In this hour, James William Gibson teaches sociology and is the author of A Re-enchanted World: The Quest for a New Kinship with Nature. He talks with Anne Strainchamps about ways in which people are seeking to reconnect with the natural world and to protect it, rather than simply exploit it as a resource.
"I suspect that the airport will be the true city of the next century. The great airports are already suburbs of an invisible world capital, a virtual metropolis whose faubourgs are named Heathrow, Kennedy, Charles de Gaulle, Nagoya, a centripetal city whose population forever circles its notional centre, and will never need to gain access to its dark heart."
As Cuba and the U.S. restore diplomatic relations, what's in store for Americans who want to visit Cuba? And for Cubans wanting more prosperity? Steve Paulson recently traveled to Cuba and brought back new stories about our island neighbor. From diplomacy to culture, we tackle jazz, baseball and politics—and offer an in-depth look at the lives of contemporary Cubans.
Islamic culture was once the center of the scientific world. During Europe's Dark Ages, Baghdad, Cairo and other Middle Eastern cities were the key repositories of ancient Greek science. Muslim scholars themselves made breakthroughs in medicine, optics, and mathematics. Today the Islamic world lags far behind the West in science and technology. What happened? In this hour, we'll look at the challenges facing Muslim scientists.
Have you ever heard of an “Uncreative Writing” course? In this class, students are penalized for showing any kind of originality. Instead, they’re rewarded for plagiarism, plundering and stealing. We’ll meet the man behind “Uncreative
Writing” – poet Kenneth Goldsmith. Also, Jonah Lehrer on how creativity works.
First, philosopher Ken Wilber, socio-biologist E.O. Wilson, popular writer on the history of religion Karen Armstrong (The Great Transformation), and evolutionary biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion). Then, authors Rebecca Goldstein (Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity) and Francis Collins (The Language of God).
Today we explore some new paradigms for thinking about our environmental future. And, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of death of the great environmentalist, Rachel Carson.
This book offers an innovative, research-based approach to one of the toughest challenges businesses face today: how to drive success by effectively managing the moments when employees interact with customers. Based on research spanning 10 million employees and 10 million customers around the globe, the Human Sigma approach combines a proven method for assessing the health of the employee-customer encounter with a disciplined process for improving it.
Some people put their bodies on the line for democracy. Some pick up weapons. And some put pen to paper. Writers who use their gifts to speak truth to power have a special place in the annals of literature. We revere them for their conscience and their courage. In this hour, some of the world’s most celebrated writers talk with us about the literature of democracy.
Every person on earth is unique and special, but some people – maybe one in a hundred – are autistic. In this hour, we get to know a few autistic people with Asperger's Syndrome. We'll hear what it's like to try to live in the world when you have visionary technical abilities but also the social skills of a rock. Also, Oliver Sacks will tell us about the human brain and music.
In this hour we'll hear the latest science on brain plasticity. First, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and researcher Norman Doidge (The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science). Next, author Daniel Pinchbeck (2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl), and more.
In this hour, we get to know a few autistic people with Asperger's Syndrome, and we learn about music's effect on the brain. First, director Lizzie Gottlieb (Today's Man). Next, author John Elder Robison (Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's). Then, author Howard Dully (My Lobotomy). Finally, author Oliver Sacks (Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain).
Most of us think in words, but not Temple Grandin. She thinks in pictures. Grandin is autistic, and visual thinking is common among people with autism. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, Temple Grandin talks about how thinking in pictures has helped her help animals. Also, Mark Haddon talks about his novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time written in the voice of a 15-year-old autistic savant named Christopher.
Why do Americans suck at math? And why do so many claim to hate math? In a recent survey, a third of respondents said they'd rather clean the bathroom than solve an equation. In today's show, mathematicians tell us what we're missing.
The Stoic philosopher Epictetus ("Epic-TEE-tus") said that "Anything worth putting off is worth abandoning altogether." And, unfortunately, a lot of us have taken his advice to heart. Ninety-five percent of us put things off. In this hour, we'll explore procrastination.
Experts agree, gratitude is good for you. It lowers stress, increases happiness, improves physical health, decreases depression and even helps you sleep better. So while it's great to celebrate a day of Thanksgiving, you'll feel even better if you cultivate an attitude of gratitude all year long.
China Mieville’s new novel, Embassytown, features sentient beings famous for their unique language and a woman who’s a living simile. Ursula K. LeGuin says that Embassytown is “a fully-achieved work of art.” We’ll meet China Mieville, as we explore the language of science fiction. Also, the far-out, cosmic poetry of Sun Ra.
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.
A little laugh goes a long way. This week, we’re taking a crash course in how to be funny. From Chicago’s famous Second City, to a humor research lab, this hour's a laugh riot. We also talk with a laughter coach, Canadian comic Mary Walsh, and longtime New Yorker humorist Ian Frazier. Giggle on!
The Meaning of Life in 5 Easy Lessons.