Joseph Cooper

Host Topical Currents

WLRN Radio's Joseph Cooper says producing and hosting Topical Currents is the most rewarding experience of his long radio career, which began at the University of Missouri School of Journalism in the 1970s.

"It's now an obsession, but I never thought talk radio would be in my future. The wide, wide range of topics, research and reading keeps me hustling all week," he says. "It's similar to a daily newspaper column because, essentially, we write an essay to frame each show before conducting the interviews and taking calls and then it all starts over again for the next day's program."

Topical Currents is put together by a small production team, which includes producer Richard Ives and technical director Bonnie Berman. Syndicated food and dining columnist Linda Gassenheimer frequents the program, as well as a handful of expert regular contributors and regional reporters.

Topical Currents is a sub-tropical blend of regional issues and politics, local profiles, author interviews, "At Your Service" programs, South Florida history and any topic listeners might banter about around the proverbial "water cooler." It was first broadcast in January 1999.

Cooper is often asked to name his "favorite" interview subject.

"Hmmmm," he says with the hint of a smile. "Not necessarily the celebrities or famous authors but the one I've just done. Well usually.

Ways to Connect

(1-16-2017) Today’s Topical Currents talks Florida history, in the realm of pioneering women and minority figures, from the 1960s into the 21st Century.

We visit with longtime journalist and Political Science professor, Susan McManus, of the University of South Florida.

She’s written the book FLORIDA’S MINORITY TRAILBLAZERS.  

(1-12-2017) Miami Chef Patrick McCurry, Senior Instructor at the Miami Culinary Institute.  Topic: Sous Vide (under vacuum): This method of cooking in a sealed plastic pouch has been used in top restaurants for many years.  It’s now easily available for home use in many forms. We discuss what it is, why is it useful, how to use it and if it's safe. 

Dinner in Minutes-

Ham and Lentil Soup: perfect for a winter night.

www.dinnerinminutes.com

(1-12-2017)   Today’s Topical Currents begins with South Florida Sun-Sentinel consumer columnist, Doreen Christensen.  With the holidays over, she has tips on how to save money in many areas:  particularly around the home.

www.sunsentinel.com/fpl

www.sunsentinel.com/shop

www.miamicruisemonth.com

(1-11-2017) Today’s Topical Currents is with investigative reporter Adam Tanner.  He follows how personal and medical data are used.

His latest book is, OUR BODIES, OUR DATA:  HOW COMPANIES MAKE BILLIONS SELLING OUR MEDICAL RECORDS.

Much of this is about marketing and selling new medications, by determining which doctors are most likely prescribe certain drugs.

Large pharmaceutical chains are most likely to release the information.

Learn more on Topical Currents   

(1-10-2017) Just look about: this must be a prosperous place.  Construction cranes scattered about mid-town and Miami Beach, luxury cars at valet stations, and South Florida a big destination for foreign investment.

But the region remains poverty-ridden, and women have lost ground in take-home-pay since the year 2000.

We learn more about the report from Miami-Dade Commissioner Danielle Levine Cava, and take your calls.

(1-9-2017, Original air date 8-22-2016)  Today’s Topical Currents looks at a rising inequality gap, and how it can modify a kid’s family life, neighborhoods and schools.

The rich have always had advantages . . . but in today’s landscape, it’s increasing.

We visit with Harvard Public Policy professor Robert Putnam, whose latest work is OUR KIDS:  The American Dream in Crisis.  Putnam also wrote the highly praised Bowling Alone book.  

(1-5-2017) Face it:  there’s NO CURE for the common cold.  It’s an infectious illness caused by a virus.

Neither Vitamin C or warm clothes prevent colds.  Hand washing does.

We have more helpful tips for symptoms.  

(1-5-2017) With Chef/Author Bill Jones.  Topic: Truffles and Mushrooms – how to buy and use them.  Truffle flavored items are on many restaurant menus; truffle oil and other products are now big sellers. But, what are we really eating and buying?  We learn the good, bad and truth about truffles and other mushrooms.  His book is The Deerholme Mushroom Book: From Foraging to Feasting.  He is a chef and farmer in the Cowichan Valley, British Columbia.   

(1-4-2017)  Today’s Topical Currents is with a self-proclaimed “difficult person,” Sarah Ellison.

She says most “hard to get along-with” people have no idea they’re such. 

Clueless.

Once she saw the light, she changed . . . and began to help other “difficult” types take on different exteriors.

www.sarahelliston.com

(1-3-2017) Today’s Topical Currents considers . . . the Life Coach.  Have you ever considered using one? 

Is there energy, wisdom and skills waiting to have you thrive . . . if only they could be set in motion?

We discuss areas where coaching is effective, what qualifies someone to be a coach, and what sort of results are common.  There is no state regulation or licensing requirements for coaches.  

(12-29-2016)   Today’s Topical Currents begins with a look at upcoming “Special Olympics Florida” happenings at regional Publix Markets. 

Each store will hold a “Torch Icon” event from New Year’s Eve through January 21st. 

We learn more about the “Healthy Community” efforts of the Special Olympics.

Special Olympics FL 954-901-9232 

www.specialolympicsflorida.com

Lucanus Developmental Center 954-981-4019

(12-29-2016) Food & Dining - In studio interview with Miami Herald Food Editor, Carlos Frias. Topic: Restaurant Retrospective; major trends in 2016 (openings, closings, celebrity chefs) and what to expect in 2017. 

Dinner in Minutes: Sirloin Steak in Cognac Sauce with Saffron and Pepper Orzo

A perfect, quick dinner for this holiday week.

Fred Tasker gives his News Year’s wine suggestions and restaurant wine trends.

www.dinnerinminutes.com

(12-28-2016, Originally aired 5-9-2016)  On today’s Topical Currents, we recount the terrible events which caused the collapse of Florida’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

Writer and editor Bill DeYoung, has researched events for the book, SKYWAY:  The True Story of Tampa Bay’s Signature Bridge, and the Man Who Brought It Down.

Thirty-five people lost their lives on May 9th, 1980, when a 20-thousand-ton vessel rammed a support pier.

(It shouldn’t have happened.)

(12-27-2016, Original air date 1-19-2016)  On today’s Topical Currents,  we speak with writer Jeff Wilser, author of the unconventional book, The Good News About What’s Bad For You . . . and the Bad News About What’s Good For You.

S-t-r-e-s-s-i-n-g moderation, one can eat more steak, drink whiskey, eschew kale and juice cleanses . . . while taking more naps.

And ouch:  a study shows gluten-free may cause weight gain.

(12-26-2016 ** Rebroadcast from 3-29-2016) Today’s program looks at the fight against cancer, and MoonShot 2020, in a Topical Currents rebroadcast.

Just as J-F-K pledged a lunar landing in the 1960s, “2020” brings together the pharmaceutical industry, biotechs, oncologists, academics and others with a focused mission:  to radically change how cancer is treated. 

We speak about “MoonShot 2020”, with University of Miami Medical Professor and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Director, Dr. Stephen Nimer.   

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