Occasionally, we have interviews that need to be heard before we can fit them into a full show. They're too exciting to keep to ourselves. Instead, they become a special treat for our podcast listeners.
Last week we lost one of the great scholars of religion. Huston Smith died at the age of 97. Smith's book “The World’s Religions” sold more than three million copies and is perhaps the most important book ever written on comparative religion. Here's an excerpt of Steve Paulson's 2002 interview with Huston Smith.
You get the sense that Freeman Dyson has seen everything. He's a legendary physicist who's been friends and colleagues with the giants of 20th century physics, from Wolfgang Pauli to Richard Feynman. Now in his mid-90s, he's had a front row seat on scientific breakthroughs for the past century. He's also not shy about making sweeping pronouncements - whether on the archaic rules for getting a PhD or the pitfalls of Big Science. In this extended interview, Dyson tells Steve Paulson about his own remarkable life in science.
Today, Larry Brilliant is a doctor and global health expert. But back in the Sixties, he was a hippie doctor who joined Wavy Gravy's traveling bus caravan and then landed in an Indian ashram in the Himalayas, where his guru told him his destiny was to help cure smallpox. Miraculously, his U.N. team of doctors eradicated the world's remaining cases of this terrible disease. In this extended interview, he tells Steve Paulson about a remarkable moment in history when anything seemed possible.
When Donald Trump described his offensive remarks about women as "locker room talk," he implied that it's normal for men to engage in macho sexual braggadocio in gender-segregated spaces like men's locker rooms. Two academic researchers trace hidden assumptions about gender and sexuality in other sex-segregated spaces: public restrooms and sex ed classes. This episode produced in collaboration with www.theconversation.com
Before the airplane was invented, ballooning was all the rage, and many people thought this was the future of air travel. Cultural historian Richard Holmes describes the remarkable history of the hot air balloon.
Jacques Derrida and the philosophical movement known as deconstruction were once the rage on college campuses. Those days have passed, but deconstruction's influence is everywhere. We talk with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, who first translated Derrida's landmark book "Of Grammatology" into English 40 years ago. Today, Spivak herself is an academic superstar - a pioneering feminist Marxist scholar and one of the founders of post-colonial studies
As Hillary Rodham Clinton prepares to give the most important speech of her life, listen back to the speech that marked her entrance into public political life, now available for the first time in its entirety. On May 31st, 1969, Hillary Rodham became the first student to give a commencement address to her graduating class at Wellesley College. She was 21 years old. Journalist Rebecca Traister hears "the blueprint for Hillary Rodham Clinton's future" in that speech. In this episode, Traister takes us back to that tumultuous period in American history and to the origins of Clinton's political values. We also hear the previously unreleased complete speech, and journalist Michelle Goldberg takes on "The Hillary Haters."
In the mid-80's the metal band Winger topped the charts with hits like "Seventeen." Then Grunge came along and left bands like Winger in the dust. Now, Kip Winger is back on top with a new CD that debuted at #1 on the music charts. Only this time, he's rocking the classical charts. His new album is "Conversations with Nijinsky"-- orchestral compositions performed by the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.
Hear the full range of Kip Winger's musical sensibility in this podcast, which takes us from "Seventeen" to classical compositions inspired by Stravinsky and Honegger. Listen to a candid in-depth interview and eavesdrop as Kip rehearses and performs a haunting acoustic version of "Blue Suede Shoes" with a 17-year old high school cellist, and gives us a solo "Down Incognito" backed by jazz djembe. It's a portrait of a musician who has come into his own as a mature and wide-ranging performer and composer.
The shooting rampage in Orlando has led to a lot of speculation about Omar Mateen’s politics and state of mind. There's still so much we don't know, but maybe we can learn from another mass murder. Consider the case of Anders Breivik, the gunman who killed 77 people, mostly teenagers, in 2011. It was one of the biggest mass murders in modern history and a national trauma for Norway. Breivik was a white supremacist, so his politics were different from Mateen's. But the two mass muderers were both alienated, self-radicalized loners. And as we struggle to find out what we can from Orlando, maybe there are lessons from the story of another terrorist and another country’s response. So here’s Steve Paulson’s extended conversation with journalist Asne Sierestad, an award-winning Norwegian journalist and war correspondent who covered the Breivik case and wrote the book “One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway.”