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Preview: KERA's Think Podcast

KERA's Think

Think is a daily, topic-driven interview and call-in program hosted by Krys Boyd covering a wide variety of topics ranging from history, politics, current events, science, technology and emerging trends to food and wine, travel, adventure, and ente

Published: Fri, 20 Apr 2018 19:38:02 -0000

Last Build Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2018 19:38:20 -0000

Copyright: 071003

The Human Toll Of America’s Endless Wars

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 19:38:02 -0000

For the last 17 years, we’ve asked our service members to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the question “What are we fighting for?” is becoming increasingly difficult to answer.Phil Klay served in Iraq as a Marine, and he joins us to talk about how unclear missions are leading to a crisis of morale in our military. He writes about the topic for The Atlantic.

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How Bad Science Becomes Government Policy

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 19:38:17 -0000

When scientific journals publish new research, an opportunity is created for independent researchers to reproduce a study’s results. David Randall, director of research for the National Association of Scholars, joins us to talk about why many studies are filled with flaws – making them unable to be repeated – and about how that bad science is making its way into government policy. His op-ed “How Bad is the Government’s Science?” appears in The Wall Street Journal.

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From Anonymous: Advice Columns Through The Decades

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 19:36:44 -0000

Advice columnists are often no more qualified to dispense wisdom than your friend or neighbor. What they do offer, though, is the chance to ask our tricky questions anonymously. Jessica Weisberg joins us to talk about the role Ann Landers, Dan Savage, Cheryl Strayed and many others play in American life. Weisberg’s new book is called “Asking for a Friend: Three Centuries of Advice on Life, Love, Money, & Other Burning Questions from a Nation Obsessed” (Nation Books).

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The Upside Of Change

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 19:30:05 -0000

Change can be hard for even the most adventurous among us. Our brain’s ability to do things differently, though, is one of the traits that separates us from other creatures. Leonard Mlodinow joins us to talk about how we can train our brains to embrace change – and how we can nurture creativity. His new book is called “Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change” (Pantheon).

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Texas’ Problems Are America’s Problems

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 19:28:37 -0000

Texas looks like a state that could’ve been designed by Donald Trump with its low taxes and minimal regulations. And it’s been more than 20 years since a Democrat has been elected to statewide office. On the other hand, its urban centers are reliably blue and its population has already hit minority-majority status. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright joins us to talk about how contradictions that play out here reflect the nation as a whole, which he writes about in “God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State” (Knopf). He’s in town Thursday to speak to the World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth.

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A City-Based Solution To Climate Change

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 19:50:13 -0000

Much of the conversation around climate change centers on how governments can address the problem. Carl Pope, former head of the Sierra Club, joins us to talk about why environmentalists should look beyond elected officials for action. His book, written with Michael Bloomberg, is called “Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet” (St. Martin’s Press).

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Are Gangs And Frats The Same?

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 19:48:43 -0000

When Ibram X. Kendi was growing up in Queens, he witnessed the brutal initiation process gangs put new members through. And when he got to college, he saw that process play out again in fraternities. Kendi, director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University, joins us to talk about the troubling connection between these two systems. His essay “What’s the Difference Between a Frat and a Gang?” appears in The Atlantic.

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To Touch A Tornado: The Life Of A Storm Chaser

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 19:29:39 -0000

Tim Samaras’ fascination with tornados began as a kid watching “The Wizard of Oz.” And that obsession drove him to become one of America’s greatest storm chasers. Brantley Hargrove joins us to talk about how Samaras risked his life to learn all he could, the subject of Hargrove’s book “The Man Who Caught the Storm: The Life of Legendary Tornado Chaser Tim Samaras” (Simon & Schuster).

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Crafting Calm: Using Your Hands To Free Your Mind

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 19:20:40 -0000

For dedicated crafters, knitting someone a scarf is about more than creating a homemade gift. Alanna Okun joins us to talk about how a simple roll of yarn and a set of needles can offer a sense of control in a chaotic world. Her new book is called “The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater: Essays on Crafting” (Flatiron Books). Tune in Friday, April 13, at 1pm.

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Wellness Is Fine – But We’re All Gonna Die

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 19:22:21 -0000

It seems as if so much of our daily living is focused on not dying. And for all of our efforts, death comes for us all. Barbara Ehrenreich joins us to make the case that we should stop expending so much energy on wellness and let go of the idea that we can really alter the inevitable. Her new book is called “Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, And Our Illusion of Control” (Hachette).

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A Conversation With Tyra Banks (And Her Mom!)

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 19:54:35 -0000

It’s easy to assume that Tyra Banks has been a success at everything she’s ever tried – from modeling to television to the business world. She – along with her mother, Carolyn London – joins us to talk about the behind-the-scenes struggles the world never saw – and how they worked through them as a team. Their book is called “Perfect Is Boring: 10 Things My Crazy, Fierce Mama Taught Me About Beauty, Booty, and Being a Boss” (TarcherPerigee), and they’ll talk more about it tonight at the Wyly Theatre.

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What’s In Store For The First Woman President

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 19:52:13 -0000

Jennifer Palmieri served as Hillary Clinton’s communications director during her presidential run. She joins us to talk about what she learned from working on an unsuccessful campaign – and about what future female politicians can take away from her experience. Her new book is called “Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World” (Grand Central Publishing).

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It’s Donald Trump’s Party Now

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 19:44:06 -0000

When Donald Trump won the presidency, many Republicans were relieved after eight years of Democratic rule. During the first year of his presidency, though, Trump has charted a new path for the GOP – one that has some conservatives questioning the future of their party. Michael Kirk joins us to talk about how the president has divided Republicans – and the country – with his bold leadership style. Kirk’s Frontline documentary “Trump’s Takeover” airs tonight at 9 on PBS stations.

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Recruiting Teachers Who Look Like America

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 19:43:47 -0000

Texas schools have one of nation’s largest diversity gaps – meaning students of color are rarely taught by teachers who look like them. Michael Hansen, director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution, joins us to talk about the effect this gap has on students – and about what it will take to narrow the divide.

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The Story Of The ‘Siamese Twins’

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 19:41:54 -0000

In 1829, Chang and Eng Bunker arrived in Boston and were an immediate sensation, as most people had never encountered a set of conjoined twins. University of California English professor Yunte Huang joins us to tell the Bunkers’ story – how they won their freedom, entertained the masses and found love along the way. Huang’s new book is called “Inseparable: The Original Siamese Twins and Their Rendezvous with American History” (Liveright).

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Lidia Bastianich’s Life In Food

Fri, 06 Apr 2018 19:23:04 -0000

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich has taught millions of people the basics of Italian cooking on her PBS television show, “Lidia’s Kitchen.” She joins guest host Courtney Collins to talk about her journey from Italian farm girl to celebrity chef, which she writes about in “My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food” (Knopf). “Lidia’s Kitchen” airs Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. on KERA-TV, and Bastianich speaks tonight as part of DMA Arts & Letters Live! at First United Methodist Church of Dallas.

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How Power Has Changed

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 20:46:36 -0000

One of the most profound ways the internet has changed the world is as a tool for connecting like-minded people, allowing the many to seize power from the few. Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms join us to talk about how this concept has played out in everything from Airbnb to Black Lives Matter, which they writes about in “New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World — and How to Make It Work for You” (Doubleday). They’ll talk about the book more tonight as part of Authors Live! at Highland Park United Methodist Church.

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Jorge Ramos Never Feels At Home

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 20:44:40 -0000

Jorge Ramos was born in Mexico City and moved to the United States in his early 20s. The Univision broadcaster has been critical of both President Obama and President Trump on immigration, and he joins us to talk about why even after 35 years of living here, he still feels like an outsider. His new book is called “Stranger: The Challenge of a Latino Immigrant in the Trump Era” (Vintage Books). He’ll speak to the World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth on Friday.

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Barbara P. Bush on Global Activism

Wed, 04 Apr 2018 21:16:09 -0000

Barbara Pierce Bush – along with her sister, Jenna – grew up surrounded by politics. First their grandfather became president, then their father was elected governor before moving into the White House himself. She joins us to talk about growing up in the spotlight – and about moving beyond it to make a life of her own. Her new book, written with Jenna Bush Hager, is called “Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life” (Grand Central Publishing). She’s in town to accept Austin College’s Posey Leadership Award. To get ready for the conversation, check out the Dallas Morning News interview with the Bush twins.

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The Branch Davidian Siege: 25 Years Later

Wed, 04 Apr 2018 21:15:54 -0000

Twenty-five years ago, cult leader David Koresh entered into a standoff with federal agents that ended in the deaths of 75 people, including his own. A new documentary features survivors and law enforcement officers who experienced the tragedy, and executive producer Charles Poe joins us to talk about how the situation could’ve been handled differently. “Waco: The Longest Siege” airs April 9 at 7 p.m. on Smithsonian Channel.

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How Urban Wildlife Is Evolving

Tue, 03 Apr 2018 19:00:00 -0000

For centuries, humans have altered animal habitats, turning wild spaces into concrete cities. Urban ecologist Menno Schilthuizen joins us to talk about how lizards, birds and other creatures are adapting to better live alongside us. His new book is called “Darwin Comes to Town: How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution” (Picador).

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Colson Whitehead On ‘The Underground Railroad’

Tue, 03 Apr 2018 18:00:00 -0000

In “The Underground Railroad,” two slaves escape their Georgia plantation and navigate the country along the secret network. The novel earned Colson Whitehead a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and he joins us to talk about how he wove the nation’s history into the experiences of his main characters. Read Whitehead’s interview with the Dallas Morning News.

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Anna Quindlen’s ‘Alternate Side’

Mon, 02 Apr 2018 19:00:00 -0000

In Anna Quindlen’s new novel, “Alternate Side,” life in a quiet New York City neighborhood is upended when the residents squabble over use of the street’s small parking lot. Quindlen joins us to talk about how something so small can divide people – and about how a traumatic event reveals tension among her characters.

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Elizabeth Smart On Happily Ever After

Mon, 02 Apr 2018 18:00:00 -0000

As a 14-year-old, Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped in the middle of the night and kept in chains for nine months. In the 15 years since being reunited with her family, Smart has focused her life on helping others recover from traumatic events. She joins us to talk about what she learned from interviewing others who have survived adversity, which she writes about in “Where There’s Hope: Healing, Moving Forward, and Never Giving Up” (St. Martin’s Press). Read the Dallas Morning News Q&A and hear her speak tonight at Interabang Books in Dallas.

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The Life Of An Astronaut

Fri, 30 Mar 2018 18:00:00 -0000

Most of us have looked up at the sky and wondered what it would be like to float through space. And a select few have actually experienced it. This hour, we’ll talk to astronauts Terry VirtsScott Kelly and Buzz Aldrin about life in zero gravity, making a home on the International Space Station and how their lives changed when they returned to Earth.

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Inside The Partition Of India And Pakistan

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 19:00:00 -0000

In 1947, 12-year-old Nisha finds herself divided between her Hindu and Muslim heritages just as her home country of India is also being split in two. Nisha is the protagonist of Veera Hiranandani’s novel “The Night Diary,” and Hiranandani joins us to talk about setting her story against this historical backdrop – and about her own experiences growing up bi-cultural.

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What Is Pope Francis Trying To Do?

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 18:00:00 -0000

Five years ago, Jorge Mario Bergoglio took over as leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics when he was elected to the papacy. For many, he’s been a breath of fresh air – but to some conservative members of the faith, he’s pushed for unwelcome changes. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat joins us to talk about why rethinking some church policies could come with unwanted consequences, which he writes about in “To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism” (Simon & Schuster).

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Fighting Cancer From Within

Wed, 28 Mar 2018 19:00:00 -0000

Many cancer patients endure surgeries, months of chemotherapy or both. Science journalist Robin Marantz Henig joins us to talk about a promising new option – immunotherapy – which taps into the immune system’s T-cell supply to fight diseases. Henig’s story “Could Immunotherapy Lead the Way to Fighting Cancer?” appears in Smithsonian magazine.

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Breaking Into The TV Boys’ Club

Wed, 28 Mar 2018 18:00:00 -0000

If you’ve ever watched “The Simpsons,” “Late Night with David Letterman” or even “The Muppets,” you’re familiar with Nell Scovell’s sense of humor. The writer and director behind these and many, many other television shows joins us to talk about how she made America laugh – and about being a woman in famously male-dominated writers’ rooms. Her new memoir is called “Just the Funny Parts: … And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood Boys’ Club” (Dey Street Books).

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From Us And Them To We

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 19:46:29 -0000

A trait humans share with other creatures is a natural inclination to divide. What separates us from them, though, is our ability to see past that trait to bridge our differences. David Berreby joins us to talk about how scientists are studying the way tribalism works in the brain. His story “Why Do We See So Many Things as ‘Us vs. Them’?” appears in National Geographic magazine.

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Evolution’s Next Step: A.I.

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 19:46:00 -0000

Researchers around the world are racing to create the ultimate algorithm – one capable of teaching itself all there is to know. University of Washington computer scientist Pedro Domingos joins us to talk about how this eventual discovery would change the way we live. His new book is called “The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World” (Basic Books).

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The Odd Couple: Timothy Leary and Richard Nixon

Mon, 26 Mar 2018 19:31:14 -0000

When Timothy Leary escaped from prison, it set off a manhunt fueled by President Nixon’s obsession with catching the leading voice of America’s counterculture. Bill Minutaglio joins us to talk about what the rivalry between the two men says about the division in the country at that time. His new book with Steven L. Davis is called “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Timothy Leary, Richard Nixon and the Hunt for the Fugitive King of LSD” (Twelve).

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Preventing (Instead Of Reacting To) Pandemics

Mon, 26 Mar 2018 15:36:08 -0000

As the founder of the nonprofit health care organization Partners in Health, Paul Farmer has helped to bring medical care to some of the most impoverished places on Earth. He joins us to talk about the places that need our attention most – and about what the global health community learned from Africa’s Ebola outbreak.

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Cheer Up! Why It’s A Great Time To Be Alive

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 19:27:06 -0000

Climate change, famine and war threaten humanity each day. And yet we’ve never been better equipped to take on these issues than we are right now. Gregg Easterbrook joins us to make the case that things aren’t as bad as they seem, which he writes about in “It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear” (PublicAffairs).

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Sorting The Refugees From The Opportunists

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 20:30:58 -0000

Europe is still trying to figure out how to accommodate the wave of migrants seeking another life there. Among the issues is: How can a nation separate the true refugees from the economic opportunists? Graeme Wood joins us to talk about a sophisticated program in Germany seeking to solve that problem. He writes about it for The Atlantic.

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The Dangers Of Consensus And Compromise

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 20:30:20 -0000

At the office, it’s often easiest to just go with the flow. Psychologist Charlan Nemeth joins us to talk about why consensus is the killer of innovation. She writes about the idea in “In Defense of Troublemakers: The Power of Dissent in Life and Business” (Basic Books).

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The Cutting Edge Of Alzheimer’s Research

Wed, 21 Mar 2018 18:00:00 -0000

The medical community is constantly refining its approach to how we care for people suffering from dementia. Heather Snyder, senior director for medical and scientific relations with the Alzheimer’s Association, joins us to talk about the latest trends in patient care. She’s in town for theAlzheimer’s Association’s spring symposiumon Thursday in Arlington.

Media Files:

When You’re The Only One

Wed, 21 Mar 2018 17:00:00 -0000

When you look around the room and no one else looks like you, talks like you or even thinks like you, it can be isolating. We devote this hour to those people who feel like they’re the only one – from a blackwoman hiker sharingthe trails with predominately white men, to anoverweight yogi, to a lefthander in aright-handed world.

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Learning To Wage Peace

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 19:29:52 -0000

Paul Chappell graduated from West Point and served in the Iraq War. And today, he’s one of America’s foremost voices for peace. He joins us to talk about nonviolent tools available to solve conflict in the world. 

Media Files:

The Feds Are Braced For Revolution

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 19:27:55 -0000

In the last decade, we’ve seen increasingly militarized police departments, invasive surveillance by the NSA and highly sophisticated propaganda. Columbia law professor Bernard E. Harcourt has followed these trends, and he joins us to talk about how these tools of counterinsurgency are being used to govern Americans. He writes about the topic in “The Counterrevolution: How Our Government Went to War Against Its Own Citizens” (Basic Books).

Media Files:

LBJs Political Implosion

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 19:50:49 -0000

In the later years of Lyndon Johnson’s administration, the president’s attention was divided between the unwinnable Vietnam War and civil unrest at home. These turbulent years are captured in Robert Schenkkan’s play “The Great Society” – his follow up to his Tony-winning “All the Way.” The play is currently on stage at the Wyly Theatre, and director Kevin Moriarty and actor Shawn Hamilton join us to talk about how LBJ managed this difficult time. “The Great Society” runs through April 1.

Media Files:

Is The Endangered Species List Too Long?

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 19:50:12 -0000

The Endangered Species Act requires that we try to help all species threatened with extinction. Critics argue, though, that resources would be better spent helping the creatures that contribute most to their ecosystems. Jennifer Kahn joins us to talk about how this conflict is currently playing out on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, which she writes about for The New York Time magazine.

Media Files:

Learning To Leave: A Woman’s Journey

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 20:21:29 -0000

Tara Westover grew up in a family of survivalists, living way off the grid and learning only what her family taught her. She joins us to tell the story of how she finally learned of the outside world – and how that knowledge led her to Harvard, Cambridge and beyond. Her new memoir is called “Educated”(Random House).

Media Files:

Things May Not Be As Bad As You Think

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 20:55:24 -0000

Turn on the news and you’re bombarded with plenty of reasons to think humanity is a lost cause. Not so, says Steven Pinker! The Harvard psychology professor joins us to talk about how we’re actually living in an age of unprecedented safety, peace and prosperity, which he writes about in “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress” (Viking).

Media Files:

Texas’ Mass Mexican Deportation

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 20:54:45 -0000

During the Great Depression, there was a push to preserve jobs for white Americans by deporting Mexicans – and in some cases, Mexican-Americans. TCU assistant professor Melita M. Garza joins us to talk about how this story was covered in the media and how that coverage contributed to racial “othering” of Mexicans in Texas. Her new book is called “They Came to Toil: Newspaper Representation of Mexicans and Immigrants in the Great Depression” (University of Texas Press).

Media Files:

From Martha To Melania: A History Of First Ladies

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 19:44:43 -0000

First ladies of the United States have no formal power – and yet many are among the most influential people in American history. A new exhibition at the George W. Bush Presidential Center tells the stories of each first lady – from Martha Washington to Melania Trump. We talk with George W. Bush Institute Deputy Director Natalie Gonnella-Platts about the roles these women have played in American life. “First Ladies: Style of Influence” is on display through Oct. 1.

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A Celebration Of Procrastination

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 19:44:09 -0000

The next time you blow a deadline, remind yourself: Some of history’s greatest minds were lousy when it came to being on time. Andrew Santella joins us to talk about why punctuality is an overblown character trait, which he writes about in “Soon: An Overdue History of Procrastination, from Leonardo and Darwin to You and Me” (Dey Street Books).

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Fishing For A New Way Of Life

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 19:53:58 -0000

People living along the coast of Senegal have relied on the ocean both for food and their livelihood. In recent years, though, the fish that were once plentiful have disappeared. Anna Badkhen visited these fishing villages to find out how people are surviving in an era of upheaval. She joins us to talk about what she learned, which she writes about in “Fisherman’s Blues: A West African Community at Sea” (Riverhead Books). Badkhen speaks tonight to the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture.

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Scrolling For Happiness

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 19:53:23 -0000

We all feel a little boost when someone likes our Instagram photo or retweets us. And when our witty Facebook post is met with silence, it’s easy to wonder where we went wrong. Washington University in St. Louis psychologist Tim Bono joins us to talk about how social media plays on our emotions, which he writes about in “When Likes Aren’t Enough: A Crash Course in the Science of Happiness” (Grand Central).

Media Files:

The Landscape Of Black America

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 19:43:48 -0000

Following Emancipation, African-Americans created communities across the country in which black culture thrives. UCLA sociologist Marcus Anthony Hunter joins us to talk about what these communities have in common – and about the many functions they serve. His new book is called “Chocolate Cities: The Black Map of American Life.” (University of California Press).

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Portraits Of Opioid Addiction

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 19:43:04 -0000

About 64,000 people die each year after overdosing on drugs. Many of those deaths can be traced to opioids, and the issue has grabbed the attention of both the medical community and the federal government. Time Magazine spent a year documenting the problem, and Paul Moakley, deputy director of photography and visual enterprise, joins us to talk about what he learned from interacting with addicts.

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Hooked: Understanding Addiction

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 18:00:00 -0000

Addiction is a part of life that affects nearly every family. This hour, we explore the topic with a formerheroin addict, a historian who writes aboutAmerica’s relationship with alcoholand a neuroscientist who studies thebrains of addicts.

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The Evolutionary Quest For Equilibrium

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 21:02:51 -0000

Human beings have a natural desire for what’s known as “homeostasis” – basically, we long for stability and equilibrium. Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio has studied this innate drive, and he joins us to talk about how it connects us to even the earliest living organisms. His new book is called “The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures” (Pantheon).

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The Challenges Of Fixing Immigration

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 21:02:15 -0000

When it comes to immigration reform, at the heart of the debate is: How do we decide who to let in, and how do we protect ourselves from those we want to keep out? James F. Hollifield, director of the John Goodwin Tower Center at SMU, joins us to walk through these tough questions. His essay “What Makes Immigration Reform So Hard?” appears in the winter issue of The Catalyst.

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The Upside Of Forgetting

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 21:14:48 -0000

As a palliative care nurse, Sallie Tisdale has seen the devastation caused by dementia up close. And she’s also seen moments of grace that accompany a person’s rediscovery of things they once knew. She joins us to talk about how we might take a more nuanced approach to interacting with people suffering memory loss, which she writes about for Harper’s.

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A Guide To Repairing Sorrow

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 21:14:05 -0000

A broken heart may not be an actual physical malady, but that doesn’t make it any less real. And yet for most of us, the only medicine available is time. Psychologist Guy Winch joins us to talk about practical steps to getting over everything from a failed relationship to the death of a loved one. His new book is called “How to Fix a Broken Heart” (Simon & Schuster).

Media Files:

A Conversation With Maria Shriver

Tue, 06 Mar 2018 20:52:58 -0000

Maria Shriver has worn many hats in her life – journalist, activist, First Lady of California, niece of a president and mother of four. She joins us to talk about what these various roles have taught her about making the most of life. Her new book is called “I’ve Been Thinking: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life” (Viking).

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The Science Of Planning Your Life

Tue, 06 Mar 2018 20:52:29 -0000

Deciding when to do something – whether it’s starting a job, ending a relationship or just scheduling a vacation – can be tough since we have to make these choices without knowing what’s to come. Daniel Pink has studied how we can use data to better plan our lives, which he writes about in “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing” (Riverhead Books).

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Robert Siegel On Four Decades At NPR

Mon, 05 Mar 2018 20:40:51 -0000

As an anchor of “All Things Considered,” Robert Siegel updated millions of Americans on the day’s news as they made their way home from work. Siegel retired in January, and he joins us to talk about how he helped to elevate NPR from a fledgling network into a major media organization.

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What Makes Innovators Tick

Mon, 05 Mar 2018 20:40:23 -0000

True innovators throughout history – from Edison to Einstein – possessed innate character traits that separated them from even run-of-the-mill geniuses. That’s according to NYU business professor Melissa A. Schilling, who joins guest host Courtney Collins to talk about the qualities that connect the world’s great visionaries. Her new book is called “Quirky: The Remarkable Story of the Traits, Foibles, and Genius of Breakthrough Innovators Who Changed the World” (PublicAffairs).

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A Conversation With St. Vincent

Fri, 02 Mar 2018 16:11:57 -0000

For more than a decade, Annie Clark has been one of the darlings of the indie rock universe – from playing with the Polyphonic Spree and touring with Sufjan Stevens to releasing her own material as St. Vincent. The Dallas native joins us to talk about her musical influences, how she writes a song and what it’s like to perform with your heroes.

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Consequences of Tribalism in America

Thu, 01 Mar 2018 21:17:38 -0000

In America, we’re good at dividing ourselves into groups based on race, religion and ideology. Yale Law professor Amy Chua joins us to talk about how our tribalism influences the ways in which we interact with the rest of the world – and about how we might transcend these divides. Her new book is called “Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations” (Penguin Press).

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Tayari Jones Updates The Great American Novel

Thu, 01 Mar 2018 21:17:14 -0000

In the novel “An American Marriage,” a newlywed couple is split apart when the husband is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. And when Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, Celestial is confronted by the reality that she’s moved on. The book is the latest from novelist Tayari Jones, who joins us to talk about writing a love story set against a backdrop of racial injustice.

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Data And Discrimination

Wed, 28 Feb 2018 20:34:23 -0000

When we search for something online, an algorithm designed by the people running the search engine selects the results we see. University of Southern California assistant professor Safiya Umoja Noble joins us to talk about how data can discriminate, the topic of her book “Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism” (NYU Press).

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Previewing The Oscars

Wed, 28 Feb 2018 20:33:56 -0000

This Sunday’s Academy Awards is shaping up as a two-horse race for best picture between “The Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” But could “Get Out” or “Lady Bird” pull an upset? We work through the possibilities with a panel of North Texas film experts.

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How Social Media Manipulates Public Thinking

Tue, 27 Feb 2018 20:24:50 -0000

Earlier this month, special counsel Robert Muller filed an indictment of 13 Russians, accusing them of using social media networks to undermine the 2016 presidential election. As Think broadcasts from the studios of Houston Public Media, we talk with University of Houston assistant professor of communications Erica Ciszek about how special interest groups are increasingly using social media to influence and confuse public discourse.

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High Tech Versus Low Tech: Options For The Border

Tue, 27 Feb 2018 20:24:21 -0000

President Trump’s March 5 deadline for Congress to save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is fast approaching. As Think broadcasts from the studios of Houston Public Media, we talk with Luis Torres of the University of Houston’s Borders, Trade and Immigration Institute about what’s necessary for Congress to reach a deal – and about new technology that could soon play a role in border security.

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SpaceX And Beyond

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 20:49:21 -0000

Earlier this month, SpaceX made headlines when it successfully launched its Falcon Heavy rocket. As Think broadcasts from the studios of Houston Public Media, we talk with Jason Davis about the significance of the launch – and about the impact Elon Musk and others are having on space exploration. Davis writes about the topic for The Planetary Society.

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Hurricane Harvey Six Months Later

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 20:44:36 -0000

In August, the Texas Gulf Coast was devastated by Hurricane Harvey, which caused an estimated $125 billion worth of damage. As Think broadcasts from the studios of Houston Public Media, we talk about the city’s recovery six months after the storm with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Marvin Odum – who’s heading the city’s rebuilding effort.

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Sunni Versus Shia In The Muslim World: How We Got To Now

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 20:26:24 -0000

Iran and Saudi Arabia are arguably the two most powerful forces in the Middle East. And their decades of conflict have fueled much of the region’s unrest. Martin Smith joins us to talk about the current state of their relationship – and how we got to now. His two-part Frontline documentary airs Feb. 20 and 27 on KERA-TV.

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A Black Feminist In White America

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 20:50:13 -0000

Black women in America are doubly disenfranchised by race and gender. It’s a state of being that social critic Morgan Jerkins has thought deeply about, and she joins us to talk about what it is to be a black feminist. Her new collection of essays is called “This Will be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America” (Harper Perennial).

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Think Your Life Has No Meaning? Think Again

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 20:47:10 -0000

Philosophers have pondered the meaning of life from the beginning of recorded history. Haifa University philosophy professor Iddo Landau continues the discussion with practical advice for adding significance to our lives. His new book is called “Finding Meaning in an Imperfect World” (Oxford University Press).

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Sexual Harassment And The Service Industry

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 21:37:22 -0000

Women in the food service industry are put in an uncomfortable position. A little flirting might lead to a bigger tip. Too often, though, customers expect more than just good service. Bryce Covert joins us to talk about if #metoo could make things better for women working as waitresses, bartenders and hosts. Her story “When Harassment is the Price of a Job” appears in The Nation.

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Why Talk Therapy Is Still Important

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 21:36:48 -0000

Rising healthcare costs have made it difficult for patients in psychotherapy programs to continue their treatment. Psychologist Enrico Gnaulati joins us to talk about why psychotropic drugs aren’t always the answer – and about why talking is still the way to go for many patients. His book is called “Saving Talk Therapy: How Health Insurers, Big Pharma, and Slanted Science are Ruining Good Mental Health Care” (Beacon Press).

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Seismic Shift: How An Earthquake Inspired An Engineer

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 20:52:59 -0000

Menzer Pehlivan was a teenager in 1999 when a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck her hometown of Ankara, Turkey. The experience inspired her to become a civil engineer in hopes of mitigating future seismic destruction. She joins us to talk about how she and her fellow engineers are creating a better world, the subject of the documentary “Dream Big 3D,” currently playing at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.

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The Secret Lives And Loves Of The Roosevelts

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 20:51:37 -0000

Lorena Hickok covered Franklin Roosevelt’s first presidential campaign before taking a job in the administration and eventually moving into the White House. Her true connection, though, was with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Writer Amy Bloom explores their relationship in her latest novel, “White Houses” (Random Houses) and she joins us to talk about the complicated love triangle that once occupied America’s most powerful address.

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At The Table With Michael Pollan

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 22:17:21 -0000

As the author of “Food Rules,” “In Defense of Food,” and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” Michael Pollan is one of America’s preeminent food writers. He joins us to talk about how we think about food from a cultural, environmental and historical perspective. And we’ll talk about the focus of his upcoming book: psychedelic drugs. He speaks Tuesday night at the University of Texas at Arlington as part of the Mavericks Speaker Series.

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The Power Of Pay: Working Women In The Muslim World

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 20:11:48 -0000

In the last decade, millions of women in the Muslim world have joined the workforce. And with pay comes power. Economist Saadia Zahidi joins us  to talk about how these working women are reshaping cultural norms. Her book is called

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Health Consequences Of A Terrible Childhood

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 22:37:08 -0000

Poverty, stress, neglect and other childhood traumas can affect a person’s mental health into adulthood. Dr. Nadine Burke Harris joins us to talk about research that shows these traumas can also affect physical health. Her new book is called “The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

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How To Have A Good Death

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 22:34:20 -0000

We all hope to die peacefully at home at a ripe old age. And while many of us are living longer, the end of life has gotten increasingly complicated. Dr. Samuel Harrington joins us to talk about how to have tough conversations about our end-of-life wishes – and about how we can avoid medical intervention when there’s little left to save. His new book is called “At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life” (Grand Central).

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Is The FBI Prosecuting Black Identity?

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 22:51:07 -0000

In December, a Dallas man named Rakem Balogun was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm and remains in federal custody. Balogun has been a vocal critic of law enforcement, which has his friends and family wondering if he was targeted by the FBI for his beliefs. Martin de Bourmont joins us to talk about what could be the first case prosecuting what the FBI calls a “black identity extremist.” He writes about the topic for Foreign Policy magazine.

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Why Work Hard When You Can Work Smart?

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 20:33:36 -0000

From a young age, we’re taught that working hard is a virtue. University of California, Berkeley management professor Morten T. Hansen joins us to talk about how we can ease off the gas by learning to work smarter. His new book is called “Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More” (Simon & Schuster).

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Cooperation: The Real Secret To Success

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 20:33:04 -0000

At times it can feel that being successful as an individual requires the defeat of the competition. Shawn Achor joins us to talk about why that falls under what he calls “small potential” thinking – and about why achieving “big” potential requires working with those around us. His new book is called “Big Potential: How Transforming the Pursuit of Success Raises Our Achievement, Happiness, and Well-Being” (Currency). He speaks tonight as part of DMA Arts & Letters Live! at the Dallas Museum of Art.

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How To Make Screen Time Family Time

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 21:08:18 -0000

Parents are generally clued into the idea of limiting the amount of time their kids spend in front of screens. The science is unclear, though, about how much is too much. NPR education reporter Anya Kamenetz joins us to talk about her quest to find the right balance, which she writes about in “The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life” (Hachette).

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Why ‘Why?’ Isn’t Always the Right Question

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 21:07:42 -0000

One of the most difficult questions to answer is “why?” Sociologist Gregory Smithsimon joins us to talk about how often the question actually leads us down the wrong path and encourages us to overlook our own biases. His new book is called “Cause … And How it Doesn’t Always Equal Effect” (Melville House).

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Seeing The Border From Both Sides

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 20:33:47 -0000

For four years, Francisco Cantú kept watch over the deserts of New Mexico, Arizona and Texas working for the U.S. Border Patrol. He joins guest host Courtney Collins to talk about how his time spent along the border forced him to consider the violence inflicted on those who live along it. His new book is called “The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border” (Riverhead Books). He speaks tonight at Interabang Books in Dallas. And he’ll be back in Dallas April 8 for an appearance at the Dallas Museum of Art.

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How The Poor People’s Campaign Changed Protests Forever

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 20:33:11 -0000

A month after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, a group of activists gathered on the National Mall for six weeks to live in a shantytown settlement called Resurrection City. The camp is the subject of a new exhibition at the National Museum of American History, and guest host Courtney Collins talks about how the live-in demonstration changed how people peacefully protest with Allison Keyes, who writes about it for Smithsonian magazine.

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Why Latino Is A Race

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 20:53:09 -0000

At the end of the U.S-Mexico War, America gained hundreds of miles of new territory, including Texas. This acquisition of land created a new population of Mexican Americans who didn’t quite fit into the country’s existing racial hierarchy. UCLA professor Laura E. Gómez joins guest host Courtney Collins to talk about the role Mexican Americans have played in U.S. racial history – and about how they have long held what Gómez refers to as an “off white” status. Her book is called “Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race” (New York University Press).

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An Inmate’s Fight To Clear His Name

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 20:51:42 -0000

Over the last 30 years, about 350 inmates have had their convictions overturned thanks to DNA analysis. Barbara Bradley Hagerty joins guest host Courtney Collins to talk about options for wrongfully convicted prisoners who don’t have access to DNA evidence. Her story “Can You Prove Your Innocence Without DNA?” appears in The Atlantic.

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How To Keep Your Brain Young

Tue, 06 Feb 2018 20:52:47 -0000

Decreased brain function is a fact of aging that many of us will deal with. New research shows, though, that some of our cognitive function can be extended. Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, chief director of UT-Dallas’ Center for BrainHealth, joins guest host Courtney Collins to talk about new training strategies that can make our brains more energy efficient and better able to cope with aging.

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A History Of Transgender America

Tue, 06 Feb 2018 20:52:20 -0000

The stories of transgender Americans have gone largely untold in part because so many of them have felt compelled to hide their identities. Susan Stryker, associate professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of Arizona, joins guest host Courtney Collins to walk through the last half-century of progress made by transgender Americans. Her book is called “Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution” (Seal Press).

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Finding Magic In Everything

Mon, 05 Feb 2018 20:44:33 -0000

As a magician, Nate Staniforth’s job is to amaze audiences through slight-of-hand. And after years onstage, he felt there wasn’t much wonder to life when you know how the tricks are performed. He joins guest host Courtney Collins to talk about his journey to rediscover awe in everyday life, which he writes about in “Here Is Real Magic: A Magician’s Search for Wonder in the Modern World” (Bloomsbury Publishing).

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Stopping Child Abuse Before It’s Too Late

Mon, 05 Feb 2018 20:43:38 -0000

Each day, social workers must decide whether or not the children they visit should be removed from their parents’ homes. And that decision often changes the courses of those kids’ lives. Naomi Schaefer Riley, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, joins guest host Courtney Collins to talk about how we can better harness statistical information to help make these decisions. Her story “Can Big Data Help Save Abused Kids?” appears in Reason magazine.

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The Town That Builds Olympic Champions

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 20:33:15 -0000

Only 3,000 people call Norwich home. And yet the tiny Vermont town has sent an athlete to nearly every Winter Olympics for the last 30 years. New York Times reporter Karen Crouse joins us to talk about the town’s formula for creating world-class athletes, which she writes about “Norwich: One Tiny Vermont Town’s Secret to Happiness and Excellence” (Simon & Schuster).

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Is American Democracy Vulnerable?

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 20:51:31 -0000

The Western world celebrates when a dictatorship or monarchy transitions into a democracy. Not all democracies last forever, though. Harvard government professor Steven Levitsky joins us to talk about the societal fissures that have historically taken down these republics. His new book is called “How Democracies Die” (Crown).

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Separate And Unequal: What the History Books Left Out

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 20:49:17 -0000

Throughout American history, black and Latino Americans have often found common ground in the struggle for civil rights. University of Florida associate history professor Paul Ortiz joins us to talk about their achievements – and about efforts to keep them apart in order to hinder their progress. His book is called “An African American and LatinX History of the United States” (Beacon Press). Paul Ortiz speaks at TCU on Feb. 15.

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Imagining A Future Without Opioids

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 21:13:03 -0000

Since 2000, more than 300,000 Americans have died after overdosing on opioids, according to the CDC. Ted Price researches chronic pain at UT-Dallas, and he joins us to talk about arguably America’s most important public health crisis – and about the prospects for non-opioid pain medication.

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Should We Try To Raise Geniuses?

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 21:12:25 -0000

When parents realize they are raising a child prodigy, their imaginations often run wild with the possibilities. Ann Hulbert joins us to talk about the plusses and minuses of being a child genius. Her new book is called “Off the Charts: The Hidden Lives and Lessons of American Child Prodigies” (Knopf).

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How To Stay Married In Middle Age

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 20:53:47 -0000

Financial problems, long-term illness and parenting are common stresses on a marriage. A less commonly discusses strain, though, is the fact that we inevitably change as we age. Psychologist Daphne de Marneffe joins us to talk about how spouses can flourish both as individuals and as a couple, which she writes about in “The Rough Patch: Marriage and the Art of Living Together”(Scribner).

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We’re Not Ready For A Pandemic

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 20:48:39 -0000

This flu season has been particularly rough as more than 2,000 Texans have already died after contracting it. Harvard Medical School faculty member and chair of the Global Health Council Dr. Jonathan D. Quick joins us to talk about practical ways to stop influenza, Ebola, SARS and other outbreaks before they begin. His new book is called “The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It” (St. Martin’s Press).

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