Culture

This interview originally aired in February, 2019.

The dividing line along human behavior and cultures is often blurry and little understood. Why are trains in Japan and Germany far less delayed than those in the United States and Brazil? Why are some company cultures, like Uber and United, prone to PR nightmares while others seem more calibrated? Why is the celebration of an Olympic athlete correlated to whether they’re from China, Australia, or the UK? 

  

Star Wars And American Culture

May 4, 2018

May the Fourth be with you! Film critic George Prentice discusses the ways Star Wars has crossed generations and become a cultural phenomenon, infiltrating every part of mainstream pop culture.

Following one of the most divisive and contentious elections in history, it is easy to say that we are a nation in cultural crisis. But what does that actually mean? In the Rust Belt, as well as in rural Appalachia, it means factories closing and good jobs shipped overseas in less than a generation. It means an uptick in drug abuse and violence in the home, an erosion of the education system and trust in our government, and the disintegration of children’s dreams for a better future than that of their parents.

As anyone with children, or grandchildren, knows, parenting isn’t easy. Children and adolescents are growing up in a complex and connected world where smartphones, video games, organized activities and friends vie for their attention. At the same time, parents aren’t exactly always sure what their job description should be – or how to best nurture their child.

Boise Shriners-Treefort Partnership Has Benefits For Both Groups

Mar 18, 2016
Patrick Sweeney / Treefort Music Fest

Shriners are generally known for riding around in miniature cars in parades, for circuses they sponsor and for the hospitals they operate for children.

But in Boise, Shriners have also become a linchpin in helping downtown host Treefort Music Fest, the City of Trees' annual indie music festival.

Those of us who grew up playing the board game “Monopoly” likely remember the thrill of landing on an up-for-grabs Boardwalk or Park Place, and buying the pricey properties with our stash of brightly colored fake money. We might also recall the feeling of trepidation when we landed on those same properties after they had been purchased and improved by someone else, knowing we would have to pay an exorbitant rental fee before we could once again pass “Go” and collect our much-needed $200.

Declutter

Idaho really sucks, when it comes to playing the video game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. That’s according to new research from Decluttr, a company that buys used CDs, DVDs and games over the internet.

The site created a map of “The Video Game That Each State Sucks At The Most.” For Idaho, that was Skyrim, an adventure game where players can fight dragons, among other things.

What Idaho Googled In 2015

Dec 28, 2015
screengrab blogs.estately.com

There’s a theory that postulates you can learn a lot about a person from what he/she searches for online (though I think people in the sciences would quibble over the use of the word theory there.) A blog from real estate site estately.com extends that theory to learning about states from residents’ Google searches. Estately’s 2015 list says Idaho Googled the word “Vaccines” more than any other state.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is rounding out her two-day visit to Idaho today. Chairman Jane Chu has toured arts facilities in Boise and Twin Falls during her trip, after being invited to Idaho by Congressman Mike Simpson.

Chu says she wanted to see firsthand some of the projects the NEA is helping to fund in the state.

“The NEA has funded a number of projects here in Boise," says Chu, "and also we’re so appreciative of what the Idaho Arts Commission is doing.”

One of the largest Basque communities in the United States will spend the next five days celebrating the traditional Jaialdi festival in southwestern Idaho.

An estimated 35,000 to 50,000 people are expected to attend the five-day party —which starts Tuesday in Boise— as a showcase of the culture. The festival originally started in 1987, and has been held every five years starting in 1990 ever since.

Idaho State Historical Society

The University of Idaho is set to open its new law center at the renovated Old Ada County Courthouse later this summer. But university officials want to cover up a controversial mural depicting the hanging of a Native American by white settlers. Historians, though, don't want that to happen. 

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Said Ahmed-Zaid is an engineering professor at Boise State University. He's lived in Boise for 18 years, and is also a spokesperson for the city's Islamic Center. He's held that position since 9/11, representing his minority religion's members in a majority Christian state.

Chad Dryden / The Record Exchange

Boise rockers Built to Spill will officially release their eighth full-length album next Tuesday.

"Untethered Moon" is the first studio album from the band since 2009, and features a new lineup with drummer Steve Gere and bassist Jason Albertini.

But as part of National Record Store Day, vinyl lovers will get an early chance to pick up the new record on Saturday.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A warehouse across from the Boise Public Library is bustling with activity, as dozens and dozens of boxes of books are brought in and unloaded.

“Boxes everywhere, we drown in boxes!” says volunteer Diana Cross. She’s helping set up for the 33rd annual Spring Book Sale, organized by the Friends of the Boise Public Library.

Kevin Martini-Fuller / Baxterblack.com

Much to the lament of his many fans, cowboy poet Baxter Black is taking a break from the stage. Black has been entertaining audiences for more than 25 years, traveling all over the country, including Idaho. One of his last stage shows will be this Saturday in Sun Valley.

Leslie Durham, Amanda Ashley / Boise State University

A study released this week shows Boise has a vibrant cultural scene, but points to gaps in artistic opportunities, especially among emerging artists.

The comprehensive study from Boise State University professors surveyed more than 500 artists from a variety of disciplines. Visual artists, designers, musicians, dancers, writers, filmmakers and theater artists were all included.

Alex Hecht / Treefort Music Fest

Treefort Music Fest organizers had hoped to garner a wider audience of music fans this year, so they brought in a mix of well-known and under-the-radar bands for the indie festival. Over the course of five days, more than 400 bands performed at venues across downtown Boise.
 

According to Sue Paul, the Executive Director of the Warhawk Air Museum, Vietnam veterans never got the respect they deserved. Paul says it’s time to put things right and look at the war as a military action, without all the politics and the Hollywood myths that have sprung up over time.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the war, Warhawk teamed up with the Department of Defense to host a series of educational talks on the history of Vietnam.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

El Korah Shrine is one of those buildings in downtown Boise people pass by all the time, but probably haven’t ever been in. In the last couple of years, Treefort Music Fest has exposed thousands of people to the venue – giving the old-school fraternal organization some new-found relevance with a younger crowd.  

Sun Valley Film Festival

The fourth annual Sun Valley Film Festival begins Wednesday. The five-day event will show off some Hollywood names, including giving a special honor to actor Clint Eastwood. Other big screen elites will make appearances, including actor Bruce Dern and two Academy Award winning screenwriters.

Reuters

U.S. Census Bureau data analyzed by Reuters show which American counties have the largest share of same-sex households. Based on the 2010 Census, north Idaho's Benewah County has more same-sex households per 1,000 residents than any other Idaho county.

Benewah's 2010 population was 9,285. According to the 2014 Census estimate, total population has actually declined since then by 241 people.

Courtesy of Frank Aden Jr.

Boise’s skyline has morphed over time, as buildings from early in the last century made way for newer, more modern structures. Those changes were captured in picture postcards and have been published in a new book.

Frank Aden Junior is an amateur Boise historian and a member of the Idaho Historical Society. His interest in Boise history grew out of his hobby of collecting old picture postcards that showed the city from different locations.

Samantha Martin

For three weeks this winter, Samantha Martin spent her days inside a freezing-cold house ripping apart the walls, doors, and windows. She was salvaging whatever she could because the house was set for demolition.

Martin and her group Buffalo Heart Homes have been trying for two years to save a group of historic homes in downtown Boise.

Gay Syrian Refugee Finds A Home In Idaho

Dec 18, 2014
Jodie Martinson / Boise State Public Radio

The US Department of State pledged to lead the world in accepting refugees from Syria at a meeting in Geneva this month. The organization says it is currently reviewing about 9,000 UNHCR referrals from Syria and is receiving approximately a thousand new referrals each month. A Boise refugee support organization anticipates many of those people will come to Idaho. 

Remember 1989? This Idaho Time Capsule Does

Dec 9, 2014
ITD

The agency that oversees Idaho's highways spent part of Tuesday taking a trip down Memory Lane.

The Idaho Transportation Department opened a time capsule buried in Boise in 1989. The 3-foot piece of conduit had been glued shut and buried near the department's East Annex. The burial was part of a dedication of a grove of trees given to the state by the University of Idaho.

The contents included newspapers of the era, license plates, advertisements and more.

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