Feeling The Heat

This program is rebroadcast from Jan. 15, 2013

Fire-walking, the hydrogen bomb, Death Valley, and more. We’ll go deep on the essence of heat.



Heat can sound like paradise.  A summer breeze.  A tropical vacation. And heat can sound like hell.  Death Valley.  Heat stroke.  Raging fire. We crave it when we’re cold.  We fear it when it’s too much.  We can scarcely imagine its extremes, in a nuclear blast or the origins of the universe.  The Big Bang. Writer Bill Streever has circled the world on the trail of heat.  Its history, its extremes, its nature, its effects.  Humans have built life around it, and have fled its wrath. This hour, On Point:  adventures in the realm of heat.

-Tom Ashbrook


Bill Streever, author of “Heat: Adventures in the World’s Fiery Places.”

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times: A Record Worth Wilting For: Death Valley Is Hotter Than …  –“After a yearlong investigation by a team of climate scientists, the World Meteorological Organization, the climate agency of the United Nations, announced this fall that it was throwing out a reading of 136.4 degrees claimed by the city of Al Aziziyah on Sept. 13, 1922.”

National Geographic: 2012: Hottest Year on Record for Continental U.S. — “Temperatures across the continental United States soared in 2012 to an all-time high, making last year the warmest year on record for the country by a wide margin, scientists say.”

Read An Excerpt from “Heat” byBill Streever


“Turn on the Heat” — The Charleston Chasers

“Volcano” — The Presidents of the United States of America

“Fire” — Ingrid Michaelson

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