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.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Professor Brian Winston & Free Speech; The End of Life Book Club

A Right to Offend by Professor Brian Winston
http://www.amazon.com/

11/27/12 - Tuesday's Topical Currents begins with Communications Professor Brian Winston of the University of Lincoln, UK.  His book, A Right to Offend, addresses the current state of freedom of expression in the western world.  He examines the most pertinent cases of conflict during the last two decades.  And more . . . literary contributor Ariel Gonzalez with Will Schwalbe, author of THE END OR YOUR LIFE BOOK CLUB.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

“At Your Service” Pet Care Call-In Show

Dr Ian Kupkee
http://www.sabalchaseanimalclinic.com

11/26/12 - Monday’s Topical Currents is an “At Your Service” edition with veterinarian Dr. Ian Kupkee of  Kendall’s  Sabal Chase Animal Clinic and canine behavior specialist Edel Miedes of K9 Advisors.  We’ll discuss pet care issues . . . and take listener calls.   Also a report on how the Miami-Dade Pet Trust straw ballot approval will play-out.  It calls for low-cost spay and neuter services and a no-kill animal shelter.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Education Pioneer Salman Kahn and The One World Schoolhouse

Sal Founder & Executive Director Khan Academy
http://www.khanacademy.org/

11/20/12 -  Tuesday's  Topical Currents is with education innovator Salman Kahn.  He says today’s schools and colleges are built upon a model developed by Prussians in the 1700-hundreds . . . and that modern technology should make classrooms more human and teachers more important.  He recommends a pay scale for teachers to match other professions.   Salman Kahn has written, THE ONE WORLD SCHOOLHOUSE:  Education Reimagined.

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Topical Currents
4:36 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Oxford University Professor Kevin Dutton and The Wisdom Of Psychopaths

Kevin Dutton
http://www.wisdomofpsychopaths.com

11/19/12 - Monday’s  Topical Currents looks at the lives of psychopaths and their infamously crafty behavior.  Psychopaths are usually fearless, confident, charismatic and ruthless . . . but most people aren’t aware that they aren’t necessarily violent.  In fact, some psychopathic behavior is exhibited by leaders of business and government.  We’ll speak with research psychologist Kevin Dutton about his book, THE WISDOM OF PSYCHOPATHS:  What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success.  

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Food and Dining
1:30 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Linda Gassenheimer with Celebrity Chef Joanne Weir

Celebrity Chef Joanne Weir
http://www.joanneweir.com

11/15/12 - Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, Special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman interview  celebrity chef Joanne Weir.  Her latest book is Cooking Confidence.  She’ll give us tips for cooking Thanksgiving dinner - with confidence and more cooking and kitchen tips. 

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

“Homegrown in Florida” Anthology

William McKeen
http://www.williammckeen.com

11/15/12 - Thursday's Topical Currents begins with discussion of the anthology HOMEGROWN IN FLORIDA.  It’s a collection of essays which address growing up in Florida – perhaps a child’s remembrance of “paradise.”  Writing by Zora Neale Hurston, Carl Hiaasen, Jeff Klinkenberg and even Tom Petty is included.  Also, Palm Beach Post reporter and author Carlos Frias, whose essay is included in the book.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

South Florida “Brownfields” Redevelopment

11/13/12 - Tuesday's Topical Currents looks at South Florida “brownfield” remediation.  Brownfields are hazardous, contaminated sites, usually in older and disadvantaged areas.  They may qualify for federal and state grants for clean-up.  These stipends spur economic development in several ways--including job creation from the restoration project.  They also infuse funds into the community.  The acclaimed Mid-Town Miami development was once tainted with arsenic and petroleum residues.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Former Death-Row Inmate Damien Echols

Damien Echols
Peter Ash Lee via The New York Times

11/12/12 - Monday’s Topical Currents is with Damien Echols, who spent 18-years on death row.  He was convicted in 1993 of murdering three young boys in West Memphis,  Arkansas.  He was even married on 

death-row, with DNA results eventually setting him free.  His memoir relates his youth, a highly publicizes trial, and the travails of nearly two-decades of solitary confinement.  Damien Echols has written LIFE AFTER DEATH.

Video trailer for the new film "West of Memphis" 

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Food and Dining
1:30 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Linda Gassenheimer and Florida Cuisine

Chef Kris Wessel
Emily Michot Miami Herald Staff

11/08/12 at 1:30 - Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, Special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman talk about "Florida Cuisine,” with Kris Wessel, whose new restaurant is Florida Cookery at the James Royal Palm Hotel on South Beach.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Attitude Reconstruction: Building A Better Life

Jude Bijou
http://www.attitudereconstruction.com

11/08/12 - Thursday's Topical Currents begins with marriage and family therapist Jude Bijou, author of ATTITUDE RECONSTRUCTION:  A Blueprint for Building a Better Life.  We’ll discuss how to deal with disappointment and anger in the workplace, and how to let off steam in a safe setting.  Also, Linda Gassenheimer and “Florida Cuisine,” with Kris Wessel, whose new restaurant is Florida Cookery at the James Royal Palm Hotel on South Beach.

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Topical Currents

Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman share the microphone with a wide range of guests including community leaders, artists, scientists, historians, political thinkers and more who bring issues of interest to South Floridians.  Richard Ives is the senior producer, and Bonnie Berman joined Topical Currents as co-host and associate producer in September 2012.  Paul Leary is the technical director and online producer.

Our listener call-in line is 1-800-743-9576 -- 1-800-743-W-L-R-N (9576).

For area codes outside of South Florida, dial directly 1-305-995-1800

Email radio@wlrn.org

Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Plutocrats: The Rise Of The New Global Super-rich And The Fall Of Everyone Else

Plutocrats: The Rise Of The New Global Super-rich And The Fall Of Everyone Else
http://www.npr.org/2012/10/15/162799512/a-startling-gap-between-us-and-them-in-plutocrats

11/07/12 - Wednesday's  Topical Currents is with financial journalist Chrystia Freeland of Reuters.  She’s written the book, PLUTOCRATS:  The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else.  There’s always been a gap between rich and poor in this country, but never has there been the class of global super-rich.  There’s even a wide gap between the elite rich inside the quote, “one-percent.”

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Electoral Dysfunction: A Survivor’s Guide For American Voters

Electoral Dysfunction book
http://electoraldysfunction.org

11/06/12 - Tuesday's  Topical Currents is an election day discussion of the myriad of voting rules among states and counties, as well as the constitutional history of U.S. voting and the Electoral College.  We’ll visit with the author of ELECTORAL DYSFUNCTION:  A Survivor’s Guide For American Voters.   More than five-million voters will be affected by new voter registration restrictions.  That’s larger than the margin of victory in two of the last three presidential elections.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Pulitzer Prize-winner Hedrick Smith: Who Stole The American Dream?

Hedrick Smith
http://hedricksmith.com/

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Food and Dining
1:30 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Linda Gassenheimer with Latin American Food

Maricel Presilla
Latina Magazine via http://www.maricelpresilla.com

11/01/12 at 1:30 - Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, Special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman interview Maricel Presilla author of Gran Cocina Latina – The food of Latin America. It’

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