ve got four episodes back-to-back starting at 8 pm Saturday, Dec. 31st.

Sitcoms at 8
This episode focuses on five key sitcoms: “I Love Lucy,” “The Honeymooners,” “Make Room for Daddy,” “The Andy Griffith Show” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” The last remaining Honeymooner, Joyce Randolph, offers surprising insights into the mind of Jackie Gleason. Similarly, Marlo Thomas speaks candidly about her father, Danny. Andy Griffith offers forceful opinions about the people and techniques that made his show work. In a rare occurrence, both Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke recount their years on “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Hundreds of episodes were culled for the most entertaining clips – including one particularly side-splitting bit by Don Knotts.

Variety at 9
This episode begins with Ed Sullivan’s “Toast of the Town” and Milton Berle’s “Texaco Star Theater” and progresses through “The Carol Burnett Show,” “Smothers Brothers” and “Laugh-in,” among others. Tim Conway and Jonathan Winters tell hilarious stories about their variety show years. Conversely, Pat Boone offers chilling insight into early TV’s unspoken racism, and Tommy Smothers details the compelling behind-the-scenes story of his landmark show. Tony Orlando wraps up the era with especially insightful comments about the genre. Additionally, the episode includes fresh bites from PIONEERS’ earlier interviews with Milton Berle, Red Skelton and Sid Caesar. There’s no shortage of great clips for this episode. Standouts include Jerry Stiller’s first appearance on Ed Sullivan – with reflections from a June 2007 interview with Stiller.

Game Shows at 10
This episode traces one of broadcasting’s strongest genres – from its beginnings in radio through its heyday in the late 60s. Bob Barker talks about his earliest work and Merv Griffin details his creation of “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy.” Monty Hall recounts his compelling rags-to-riches story and Betty White remembers her role as the first female emcee. Clips for this episode are wide-ranging and include Phyllis Diller’s very first TV appearance – as a painfully shy contestant on Groucho Marx’s “You Bet Your Life.”

Late Night at 11
The stories of Steve Allen, Jack Paar and Johnny Carson headline this episode about the formative years of late-night television. Merv Griffin also emerges as a key player on the late-night scene. (His interview for PIONEERS was his last before passing away.) Regis Philbin offers revelations about his years as a late-night sidekick (to Joey Bishop). Dick Cavett and Arsenio Hall also discuss their years in the mix, and Sigourney Weaver offers personal details about her father, Pat – the inventor of “Tonight.” The episode is peppered with dozens of never-before-seen clips, including Johnny Carson performing in his early 20s.

2nd Half of Life: Growing Bolder January episodes

As your PBS station, it is KLRU’s mission to bring people together around important issues. KLRU does this through various educational and outreach initiatives. This year, KLRU will present 2nd Half of Life project. Created for one of the best-educated, healthiest, and most privileged generations in American history — the Boomers — the series aims to help people reinvent life after the age of 50. This month KLRU presents new episodes of Growing Bolder starting Jan. 15th. 2nd Half of Life Growing Bolder airs Sundays at 10:30 am on KLRU.

Upcoming episodes:

January 1st – “Discover Your Future”
Discovery of a Lifetime – Joanie Schirm always knew there was more to her family history than what she had learned from her parents. When they passed away, she made a remarkable discovery in an old desk. It was a discovery that sent her on the adventure of a lifetime revealing a world of survival, loss and suffering during World War II. more

PBS Arts Festival: San Francisco Ballet 12/30

Watch PBS Arts from San Francisco: Great Performances “The Little Mermaid from San Francisco Ballet” on PBS. See more from PBS.

Get your last helping of PBS Arts Fall Festival in the final night of the series celebrating the nation’s emerging artists through full-length performances, artist and performer profiles, behind-the-scenes documentaries and mini-films about the art scenes in the San Francisco, New York, Cleveland, and more.

Hans Christian Andersen’s haunting tale of love is seen anew in PBS Arts from San Francisco: Great Performances “The Little Mermaid From San Francisco Ballet,” on Friday, December 30, at 8 p.m.

Stay tuned after the performance for a ballet of a different sort. Austin’s Forklift Danceworks Trash Project features City of Austin employees and sanitation vehicles in a choreographed dance routine.

Highlights: December 25-31

Nature at 7 p.m. Sunday presents “Christmas in Yellowstone,”  an exploration of the great winter world of Yellowstone through images of the spectacular landscape and wildlife.

Masterpiece Classic at 8 p.m. Sunday presents part two  and three of Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes‘ “Downtown Abbey”, a depiction of the lives of the noble Crawley family and the staff who serve them, set at their Edwardian country house in 1912.

Jerusalem: Center of the World at 9 p.m. Monday draws on religious texts, the science of archaeology and oral traditions to determine why this small city has occupied the minds of so many for so long.

The Botany of Desire at 7 p.m Tuesday brings Michael Pollan’s best-selling book of the same name to television, showing how human desires are an essential, intricate part of natural history. The program explores the natural history of four plants and the corresponding human desires that link their destinies to our own.

Frontline at 9 p.m. Tuesday profiles Thomas Lynch, a poet and undertaker whose family has cared for the dead in a small town in central Michigan for three generations. In “The Undertaking,” a critically acclaimed book, Lynch offered unique and profound insight into what he called the “dismal trade.” In an intimate and revealing film, Lynch helps makes sense of the ways Americans cope with death, grief and life.

Independent Lens at 10 p.m. Tuesday presents “Lioness,” an intimate look at war through the eyes of the first women in U.S. history sent into direct ground combat, despite a policy that bans them from doing so.

Nature at 7 p.m. Wednesday takes an exclusive look into the worlds of Arctic bears such as polar bears and grizzlies.

In collaboration with National Geographic, Nova at 8 p.m. Wednesday follows the exploits of acclaimed photojournalist James Balog and a scientific team as they deploy time-lapse cameras in risky, remote locations in the Arctic, Alaska, and the Alps.

Nova at 9 p.m. investigates the collapse of an immense, 200 meter-thick ice shelf into the ocean off the Antarctic Peninsula in 2002, shocking scientists and raising the alarming possibility that we may be heading toward an ice-free Antarctica — last seen a million years ago.

Austin City Limits at 10 p.m. Wednesday and 10:30 p.m. Friday presents a classic Tom Waits performance from 1979.

Emmy-winning actress Holland Taylor discusses her long and varied career on Overheard with Evan Smith at 7 p.m. Thursday.

World-renowned classical guitarist Jorge Caballero performs the classic work Pictures At An Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky on Arts In Context at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Independent Lens at 9 p.m. Thursday presents “These Amazing Shadows,” a program that looks at the work of the National Film Preservation Board and the cinematic treasures it strives to save, from Hollywood blockbusters to avant-garde gems, and from the earliest days of film to today.

On PBS Arts From San Francisco: The Little Mermaid at 8 p.m. Friday, John Neumeier — the American-born chief choreographer for Hamburg Ballet — blends dance, dramatic storytelling and spectacle into this interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fable.

In this special Central Texas Gardener conversation at noon and 4 p.m. Saturday, get the CTG team’s perspective on drought, hard freezes, what we learned this year, and the changes we’ll make in 2012.

The New York Philharmonic’s New Year’s Eve concert kicks off with Bernstein’s Overture to Candide and promises to delight with more Bernstein and two Gershwin masterpieces on “Live From Lincoln Center: Bernstein and Gershwin” at 7 p.m. Saturday.

American Masters at 9 p.m. Saturday chronicles the rise of a new breed of musicians in the 1960s Los Angeles whose raw emotions and simple instrumentation bridged the gap between singers and the songs they wrote in “Troubadors: Carole King/James Taylor & The Rise.”

Modern rock giants Coldplay ring in the new year with a very special episode of Austin City Limits at 11 p.m. Saturday highlighting their hits and songs from their newest LP, “Mylo Xyloto.”

Science Night 1/4

Wednesday Science Night for January 4th presents:

7:00 PM Nature – “Birds of the Gods”
Living in the depths of the New Guinean Rainforest are birds of unimaginable color and beauty. When Europeans first saw the plumes of these fabulous creatures in the 16th century, they believed they must be from heaven and called them Birds of Paradise. The people of New Guinea make even greater claims. They say the birds possess supernatural powers and magic. But to find these birds in New Guinea is one of the toughest assignments and to witness their extraordinary mating displays is even tougher. David Attenborough introduces a young team of New Guinean scientists on a grueling expedition to find and film these Birds of Paradise; the holy grail of wildlife filmmakers.

8:00 PM NOVA – “Deadliest Volcanoes”
Millions of people around the world live in the shadow of active volcanoes. Under constant threat of massive volcanic eruptions, their homes and their lives are daily at risk from these sleeping giants. From Japan’s Mount Fuji to the “Sleeping Giant” submerged beneath Naples to the Yellowstone “supervolcano” in the United States, travel with scientists from around the world who are at work on these sites, attempting to discover how likely these volcanoes are to erupt, when eruptions might happen and how deadly they could prove to be.

9:00 PM NOVA – “Deadliest Earthquakes”
In 2010, epic earthquakes all over the planet delivered one of the worst annual death tolls ever recorded. The deadliest strike was in Haiti, where a quake just southwest of the capital, Port-au-Prince, killed more than 200,000, reducing homes, hospitals, schools, and the presidential palace to rubble. In exclusive coverage, a NOVA camera crew follows a team of US geologists as they first enter Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy. It is a race against time as they hunt for crucial evidence that will help them determine exactly what happened deep underground and what the risks are of a new killer quake. Barely a month after the Haiti quake, Chile was struck by a quake 100 times more powerful, unleashing a tsunami that put the entire Pacific coast on high alert. In a coastal town devastated by the rushing wave, NOVA follows a team of geologists as they battle aftershocks to measure the displacement caused by the earthquake. Could their work, and the work of geologists at earthquake hot-spots around the U.S., one day lead to a breakthrough in predicting quakes before they happen? NOVA investigates new leads in its investigation of a deadly scientific conundrum.

Science Night 12/28

Wednesday Science Night for December 28th presents:

Nature: Arctic Bears 7 pm
Polar bears are living on borrowed time. They are the descendents of grizzlies, long-ago evolved to live and hunt on the frozen ice of the Arctic, eating a specialized diet of seal meat. But the winters have become increasingly warmer, the ice is disappearing and raising a family becomes a much more difficult proposition when hunting time is short and food is scarce. Grizzlies, on the other hand, are masters at living off the land, making a meal from a wide variety of foods — meats, seeds, berries, insects, fruit and honey. Their world is bountiful and expanding northward, converging with what once was the icy domain of the polar bear. As the two worlds meet, are the polar bears fated to become grizzlies once again?

NOVA: Extreme Ice 8 pm
In collaboration with National Geographic, NOVA follows the exploits of acclaimed photojournalist James Balog and a scientific team as they deploy time-lapse cameras in risky, remote locations in the Arctic, Alaska, and the Alps. Grappling with blizzards, fickle technology, and climbs up craggy precipices, the team must anchor cameras capable of withstanding sub-zero temperatures and winds up to 170 mph. The goal of Balog’s team’s perilous expedition: to create a unique photo archive of melting glaciers that could provide a key to understanding their runaway behavior and their potential to drive rising sea levels. Some models now project a one-meter sea level rise over the next century, which could displace millions of people everywhere from Florida to Bangladesh and require trillions of dollars in new coastal infrastructure investments. But, alarmingly, these models don’t reflect recent findings that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica are melting at an ever-faster rate. What explains this alarming acceleration, and just how do you figure out what’s happening inside a gigantic wall of ice? In this high-action scientific adventure, NOVA investigates the mystery of the mighty ice sheets that will affect the fate of coastlines around the world.

NOVA: Secrets Beneath The Ice 9 pm
In 2002, an immense, 200 meter-thick ice shelf, the size of Manhattan, collapsed into the ocean off the Antarctic Peninsula, shocking scientists and raising the alarming possibility that we may be heading toward an ice-free Antarctica — last seen a million years ago. That would raise world sea levels so high that New York City would be flooded up to the level of the Statue of Liberty’s shoulders. But could this really happen? Is Antarctica’s surprising past a reliable guide to what may happen to our warming planet? To gather crucial evidence, NOVA follows the most ambitious scientific project launched during the International Polar Year: a state-of-the-art drilling probe known as ANDRILL. Penetrating more than a kilometer through the floating sea ice, ANDRILL recovers evidence from the seabed that reveals details of climate and fauna from a time when dinosaurs and forests once thrived in Antarctica. As the scientists grapple with the harshest conditions on earth, they discover astonishing and disturbing new clues. Once thought to be locked in a solid deep freeze for the last 15 million years, it now looks like Antarctica’s ice has melted and frozen again dozens of times during that period. This breakthrough discovery carries ominous implications for coastal cities around the globe.

Local Night 12/22

Thursday is local night on KLRU with shows either made in Austin or about Texas.  This weeks programs are:

7:00 PM Overheard with Evan Smith: Julian Bond – Civil Rights Activist
Julian Bond’s history as an activist stretches back to 1960, when he began leading sit-ins in Atlanta, and reaches across movements including civil rights, peace and advocacy for economic justice. Bond helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, held office for a total of ten terms in the Georgia General Assembly, and has also served as chair of the NAACP, a major leader of the Southern Poverty Law Center and a powerful force behind many other groups.

7:30 PM In Context Presents: Spoken 4 All
Austin’s spoken word performers take center stage as part of KLRU’s focus on the arts. Also known as “slam poetry,” spoken word is an oral performance of extemporaneous or composed pieces of free poetry. Austin has a number of venues that present spoken word, this program highlights the ranging styles of poets at an all-age program hosted monthly at Mitchie’s Gallery. This event features several artists who were involved with the Austin Neo Soul Team that placed in the 2010 National Poetry Slam.

8:00 PM Company of Voices: Conspirare in Concert

A one-hour concert featuring Austin-based, internationally celebrated, choral ensemble, Conspirare and featuring solo artists to be selected. Conspirare produces world-class choral and orchestral performances that combine outstanding vocal artistry and innovative programming. Contemporary work blends seamlessly with the classics, taking the audience on a journey of innovative sound, vibrant images and thought-provoking ideas.