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Tennis in the Sierpinski triangle

The most famous thing David Foster Wallace wrote is Infinite Jest, his huge, sprawling novel set in a dystopian near future. It’s a little eerie how well he predicted our world today — including the election of someone a lot like President Trump.

David Foster Wallace

Over the years, we did several interviews with Wallace himself. The last was in 2004, about his collection of short stories — "Oblivion." It’s an interview that’s been collected in two Wallace anthologies.

Studs Terkel in studio

Studs Terkel talked with people from of all walks of life about their work, from firefighters, to steel workers, to labor activist Cesar Chavez. 

Niki poses with some of her staff. She makes accommodations for employees struggling with prior convictions or legal status.

A few years ago, Niki Okuk started a tire recycling company in Los Angeles. Run along the lines of a worker-owned cooperative, the employees are people who would ordinarily have a hard time finding any job. 

Demonstrators march for "Medicare for All" and other socialist-leaning policy goals.

University of Wisconsin sociologist Erik Olin Wright was one of the world's leading Marxist theorists. He died in early 2019. In 2018, he stopped by our studio to talk socialism with Steve Paulson.

Brother Ali

You can find powerful critiques of capitalism and inequality on political platforms — and also on music stages. Take Brother Ali: he’s a Midwestern, Muslim rapper and one of the most popular socially-conscious hip hop artists out there.

Pro-bee is pro-human

When we talk about bees, usually we mean honeybees. Or bumblebees. But that’s just two out of 20,000 different species of bees. Thor Hanson tells Anne about how different species of bees and humanity have developed dependence on one another.

Lots of choices

153 flavors of ice cream. An acre of cold cereals. Why do supermarkets have so many choices? Or do they? Where we might see hundreds of flavors, varieties and brands of food, food journalist Simran Sethi sees a scary kind of sameness.

Adam and Eve

We decided to trace Western culture's fixation on guilt back to one of its earliest origins — the story of Adam and Eve. It's only a page and a half in the Bible, but literary historian Stephen Greenblatt told Steve Paulson why it has been so influential.

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