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Preview: PRI: To the Best of Our Knowledge Podcast

To the Best of Our Knowledge

To the Best of Our Knowledge cracks open the world and the ideas that fuel it through interviews with the world's luminaries, from experts to cultural icons. Each show revolves around a theme where we explore these ideas and the people who consider them.

Last Build Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2017 01:01:25 -0500

Copyright: Copyright 2017 by Wisconsin Public Radio

Peak Performance

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Scaling El Cap, where Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell stunned the world with their dazzling climbs. The Audacity of the World's Most Daring Climber; Hanging Out On Top of Cliffs Is My Happy Place ; Alex Honnold’s Most Dangerous Adventure; The Science of Peak Performance; The Myth of the “Dumb Jock”; The Ultimate Long-Distance Race.

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Gateway Moments: Live from St. Louis

Sun, 11 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0500

We’ve all had them—the big, significant, transformations that take your life in a new direction. And even though those gateway moments present new and exciting opportunities, they are almost always by definition uncomfortable.    This hour, in partnership with St. Louis Public Radio, To The Best Of Our Knowledge explores various examples of crossing over, to racial understanding, to recovery and to greater unity and love. A City of Gates That Do Not Swing Wide; Adventures on the Woke Spectrum; Shadowball; The Last Game I Make Before I Die; Beatboxing With My Dad; Black At Home, White At Work.

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Extra: One Woman Who Sounds Like Twenty

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Low-fi artist Syna So Pro loops with love.

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This Will Shock You

Sun, 04 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0500

The virtues of transgressive, subversive, rule-breaking art, both as an aesthetic and as a way of life. A Matter of (Bad) Taste; Two Tape Recorders and Twenty Knives; Classical Doesn't Have To Mean Dead; Hiding Yourself Behind Characters.

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Extra: Changing A Place By Documenting It

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Filmmaker Laura Stewart on how being filmed affects documentary subjects, and how that affects the truth you can tell.

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Parks and Recreation

Sun, 28 May 2017 00:00:00 -0500

"We live by wild mercy," Terry Tempest Williams writes. In this hour, she takes us to some of her favorite national parks, from Big Bend to Arches. We also explore the desert wilderness of Utah's Escalante area, and hear about a father and daughter's remarkable adventure into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Lauret Savoy says the American landscape also has a complicated history that can't be separated from the country's racism. And Robert Moor talks about the wisdom of trails. A Father and Daughter Venture Into the Alaskan Wild; Terry Tempest Williams on National Parks; Desert Mind; Land, Race, Memory; The Wisdom of Trails.

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Extra: David Byrne is Thinking About How Music Works

Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 -0500

David Byrne talks about how music works.

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Forgiving the Unforgivable

Sun, 21 May 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Are there certain acts, certain people who are beyond forgiveness? When you’re hurt and the only way out of toxic bitterness and resentment is to let go, how do you summon the resolve to reach out to the person who hurt you most? This hour, the keys to living a more forgiving life. Reconciling With My Rapist; How Does It Feel To Forgive?; The Four Key Steps To Forgiveness; Making Peace With My Father, With Help From Dante; Hari Kunzru on American Guilt.

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Extra: Mark Frost Takes Us Deep Inside the Secret History of Twin Peaks

Thu, 18 May 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Mark Frost takes us deep inside the secret history of Twin Peaks.

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Worshipping Waterfalls: The Evolution of Belief

Fri, 12 May 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Do chimpanzees have spiritual experiences? A remarkable discovery in West Africa suggests they might. Do Chimpanzees Have Spiritual Experiences?; How “Big Gods” Transformed Human History; An Evolutionary Biologist Searches for God; What Bliss Looks Like In Your Brain.

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Extra: The Evolutionary Advantage of Faith

Thu, 11 May 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Is there an inherent conflict between science and religion? Jeff Schloss doesn’t think so. He’s a biologist who studies the evolutionary origins of religion. He’s also an observant Christian.

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Frankly, I Don't Give a Damn

Sun, 07 May 2017 00:00:00 -0500

In this hour, we explore what the superpower of not giving a f--- might allow you to do. Breaking Out of The "Feedback Loop from Hell"; Menefreghismo; Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze; The Impossibility of Actually ‘Having It All’.

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The News From Poems: “November Eyes on Main Street”

Thu, 04 May 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Richard Blanco’s poem begins the day after the November election, as he struggles to make sense of a new political mood.

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Center of the World, Ohio

Sun, 30 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Amidst economic devastation, producer Charles Monroe-Kane asks what it takes to survive in the Rust Belt.

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The News From Poems: “WTF”

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500

A near-accident has poet Laura Kasischke marveling at the fearlessness of young adults and also worrying about their future.

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Repeat When Necessary

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Whether it’s nail biting or handwashing, most of us have a compulsion we can’t give up. Maybe that’s a good thing? The Psychology of Why You Can’t Stop Checking Your Phone; Tracing the Patterns of an Obsessive Mind; When Obsessive Thoughts Take Control Of Your Life; How Obsession and Compulsion Powered American Genius.

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The News From Poems: “Ode To the Dead of Bowling Green”

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Poet Nick Lantz has been thinking about political spin and how his poems can play off the language of politics. 

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Extra: "Fargo" Showrunner Noah Hawley

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Noah Hawley talks about turning the Coen Brothers' film, "Fargo," into a critically-acclaimed TV series

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How To Think Like a Scientist

Sun, 16 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Do scientists see the world in a different way? Not really, as long as you have insatiable curiosity and a passion to experiment. The World Is Your Lab; Could a 50 Cent Microscope Change the World?; Cooking With Neil deGrasse Tyson; Freeman Dyson, at 93, Looks Back on a Legendary Career in Science.

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The News From Poems: “Brush With Cymbals”

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500

In his new poem, Fady Joudah explores questions about exile, suffering and the language of nation states.

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The Revenge of Analog

Sun, 09 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Maybe it’s nostalgia. Maybe it’s something more. But analog is back in style. The Analog and The Digital, A Harmonious Double Life; The Unmistakable Pop and Hiss of a Good Record; The World Isn’t Perfect, And The One In Our Ears Shouldn’t Be Either; Recovering the Lossiness of “Tom’s Diner”; Could the Internet Be The World’s Greatest Piece of Collaborative Art?.

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Extra: Nick Offerman on the Craft and Wisdom of Wendell Berry

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500

The former “Parks and Recreation” star has an unlikely hero: the Kentucky writer and champion of rural culture.

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The Poem is You: New Voices in American Poetry

Sun, 02 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500

In this hour, we see how poetry can show us new ways to think about place and personal identity. In a “Post-Truth” Era, Should You Get Your News From Poems?; American Poetry Has Never Been So Diverse; A Young Artist Reclaims Ojibwe Language Through Hip-Hop; Setting Sandburg’s City of Broad Shoulders to Music.

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The News From Poems: “Inaugural”

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Quan Barry is writing a new poem each week in response to current events.  And she’s invited other poets to join in. 

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Mad As Hell

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Wherever you turn, it seems like someone’s angry -- on Facebook and cable news, in street marches and congressional town halls. It would seem that we’ve entered a new era of increased hostility. But how did we, as a nation, get here? Is it possible we’re addicted to outrage? This hour, we explore the advantages and perils of getting mad as hell. A Lovely Day For A Tea Party; Want To Be More Understanding? Get Angry; How 18th Century Philosophers Created Our Age of Anger; The Fury And The Calm of Harvey Milk’s Memory; Addicted to Indignation; Michael Eric Dyson's Message to White America: Get Angry.

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Extra: Every Time You Troll Me, A Scientist Gets Her Due

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Every time this medical student gets harassed online, she writes a new Wikipedia bio of a female scientist.

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Why Is The Internet Toxic For Women?

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Why do women have to put up with this? And how do they fight back? Abused Game Developers Can’t ‘Just Go Offline’ to Escape; When You’re Under Siege Online, How Can the Law Help?; Facing Fox News and Reddit Trolls, Journalist Lauren Duca Persisted; Writer’s Advice from Roxane Gay: Write Truth and Get Uncomfortable, Online Or Off; A Broad History of Sexism, As Witnessed By A Feminist Scholar.

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Extra: Does Empathy Have a Design Flaw?

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

We talk to two experts —Chuck Pezeshski and Indi Young— who think about the role empathy can play in tackling massive design and engineering problems.

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The Mind of a Terrorist

Sun, 12 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0600

When suicide bombers blow up crowded marketplaces, or a lone shooter attacks a nightclub, one question we’re always left with is why. What ideology or belief or loyalty would compel someone to do something so horrific? This hour, a look at the underlying psychology of political violence. The Reformed Radical; The Psychology of Terrorism; What Can Americans Learn from a Norwegian Massacre?; Let's Change the Way We Think About Thinking; The Buddhist Master Who Went On A Four Year Wandering Retreat.

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Could Psychedelic Drugs Save Your Life?

Sun, 05 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0600

psychedelic science is back — and the early results are extraordinary. A single dose of psilocybin can help people with addictions, PTSD and end-of-life anxiety. We’ll examine this revolution in medicine, and explore the connections between psychedelics a Mother’s Little Helper: LSD?; How Psychedelic Drugs Will Revolutionize Psychiatry; Lessons from a Psychedelic Guide; On A Mountain Top, With Ayahuasca And Frog Poison; Psychedelics and God.

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