Fri November 28, 2014
December 1, 2014 | Culture


"The Beheading of St John the Baptist"
(via CC) Vincenzo Danti; bronze; Museo dell Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore

Recent beheadings committed by radical Islamist militants have evoked almost universal disgust and revulsion, and that’s exactly the point, says anthropologist Frances Larson. She calls decapitation “the ultimate tyranny,” and in a new book she examines the cultural and political fixation on heads severed from the body. Larson joins us Monday to discuss the psychological power of the detached human head. We’ll also explore what can be learned about our common humanity from a most inhumane act.

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Thu November 27, 2014
November 28, 2014 | Profiles | Rebroadcast

Emily Post

Emily Post

The name Emily Post is synonymous with good manners in America. But behind the myth is a complex woman, weathered by a scandalous divorce who recreated herself. After attempts at writing novels and keeping company with the likes of Mark Twain and Edith Wharton - Post published a small run of her book "Etiquette." Some 50 years after her death, her work still influences how we think society should behave. Friday, we're rebroadcasting a conversation about Emily Post's life and enduring legacy. (Rebroadcast)

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Wed November 26, 2014
November 27, 2014 | Culture | Rebroadcast

Sweet Invention

A slice of Maroni torte
Courtesy Michael Krondl

Fact: Dessert is a frivolous indulgence that can even be harmful in excess. But that's what makes it interesting, says the writer Michael Krondl. As he tells it, dessert's nutritional irrelevance means it's a cultural phenomenon, one rooted in basically the same human desire for sweetness that built the Taj Mahal or brought us Chanel and Mickey Mouse. Krondl joins us Thursday to explore the pleasures of dessert around the globe and how the most unnecessary meal course reflects our humanity. (Rebroadcast)

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Tue November 25, 2014
November 26, 2014 | Culture

Why Empathy Matters

Photo by schaaflicht, CC via Flickr

The philosopher Roman Krznaric has spent years thinking about empathy, and he suggests you forget the idea that it’s some fluffy, feel-good concept. Krznaric argues that empathy is radical and dangerous, because it offers the possibility of real change. He also says it’s not a concept to reserve for the down and out. To really address the world’s empathy deficit, we must equally apply it to our neighbors and to people in power. Wednesday, we’ll talk about our capacity for empathy and why it matters. 

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Mon November 24, 2014
November 25, 2014 | Culture

Teens and Sexting

Photo by TheDaringLibrarian, CC via Flickr

Tuesday, our guest is the journalist Hanna Rosin. Her latest article for The Atlantic asks what we should be doing about teens and sexting. Now before you cry, “Not my kid!” consider this: surveys show nearly a third of older teens have sent provocative selfies. Rosin says most often the pictures land where they’re intended, but the consequences when they don’t can be devastating. We’ll discuss the legal and social fallout of sexting and what the trend tells us about our kids.

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Fri November 21, 2014
November 24, 2014 | Profiles

The Life and Political Rise of Mia Love

Brian Grimmt | KUER News

 Monday, we’re talking about Congresswoman-elect Mia Love. Once the mayor of a small Utah County town, it took her just four years to land in the national spotlight as the first black Republican woman elected to Congress. But how did Love – the Connecticut-born daughter of Catholic Haitian parents, politically inactive for most of her life – end up an LDS congressional delegate from Utah? Reporters from the Salt Lake Tribune will join us to explore Love’s rise, stumble, and resurgence.

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Thu November 20, 2014
November 21, 2014 | Culture | Rebroadcast

The Book of Unknown Americans


Friday, we're rebroadcasting our conversation with novelist Cristina Henríquez, whose latest book centers around Latino immigrant families living in the US. Her work isn’t an argument for or against our immigration system, which Henríquez says everyone knows is broken. Instead, it’s the story of the ordinary lives that get lost in the news headlines of border patrols and political battles. With her book, Henríquez set out to give voice to people she says are often denied a chance to speak. It’s called The Book of Unknown Americans. [Rebroadcast]

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Wed November 19, 2014
November 20, 2014 | Culture

The Story of My Heart

A few years ago, writers Brooke and Terry Tempest Williams came across a strange, old book in a Maine bookstore. They started reading the book to each other, and before long, this love letter to nature strengthened both their bond of marriage and their bond to the natural world. Published in 1883, The Story of My Heart is the nature writer Richard Jefferies’ paean to the power of wild places to enrich the soul. Brooke and Terry join us Thursday to explore what Jefferies’ ecstatic book can teach us today.

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Tue November 18, 2014
November 19, 2014 | Science

War of the Whales

Smuggler’s Cove, San Juan Island, Washington (2003). Guided missile destroyer USS Shoup conducting a sonar sweep of Haro Strait.
Photo by Ken Balcomb

In 2000, there was a mysterious mass stranding of whales in the Bahamas. Marine biologist Ken Balcomb set out to find the cause, and CT scans found “acoustic trauma” to their brains. That’s when the Navy shut him out, and Balcomb teamed up with lawyer Joel Reynolds to prove the connection between Navy sonar and whale deaths. Wednesday, science writer Joshua Horwitz joins us to tell the story of “War of the Whales,” and to explore the unintended consequences of technology and our quest for security.

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Tue November 18, 2014
November 18, 2014 | Science | Rebroadcast

The Big Fat Surprise


Since the 1950s, a war has been waged in America against an accused dietary culprit: fat. Avoid fat, we were told, and you’ll live longer and healthier. However, as the investigative journalist Nina Teicholz discovered, there isn’t solid evidence of the benefits of a low-fat diet nor of the dangers of fat. In a new book, Teicholz reviews the science and history of the war on fat and Tuesday we're rebroadcasting a conversation about how America’s nutrition was derailed by a bunch of bad science. [Rebroadcast]

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