Episode Archives

Jazz legends go all the way back to African music.
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July 04, 2020

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

Cell door
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June 20, 2020

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

lady among viruses
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May 23, 2020

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

Live from Mark's (in-game) yard.
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May 16, 2020

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

A nature path near Lake Wingra in Madison, Wisconsin.
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May 09, 2020

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

empty stage
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April 25, 2020

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

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April 18, 2020

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

tree among warnings
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April 04, 2020

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

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March 28, 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

Traveling the world by book
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March 14, 2020

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

Women awake in bed
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March 07, 2020

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

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February 15, 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

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February 08, 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

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January 11, 2020

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

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January 04, 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

a moose
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December 21, 2019

On this Winter Solstice, what can we learn from the natural world — from animals, from the water — about surviving and even celebrating the cold?Read more

The bright Addis Ababa skyline
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December 14, 2019

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

The game of life
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November 30, 2019

The board games we play tell us so much more about ourselves than we think — our history, our politics and our inner psychology.Read more

Books up close
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November 16, 2019

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

underground cave
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November 02, 2019

Scientists and explorers have found a whole new world under our feet. It's an exciting place, and it's changing what we know about the planet and ourselves.Read more

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October 26, 2019

What if experiencing dread — the horror of it all — is good for you?Read more

happy pleasure
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October 12, 2019

What if the most unselfish thing you could do was to pursue pleasure and joy? We make the case for the transformative power of joy, pleasure and delight.Read more

blurry man at podium
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September 28, 2019

The line between free speech and hate speech isn't always clear. When does sensitivity become censorship?Read more

seeds on the horizon
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September 14, 2019

As monocropping and agribusiness continue to dominate modern farming, we speak to farmers, botanists and indigenous people about how they are reclaiming our seeds.Read more

man and woman singing
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August 17, 2019

Millions of people are caring for someone with severe memory loss, trying to find ways to connect. One of the best ways anyone has found is music.Read more

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August 10, 2019

What makes someone want to walk into a ring and hit someone? Choose to take a punch? Why men — and women — fight. And why so many of us like to watch.Read more

woman with bullhorn
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July 27, 2019

Your voice is unique. It's how your friends and family know you. But how comfortable are you with your voice? And how freely do you use it?Read more

woman on beach
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July 13, 2019

Summer reading lists are full of so-called "beach books." But if you’ve got enough time to lounge by a pool or swing in a hammock, why not tackle something more substantial?Read more

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June 22, 2019

We're always online but still have an innate need to meet in person. How can we make gatherings, from dinner parties to work meetings, more meaningful?Read more

Mushroom wonder
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June 08, 2019

We owe our past and future existence on Earth to fungi. Some can heal you, some can kill you, and some can change you forever.Read more