Episode Archives

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Doug Gordon heads off to host and produce "Beta" on WPR Next.

TTBOOK staffers share some of our favorite interviews and shows produced by our favorite Canadian. Read more

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It sounds like a deal in the ads - submit your poems, have them set to music, and start a fascinating new career as a hit songwriter.  Of course your chance of success is slim to none and you have to pay for the privilege.  In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the strange subculture of...Read more

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The mind and the body meet in the brain.  In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, two of the world’s top brain doctors claim that what you feel affects how you feel.  Dr. Norman Rosenthal, the man who discovered Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), says there’s an Emotional...Read more

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Apocalyptic thinking is everywhere, from predictions about Christian “end times” to the 2012 Mayan prophecy about the end of the world.  So what’s going on?  In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge we’ll talk with renowned religious historian Elaine Pagels about the lasting impact of the...Read more

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The bitter chill of winter can be hard to take.  But there are people who love all that snow and ice; in fact, some don’t know anything else.  In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge we’ll explore the Far North, from the Inuit of Greenland to the bears of Alaska.  Also, a musical comedy...Read more

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He was the most surprising Booker Prize winner in years.  DBC Pierre had been a con man and a drug addict before he became a writer.  Now he’s won one of the world’s great literary prizes.  In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge we’ll talk with some award-winning writers including DBC...Read more

magic woman

A Florida housewife named Katie has an unusual affliction. Occasionally, for no rhyme or reason, thin pieces of gold colored foil appear spontaneously on her skin. Paranormal researchers are stumped. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, exploring magic. From tales of the paranormal to...Read more

person at chalkboard

Thousands of the world's languages are disappearing in the wake of globalization. And because language is the DNA of culture, a lost language is a lost culture. Today, stories from the frontlines of the language revitalization movement. Also, Dr. Larry Brilliant's improbable journey from...Read more

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Your mother always told you money can’t buy happiness.  Well, she was wrong.  And economists have calculated the price.  In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the high cost of happiness.  Also, why we cry: from crocodile tears to the three-hankie movie.  Writer Andrew Solomon’s struggles...Read more

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It’s primitive and brutal and a lot of people want to see it banned.  But it’s a 500 million dollar a year industry that’s not about to throw in the towel.  In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, a hard look at boxing.  And how the sport influenced the English language.  Also, one woman’s...Read more

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Scientists tell us optimistic people are happier, healthier and even live longer than pessimists.  But it's hard to maintain an optimistic frame of mind in the face of daily reports of war, famine, disease and injustice.  In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, evidence that the world is...Read more

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Maybe home is where you live, raise your family and mow the grass. Or it's where you grew up. Or where the whole clan gathers for major holidays. Wherever home is, it's never mattered more. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, stories of home, from the Texas hill country to the ‘hood....Read more

colors and light

How do we know what's real?  Can science tell us, or is there an unseen reality we'll never understand?  We explore the borderlands of knowledge and reflect on some remarkable episodes in the history of science - Nobel laureates who investigated ghosts and a pioneer of quantum physics...Read more

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John Cheever was sometimes called the "Chekov of the Suburbs." Cheever's characters often find themselves struggling with issues of conformity and class in American suburbia. Much like their creator himself. We'll explore the life and work of John Cheever with his biographer, Blake Bailey. Also...Read more

an ape

Are humans really unique?  Not as much as we think, says renowned primatologist Frans de Waal.  So what do our ape cousins - chimps & bonobos - think and feel?  Also, the remarkable story of a feral child who lived with monkeys.

 

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It’s the only musical instrument that’s played without being touched – the theremin.  You’ve probably heard its eerie sound in movies like Hitchcock’s “Spellbound” or on the Beach Boys’ hit “Good Vibrations.”  In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the intriguing life of the instrument’s...Read more

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Woody Allen is an Academy Award-winning film-maker and screenwriter, but he's notoriously media-shy. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, Eric Lax on talking to Woody Allen over 36 years. Also, we'll explore how independent screenplays work.Read more

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Let boys be boys. It's a hard thing to do today with concern over violence in schools and the seeming violence of boys' play. But what if, thanks to our culture of fear, boys are slipping through the cracks? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, we take a look at the inner world of...Read more

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Elephants mourning their dead.  Chimpanzees dying of grief.  And the everyday joy of a dog at play.  Biologist Marc Bekoff says the evidence is all around us, if we learn how to see it.  In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the case for animal emotions.  And we’ll spend some time with a...Read more

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In the early 1950's two-year-old Jacqueline Henley in New Orleans became darker.  After the neighbors complained, her aunt turned her over to New Orleans authorities.  A black couple wanted to adopt Jacqueline but -- she had the word “white” stamped on her birth certificate.   Next time on To...Read more

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Pop culture writer Chuck Klosterman has interviewed some of the biggest names in the celebrity constellation. But getting a celebrity to talk is no easy task. In fact, Klosterman says it's not in the celebrity's best interest to do any interviews at all. In this hour of To the Best of Our...Read more

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We’re all seeking something.  What about you? What are you looking for?Read more

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Future Perfect: Dreamers, Schemers & Visionaries

Part Three

 

Our environment is in trouble. It's not hard to imagine global catastrophe as problems like climate change and overpopulation take their toll. But there's always hope...Read more

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