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‘Spirituality and Religion: What’s the Difference?’ It’s A Question Of Balance 8-9 PM Saturday 27th February

This Saturday 27th February 8-9 PM on It’s A Question Of Balance we are featuring Out And About - thought-provoking conversations on the street. We consider ‘Spirituality and Religion: What’s the Difference?’

Point of View for the BBC says one in three Americans define themselves as spiritual but not religious. American sociologists Robert Putnam and David Campbell talk about "Nones" - people who belong to no religion but still believe in God. The Pew Research Religious Landscape Survey analysis in 2015 states “the number of religiously unaffiliated adults has increased by roughly 19 million since 2007. There are now approximately 56 million religiously unaffiliated adults in the U.S”. Yet “The share of U.S. adults who say they believe in God…[is] still remarkably high by comparison with other advanced industrial countries…at 89% and roughly six-in-ten adults now say they feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being at least once a week, up 7 percentage points since 2007…and 46% of adults say they feel a deep sense of wonder about the universe on a weekly basis, also up sharply since 2007.” What is the difference between spirituality and religion? How do you define spirituality? Why is religious affiliation declining? The Pew survey found that about half of U.S. adults express reservations about the conduct of religious institutions, saying they are too concerned with money, power, and rules, and too involved with politics. Perhaps this could this be an explanation of the decline in religious affiliation even though most Americans agree that religious organisations perform positive functions in society. There are so many different religions and versions of each religion, might promoting spirituality over religion be helpful to break down barriers and connect people?

What do you think? Ruth Copland gets the views of people on the street for our Out and About feature. Join us on Saturday 8-9 PM! For more info on the show and to hear past shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

Kristopher Jansma Special Guest on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland Saturday 20th February 8-9 PM

This week as her special guest from the arts Ruth Copland is pleased to be interviewing Kristopher Jansma - award-winning, best-selling author. If you enjoy the interview, you can meet him in person at Bookshop Santa Cruz on February 24th at 7PM. Kristopher’s first novel The Unchangeable spots of Leopards published by Viking/Penguin in 2013 was critically acclaimed and a success with readers. Described as “F. Scott Fitzgerald meets Wes Anderson" by The Village Voice and a “canny, seductive, and utterly transfixing tale about the magic of storytelling and the misery of writing” by Donna Seaman of Booklist, Kristopher’s inventive and witty debut describes a young man’s quest to become a writer and the misadventures in life and love that take him around the world. The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards was an Honorable Mention for the PEN/Hemingway Prize, a finalist for the Prix de l’Inapperçu, and longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Award for Excellence in Fiction and the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. It was a Barnes & Noble Discover Pick, an ABA “Indie Next” Choice, an ALA Notable Book, and an Alternate Selection for the Book of the Month Club. The novel has also been translated into German, French, Italian, Dutch, Czech and Turkish. Growing up in Lincroft, New Jersey, Kristopher received his B.A. in The Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University and an M.F.A. in Fiction from Columbia University. He has written a column for Electric Literature about Literary Artifacts, and loving books in a digital age and his work has also been published in The New York Times, Columbia Magazine,The Believer, Slice Magazine, the Blue Mesa Review, and on The Millions.
Kristopher is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at SUNY New Paltz College and is the winner of the 2014 Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award. Kristopher’s second novel Why We Came To The City has just come out and is described by Publisher’s weekly as “a tightly written, smartly conceived story that puts an insightful spin on life in the Big Apple”.

Tune in Saturday 8-9 PM to find out more about the life and art of Kristopher Jansma. For more info and to hear previous shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

This Saturday 16th January 8-9 PM on It’s A Question Of Balance we are featuring Out And About - thought-provoking conversations on the street. We consider ‘Should Machines Do Everything For Us?’

Why do we seem to want everything done for us? And what will happen when it is? From the advent of labour-saving devices which simplified cooking, cleaning, and washing, we have moved towards increasing automation of tasks through technology. It is customary for businesses’ phones to be answered by automated voice systems, manufacturing has been streamlined replacing workers with machines, and computers complete all sorts of tasks that used to be done with brain power. There is talk of creating sex robots for those unfortunates who can’t find relationships, and war robots to eliminate casualties for the countries who can afford to martial robot armies. On a lighter note, with the internet of things, soon we will have the choice to have fridges that tell us when we are running out of milk or heating systems that manage our environment for us without us having to consider if we are cold hot or cold. For years it’s been possible to have electric curtains and remote controlled sound and lighting; even the humble remote control has changed life by eliminating the need for us to get up out of our chair to make entertainment choices. The future holds out the prospect of driver-less cars and many other ways in which we can basically sit back and have everything done for us. Why is this desirable? One of the prime reasons given for using machines is to do jobs that humans don’t want to do and thus free up leisure time. Is free time the ultimate ‘win’ in our society? Or if we gain leisure at the expense of using the full capacity of our bodies and minds are we degrading human experience? It is easier perhaps to understand the impetus to eliminate boring or unpleasant tasks so that more people can have meaningful and fulfilling work but what about using machines for things that people want to do? For example, a software is being developed for game designers that will create music for them to accompany the game. Why are we replacing humans in jobs that would be fulfilling for them, such as composing music? Do we need to learn that just because we can do something doesn’t necessarily mean that we should? Where is the end-point? How much of your life do you want controlled for you? If we abdicate too many mental and physical tasks to machines could we end up in a Wall-E world of atrophied bodies and brains, or is it the logical way to create a wonderful utopia?

What do you think? Ruth Copland gets the views of people on the street for our Out and About feature. Join us on Saturday 8-9 PM! For more info on the show and to hear past shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

Four Artists From the Inspiring Show Fire In The Heart Special Guest on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland Saturday 6th February 8-9 PM

This week as her special guests from the arts Ruth Copland is pleased to be interviewing Deborah Allen, Brittney Buffo, Tom North, and Gina Rene from the inspiring show Fire In The Heart. Created and produced by director, producer, actress, writer, and screenwriter Deborah Allen, Fire In The Heart is a celebration of how the performing arts can be used to address trauma and recovery, including substance abuse, violence and major health issues. Cabrillo College is presenting Fire In The Heart, as Cabrillo Theatre Arts’ Evening of World Theatre, 2016, on the evening of March 5th. Fire In The Heart features multiple artists showing how the arts can help us process, heal, and transcend traumatic events, whether they be in our own lives or the lives of others, while entertaining and enriching us at the same time. The performance of Fire In The Heart at Cabrillo College, California, features 20 performers from many music genres including hip-hop, gospel, classical, and opera, as well as film-makers, actors and poets. Ruth Copland talks to four of these performers - creator and producer of Fire In The Heart, Deborah Allen; film-maker Brittney Buffo; best-selling author Tom North; and hip-hop artist, singer-songwriter, and story-teller Gina Rene.

Tune in Saturday 8-9 PM to find out more about these four wonderful artists and the show Fire In The Heart. For more info and to hear previous shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

‘What happens if we characterise ourselves by our political party?’ It’s A Question Of Balance 8-9 PM Saturday 30th January

This Saturday 30th January 8-9 PM on It’s A Question Of Balance we are featuring Out And About - thought-provoking conversations on the street. We consider ‘What happens if we characterise ourselves by our political party?’

If you are talking politics, are you likely to say ‘ I am a Democrat/ Republican/ Libertarian etc?’ In America it is common for people to characterises themselves politically this way. By contrast, in the UK, for example, people will say ‘I support the Conservative party’ or ‘I vote for Labour’ or ‘the Liberals represent my views’. This may seem a small linguistic difference of expression but one mode of expression embodies our views, we are what we believe - ‘I am a Republican/Democrat’; the other maintains a distance between who we are and what we believe - ‘I support the Republicans/Democrats’. Could embodying our political beliefs be part of the reason the USA seems so divided? Does it make us feel more different from each other than we actually are? If we are what we believe then any dissent from our position feels very personal, which may affect how we receive and react to information. We may hold a range of views but if we need to self-identify in one political camp or another we may focus on and defend only the views that allow us to stay in that camp. What about Independents and ‘undecideds’? Are they as wishy-washy as they are sometimes portrayed or are they actually more accurately representing the complexity of political views on different topics by not identifying with one party?

What do you think? Ruth Copland gets the views of people on the street for our Out and About feature. Join us on Saturday 8-9 PM! For more info on the show and to hear past shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

In Out And About we consider topics with local relevance and global significance. The idea is to get us thinking about the questions that affect us all - to stimulate new thinking, or clarify what we already feel. To hear how other people’s opinions may differ from or be similar to our own.

COMING SOON: Ruth Copland in conversation with four artists from the exciting show Fire In The Heart which celebrates how the arts can help us process, heal, and transcend traumatic events. Listen live on 6th February 8-9 PM on KSCO AM 1080, FM 104.1, KOMY AM 1340 and KSCO.com live stream.

Kathleen Powell Special Guest on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland Saturday 23rd January 8-9 PM

This week as her special guest from the arts Ruth Copland is pleased to be interviewing Cinequest President and Co-Founder Kathleen Powell. Named by Metro Newspapers as one of the 25 people who has dramatically changed the Silicon Valley over the past 25 years Kathleen continues to serve artists, innovators and youth with passion and love. Cinequest Inc incorporates Cinequest Picture The Possibilities - which empowers youth through the creation of transformative films, connecting with leaders and global audiences to improve worlds; Cinequest Mavericks Studio - which creates innovative and transformative motion pictures and distribution paradigms; and the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose California which has been named one of the top 10 film festivals in the world and best festival in America 2016 in USA Today. Kathleen founded Cinequest in 1990 with Halfdan Hussey and together they have grown the festival from a one theatre event to a multi-screen, 13-day event attracting over 100,000 attendees. Many films shown at the festival have gone on to receive distribution by a major movie studio and several short films have won Academy Awards.
The prestigious Maverick Spirit Award is given by the festival to influential individuals who embody the independent and innovative mindset and recipients include Harrison Ford, Minnie Driver, Ben Kingsley, Salman Rushdie, Danny Glover, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Arnold Schwarzenegger to name but a few. The Maverick Innovator Awards, and the Media Legacy Awards highlight notable individuals in film and technology and Cinequest itself has been a leader in showcasing and applying the technologies that have revolutionised the film business.
Kathleen has an eclectic background in engineering and art, with a passion to bring the transformative vision of youth and artists to the world. She found her true calling whilst gaining her Masters in Computer Science when she joined a summer feature film project to produce the film He’s Still There, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Inspired by this experience, she shortly afterwards co-founded Cinequest with Halfdan Hussey. Kathleen recently co-directed and co-produced the feature film Life is Love about inspirational women, and also mentors burgeoning business women around the world through the Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative Fellowship.

Tune in Saturday 8-9 PM to find out more about the life and art of Kathleen Powell. For more info and to hear previous shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com