“Ahhh…” We’re all familiar with the sound of the cap being popped off a bottle of coke, but how did Coca-Cola evolve to one of the more recognized brands in American history? We’ll find out this hour on Focus.
This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with journalist and author Mark Pendergrast about his book, now out in paperback, “For God, Country and Coca-Cola.” Pendergrast tells us about the now famous soft drink that started as an obscure patent medicine created by a small family owned business.
In his book, Pendergrast shares the guarded secret recipe for the cola…. We’ll hear about what ingredients comprise America’s beloved soft drink and if it’s true whether or not Coke actually contained cocaine in the early 1900’s.
So…coke or pepsi? We want to hear from you this hour on Focus!
We'll learn if Coca-Cola was really made with cocaine, where you can go on "staycation" in East Central Illinois and will hear from the new Editor in charge of Robert Ebert's flagship movie review website.
Next week on Focus, we’ll talk Matt Zoller-Seitz, the new editor-in-chief of RoberEbert.com about the best new movies to see this summer. We'll also hear from a vinter about Illinois' growing wine industry and will welcome your personal finance questions for Kevin Waspi.
Chris Berube talks this hour with horticulture expert Sandy Mason. We welcome your lawn and garden questions!
It’s the perfect time of year for insects to take up residence in your garden, and we’ve also had some severe weather this week that poses a threat to your flowers and vegetables. This hour on Focus, Chris Berube talks with University of Illinois Extension horticulture expert Sandy Mason about how to heal your garden after a summer storm and how to protect your plants from pests and diseases. We welcome your lawn and garden care questions this hour on Focus!
HOME RUN! We’ve all heard it announced over a loud speaker at a baseball game or are familiar with the phrase from popular culture, but hitting a home run wasn’t always so common in baseball. This hour on Focus, Jeff Bossert talks with author Eldon Ham about the history of the homerun and his new book “All the Babe’s Men.”
“It’s a home run,” has become an expression many Americans use every day to describe success, even outside the world of baseball. But, have you ever wondered why? This hour on Focus, Jeff Bossert talks with Eldon Ham about America’s obsession with the home run and what sparked the development of the long ball in baseball. Ham tells us about how the home run became a fixture in the MLB by accident, and we’ll remember Babe Ruth’s historic sixty-homer season in 1927.
With several big hitters in the MLB being accused recently of more steroid use, we’ll also talk with Ham about how the homerun is connected to an era of professional doping.
Are you a baseball fan? Do you have a story about an epic home run? We want to hear from you this hour on Focus!
The Buchanan Center for the Arts in Monmouth, Illinois has sponsored a nationally juried art contest for three years now called 64 Arts, but it hasn’t been without controversy. This hour on Focus, we talk about graphic art and censorship.
Last spring, Susan Twomey, who curates the Buchanan Center for the Arts in Monmouth, Illinois, put out a call for artists to enter a nationally juried art exhibition called 64 Arts. Among the entries was a collection of vases by a California-based artist named Joe Pinkelman.
Joe’s vases were highly controversial and contained images taken from gay pornography. Twomey struggled with displaying the vases as part of the exhibition even before contest judge Eric Fishl chose the pots as winners in several categories. This hour on Focus, Chris Berube talks with Twomey, Fishl and Lawrence Weschler, who recently published an article about the contest and the controversy surrounding the vases in the Believer Magazine, about controversial art and censorship.
The entry deadline for the 2013 64 Arts Exhibition closes this Friday, June 14. Find more information at the link to the Buchanan Center for the Arts below.
This hour on Focus, we talk about US Supreme Court decisions that have already been made this term, and some that will set new precedents in the coming weeks. Do you have questions about any of the cases currently before the high court?
This hour on Focus, Chris Berube talks with Lisa McElroy and Daniel Hamilton about the 2012-2013 Supreme Court term. We’ll discuss cases yet to be decided that will set new precedents for same sex marriage, affirmative action and genetic research. We’ll talk about why it’s rumored that the court might throw out the arguments they heard on Proposition 8 and will talk about a case that could allow biotechnology companies to patent genetic material from the human body. We’ll also discuss issues to do with drug-sniffing dogs and search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment.
Lisa McElroy is an Associate Professor of Law at Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law, and Daniel Hamilton is the Incoming Dean of Boyd Law School at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
We’ve all heard someone say “she’s pretty good for a girl,” and according to Murphy Henry, that’s especially true when it comes to women who play bluegrass music. This hour on Focus, guest host Chris Berube talks with Murphy about the history of women in bluegrass.
Before she started writing her new book “Pretty Good for Girl: Women in Bluegrass” Murphy Henry thought she was one of only a few women trying to make bluegrass music. But as she found out, there are lots of women who have had successful careers, they just hadn’t gotten any attention for it. This hour on Focus, guest host Chris Berube talks with Murphy about the history of women in bluegrass, why these musicians have slipped under the radar and why, before now, there’s been so little conversation about their contributions to the genre. We’ll also talk with Murphy about her own musical career, her love for playing the banjo and the “Murphy Method,”a technique she pioneered to teach banjo.
We also talk with her about Champaign-Urbana native Alison Krauss and her career and contributions to bluegrass music.
Read more for a video of Murphy playing the banjo and explaning why she wrote the book.
Women in Bluegrass, Supreme Court Decisions and the history behind home runs
Next week on Focus, we’ll talk with Murphy Henry about women in bluegrass music and will dissect some of the decisions before the US Supreme Court. We’ll also learn about why the home run is such a big part of baseball today and will discuss the role of art in rural Illinois.
Will you really catch cold quicker if you go outside with wet hair? Is swimming after a meal really dangerous? This hour on Focus, we talk with Brian Udermann about the answers to these questions and the truth behind other common bits of motherly advice. We welcome your questions this hour!
This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with author Brain Udermann about his book “25 Ways to Cure the Hiccups: Uncovering the Truth Behind 101 Common Myths and Misconceptions." We’ll talk with him about the validity of common household advice. Sorry to disappoint you, but eating celery does not burn more calories to digest than it’s worth, and feeding a cold and starving a fever aren’t in the “truthful” category during this episode of Focus.
Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… You know how that ends. This hour on Focus, we talk about Superman, the origins of the character and Superman’s place in popular culture
Superman’s character was created in the early 1930’s and has since has appeared or been referenced in pretty much every form of media – comics, books, movies and even in song. During this episode of Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Larry Tye, author of the book “The High-Flying History of American’s Most Enduring Super Hero.” He talks with Tye about the creators of the character, movie adaptations and of course, the iconic red cape.
We’ll also hear from Karla Ogle, co-chair of the Superman Festival in Metropolis, Illinois. The festival draws more than 30,000 people to Metropolis, population ~6,000 each year. Jim Hambrick, who founded and curates the Super Museum also joins us.
Do you have questions about the history of Superman? Maybe you’re a huge fan… We want to hear from you this hour on Focus!
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