Interviews By Topic

People in the Andes have been telling stories about their mountains for centuries. Writer and educator Lisa Madera says they tell us something essential about the nature of mountains as geologic marvels and sacred sites.More

Hunger mountain's peak

Is there a special mountain in your life? David Hinton, who lives in Vermont, told us about the one he knows best — Hunger Mountain - which he's climbed 300 times. His thinking about mountains has been shaped by his study of ancient Chinese poetry.More

Poudre Lake is the headwaters of the Cache la Poudre River

Environmental philosopher and bonafide "mountain man" John Hausdoerffer explains how mountains are connected to all life on earth, and what it means to treat them as "living kin"More

Pro-bee is pro-human

When we talk about bees, usually we mean honeybees. Or bumblebees. But that’s just two out of 20,000 different species of bees. Thor Hanson tells Anne about how different species of bees and humanity have developed dependence on one another.More

Teju Cole

Teju Cole grew up in Nigeria and then moved to U.S., joining millions of others in the African diaspora. He became an acclaimed novelist and photographer, and now celebrates the cosmopolitan culture of global cities, including Lagos and New York.More

When you’re visiting a new city, it helps to have a guide. Dejene Hodes took Anne and Steve on a tour of Addis Ababa, from the Mercato to the financial district. He says the city is bursting with entrepreneurial energy and ambition.More

A moment on the street in Addis Ababa.

Ghanaian post-colonial theorist Ato Quayson thinks a lot about globalization, diaspora and transnationalism. Because he’s a literary scholar, he decided to "read" a single street — Oxford Street in Accra — as a study of contemporary urban Africa.More

Lending a helping hand.

Historian Emily Calacci says the massive migration into African cities isn't following the Western model of urban development. Instead of an infrastructure of roads, railways and electric grids, many African cities rely on "people as infrastructure."More

A french bulldog doing a snooze.

Philosopher Lars Svendson thinks we shouldn't be stressing about learning to bake sourdough or memorize TikTok dances in quarantine. He thinks we need to learn to be lazy again.More

Mondays, powered by coffee

Why does it seem like we always head into Monday feeling let down? Journalist Katrina Onstad explains how we ruined the weekend, and how to get it back.
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A woman behind screens

Anne Helen Petersen has been writing about burnout long before the pandemic. Now she says we’re really starting to run on empty.More

WORKER HARDER

In one recent study, 50 percent of people surveyed said they often or always feel exhausted from work. Emma Seppala says that it’s because collectively, we’re falling for outdated ideas about success.More

Picking up leaves on a leisurely hike.

Our lives have never been more optimized to save us time. But is it all time well spent? Maybe it’s time to embrace inefficiency, argues typewriter collector and philosopher Richard Polt.More

Earth

N.K. Jemisin’s “Broken Earth” trilogy — set in a futuristic world grappling with power, racism and oppression, with a dash of magic thrown in — is rooted in the historical moment we’re now living in.More

roller coaster

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

A false bull

Mark Sundeen tells Anne he accepted an advance to write a travel book about bull-fighting in Spain. What he wrote instead was an over-the-top fake documentary.More

Ferris wheel

At one point there were more than 1,500 amusement parks across America. Historian Lauren Rabinovitz says they helped ease the country into a period of rapid technological change.More

Ghostly image

Kelly Link writes what she calls slipstream fiction — magical realist with a strong dose of weird.More

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