Latest Show

Automation and Us

If you always use GPS to navigate your destination, do you ever learn where you are? If spell-check keeps you from making mistakes, do you eventually forget how to spell? Nicholas Carr says automation is a fine tool, but we have to be careful about what we concede to computers. Monday, he joins Doug to explain how giving up our decision making means giving up something essential to being human. (Rebroadcast)
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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.


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]

The Story of My Heart

Nov 20, 2014

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.

War of the Whales

Nov 19, 2014
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.

The Big Fat Surprise

Nov 18, 2014


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]

Monday, Iranian-American author Azar Nafisi joins us to talk about the state of literature and the humanities in the US. Using the great American works Huck Finn, Babbitt, and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, she argues the greatest danger to the literary arts is not a totalitarian regime, but the "intellectual indolence" of the public. Nafisi says it matters because literature is more than entertainment; it is a guide to a better society. Her new book is called The Republic of Imagination.


There may be but two certainties in life—death and taxes—but of those two, death is most frightening. Humans hate the fact of death, and so we constantly tell ourselves stories to avoid its inevitability. According to the philosopher Stephen Cave, these stories about a god, a nation, a family, or an art help us manage the terror of our own demise. They’ve also fueled the expansion of civilization for eons. Friday we're rebroadcasting our conversation with Cave about how our unique and implacable yearning for immortality makes us human. [Rebroadcast]

The Minimalists

Nov 13, 2014
Burt Lum, CC via Flickr,


If you stripped your life of "stuff" -- the toys, the electronics, the furniture, even the house -- what would be left? That's the question at the heart of "Everything That Remains," a memoir by "The Minimalists" Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. At an existential crossroads, they left behind their careers and compulsive consumption to figure out what really adds value to their lives. The Minimalists join Doug to talk about living more fully with less. (Rebroadcast)

 Late last month, the LDS Church published a video to explain a Mormon practice that has been a curiosity for outsiders: the Temple Garment. It’s underclothing worn by faithful members and is considered a sacred symbol of their religious commitment. Wednesday, our guest is religion scholar Colleen McDannell. We’re talking about the temple garment: its history, the way Mormons have incorporated it into their daily lives and how these and objects of various faiths connect the believer to the divine.

Jackiembarr vis CC/Flickr,

Tuesday, we’re putting the Republican Party’s recent electoral success into some historical perspective. From the progressive presidency of Abraham Lincoln to the ascendance of Reagan-era conservatism, the Grand Old Party has gone through a lot of change in the past 150 years. Historian Heather Cox Richardson says the GOP, now an advocate for smaller federal government, actually has a robust record of government activism. Richardson joins us to explore the Republicans’ ideological evolution.



Mullets and Cowboy Boots

Kate Wolsey is an artist based here in Salt Lake City. What attracts filmmaker Steve Olpin to her work is its bold, childlike quality. He's made a film about her, and we're featuring it this week.


Through the Lens: Jingle Bell Rocks!

Filmmaker Mitchell Kezin is obsessed with Christmas music, and his new documentary introduces the vibrant subculture of holiday music fanatics and the yuletide tunes. Free Screening, December 23, 2014

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