Episode Archives

RR cafe sign

In this show, we explore storyworlds — the fictional universes that continue to enchant us.  Like the ghostly supernatural realm in which Abe Lincoln’s dead son, Willie, finds himself and the surreal Pacific Northwest town of Twin Peaks, the home of some damn fine coffee.Read more

Original Air Date:

February 19, 2017

Previous Airdates:

February 19, 2017
October 28, 2017
October 20, 2018

DNA tests are uncovering mixed bloodlines. For African Americans, this can be emotionally-charged. What do you do when you find out one of your direct ancestors was a slave owner? Does it open the door to new conversations about racial justice?Read more

Original Air Date:

March 10, 2018

Previous Airdates:

March 10, 2018
October 20, 2018
June 08, 2019
May 16, 2020

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

Your electronic best friend

Do you love your laptop? Feel affection for your phone? Some of us spend more time with our devices than our families. How deep do those attachments go?Read more

Original Air Date:

September 02, 2017

Previous Airdates:

September 02, 2017
February 17, 2018
October 13, 2018

Sound and Color

Do you ever wish you could reinvent yourself? This hour, we hear from four noted artists who experienced pivotal turns in their own lives: artist Rashid Johnson, writer/photographer Teju Cole, singer Nikka Costa, and musician Michael Nesmith.Read more

Original Air Date:

July 15, 2017

Previous Airdates:

December 16, 2017
July 15, 2017
October 06, 2018

Eric, president of the Wisconsin chapter of the Proud Boys, shows off his tattoo, which is part of initiation into the group. Another ritual involves getting punched by other members while reciting breakfast cereal names. Photo taken Oct. 4, 2017.

The right-wing politics and bro culture of The Proud Boys is attracting young, white men nationwide. Founder Gavin McInnes believes “95% of American women” would be happier at home. Where does his vision of “being a man” fit in 2018?Read more

Original Air Date:

February 03, 2018

Previous Airdates:

February 03, 2018
October 06, 2018

Facing hatred head-on

For the first time since World War II, far-right and neo-fascist groups are winning converts and votes — all over Europe and also here at home. Why is it happening, and can it be stopped?Read more

Original Air Date:

February 24, 2018

Previous Airdates:

February 24, 2018
September 29, 2018
May 18, 2019
March 28, 2020

Headphones in the city

Cities can be cacophonous and loud, a chaos of sonic discord. If, that is, you don't really focus your listening. People who’ve trained their ears to hear urban soundscapes in new ways hear something different.Read more

Original Air Date:

September 29, 2018

Previous Airdates:

September 29, 2018
May 11, 2019
February 01, 2020

Ever had the nagging suspicion that you’re being watched? You are. We all are.Read more

Original Air Date:

January 13, 2018

Previous Airdates:

January 13, 2018
September 22, 2018
June 29, 2019
June 13, 2020

A little more magic in the world.

"Magical thinking" gets a bad rap these days. It suggests losing your grip on reality or being so gullible that you'll believe anything - from ghosts to miracles. But what if magic isn't pure fantasy? Maybe it's the gateway to wonder.  Read more

Original Air Date:

February 17, 2018

Previous Airdates:

February 17, 2018
September 22, 2018
May 11, 2019
October 03, 2020

The first birth is when you arrive here, as a wet, wiggling newborn. But there may be other transitions in your life that feel just as difficult and profound. Some people actually call those passages rebirth. Read more

Original Air Date:

September 15, 2018

Previous Airdates:

September 15, 2018
June 15, 2019
July 25, 2020

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

Mr. Moneybags Monopoly graffiti

Checking someone else’s privilege can be a form of hostility. Checking your own can be an act of humility. Does anyone actually benefit from talking about privilege? This hour, the benefits and drawbacks of talking about privilege.Read more

Original Air Date:

October 18, 2015

Previous Airdates:

October 18, 2015
July 23, 2017
September 08, 2018
April 11, 2020

David Foster Wallace

On the tenth anniversary of his suicide, David Foster Wallace faces renewed criticism over his treatment of women, in his life and work. Fans and critics are re-reading his work, struggling to reconcile genius with misogyny.Read more

Original Air Date:

September 08, 2018

Previous Airdates:

September 08, 2018

Automatic

Automated machines are taking over our lives. They're not the scary robots you see in movies, but more and more of today's technology — from smart phones to airplanes — is automated. But do we want to give machines so much control?Read more

Original Air Date:

November 29, 2015

Previous Airdates:

November 29, 2015
September 02, 2017
September 01, 2018

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

Swirls

Psychedelic science is back — and they could help heal people with addictions, PTSD and end-of-life anxiety.Read more

Original Air Date:

September 23, 2017

Previous Airdates:

March 05, 2017
September 23, 2017
August 25, 2018

Apple on the tree of knowledge

A garden, a tree, an apple and a serpent. The story of Adam and Eve is as old as sin. But it’s a lot more than a Bible story.Read more

Original Air Date:

February 05, 2017

Previous Airdates:

September 16, 2017
February 05, 2017
August 25, 2018
July 27, 2019

Mileva Marić-Einstein and Albert Einstein, 1912

There are the female scientists you can name, and the ones forgotten by history. Like Mileva Marić-Einstein. She might just have been more brilliant than Albert was — but we'll never know. Read more

Original Air Date:

August 23, 2018

Previous Airdates:

August 23, 2018

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

When women in science feel trapped by harassers, how do they (and science) suffer as a result?

Sexism has no boundaries, as we're quickly discovering. But what impact does it have on scientific discovery if sexist behavior drives women out of science entirely?Read more

Original Air Date:

December 02, 2017

Previous Airdates:

December 02, 2017
August 18, 2018

repeat

Whether it’s nail biting or handwashing, most of us have a compulsion we can’t give up. Maybe that’s a good thing?Read more

Original Air Date:

April 23, 2017

Previous Airdates:

April 23, 2017
November 04, 2017
August 11, 2018
May 04, 2019

A ray of hope

Why is the world so damn cynical? Rather than surrendering to corrosive, hopeless snark, we look to some unexpected sources to make the case for sincerity.Read more

Original Air Date:

August 11, 2018

Previous Airdates:

August 11, 2018
March 09, 2019
January 11, 2020
October 24, 2020

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

A Medicare for all rally

It was a dirty word 25 years ago. But now, more and more people are identifying as Socialists…in America and on the ballot.Read more

Original Air Date:

August 04, 2018

Previous Airdates:

August 04, 2018

A ship on the rocks

Who really runs the world? Presidents and prime ministers, or CEOs and bankers? And who’s responsible when everything falls apart?Read more

Original Air Date:

December 23, 2017

Previous Airdates:

December 23, 2017
July 28, 2018
March 23, 2019
May 02, 2020

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

The spiral of the edges of belief

Jeff Kripal is a highly original, even maverick, historian of religion. In this conversation — part of a collaboration with the LA Review of Books — Kripal takes Steve to where all the weird stuff we can’t explain lives ... or hides.Read more

Original Air Date:

July 26, 2018

Previous Airdates:

July 26, 2018

Candles

When suicide bombers blow up crowded marketplaces, or a lone shooter attacks a nightclub, one question we’re always left with is why. This hour, a look at the underlying psychology of political violence.Read more

Original Air Date:

July 16, 2016

Previous Airdates:

July 16, 2016
March 12, 2017
July 21, 2018

Protester

Wherever you turn, it seems like someone’s angry — on Facebook and cable news, in street marches and congressional town halls. It would seem that we’ve entered a new era of increased hostility. But how did we, as a nation, get here?Read more

Original Air Date:

March 26, 2017

Previous Airdates:

October 21, 2017
March 26, 2017
July 21, 2018

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