Interviews By Topic

Broken body

Porochista Khakpour has been fighting a mystery illness for as long as she can remember. Eventually, she got a diagnosis — late-stage Lyme disease — but a diagnosis hasn't given her much resolution.More

Kim on screen

Author Lucas Mann writes that calling reality TV a guilty pleasure is "the dumbest cultural cliche." We ask him about his new book "Captive Audience," which is about his relationship with reality TV and the person he watches it with — his wife.More

The creative mind

Novelist Siri Hustvedt knows how the creative process feels. Neuroscientist Heather Berlin knows what it looks like in the brain. Together with Steve, they explore the emerging science of creativity.More

The many Alma Mahlers

Alma Mahler inspired symphonies, poems and paintings. She was lover and muse to some of the most celebrated artists of the early 20th century. Novelist Mary Sharratt thinks she would have been a great artist in her own right – if she hadn’t been born a woman. More

"Junebug"

Nathaniel Mary Quinn was abandoned as a child. Today, he’s a celebrated painter, exhibiting around the world. He tells Charles his remarkable story about talent and perseverance in the face of enormous odds.More

Left to right: mathematician Georg Cantor, mathematician, and philosopher Kurt Gödel, mathematician and political activist Evariste Galois, and  mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing.

There’s a well-documented link between exceptional creativity and mental illness. Philosopher Jim Holt recounts stories of some of the most beautiful minds in math and science. Were their achievements worth the personal costs? Absolutely.More

A five year vertical of Bourbon County Brand Stout. Older, pre-brewery sale style bottles are on the left, while the newer bottle design is on the right. 

Back in 1995, Goose Island created one of the most iconic craft beers of all time — Bourbon County Stout. Which — as Chicago Tribune beer writer Josh Noel explains — was why it was such a shock when they sold the brewery to Anheuser-Busch.More

lemon and kale

After listening to the food mavens and masters in our show on chasing "authentic" food, you might be mentally gathering tips on how to better enjoy food in your own home. So let's gather some tips for better eating in one place.More

Salt, fat, acid, heat

The chef, author, and Netflix star developed her own philosophy of cooking, based on a few universal principles: salt, fat, acid and heat. She says it allows us to cook by following our taste buds, rather than a recipe book.More

Cox was the first person to complete a 1.2 mile swim in Antarctica, from the ship Orlova to Neko Harbor in 25 minutes.

Lynne Cox is an extreme swimmer. At 18, she swam between the islands of New Zealand. She broke the men's and women's records for the English Channel. Then she did the unthinkable — swimming to Antarctica.More

A lonely Antartic landscape.

In 1993, Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge became the first person to cross Antarctica alone. It took him 50 days. The thing that had the biggest impact on him was the silence.More

The IceCube Lab at the South Pole

Francis Halzen, the lead scientist of the IceCube Neutrino Detector, explains how light sensors buried deep in the ice at the South Pole detected a neutrino that traveled four billion light-years.More

Umbrellas as art

Celebrated curator Hans Ulrich Obrist has a vision: get art out of galleries and into the real world.More

Polar bear

Depending on where you live, winter can be tough to get through.  It’s cold, it gets dark early, the weather’s messy.  Naturalist Bernd Heinrich shares some amazing stories about the ingenious ways animals survive winter.More

"Winter World" by Bernd Heinrich

How does a hummingbird survive in subzero winter temperatures? Why endure them at all? Author T.C. Boyle couldn’t understand why the small bird would be anywhere near his mountain writing retreat, but he found the answer in Bernd Heinrich’s “Winter World.”More

Uptown Theatre

Photographer Matt Lambros takes us inside America’s abandoned movie palaces.More

A powwow in 2015 at the Institute for American Indian Arts.

Tommy Orange's debut novel “There There” was one of the big breakout books of 2018. He told Steve that with his novel, he hoped to better represent modern Native Americans that have grown up living in cities.More

Terese Mailhot

Author Terese Mailhot's best-selling debut book "Heart Berries" is a slim, devastating memoir of a childhood filled with abuse, set on the Seabird Island Band in British Columbia. She reads a passage to demonstrate the lyric quality of her prose.More

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