Latest Stories

Jumbo's Good Food, c. 2001
Audio

When Joe Hardtke was a kid in the 1980s, Jumbo's Drive-In in Kewaunee, Wisconsin was the place all the farm kids hung out. 40 years later, people still talk about their fries. Joe went back to his hometown to investigate what made those fries so perfect — crispy and filled with flavor — and how the story of Jumbo’s is a reflection on how we all see our hometowns. 

cookie dough
Articles

Three authors share recipes that anchor them back to history, both shared and personal.

Bradley Lomax and Judith Heumann
Audio

Sami Schalk is the author of “Black Disability Politics,” a history of disability rights and Black activism. She says understanding Black disability politics is essential to building an accessible future.

Length: 
15:41
Brian Muraresku
Articles

Scholar Brian Muraresku makes the controversial argument that the famous Eleusinian Mysteries were fueled by a psychedelic beer.

Length: 
49:43
feet
Audio

Rae Johnson is a somatic movement therapist and the author of “Embodied Activism.” They say the process of making change is more sustainable when you listen to your body. 

Length: 
13:38
Audio

As Steve says in this 2005 profile, part of the magic of Nobel Prize-winning short story author Alice Munro was the way she condensed the essence of a life into a short space. Munro passed away on May 13, 2024. She was 92.

Articles

Jessi Kneeland, a fitness trainer turned body neutrality coach, suggests that aiming for a neutral stance toward one's body — rather than unconditional love — might be more realistic and attainable for many of us.

Length: 
19:53
Eula Biss
Bookmarks

"On Immunity: An Inoculation" author Eula Biss recommends a memoir in which author Maggie Nelson asks questions that bend conventions about gender, sexuality, motherhood, family and identity itself.

Length: 
3:53
Left to right: Rylea Nevaeh Whittet as Maddy and Margaret Qualley as Alex in episode 101 of "Maid."
Articles

Stephanie Land’s 2019 book "Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive" detailed her personal experience struggling with precarious work as a housecleaner while raising a young child.

Length: 
19:18
A woman with child
Articles

The time a person spends carrying their child during a pregnancy is only a brief time compared to the time they'll spend being a mother, but as Amanda Henry shares in her story, that time goes differently for everyone, shaping who you are and what impact you'll go on to have on the world around you.

Frank Stella, Double Gray Scramble, 1973.
Audio

Frank Stella sits down with Steve Paulson to talk about a lesser known aspect of his remarkable career — his work as a printmaker.

Abstract dishes
Articles

Fasting is an ancient practice that’s experiencing something of a revival right now in health and fitness circles. But when John Oakes set out to explore the concept, he took it a lot deeper.

Length: 
16:27
Frans Hals, Meeting of the Officers and Sergeants of the Calivermen Civic Guard, 1633
Photo Gallery

The Frans Hals Museum in the Netherlands holds an exquisite collection of 16th and 17th century Dutch art — and the largest collection of paintings by artist Frans Hals himself. Steve Paulson takes us along on a tour of Hals’ work, and talks with Steven Nadler, a philosopher who has written a new book about Hals.

Length: 
19:36
Meghan O’Gieblyn
Articles

Does AI have a fundamentally different kind of intelligence than the human mind? Essayist Meghan O’Gieblyn is fascinated by this question. Her investigation into machine intelligence became a very personal journey, which led her down the rabbit hole into questions about creativity and the nature of transcendence.

Length: 
17:01
Lucrezia de’ Medici (1545-1561)
Articles

In her latest novel, Irish novelist Maggie O’Farrell takes us into the world of Renaissance Italy, where she unravels the tale of a young woman, Lucrezia de’ Medici. Shannon Henry Kleiber talked with O’Farrell about what we can learn about history and ourselves through the many layers of portraits.

Length: 
14:51
Photo Gallery

Peter Brathwaite has now researched and re-imagined more than a hundred paintings of Black subjects. What began as a game is now a book and a museum exhibition called “Rediscovering Black Portraiture.

Length: 
16:30
a crumbled up piece of paper
Articles

There are two sides to giving up. The virtue of sacrifice – and the sin of despair. So how do we decide which is which? That’s the question psychoanalyst Adam Phillips asks in his newest book “On Giving Up.”

Length: 
13:32
A mysterious door.
Audio

Turns out there is an emerging science of uncertainty — a new frontier in psychology, artificial intelligence, and surgery — where things can go very wrong when people are missing a crucial skill set: being unsure. Maggie Jackson explains.

Length: 
18:02
Audio

Dustin Mater is a Chickasaw artist who's fascinated by ancient rock art. He says these images resonate with stories he heard from tribal elders, which he uses as inspiration for his own art.  

Length: 
11:21
Photo Gallery

Stephen Alvarez — a National Geographic photographer and founder of the Ancient Art Archive — has spent years documenting ancient rock art around the world. He takes Steve Paulson on a long hike in the Cumberland Plateau, where they find an "unnamed cave" with 2,000-year old engravings.

Length: 
16:41
Articles

Geologist Marcia Bjornerud has a profound understanding of Earth's deep history. The author of "Timefulness," she says geologic literacy would give us a much healthier sense of time. 

Length: 
19:48
Feilding
Audio

In the years when psychedelic science had been shut down, Amanda Feilding helped jump-start research into altered states of mind. Today, she's in her 80s and remains active in psychedelic research with her Beckley Foundation.

Length: 
7:58
Kristof Koch
Audio

Neuroscientist Christof Koch has pioneered the scientific investigation of consciousness. Recently, he had a mind-blowing experience — both terrifying and ecstatic — with 5-MeO-DMT,  also known as toad venom.

Length: 
21:44
Robin Carhart-Harris
Articles

For years, Robin Carhart-Harris dreamed of using brain scans to study people on LSD. He’s gone on to conduct pioneering research on psilocybin, and he’s formulated a theory of the "entropic brain" to explain what happens during psychedelic experiences.

Length: 
9:26
Interactive

Physicist Don Gurnett has recorded what you might hear from inside a spacecraft, and it isn't just the sound of desolate silence.

Length: 
4:30
The first image of a black hole.
Articles

Steve spoke with Yale astrophysicist Priya Natarajan about the search for invisible parts of the universe, dark matter, and the mind-boggling nature of black holes.

Length: 
10:35
Articles

Speaking in 2017, Journalist David Baron describes how witnessing a total solar eclipse set him on a path to examine how eclipses have propelled many inquisitive minds deeper into the sciences to see more deeply into the universe.

Length: 
10:14
Walter Scheirer
Articles

The internet is indeed overflowing with fake content, says computer scientist Walter Scheirer. But the vast majority of it seems aimed at the creation of connection—rather than destruction.

Length: 
18:08
Articles

When painter Sougwen Chung paints something in collaboration with an AI she trained — say, a black oil-paint brush stroke — a robot mimics Chung. But at some point, the robot continues without Chung and paints something new. So how creative is AI?

Length: 
14:40
Woman with red lipstick and collar with a single teardrop on her cheek
Audio

When an actor cries on stage during a theater production or in a film, what are they really doing? Jen Plants says when an actor cries on stage, it’s a lot more complicated, and important, than you think.

Length: 
13:09

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