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Preview: KERA's Think Podcast

KERA's Think

Published: Wed, 18 Oct 2017 21:27:50 +0000

Last Build Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2017 21:28:35 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2016 KERA

The Strange And Wonderful Mind Of Leonardo Da Vinci

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 21:27:50 +0000

Walter Isaacson has an affinity for genius, having written seminal biographies of Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs. He’ll talk about his latest book, “Leonardo da Vinci” which links the Italian polymath’s art to his scientific life.

Media Files:

New Understandings Of Brain Injury

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 21:26:11 +0000

UT-Dallas’ Center for Brain Health unveils its new Brain Performance Institute today, which will focus on how we can stretch the brain’s capabilities. Neurologist Dr. Geoffrey Ling is in town for the opening, and stops by for a conversation about new research into brain injury and resilience.

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Is Anyone Out There?

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 20:07:16 +0000

“Sustainability” is one of the buzz words of the environmental movement. Some scientists are beginning to think, though, that over-population and climate change are actually the natural demise of civilizations – possibly even ones that existed on other planets. Astrophysicist Adam Frank discusses climate change from an interplanetary perspective. He speaks tonight at 5:30 at Dallas Hall on the SMU campus.

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Clandestine On Campus

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 20:06:42 +0000

Intelligence services from Russia, China and other world powers have figured out a way to gain sensitive information about the U.S. from an unlikely place: university campuses. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Daniel Golden talks about how some foreign college students are actually working as spies for their home countries – and about how the FBI and CIA are returning the favor abroad. His new book is called “Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI, and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America’s Universities” (Henry Holt and Co.).

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Not So Golden Years: Seniors On The Road

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 19:47:26 +0000

The Great Recession is nearly a decade in the past, but some American workers are still feeling its effect. Jessica Bruder joins us to talk about how the recession created a new breed of migrant worker – primarily older Americans. She tells their story in “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century” (W.W. Norton and Company).

Media Files:

Why Every President Fails

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 19:35:52 +0000

The president of the United States is known as the leader of the free world and is also in charge of the world’s largest economy. It’s a lot to put on one person. UT-Austin history professor Jeremi Suri joins us to talk about how the job has grown well beyond what the Founding Fathers conceived – and about how that expanded scope has continuously led to the public’s dissatisfaction. His new book is called “The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office” (Basic Books).

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It’s All In Your Head: How Marketers Hijack Our Brains

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 19:06:34 +0000

Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that tells our brains we want more of something. It’s what motivates us to act, but if not properly managed, it can push us to addiction and depression. Dr. Robert Lustig joins us to talk about how marketers have learned to activate dopamine in our brains – making us crave their products and leaving us empty in the process. His new book is called “The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains” (Avery).

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Cassius Clay To Muhammad Ali: Becoming The Champ

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 21:05:59 +0000

Muhammad Ali was arguably the most significant sports figure of the 20th Century – a champion in the ring and an important voice outside it. Jonathan Eig joins us to tell the story of a complicated man who so often found himself at the center of America’s most pressing conversations. Eig’s new book is called “Ali: A Life” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). 

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The Kids In The Hall: A Conversation With Dave Foley And Kevin McDonald

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 20:51:35 +0000

Canadian sketch-comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall kept early ‘90s audiences in stiches with its off-kilter humor and extended list of recurring characters. Members Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald join us for a conversation about humor while they’re in town to accept the Ernie Kovacs Award from VideoFest.

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How Leaders Are Made

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 19:29:19 +0000

True leaders shine brightest when the stakes are highest. Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn joins us to talk about exceptional leaders throughout history and why they prove that the greatest of leaders aren’t born – they’re made. Her new book is called “Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times” (Scribner).

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Student Loans: The Debt You Can’t Escape

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 19:07:34 +0000

The student loan industry theoretically exists to help young people finance higher education. The country’s mounting student debt, though, is calling into question the industry’s priorities. Reporters Daniel Rivero and Laura Juncadella join us to talk about how predatory lending practices are keeping some graduates from ever crawling out from under student loans. Their yearlong investigation, “The Naked Truth: Debt Trap,” aired recently on Fusion TV.

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A Homesick Texan Gets Cheesy

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 19:32:01 +0000

When Lisa Fain published “The Homesick Texan Cookbook,” she became a hero to Texans searching for the tastes of home outside the Lone Star State. She joins us to talk about the flavors specific to Texas – and about her latest book, “Queso!: Regional Recipes for the World’s Favorite Chile-Cheese Dip” (Ten Speed Press).

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Bulls, Blood And The Border: A Texas Family’s Story

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 19:20:00 +0000

Roger Hodge’s family has made a living for nearly two centuries ranching in Texas. And like other families, his is learning to adjust as the cattle business becomes less of a force. He joins us to talk about pieces of Texas cultural history that are fading away in the 21st Century, which he writes about in “Texas Blood: Seven Generations Among the Outlaws, Ranchers, Indians, Missionaries, Soldiers, and Smugglers of the Borderlands” (Knopf). He speaks tonight as part of Author’s Live! at Highland Park United Methodist Church.

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Capitalism With Compassion

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 19:18:44 +0000

In the last decade, thousands of entrepreneurs have turned profits while also creating businesses that serve the greater good. Nobel Prize-winning economist Muhammad Yunus joins us talk about how we can improve capitalism – and the world in the process – which he writes about in “A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions” (PublicAffairs).

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Decoding Dan Brown

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 19:24:37 +0000

With “The Da Vinci Code,” Dan Brown entered the rarified air of J.K. Rowling, Stephen King and John Grisham – authors whose newest books are guaranteed bestsellers. He joins us to talk about his latest, “Origin,” the fifth in his Robert Langdon series. He speaks tonight as part of Arts and Letter Live! at McFarlin Auditorium.

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Snapshots From Space: An Astronaut’s View Of Earth

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 20:09:16 +0000

As commander of the International Space Station, Terry Virts spent more than 200 days floating above and below Earth. And during that time, he took more than 300,000 photos. He joins us to talk about looking at the world from this unique vantage – and about everyday life in orbit. His new book is called “View From Above: An Astronaut Photographs the World” (National Geographic).

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Presidential Punchlines

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 20:08:38 +0000

At 24, David Litt became one of the youngest White House speechwriters in history when he joined the Obama administration. He joins us to talk about the delicate process of writing jokes for the president – and about how Obama used humor to communicate with the American people. Litt writes about his experiences in “Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years” (Ecco).

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A Battlefield Doctor’s Story

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 20:39:25 +0000

Jon Kerstetter has witnessed war in Rwanda, Kosovo, Bosnia and, ultimately, Iraq as a soldier in the U.S. Army. And while those around him were focused on killing, he was there to heal the wounded. He joins us to talk about saving lives in the world’s deadliest places, which he writes about in “Crossings: A Doctor-Soldier’s Story” (Crown).

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The Hollywood Star With A Military Mind

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 18:33:28 +0000

In the 1940s, Hedy Lamarr built a career in Hollywood after immigrating from Europe. Her lasting contribution to her adopted country, though, is a technological innovation that each of us still uses on a daily basis. Alexandra Dean joins us to tell Lamarr’s remarkable story, which she documents in her new film “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story.” It screens Friday as part of Dallas VideoFest’s DocuFest.

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Doing Well (And Feeling Bad About It)

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 20:08:51 +0000

The ultrawealthy who flaunt their riches are a staple of reality shows and the tabloids. Existing alongside them, though, are equally well-off Americans who really struggle with the moral questions that come with great wealth. Sociologist Rachel Sherman spoke to 50 members of the 1 percent, and she joins us to talk about how they see themselves, which she writes about in “Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Affluence” (Princeton University Press).

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Black And Bankrupt: The Tilted Scales Of Justice

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 20:06:19 +0000

Bankruptcy is designed to help people begin to re-establish firm financial footing. Yet a new investigation shows that black debtors benefit far less from the system than their white counterparts.  Paul Kiel joins us to talk about why Southern bankruptcy lawyers are in large part to blame. His story “How the Bankruptcy System Is Failing Black Americans” was written for ProPublica.

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Humanity At Its Worst: Why We Still Build Concentration Camps

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 19:46:26 +0000

Anyone who’s visited Dachau or Auschwitz may be surprised to learn that concentration camps still exist around the world. Andrea Pitzer joins us to talk about how these facilities developed and how nations have justified their use. Her new book is called “One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps” (Little, Brown and Co.). She’ll talk about it tonight at an event sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth.

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How The Next War Will Be Different

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 19:45:46 +0000

The advent of drone strikes is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to advanced technologies’ impact on battle. Retired U.S. Air Force Major General Robert Latiff joins us to talk about what war will look like going forward – and whether or not we’re ready for what’s to come. His new book is called “Future War: Preparing for the New Global Battlefield” (Knopf).

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Overcoming Mental Illness With The Power Of A Mother’s Love

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 18:06:53 +0000

When Zack McDermott was 26, he woke up believing he was the star of a reality show dedicated to him. That was the first of many adventures his bipolar disorder would take him on. He joins us to talk about how he ultimately got his life back on track with the help of his mother, which he writes about in “Gorilla and the Bird: A Memoir of Madness and a Mother’s Love” (Little Brown and Co.).

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Left Out: Living In A Right-Handed World

Thu, 28 Sep 2017 19:38:43 +0000

About one of every 10 people is left-handed. That can be profitable if you’re a pitcher – and a pain if you’re an average Joe living in a right-handed world. Howard Kushner – a south paw himself – joins us to talk about why so few people are lefties – and about the many ways cultures worldwide discriminate against them. His new book is called “On the Other Hand: Left Hand, Right Brain, Mental Disorder, and History” (Johns Hopkins University Press).

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‘Empire’ Writer Tells Tale Of Race And Murder In East Texas

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 20:56:08 +0000

Darren Matthews is a black Texas Ranger tasked with solving a pair of murders in a small East Texas town. Matthews is the creation of writer Attica Locke and the center of her new novel, “Bluebird, Bluebird” (Mulholland Books). Locke joins us to talk about how her formative years in Texas informed her story of racial justice.

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Getting To Know Renee Hall, The New Police Chief Of Dallas

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 17:08:31 +0000

Earlier this month, Renee Hall officially took over as chief of the Dallas Police Department. She joins us to talk about what she sees as the biggest challenges to the job – and about her approach to policing.

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The Benefits Of Boredom

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 20:15:43 +0000

With a smartphone and WiFi, there’s really no need to ever be bored again. All that time we fill with stimulation, though, eats into the empty hours when creativity flourishes. Manoush Zomorodi – host of the podcast “Note to Self” – joins us to talk about the benefits of reserving time for our minds to wander. Her new book is called “Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self” (St. Martin’s Press).

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What Your Dog Is Really Thinking

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 20:15:07 +0000

Anyone who’s ever owned pets has looked into their eyes and thought, “I wonder what they’re thinking?” Emory University psychology professor Dr. Gregory Berns was also curious about the inner-lives of animals, and he joins host us to talk about what he learned from giving a dog an MRI. His book is called “What It’s Like to Be a Dog: And Other Adventures in Animal Neuroscience” (Basic Books).

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From SNL To The Senate: A Conversation With Al Franken

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 20:32:58 +0000

Over the last eight years, Al Franken has emerged as one of the leading voices of the Democrats’ congressional minority. On Friday, the junior senator from Minnesota delivered the keynote address at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin. And before he took the stage, he joined us for a wide-ranging conversation about issues facing the federal government, his relationship with colleagues on both sides of the aisle – and about his transformation from comedian to senator, which he details in his book “Al Franken: Giant of the Senate” (Twelve).

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The Success And Sacrifice Of Education In China

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 20:29:27 +0000

As an American mother in Shanghai, Lenora Chu viewed her kids’ classmates as model citizens. Once she began talking to their parents and teachers, though, she discovered that the country’s militaristic approach to education comes with a price. Chu talks with us about the crushing pressure on Chinese students to succeed, which she writes about in “Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve” (HarperCollins).  

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Live From TribFest: Analyzing The White House

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 21:14:00 +0000

Journalists covering the White House have lobbed questions at three different press secretaries so far this year. And that’s when they’re not scrolling Twitter for the real news. As we broadcast live from the University Union Theater on the UT Campus in Austin, we talk about the new reality for political reporters with Abby Livingston of the Texas Tribune, Charles Pierce of Esquire magazine and UT political scientist Eric McDaniel.

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Presidential History And Trump

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 20:55:59 +0000

Now that President Trump has fully settled into the Oval Office, historians are beginning to draw comparisons to previous inhabitants. As we broadcast live from KUT in Austin, H.W. Brands – chair of the UT history department – joins us for a conversation about how Trump resembles Andrew Johnson, Andrew Jackson and other former presidents.

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Should Hate Speech Be Banned On Campus?

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 20:36:11 +0000

Colleges and universities are supposed to be places that welcome the free exchange of ideas. So where should we draw the line when it comes to ideas that most people disagree with? As we broadcast from KUT in Austin, Shetal Vohra-Gupta and Naomi Reed of UT’s Institute of Urban Policy Research and Analysis join us to talk about the need for schools to develop anti-hate speech guidelines.

Media Files:

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.

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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.

Media Files:

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.

Media Files:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Media Files:

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). 

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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.).  

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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.

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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).  

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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.

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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).

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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).

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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.  

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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.  

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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.  

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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).  

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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.  

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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.  

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“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.  

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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.  

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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.).  

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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.  

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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).  

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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.)  

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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.    

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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.  

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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.  

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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).  

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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.  

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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).  

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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).  

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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.  

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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).  

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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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