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Preview: KERA's Think Podcast

KERA's Think

Published: Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:37:10 +0000

Last Build Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:43:03 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2016 KERA

A Talk With Bryan Cranston

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:37:10 +0000

Bryan Cranston’s mantel is home to four Emmys for playing Walter White, plus a Tony for portraying President Lyndon Johnson. This hour, we’ll talk with him about “Breaking Bad” and “All the Way” – and about his funnier roles on “Seinfeld and “Malcolm in the Middle.” He writes about all of them in his new memoir, “A Life in Parts” (Scribner).

Media Files:

The Final Presidential Debate

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:35:46 +0000

Wednesday night, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will made their cases to voters in the third and final presidential debate. This hour, we’ll recap the night – and talk about the strategies for each candidate through Nov. 8 – with presidential historian Jon Meacham. He’s the author of biographies on Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, and he’ll be in town Sunday to talk about his latest effort, “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush” at Highland Park United Methodist Church.

Media Files:

Confronting Colorism

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 20:14:09 +0000

“Colorism” is a “cousin to racism” according to Lori. L. Tharps. And as a mother of three mixed-race children – with three distinct skin colors – she’s seen firsthand the many ways that people are judged based on the lightness or darkness of their skin. This hour, we’ll talk with Tharps, an associate professor at Temple University, about her book “Same Family, Different Colors: Confronting Colorism in America’s Diverse Families” (Beacon Press).

Media Files:

A Muslim Girl’s Coming Of Age Story

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 20:12:34 +0000

Amani Al-Khatahtbeh was a 9 year-old living in New Jersey on Sept. 11, 2001. And in her young life, she’s only known a world filled with Islamophobia. This hour, we’ll talk about growing up surrounded by hate, and about how she created an oasis for other women like her through her website, She writes about her experiences in her memoir “Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age” (Simon & Schuster).

Media Files:

The Last Laugh

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 19:50:14 +0000

Given enough distance from a tragedy, some comedians will try to add levity to the situation. This hour, we’ll talk about if it will ever not be “too soon” to crack a joke about the Holocaust with Ferne Pearlstein. She explores one of comedy’s most taboo topics with Mel Brooks, Louis C.K., Chris Rock and other comedians in her documentary “The Last Laugh,” which screens Thursday as part of Videofest.

Media Files:

What Constitutes Sexual Assault?

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 19:48:28 +0000

This month, a series of women have accused Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump of inappropriately touching or kissing them without their consent. This hour, we’ll talk about consent, what constitutes sexual harassment and assault and what people should do if they feel they’ve been assaulted. We’ll be joined by Amy Jones, senior director of programs and client services with Genesis Women’s Shelter;  Heather Snow, dean of students and associate vice president for student affairs at UT-Arlington; and Monica Urbaniak, clinical director for Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center. We’ll also speak with Sophia Dembling, a Dallas writer who tells her story of being sexually assaulted as a 19-year-old.

Media Files:

Stalin’s Last American Spy

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 19:39:03 +0000

In the 1930s, Noel Field was an Ivy League-educated American working for the U.S. State Department. This hour, we’ll talk about how Field betrayed his country to become one of Joseph Stalin’s top spies – only to have the tables turned on him by the KGB. We’ll be joined by Kati Marton, who tells the story in “True Believer: Stalin’s Last American Spy” (Simon & Schuster). Marton will be in town Nov. 3 to talk about her book at a World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth event.

Media Files:

Fighting Terror In Europe

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 19:36:05 +0000

After terrorist attacks in Belgium and France this year, Europe is a key battleground in the fight against ISIS. This hour, we’ll talk about what top security officials on the continent are doing to ward off future attacks with Sebastian Rotella. His reporting appears in the Frontline documentary “Terror in Europe,” which airs Tuesday on KERA-TV.

Media Files:

The Book Of Isaias

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 19:29:38 +0000

Children of modest means often have a tough choice to make: pursue a college education and its requisite debt or join the workforce. This hour, we’ll talk about that decision through the story of one young man who had to make it. We’ll be joined by Daniel Connolly, who tells the story of Isaias Ramos in his book “The Book of Isaias: A Child of Hispanic Immigrants Seeks His Own America” (St. Martin’s Press).

Media Files:

Esperanto: A Universal Language

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 19:26:38 +0000

What if everyone in the world spoke a common language? That was Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof’s dream when he set out to create a universal language near the end of the 19th Century. This hour, we’ll talk about the invention – and ultimate failure – of Esperanto with Princeton professor Esther Schor, author of “Bridge of Words: Esperanto and the Dream of a Universal Language” (Metropolitan Books).

Media Files:

What It Means To Be An American

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 19:26:54 +0000

Each year, about 680,000 immigrants become naturalized U.S. citizens. This hour, as part of a national coordinated conversation organized by NPR, we’ll talk about what it means to be an American with a panel of Americans who began life as citizens of other countries.

Media Files:

A More Sustainable Food System

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 19:24:50 +0000

Regulations on the food industry are designed to keep us safe. This hour, we’ll talk about why some of these regulations may have unintended consequences – and about how we can more efficiently feed the country – with food lawyer Baylen J. Linnekin. He’s the author of “Biting the Hands That Feed Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable” (Island Press).

Media Files:

General Marquis de Lafayette

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 19:53:59 +0000

When the Marquis de Lafayette returned to the U.S. in 1824, more than 75 percent of New Yorkers turned out to greet him. This hour, we’ll talk about the integral role the Frenchman played in the American Revolution – and about his close friendship with George Washington – with Sarah Vowell. She’s the author of “Lafayette in the Somewhat United States” (Riverhead Books).

Media Files:

What Third Party Voters Want

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 19:52:33 +0000

It will likely take a miracle for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein to become our next president. And yet, each candidate has amassed a small – and loyal – band of supporters. This hour, we’ll talk about the many reasons these voters have for sticking by candidates who have little chance of winning with Emma Roller. Her opinion piece “Third-Party Voters Know What They Want” appeared recently in The New York Times.

Media Files:

A Boy’s Gift To Science

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 19:31:46 +0000

In 2010, Sarah Gray received the news expectant mothers fear most – one of the twin sons she was carrying wasn’t going to live. In her tragedy, though, she saw opportunity for others and arranged for Thomas’ organs to be donated to medical research. This hour, we’ll talk with her about visiting labs at Harvard, Duke and elsewhere to witness the potentially lifesaving studies Thomas’ body was a part of. She writes about the experience in, “A Life Everlasting: The Extraordinary Story of One Boy’s Gift to Medical Science” (HarperOne).

Media Files:

The Second Presidential Debate

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 19:30:11 +0000

Sunday night, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton squared off in the second presidential debate. This hour, we’ll talk about what they talked about with a panel of political scientists: UTA political science professor Rebecca Deen and Matthew Wilson, associate professor of political science at SMU.  

Media Files:

Being A Dog

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 19:40:17 +0000

Humans rely primarily on sight and sound to navigate the world. Our canine friends, though, prefer sniffing to seeing and hearing. This hour, we’ll talk about the incredible amount of information dogs collect through their noses with Alexandra Horowitz, author of “Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell” (Scribner).

Media Files:

Why Children Should Get Dirty

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 19:35:29 +0000

Anyone who’s spent five minutes with a toddler knows that kids can be a grimy bunch. This hour, we’ll talk about how exposure to some germs is actually good for a child’s health with Brett Finlay, a microbiologist specializing in bacterial infections at the University of British Columbia. He writes about the idea in “Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World” (Algonquin Books).

Media Files:

The Power Of Pride

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 19:48:27 +0000

Pride is an unusual emotion in that everyone should have some of it but having too much can be dangerous. This hour, we’ll explore how pride can push us to great achievements – and make us do terrible things in the process – with University of British Columbia psychology professor Jessica Tracy. She writes about the pluses and minuses of pride in “Take Pride: Why the Deadliest Sin Holds the Secret to Human Success” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

Media Files:

The Black Panther Party

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 19:46:36 +0000

The Black Panther Party was founded 50 years ago this month. This hour, we’ll talk about what the organization was able to accomplish – and about its relevance in the age of Black Lives Matter – with Yohuru Williams, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University. He’s co-editor of “The Black Panthers: Portraits from an Unfinished Revolution” (Nation Books).

Media Files:

The Human Odyssey

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 19:54:02 +0000

Humans inhabit nearly every corner of the Earth. It wasn’t always that way, though. This hour, we’ll talk about how early humans developed the skills to cross land and sea with Larry Klein. He’s the producer of the NOVA documentary “Great Human Odyssey,” which airs Wednesday night at 8 on KERA-TV.

Media Files:

The Terror Years

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 19:52:12 +0000

Lawrence Wright won the Pulitzer Prize for his 2005 book “The Looming Tower: al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11.” This hour, we’ll talk with the New Yorker staff writer about shifts in power in the Middle East over the last decade, the subject of his new book, “The Terror Years: From al-Qaeda to the Islamic State” (Knopf).

Media Files:

Rules Of The Game

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 21:45:58 +0000

Baseball may look nothing like soccer – or even chess for that matter. Each of these games has at least one thing in common though: clearly defined rules. This hour, we’ll talk about why these rules are actually essential to making games fun – and how we can use parameters to make everyday life more enjoyable – with Georgia Tech professor Ian Bogost. He writes about the idea in his new book, “Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom & the Secret of Games” (Basic Books).

Media Files:

A Look At Substitute Teaching

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 21:44:07 +0000

With little training under his belt, Nicholson Baker signed up to become a substitute teacher in Maine. This hour, as a part of KERA's American Graduate initiative, we’ll talk with him about the unique view substitute teachers have into our public schools – and about how to improve daily life in the classroom – which he writes about in “Substitute: Going to School With a Thousand Kids” (Blue Rider Press)

Media Files:

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 21:12:35 +0000

Dec. 7 marks the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This hour, we’ll talk about how the passage of time has altered how we think about that day that left 2,403 Americans dead with Craig Nelson. He’ll talk about his new book, “Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness” tonight as part of Highland Park United Methodist Church’s Authors Live! series.

Media Files:

A Conversation With Maureen Dowd

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 21:10:23 +0000

Americans have a tough choice in November, in part because so many voters dislike both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. As a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times, Maureen Dowd has written about each candidate for two decades. This hour, we’ll talk with her about the path for each to the White House – and whether a third party candidate could actually have a chance. Her newest book is called “The Year of Voting Dangerously: The Derangement of American Politics” (Tw

Media Files:

The Making Of Winston Churchill

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:21:36 +0000

Winston Churchill’s steely resolve was instrumental in seeing Britain safely through World War II. This hour we’ll talk about how Churchill developed that toughness as a soldier fighting in South Africa with Candice Millard. She’s the author of “Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill” (Doubleday),” which she’ll talk about tonight as part of DMA Arts & Letters Live.

Media Files:

When Strangers Meet

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 20:18:26 +0000

Every day we cross paths with dozens of strangers, doing our best to not make eye contact as we hurry along. This hour, we’ll talk about what could actually happen if we just said “hello” to that person behind us in the checkout line with Kio Stark. She writes about the idea in “When Strangers Meet: How People You Don't Know Can Transform You” (TED Books).

Media Files:

The Choice 2016

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 20:13:48 +0000

For more than a year, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have crisscrossed the country telling voters about themselves. This hour, we’ll hear what those closest to the candidates have to say about them from Michael Kirk. His Frontline documentary “The Choice 2016” airs tonight on KERA-TV.

Media Files:

Ageism In The Workplace

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:04:36 +0000

Nearly 20 percent of Americans 65 and older are working – and counted among them are the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees. This hour, we’ll talk about the knowledge and experience veteran workers bring to their jobs – and about why so many of them find those jobs hard to come by – with Ashton Applewhite. Her opinion piece “You’re How Old? We’ll Be in Touch,” appeared earlier this month in The New York Times.

Media Files:

The Cultural Equity Of Dallas

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:01:47 +0000

The North Texas arts community is currently in a deep discussion about the idea of cultural equity. The conversation centers on how the arts are funded – and how that funding impacts the diversity of our cultural experiences. This hour, we’ll talk about leveling the artistic playing field with Jennifer Scripps, the director of the Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs; David Lozano, executive artistic director of Cara Mia Theatre; and Clyde Valentin, director of Ignite/Arts Dallas.

Media Files:

The Hamilton Cult

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 19:56:47 +0000

“Hamilton” has pulled in more than $100 million at the box office and turned Lin-Manuel Miranda into a household name. This hour, we’ll talk about the extent to which the Tony-winning musical has rewritten history and altered our understanding of its namesake. We’ll be joined by Robert Sullivan, whose story “The Hamilton Cult” appears in the October issue of Harper’s.    

Media Files:

Building The Republic Of Texas

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 19:55:03 +0000

The Republic of Texas was built upon two pillars: cotton and slavery. This hour, we’ll talk about how this important crop and the labor that fueled it led to the Texas revolution – and about how Texas provided a blue print for the Confederacy – with UNT assistant history professor Andrew Torget. He writes about the topic in his book “Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800-1850”(University of North Carolina Press).    

Media Files:

How To Pay For College

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 19:38:24 +0000

Americans owe nearly $1.3 trillion in student loans. This hour, as part of KERA’s One Crisis Away: Drowning in Debt series, we’ll talk about strategies for paying for college and about how much debt is reasonable to take on. We’ll be joined by Ron Elsenbaumer, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at UT-Arlington; and Cynthia Butler, executive director of financial aid for Dallas County Community College District.

Media Files:

Telling War Stories Through Images

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 19:36:36 +0000

Photographs from Vietnam to Afghanistan to Iraq capture the agony of war in an instant. This hour, we’ll talk about how war photographers tell stories of conflict through their images with a panel of Pulitzer Prize-winners: David Hume Kennerly, Carol Guzy and David Leeson. Tonight, they’ll take part in “Illusion and Disillusion: A Panel Conversation on Violence and War” at the Texas Theatre, presented by 29 Pieces.  

Media Files:

The Legacy Of Willie Velasquez

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 20:47:30 +0000

Between 13 million and 16 million Latinos are expected to vote in this year’s presidential election. And many of those voters can thank San Antonio native Willie Velasquez when they cast their ballots. This hour, we’ll talk about the founder of the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project, who launched more than a thousand voter registration drives in the 1970s and ’80s. We’ll be joined by Hector Galán, director of the PBS documentary “Willie Velasquez: Your Vote Is Your Voice,” which airs Oct. 3 on KERA-TV. KERA will also host special advance screenings of the film in Dallas on Thursday and Fort Worth on Sept. 29.  

Media Files:

The Wolf Boys

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 20:42:20 +0000

Gabriel Cardona and Bart Reta were once teenagers with bright futures growing up in Laredo. Their lives took an abrupt turn, though, when they fell under the spell of the Zetas. This hour, we’ll talk about how the Mexican drug cartel turned one of the boys into a feared assassin – and about what their transformations say about the perilous prospect of growing up on the border – with Dan Slater. He tells their story in “Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico’s Most Dangerous Drug Cartel” (Simon & Schuster).

Media Files:

The ADHD Epidemic

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 20:19:07 +0000

One in seven American children is diagnosed with ADHD and put on Adderall or similar medications. This hour, we’ll talk about why these diagnoses are on the rise – and if there’s cause for concern – with Alan Schwarz, author of “ADHD Nation: Children, Doctors, Big Pharma, and the Making of an American Epidemic” (Scribner).

Media Files:

Ann Patchett’s ‘Commonwealth’

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 20:17:32 +0000

Ann Patchett received the PEN/Faulkner Award for her novel “Bel Canto.” This hour, we’ll talk with her about her new book, “Commonwealth” (Harper), which tells the story of how a chance romantic encounter ripples through two families over multiple generations.

Media Files:

How To Raise A Genius

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 20:23:18 +0000

For 45 years, the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth has tracked 5,000 participants to better understand gifted children. This hour, as part of KERA’s American Graduate initiative, we’ll talk about identifying high achievers at a young age – and how we can foster learning in kids – with Tom Clynes. His story “How to Raise a Genius” appears in the journal Nature.

Media Files:

A Primer On Over-The-Counter Meds

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 20:21:35 +0000

The cure for most of our everyday maladies can be found at the drugstore. The trick is deciding which medicine is right for you. This hour, we’ll walk through our over-the-counter choices – and talk about when a trip to the doctor’s office might be necessary – with Dr. Roger Khetan, an internist with Baylor Scott & White.

Media Files:

The Rise Of Isis

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 19:50:13 +0000

The swift emergence of ISIS has military and security experts across the world rethinking how we wage war and fight terrorism. This hour, we’ll talk about how we got to now with Joby Warrick, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his book “Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS” (Doubleday). Warrick speaks tonight to the World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth.

Media Files:

The Politics Of College Rape

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 19:42:22 +0000

A sexual assault scandal at Baylor University this year cost the school its president and head football coach and left many wondering how the Baptist school lost sight of its values. This hour, we’ll talk about how Baylor and many other universities turn a blind eye to sexual assault claims – and about how these schools can address the issue – with Jessica Luther. Her book is called “Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape” (Edge of Sports). Luther speaks tonight at 6:30 at Deep Vellum Books.  

Media Files:

The Environmental State Of Texas

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 19:41:58 +0000

Five Texas cities are among the top 15 in the nation in terms of population growth. That’s great for the tax base and a strain on natural resources. This hour, we’ll talk about how the state can best cope with the environmental impact of a growing population with David Todd, co-author of “The Texas Landscape Project: Nature and People” (Texas A&M Press).

Media Files:

Separating Fact From Fiction

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 19:40:40 +0000

In the run-up to the presidential election, we’re showered on an hourly basis with new poll numbers and other data. And there’s so much of it that it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. This hour, we’ll talk about how we can identify the truth with Daniel. J. Levitin, author of “A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age” (Dutton).  

Media Files:

Why Writing Matters

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 21:14:20 +0000

In the age of social media and 140-character limits, writing that can pass as prose feels like a thing of the past. This hour, we’ll talk about why a dedication to putting pen to paper is as important as ever with University of Virginia professor Mark Edmundson. He writes about the topic in “Why Write?: A Master Class on the Art of Writing and Why it Matters” (Bloomsbury).

Media Files:

How Minority Groups Relate To Each Other

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 21:12:30 +0000

Aaron Mak was a newspaper intern this summer sent to cover a Black Lives Matter protest in Milwaukee. As an Asian-American, he was surprised to become a target of violence – and equally surprised when his race saved him from further damage. This hour, we’ll talk with him about his experience, which he recently wrote about for Politico. And later in the hour, we’ll further examine how minority groups relate to one another with Kat Chow of NPR’s “Code Switch” podcast.

Media Files:

Finding Optimism In Old Age

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 19:39:42 +0000

For most people aging is seen as something to be denied and resisted. Willard Spiegelman instead finds joy in growing older. This hour, we’ll talk to him about finding optimism in old age, which he writes about in his memoir, “Senior Moments: Looking Back, Looking Ahead” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

Media Files:

The Problem With Warming Oceans

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 19:35:20 +0000

In a typical year only eight whales are found dead in the western Gulf of Alaska. In 2015, though, a staggering 45 whales were dead by the end of the year. This hour, we’ll talk about recent mass fatalities of marine wildlife due to warming seas with Craig Welch. His article, “The Blob That Cooked the Pacific,” appears in the September 2016 issue of National Geographic.

Media Files:

Why We Deny Science

Wed, 07 Sep 2016 20:10:39 +0000

Science has proven that vaccines are the most effective way to provide immunization from some diseases. Still, a number of parents refuse to vaccinate their children. This hour, we’ll talk to Sara Gorman and Jack Gorman about why people insist science is wrong despite concrete evidence. They write about it in their book, “Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us” (Oxford).

Media Files:

A Natural History Of The Chair

Wed, 07 Sep 2016 20:08:17 +0000

A simple chair is more than just a place to sit. From colonial rockers to the ergonomic tasks chair, where we choose to sit reflects a social history of our own tastes and attitudes. This hour, we’ll talk about the history of the chair with Witold Rybcznski, University of Pennsylvania emeritus professor of architecture. He writes about the topic in, “Now I Sit Me Down: From Klismos to Plastic Chair – A Natural History” (Farrar Straus & Giroux).

Media Files:

Coping With ‘Ugly’

Tue, 06 Sep 2016 19:28:20 +0000

Robert Hoge was born with a giant tumor in the middle of his face. Doctors removed it and were able to build him a new nose – out of one of his toes. This hour, we’ll talk with Hoge about coming to terms with his appearance, which he writes about in his memoir, “Ugly” (Viking).

Media Files:

Presidential Perceptions

Tue, 06 Sep 2016 19:26:25 +0000

The names of some presidents – Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Reagan – echo throughout history. Meanwhile, most of us would be hard pressed to say much about Fillmore, Pierce, Harding and Hoover. This hour, we’ll learn why some presidential names are carved into the bedrock of our country with Talmage Boston, author of “Cross-Examining History: A Lawyer Gets Answers From the Experts About Our Presidents” (Bright Sky Press).

Media Files:

What Animals Think And Feel

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 19:25:33 +0000

Humans think of animals as many things – beasts of burden, wild and free creatures of beauty, companions, trophies and food. But what are the animals thinking? We’ll discuss non-human joy, grief, anger, love and other emotions this hour with conservationist, scientist and writer Carl Safina. His latest book, “Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel,” is now out in paperback (Picador).

Media Files:

How American Politics Went Insane

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 19:23:49 +0000

As the 2016 election season reaches a crescendo, you might be wondering if this year’s campaign antics are just the beginning of a wild political future for the United States. Jonathan Rauch, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, is wondering too. We’ll talk with him this hour about his recent piece in The Atlantic, “How American Politics Went Insane.”

Media Files:

Reskilling America

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 19:49:58 +0000

For decades, college has been touted as the best path to economic success for young Americans. But according to our guest this hour, this push toward a four-year degree and a lack of vocational training has left millions of important “middle-skilled” positions – jobs that don’t require a Bachelor’s Degree – unfilled. We’ll talk with Katherine Newman, provost and professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She’s the co-author of the new book “Reskilling America: Learning to Labor in the Twenty-First Century” (Metropolitan Books).

Media Files:

A Talk With Werner Herzog

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 19:47:55 +0000

Werner Herzog is the rare director who’s known as much for making documentaries as he is for his narrative films. This hour, we’ll talk with the prolific German filmmaker about “Aguirre, the Wrath of God,” “Fitzcarraldo,” “Grizzly Man” – and his newest effort, “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World.” Herzog speaks tonight at the Winspear Opera House.

Media Files:

The Saudi-U.S. Alliance

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 19:28:29 +0000

The U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia is a well-known and established cornerstone of our country’s foreign policy efforts in the Middle East. Less well-known are the details of America’s arms sales to the Saudi monarchy and the war-fighting capabilities they enable. This hour, as part of a NPR’s “A Nation Engaged,” we’ll discuss those multi-billion-dollar deals and the recent U.S.-backed Saudi intervention in Yemen this hour with Andrew Cockburn. His article “Acceptable Losses” appears in the current issue of Harper’s Magazine.

Media Files:

The Hate Map Of America

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 19:26:59 +0000

Since the turn of the century, we’ve seen an alarming rise in the number of hate groups operating in America – 892 at last count. This hour, we’ll talk about why these organizations form, what they hope to accomplish and how they’re being monitored with Mark Potok of the Sothern Poverty Law Center, which recently published its Hate Map.  

Media Files:

How Science Is Extending Life

Mon, 29 Aug 2016 19:42:47 +0000

As scientists continue to discover technological solutions for when our natural bodies fail, future generations will be faced with new ethical challenges. This hour, we’ll talk about the how society might handle people living to be hundreds of years old – and how life-extending breakthroughs can be evenly shared – with Eve Herold, author of “Beyond Human: How Cutting-Edge Science Is Extending Our Lives” (Thomas Dunne Books).

Media Files:

A Nation Engaged – America’s Role In The World

Mon, 29 Aug 2016 19:40:57 +0000

If you think this year’s presidential campaigns seem more divisive and acrimonious than ever before, you’re not alone. And the political rhetoric is making waves – not just here at home but abroad as well. This hour, as part of a NPR’s “A Nation Engaged” conversation project, we’ll talk about how the election and the next president will affect America’s role in the world. Our guests are writer Ben Fountain, who’s been reporting on the election for The Guardian and Jeffrey Engel, who directs the Center for Presidential History at SMU.

Media Files:

How To Help Children Cope With Violence

Thu, 25 Aug 2016 19:43:21 +0000

This summer has been one filled with racial violence – from Minnesota to Louisiana, from Milwaukee to Dallas. And kids have watched it all unfold on television during their breaks from school. This hour, as part of KERA’s American Graduate initiative, we’ll talk about how we can help young people process the many issues that contribute to these violent acts with Betsy Kennard, a clinical psychologist at UT Southwestern and Summer Rose, a  licensed psychologist for the Momentous Institute.

Media Files:

The Study Of Venom

Thu, 25 Aug 2016 19:41:24 +0000

Most of us steer clear of venomous snakes, insects and other poisonous creatures. This hour, we’ll talk about the scientists who risk their lives studying venom – and how their research is helping to produce live-saving drugs for humans. We’ll be joined by science journalist Christie Wilcox, author of “Venomous: How Earth’s Deadliest Creatures Mastered Biochemistry” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

Media Files:

Living In A Millennial World

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 19:19:56 +0000

The U.S. is home to 77 million millennials – the largest generation in the electorate. This hour, we’ll talk about what older generations need to know about their values and how they vote. We’ll be joined by Paul Taylor, whose essay “It’s a Millennial World Now: Twelve Things to Know” appears in the summer issue of the Bush Institute journal The Catalyst.

Media Files:

The Search For Alien Life

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 19:18:08 +0000

Many of us look up at the night sky and wonder if there’s life out there among the stars. This hour, we’ll talk about the five most plausible places to look – from Mars’ subsoil ice to one of Saturn’s moons. We’ll be joined by University of Victoria astronomer Jon Willis, author of “All These Worlds Are Yours: The Scientific Search for Alien Life” (Yale University Press).

Media Files:

The Power Of Awe

Tue, 23 Aug 2016 19:20:37 +0000

As children learn about their surroundings, being awestruck by new discoveries is a part of everyday life. For world-weary adults, though, that experience happens less frequently. This hour, we’ll talk about the benefits of seeking out wonder in our lives with Carlin Flora, who writes about the topic for Psychology Today.

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Finding A Cure For Blindness

Mon, 22 Aug 2016 19:46:26 +0000

About one in 200 people are blind – that’s 39 million worldwide. This hour, we’ll talk about recent medical advancements that may have those people seeing one day soon with David Dobbs. His story “A Cure in Sight”appears in the September issue of National Geographic magazine.

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The President’s Nuclear Power

Mon, 22 Aug 2016 19:44:44 +0000

Among the many important questions voters are considering as they contemplate their presidential pick is: Who do I most trust with the nuclear codes. This hour, we’ll talk about the power a president has to deploy our nuclear arsenal – and about how those decisions are made – with Stanford political science professor Scott Sagan, an expert on weapons of mass destruction.

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How Honduras Got Safer

Thu, 18 Aug 2016 19:42:13 +0000

In 2013, Honduras was the murder capital of the world. This hour, we’ll talk about how the country’s homicide rate has steadily declined in the last few years thanks to programs funded by the United States with Sonia Nazario. Her story “How the Most Dangerous Place on Earth Got Safer” appeared recently in The New York Times.

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A Girl’s Journey From Nothing To Something

Thu, 18 Aug 2016 19:40:15 +0000

C. Nicole Mason was born into poverty to a 16-year-old single mother. She found a safe place, though, at school. This hour, we’ll talk with her about excelling despite hardship and dispelling the myth that the poor are incapable of helping themselves, which she writes about in her memoir, “Born Bright: A Young Girl’s Journey from Nothing to Something in America” (St. Martin’s Press).

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Famous Fossils

Wed, 17 Aug 2016 21:22:12 +0000

Most fossils are briefly studied by researchers before going on display in museums. A few, though, make the vault to celebrity fossil status. This hour, we’ll talk about the Neanderthal of La Chapelle, the Taung Child, Peking Man and other remains that have significantly impacted our understanding of the history of mankind with Lydia Pyne, author of “Seven Skeletons: The Evolution of the World's Most Famous Human Fossils" (Viking).

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How Screens Are Hijacking Kids

Wed, 17 Aug 2016 21:21:36 +0000

A child growing up today has lived in a world full of glowing screens since birth. This hour, we’ll talk about how all that screen time can lead to ADHD, anxiety, depression and other disorders with Nicholas Kardaras. His new book is called “Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction is Hijacking Our Kids - and How to Break the Trance” (St. Martin's Press).  

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The Case Of Patient H.M.

Tue, 16 Aug 2016 19:35:54 +0000

In 1953, a botched lobotomy left 27-year-old Henry Molaison unable to create new long-term memories. This hour, we’ll talk about how scientists seized on the opportunity to study his brain – and how that research has provided vital information about how human’s store information. We’ll be joined by Luke Dittrich, author of “Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets” (Random House).  

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Gun Deaths In America

Tue, 16 Aug 2016 19:30:52 +0000

About 33,000 people are killed by a gun every year in the U.S. – whether by murder, suicide or accident. This hour, we’ll explore the numbers behind these deaths – and talk about how they can be reduced – with Ben Casselman, a senior editor and the chief economics writer for the website FiveThirtyEight.  

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A Disappearing Act

Mon, 15 Aug 2016 19:29:48 +0000

When stress builds up – or you find yourself in a sticky situation – the idea of faking your own death might sound appealing. That’s until you think about the logistics. This hour, we’ll talk about what it would take to actually disappear – and we’ll hear the stories of people who’ve tried – with Elizabeth Greenwood, author of“Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud” (Simon & Schuster).

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How War Became Everything

Mon, 15 Aug 2016 19:27:57 +0000

When President Obama leaves office in January, every day of his presidency will have been spent with military personnel deployed. This hour, we’ll talk about how our modern concept of war has changed from a temporary to never-ending state with Rosa Brooks, author of “How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon” (Simon & Schuster).

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Reflections On A Gold Medal Life

Wed, 10 Aug 2016 19:26:02 +0000

Frank Shorter won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1972 Olympics in Munich and followed it up four years later with a silver in Montreal. This hour, we’ll talk with one of the fathers of American distance running about how a tough childhood propelled him to athletic greatness, the subject of his memoir “My Marathon: Reflections on a Gold Medal Life” (Rodale).

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The Persisting Racial Divide

Tue, 09 Aug 2016 19:58:13 +0000

As African Americans have gained rights, a segment of white America has consistently worked to curb those rights. This hour, we’ll talk about how the Thirteenth Amendment led to Jim Crow laws, how Brown v. Board of Education led to shutting down public schools and other instances of Civil Rights backlash with Carol Anderson, chair of the African American Studies department at Emory University. Her new book is called “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide” (Bloomsbury).  

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The Expanding Universe

Tue, 09 Aug 2016 19:56:44 +0000

As astrophysicists gain insight into dark matter, black holes and other cosmological wonders, those discoveries inevitably lead to more questions. This hour, we’ll talk about current scientific thinking about our ever-expanding universe with Yale University professor of astronomy and physics Priyamvada Nataraja. Her new book is called “Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas that Reveal the Cosmos” (Yale University Press).

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Saving The Middle Class

Mon, 08 Aug 2016 19:28:06 +0000

As technological advances spell the end for more and more jobs, economists are wondering what will happen to those workers going forward. This hour, we’ll talk about an idea for preserving the middle class that on the surface sounds anathema to our capitalist society – a universal basic income. We’ll be joined by Andy Stern, author of “Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream” (Public Affairs).

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An Economic Solution To Climate Change

Thu, 04 Aug 2016 20:12:20 +0000

Climate change is, in large part, the result of ever-increasing global industry and consumption. And while big business may be the problem, it can also be the solution. This hour, we’ll talk about developing a market-based approach to fighting global warming with former U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC), executive director of republicEn, an organization dedicated to free-enterprise solutions to climate change.

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Why Presidents Fail

Thu, 04 Aug 2016 20:10:07 +0000

When you cast a vote for the winning presidential candidate, it’s easy to understand why you might be optimistic about the future. So why do some presidents deliver on those high hopes when others don’t? This hour, we’ll talk about the idea with Elaine C. Kamarck, senior Brookings fellow and founding director of the Center for Effective Public Management. Her new book is called “Why Presidents Fail: And How They Can Succeed” (Brookings).

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Zika, Ebola And Beyond

Wed, 03 Aug 2016 20:42:51 +0000

More than 75 percent of infectious diseases originate in wildlife. This hour, we’ll talk about how keeping these diseases at bay requires a rethinking of our relationship to the animal kingdom. We’ll be joined by University of California-Davis epidemiology professor Jonna Mazet, who’s featured in the PBS documentary “Spillover: Zika, Ebola & Beyond.” It airs Wednesday night at 9 on KERA-TV.

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Navigating The Grid

Wed, 03 Aug 2016 20:40:58 +0000

The expansion of our electrical grid over the last century is one of the most significant ways in which Americans have stayed connected. This hour, we’ll talk about the evolution of “the largest machine in the world” – and about what needs to be done to update it – with Gretchen Bakke. Her new book is called “The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future” (Bloomsbury).

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The Body Cam Market

Tue, 02 Aug 2016 19:30:46 +0000

Increasing the use of body cameras by police is an idea that could protect both civilians and officers. And it could make one company very, very rich. This hour, we’ll talk about Taser – the leader in producing both body cameras and stun guns – with Karen Weise, whose story about the company appears in Bloomberg Businessweek.

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The Evolution of Zionism

Tue, 02 Aug 2016 19:28:38 +0000

Zionism has evolved over the past few centuries from a cultural refuge for European Jews to the creation of a Jewish state in the Middle East. This hour, we’ll talk about the many steps that led to the establishment of Israel – and its future in the region – with Milton Viorst. His new book is called “Zionism: The Birth and Transformation of an Ideal” (Thomas Dunne Books).  

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The Boys of ’36

Mon, 01 Aug 2016 20:09:33 +0000

The 1936 Summer Olympics is perhaps best known for Jesse Owens and his four gold medals. He wasn’t the only American, though, to stick it to the host country. This hour, we’ll talk about the stunning upset the U.S. men’s rowing team pulled over the favored Germans – the subject of the American Experience documentary “The Boys of ’36,” which airs Tuesday night at 9 on KERA-TV. We’ll be joined by Margaret Grossi, who produced the film.

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The Strange Death of José de Jesús

Mon, 01 Aug 2016 20:06:42 +0000

José de Jesús Deniz Sahagun left his home in Mexico last year in hopes of reuniting with his three children in Las Vegas. Seven days later, he was dead of an apparent suicide in the Eloy Immigrant Detention Center in Arizona. This hour, we’ll talk about what his death tells us about mental health services inside these detention centers with Maria Hinojosa, host of “Latino USA.” The show, which airs Saturday nights at 8 on KERA, recently aired the two-part documentary “The Strange Death of José de Jesús.”

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A Think Special: Hillary Clinton And The Democratic Convention - Hour 2

Thu, 28 Jul 2016 20:22:25 +0000

Hillary Clinton will accept the nomination for president tonight at the Democratic National Convention. Today, we’ll devote both hours of our show to all things Clinton. During the show, we’ll speak with: NPR’s Sam Sanders from Philadelphia, site of the convention. Karen Blumenthal, author of “Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History” (Feiwel & Friends). David Graham, who traces Clinton scandals from Whitewater to Benghazi in The Atlantic. TCU political science professor James Riddlesperger and UNT political science professor Valerie Martinez-Ebers.

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A Think Special: Hillary Clinton And The Democratic Convention - Hour 1

Thu, 28 Jul 2016 20:20:18 +0000

Hillary Clinton will accept the nomination for president tonight at the Democratic National Convention. Today, we’ll devote both hours of our show to all things Clinton. During the show, we’ll speak with: NPR’s Sam Sanders from Philadelphia, site of the convention. Karen Blumenthal, author of “Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History” (Feiwel & Friends). David Graham, who traces Clinton scandals from Whitewater to Benghazi in The Atlantic. TCU political science professor James Riddlesperger and UNT political science professor Valerie Martinez-Ebers.

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Hope For A Thirsty World

Wed, 27 Jul 2016 20:01:24 +0000

This hour, we’ll learn how innovative thinkers are actually extending the flows of rivers, harvesting wastewater and growing fruit in the desert with Judith D. Schwartz, author of “Water in Plain Sight: Hope for a Thirsty World” (St. Martin’s Press).

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Why Knowing Things Still Matters

Wed, 27 Jul 2016 19:58:57 +0000

This hour, we’ll talk about why internalizing seemingly unconnected data actually makes us better thinkers with William Poudstone. His new book is called “Head in the Cloud: Why Knowing Things Still Matters When Facts are so Easy to Look Up” (Little, Brown and Co.).

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12 Days in July: Our Shared Tragedy

Tue, 26 Jul 2016 19:50:45 +0000

This hour, in partnership with WRKF in Baton Rouge and WWNO in New Orleans, KERA will air “12 Days in July: Our Shared Tragedy,” an hourlong special looking at how residents of Baton Rouge and Dallas are coping with the violence that visited their cities – and how all Americans might learn and move on from the events.

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How To Bargain

Tue, 26 Jul 2016 19:46:34 +0000

Learning how to effectively bargain is a key to making relationships work and resolving disputes. This hour, we’ll listen back to our May conversation with Daniel Shapiro, founder of the Harvard International Negotiation Program and associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. His new book is called “Negotiating the Nonnegotiable: How to Resolve Your Most Emotionally Charged Conflicts” (Harper).

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An Exploration Of Trails

Mon, 25 Jul 2016 19:35:06 +0000

Plenty of Americans are hitting the road this summer in search of a hike – most likely on a trail. Few will stop to consider how these trails got there, though, or what they say about our drive to explore new paths. This hour, we’ll take a historical and philosophical look at trails with Robert Moor. He writes all about them in “On Trails: An Exploration” (Simon & Schuster).

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A World Tour Of Prisons

Mon, 25 Jul 2016 19:33:21 +0000

Countries around the world all have prison systems – and they don’t all operate in the same way. This hour, we’ll listen back to our talk about strategies that prisons on other continents are using to rehabilitate inmates with Baz Dreisinger, founder of the Prison-to-College Pipeline Program. She traveled to prisons across the globe and writes about them in “Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World” (Other Press).

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A Think Special: Donald Trump And The Republican Convention Hour 2

Thu, 21 Jul 2016 21:02:04 +0000

Donald Trump will accept the nomination for president tonight at the Republican National Convention. Today, we’ll devote both hours of our show to all things Trump. During the show, we’ll speak with: NPR’s Sam Sanders from Cleveland, site of the convention. Mark Singer, author of “Trump and Me,” his memoir about spending time with Trump 20 years ago while writing a profile of him for The New Yorker. Emma Roller, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, about how the Republican nominee has disproved most of the conventional campaign thinking. TCU political science professor James Riddlesperger and UTA political science professor Rebecca Deen.

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A Think Special: Donald Trump And The Republican Convention Hour 1

Thu, 21 Jul 2016 20:57:55 +0000

Donald Trump will accept the nomination for president tonight at the Republican National Convention. Today, we’ll devote both hours of our show to all things Trump. During the show, we’ll speak with: NPR’s Sam Sanders from Cleveland, site of the convention. Mark Singer, author of “Trump and Me,” his memoir about spending time with Trump 20 years ago while writing a profile of him for The New Yorker. Emma Roller, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, about how the Republican nominee has disproved most of the conventional campaign thinking. TCU political science professor James Riddlesperger and UTA political science professor Rebecca Deen.

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How Border Residents Think

Wed, 20 Jul 2016 19:24:36 +0000

One of the pillars of Donald Trump’s campaign has been his desire to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. Yet 72 percent of U.S. border residents – and 86 percent of border residents in Mexico – are against the idea. That’s according to a new poll conducted by Arizona State University’s Cronkite News, Univision News, and The Dallas Morning News. This hour, we’ll talk about what the survey says about life along the border with DMN reporter Alfredo Corchado.

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The First 1,000 Days

Wed, 20 Jul 2016 19:22:02 +0000

When children are denied proper nutrition in their first few years of life, it stunts both their personal growth and the growth potential of their communities. This hour, we’ll visit Uganda, India, Guatemala – and places in the U.S. – to hear how children in disadvantaged households are thriving thanks to programs focused on early-childhood nutrition. We’ll be joined by Roger Thurow, senior fellow for global agriculture and food policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and author of “The First 1,000 Days: A Crucial Time for Mothers and Children—And the World” (PublicAffairs).

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