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. Host Anne Strainchamps talks to some of the greatest thinkers, figures, and artists of our time. It's a radio salon where a playwright and a scientist, a theologian and a rock critic might all offer their views on, say, revenge. Inviting a diverse group of people with very different backgrounds to approach a subject creates a kind of depth and richness that's positively riveting.
"Sometimes great, very uneven"
H.P. Lovecraft's weird tales of cosmic horror loom large 125 years after his birth. His literary tentacles have oozed their way into movies, books, games, and graphic novels. We explore Lovecraft's life, work, and legacy. Was he a literary master or a monster?
Are you afraid of getting old? Most people are, but studies show we're usually happier in our 60s and 70s. Aging often brings wisdom and resilience - and a new creative spark. We celebrate the fine art of aging - and hear about some artists who remade their careers late in life.
Why are we so obsessed with the future? Is it because we can't handle the present and all of our current problems, like climate change, racism and terrorism? That's one theory. We explore our fascination with the future in this hour.
Ah, January. Season of diets and fasts and cleanses, of "Drynuary" and "Veganuary." Why does being virtuous always seem to mean giving up pleasure? This hour, we explore the concept of renunciation and our complicated feelings about it. Giving something up - whether a glass of wine or a way of life - can be hard and painful. The experience can change people in ways they don't expect - for better and for worse.
Whatever happened to psychoanalysis? It used to be the most influential science of the mind, but today its founder, Sigmund Freud, just looks like a sex-obsessed old man. Analyst Adam Phillips says we got Freud all wrong; he remains a radical thinker if we know how to read him. This hour explores the connections between therapy and art.
Be strong, be tough, don't cry - boys are bombarded with messages about being a man and the "male code" beginning around five or six years old. By high school, it's second nature. But it can also be toxic. Because boys in America today aren't doing so well. Compared to girls, they're more likely to get diagnosed with a behavior disorder, drop out of school, binge drink, commit a violent crime, even kill themselves. So is that what it means to "man up"?
When did "fat" become a four-letter word? Leaders of the body acceptance movement say it's time to stop shaming fat people. In this hour, curvy girls and plus-size women talk about the emotional and physical costs of America's toxic obsession with weight and body image.
Every new year brings a fresh start, another chance to remake yourself. We all aspire to be better people, but following through on our goals can often be difficult.
It's December and time again for the annual media ritual - the best of list. We're sharing the best of the best of To the Best of Our Knowledge. 2016, the year in interviews.
There's a lot of handwringing these days about the American Empire. Is it doomed to come crashing down the way the Roman Empire did? We'll find some unexpected lessons from Ancient Rome and even earlier, the collapse of Bronze Age civilization. We also celebrate the wisdom of the ancient classics, and hear how one philosopher teaches Plato to Palestinian students.
There's a new kind of music packing nightclubs with young fans. It's jazz - but not the sound of your grandparents' supper club. Infused with hip hop and other popular musical forms, jazz is being remade. We talk with some of today's biggest and most innovative jazz stars, including Esperanza Spalding and Vijay Iyer, and explore the magic of improvisation.
Thousands of the world's languages are disappearing in the wake of globalization. And because language is the DNA of culture, a lost language is a lost culture. Today, stories from the frontlines of the language revitalization movement. Also, Dr. Larry Brilliant's improbable journey from the Summer of Love and Indian ashrams to the eradication of smallpox.
Anyone who's moved knows how difficult it can be to settle into a new place. Whether it's another country or an apartment just down the block, it takes time and work to get comfortable. We're living through a period of mass human migration, with people on the move all over the planet. This hour, we're talking about home - how to take an unfamiliar place and make it yours.
Our planet is facing a mass extinction crisis. By the end of the century, we could lose up to half of all living species. But people are working hard to save endangered species and habitats, and a few scientists are even trying to bring lost species - like passenger pigeons and woolly mammoths - back to life.
Hip hop created a sound that changed music, art, fashion, and politics. What's next? Diplomacy? Journalism? Education? Philosophy? The hip hop future.
Walk long enough and far enough, and you will never be the same. This week, stories of people who transformed their lives by picking up their feet, blazing trails, enduring blisters and frostbite and bad trail food.
Reading books isn't always the best way to learn. Some things you need to learn from your elders, and their wisdom has often been passed down through the generations. We celebrate traditional ways of knowing - from the Potawatomi knowledge of the plant world to the Norwegian folk wisdom of how to chop and burn wood. Also, a plea for Africans to reclaim their local knowledge.
You live in an attention economy. From the moment, you wake up until the tile you go to bed, you're bombarded. By viral videos, news alerts, things trending on Facebook and exploding on the Internet. And that doesn't even include the endless onslaught of ads. How does it feel to know that the commodity everyone wants is inside your skull? This hour, we focus our attention - on attention.