Latest Stories

Teen brain
Articles

If teens have trouble remembering where they put their homework, how are they going to marshal a legislative agenda? On the other hand, maybe teens have mental advantages adults don’t. Steve Paulson asked neuroscientist Frances Jensen to weigh in.

Length: 
11:09
A serious backbar
Articles

Prohibition gave us speakeasies, jazz clubs and bathtub gin. But a new revisionist history uncovers a more disturbing legacy: campaigns against immigrants, the War on Drugs, and the rise of America's "incarceration nation," says historian Lisa McGirr.

Length: 
10:08
A push of the clock
Articles

Dan Pink has written several books about motivation, work and behavior. His most recent, called “When,” is all about timing. He says people facing an ending seems to push people in new directions.

Length: 
12:01
Tie
Articles

Anthropologist Ilana Gershon argues that if you want to have a successful career in the US today, you have to be a job quitter.

Length: 
9:46
Starling
Articles

Elena Passarello’s latest book, “Animals Strike Curious Poses,” is a journey through stories of the wild ones: the mammoths, spiders, birds and primates that have left their marks on our society. To the Best of Our Knowledge host Anne Strainchamps talked with Passarello about the “animal gaze” and the legacy of Mozart’s starling, among other animal tales.

Length: 
16:18
broken heart
Articles

Every week, Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond host the popular "Dear Sugars" podcast, where they read listener letters and give relationship advice. Sometimes, they have to parse the questions people think they're asking from the ones simmering beneath the surface.

Length: 
11:06
A flower at the end of life
Dangerous Ideas

Author and professor Simon Critchley offers a dangerous idea that concerns time. And death.

Length: 
3:24
Choose something from 2018 and leave it behind.
Dangerous Ideas

Anne shares a yearly ritual for leaving behind something you regret, and moving into the new year a little bit lighter. 

Length: 
1:11
David Giffels and his dad
Deep Tracks

A few years ago, David Giffels took on an unusual woodworking project — he started building his own coffin. With his 80-year-old father. But after losing his mother and best friend suddenly, his woodworking project took on a whole new meaning.
 

Length: 
11:33
Goshawk in flight
Articles

Shattered by her father's sudden death, writer Helen Macdonald began dreaming of wild hawks.  In an effort to move beyond her grief, she bought and trained a wild goshawk — one of the world's fiercest birds of prey.   But between the bird and her grief, she became, in her words "more hawk than human."

deray on Twitter
Sonic Sidebar

Maybe you can do without social media, if your life is already pretty comfortable. But you know what? Some people can't wait for something better to come along. They need social media today. Like organizer DeRay Mckesson.

Length: 
03:57
Trees
Audio

Botanist Diana Beresford-Kroeger tells Anne that the lives of trees and human beings are inter-related all the way down to the molecular level.

Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold
Video

Mountain climber Tommy Caldwell takes us inside Alex Honnold’s free solo of El Capitan.

Length: 
2:57
Ways to help Jay
Audio

In 2015, Jay Costello was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a treatable but incurable blood cancer. His family couldn't handle it alone, so his daughter Megan started asking for help online, fundraising via a GoFundMe page. 

Length: 
07:11
Kambui Olujimi: The Drop, from the series InDecisive Moments, 2017. Glass, approx. 30 x 20 x 20 inches. Courtesy the artist.
Photo Gallery

It’s hard to wrap your head around climate change. How do you really take in the concept of planetary change over decades or even centuries? Visual artist Kambui Olujimi explores different ideas about time in his one-man show “Zulu Time.”

Length: 
7:08
earth
Dangerous Ideas

Historian Iain McCalman’s Dangerous Idea? The Anthropocene — the idea that humans have fundamentally changed our global climate. It’s scary, but we’re also seeing people come together in unprecedented ways to solve planetary problems.

Length: 
2:32
Resevoir
Articles

We've heard plenty about micro-dosing with LSD — in articles, books, even on this show. But psychiatrist Anna Fels has a new micro-dosing proposal. Not with a drug – with lithium.
 

Mind/body
Articles

Remember debating the mind-body duality in college? You probably argued the meaning of Descartes’ adage “I think, therefore I am” in your dorm. Maybe you even delved into the idea of what is consciousness. But for Lauren Slater, author of “Prozac Diary,” the mind-body argument isn’t just a debate or an intellectual pursuit.

Doors across borders.
Articles

The Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid sets his newest novel, "Exit West," in a world of permanent mass migration, in a city ripped apart by civil war. He told Steve Paulson he modeled it on his own city — Lahore, Pakistan.

Length: 
16:13
Lady Liberty
Interactive

Historian Carol Anderson walks us through the timeline of truly free and fair elections in the United States, a period she says lasted from the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 until a fateful Supreme Court decision in 2013.

Length: 
10:44
Voting Day
Articles

Could we make our elections more secure, more inclusive, or just more fun? Depends on who you ask, and we asked a lot of people.

"We Have Always Lived in the Castle" By Shirley Jackson (Penguin Classics)
Bookmarks

Laurence Jackson Hyman, son of the famed horror author Shirley Jackson, recommends her 1962 classic tale for its scares, suspense, and strangeness. 

striped floor
Articles

In collaboration with David Lynch, Mark Frost co-created one of the most enduring fictional universes of all time — Twin Peaks. Bookending the series' return to TV in 2017 after 25 years, Frost has written two innovative novels that take a deep dive into the history of the surreal logging town. 

Guy under stress
Articles

According to one estimate there may be as many as 50 million workers in the on demand economy, and they're not all Uber drivers or freelancers. Economist Guy Standing has a word for this new and very insecure economic class: "the precariat."

Robot boy
Articles

Alexander Weinstein’s “Children of the New World” is a collection of cautionary tales about extreme emotional attachment to software and silicon.  

Prince
Sonic Sidebar

Chuck Klosterman thinks the Internet has ruined a lot of things, including death.

Books on books on books
Dangerous Ideas

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.

Length: 
1:46
Rashid Johnson, Antoine’s Organ, 2016.
Articles

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.

Length: 
8:55
Gavin and the Proud Boys
Articles

Investigative journalist Alexandra Hall examined the "Proud Boys," a men's organization whose founder preaches libertarian ideals, the rejection of feminism, and the "veneration of the housewife," which translates to the belief that most women belong at home.

Length: 
34:17
trains for the train sounds, Paris
Sonic Sidebar

Cities are full of music — but can cities also BE music? David Rothenberg gives us a tiny history of how composers have used cities to make music, beginning with Pierre Schaeffer’s “Musique concrète.”

Length: 
03:04

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