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September 2011
September 21 Andrew Tilin
Andrew has written a memoir, The Doper Next Door, about his yearlong adventure with doping. As a journalist, he initially tried to interview everyday people who dope, but they wouldn't speak to him. So, out of curiosity and to become his own subject, he tried the drugs himself. During that year, he experienced the improved performance and body that come with doping but also the hormonal changes and mood swings, as well as exposure to the seedy underbelly of doping subculture. Andrew's work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, Outside, and other publications.
September 14 Jonathan Burnette
In 2010, Jonathan drove a '59 Renault Dauphine from Austin to Alaska and back. To help you understand the significance of this, Time magazine rated this car one of the worst 50 of all time. Yet, for Jonathan, an auto mechanic specializing in foreign vintage cars, this trip was simply an adventure and a challenge. 

August 2011
August 24 Ben Steinbauer
Ben is the director of Winnebago Man, a hit 2010 documentary about Jack Rebney, known as "the angriest man in the world" after the profanity-riddled outtakes from his 80s Winnebago ad shoot went viral. ( Ben went in search of the hermit Jack Rebney and found him, and made a fascinating and funny film about the experience.
August 17 Evaline Apoko & Linda Freiheit—Global Youth Peace Summit
The Global Youth Peace Summit, put on by Amala Foundation, took place August 6–13. The summit brought
together 70 refugee, immigrant, local and international youth from more than 25 countries for a conference devoted to peace, dialogue, cultural awareness, and the importance of service to others. Many of the youth who attend have experienced the atrocities of war, genocide, extreme poverty, religious persecution, child labor, gang violence, and neglect. Some of these children have literally run for their lives; many have been uprooted from their native cultures and struggle to integrate into an entirely foreign world. I interviewed Evaline Apoko, who was kidnapped by a rebel group in her homeland of Uganda and forced to live with them for 3 years. After a bomb dropped, blowing off half her face, Evaline escaped to freedom. She was one of the Peace Leaders at the Summit. Linda Freiheit, youth director for The Amala Foundation, also joined us in studio to tell us more about the work they do.
August 10 Joseph Carman
The 555 Collective is an arts organization that supports survivors of violent trauma. Joseph Carman, who founded it, understands violent trauma well, having grown up in an armageddonist cult until age 16. He worked as a psychologist with the Texas Youth Commission, where he witnessed numerous examples of suffering, and also worked as an investigator for judges specializing in sex cases. Joseph's goal for the 555 Collective, as he puts it, is "to make sense of the world by creating something beautiful amidst all the pain and ugliness I've encountered."
August 3 Giselle Koy
Giselle is the author of The Modern Muse, a book about learning that we are each our own gurus or muses, and don't need to seek out gurus in order to find our own inner wisdom. Giselle came to this realization after a long journey to find herself, which included: becoming a yoga teacher, learning Buddhism, following a spiritual master for years (which turned out to be a cult that shut down in scandal), hunting for gold, and following a guru in Argentina.

July 2011
July 27 Crockett Grabbe
On March 9, Crockett was on the show talking about the pituitary tumor and major cerebral hemorrhage he had, the latter of which almost killed him. He had to learn to walk and talk all over again—and still has some speech difficulty. Crockett has a PhD in Applied Physics and was a research scientist at the University of Iowa for almost 30 years. The reason I had him back on the show is that Crockett's professional opinion is that the World Trade Center collapsed from pre-planted explosives, and not from fires due to the plane attacks, as the official report states. He believes the official explanation is a swindle and has written a book on the subject, National Swindle on the World Trade Center, detailing all the evidence for his assertions.
July 20 Eric Michaud & Jamie Schwettmann
Jamie & Eric met while working at Argonne National Laboratory, a division of the Department of Energy focused on science and engineering research. (They are both super smarty pants.) Eric has a strong background in security and Jamie has always been interested in picking locks and tampering. On the show they explained why it's easy to pick locks and tamper with tamper-resistant devices, and even explained how to do such things. Picking locks is a visual thing, so if you're interested to learn more, they are teaching a lock picking class next Wednesday, July 27 at Nerd Nite University
July 13 Dinesh Ranasinghe & Diane McDiarmid – Austin Paralympic Experience
On Saturday, July 16, Texas Rowing For All-Paralympics Sport Club and the US Olympic-Paralympic Committee are sponsoring a 1-day event, where citizens with disabilities learn and participate in several water-based sports, adaptive tennis, handcycling and other activities. The event is free and open to the public. Diane is the founder of Texas Rowing for All. Dinesh will be one of the participants and he has an extraordinary story in his own right. His right leg was amputated at age 9 and, as an adult, he became an avid athlete. In addition to participating in adaptive softball, football, basketball, and rowing, and having his scuba license, Dinesh has climbed to Mt. Everest Base Camp (and summitted a nearby peak, Kala Patthar) and climbed to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. He shares his inspiring story and attitude with us.
July 6 Steven Boyd
Steven is an Army veteran with a chronic stomach disease called gastroparesis. In the last 9 years he has been in the hospital 84 times, and gone through 13 surgeries, 4 heart attacks and 7 kidney failures. His constant companion is his dog Djaingo, who comforts him and can alert the neighbors when Steven needs medical attention. Steven and Djaingo have gotten fame via YouTube—in a video Steven created, he and Djaingo say grace.

June 2011
June 22 Stephanie Guerra
Stephanie came on Inner Views May 18 and talked about her past life of heroin addiction, prostitution, burglary and prison time. She is coming back on to share another aspect of her life: Stephanie is transgender. We'll find out what it was like for her growing up, when she made the transition, and how that affected her in various ways, including when she was a prostitute.
June 15 Carla Contreras
In 2009, Carla adopted a beautiful 8-month-old baby boy named Julian. The boy's parents were drug addicts and had been giving their infant Nyquil to sleep. Carla was thrilled to have Julian and loved him very much. But just a few months later, Carla was notified that CPS was coming to take Julian away because the parents had changed their minds and wanted him to go to a different family. In Carla's heartwrenching year-long battle, she fought to keep him—but ultimately lost.
June 8 Sofia Smith Hale & Nadia Esseghaiar
Sofia is a 15-year-old freshman at Austin's McCallum High School. She created a movie short that is screening at Cannes Film Festival in May! The film is titled "How to Be Kids" and features her friend, Nadia, which was shot in the course of one weekend in response to a film class assignment to make an instructional video. Her film teacher was so impressed that he submitted it to the film festival's Short Film Corner. As I write this (May 17), Sofia & Nadia are in Cannes.
June 1 John Marshall
Growing up, John's parents just weren't around, so he and his sister essentially raised themselves. They were also poor and no one at school wanted to be friends with John. Craving attention, he got in the with the wrong crowd and, from a young age, started getting into trouble, including drugs, theft, armed robbery, auto theft and more—leading him to jail many, many times. One day, John had a moment that changed his life—he cleaned up his act, started a church to help others like himself and has been happy and thriving ever since.

May 2011
May 25 Travis County Jail Organic Garden
Sometimes accused of being soft on crime, Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton doesn't care because, if learning how to tend an organic garden helps inmates learn a skill and stay out of prison, then he's all for it. In its first summer, the garden produced 1 1/2 tons of vegetables, including pumpkins, radishes, beets, broccoli, peas, spinach, carrots, winter peas, mustard and collard greens. Joining me in the studio from the Sheriff's office were Pete Trotman and Sgt. Dianne Bratchett.
May 18 Stephanie Guerra  
Stephanie was born to alcoholic parents. As one of seven children where every single one of them became addicted to drugs or alcohol, Stephanie's drug of choice was heroin. Whatever you can imagine someone doing under the influence of heroin, Stephanie has been there, including 8 years in prison for robbery and burglary. One day, she finally realized she was done and got sober. She is going on 4 years clean and works for an agency that helps people with HIV.
May 11 Barbra Hernandez
One day in 2008, Barbra all of sudden collapsed on the floor, having lost the ability to use her legs. She was diagnosed with one of the most severe cases in the world of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a neurological disease that attacks the immune system causing temporary paralysis. She has written a book about the experience, Why Didn't I Die?, in which she describes the almost-total paralysis that overtook her, the loss of sight, hearing, and speech, the coma she went into, as well as her long and difficult recovery.
May 4 Texas State Bus Roadeo
Did you know that bus driving is also a sport? The Texas State Bus Roadeo showcases the safety, customer service, and technical skills of operators and mechanics in the 35' Bus Division, 40' Bus Division, Para Transit Van Division, and Maintenance Division. This year Austin's Capital Metro bus drivers took home half the trophies, and winners will be competing in the - believe it or not - International Bus Roadeo in Memphis on May 22. Winners from this year's competition joined me in studio to tell us about this (very serious!) sport.

April 2011
April 27 The Road to Livingston
In 2009, I interviewed Delia Meyer, whose brother Louis Perez has been on death row since 1999. She steadfastly maintains his innocence and has been visiting him regularly all these years. Now, the Austin Documentary Collaborative is creating a film, The Road to Livingston, about her almost-weekly journeys to the prison and the people and places she meets along the way. Filmmakers Erik Mauck and Chelsea Hernandez join me in the studio and share fascinating stories of the characters they meet. 
April 20 Israel Hernandez
Israel grew up surrounded by drugs, alcohol and violence. At age 13, he started to sell drugs himself, forming a crew of 9 "business associates" who traveled as far north as Michigan selling pot. At 18 he got ratted out and sent to prison for a total of 5 years. Israel is now 40, owns his own remodeling business and has turned his life around. He also volunteers with at-risk kids, becoming, as he puts, a "stepping stone" rather than a "stumbling block" for them.
April 13 Tri Nguyen
Tri's son Nathan has a rare genetic disorder called Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease (PMD). Nathan is just 7 months old and has a prognosis of 1–3 years. His brain is not developed and he can't hold up his head, walk, talk, or feed himself. Tri also doesn't believe he can see or hear. The gene is carried on his wife Teresita's side and PMD has wreaked havoc on many members of her family.

March 2011
March 30 Sharon Downer
Sharon is a Realtor today but in the 60s, she was a nun. She grew up in St. Louis where the parish was the center of activity and, for her, entering the convent was a pretty natural step. Her parents supported her - her friends thought she was crazy. What was it like inside the convent? What was the daily routine? What were the rules? Sharon says she had a lot of fun - what exactly is she talking about?!?! Sharon answers all these questions and more.
March 23 Cristen Andrews
Ever since she was a child, Cristen has been entering contests . . . and winning! She won the mother of all contests in 2008: a yearlong trip around the world from Lonely Planet. It was a photo contest—see Cristen's winning entry. (Scroll down to the Golden Gate Bridge) Cristen shares details of that trip, and talks about some of the other contests she's won.
March 16 Better This World – Documentary About the "Texas Two"
About Better This World: Two boyhood friends from Midland, Texas – David McKay and Brad Crowder – fall under the sway of a charismatic revolutionary ten years their senior. At the volatile 2008 Republican Convention the "Texas Two" cross a line that radically changes their lives. The result: eight homemade bombs, multiple domestic terrorism charges and a high stakes entrapment defense hinging on the actions of a controversial FBI informant. I interviewed Brad Crowder, producer Mike Nicholson and cinematographer David Layton. 
March 9 Crockett Grabbe
Crockett has a PhD in Applied Physics from the prestigious Caltech. He considers this to be the greatest accomplishment of his 20s. He was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor and later had a major cerebral hemorrhage, which almost killed him. Crocket had to learn how to walk and talk all over again, which he considers to be the greatest accomplishment of his 40s. He never stopped working as a physicist, and has published all or part of 7 books and over 100 papers.

February 2011
February 16 Keith Cunningham
Most of us are familiar with the bestselling book by Robert Kiyosaki, "Rich Dad Poor Dad." But most of us don't know that Keith Cunningham is Rich Dad! Keith's own story is incredible: He had amassed $100 million in real estate, only to lose all of it (ALL of it) during a real estate crash, declaring bankruptcy in 1991. Keith has since re-amassed millions by buying and growing businesses and teaching business seminars. His company is Keys to the Vault.
February 9 Andrew Shapter
Andrew is a filmmaker whose credits include Happiness Is, which I interviewed him about in 2009. (Listen here.) Andrew is working on a new film, The Teller and the Truth, about the search for Francis Wetherbee, a 24-year-old bank teller who disappeared without a trace from Smithville, Texas in 1974. Andrew discovered her through a haunting photograph and decided he had to try to find her (and make a film about it), which has literally taken him around the world on a 5 1/2 year search.
The Teller and the Truth is slated to open at SXSW in 2012.  
February 2 Carl Webb & Hart Viges
Carl and Hart joined the army in 2001 and both left in 2004 because they stopped believing in what they were doing. In Carl's case, he became an army deserter just after being called to Iraq and went underground. Hart became a conscientious objector for religious reasons shortly after returning from Iraq and received an honorable discharge.

January 2011
January 26 Brandon Mitchan
Brandon drag races motorcycles and holds the speed record at San Antonio Raceway at 211 mph. Oh, and Brandon is 17 years old. He's been riding motorcycles since age 4, racing since age 15, and now looking to turn pro. He has won 72 trophies in the 2 years he's been racing. 
January 19 Rick Kent
Rick has competed in the Race Across America (RAAM) 6 times. The RAAM is known as the world's toughest bicycle race, and completing it just once is seen as an extraordinary accomplishment, let alone 6 times. The 3,000-mile race starts on the West coast and ends on the East coast and, unlike the Tour de France, there are no stages, no start and end time each day — it is one continuous race.
January 12 Austin Morton
On April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho went on a shooting spree, killing 32 people. Austin Morton was a student at Virginia Tech and the resident adviser for Seung-Hui Cho at the time. Austin shares what it was like to be at Virginia Tech, to know who the killer was, and to come to terms with the events. 
January 5 Jason Brady
Jason was born with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disorder that causes excessive mucus production, making it difficult for Jason to breathe. Though given a 3-year prognosis, Jason is now 31. But the antibiotics he take to keep his lungs clear have led to renal failure. Loathe to go on dialysis, which would radically change his life and likely make it difficult for him to manage the Cystic Fibrosis in other ways, Jason is now on the transplant list—but he needs a double lung as well as a kidney transplant. He is raising money for the $800,000 operation and $5,000/month cost of anti-rejection drugs.

Copyright © 2011 Abigail Mahnke