Interviews By Topic

Historical photo of the St. Louis Arch

Edward McPherson on the legacy of the St. Louis Arch.More

"The Tradition" book cover design by Phil Kovacevich and art by Ralphi Burgess. (Copper Canyon Press)

The poet Jericho Brown grew up in a black church in Louisiana. He left that church years ago, but his poems keep returning to worship and the Bible — and to religion.More

Religious historian Jeffrey Kripal believes that anomalous experiences — near-death experiences, telepathic dreams and other primal spiritual encounters — are the deep roots of religion. You might call it "religion before it becomes religion."More

Elizabeth Krohn says she left her body, went somewhere else, met and talked to God. And then came back to dream the future. What does her experience tell us about where religion comes from?More

How painting radium on watches and instrument dials killed more than 50 young women working in Ottawa, Illinois.More

Moby Dick

Ricardo Pitts-Wiley is the director and writer of the theatrical production of “Moby Dick: Then and Now,” which re-imagines Melville's tale in a context relevant to its cast — inmates at Rhode Island’s state juvenile correctional facility.More

Borges

When Steve was handed the assignment of interviewing Jorge Luis Borges — but with less than 24 hours to prepare — the opportunity felt like more of a curse than a blessing.More

ipad reading

Are we losing the ability to read difficult books? Cognitive scientist Maryanne Wolf says we need to develop a "bi-literate reading brain" so that we can switch back and forth between the deep reading of print and the skimming of electronic texts.More

From the Codex Seraphinianus

The "Codex Seraphinianus" has a magical air to it, full of bizarre illustrations and beautiful calligraphy in a made-up language. Publisher Charles Miers told Charles why he published the book, and why trying to understand it isn't really the point.More

Marina Lutz grew up with a father who was obsessed with watching her. She discovered the full extent of his obsession as an adult, and made an award-winning short documentary about it called “The Marina Experiment.”
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"Poison Squad" Volunteers taking in a dinner with a side of Borax.

Science writer Deborah Blum on the government scientists who made the case for food regulation by "eating dangerously."More

'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 11

The streaming age means our shows are watched individually, on our own time. That makes it all the more remarkable that a television show about drag queens can bring people together in person.More

Throughout history, we've been surrounded by substances that seemed benign and innocent in our food, in our gardens, in our medicine cabinets — until we realized they could be slowly killing us.More

Chimpanzee

African chimps store caches of big rocks to throw at certain trees. And some scientists wonder, are those trees sacred to them?More

The Center for Humans and Nature provides a forum for wider discussion on the link between our evolution as a species and the emergence of religious thought and morality, including several essays by evolutionary biologists David Sloan Wilson and Jeff Schloss.More

gathering for food

Staff meetings, family reunions, dinner parties — even with all the digital ways we have to connect, face-to-face gatherings are still a regular part of our lives. Priya Parker thinks we need new traditions to make those gatherings meaningful.More

Kenyan landscape

Kenyan literary scholar James Ogude believes ubuntu — a concept in which your sense of self is shaped by your relationships with other people — might serve as a counterweight to the rampant individualism that’s so pervasive in the contemporary world.More

boring meeting

Author and speaker Mamie Stewart offers six ways that your meetings could be more productive — and less miserable.More

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