Curiousities

Culture, ideas and society.

Little, Brown and Company

In his latest book, the scholar Jared Diamond looks at how nations deal with moments of crisis. He says that we can cope with these big national problems the same way we do with personal ones.

The Lost Gutenberg

May 15, 2019
Pelplin Diocesan Museum, CC 4.0

Only 49 of original editions of the Gutenberg Bible are known to survive. Margaret Leslie Davis joins Wednesday to tell the 500-year odyssey of obsession and tragedy of one extremely rare and beautiful copy of a book that sparked a revolution.

Wikimedia, https://tinyurl.com/y6cawhsx

Historian Greg Prince's new book traces half a century of the LDS Church’s policies and attitudes towards the LGBTQ community. He joins us to talk about their actions and the unintended consequences.

Hail Satan?

May 10, 2019
Courtesy Sundance Institute

Friday, we’re talking about a documentary about Satanists. It’s both a political and a religious movement. They don’t believe in a Satan, just the idea that he was the ultimate rebel.

Courtesy Dustin Lance Black

Writer Dustin Lance Black is gay and grew up Mormon. In his new memoir he uses the lessons about getting along with his conservative, LDS mom as a template for healing America's ugly divide.

On Immunity

May 3, 2019
Public domain

Friday, we're talking about immunization with the essayist Eula Biss. When she was pregnant with her first child, Biss wondered what vaccination would mean for her baby and the world at large.

iStock.com / Sylverarts

Activist Ashton Applewhite says aging is mostly framed as a disease that can be cured. But the process begins the moment we’re born and she joins us to explain why being older is something to embrace.

Andrew Dallos / CC via Flickr

Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi has new a book that he describes as an “insider’s guide to the pressures at work in media." He says we’re exploiting people’s desire to root for their own team and hate the rest. (Rebroadcast)

Dawn Paley, CC/Flickr

Growing up in the American Southwest, the writer Francisco Cantu always had some idea of what happened along the US-Mexico border, but he wanted to know more. So, he joined the Border Patrol, hoping he could be a force for good.

Painting in Asian style depicting Lao Tzue and the discovery of a giant pearl.
Kristina Collantes / The Atlantic

Legend says the Pearl of Lao Tzu was found in 1934 after a diver drowned trying to pry it from the mouth of a giant clam. The writer Michael LaPointe has traced the pearl's unbelievable story through a tangled web of fact and fiction.

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