Latest Stories

Isaac Newton
Articles

Isaac Newton wrote more than a million words on alchemy over his lifetime, conducting decades of alchemical experiments. But he did it all in secret. Why? The question fascinates historian Bill Newman.

Length: 
10:58
Octopus
Articles

Philosopher Peter Godfrey-Smith says the octopus is "probably the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien.” It has no bones and most of its neurons are in its arms — not its brain. Can we ever fathom octopus consciousness?

Length: 
10:35
alchemical recipes
Articles

Pamela Smith's science history students spend a semester taking medieval alchemical recipes and re-creating them in a lab.

Length: 
11:02
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
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
whale at House on the Rock
Audio

When Angelo visited the House on the Rock for the first time, at first he saw a testament to one man's obsession and demented imagination. But then he started to think — does he have his own bizarre collection of stuff in his home?

Length: 
4:33
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
Colson Whitehead
Articles

Colson Whitehead’s novel "The Underground Railroad" won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Steve Paulson spoke with him about this powerful, sweeping epic.

Length: 
12:46