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
Thu October 10, 2013

Why Read Moby Dick?

First half with author Nathaniel Philbrick; second half of the program Linda Gassenheimer with Ingrid Hoffmann.

10/10/13 - Thursday's Topical Currents begins with a discussion of what may be the greatest American novel:  Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.  The novel’s length and esoteric topic keeps modern readers at bay.  We’ll speak with Nathaniel Philbrick, author of WHY READ MOBY DICK?  And more.  Linda Gassenheimer celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with a visit from Univision celebrity chef Ingrid Hoffman.  Fred Tasker’s wine comments, as well.  That’s Topical Currents Wednesday at 1pm.

Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

South Florida's Urban Menagerie

www.facebook.com/LyandaLynnHaupt

10/09/13 - Wednesday's Topical Currents examines how our lives are increasingly entwined with creatures which are displaced by suburbia, highways and urban sprawl. South Florida is a prime example of urban menagerie creation, through habitat loss.  We see foxes, raccoons, wading birds, reptiles and even vultures on our streets and properties.  We’ll speak with nature writer and researcher Lyanda Lynn Haupt about her book, THE URBAN BESTIARY:  Encountering the Everyday Wild.  That’s Topical Currents . . . Wednesday at 1pm. 

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

The Invisible Industry that Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate

www.rosegeorge.com

10/08/13 - Tuesday Topical Currents examines the complex world of large-scale ocean container ships.  Super-sized ships can lade 15,000 truck-able containers on board.  They may be longer than three-football fields . . . and as tall as Niagara Falls.  We’ll speak with Rose George, author of NINETY PERCENT OF EVERYTHING:  Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry that Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate.

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Ariel Gonzalez
1:30 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Unusual Upbringing And The Long, Winding Path To Happiness

Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites by Kate Christensen
www.randomhouse.com

10/07/13 - Ariel Gonzalez speaks with author Kate Christensen about Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetitesa mouthwatering literary memoir about an unusual upbringing and the long, winding path to happiness.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

The Forgotten Heyday of American Activism

From Artsist Banksy
www.banksy.co.uk

10/07/13 - Monday’s Topical Currents is with political culture professor Michael Stewart Foley.  He’s written FRONT PORCH POLITICS: The Forgotten Heyday of American Activism in the 1970s and 1980s.  Most people remember the 1960s as the decade of activism, but Foley contends the 1970s and 1980s were equally important.

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Food and Dining
1:30 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Dining at the White House

This week's Food & Dining podcast.

10/03/13 - Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, Special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman interview Chef John Moeller, retired White House chef and  author of Dining at the White House.  It’s a behind the scenes look at preparing dinners at the White House and an insight into the personalities of the first families he served.  He was chef to Presidents H.W. Bush, Clinton and George Bush. We look at memorable White House moments – including visits from heads of state, sudden cancelation of a Congressional Picnic on 9/11 and family dinners.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

The Mental and Health Benefits of Tai-Chi

www.arthurrosenfeld.com

Listen or download the entire program.

10/03/13 - Thursday's Topical Currents begins with Tai-Chi master Arthur Rosenfeld, who shares its mental and health benefits.   Though a martial art, Tai-Chi is a low-impact, meditative exercise which lowers blood pressure and heightens the immune-system.  His book is Tai Chi — The Perfect Exercise.  And more . . . Linda Gassenheimer with former White House Chef John Moeller, who served the dining and entertaining needs of three Presidents.  He’ll relate some remarkable moments.

Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Floridians & The Affordable Care Act

The new Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, requires most people to get health insurance or pay a fine.

10/01/13 - Tuesday's Topical Currents examines how the Affordable Care Act will affect Floridians.  It’s an “At Your Service” edition.  State government has resisted the federal health overhaul initiative.  Florida is one of a dozen states which have not expanded Medicaid.  Governor Rick Scott has barred health care “navigators” to assist Floridians with “Obamacare,” but some counties are resisting that order.  We’ll take your calls on the issue.  That’s Topical Currents Tuesday at one 1pm.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Florida Wage Theft Issues

Donna Ballman
http://twitter.com/EmployeeAtty

09/30/13 - Monday’s Topical Currents examines the issue of wage-theft, particularly among low income and day workers.  But unpaid wages are a widespread problem within other Florida industries, including tourism, retail trade and construction.  Many cases go unreported by workers who can least afford to be shorted.  We’ll have panel of regional experts . . . and take your calls.  That’s Topical Currents . . . Monday at 1pm on WLRN. 

  • Guests/links:
  • Wage Theft Claims, Miami-Dade Consumer Service: 305-375-3677  
  • http://www.miamidade.gov/business/wage-theft.asp
  • Cynthia S Hernandez, Senior Research Associate, Instructor & Director of Internship Programs Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy Center for Labor Research & Studies Florida International University www.risep-fiu.org
  • Jeanette Smith Executive Director South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice Member of the Wage Theft Task Force  www.sfiwj.org
  • Donna M. Ballman, P.A. Employment Attorney  www.ballmanfirm.com

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

15 Years of Food & Dining & Wine, Oh My!

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

Fundraising edition of the program.

09/26/13 - Thursday’s Topical Currents is with chef, author and syndicated columnist Linda Gassenheimer and wine columnist Fred Tasker.  Linda’s “Food & Dining” segments have been broadcast weekly now for some 15 years, and she discusses some of her favorite programs . . . and what new challenges are presented.  Many internationally renowned chefs, authors, Food Network stars and others have appeared.  That’s Topical Currents . . .Thursday at 1pm on WLRN.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Critical Historical Preservation Projects

Bonnie Berman, Joseph Cooper and Dr. Paul George
Cesar Barroso of miamihoje.com

09/24/13 - Today's Topical Currents is with noted historian Dr. Paul George of Miami-Dade College and HISTORY/MIAMI.  He’s conducted countless South Florida “History Tours,” and is co-host of our popular Topical Currents History Quiz program.  On this program, however, he’ll break down the most critical historical preservation projects for the area.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Why Having Too Little Means So Much

Eldar Shafir
psych.princeton.edu

09/23/13 - Monday’s Topical Currents is with Princeton University Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, Eldar Shafir.  He specializes in cognitive science and behavioral economics.   Shafir is the co-author of SCARCITY:  Why Having Too Little Means So Much.  They say scarcity predicts that daily errors are common and unavoidable . . . no matter how motivated the person.

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Food And Dining
1:00 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

The Country's Largest Display Of Food & Gadgets

Honey Orange Almond Chicken
Credit http://www.dinnerinminutes.com/

09/19/13 - Thursday's Topical Currents is with chef, author and syndicated columnist Linda Gassenheimer.  It’s her annual “Fancy Food” show report.   The Fancy Food gathering is the largest display of food related products in the country.  It sets trends for the industry.  Linda will show us – and have us taste – her favorites.

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Ariel Gonzalez
1:30 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Every Boy Should Have a Man

Author Preston L. Allen
© PEN American Center/Susan Horgan.

09/18/13 - Ariel Gonzalez with local author Preston Allen about his novel,EVERY BOY SHOULD HAVE A MAN

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