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happy people social-ing on phones

Ethan Zuckerman directs the Center for Civic Media at MIT. He argues that simply quitting these platforms isn't enough — we have to stick around and demand something better.

Ways to help Jay

In 2015, Jay Costello was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a treatable but incurable blood cancer. His family couldn't handle it alone, so his daughter Megan started asking for help online, fundraising via a GoFundMe page. 

gift giving

Is it actually possible to give a truly selfless gift? Anthropologist David Graeber says it's not only impossible, the entire concept of a "free gift" is a capitalist construct shaped by impersonal market economies.

give the gift of a clean kitchen

Psychologist Elizabeth Dunn on how to spend money on ourselves and others in a way that maximizes happiness.

Heart Wall

Writer Alice Walker has been thinking about how anger co-exists with peace. She spoke with Shannon Henry Kleiber about her new book of poems, “Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart,” and how she works on healing herself when she’s been hurt by others.

Crossing the plains of the Gnostic Gospels

The religion scholar Elaine Pagels introduced the world to the ancient Gnostic Gospels. 25 years later, she's finally ready to talk about how her own grief — after the deaths of her young son and husband — shaped her religious imagination.

"Prairie fires of the great west"

Laura Ingalls Wilder insisted that every detail in her beloved "Little House" books was true. But Caroline Fraser, her biographer, says Wilder heavily edited the story of her family's life on the Great Plains. And in the process, created an American myth based on a lie or two.
 

A poison garden

Amy Stewart is a serious gardener with a side gig – writing about all the plants that could kill you.

Poison tea

Kathryn Harkup is a chemist with an expertise in poison. She’s made a close study of a famous poisoner that employed everything from arsenic to cyanide to knock off close to 300 (fictional) victims: Agatha Christie, the mystery writer.

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