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Sound Focus

A People's History Of Sports, Cheese From Scratch, and Mini-cattle

Megan Sukys/Dave Beck
01/27/2009

Sportswriter Dave Zirin shares some of the personal struggles that made great U.S. athletes. We also learn about cheese from local artisan cheesemaker Julie Steil and her many animals. Plus, we get classical music reviews from Gavin Borchert, and we meet some mini–cattle.

At 2:05 p.m. – A People's History of Sports

Dave Zirin has been called best young sportswriter in America. He's the author of "A People's History of Sports in the United States: 250 Years of Politics, Protest, People and Play." From Wisconsin Public Radio, Dave Zirin talks with Steve Paulson about topics ranging from Michael Jordan's phenomenal commercial success to the lack of acceptance faced by gay professional athletes. He says this personal approach diverges from traditional sports history.

At 2:20 p.m. – River Valley Ranch

The flavor of fresh goat cheese can reveal whether the animals were grazing on summer blackberries or winter grasses before they were milked. Julie Steil can taste those details in the cheeses she makes. But the cheese is only one of the ways Julie connects with her animals. Julie shows Jeannie Yandel around River Valley Ranch, her creamery in Fall City, about 25 miles east of Seattle. In this archived conversation, Julie explains what it takes to make great cheese.

At 2:40 p.m. – Gavin Borchert Classical Music Review

Next to Vivaldi's "Four Seasons," Bach's Brandenburg Concertos are the most popular Baroque orchestral works in existence. The origins of the Brandenburg Concertos are obscure, but they got their nickname when Bach gathered and recopied them for the Margrave of Brandenburg. It seems that Margrave never actually had these concertos performed, probably because the six works are scored for six totally different combinations of instruments. Composer Gavin Borchert shares highlights from a bright and vivid new recording of the concertos.

At 2:50 p.m. – Mini–cattle

For generations, ranchers have worked to make their cows bigger. They've been so successful that most cattle headed for slaughter these days are little more than giant cubes of meat on short legs. Now an opposite trend is taking hold in the cattle industry. Mini–cattle are more efficient and more friendly to the environment. They're also so docile you can even keep them as pets. This story is a collaboration between N3 and Colorado Public Radio.

At 2:55 p.m. – Music from Geisa Dutra

University of Washington alum Geisa Dutra is internationally acclaimed as a recitalist and concerto soloist, having performed in England, Belgium, Germany, Canada, the United States, and her native Brazil. Her recordings include Brazilian and Spanish Piano Works; Chopin, Preludes; El Ultimo Tango, Six Tangos by Astor Piazzolla; and The Spanish Piano, her latest release. She has also recorded for NPR and for national radio and television stations in Brazil.

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