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Lulu Miller, author of “Why Fish Don’t Exist,” first read the young adult book “The Search for Delicious” when she was in that transformative and uncertain stage in between childhood and adulthood.

Length: 
5:16
The Löwenmensch figurine after restoration in 2013
Audio

Shapeshifting images run deep in human history, going back to ancient cave paintings. Archeologist Chris Gosden says they're linked to the shaman's ability to cross into the spirit world where humans and animals merge.

Length: 
8:15
the raven
Audio

Bad things happen when people lose their connection to the more-than-human world. "Animals know something that we that don't," says psychologist Sharon Blackie. That's one lesson you can take from the old shapeshifting myths and fairy tales.

Length: 
13:41
Articles

Marjolijn van Heemstra is the poet laureate of Amsterdam. As her anxiety about climate change and other problems ratcheted up, she found solace in the larger cosmos and became a "dark sky" activist.

Length: 
12:33
Audio

Physicist Carlo Rovelli travels to the core of a black hole, where the arrow of time reverses and a white hole is born.   

Length: 
12:08
Audio

Time may be a fundamental quality of the universe, but physicists still can't explain what time is. That hasn't stopped theoretical physicist Marcelo Gleiser from devoting much of his life to studying the origins of time and the formation of the cosmos.

Length: 
24:49
space guy
Articles

A conversation with "rational mystic," physicist Marcelo Gleiser.

An old barn near Sandy Neck on Cape Cod, Massachusetts in December 2012
Audio

Simon Winchester is a British journalist and best-selling author who spent decades on the road before finally buying a small farm in the Berkshires. The experience led to his book “Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World."

Demonstrators near the Standing Rock Reservation.
Articles

Land Back is a movement that demands the return of native lands to indigenous people. One of its leaders, Hayden King — executive director of the Yellowhead Institute — explains why the movement is gaining traction in Canada.

Makenna Goodman on her homestead in Vermont
Photo Gallery

Makenna Goodman is a modern-day homesteader and novelist in rural Vermont. She was inspired by Scott and Helen Nearing, who were back-to-the-land pioneers. But she says their philosophy of "the good life" reeks of class privilege.

Length: 
18:45
19th-century German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels scroll on their smartphones
Audio

China Mieville is a writer best known for speculative fiction, but he's also written a lot about Marxism, most recently in a history of the Communist Manifesto called “A Spectre, Haunting."

Length: 
15:36
Nancy Fraser
Audio

Hinge points are moments of crisis where a new system can be made. Philosopher Nancy Fraser believes the particular crises we face today are so severe they actually present an opportunity.

Length: 
16:32
Nancy Fraser
Articles

Over four decades, philosopher Nancy Fraser has worked to expose the deep roots that connect all the crises of our time: racial violence, environmental devastation, the impoverishment of families, challenges to democracy. Think of each as the toxic byproducts of capitalism.

Length: 
18:50
A mushroom
Articles

Pharmaceutical companies have a long history of hunting for medicinal drugs, often in Indigenous cultures. Historian Lucas Richert tells the story of how one company went bioprospecting for peyote.

Length: 
5:38
Rachel Fernandez
Articles

Sutton King wants to change the culture around psychedelic medicines by confronting historical wrongs and getting Indigenous people into key decision-making roles in the psychedelic industry. 

Length: 
13:13
an unspeakable terror humming in the distance
Audio

Dean Lockwood talks about the important role that sound plays in creating the cosmic horror of Lovecraft's work.

Length: 
6:51
what lives in a black hole
Audio

H.P. Lovecraft's influence on pop culture has exploded in recent years. But why? Erik Davis is a cultural critic and the author of the essay, "Calling Cthulhu: H.P. Lovecraft's Magickal Realism." He fell under Lovecraft's spell as a teenager.

Length: 
9:55
Audio

Although Jeff VanderMeer's work may seem to have a Lovecraftian influence, VanderMeer says that's not the case. He actually thinks weird fiction needs to move out from the shadow of Lovecraft's incredible influence. He introduces us to one writer who is doing that -- Thomas Ligotti, "the best kept secret in contemporary horror fiction."

lovecraftian
Audio

Think that it's too soon to get your kids hooked on H.P. Lovecraft's cosmic horror? Think again. They might be enchanted by "The Call of Cthulhu for Beginning Readers" by Richard Ivankovic, alias Doctor Faustus AS.

The Labyrinth
Video

In “Somnium DreamViewer,” a mysterious company has developed the technology to capture still images from our dreams — with unsettling effects on our waking hours. Creator Holly Fernwright explains the inspiration behind the series.

Length: 
17:49
Maria Sabina
Audio

The story of Mazotec healer Maria Sabina is a notorious example of how psychedelic enthusiasts have exploited the knowledge of Indigenous cultures they don’t really understand.

Length: 
18:54
Conversation with Samantha, the artificial intelligence
Audio

To a certain extent, loneliness is part of the human condition. You can be lonely anywhere, even surrounded by friends. But modern life has exacerbated it, and that requires modern solutions. Indie game designer Jason Rohrer has one — an artificial friend named Samantha.

Length: 
15:10
a silent walking figure
Audio

John Francis, the "planetwalker," walked all over the country in silence for nearly 20 years. Steve and Anne met John a few years ago at the Geography of Hope Conference in Point Reyes, California – back where his journey began.
 

Length: 
12:47
An African imagination of the future.
Articles

Given the chance, how do Africans tell stories about their own imagined future? And how might the story be different? To get a sense of where African science fiction is heading, we talked with Nnedi Okorafor and Ainehi Edoro.

Length: 
19:20
"You're not ok, that's ok" yard sign
Articles

During the height of the pandemic, producer Charles Monroe-Kane made a yard sign — 300 of them, in fact. They read "You're not ok. That's ok." He put a few in his yard and the rest on his porch. Soon they were gone.

Length: 
19:49
water
Articles

David Foster Wallace gave the commencement speech at Kenyon College in 2005. It was popular enough to eventually be published in a thin little book called “This Is Water.”

Length: 
3:23
David Foster Wallace
Audio

Over the years, we did several interviews with Wallace himself. The last was in 2004, about his collection of short stories — "Oblivion." It’s an interview that’s been collected in two Wallace anthologies.

Length: 
11:34
Cruises suck
Audio

David Foster Wallace's essays have their own unique cult following. There’s one, “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again,” which is a hilarious diatribe about cruise ships, which convinced many of us we should never, ever go on a cruise.

Tennis in the Sierpinski triangle
Audio

The most famous thing David Foster Wallace wrote is "Infinite Jest," his huge, sprawling novel set in a dystopian near future. It’s a little eerie how well he predicted our world today.

Length: 
3:40
a poet reads from a telephone pole
Articles

Rodrigo Toscano is a serious poet. He’s also a longtime OSHA outreach trainer of workers and the national projects director of The Labor Institute, a non-profit focusing on the contracts and workplace safety of telecommunications workers.

Length: 
11:54

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