Nearing retirement age, cardiologist John Dormois decided to enroll in Divinity School at Duke University. He says he wanted to explore the spiritual side of medicine. He's now completed his studies at Duke, and preparing to become certified in end-of-life care.
This summer, Chris McNaught had an idea. Inspired by a woman who had winnowed her possessions to a paltry 300 items, Chris decided to make an inventory of his own stuff. He counted all the items in his house and garage, and noted them on a spreadsheet. The result: Chris owned 2,000 items. So he decided to clean house. Chris says that his home these days is simple, uncluttered, and filled with only the most meaningful items from his life. Having given away more than half of his possessions, Chris is well on his way to owning no more than 500 things. Also in this episode: a composer heads to Antarctica for inspiration.
Jillian Weise was born with birth defects that deformed her right leg, foot and spine. As a child she underwent multiple corrective operations. Then when she was 11, Jillian convinced her parents, her doctors and a psychologist that instead of having further operations, she wanted her leg amputated above the knee. Now walking on a high-tech prosthesis, Jillian has written a book of poems to counteract the perception that 'cripples' lead boring, asexual lives. Also on the show: another award for old-time fiddler Joe Thompson.
A former leader of the gang Asian Boyz was in a Los Angeles courtroom last week, while lawyers argued about the need for a death sentence in his case. Gangs remain a serious issue, and Aqeela Sherrills understands that well. After spending time with a gang as a teenager, he’s now a peacemaker - trying to argue for a lasting truce among rivals. Aqueela’s commitment to peace was tested when his own son was murdered.
Liz Benjamin has imagined it all as a TV crime writer, but she never thought she'd be pulling plants out of a Dumpster in Santa Monica to rescue them. Liz tells Dick about her nightly patrol of an alley where she has found gorgeous rose bushes and snapdragons.
Kane Smego is a spoken word artist in Durham, N.C. He wrote a poem about the end of his grandfather's life, expressing his own questions and regrets. We'll be hearing more from Kane and his group Sacrificial Poets on this program.
Lorrain Taylor lives in Oakland, California. She lost her twin sons, Albade and Obadiah, to gun violence there. The murders were never solved. Now Lorrain speaks - and sings - to inmates at penitentiaries in an effort to prevent further gun violence. Also in this episode, Linda Powell wrote to us about a moment which she says changed her life.
Jennifer Thompson was a college student when she was brutally raped. During the attack, she tried to memorize what the man looked like so she could identify him later. She pointed to Ronald Cotton, and he spent 11 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
In late April, more than 1,100 garment workers were killed when the eight-story Rana Plaza building collapsed. Labor activist Kalpona Akter has come from Bangladesh to attend the June 7 Walmart shareholders meeting in Arkansas, where she'll try to convince shareholders that Walmart must protect the safety of factory workers.