Episode Archives

Filter episodes by the year they originally aired.
empty football stadium

What do you do when the headlines are freaking you out and the news is making you tense? A lot of people find sports takes their mind off things. It’s like this one worry-free, politics-free zone. Until it isn’t.Read more

Original Air Date:

November 07, 2020

Overstimulated and over everything.

The pandemic, the protests, the arguments on social media — everything is exhausting. But maybe it doesn’t have to be?Read more

Original Air Date:

October 24, 2020

inverted stars over the white house

Americans are getting ready to vote. But this election is different from other years. What's really on the ballot?Read more

Original Air Date:

October 17, 2020

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

a pyramid among gold

We explore the ancient, obscure, occult science and art of alchemy — it turns out to be a lot more relevant to our lives than you’d believe.Read more

Original Air Date:

September 19, 2020

A bunch of stuff

We surround ourselves with possessions, but at what point do they start to possess us?Read more

Original Air Date:

September 05, 2020


A new generation of Black farmers are working to reclaim land, hoping to grow justice along with vegetables and plants.Read more

Original Air Date:

August 22, 2020

Math, biology and the other follies of man trying to explain the universe.

When things don't go the way they're supposed to — viruses, star systems, presidents, even fish — why do we so quickly seek order to explain the chaos?Read more

Original Air Date:

August 08, 2020

A parade of elephants in the Ngorongoro Crater

Millions of animals migrate every year to a destination they've never seen. How do they do it — and what can we learn from them?Read more

Original Air Date:

July 25, 2020

Jazz legends go all the way back to African music.

Jazz wasn't just born in America. There's an alternative history — a story of colonial empires, grassroots revolutions and the global migration of sound.Read more

Original Air Date:

July 04, 2020

Cell door

We take a hard look at how racism infects not only the police, but the entire criminal justice system.Read more

Original Air Date:

June 20, 2020

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

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

A nature path near Lake Wingra in Madison, Wisconsin.

Wherever you live — city or country, East coast, West coast, or in between — we share common, contemplative experiences on our walks outside.Read more

Original Air Date:

May 09, 2020

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


Skin is 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

tree among warnings

Why do people turn to poetry during troubled times? We saw it after 9/11 and we're seeing it now. When the world seems broken, poetry is often the one kind of language that helps.Read more

Original Air Date:

April 04, 2020


This week's show comes to you from our kitchens and homes. We’re thinking about the heroic doctors and nurses on the front lines of the pandemic.Read more

Original Air Date:

March 28, 2020

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

Women awake in bed

Every night, millions of us turn out the lights hoping and praying for a good night’s sleep. And every night, millions of us lie awake in the dark.Read more

Original Air Date:

March 07, 2020

Are there new ways to treat depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder? We explore some unconventional treatments for mental illness, including exercise, psychedelics and even horror films.Read more

Original Air Date:

February 15, 2020


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


What drives us toward armed conflict? And what does it take for peace activists to face down tyrants and military leaders?Read more

Original Air Date:

January 11, 2020


Clocks and calendars chop time into increments. It’s efficient, and it helps us get to meetings on time. But what does time feel like when you stop counting it?Read more

Original Air Date:

January 04, 2020