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A push of the clock

Dan Pink has written several books about motivation, work and behavior. His most recent, called “When,” is all about timing. He says people facing an ending seems to push people in new directions.

British writer Martin Amis is 68 years old. He’s written 14 novels, hundreds of essays, memoirs, even a screen play. But he has strong feelings about writers who work past their prime. So he feels the clock ticking — is it time to pack it in? When will he know?

Ma Dukes and J Dilla

James Dewitt Yancey – also known as J Dilla — was a hip hop super-producer and pioneering beat-maker. J Dilla died at just 32 years old, and worked right up until the end, making music and creating beats from his hospital bed. His mother was there for every bit of it.

Haleema reporting in Pakistan

You could say that the work of nation-building is never really done. Haleema Shah has been thinking about that after a recent trip to a country close to her heart — Pakistan.

Doors across borders.

The Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid sets his newest novel, "Exit West," in a world of permanent mass migration, in a city ripped apart by civil war. He told Steve Paulson he modeled it on his own city — Lahore, Pakistan.

Catalons

Catalans have a different language, flag and anthem from Spain. Some in the region are fighting for independence. Catalonia is a nation divided in cultural identity, but should it separate from Spain?

Kim Blaeser on stage at "Making Waves" at Turner Hall.

Wisconsin’s former Poet Laureate Kim Blaeser leaves us with a benediction, calling out the sacred dimension of water.

Tree

Richard Powers’ “The Overstory” is overturning a lot of conventional thinking. It’s been called “visionary” and “monumental.” And though human characters shape the plot of this 500-page epic, the real heroes are trees.

The forest organism

Suzanne Simard is a forest ecologist who's revolutionizing our understanding of trees. She has discovered that trees use underground networks to communicate and cooperate with each other. It turns out that whole forests can exist as a superorganism.

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