Latest Stories

eyes
Articles

Squirrels and pigeons share our sidewalks and park benches. Crows pick through our trash, rabbits munch on our lawns. They watch us; we ignore them. What would change if we actually met their eyes? 

owl
Audio

Dogs, cats, birds, frogs, even insects watch us. Each with a different kind of eye. What, and how, do they see? Ivan Schwab is an ophthalmologist who’s been fascinated by that question for a long time.

Length: 
7:44
The Museum of Everyday Life is in Clare Dolan’s barn.
Articles

"Museum of Everyday Life" founder and curator Clare Dolan calls it "an ongoing, revolutionary experiment" — a celebration of "the mysterious delight embedded in the banal but beloved objects we touch everyday.

Length: 
12:12
washing machine in a house.
Articles

In her new book, author Eula Biss reckons with a new phase in her life, moving from an apartment in Chicago to the first house her family owns. While that dream is about as American as the proverbial apple pie, Biss ruminates on the reality that it’s an impossible dream for many people.

Length: 
11:56
tea set
Audio

Journalist Adam Minter wrote a whole book about what happens to our things when we don’t want them anymore. It’s called “Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale” Angelo asked him: why don’t we think more about the things we donate?

Length: 
12:12
an illustration of a man who's mind is being expanded by psychedelics
Articles

Bill Linton is on a mission. He wants to get FDA approval for using psychedelics to treat depression and addiction. So he co-founded his own nonprofit psychedelic center, Usona Institute, to help revolutionize the treatment of mental illness.

Length: 
26:53
Aylet Waldman
Audio

Writer Ayelet Waldman recounts many stories about what she calls "the perils and joys of trying to be a decent mother in a world intent on making you feel like a bad one."

A woman with baby
Audio

Jacqueline Plumez tells Steve Paulson that every caring woman has greater strength than she imagines and gives some examples of "mother power" in action, from MADD to the Mall of America.

parents
Articles

When the pandemic hit, it laid bare just how precarious parenting arrangements were — especially for single parents, parents who can't work from home, and the unemployed. Working mothers in particular lost jobs or were forced to quit to take care of children at home. Journalist Alissa Quart spoke with Shannon about why a "parenting revolution" might be on the horizon.

Length: 
18:53
Amaud Johnson and Cherene Sherrard.
Articles

Poets and married couple Amaud Johnson and Cherene Sherrard live in Madison, Wisconsin. Parents to two teenage boys, Amaud and Cherene each have a new book out, which focuses on their roles as fathers and mothers.

Length: 
20:14
Michaeleen Doucleff
Audio

While one way of making life better for parents could be changing the structure around us, author and reporter Michaeleen Doucleff thinks parents could learn to do things differently — taking cues from mothers and fathers in ancient civilizations.

Length: 
10:24
Africa made of books
Audio

Kenyan literary scholar Simon Gikandi says you can’t understand the rise of European culture — or for that matter, the formation of the modern world — without also knowing how European thinkers demonized Africans and the very idea of "blackness."

Length: 
17:52
Jane Goodall and Birute Galdikas
Articles

One of the most famous experiments of modern science was a series of pioneering field studies of the great apes. They were all done by women, chosen by legendary anthropologist Louis Leakey. Jane Goodall and Birute Galdikas tell this amazing story.

Length: 
15:58
folding microscope
Audio

Manu Prakash invented a paper microscope that’s now being used in research labs and classrooms around the world.

Length: 
10:47
Egg
Sonic Sidebar

How does the world look to a scientist? We asked astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson….and he gave us some cooking tips.

Length: 
3:21
Hope Jahren
Articles

Nothing makes Hope Jahren happier than tinkering in her lab, studying fossilized plants. 

Length: 
11:58
A man with anxiety
Audio

Patricia Pearson, author of of "A Brief History of Anxiety...Yours and Mine," discusses why she thinks Americans are so anxious.

Length: 
12:16
Jules Gill Peterson
Articles

Jules Gill-Peterson is a historian and trans writer, and author of one of the first histories of transgender children. Speaking with Anne, she challenges us all to imagine a world with more gender freedom and a world where trans means joy.

Length: 
11:30
Akwaeke Emezi
Audio

Nigerian writer Akweake Emezi identifies as trans, non-binary and also an Ogbanje. In Emezi’s native Igbo culture, an Ogbanje is a spirit that can be born into a human — a spirit with a plural identity.

Length: 
14:39
Big Freedia
Video

In Big Freedia's memoir, she tells the story of growing up gay and gender non-conforming in one of the toughest neighborhoods in New Orleans, of surviving gun violence and Hurricane Katrina, and of finding acceptance and self-expression in Bounce music.

Length: 
12:43
UFO
Articles

Until more recently, African fiction, like Africa itself, has historically been divided by the polarizing logic of colonialism. But the next generation is taking on genre fiction, including sci-fi. In "Lagoon," written by Nigerian author Nnedi Okorafor, aliens land in Lagos.

Length: 
9:50
A scene from the last phase of Ragnarök
Audio

Writer Neil Gaiman retells the ancient Norse myth of the Twilight of the Gods and apocalyptic end of the world in his stunning new collection, “Norse Mythology.”  We added some dark radio magic.

Length: 
24:16
Earth
Articles

N.K. Jemisin’s “Broken Earth” trilogy — set in a futuristic world grappling with power, racism and oppression, with a dash of magic thrown in — is rooted in the historical moment we’re now living in.

Length: 
13:54
women walking
Audio

After a health scare, Annabel Abbs promised herself she'd make a real effort to walk every day. She fell in love with walking, even began taking multi-week walking vacations. And then she discovered she wasn't the only one — there's a hidden history of great women walkers from the past. So she decided to tell their stories.

Length: 
14:38
a drawing of human foot bones
Articles

Six million years ago – give or take – the first early humans stood upright and started walking. Thanks to a new look at the fossil record, paleoanthropologist Jeremy DeSilva has some new theories about how and why humans took those first steps.

Length: 
20:59
Traveling in Canada
Articles

One of the most famous world travelers of any age was Barry Lopez, the explorer and writer who passed away in 2020. We wanted to remember him by re-visiting Steve Paulson's interview with Lopez about his memoir – called "Horizon."

Length: 
12:06
Illustration By George Wylesol (AFAR Magazine)
Articles

Unless you walk or bike to your next vacation destination, you’ll probably have to burn some fossil fuels to get there. Blogger Kathryn Kellogg is a guru of zero-waste living. She has a few tips on how to reduce your impact on the environment when you travel. 

Length: 
07:13
A cruise ship in Norway
Articles

Journalist Elizabeth Becker, the author of "Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism," breaks down how we got to this moment in global tourism, and how we might nudge nations, companies and ourselves to become more responsible travelers.

Length: 
10:55
bomb shelter
Sonic Sidebar

Mary Laura Philpott's memoir is called "Bomb Shelter." It is also an apt metaphor. When the world is on the brink, what do you and your family need to survive?

Length: 
3:30
duality
Articles

Susan Cain is the author of "Bittersweet." She says the experience of sadness can help us feel whole. Cain said "bittersweet" is one of those words we use, but don't know what it means.

Length: 
17:23

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