Arts and Culture

Michael Twitty

Michael Twitty can trace his family’s food history back to the slave cabins and Antebellum kitchens of the South. Honoring his diasporic heritage — he’s both black and Jewish — lead Twitty to the practice of identity cooking. He calls it Kosher/Soul.More

Lots of choices

153 flavors of ice cream. An acre of cold cereals. Why do supermarkets have so many choices? Or do they? Where we might see hundreds of flavors, varieties and brands of food, food journalist Simran Sethi sees a scary kind of sameness.More

"The Elephant's Journey" by Julie Schumacher

"Dear Committee Members" author Julie Schumacher recommends Portuguese Nobel Lauaureate José Saramago's retelling of a true tale.More

random strands of light

Choreographer Bill T. Jones says that while many of us are trying to put more skill into our lives, his mentor, the musician John Cage, spent his life trying to do just the opposite. Jones says Cage’s music was often based on randomness and chance.More

Random balls? Or skill grab?

Jason Rohrer is one of the top game designers in the world. So when the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act came out, he found a loophole. Turns out, its' not all internet gambling games that are against the law. It's only the ones that are subject to chance. He claims that his new online gambling game is all skill.  More

Adam and Eve

We decided to trace Western culture's fixation on guilt back to one of its earliest origins — the story of Adam and Eve. It's only a page and a half in the Bible, but literary historian Stephen Greenblatt told Steve Paulson why it has been so influential.More

guilt for smoking

A lot of people feel guilty about something - diet, money, relationships or something else. Our host Anne Strainchamps and writer Devorah Baum definitely do. So we asked them to sit down to talk about how we wound up about in a giant cultural guilt trip.More

Ken Windsor (CC BY 3.0)

Critic Ted Gioia says a new generation of young musicians have discovered an antidote to stale, formulaic pop music in the energy and ecstasy of jazz.More

Band A Part

Norway's acclaimed pianist Tord Gustavsen recommends another Norwegian classic, Masqualero's album "Bande a Part."More

USA Trilogy

Kim Stanley Robinson recommends "The Greatest Story of the 1920's That We Have: The U.S.A. Trilogy" by John Dos Passos.More

Odysseus und Penelope

Classicist Emily Wilson is the first woman ever to publish an English translation of Homer’s epic. "In some ways, it should be a story that's less about me than about why it has taken the English speaking world so long before there's been a complete published translation of "The Odyssey" by a woman."More

Circe

In Homer's "The Odyssey," Circe was a Greek goddess who turned Odysseus’ men into pigs. Today, Circe finally gets to tell her side of the story, thanks to novelist Madeline Miller.More

Anthony Bourdain

The chef, storyteller and world-traveler has died at age 61. We revisit Steve Paulson's interview with him in 2004.More

office

Do you dread going to work because your office is filled with people who are rude and treat you badly?More

Under the dome

Imagine eight scientists, four men and four women, volunteer for a grand experiment focusing on the future of humanity: living for two years inside of a prototype of a possible off-earth colony. That’s the premise behind acclaimed novelist T.C. Boyle’s new book, "The Terranauts." More

roller coaster

Writer B.J. Novak imagines a roller coaster that's modelled after real life, and designed by the artist Christo.More

Philip Roth, on his fiction and memory

In his final years, the novelist came to terms with how his own story might influence the future interpretation of his fiction.More

What Hath God Wrought cover

When and how did American get so polarized? For answers, Jonathan Chait recommends reading "What Hath God Wrought,"  a history of American politics from 1815-1848 by the Pulitzer prize-winning historian Daniel Walker Howe.More

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