Arts and Culture

Amanda Shires

While pregnant with her first child, Amanda Shires was playing fiddle on the road for her husband, the country superstar, Jason Isbell. Near the end of her pregnancy, touring got to be too much. So she stayed home, alone, for weeks… with nothing to do but write songs.More

Artificial Creativity

Machines are getting smarter. They have been for a long time. But is there anything uniquely human that they will never be able to do, like make art?More

Man gets lost

Rebecca Solnit prepares the smartphone era for a time when we no longer know how to not know where we are.More

The mountain beckons

For years, David Roberts climbed some of Alaska’s biggest mountains, and made a number of first ascents. His new book is an examination of why some climbers feel compelled to push the edge of what’s possible.More

Michael Twitty

Michael Twitty can trace his family’s food history back to the slave cabins and Antebellum kitchens of the South. Honoring his diasporic heritage — he’s both black and Jewish — lead Twitty to the practice of identity cooking. He calls it Kosher/Soul.More

A five year vertical of Bourbon County Brand Stout. Older, pre-brewery sale style bottles are on the left, while the newer bottle design is on the right. 

Back in 1995, Goose Island created one of the most iconic craft beers of all time — Bourbon County Stout. Which — as Chicago Tribune beer writer Josh Noel explains — was why it was such a shock when they sold the brewery to Anheuser-Busch.More

lemon and kale

After listening to the food mavens and masters in our show on chasing "authentic" food, you might be mentally gathering tips on how to better enjoy food in your own home. So let’s gather our guests virtually for a summer party. This would be fun as a picnic, or backyard lazy afternoon brunch, or a light dinner on a hot day.More

Lots of choices

153 flavors of ice cream. An acre of cold cereals. Why do supermarkets have so many choices? Or do they? Where we might see hundreds of flavors, varieties and brands of food, food journalist Simran Sethi sees a scary kind of sameness.More

Kim on screen

Author Lucas Mann writes that calling reality TV a guilty pleasure is "the dumbest cultural cliche." We ask him about his new book Captive Audience, which is about his relationship with reality TV and the person he watches it with — his wife.More

Salt, fat, acid, heat

Over time, Samin Nosrat developed her own philosophy of cooking, based on a few universal principles: Salt, fat, acid and heat. Haleema Shah wondered: Does boiling all cooking down to basic elements like that lead to more authentic food?More

"The Elephant's Journey" by Julie Schumacher

"Dear Committee Members" author Julie Schumacher recommends Portuguese Nobel Lauaureate José Saramago's retelling of a true tale.More

Random balls? Or skill grab?

Jason Rohrer is one of the top game designers in the world. So when the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act came out, he found a loophole. Turns out, its' not all internet gambling games that are against the law. It's only the ones that are subject to chance. He claims that his new online gambling game is all skill.  More

random strands of light

Choreographer Bill T. Jones says that while many of us are trying to put more skill into our lives, his mentor, the musician John Cage, spent his life trying to do just the opposite. Jones says Cage’s music was often based on randomness and chance.More

Adam and Eve

We decided to trace Western culture's fixation on guilt back to one of its earliest origins — the story of Adam and Eve. It's only a page and a half in the Bible, but literary historian Stephen Greenblatt told Steve Paulson why it has been so influential.More

guilt for smoking

A lot of people feel guilty about something - diet, money, relationships or something else. Our host Anne Strainchamps and writer Devorah Baum definitely do. So we asked them to sit down to talk about how we wound up about in a giant cultural guilt trip.More

desks

Young people seem to be feeling the pressure to be perfect more than anyone else. Social psychologist Tom Curran tells us how neoliberalism and the digital age created a generation that feels guilty about falling short of flawlessness.More

Ken Windsor (CC BY 3.0)

Critic Ted Gioia says a new generation of young musicians have discovered an antidote to stale, formulaic pop music in the energy and ecstasy of jazz.More

Band A Part

Norway's acclaimed pianist Tord Gustavsen recommends another Norwegian classic, Masqualero's album "Bande a Part."More

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