WILL - Focus - July 17, 2013

Your Brain on Yoga

This hour on Focus, we’ll learn more about how yoga affects memory. Then, we’ll hear about the different styles of yoga, why it was originally practiced and how it has changed as it’s become more popular as a form of exercise in the West.


(Duration: 51:31)

people doing yoga

Yoga has been around for thousands of years and is becoming more and more popular as a form of exercise in the West. Many people, however, will say that yoga is much more than exercise or that it can’t be classified as exercise at all. This hour on Focus, Lindsey Moon talks with incoming Professor of Kinesiology at Wayne State University Neha Goethe about study she recently completed at the University of Illinois comparing yoga practice to more traditional exercise. Mare Payne, who was a part of Neha’s study also joins us.

Then during the second half of the show, we’ll hear from Jennifer Allen, a yoga instructor from Champaign. She’ll tell more about the different styles of yoga and why some people strongly oppose the idea that yoga is a form of exercise. She also tells us more about yoga’s history, and Lindsey talks with her about how yoga in the West is different from it’s more traditional forms.

The Urbana Park District is sponsoring free yoga classes in Meadowbrook Park on Saturdays this summer. Find more information about those classes and more about the Exercise Psychology Lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where Neha conducted her research below.

Categories: Health

WILL - Focus - July 16, 2013

Summer Photography

Whether you’ve got a point and shoot camera, a cell phone or a high quality Nikon, we welcome your questions about photography this hour on Focus.


(Duration: 51:45)

a photo of the prairie and a cornfield

Champaign based photographer Larry Kanfer has been developing his own images since he was 10 years old and is well known across the country for his pictures of the prairie. Brian Johnson is a national award-winning photojournalist who has taught thousands of students how to become excellent photographers in his 25 years at the University of Illinois. This hour on Focus, Jack Brighton talks with Larry Kanfer about his work, and about his favorite places to take pictures in East Central Illinois.  We'll talk with Brian Johnson about photojournalism, travel photography, and about how to get the best pictures you can of whatever you’re photographing this summer.

Larry Kanfer will be exhibiting his photography at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, IL August 27th-29th. Find more information at the link below. 

Categories: Art and Culture

WILL - Focus - July 15, 2013

Encore: White Nose Syndrome Found in Illinois

Do you drink tequila? Eat chocolate? Thank a bat. This hour on Focus, we’ll listen back to a conversation we had earlier this year about how these notorious flying mammals and the role they play in our eco-system.


(Duration: 51:29)

Bat being held by gloved hand.

Bats are notorious in popular culture, and they play a vital role in our eco-system. Of the more than 1,000 species that exist worldwide, 13 can be found in Illinois, and six of those species are now being threatened by white nose syndrome. This hour on Focus, we’ll listen back to a conversation host Jim Meadows had with Ed Heske, a mammalian ecologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, about bats, why they’re important and why white nose syndrome is so scary, especially for farmers. This program originally aired in March when researchers first discovered white nose syndrome in Illinois.

Categories: Animals

WILL - Focus - July 12, 2013

The Mystery of Pain

On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad does it hurt?... How do you define pain? Can you compare it? This hour on Focus, Jim Meadows talks with Douglas Nelson about his new book “The Mystery of Pain.”


(Duration: 51:33)

Douglas Nelson

This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Douglas Nelson, a licensed massage therapist from Champaign, President of BodyWorks Associates and founder of NMT MidWest, a teaching institute focused on massage and pain management. His new book “The Mystery of Pain,” takes a scientific look at what pain actually is and how it affects the body. We’ll talk with him about the subjectivity involved when it comes to thinking about and treating pain.

Categories: Health

WILL - Focus - July 11, 2013

A History of Food in 100 Recipes

What’s your favorite dinner dish? Ever wondered where it came from? This hour on Focus, we’ll learn more about the history of food, from the first real writings about cheese to how and why the fork became commonplace in Western culture.


(Duration: 51:28)

book cover

How we think about food, how we prepare food and how we eat food is constantly changing. It’s mind-blowing to think about how much food changes over the course of a decade, let alone several hundred years. What are your favorite dinner dishes? Have you ever wondered how they evolved into the recipes you know and love? This hour on Focus, Lisa Bralts talks with author William Sitwell about the history of food….and when we say history, we mean deep history. We’ll go back to the 1400’s when royals were eating feasts prepared from recipes calling for an entire pig, and we’ll learn more about when the fork became a fixture in Western culture. 

Why 100 recipes, you ask? We’ll find out during this episode of Focus.

Categories: Food

WILL - Focus - July 10, 2013

Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet

Have you ever gotten an email and wondered why on earth it arrived in your inbox? This hour on Focus, Jack Brighton talks with Finn Brunton about why spam plagues us all.


(Duration: 51:33)

book cover

It all started in 1970’s with noncommercial computer networks that became the internet and then continued to develop during the boom in the 1990’s. Today, the country’s most brilliant computer programmers are trying to fight it.

This hour on Focus, Jack Brighton talks with author Finn Brunton about the rise of internet spam. Interestingly enough, internet spam is called spam because of a Monty Python skit. And, while the skit is hilarious, the unwanted emails and messages from advertisers, marketers, identity thieves, bots, con artists and hackers are not. Today on Focus, we’ll learn about what spam really is, how it works and what it means. As Brunton argues in his new book “Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet,” spam can show us how online communities can develop governance for themselves and how transforming technology can have unintended consequences.

Categories: Technology

WILL - Focus - July 09, 2013

Getting Ready for Illinois Health Care Exchanges

The Affordable Care Act is a huge, and sometimes confusing, piece of legislation. To complicate things further, there are a lot of questions and misinformation surrounding implementation of Illinois’ new health care exchanges. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about what to expect this fall.


(Duration: 51:39)

a photo of a hospital

The Obama Administration is slowly implementing mandates created by the Affordable Care Act but recently delayed one applying to some businesses. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about what’s been delayed, what changes will be implemented as planned and what you should expect if you need to purchase health insurance through one of the exchanges this fall. Health insurance coverage through Illinois exchanges will be available for purchase October 1, and this hour on Focus, John Katsinas of Barham Benefit Group and Claudia Lenhoff of Champaign County Health Consumers join host Jim Meadows.

Do you have questions about the Affordable Care Act and how it’s going to affect you as more and more mandates take effect? We welcome your calls and questions this hour on Focus!


Categories: Health

WILL - Focus - July 08, 2013

Gamma Phi Circus and The Ordinary Acrobat

What comes to mind when you hear the word “circus?” Probably not a college campus… During this hour on Focus, Lindsey Moon talks with Marcus Alouan of Gamma Phi Circus at Illinois State University about collegiate circus and circus summer camps. 


(Duration: 51:32)

Gamma Phi Circus performers

Early in the 20th century, acrobats, specifically trapeze artists, would winter in Bloomington-Normal to practice in empty mills and empty buildings with high ceilings. This hour on Focus, Lindsey Moon talks with Marcus Alouan, director of the Gamma Phi Circus at Illinois State University, about how those performers sparked a circus movement in Bloomington-Normal. We’ll learn more about Gamma Phi Circus, one of the oldest and one of the only collegiate circuses in the country and will hear about the circus camps the university sponsors to keep the circus tradition alive.

Then during the second part of the hour, we’ll listen back to a conversation Lindsey had with Duncan Wall. With no prior circus, dance or tumbling experience, Wall spent a year studying circus in Paris, France on a Fullbright scholarship and wrote a book about the experience and circus history called “The Ordinary Acrobat: A Journey Into the Wondrous World of the Circus Past and Present.”

Categories: Art and Culture, Sports

WILL - Focus - July 06, 2013

Next Week on Focus

The history of food, where email “spam” comes from, getting ready for Illinois health care exchanges....and more! 

Gamma Phi Circus Performers

Coming up next week on Focus, we'll learn more about circus history in East Central Illinois, will talk about Illinois' new health care exchanges and will delve into why you get so many "spam" emails every day at the office.  We’ll also find out why we eat with a fork and where the fork comes from.


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WILL - Focus - July 05, 2013

Ryan Chalmers Finishes His Push Across America

University of Illinois graduate and paralymian Ryan Chalmers recently wrapped up his Push Across America tour, where he pushed himself across the country in his racing wheelchair in just over two months. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Ryan now that he’s done with the push.


(Duration: 51:34)

Ryan Chalmers pushes into New York City on the last leg of his Push Across America.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign grad, PADI divemaster and US Paralympian Ryan Chalmers has pushed himself nearly 3,000 miles over the course of the last few months in his racing wheelchair, journeying the length of three to four full length marathons every day. In a Ryan and his team pushing into Champaign May 22.campaign he called “Push Across America,” Ryan traveled  from Los Angeles, California to Central Park in New York City to raise awareness and money for programs to benefit people with disabilities. To start this hour of Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Chalmers about the trek now that he has finished his journey. Then, we’ll listen back to Jim’s interview with Ryan when he came through Champaign-Urbana in the middle of his push in late May.

(Pictured right: Ryan and his team push into Champaign May 22. Photo credit: Parker Feierbach) 

Categories: Sports

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