Insight: Laura Ling / Evolving Eyes / Billy Mills / Blind Pianist / Sherman Baker & Autumn Sky
Eastern Connecticut State University
Best of 2012: Laura Ling's candid description of her captivity in North Korea; Exploration of the eye; Wise words from Olympian Billy Mills; The world of young, blind pianist Chris Nakamura; Local musicians Sherman Baker and Autumn Sky in duet.
With 2012 winding down, we're revisiting some of our
favorite conversations from this year on Insight.
Laura Ling Laura Ling was a favorite guest
from this year on Insight, and for good reason. Her story of
captivity in North Korea with fellow journalist Euna Lee is
compelling, and Somewhere Inside: One Sister's Captivity in
North Korea and the Other's Fight to Bring Her Home,
the highly-rated book she and her sister Lisa Ling wrote about the
experience, is a worthy bestseller. What made this interview
such an unforgettable one is Laura's thoughtful and strikingly
honest description of what happened.
Update: Laura and Lisa were recently honored by Gloria Steinem
and Jane Fonda's organization The
Women's Media Center in New York. Laura is currently
working on a new episode of her show "E! Investigates with Laura Ling" about female
survivors-everyone from a mother who battled pancreatic cancer and
just completed the world championship Ironman competition, to Sarah Shourd, the woman who was arrested and
imprisoned in Iran while hiking in the border region. It's
also worth noting that Laura's sister Lisa is expecting her
first baby in the New Year, giving Laura an additional credential
of Auntie Lisa."
Evolution of the Eye Dr. Ivan Schwab, UC Davis professor of ophthalmology, and the
director of Cornea and External Disease Service wrote a book about
the evolution of the eye, plus the relationship between living
things and their eyes. It's a big coffee table book full of
pictures and science that covers billions of years called Evolution's Witness: How Eyes
Evolved. It's an incredibly expansive subject and
makes for a truly memorable conversation.
Update: Update Since that conversation in June, Dr. Schwab has
done a TED talk and appeared on the Discovery Channel's
Weird Science. He is also involved in a number of
international projects. The doctor's Christmas wish?
That Santa will convince Ira flato to interview him someday on
Science Friday. We hope so, too.
Billy Mills During this summer's London
Olympics, we spoke with more than 20 athletes about their
experience. The Olymic motto is "Citius, Altius,
Fortius", or "stronger, higher, faster". One more word
to add to that list might be "Profundior", Latin for
"deeper." In this context, we mean this as the deeper,
spiritual place some competitors tap into in order to draw
strength. An increcibly eloquent speaker about the
profundior aspect of the Olympic journey is Sacramento Olympian, Billy Mills, the second Native
American to win a gold medal, following Jim Thorpe. Billy
won the 10,000 meter run in 1964 in Tokyo, a race the Running
Time terms "the greatest race of the
20th century". Watch a video of the historic race
Update: Since this summer, Billy's wife Patricia was commissioned to do a
painting of Billy which now hangs in the private collection of the
World Olympic Museum in Switzerland. He describes it as
"thrilling and sacred" to watch her art career thrive.
Blind Pianist Woodland resident Chris
Nakamura was a preemie, born at 25 weeks and weighing just under
two pounds. And yet, he's been reaching for the piano
keyboard ever since he was a toddler, and has never stopped
reaching since. Chris is now 18 years old, has perfect pitch, plays
entirely by ear, and is a performer and composer. Now might
be a good time to remember that Chris is blind. Beth and
Chris shared a conversation in the Capital Public Radio lobby next
to a 1936 Richmond piano to talk and listen to some music.
Update: Chris is now living in the Bay Area at the
California School for the Blind, working on a wide range of
skills for independence. Musically, Chris is receiving
instruction on the basics of jazz and improve. He's been
quite busy adjusting to dorm life but, in true Chris Nakamura
fashion, is working hard to complete two original
Sherman Baker & Autumn Sky Back in
June, Sacramento's "indie darling" Autumn Sky paired up with
another Sacramento musician, "heart-on-his-sleeve" Sherman Baker
for a dual release show. When we contacted them for an
interview, they put together a little duet to play for a very
appreciative Capital Public Radio audience.