Interviews By Topic

If you think of your life as a series of births, what changes? Why does the birth metaphor matter?More

How does it work out over time for people who have made the transition to a new gender? Steve Paulson reached out to a transgender man — Benn Marine — to hear his experience.More

Wendy Kline says the history of birth in America is the story of the medical establishment’s deliberate suppression of midwives. For her as for most mothers, it’s a story that’s political and personal.  More

A still from "Fantastic Fungi." (Moving Art)

Fungi contain vast, untapped potential, says Louie Schwartzberg — to remediate pollution, reverse climate change, even address chronic disease and mental disorder — something he argues in his film "Fantastic Fungi."More

Half brothers Robert Lafayette Gee (right) and Henderson Gee (left). Robert was Ruben Gee‘s first child to his white wife, Aurelia. Henderson was his second child to his slave, Venus. Henderson was born a slave.

Rev. Alex Gee is fascinated by geneology. So he took a DNA test and discovered one of his ancestors was a white slave owner. Then he went down to New Orleans to meet his white relatives — and that meeting sparked a slew of complicated emotions.More

Mushroom music

Mushrooms have inspired scientists, chefs and even musicians. Mycologist Lawrence Millman says they’ve also inspired a few composers, including Vaclav Halek and John Cage.More

Mushrooms on a tree

Paul Stamets may be the most passionate mycologist on the planet. He tells Steve why new medicines and technologies derived from mushrooms might save life as we know it.More

Students testing their DNA

What's it like to discover that your own genetic ancestry is both black and white? At West Chester University in Pennsylvania, Anita Foeman leads the DNA Discussion Project, where students use DNA testing to learn about their mixed bloodlines.More

A drawing of a carving by Charles Edenshaw in the late 1800s depicting the Haida myth of the origin of women. Fungus Man is paddling the canoe with Raven in the bow in search of female genitalia. (Courtesy of the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago)

The Haida First Nation people in British Columbia have a myth about the origin of humanity coming from "Fungus Man." And that myth contains plenty of truth.More

Magic mushrooms and our primate ancestors

Magic mushrooms go way back in human history. Some people even believe psychedelic mushrooms helped create human consciousness. We examine the "Stoned Ape Theory."More

Ricotta and Marinated Mushroom Pie (Eugenia Bone)

Writer Eugenia Bone’s obsession with mushrooms began with her love of eating them. She shares notes from her hunts for morels as well as three recipes for how to best enjoy fungal delicacies. More

Nikka and Strings

When Nikka Costa was ten, she was a pop sensation in Europe. In her 20s, she was Britney Spear’s opening act. But she’s left pop music behind and now she’s performing songs by some of the musicians she’s known, including Prince and Frank Sinatra.More

Philip Glass

Philip Glass the avant-garde composer has composed operas, symphonies, film scores. He also wrote a memoir called “Words Without Music.”More

Caryn McKechnie didn’t like high school, but now she’s a college senior working on her teaching certificate. She went back to her high school to interview her favorite teacher. And that teacher? He left the public schools altogether.More

Evelyn Glennie (Caroline Purday)

Evelyn Glennie is an award winning solo percussionist and composer who performs with great orchestras and popular artists. She's also deaf. She talks with Steve Paulson about touching sound.More

Wendel Patrick/Kevin Gift (Via Artists' Websites)

Kevin Gift is an acclaimed classical pianist. Wendel Patrick is a rising hip hop artist. And many people have no idea as they’re the same man.More

Toni Blackman

When it comes to crossing musical borders, hip hop artist Toni Blackman has crossed so many and traveled so far, she ended up at the US State Department as its first ever Hip Hop Ambassador. Here’s what she sounded like live in our studio.More

Clarice Jensen

After 30 years of playing it, cellist Clarice Jensen decided she wanted to open up what she could do with her cello. So she started plugging it into guitar pedals.More

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