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Baby with tag

Wendy Kline says the history of birth in America is the story of the medical establishment’s deliberate suppression of midwives. For her as for most mothers, it’s a story that’s political and personal.  

water

David Foster Wallace gave the commencement speech at Kenyon College in 2005. It was popular enough to eventually be published in a thin little book called “This Is Water.”

Cracked cover

Even this many years later, it’s hard to underestimate what a popular and controversial writer David Foster Wallace still is. There’s even an entire field of "David Foster Wallace Studies" — one of its leaders is Clare Hayes-Brady.

Colleen Leahy and Makini Allwood, hosts of "And But So."

David Foster Wallace’s masterpiece — Infinite Jest — is famously difficult to read. Colleen Leahy and Makini Allwood are climbing the literary mountain of a book, and sharing their experience on a podcast called "And But So."

man walking to work

The anthropologist David Graeber says “BS jobs” are an epidemic. Especially in that circle of hell known as middle management.

man moving steel

Alissa Quart spent the last few years traveling around the country, talking with all kinds of people about work. What she found is a lot of people with jobs that look good on paper but who feel — in a word — squeezed.

The IceCube Lab at the South Pole

Francis Halzen, the lead scientist of the IceCube Neutrino Detector, explains how light sensors buried deep in the ice at the South Pole detected a neutrino that traveled four billion light-years.

Pop culture's constant barrage of ironic detachment

In 2012, Princeton University professor Christy Wampole wrote a New York Times column that every hipster everywhere instantly hated it — but it struck a chord with people who had grown tired of pop culture dominated by self-awareness and snark.

Christian Picciolini recounts his experience leaving the white supremacist hate group.

Charles Monroe-Kane talks with Christian Picciolini about his campaign to de-program white supremacists, including Richard Spencer, the most prominent face of American white supremacy today.

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