Is downsizing the quickest way to regain your company's competitive edge? Not according to Alan Downs. The management consultant who used to orchestrate layoffs tells Jim Fleming that downsizing doesn't make companies more productive, or even leaner. Downs is the author of "Corporate Executions." Also, film-maker ("Roger and Me") and writer ("Downsize This!") Michael Moore tells Steve Paulson what he's gleaned about the etiquette of downsizing from various corporate documents.SEGMENT 2:
Theologian Michael Novak believes business is a noble profession. He tells Judith Strasser that most business leaders want to act ethically and that under certain circumstances downsizing may be a moral imperative. Novak's book is "Business As a Calling: Work and the Examined Life."SEGMENT 3:
David Sedaris is a playwright, NPR commentator and the author of "Barrel Fever," a collection of essays and stories. He also cleans houses. As he tells Steve Paulson, his employment history includes stints as an elf and a cable layer. Sedaris talks about the world of work and reads an excerpt from his book.For cassette copies of this hour, call 1-800-747-7444, and ask for program number 11-17-A.
Paul McCready, inventor of the pedal-powered airplane, the Gossamer Condor, tells Steve Paulson about his new gizmo: the Pathfinder is an unmanned airplane that cruises at 60,000 feet for months at a time powered by the sun. McCready is the chairman of AeroVironment in Monrovia, CA.SEGMENT 2:
Dava Sobel explains to Jim Fleming how an eighteenth century woodworker built a clock that kept ships from getting lost at sea. Her book is "Longitude: The True Story of the Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time." Also, longitude is at the heart of Umberto Eco's novel, "The Island of the Day Before." Eco tells Steve Paulson why he is fascinated by the period when the world of alchemy and religion was being challenged by the new thinking of Galileo and Descartes.SEGMENT 3:
Chindogu is the Japanese art of almost useless inventions -- things like the Hay Fever Hat which dispenses a roll of toilet paper conveniently close to your runny nose. Or Duster Slippers -- tiny mops you attach to your cats' feet so they can dust under the bed for you; or training wheels for high heel shoes. Dan Papia, president of the Chindogu America, tells Judith Strasser that not just any screwball idea can make the grade. Papia is the co- author (with Kenji Kawakami) of "101 Unuseless Japanese Inventions."For cassette copies of this hour, call 1-800-747-7444, and ask for program number 02-18-B.
Surgeon (and author of "How We Die") Sherwin Nuland tells Jim Fleming that death is a process that we should begin preparing ourselves and our families for while we're still healthy and clear-headed. Also, British poet Susan Wicks tells Judith Strasser about caring for her aged father, especially after her mother's death. Wicks' memoir is "Driving My Father."SEGMENT 2:
Brendan Gill has been on the staff of the New Yorker magazine for sixty years. In his book "Late Bloomers" he tells the stories of several high achievers who didn't come into their own until late in life. Gill tells Judith Strasser about some of them.SEGMENT 3:
British novelist Graham Swift won this year's Booker Prize for his book "Last Orders." It's the story of four men who set out to scatter their late friend's ashes in the sea and get embroiled in all sorts of misadventures along the way. Swift sketches the story and characters in this conversation with Steve Paulson and explains why he enjoyed writing from the point of view of someone much older than himself.For cassette copies of this hour, call 1-800-747-7444, and ask for program number 11-17-C.