Josh Raulerson

Morning Edition Host

Josh Raulerson is the local host for Morning Edition weekdays from 5:00-10:00 a.m. on 90.5 WESA.

Josh comes to Pittsburgh by way of Aspen, Colorado, where he was News Director and morning news anchor at Aspen Public Radio (KAJX-FM). An Iowa native, he previously hosted All Things Considered and Weekend Edition on Iowa Public Radio (WSUI-AM), and worked as a weekend host and fill-in host for Morning Edition on WOI-AM in Ames, Iowa. 

He holds a B.A. in Journalism and English from Iowa State University, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa. Josh lives in Greenfield with his wife, Amy, and daughters Greta and Annalyse. His book, Singularities: Technoculture, Transhumanism, and Science Fiction in the 21st Century, was published in 2013 by Liverpool University Press.

Ways To Connect

Toby Atticus Fraley

The robots are taking over — starting with Pittsburgh International Airport.

If Pittsburgh artist Toby Fraley gets his way, Southwest Airlines passengers arriving at gate 15 in the airport’s A Concourse will be among the first to meet them.

courtesy BLK SHP

A traveling team of thinkers, artists and executives arrives in Pittsburgh this week in search of ideas for remaking the U.S. economy.

Members of the Austin-based BLK SHP group — pronounced “black sheep” — are traveling the nation by bus, meeting with entrepreneurs and community leaders, also known as "shepherds," in 20 towns and cities.

In planning the “Rediscovering America’s True North” tour, project director Alexa Clay sought out Rust Belt communities and other formerly industrial areas that are bouncing back from the recession through creativity and grass-roots innovation.

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

For many, the mention of "homeschooling" conjures negative stereotypes about the people who practice it: Homeschool families are religious fundamentalists who shun secular society, or libertarian ideologues who reject the whole idea of public education on principle.

Adjunct professors at Robert Morris University (RMU) have voted overwhelmingly to form a collective bargaining unit to seek better wages, job security, and benefits.

Election results released Tuesday by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) show a faculty vote of 125-67 in favor of affiliating with the United Steel Workers (USW).

"I'm absolutely delighted by it," said Patricia Welsh Droz, who served on a six-member organizing committee of RMU instructors. "We're all delighted by it. But we're not surprised."

Beth Navarro

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the publication of "The Great Gatsby" – the height of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary fame. But a new novel suggests that some of Fitzgerald’s best work came much later, at a time of loss and personal struggle.

'Forties Feminism & Fun at the Heinz History Center's  History Uncorked party

Strap on your melty wristwatch and dance the night away against a backdrop of surrealist art (sure, why not?) at Quantum Theatre's Quat'z Arts Q Ball

...and derange what's left of your senses at the Hell With the Lid Off Barleywine Festival

Free tax preparation services are now available for income-eligible taxpayers in eight southwestern Pennsylvania counties this tax season, thanks to the United Way of Allegheny County’s Money In Your Pocket Coalition.

Households earning up to $53,000 a year can get free, in-person assistance with 2014 tax returns from one of more than 300 IRS-certified volunteers. Taxpayers with $60,000 or less in annual income can take advantage of a free online tax preparation service.

A recent report by the nonprofit advocacy group Smart Growth America offers a mixed assessment of suburban sprawl in the Pittsburgh area.

Within a sample of 221 metropolitan areas across the U.S., Pittsburgh ranks 132nd for the compactness and connectivity of its suburban communities – well behind the largest cities, but better than many of its comparably sized peers.

If you’re planning to quit smoking in 2015, you’re not alone. After losing weight, it’s perhaps the most commonly made New Year’s resolution.

If you’re still smoke-free by June, you’re in much more select company.

Don't be a hero! Heed our sanity-saving holiday tips: intercept and re-gift your kids' presents, keep your sippy cup topped up at all times and phone it in whenever possible.

If you insist on making an effort, here's a taste of the finest last-minute holiday cheer Pittsburgh has to offer:

Market Square Holiday Market

Pittsburgh Symphony Holiday Pops

Is there more to life than beer and cookies? Sure! There's also haggis, alligator tail, and other deep-fried curiosities.

Your weekend agenda in Pittsburgh:

Handmade Arcade

Brew Gentlemen's Food Truck Roundup

The Joy of Cookies

What to do with yourself after a full day of binge eating and all-around excess? We suggest three more days of exactly the same thing. Let the Hunger Games begin!

Meanwhile, we begin a three-week-long harangue urging you to shop local this holiday season. A few options to get you started this weekend:

I Made It! Holiday Market

Sample the Market

Rachel may be at death's door, but it will take more than debilitating illness to stop the Social Club.

Light Up Night

CMNH After Dark

Piebird

Fair warning: our normal ratio of dumb-jokes-to-thoughtful-content is slightly off this week.

As our friends at Wigle Whiskey get ready to celebrate Beer Week, we present an uncharacteristically informative discussion on everything from Pittsburgh history to the business of craft distilling to tasty seasonal cocktails.

courtesy Maitreya Loving Kindness Tour

This week Chatham University is hosting a traveling exhibition of thousands of Buddhist relics, including one that organizers of the Maitreya Loving Kindness Tour believe belonged to the religion's founder.

Most of the relics are of the type known in the Tibetan tradition as "ringsel," according to tour manager Amanda Karg.

"They look like pearl-like crystals or jewels," Karg said. "We only find these relics in the cremation remains of people who are highly realized and great saints."

Reid R. Frazier / The Allegheny Front

In February, Governor Tom Corbett announced his intention to balance the state budget, in part, using millions of dollars in projected revenues from new oil-and-gas drilling leases in state parks and forests. It was the first public acknowledgment of Corbett’s plans to lift a 2010 moratorium on leasing.

But records uncovered in an investigation by 90.5 WESA and the Allegheny Front suggest the issue may have been under active discussion much earlier.

Martha Rial / Special to 90.5 WESA / The Allegheny Front

As the agency that oversees 2.5-million acres of public land in Pennsylvania formed policy on drilling in state forests, the agency's head met frequently with oil and gas lobbyists in the capitol, including stops at upscale restaurants.

That's according to the calendar of Richard Allan, former Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

courtesy LiveLight

Say you have a large volume of digital video — hours of nanny-cam footage, perhaps, or a wedding reception.

And it’s boring, deadly boring. 

But suppose that, somewhere on that tape, something interesting does happen. Maybe it's just five seconds’ worth of attention-worthy images, buried under a mountain of redundant and predictable ones.

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

  Like any English professor, Clint Benjamin spends a lot of his time grading papers.

“There’s a mountain – a teetering Matterhorn of papers at the end of the weekend, or during the week,” Benjamin said. “You’ve just gotta get through them.”

By his own estimate, Benjamin spends 30 to 40 hours a week on grading alone. He also has to attend meetings, answer emails, keep office hours, and commute between the Community College of Allegheny County and Duquesne University campuses, where in a typical week he prepares and teaches five sections’ of English and writing classes.

Edward Everett Hale, 1904 (via Wikimedia Commons)

An online debate broke out earlier this week over two otherwise unremarkable lines in a 1648 poem by the English poet Robert Herrick:

Tumble me down, and I will sit / Upon my ruins, (smiling yet :)

Brendan Bourke

National Book Award winner Colum McCann will speak to Pittsburgh-area high school students Monday as featured author for the Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA)'s 2014 "One Book, One Community" program.

McCann will appear at Woodland Hills High School to discuss his 2013 novel TransAtlantic, which combines historical research with fictional elements in a story that spans centuries, continents, and multiple generations of characters.

The Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, Pa. has hired a part time curator to oversee its collection of rare artifacts from the U.S. Civil War.

Diane Klinefelter is a historian who served as the library’s director until 2012. She will return in January to take up the new position, which is being funded through a grant from the Massey Charitable Trust.

For more than a year and a half, the Speaking Volumes project has brought 90.5 WESA listeners weekly conversations about books and reading with Pittsburghers from all walks of life.

As Speaking Volumes moves from a weekly series to a more occasional segment, host and producer Josh Raulerson shares his recent reads with 90.5 WESA's Larkin Page Jacobs.

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

Business and technology teacher John Inserra of City Charter High School gives a reading list that advocates for broader thinking and sustainable living. 

David Orr, “The Nature of Design: Ecology, Culture, and Human Intention

Flickr user albertogp123

The stereotypes about adults seeking GED certification can be ugly and simplistic. But the reality is that many lack a high school diploma for reasons largely outside their control: health problems, family issues and immigration status, just to name a few.

Some, like Rebekah Petrakovits, were home-schooled without proper oversight from school officials who were supposed to monitor their progress.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Kevin Acklin is the chief of staff for Pittsburgh’s Mayor-elect Bill Peduto. To get ready for his new position, Acklin has been brushing up on some political non-fiction.

Michael Weber, “Don’t Call Me Boss: David L. Lawrence, Pittsburgh’s Renaissance Mayor

Courtesy photo

President of the Pittsburgh Technology Council Audrey Russo talks about the books she keeps piled on her nightstand and drawing inspiration from strong female role models.

Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"

Josh Raulerson/90.5 WESA

Dave Newman worked as a house painter, a truck driver, a bookstore manager and a college teacher before taking on his latest job as an award-winning novelist. As in his own fiction, Newman's reading interests reflect both his working-class background and an interest in life at the margins of the Rust Belt.

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

In celebration of what would have been jazz legend Billy Strayhorn's 98th birthday, janera solomon, executive director of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, talks about her insights from his biography and legacy.

Sheryl Sandberg, “Lean In”

Courtesy Braddock Avenue Books

Author and Pittsburgh native Mason Radkoff  talks down and out characters, fatherhood, day-to-day reality in writing, and the comeback of the short story.

Richard Russo, “The Risk Pool

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