Episode Archives

lady among viruses

How can we, individually and collectively, find meaning in the experience of the coronavirus pandemic?Read more

Original Air Date:

May 23, 2020

Previous Airdates:

May 23, 2020
December 26, 2020
September 25, 2021

Pick Your Poison

Covert spies painting nerve agents on doorknobs? It's not the only way to poison someone. We hear stories of radioactive paint, formaldehyde-spiked baby formula, and a beautiful garden full of plants that could kill you.Read more

Original Air Date:

October 13, 2018

Previous Airdates:

October 13, 2018
June 29, 2019
March 14, 2020
January 23, 2021
September 25, 2021

A tree in Sequoia National Forest

Trees talk to each other, and even form alliances with other trees or other species. Some are incredibly old — the root mass of aspens might live 100,000 years. In this hour, we explore the science and history of trees.Read more

Original Air Date:

April 28, 2018

Previous Airdates:

April 28, 2018
December 15, 2018
November 09, 2019
August 29, 2020
September 18, 2021

empty stage

In times of crisis, we need music. We look at how far people will go — even under quarantine, during a pandemic — to find ways to make music together.Read more

Original Air Date:

April 25, 2020

Previous Airdates:

April 25, 2020
January 02, 2021
September 18, 2021

soldier in shadow

On the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, photographer James Nachtwey reflects on his life as a war photographer, and we consider the deep history of war itself.Read more

Original Air Date:

September 11, 2021

Previous Airdates:

September 11, 2021

Workers of all stripes

It's not easy in America today to find work that matters, that’s meaningful, and that pays enough to live on. Which is the one thing we don’t talk about. What’s wrong with work — and how do we fix it?Read more

Original Air Date:

September 01, 2018

Previous Airdates:

September 01, 2018
August 31, 2019
September 05, 2020
September 04, 2021

Traveling the world by book

From Africa to England, to a kamikaze cockpit, and to realms of fantasy. Books aren’t just books. They’re passports.Read more

Original Air Date:

March 14, 2020

Previous Airdates:

March 14, 2020
December 05, 2020
September 04, 2021

Live from Mark's (in-game) yard.

Not everyone has a big yard to stretch out in while sheltering in place. But maybe all you need is a virtual space to call your own.Read more

Original Air Date:

May 16, 2020

Previous Airdates:

May 16, 2020
January 09, 2021
August 28, 2021

Playing jazz

There's a new kind of music packing nightclubs with young fans. It's jazz — but not the sound of your grandparents' supper club. Infused with hip hop and other popular musical forms, jazz is being remade.Read more

Original Air Date:

November 27, 2016

Previous Airdates:

November 11, 2017
June 16, 2018
March 16, 2019
January 25, 2020
August 21, 2021

Plant as person

If plants are intelligent beings, how should we relate to them? Do they have a place in our moral universe? Should they have rights?Read more

Original Air Date:

December 19, 2020

Previous Airdates:

December 19, 2020
August 21, 2021

ate that cake

It creeps into everything: guilt that we're not good enough, fit enough, smart enough. As we peruse Instagram, all we see is the perfection of others reflecting our own failures back at us. Why do we spend so much time feeling guilty? Should we?Read more

Original Air Date:

June 21, 2018

Previous Airdates:

June 23, 2018
February 16, 2019
November 23, 2019
August 08, 2020
August 21, 2021

Pump-jack mining crude oil with the sunset

Floods, wildfires, winds and extreme temperatures. We talk with the people who are writing the story of climate change as we are living it.Read more

Original Air Date:

August 14, 2021

Previous Airdates:

August 14, 2021

Modern anti-depressants have saved a lot of minds. And lives. But what have they done to our bodies? And how do we navigate that trade-off between body and mind?Read more

Original Air Date:

March 24, 2018

Previous Airdates:

March 24, 2018
November 17, 2018
August 17, 2019
April 25, 2020
August 14, 2021

skin

We all miss touching things — groceries, door knobs, hands, faces. And most of all, skin. The living tissue that simultaneously protects us from the world, and lets us feel it. In this episode, the politics, biology, and inner life of your skin.Read more

Original Air Date:

April 18, 2020

Previous Airdates:

April 18, 2020
December 12, 2020
August 07, 2021

Be quiet, world

Do you ever crave silence? Maybe some can’t stand to hear themselves thinking, but others go to great lengths to find respite from a blaringly loud world.Read more

Original Air Date:

December 09, 2017

Previous Airdates:

December 09, 2017
August 04, 2018
April 27, 2019
February 22, 2020
August 07, 2021

runners

What does it take to win Olympic gold? To become "the world's fastest human"? This hour, Olympic fame, the politics of sports, and the science of running.Read more

Original Air Date:

July 31, 2021

Previous Airdates:

July 31, 2021

From our narrow vantage point on Earth, how can we see what's out there, beyond our skies?

 Read more

Original Air Date:

August 19, 2017

Previous Airdates:

August 19, 2017
August 18, 2018
August 03, 2019
April 04, 2020
July 31, 2021

 The Brooks Range divides the continent north and south.

Science tells us mountains are giant piles of rock, formed millions of years ago. But that's not all they are — there was a time when mountains were gods.Read more

Original Air Date:

July 24, 2021

Previous Airdates:

July 24, 2021

Woman staring into the distance

When you’re hurt and the only way out of toxic bitterness and resentment is to let go, how do you summon the resolve to reach out to the person who hurt you most?Read more

Original Air Date:

May 21, 2017

Previous Airdates:

May 21, 2017
December 07, 2017
September 15, 2018
September 21, 2019
July 24, 2021

The bright Addis Ababa skyline

Africans are moving into cities in unprecedented numbers. Lagos, Nigeria, is on track to have 100 million people. So how and why do cities thrive?Read more

Original Air Date:

December 14, 2019

Previous Airdates:

December 14, 2019
September 26, 2020
July 17, 2021

Bee collecting pollen

Bees are endangered, but all over the world, people are stepping up to save them — in backyards, science labs, and the abandoned lots of urban Detroit.Read more

Original Air Date:

July 28, 2018

Previous Airdates:

July 28, 2018
May 18, 2019
July 18, 2020
July 17, 2021

Overstimulated and over everything.

The pandemic, the protests, the President’s Twitter feed — everything is exhausting. But maybe it doesn’t have to be?Read more

Original Air Date:

October 24, 2020

Previous Airdates:

October 24, 2020
July 10, 2021

Tree image

Reading books isn't always the best way to learn. Some things you need to learn from your elders, and their wisdom has often been passed down through the generations. Read more

Original Air Date:

January 31, 2016

Previous Airdates:

January 31, 2016
November 13, 2016
April 12, 2018
November 30, 2019
July 10, 2021

It doesn't matter whether you grew up going to Coney Island, Six Flags, or Pacific Park — to a kid, all amusement parks are magical. This hour we take a trip to the land of funnel cake, freak shows and fast rides.Read more

Original Air Date:

May 17, 2015

Previous Airdates:

May 17, 2015
August 26, 2017
May 26, 2018
May 25, 2019
July 03, 2021

book on a table

One of the most fun things we get to do is bring the soundscape of a novel to life — cue the monsters, the storms, the footsteps of a creature emerging slowly from the ocean. This week, we listen to our favorite cinema of the ear.Read more

Original Air Date:

July 03, 2021

Previous Airdates:

July 03, 2021

eyes

Exchanging glances with the natural world happens more often than you’d think. It can be so profound, there’s a name for it: eye-to-eye epiphany.Read more

Original Air Date:

February 08, 2020

Previous Airdates:

February 08, 2020
October 03, 2020
June 26, 2021

Books up close

Is there a book you can’t forget? A book that left a mark on you? We celebrate books and reading with an eclectic cast of writers from around the country.Read more

Original Air Date:

November 16, 2019

Previous Airdates:

November 16, 2019
September 12, 2020
June 26, 2021

Delete your account

You're thinking about hitting “delete” on all of it — Facebook, Twitter. But is that the answer, or should we resolve to stick around and make things better?Read more

Original Air Date:

December 22, 2018

Previous Airdates:

December 22, 2018
August 24, 2019
August 15, 2020
June 19, 2021

cemetary

Is there a better way to talk about death? And to grieve? The pandemic has brought us a period of global mourning — and a new reckoning with loss.Read more

Original Air Date:

June 19, 2021

Previous Airdates:

June 19, 2021

A brain alive with energy

New experiences rewire the brain. So after all we’ve been through, are we different? We consider the "COVID brain" in both neuroscience and the arts.Read more

Original Air Date:

October 10, 2020

Previous Airdates:

October 10, 2020
June 12, 2021

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