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Preview: KERA's Think Podcast

KERA's Think

Published: Wed, 20 Sep 2017 20:52:44 +0000

Last Build Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2017 20:56:38 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2016 KERA

Surviving Boston: The Marathon After The Race

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 20:52:44 +0000

In 2013, Jeff Bauman dutifully found a place near the finish line of the Boston Marathon to cheer on his girlfriend. And by the end of a day dedicated to running, he was no longer able to walk. Bauman’s story of survival is captured in the film “Stronger,” and he talks with us about living through one of the worst days in Boston history. We’ll also be joined by Jake Gyllenhaal, who plays Bauman in the film.

Media Files:

What We Still Don’t Understand About Slavery

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 20:51:31 +0000

As a tour guide on a Southern plantation, one of Margaret Biser’s jobs was to teach people about the lives of slaves. And in the process, she learned a lot about the public’s misconceptions. She joins us to talk about her attempts to correct the historical record, which she wrote about recently for Vox.

Media Files:

A Correspondent, Her Fixer And The Dangers Of Covering War

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:37:48 +0000

As a foreign correspondent covering war in Syria, Deborah Campbell relied on a local fixer named Ahlam to connect her with sources. And when Ahlam was arrested and dragged out of her home, Deborah was filled with guilt. She joins us to tell the story of her quest to reunite with Ahlam, which she writes about in “A Disappearance in Damascus: Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War”(Picador).

Media Files:

Journalist Katy Tur On Trailing Trump

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:50:16 +0000

During the 2016 presidential campaign, NBC News correspondent Katy Tur felt the wrath of Donald Trump, who often disparaged her from the stage. She joins us to talk about what it was like to visit 40 states with the future president, which she writes about in “Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History” (Dey Street Books). She’ll take part in the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin this weekend.

Media Files:

One Family, Two Fates

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:02:07 +0000

Danielle Allen became a dean at the University of Chicago at 32 before accepting a professorship at Harvard. And during her meteoric rise, her cousin Michael was falling just as swiftly into a life of gangs, drugs and prison. Allen talks with host Krys Boyd about trying, and ultimately failing, to save him – and about what her cousin’s tumultuous life says about the experience of young black men. Her family memoir is called “Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A.” (Liveright).

Media Files:

The Upside Of Climate Change

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:01:09 +0000

With deforestation, pollution and climate change, humans have profoundly changed the natural world. And while many plants and animals have been harmed, some have actually been helped by our presence. That’s according to Chris Thomas, a professor of conservation biology at the University of York, who joins us to explain why humans aren’t all bad. His new book is called “Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature is Thriving in an Age of Extinction” (PublicAffairs).

Media Files:

Ken Burns And Lynn Novick On The Vietnam War

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 18:49:00 +0000

It’s been more than 40 years since the end of the Vietnam War, and people on both sides of the conflict are still trying to make sense of it. The 10-part PBS documentary “The Vietnam War” debuts on Sunday, and filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick talk with host Krys Boyd about the scope of the film.

Media Files:

Gretchen Rubin: From Happiness To Goal Setting

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 20:33:03 +0000

Gretchen Rubin’s latest work centers on asking ourselves a simple question: How do I respond to expectations? She joins host Krys Boyd to explain how our answers to that question can help us to make better decisions and lead less-stressful lives. Her new book is called “The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too).” She’ll discuss her findings tonight during Author’s Live! at Highland Park United Methodist Church.

Media Files:

The New Southern Gothic: A Conversation With Author Jesmyn Ward

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 20:31:24 +0000

In 2011, Jesmyn Ward won a National Book Award for her novel “Salvage the Bones.” She joins host Krys Boyd to talk about her follow-up work of fiction, “Sing, Unburied, Sing,” which has drawn comparisons to Toni Morrison and William Faulkner. She’ll sign copies of the book tonight at Barnes & Noble in Dallas. You can study up for the interview by reading this recent Dallas Morning News piece.

Media Files:

The Philanthropist In Chief?

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 21:41:30 +0000

Along the campaign trail, candidate Donald Trump promised to donate money out of his own pocket to local charities. Washington Post reporter David A. Fahrenthold followed up on the pledges and learned a lot about the future president in the process. Fahrenthold talks to host Krys Boyd about his Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation, which is collected in his book “Uncovering Trump: The Truth Behind Donald Trump’s Charitable Giving.”

Media Files:

Will A Robot Take Your Job?

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 21:08:26 +0000

Technological innovation is a source of hope and wonder. And for many, that awe includes a healthy dose of existential angst. Wired senior editor Richard Dorment joins us to talk about whether or not we should fear everything from a robot apocalypse to internet trolls. He oversaw the magazine’s special report “The Great Tech Panic of 2017.”

Media Files:

Affirmative Action: It’s Complicated

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 21:30:10 +0000

Supporters of affirmative action in college admissions argue the practice is a step toward racial equality. Detractors, however, say it’s wrong to help some students at the expense of others. Texas A&M associate professor Michael S. Collins talks with host Krys Boyd about the current thinking around the issue, which he writes about for Harper’s.

Media Files:

Why We’re Afraid Of The Wrong Things (And Why That Hurts Us)

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 21:26:43 +0000

Thousands of people die each year from the flu – yet most people fear it far less than relatively rare viruses such as Ebola. Sasha Abramsky joins host Krys Boyd to explain why we often let our anxieties override sound reasoning, which he writes about in “Jumping at Shadows: The Triumph of Fear and the End of the American Dream.”

Media Files:

How One Small Bank Became A Wall Street Scapegoat

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 22:27:15 +0000

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, only one U.S. bank faced prosecution. Steve James joins host Krys Boyd to tell the story of the bank’s fight to clear its name, the subject of his Frontline documentary “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” which airs Tuesday night on PBS stations.

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North Korea: What You Need To Know

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 22:24:53 +0000

In recent weeks, North Korea has appeared to ramp up its nuclear weapons program, prompting President Trump to suggest military action in the region might be an option. Jonathan Pollack, senior fellow in the John L. Thornton China Center and Center for East Asia Policy at the Brookings Institution, joins host Krys Boyd to talk about U.S. options for dealing with the threat – and about what North Korea really wants.

Media Files:

How Energy Abundance Reordered The World

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 19:40:39 +0000

Increased production and a more efficient world has turned America’s energy scarcity into a surplus. Meghan L. O’Sullivan of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government talks with host Krys Boyd about how the nation’s energy position affects its place in the world order. Her new book is called World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth.

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The Power Of Pre-K

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 20:39:05 +0000

In 2013, San Antonio launched its Pre-K 4 SA program, providing full-day pre-kindergarten for disadvantaged 4-year-olds. Erick Trickey talks with host Krys Boyd about how then-mayor Julián Castro pushed the program through the city’s bureaucracy – and about the potential for pre-K to strengthen a city’s economy. He wrote the story “How Julián Castro Bet on 4-Year-Olds to Transform San Antonio” for Politico.

Media Files:

Cooking Food From Other Cultures: Appropriation Or Appreciation?

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 20:38:26 +0000

Food is a part of our daily lives. And as such, it’s susceptible to the same prejudices, stereotyping and appropriating that seep into other areas of our existence. Soleil Ho of The Racist Sandwich podcast talks with host Krys Boyd about how we can tell a lot about people by the foods they make and consume.

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Are We Born Evil?

Wed, 06 Sep 2017 19:49:40 +0000

What prompts a person to ram his car into a crowd of people – or strap on a bomb and inflict even greater damage? Yudhijit Bhattacharjee talks with host Krys Boyd about how researchers are trying to find the origins of malicious impulses. His story “What Science Tells Us About Good and Evil” appears on the website of National Geographic.

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Out With The Old School: Revamping Higher Education

Wed, 06 Sep 2017 19:49:05 +0000

The nation’s higher-education system looks frighteningly similar to how it looked at the turn of the dawn of the 20th Century. As part of KERA’s American Graduate Series, Cathy Davidson, founding director of the Futures Initiative at City University New York, talks with host Krys Boyd about ways that we can update our college campuses to better serve today’s students. Her new book is called “The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World in Flux” (Basic Books).

Media Files:

Filtering Out The Pain: College Students, Mental Health And Social Media

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 20:08:07 +0000

Maddy Holleran seemed to have everything going for her – a place at an Ivy League school, a budding track career and beauty to match the brains. And when she decided to take her own life at 19, the University of Pennsylvania community was stunned. ESPN commentator Kate Fagan joins host Krys Boyd to tell the story of Holleran’s life – a toxic mix of depression and unrelenting pressure to perform. Fagan’s new book is called “What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen” (Little Brown and Co.).

Media Files:

Violence, The Media And Finding A Way Forward

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 20:07:24 +0000

The possibility of facing a terrorist attack has become an everyday part of life. Dr. Jeff Gusky talks to host Krys Boyd about how we can learn to confront the fear of terrorism – and feel safer in the process. On Sept. 11, he’ll deliver a lecture on the topic at Third Church of Christ, Scientist in Dallas.

Media Files:

Deaf Education: Navigating A Hearing World

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 16:08:10 +0000

Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. is one of the nation’s leading educators of deaf students. This hour, we’ll look at how these students are excelling in a hearing world. We’ll be joined by a pair of students who’ve attended the school – including one who interprets concerts by Chance the Rapper and other artists. And Gallaudet president Roberta Cordano explains how the school tailors teaching to serve its deaf and hard of hearing population.

Media Files:

Voices From The Flood: A National Call-In Special

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 21:02:57 +0000

Tens of thousands of Texans have been forced from their homes, with many living in shelters in Houston and around the state – many of them unsure if they’ll have anything to go back to once Harvey’s waters subside. We’ll bring you the latest on the situation in this special program – produced in partnership with Houston Public Media and the Texas Station Collaborative.

Media Files:

Making Comedy Out Of Tragedy: Becoming Ms. Pat

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 21:02:08 +0000

Patricia Williams has built a solid career as a stand-up comic with several television appearances under her belt. She talks with host Krys Boyd about being a 15-year-old mother of two with an eighth-grade education – and about how she ultimately made a life for herself and her family. She tells her story in “Rabbit:The Autobiography of Ms. Pat” (Dey Street Books).

Media Files:

The Big Business Of Little League

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 20:54:54 +0000

Plenty of parents sit in the bleachers of their kids’ games and wonder if maybe – just maybe – they are raising the next Tom Brady or LeBron James. Sports writer Sean Gregory talks with host Krys Boyd about how private coaches and club teams are tapping into that dream and pulling in big bucks in the process. Gregory’s story “How Kids’ Sports Became a $15 Billion Industry” is on the cover of the current edition of Time magazine.

Media Files:

Still Separate, Still Unequal

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 20:54:15 +0000

School segregation has been illegal since the landmark Brown. V. Board of Education decision was handed down in 1954. That doesn’t mean that integration has been fully realized, though. Alvin Chang talks with host Krys Boyd about the subtle ways that schools manage to remain divided. His essay “School Segregation Didn’t Go Away. It Just Evolved” appears on Vox.

Media Files:

When The Machines Are Smarter Than Us

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 23:57:44 +0000

Artificial intelligence has the potential to make our future lives much easier. And in the process, it might just ease some of us out of the workforce. MIT physics professor Max Tegmark talks with host Krys Boyd about tapping into the positives of A.I. while protecting our humanity. His book is called “Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” (Knopf).

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Black And Blue: When Police Hurt Women Of Color

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 21:11:50 +0000

Michael Brown, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling – these are the names we associate with police violence. And they all happen to be men. Attorney Andrea J. Ritchie talks with Krys Boyd about how women of color are also affected by police brutality. Her new book is called “Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color” (Beacon Press).

Media Files:

Tropical Storm Harvey: Special Report

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 22:37:44 +0000

As Tropical Storm Harvey continues its assault on the Texas coast, residents are bracing for rain that could last through Friday. We’ll get the latest from reporters who have witnessed the destruction in Corpus Christi, Houston, Rockport and elsewhere. We’ll hear from residents whose lives have been upended. And we’ll put Harvey’s intensity in perspective and get a glimpse of its future with Greg Carbin, chief forecaster for the National Weather Service.

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Making Enough To Marry?

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 22:07:14 +0000

In previous centuries, marriage was often considered a political or economic arrangement rather than the culmination of courtship. Virginia Commonwealth sociologist Victor Tan Chen talks with host Krys Boyd about how the precarious nature of our safety net has many Americans once again considering their unions in economic terms. His story “America, Home of the Transactional Marriage” appears on The Atlantic’s website.

Media Files:

Lessons From Baylor’s Sexual Assault Scandal

Fri, 25 Aug 2017 21:56:00 +0000

Baylor University is the world’s largest Baptist University. And as such, it would seem an unlikely setting for one of the most shocking scandals in college sports history. ESPN reporters Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach talk with host Krys Boyd about their investigation into the school’s string of sexual assaults, the subject of their book “Violated: Exposing Rape at Baylor University amid College Football’s Sexual Assault Crisis” (Center Street). 

Media Files:

Profiles In Conservation

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 20:49:46 +0000

The people who manage our food supply also play an outsized role in carrying for our land and bodies of water. Miriam Horn talks with Krys Boyd about the intersection between feeding the country and carrying for its environment, which she writes about in “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland” (W.W. Norton and Co.).  

Media Files:

Forged In Fire: The Origins Of Life On Earth

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 20:44:30 +0000

The inside of a volcano seems like one of the deadliest places on earth. And yet, new research is pointing scientists to these fiery craters as the possible origin of life. David Deamer of the University of California, Santa Cruz talks to host Krys Boyd about what studying volcanoes can tell us about the planet’s ecosystem, which he writes about in Scientific American.

Media Files:

Inside India’s Caste System

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 21:40:29 +0000

Sujatha Gidla was born one of India’s “untouchables” – destined for a life in the slums struggling to get by. She talks to host Krys Boyd about how an education helped her to rise above her lot in life – and about how in India, you can’t ever fully leave your caste behind. She tells her story in “Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).  

Media Files:

How An Addict’s Brain Is Wired

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 21:29:15 +0000

Why are some people able to stop after one drink while others keep drinking until the bottle’s empty? Understanding the difference between these two types of brains is the key to helping alcoholics, drug users, gamblers and other addicts. Rita Z. Goldstein researches addiction at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and she joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the latest addiction research, which is featured in the September issue of National Geographic magazine.

Media Files:

Where Southern Food Really Came From

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 20:17:43 +0000

As a culinary historian, Michael W. Twitty has researched the origins of Southern food traditions. He talks with host Krys Boyd about the history of soul food, barbecue and other Southern staples and about how these styles of cooking bring together people from different backgrounds. His new book is called “The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South” (Amistad).

Media Files:

New Theories On Alzheimer’s

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 20:17:11 +0000

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. And while a cure remains elusive, doctors are developing promising treatments. Dr. Dale E. Bredesen talks with host Krys Boyd about current treatment options. His new book is called “The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline” (Avery).

Media Files:

The History of American Racism

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 19:43:42 +0000

If we hope to rid our country of racism, we need to understand the origins of racist thought. That’s the basis of historian Ibram X. Kendi’s research, in which he explores the intellectual justifications that lead to discriminatory policies. He talks with Krys Boyd about his book “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America” (Nation Books), which won the 2016 National Book Award for nonfiction and is now out in paperback.

Media Files:

How To Spot A Narcissist

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 19:43:01 +0000

Narcissists are known for having low self-esteem, and they attempt to boost their confidence through external validation. Psychologist Elinor Greenberg studies people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and she talks with host Krys Boyd about why people develop these personalities – and about treatments available to them. Her story “The Truth About Narcissistic Personality Disorder” appears in Psychology Today.

Media Files:

How Global Health Went Viral

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:22:11 +0000

The United States has helped save millions of lives in Africa through foreign aid. Dr. Mark Dybul, former executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and professor of medicine at Georgetown University, joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the connection between global health and national security. His essay “How HIV, SARS, and Ebola Put Global Health on the Agenda” appears in the current issue of The Catalyst.

Media Files:

Organized Crime and Human Trafficking

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:14:18 +0000

Anecdotal evidence has pointed to a connection between human trafficking and organized crime. And a new study seems to confirm that theory. Vanessa Bouche, an assistant professor of political science at TCU, conducted the study and talks with host Krys Boyd about her findings and about current strategies for combating trafficking.

Media Files:

Asking The Big Questions About Having Kids

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:01:30 +0000

Deciding to bring a child into the world presents a daunting list of questions for would-be parents to consider. And the deep thinking doesn’t stop after the delivery. SMU philosopher Jean Kazez joins host Krys Boyd to walk through some of these considerations, which she writes about in “The Philosophical Parent: Asking the Hard Questions About Having and Raising Children” (Oxford University Press).

Media Files:

Rediscovering The Favorites: Kids’ Books For Grownups

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:00:30 +0000

One of the small joys of parenthood comes in sharing a beloved book from childhood with your own kids. Bruce Handy talks to host Krys Boyd about how revisiting the work of Louisa May Alcott, Dr. Seuss and others can be incredibly rewarding years after we’ve moved onto more grown-up reads. His new book is called “Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult” (Simon & Schuster).

Media Files:

One Border, Two Brothers And The Drug Trade

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 20:21:05 +0000

José and Miguel Treviño grew up in the Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo. José eventually immigrated to the U.S. while Miguel stayed behind and moved up the ranks of the Zetas cartel. Joe Tone joins host Krys Boyd to tell the story of how the brothers’ paths crossed later in life – and caught the attention of the F.B.I. His new book is called “Bones: Brothers, Horses, Cartels, and the Borderland Dream” (One World). He speaks tonight at Interabang Books.  

Media Files:

Cain And Abel Of The Breakfast Table

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 20:18:11 +0000

If you had a bowl of corn flakes this morning, you have John and Will Kellogg to thank. Howard Markel talks to host Krys Boyd about the 19th Century wellness trend that led to the invention of the cereal – and about how their company shaped manufacturing, philanthropy and even medicine. He tells the siblings’ story in “The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek” (Pantheon). Markel talks about the book tonight during an Authors Live! event at Highland Park United Methodist Church.  

Media Files:

When White Supremacists Came To Charlottesville

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 20:19:50 +0000

On Saturday, Charlottesville, Va., became the epicenter of America’s racial unrest as white nationalists sparred with counter-protesters in a scene reminiscent of the darkest days of the Civil Rights era. We’ll get an update from the scene from the Charlottesville bureau chief for WVTF radio, Sandy Hausman. And later in the hour, Carol Anderson, chair of the African American Studies department at Emory University, joins us to dissect the events of the weekend and to talk about how we got to here. Her book “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide” (Bloomsbury) was released in 2016.  

Media Files:

Behind The Scenes Of America’s Sports Temples

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 20:05:42 +0000

On game days, some stadiums can pack in 100,000 people or more – often dwarfing the populations of the towns that surround them. Sports writer Rafi Kohan talks with host Krys Boyd about the effect these venues have on the cities that build them – and about the communal experience that takes place inside them. His new book is called “The Arena: Inside the Tailgating, Ticket-Scalping, Mascot-Racing, Dubiously Funded, and Possibly Haunted Monuments of American Sport” (Liveright).  

Media Files:

Inside ‘The Glass Castle’

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 15:39:47 +0000

The big screen adaptation of Jeannette Walls’ memoir, “The Glass Castle,” hits theaters today. It stars Oscar-winner Brie Larson as the author during her time growing up in a dysfunctional family. Walls talks to host Krys Boyd about revealing the truth of her upbringing to friends – and about her feelings once the book wound up on a banned book list.  

Media Files:

Sex In The Suburbs: A Conversation With Novelist Tom Perrotta

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 20:47:05 +0000

Tom Perrotta is known for his best-selling novels “The Leftovers” and “Little Children” – both have made it to television and movie screens. He joins us to talk about his latest effort, “Mrs. Fletcher” (Scribner), focuses on a fortysomething divorcee rediscovering her sexuality in suburbia.  

Media Files:

“An Inconvenient Truth” Revisited

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 20:46:25 +0000

The documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” led many Americans to consider climate change for the first time and won an Oscar along the way. Now, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” looks at the topic 10 years on. Directors Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk join us to talk about what they learned while making the film.  

Media Files:

The Politics Of Skin Color

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 20:20:28 +0000

In many countries, skin color can influence who is afforded the most opportunities within a society. Yaba Blay, a political science professor at North Carolina Central University, talks to host Krys Boyd about the social hierarchies associated with skin tone – and how skin bleaching, hair relaxing and other treatments are used by men and women facing discrimination.  

Media Files:

Go Ahead, Major In Philosophy. You’ll Still Get A Job

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 20:19:35 +0000

College students with ambitious career plans usually gravitate to business schools, law schools, maybe medicine. George Anders joins us to talk about taking a different approach – seeking a broad education that will be more dynamic in the long run. He writes about the idea in “You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Education” (Little, Brown and Co.).  

Media Files:

Broken Promises: Education And Native Americans

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:25:22 +0000

Native American students drop out of school at a rate that’s twice the national average. Rebecca Clarren joins us to talk about how cultural insensitivity, declining federal funding and other factors have led to an educational crisis among American Indians. Her story “How America Is Failing Native American Students” appears in The Nation.  

Media Files:

Lessons From A Disaster: The 1964 Alaska Quake

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:24:44 +0000

In 1964, the second most powerful earthquake in recorded history struck Alaska, leveling the city of Valdez and destroying an island village. Henry Fountain joins us to tell the story of the geologist who studied the quake’s aftermath and redefined our understanding of plate tectonics. His new book is called “The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet” (Crown).  

Media Files:

All The Light We Cannot See

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 20:08:27 +0000

Even during the darkest night sky, all around us we’re surrounded by light. Science writer Bob Berman joins us to talk about the many kinds of light we cannot see – how they are crucial for life and how they can kill us if we’re not careful. His new book is called “Zapped: From Infrared to X-Rays, the Curious History of Invisible Light” (Little, Brown and Co.)  

Media Files:

Trump Is Doing More Than You Think

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 20:05:09 +0000

The first six months of the Trump administration has featured cabinet shakeups, investigations into secret meetings and plenty of tweeting. David A. Graham joins us to try to separate the gossip from the governing with a conversation about the actual policies the president has pushed through concerning border security, climate change and deregulation. He writes about politics and global news for The Atlantic.    

Media Files:

Rethinking The U.S. Prison System

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 20:39:55 +0000

The U.S. is home to more than 20 percent of the world’s inmates. In a special episode looking at our criminal justice system, we’ll talk with a law school professor about why America locks up more of its citizens than any other country, we’ll hear from a criminologist about our increased use of solitary confinement, and we’ll talk with a former inmate who’s made it her life’s work to help other incarcerated women transition back to freedom.  

Media Files:

Where Memories Live In The Mind

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 20:06:59 +0000

As we go through life, our brains collect memories every day. And scientists are starting to better understand how our minds organize these memories to help us better navigate life. Alcino J. Silva of the UCLA Brain Research Institute joins us to talk about the latest research into memory storage, which he writes about in Scientific American.  

Media Files:

How To Speak Emoji

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 20:06:10 +0000

Thanks to emojis, we can now send whole texts to one another that don’t contain a single word. Linguist Vyvyan Evans joins us to make the case that all of these hearts, winks and thumbs are actually advancing our ability to communicate. His new book is called “The Emoji Code: The Linguistics Behind Smiley Faces and Scaredy Cats” (Picador).  

Media Files:

When Running Drugs Is Your Only Option

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 21:16:09 +0000

The Tarahumara people of Northern Mexico are some of the world’s greatest ultrarunners. That skill caught the attention of the country’s drug cartels, who began to use the Tarahumara to transport drugs across the border. Ryan Goldberg joins us to talk about the difficult position these athletes are in, which he writes about in the current issue of Texas Monthly.  

Media Files:

The Best And Worst Places To Be Poor In America

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 21:14:26 +0000

As the income divide in America continues to increase, so does the level of desperation for the working poor. Brookings economist Carol Graham joins us to talk about how when individuals stop believing they have a future, they cease to invest in them, the subject of her recent report “The Geography of Desperation in America” (Brookings).  

Media Files:

Why Does Gender Matter?

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 20:19:35 +0000

Transgender Americans were told last week by President Trump that they are no longer able to serve in the military. And a debate is underway in Austin over where transgender Texans will be allowed to use the restroom. Heath Fogg Davis – a Temple University political scientist who also happens to be a transgender man – joins us to talk about the current issues facing the trans community. His new book is called “Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter” (NYU Press).  

Media Files:

Brain Damage And The Future Of Football

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 20:18:54 +0000

A new study of 111 brains donated by former NFL players showed that all but one suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Boston University neurologist Jesse Mez lead the study, and he joins us to talk about his findings and what the information might mean for the future of football.  

Media Files:

Human Smuggling: An Undercover Agent’s Story

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 20:13:09 +0000

Last week in San Antonio, 10 people died and nearly 30 more were hospitalized after experiencing extreme heat while being smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico. For nearly 30 years, Hipólito Acosta worked as a U.S. special agent tasked with busting smugglers and others who took advantage of immigrants. He joins us to talk about his experience, which he writes about in “Deep in the Shadows: Undercover in the Ruthless World of Human Smuggling” (Arte Publico Press).  

Media Files:

How We Catch Feelings

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 20:06:59 +0000

Scientists have a pretty solid understanding of how viruses and other contagions are passed among us. It’s still a mystery, though, that behavior also seems to be contagious. Science journalist Lee Daniel Kravetz joins us to talk about why we sometimes mimic one another, which he writes about in “Strange Contagion: Inside the Surprising Science of Infectious Behaviors and Viral Emotions and What they Tell Us About Ourselves” (Harper Wave).  

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Fire In The Texas Panhandle

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 20:13:33 +0000

In the wide-open terrain of the Texas Panhandle, one of the major concerns for residents is the outbreak of a prairie fire. Skip Hollandsworth joins us to tell the story of one such fire this spring and the effect it had on young ranchers living outside Amarillo. His story “The Day the Fire Came” appears in the current issue of Texas Monthly.  

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What Siri Won’t Tell You

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 20:24:41 +0000

Steve Jobs imagined the iPhone as the one gadget we’d need for everything. Brian Merchant joins us to talk about how arguably the 21st Century’s most significant piece of technology came to be, which he writes about in “The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone” (Little, Brown and Company).  

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The Ritchie Boys Vs. The Nazis

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 20:24:10 +0000

As tensions rose in the 1930s, some Jews left Germany, only to return to Europe a few years later as American soldiers. Bruce Henderson joins us to tell the story of these fighters – known as The Ritchie Boys – who acquired intelligence crucial to defeating the Nazis. His new book is called “Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler” (William Morrow).  

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A Fight You (Probably) Won’t Win

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 20:24:04 +0000

Even if an employee sues a company and wins, that person often finds it tough to find another job. So what’s a worker to do? Laura Beth Nielsen, a Northwestern sociology professor and research professor with the American Bar Foundation, joins us to talk about navigating the tricky process of suing an employer – specifically on grounds of discrimination. She’s a co-author of “Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality” (University of Chicago Press).  

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A Bug’s Life

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 20:15:10 +0000

Some of us are understandably creeped out by insects. We should probably try to come to terms with them, though – for every human, there are 1.4 billion bugs. David MacNeal joins us talk about the world’s bug-lovers – the people who study them and learn how we can benefit from their presence. His new book is called “Bugged: The Insects Who Rule the World and the People Obsessed with Them” (St. Martin’s Press).  

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A Preview Of America … In Texas

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 20:11:52 +0000

Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott called the Texas Legislature back to Austin for a special session on the heels of one of the wilder legislative sessions in recent memory. Lawrence Wright joins us for a conversation about the current state of Texas politics – and how what happens here often is a preview of things to come nationally. His story “The Future Is Texas” appears in The New Yorker. Wright speaks tonight at the Dallas Museum of Art as part of Arts & Letters Live! in partnership with the World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth.  

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Impossible Moral Dilemmas

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 20:11:01 +0000

Philosophers love to discuss what are known as “trolley problems” – thought experiments that force us to choose between two unsatisfactory choices. Binghampton University philosophy professor Lisa Tessman joins us to talk about working through moral quandaries, which she writes about in “When Doing the Right Thing is Impossible” (Oxford).  

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How Medicine Became Big Business

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 21:58:44 +0000

This summer, the biggest debate in Washington has centered on the Affordable Care Act. Princeton professor Paul Starr joins us to talk about how health care evolved into big business. His book “The Social Transformation of Medicine: The Rise of a Sovereign Profession & the Making of a Vast Industry” (Basic Books) won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize and has just been updated and re released.

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The Cult Of Wellness

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 21:53:38 +0000

A focus on wellness essentially means committing oneself to attaining a healthy mind and body. And today, it’s become a buzz word used to sell everything from vitamins to vacations. Amy Larocca joins us to talk about our obsession with living our best lives. Her story “The Wellness Epidemic” appeared recently in New York magazine.

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Burning For Love: Arson In Rural America

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 20:46:08 +0000

Earlier this decade, a string of dozens of arsons left a rural Virginia county on edge wondering when the next house would burn. Washington Post reporter Monica Hesse visited Accomack County to cover the case, and the more she learned about the culprit, the weirder the story got. She tells it in her new book, “American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land” (Liveright).

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America’s Battle With The Bottle

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 21:17:09 +0000

From the Founding Fathers to today, America has struggled with its complicated relationship with alcohol. Christopher Finan joins us to tell the stories of Iroquois leader Handsome Lake, prohibitionist Carrie Nation, AA founders Bill Wilson and Bob Smith and others who’ve tried to get America sober. His new book is called “Drunks: An American History” (Beacon Press).

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Redefining “Rich”: Not Just The 1%

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 21:15:27 +0000

The conversation around income inequality typically focuses on the 1 percent vs. the rest of us. Brookings Institution economist Richard Reeves joins us to talk about why the division is really between the top 20 percent of earners – the upper middle class – and everyone else. His new book is called “Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That is a Problem, and What to Do About It” (Brookings).  

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A Journey Through The Secret Struggle Of Mental Illness

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 21:14:46 +0000

When Stephen Hinshaw was growing up, his father mysteriously left the family for months at a time. And it wasn’t until he was an adult that he learned the truth. Hinshaw – now a psychology professor – joins us to talk about the dangers of keeping mental illness a secret, which he writes about in “Another Kind of Madness: A Journey Through the Stigma and Hope of Mental Illness” (St. Martin’s Press).  

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National Parks In Peril

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 19:43:03 +0000

More than 330 million people visited a national park last year. And many more are headed to one this summer. Environmentalist Terry Tempest Williams joins us to talk about how we can better care for these natural wonders, which she writes about in “The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks” (Picador). She speaks tonight at 7:30 as part of DMA Arts and Letters Live! at the Dallas Museum of Art.  

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Why Humans Imagine

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 19:42:07 +0000

Human advancement – whether in the arts, the sciences or even in our relationships with one another – hinge on one quality: creativity. Columbia College Chicago professor Stephen Asma joins us to talk about how creativity works in the brain – and about how we can visualize a reality that doesn’t yet exist. His new book is called “The Evolution of Imagination” (University of Chicago Press).  

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How Science Gets Women Wrong

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 22:15:19 +0000

Throughout history, scientists have theorized that women are the fairer sex – better suited for nurturing roles while men think the big thoughts. And it’s no coincidence that most of the scientists making those claims were men. Science journalist Angela Saini joins us to talk about how gender bias has clouded our understanding of women, which she writes about in “Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong – and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story” (Beacon Press).

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A Young Doctor Learns The Ropes

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 22:13:56 +0000

As Republicans in Congress debate the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, one of the ongoing conversations about health care centers on how we provide it for those who struggle to pay. Dr. Rachel Pearson joins us to talk about learning to practice medicine on poor patients visiting a free clinic in Galveston – and about what the experience taught her about inequality in the healthcare system. Her memoir is called “No Apparent Distress: A Doctor’s Coming-of-Age on the Front Lines of American Medicine” (W.W. Norton and Co.).

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What Makes Us Curious

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 20:39:27 +0000

Our curiosity is what drives us to innovate and make connections with others. Astrophysicist Mario Livio joins us to talk about our urge to know what we don’t and how our brains are wired to want to learn. His new book is called “Why: What Makes Us Curious” (Simon & Schuster).  

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Finding Hope After Heroin

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 19:59:22 +0000

For nearly a decade, Tracey Helton Mitchell lived on the streets of San Francisco addicted to heroin. She joins us to talk about how she eventually became a stable mother of three after getting clean – and about how our rehab system can be improved. Mitchell is the author of “The Big Fix: Hope After Heroin” (DaCapo).  

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The Culture Of The Modern Workplace

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 17:49:51 +0000

Even if we retire at 65, that means for more than 40 years of our lives we’ll get up and go to work five days a week. We’ll talk this hour about the time we spend in the office with a Wall Street Journal reporter, a researcher who focuses on office humor and the author of a book about the changing relationship between companies and their employees.  

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Solving North Korea: The World’s Biggest Problem

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 20:33:59 +0000

A nuclear missile launched from North Korea would take about half an hour to reach Los Angeles. And making sure that never happens is one of the top priorities of the Trump administration. Mark Bowden joins us to walk through four strategic options for dealing with Kim Jong Un. His story “The Worst Problem on Earth” appears in The Atlantic.  

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How “Thelma & Louise” Redefined The Roles Of Women In Hollywood

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 20:31:51 +0000

In the 1991 movie “Thelma & Louise,” Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon leave their uninspired domestic lives behind for a crime spree out on the open road. Becky Aikman joins us to talk about the film’s unlikely path from script to screen – and about why more than 25 years later Hollywood is still gun shy when it comes to female-led casts. Her new book is called “Off the Cliff: How the Making of Thelma & Louise Drove Hollywood to the Edge” (Penguin). She speaks tonight as part of Authors Live at Highland Park United Methodist Church.  

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A Million Miles And Counting: A Trucker’s Tale

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 20:21:31 +0000

If not for truckers, we wouldn’t have food in our grocery stores, fuel in our cars or the ability to move an entire house worth of stuff across the country. Finn Murphy has logged more than a million miles back and forth across the United States driving trucks. He joins us to talk about all those hours at the wheel, which he writes about in “The Long Haul: A Trucker’s Tales of Life on the Road” (W.W. Norton).  

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Accepting Yourself When Others Won’t

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 20:45:30 +0000

Lizzie Velasquez became an Internet sensation – though not in a way anyone would want – when she was the subject of the video “World’s Ugliest Woman.” She joins us to talk about living with the rare genetic condition that has affected her appearance – and about how we can have a positive attitude despite setbacks in our lives. Her new book is called “Dare to be Kind: How Extraordinary Compassion Can Transform Our World” (Hachette).  

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Rwandan Women Rising

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 20:44:12 +0000

In 1994, Rwanda witnessed a genocide that left more than a million people dead. And in the aftermath, the country entrusted the job of rebuilding to women – in fact, more than 60 percent of its elected leaders in Parliament are women. Swanee Hunt joins us to talk about the lessons we can learn from these women, which she writes about in “Rwandan Women Rising” (Duke University Press).  

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The DEA, The Zetas And A Massacre In Mexico

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 19:27:14 +0000

In March 2011, gunmen from the Zetas cartel descended on the Mexican town of Allende to exact revenge on a suspected source working with the DEA. When they were done, dozens and dozens of men, women and children were dead. Ginger Thompson joins us to detail the leak that lead to the killings – and to talk about what life in Allende is like now. Her story “How the U.S. Triggered a Massacre in Mexico” is a co-production of ProPublica and National Geographic.  

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The Dallas Police Shootings: A Year Later

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 19:03:07 +0000

A year ago today, demonstrators gathered in downtown Dallas to protest the killings by police officers of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and others. And by the end of the night, five of the officers who were assigned to protect those protesters were killed in a shootout that also left a gunman dead. During this special episode of Think, we’ll look back at the night of July 7, 2016, we’ll hear from one of the officers who was wounded in the attack and we’ll talk about how Dallas has changed – and stayed the same – since that night.  

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Due For An Upgrade: Engineering A Better Human Body

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 16:49:41 +0000

Researchers are hard at work studying ways to extend the reach of the human body – from figuring out how to regenerate lost limbs to developing telepathic communication. Adam Piore joins us to talk about rethinking the limits of our existence, which he writes about in “The Body Builders: Inside the Science of the Engineered Human” (Ecco).  

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Abstinence Ed In Texas

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 20:23:08 +0000

A majority of Texas schools offer abstinence-only sex education or no sex education at all. At the same time, Texas has one of the highest teen-pregnancy rates in the nation. We’ll talk about the many factors at play when it comes to teaching the state’s young people about sex with Cynthia Osborne of the Center for Health and Social Policy at the University of Texas and Jessica Chester, a former teen mom who now advises people on family planning.  

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A.I. In The E.R.: Artificial Intelligence In Health Care

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 20:22:27 +0000

Facebook uses artificial intelligence to recognize faces in photos. IBM is putting it to work for businesses with its Watson platform. And now health researchers are confident A.I. is the next frontier in diagnosing patients and curing diseases. We’ll talk about the promise of artificial intelligence in health with Dr. Ruben Amarasingham of the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation and Venkatesh Hariharan, CEO of Dallas-based HealthNextGen.  

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Getting Grief Right

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 20:04:55 +0000

Patrick O’Malley is a psychotherapist by trade – yet that training didn’t fully prepare him to deal with the death of his infant son. O’Malley joins us to talk about how grief is not something to be cured – rather, it’s part of our lasting connection to the ones we’ve lost. His new book is called “Getting Grief Right: Finding Your Story of Love in the Sorrow of Loss” (Sounds True).  

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Everything But The Taste: How Other Senses Shape Our Love Of Food

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 19:35:01 +0000

Eating is an experience that requires all of our senses. And the color of the plate, the sound of the music and the feel of the fork in our hands can enhance – or distract from – how the food actually tastes. Charles Spence, head of Oxford University’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory, joins us to talk about how our senses work together to create a memorable meal, which he writes about in “Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating” (Viking).  

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The Fate Of The American Revolution

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 17:12:27 +0000

There may be no two contemporaries in American military history who are remembered more differently than George Washington and Benedict Arnold. Historian Nathaniel Philbrick joins us to talk about how the relationship between these two changed during the war, which he writes about in “Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution” (Penguin). Nathaniel Philbrick on … … the role Benedict Arnold played in America’s origin story:  “We had George Washington as this great hero, but if you’re going to create a myth of origins you also need a villain, and enter Benedict Arnold. By attempting to surrender West Point to the Brittish, he was a traitor not only to George Washington and the Continental Congress but to every American. Suddenly, we had the hero and we had the villain. We had the snake in the Garden of Eden. And so the genesis of the country could move beyond an act of betrayal when it came to King George and look to the defense of our own personal freedoms.” This episode originally aired on May 15, 2017. 

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The Osage Murders

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 17:11:53 +0000

In the 1920s, members of the Osage tribe were some of the richest people in the world after oil was discovered on their land. New Yorker writer David Grann joins us to tell the story of how these newly-minted millionaires were suddenly being killed off – and how a former Texas Ranger was brought in to solve the mystery. His new book is called “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” (Doubleday). Get prepared for our conversation by reading this review by The Dallas Morning News. This episode originally on May 2, 2017. 

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