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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Radio
1:00 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Five Tools to Create New and Sustainable Habits in Yourself and Others

Smart Change: Five Tools to Create New and Sustainable Habits in Yourself and Others
https://twitter.com/abmarkman

01/02/14 - Did you make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking or find a more meaningful career?  Join us for Thursday’s Topical Currents.  We’ll visit University of Texas professor Dr. Art Markman. He’s written Smart Change:  Five Tools to Create  New and Sustainable Habits in Yourself and Others.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Author Salman Rushdie (Rebroadcast)

Salman Rushdie
twitter.com/SalmanRushdie

12/31/13 - Tomorrow’s Topical Currents is an interview with novelist Salman Rushdie, by literary contributor Ariel Gonzalez.  Rushdie, of course, authored Satanic Verses in 1988.  It enraged Muslim clerics, and Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini called for his death.

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Topical Currents
1:30 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Novelist Allan Gurganus

Local Souls
http://www.allangurganus.com/

12/30/13 - Literary contributor Ariel Gonzalez visits with novelist Allan Gurganus.  He’s known for documenting southern US sentiments and the bittersweet lives of the citizens of a present-day fictional town in North Carolina.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Censored 2014: Fearless Speech in Fateful Times

“Censored 2014: Fearless Speech in Fateful Times”
http://www.projectcensored.org/

12/30/13 - Join us for Monday’s Topical Currents, when we begin with Andy Lee Roth, coauthor of Censored 2014: Fearless Speech in Fateful Times.”  The book chronicles news censorship and under-reported stories from the past year.

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Food and Dining
1:00 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

"Restaurant Roundabout” December 2013 Edition

Linda Gassenheimer on Chat Chow TV
www.chatchow.tv

12/26/13 - Thursday’s Topical Currents is our popular “Restaurant Roundabout,” with chef, author and syndicated columnist Linda Gassenheimer. Also with us are restaurant critics Jen Karetnik and Jan Norris.  We’ll get the lowdown on the always-changing South Florida restaurant scene, as well as take listener calls about favorite dining spots.  Perhaps you have a new bistro to tell us about . . . or a favorite steakhouse.  Listen in Topical Currents today at 1pm.
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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

The Life And Times Of Jesus Of Nazareth

ZEALOT: The Life & Times of Jesus of Nazareth
http://rezaaslan.com/

12/24/13 - Tuesday's Topical Currents is with religious scholar Dr. Reza Aslan, who’s written ZEALOT:  The Life & Times of Jesus of Nazareth.  He says the Jesus known as Christ is not the same as the one from Nazareth.  The gospels weren’t written during his lifetime, but between 70 and 100 years after his death.  Aslan comes from a purely academic perspective.  Jesus was probably born in Nazareth, not Bethlehem.  He was a disciple of John the Baptist. That’s Topical Currents Tuesday at 1pm. 

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Historian John McMillian: Beatles vs. Stones?

www.ultimateclassicrock.com

12/23/13 - Which group was better and more influential . . . The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?  They are the most renowned bands in rock and roll history, so we’ll take up the question with historian and diehard fan John McMillian.  The Beatles were the sensations of sensations, and created an everlasting body of work over ten years.  John Lennon was murdered in 1980.  George Harrison succumbed to cancer 12 years ago.

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Food and Dining
1:30 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Marky's Fine Foods Holiday Feasts with CEO Chris Hlubb

Marky's Group President Christopher Hlubb with some caviar in the warehouse at the company headquarters
PATRICK FARRELL MIAMI HERALD

12/19/13 - 1:30 -Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, Special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman interview Christopher Hlubb, Pres and CEO of Marky’s group, purveyor of fine foods.  He gives us tips on creating holiday feasts and debunk some of the mysteries in gourmet foods – caviar – smoked salmon – chocolates how to choose from the many varieties

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

How Evolution Made Us Smarter Than We Think

Douglas Kenrick

12/18/13 - Why do people overspend, underinvest and make poor life decisions?  Nearly two-million vehicles are repossessed each year.  $57 Billion dollars are invested in state lotteries that have a negative return rate of 80%.  Is this communal stupidity, or are other factors involved that are evolutionary smarts?  On the next Topical Currents we speak with University of Arizona professor Douglas Kenrick, co-author of THE RATIONAL ANIMAL:  How Evolution Made Us Smarter Than We Think.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

The Psychopath Inside

Fallon's brain (on the right) has dark patches in the orbital cortex, the area just behind the eyes. This is the area that Fallon and other scientists say is involved with ethical behavior, moral decision-making and impulse control.
The normal scan on the left is his son's. Jim Fallon

12/17/13 - Today’s Topical Currents is with neuroscientist James Fallon.  After decades of studying human brains, he found that his own scan showed psychopathic patterns. Did he have the genes of a serial killer? He’s written THE PSYCHOPATH INSIDE:  A Neuroscientist’s Personal Journey Into the Dark Side of the Brain. That’s Topical Currents Tuesday at 1pm.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity

Andrew Solomon
Annie Leibovitz

12/16/13 - Monday’s Topical Currents is with writer and lecturer Andrew Solomon.  His latest book, FAR FROM THE TREE:  Parents, Children and the Search for Identity tells the stories of parents who deal with their exceptional children . . . and find profound meaning doing so.  Families cope with deafness, dwarfism, autism, schizophrenia, children conceived in rape, kids who become criminals and transgendered individuals. Solomon tells how diversity makes parents more imaginative and understanding.  Don’t miss Topical Currents Monday at 1pm.

Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

“Members Only” Call-In with Joseph Cooper & Bonnie Berman

Bonnie Berman and Joseph Cooper in the Topical Currents Studio
Paul Leary WLRN

12/12/13 - Today’s Topical Currents is our popular “Members Only” program with hosts Joseph Cooper, Bonnie Berman . . . and faithful listeners.   We’ll “turn the table,” and have WLRN members give on-air testimonials, and relate public radio experiences.  Also, a special guest Linda Gasssenheimer.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Celebrate Writers On Knitting And Knitters

Martha Frankel
twitter.com/marthafrankel

12/10/13 - Tuesday's Topical Currents looks at the magic of knitting, which dates back to the 11th Century. Award winning author Ann Hood has edited an anthology of 27 original essays by 27 extraordinary authors including Barbara Kingsolver, Ann Patchett, and Sue Grafton– all centered in one way or another...

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Breaking the Line: 1967’s Transformation Orange Blossom Classic Football Game

Samuel Freedman
twitter.com/SamuelGFreedman

12/09/13 - Monday’s Topical Currents looks at the impact of the 1967 Orange Blossom Classic football game in Miami between black football powers Florida A&M and Grambling Universities.  There were more implications than just a football title.

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Food and Dining
1:30 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Linda’s Favorite Kitchen Gift Gadgets 2013

Linda Gassenheimer
http://www.dinnerinminutes.com/

12/05/13 -1:30- Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, Special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman talk about Linda’s favorite kitchen gift gadgets. Drop Zone Cookie sheet makes perfectly shaped cookies and helps place the right amount of dough and prevents cookies from spreading across the pan. Hot milk frother: velvety milk for latte and cappuccino in minutes... and my favorite, the pomegranate tool, this gadget takes the mess out of seeding pomegranates and takes less than a minute to do the job, and much more. 

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