On the Radio

Week of July 16, 2017

Sound and Color

The Art of Reinventing Yourself

July 16, 2017

Do you ever wish you could reinvent yourself? This hour, we hear from four noted artists who experienced pivotal turns in their own lives: artist Rashid Johnson, writer/photographer Teju Cole, singer Nikka Costa, and musician Michael Nesmith.

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  1. Artist Rashid Johnson Explores Race, Yearning and Escape

    Rashid Johnson is a rising star in the art world. Using signature materials like shea butter and black soap, he explores themes of race, yearning and escape, and grapples with what it means to come of age as a black artist and intellectual.

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  2. How Temporary Blindness Taught Teju Cole To See

    Going blind in one eye would unnerve anyone. And for a photographer, it’s especially upsetting. But Teju Cole found that his Big Blind Spot Syndrome taught him a new way to look at the world — and actually changed his photography.

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  3. Why Not Abolish Literary Genres?

    Why do we keep dividing the world of books into different genres - like romance novels, science fiction and literary fiction? Novelist Lauren Beukes says we should simply get rid of the whole idea of genre.

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  4. From Child Pop Star to Jazz Singer

    When Nikka Costa was ten, she was a pop sensation in Europe. Later, she was Britney Spear’s opening act. But she’s left pop music behind and now she’s performing songs by some of the musicians she’s known, including Prince and Frank Sinatra.

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  5. From the Monkees to Country Rock

    If you’re old enough, you’ll remember the Monkees, the pop group with a hit TV show. Michael Nesmith wore the green stocking cap. Since then, he’s reinvented his career several times over. He (sort of) invented country rock. And the music video.

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Get Happy

July 20, 2017
(was 01.11.2016)

Can science tell you how to "get happy?"  This hour,  the psychology and history behind the very idea of happiness. Plus some practical advice for how to live well.

  1. Want to be Happier? Turn Everyday Tasks Into a Game

    After suffering a terrible concussion, game designer Jane McGonigal created a game to help her feel better. In the years since, it's helped nearly half a million other people overcome depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. McGonigal talks about the cognitive benefits of video games and describes some of the ways they're being used to treat both physical and emotional trauma.

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  2. A Little Less Feeling, A Lot More Action

    Let's say you know what's making you unhappy -- now what do you do? For starters, stop being so sensitive. Psychiatrist Michael Bennett and his daughter, comedy writer Sarah Bennett, say it's time we stopped thinking about our feelings and instead focused on our actions.

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  3. A History of Happiness

    Historian Darrin McMahon traces ideas around happiness from classical antiquity to the modern age. He says the Founding Fathers equated happiness with virtue instead of pleasure.

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  4. How to Find Happiness in Everyday Life and Language

    Where do you turn to for inspiration on how to live a meaningful life? Religion? Family? Great books? Poet David Whyte finds inspiration in everyday words. In his book Consolations, Whyte examines the deeper, often surpising meanings of 52 ordinary words.

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  5. David Morris Recommends “Solo Faces” by James Salter

    Writer David Morris explains why "Solo Faces" by James Salter is one of his favorite books.

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  6. Rediscovering Henry David Thoreau

    “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life.” Those famous lines from Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden” have inspired generations of people, including his latest biographer, Laura Dassow Walls. On the 200th anniversary of his birth, her book is already being hailed as the definitive biography.

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