Curiousities

Culture, ideas and society.

Provided by WNYCStudios

You know who just about everyone loves? Dolly Parton. But journalist Jad Abumrad’s podcast Dolly Parton’s America isn’t just about how amazing Dolly is; it’s a deep exploration of a great American icon “at the crossroads of America’s culture wars.”

Claire Harbage / NPR

The American Prairie Reserve’s goal is to create a wildlife conservation area on approximately 3.2 million acres of land in northeastern Montana, with the aim of reviving the land’s ecosystem. If this group of wealthy investors finds a way around their problems, the country may see the creation of what some people are calling the next Yellowstone.

A crime scene diorama with a figurine.
Simon & Schuster

Are you obsessed with true crime? Maybe you identify with the victim or the detective—or possibly even with the killer. The journalist Rachel Monroe says that women are the most ravenous consumers of true crime. In Savage Appetites, she sets out to learn why. 

The Aspen Institute, Flickr

  Through his work with the Harlem Children’s Zone, Geoffrey Canada has pioneered a new vision for what a school can be and how kids can escape the cycle of poverty. He joins us to discuss how we can ensure every child has an equal chance for success.

Running With Sherman

Sep 27, 2019
A photo of Sherman the donkey.
Knopf

Christopher McDougall says we used to work with animals all the time. But not any more. In Running with Sherman, he sets out to re-forge that bond — by teaching a donkey how to race. It’s a story about the lost art of human-animal partnerships.

iStock.com / Rattankun Thongbun

Does college still work like it's supposed to? That's the question at the heart of journalist Paul Tough's latest book, The Years That Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us

Renee Bright, KUER

When it comes to how schools teach kids about sexuality, there are no easy answers, and there never have been. So, what should we talk about, and who should do the talking when we talk with kids about sex?

When journalist Christopher McDougall wrote the book that kicked off the barefoot running movement, he got to thinking about what makes a hero. He joins us to explore how people can develop their natural skills to be ready in a crisis. This episode picked by producer Benjamin Bombard.

Painting of Mary Magdalene.
iStock.com / sedmak

 

The Gospel of Mary, written in the name of Mary Magdalene, didn’t make it into the canon of Christian texts. It taught believers to rethink the basis of authority, the nature of sin, and it also speaks of an inner journey to true spirituality. This episode was picked by Elaine Clark.

How To Do Nothing

May 24, 2019

Time is money, and increasingly so is our attention. The artist Jenny Odell wants people to spend less time worrying about their productivity. Instead of doing something, she says, try doing nothing.

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