i was a real fan of the penn jillette radio show, adn pretty much anything penn and teller related. i heard this air on npr and think it is such an elegant statement of his beliefs.
Penn Jillette explains his absolute atheism and why it makes him hopeful and optimistic.
"Too Much Intro"
Today we remember some of the old-guard journalists Bob talked with through the years, starting with CBS News and 60 Minutes legend Mike Wallace. In 2007, Bob talked to Wallace about his struggles with depression and the continuing stigma attached to mental illnesses. Wallace died in April 2012 at the age of 93. Next we listen back to Bob’s 2007 conversation with Helen Thomas. The pioneering female journalist covered the White House under ten presidents, starting with the Kennedy administration. Thomas died in July 2013 at the age of 92. Next, Bob visits the office of Ben Bradlee at the Washington Post for a wide-ranging discussion of journalism and politics. Bradlee was 93 when he passed away last month. And we conclude this Thanksgiving Week with Bob’s 2005 conversation with the always outspoken Molly Ivins. The Texas-based syndicated columnist died in 2007 at age 62.
Reality is catching up to science fiction. But there are still new science-fiction writers who are thinking the unthinkable and daring to go beyond the limits of our imaginations.
We'll take a break from our week-long series today for Thanksgiving. While most of America gathers with family and friends for an annual feast, millions of other Americans are dealing with poverty and hunger. It's estimated that as many as 49 million Americans do not get enough to eat each day and that almost as many citizens are living below the poverty line. In a new set of interviews before a live Town Hall audience, Bob talks about efforts to change those numbers with Bill Ayres, co-founder of WhyHunger and with board member Jen Chapin, daughter of folk singer Harry Chapin, the non-profit organization’s other co-founder.
Actress, comedian, and graphic artist Lorie Kellogg leads a lively discussion with BearManor Media authors in this series produced by Joe Bevilacqua. Participants include Bob Colonna, son of Jerry Colonna and author of Greetings, Gate! The Story of Professor Jerry Colonna; Steve Stoliar, Groucho Marx's personal assistant and author of Raised Eyebrows: My Years Inside Groucho's House.
We're giving thanks this week for interviews Bob conducted before it was too late. Today we remember Phil Ramone, the legendary music producer who worked with everyone from Stan Getz to Madonna. He produced the celebrated Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles duets albums, won over a dozen Grammys, and had more than 60 platinum records to his name. Ramone was one of the most influential talents in modern popular music. He died in March of 2013 at age 79.
In this hour, we explore the medical, spiritual and psychological questions about the moment of death. One hospice worker shares the story of how her fear of sickness and death turned to wonder at the mystery of our final moments. A Buddhist chaplain talks about preparing - now - to meet our final moments mindfully.
Veteran award-winning radio theater wizard Joe Bevilacqua interviews famous voice actors about their lives and craft. Interviewees include cartoon voice legend June Foray; Fred Frees, voice actor and son of the legendary Paul Frees; Bob Bergen, the current voice of Porky Pig; Phillip Proctor, actor, writer, comedian, and Firesign Theatre founding member; Joe Alaskey, the current voice Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Sylvester; and Noel Blanc, son of voice legend Mel Blanc.
We continue our series of timely interviews by remembering renowned poet, author, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. She died in May at the age of 86. Angelou is known best for her award-winning writing, including her memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and her collection of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Diiie. Bob spoke to Maya Angelou in 2006 and we share their conversation on writing, aging, and being an American. Then we'll remember the youngest member of our group. Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died in February at the age of 46. In 2005, he spoke with Bob about his career and his film Capote. Hoffman won his only Academy Award for that role as Truman Capote.
A conversation about the Ferguson grand jury decision not to indict police office Darren Wilson in the shooting death of the unarmed teenager Michael Brown, with Michelle Miller of CBS News; Jeffrey Toobin of The New Yorker and CNN talks about the case from a legal perspective; and Jelani Cobb of The New Yorker talks about the current circumstances. Next, a conversation with Tom Donilon, former National Security Advisor in the Obama administration, about the convergence of conflicts that the President is facing abroad and at home.
This week we are giving thanks for the interviews we conducted before it was too late. Pete Seeger was banned from American commercial television for more than 17 years, after topping both the pop charts and the Hollywood blacklist. Seeger wrote or co-wrote many of our most iconic folk songs and was still writing and performing into his 90s. When he spoke with Bob in 2008, Seeger was about to release a new songbook and the PBS program American Masters paid tribute to him with a show called The Power of Song. Pete Seeger died in January at the age of 94. Then we’ll remember Studs Terkel. In the spring of 2005 Bob traveled to Chicago and to Terkel's home to reminisce about his career as a writer, broadcaster, oral historian and story teller. Terkel was 96 years old when he died in 2008.
A conversation about President Obama's announcement of the resignation of his Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel – with David Martin, National Security Correspondent for CBS News. Next, a conversation with Tony Award winning actor, James Cordon, about the musical fantasy film Into the Woods. And finally, a conversation with British-born biographer, Sylvia Jukes Morris.
Alan Turing broke the Nazis' Enigma code and helped win World War II for the Allies — and also invented modern computing; we'll compare the legend of Turing to the reality. Mexico's violent narcocorrido songs became a form of state propaganda. And the famous jazz musician Charles Mingus had a little-known sideline: cat trainer. Who knew?
Bruce Hornsby has sold more than 11 million records, drawing from a wide-range of American musical traditions. He was schooled in bluegrass, folk, rock, pop, country, blues and jazz, although the "adult-contemporary" label has plagued him ever since his hit, “The Way It Is,” became the most-played song on American radio in 1987. Next, Bob speaks with Rosanne Cash about her first new album in four years. The River & The Thread was released earlier this year. The record was inspired by her trips to Dyess, Arkansas to participate in the restoration of her father's boyhood home.
A conversation about President Obama's speech announcing an executive order that will protect millions of undocumented immigrants from being deported, with John Dickerson, chief political correspondent for Slate magazine and political director of CBS News. Next, a conversation about the Iranian nuclear talks, with David Ignatius, columnist for the Washington Post ; and Karim Sadjadpour, policy analyst at the Carnegie Endowment. And finally, a conversation with Pulitzer-prize winning author, Lawrence Wright. His new book is Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David.
The average American spends more time on Facebook than with their pets or exercising – and that's not counting Twitter, Instagram, or Vine. We're more connected than ever these days, but at what cost?
A conversation about President Obama’s announcement on immigration, with Michael Shear, White House correspondent for the New York Times; Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent for the Washington Post. Next, a look back at the career of director Mike Nichols. He passed away at the age of 83. He won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award.
Historian and author Thurston Clarke talks with Bob about the lessons we can learn from Robert Kennedy's presidential bid in 1968. Clarke's book is titled The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America. Today would have been RFK’s 89th birthday. Then we’ll hear about his big brother from presidential scholar Chuck Wills. His book is titled Jack Kennedy: The Illustrated Life of a President. It features a CD of JFK’s most famous speeches, replicas of his handwritten letters and medical exams, an agenda for his meeting with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, and of course, many photos.
"Death is not a failure," writes Dr. Atul Gawande. "Death may be the enemy, but it is also the natural order of things." We live much longer than we used to, thanks to medical advances, but what are the emotional and financial costs of extending life? Some doctors don't know how to talk with their patients about preparing for death, so there's now a push to have frank conversations about end-of-life care. Also,one family's story of working within Oregon's "Death with Dignity" law.
An hour with Chuck Hagel, United States Secretary of Defense.
Imagine Janis Joplin chatting with Gloria Swanson or Debbie Reynolds alongside Sly and the Family Stone. No, you're not delusional, you're watching "The Dick Cavett Show." From 1969 to 1975, Cavett's nightly program treated audiences not only to the day's top celebrities but also to interactions among them. As Newsweek said, Cavett "mixed guests like a chemistry professor." To help celebrate his 78th birthday, Dick Cavett joins Bob to discuss one slice of his remarkable life.
Emmy award-winning journalist Charlie Rose has been praised as "one of America's premier interviewers". Each night, as host of his PBS program, Charlie Rose engages America's best thinkers, writers, politicians, athletes, entertainers, business leaders, scientists, and other newsmakers in one-on-one interviews and roundtable discussions.
Satisfy your hunger for new ideas with this interview show that explores the cutting edge of contemporary thinking in politics, religion, economics, science, the arts, and popular culture. Get the latest episode or subscribe!
"Sometimes great, very uneven"
"No One Does it Better"
Writer David Sedaris on this edition of Fresh Air. Sedaris is best known for his contributing work with Public Radio's This American Life. He's written three books of essays, Barrel Fever, Naked, and his latest Me Talk Pretty One Day.
A conversation with Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO, Amazon.com. Next, a conversation with actress Keira Knightley.
When Malcolm X was assassinated at 39, his book nearly died with him. Today The Autobiography of Malcolm X — a favorite of President Obama and Justice Clarence Thomas alike — stands as a milestone in America’s struggle with race. The Autobiography is also a Horatio Alger tale, following a man’s journey from poverty to crime to militancy to wisdom.
Looking for an alternative to the seriously reliable, soothing yet informative sound of NPR? Try NPR! Prepare to be surprised by this collection of interviews with some of the funniest personalities on the planet, and by the memorable, unbelievable news that delights NPR listeners on the 1st of April each year.
Writer David Sedaris and actor Alan Cumming, on this edition of Fresh Air. Sedaris is best known for his contributing work with public radio's This American Life. He's written three books of essays, Barrel Fever, Naked, and his newest Me Talk Pretty One Day which was just released in paperback.
Humorist Fran Lebowitz and writer Anne Lamott on this archive edition of Fresh Air. The Washington Post called Fran Lebowitz "The funniest woman in America." Humorist Lebowitz has come out with her first children's book, Mr. Chas and Lisa Sue Meet The Pandas. In 1978, she wrote the critically acclaimed book Metropolitan Life a collection of witty essays on life. Writer Anne Lamott's new book is Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.
Hear neurologist Oliver Sacks and rock critic Ken Tucker on this edition of Fresh Air. Oliver Sacks' new book is Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain. It's a series of case histories that examine the relationship of music and the mind. Sacks has written eleven books; the most famous are Awakenings, which was made into a film starring Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams, and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.
Hear British scientist Richard Dawkins and geneticist Francis Collins on this edition of Fresh Air. Richard Dawkins is a professor of the public understanding of science at Oxford University. The New York Times has hailed him as a writer who "understands the issues so clearly that he forces his reader to understand them too". In his latest book, he writes about what he sees as the irrationality of a belief in God and sets down his arguments for atheism.
"Dominated by Dawkins"
The famous activist and feminist on living an authentic life through recognizing both the importance of the self and the community.
Timothy Leary nearly killed the psychedelic revolution. He did more than anyone to popularize LSD and urged us all to "turn on, tune in, drop out." But Leary's indiscriminate use of mind-altering drugs created a backlash, and made them taboo for serious scholars. Now a new generation of scientists is studying hallucinogens, and finding remarkable effects. In this hour, we'll take you to the cutting edge of psychedelic research.
Albert Einstein died more than half a century ago, but there's still a raging debate over what he thought about religion. He once said "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." In this hour, what exactly did Einstein conclude about religion? We'll hear from leading scientists and religious scholars, including Richard Dawkins, Steven Weinberg and Elaine Pagels, as well as Einstein biographer Walter Isaacson.
Based on the NPR series of the same name, This I Believe features 80 Americans, from the famous to the unknown, completing the thought that begins with the audiobook's title. The pieces that make up the program will compel listeners to rethink not only what and how they have arrived at their own personal beliefs, but also the extent to which they share them with others.
"interesting and enjoyable"
Whittier called them "the saddest words – it might have been." But turn it around and you'll find places we create to replace the world we live in -- past, present and future. In this hour, other worlds. Scientist Brian Greene looks at the physics of the multiverse, and writer Patrick Rothfuss creates a world of his own.
In this hour, Ali A. Allawi is the author of The Crisis of Islamic Civilization. He talks to Steve Paulson.
It's been called all kinds of things: God, Brahman, Nirvana, All, Dao. But renowned religion writer Karen Armstrong says we've often lost sight of what this ultimate reality means, so it's not surprising it can seem so unbelievable. In this hour Karen Armstrong explains why modern ideas about God are so different from what our ancestors thought.
Hear novelist Philip Roth, on this edition of Fresh Air. The Pulitzer Prize winning author's 27th book, Everyman, is now out in paperback. It's a novel about a 71-year-old, divorced, successful, advertising man and his response to his physical decline and approaching death.