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5:00pm - 6:00pm

To the Best of Our Knowledge


TTBOOK began as an audio magazine of ideas – two hours of smart, entertaining radio for people with curious minds. It’s sort of journalistic, but it’s never about the President’s speech to the U.N., weapons inspections in Iraq, or yesterday’s stock market disaster. It’s the kind of show that would spend an hour on the future of capitalism, or on the roots of Islamic fundamentalism. It might also spend an hour on hair. Or salt. Or pirates, road trips, psychic phenomena, house cleaning, animal intelligence, high energy physics, or how to say you’re sorry. It’s the kind of show where someone might mention Charlotte Bronte or Anthony Trollope in one segment, U2 or They Might Be Giants in another.

Workflow (Updated)

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The office has come a long way: from the executive desk to the cubicle (also known as the "veal-fattening pen"). Today, we explore the changing nature of the American workplace and how corporations rule the world. Life Inc. - Douglas Rushkoff; Cubed - Nikil Saval; Sonic Sidebar: Waitresses; Industrial Musicals - Steve Young; Deep Tracks: Mark Mothersbaugh ; On Our Minds: Kim Gordon.

Heart of Darkness (Updated)

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Are humans innately violent? The Act of Killing; The Noble Savage; Better Angels of our Nature; Sonic Sidebar: A Maya Angelou poetry reading; BookMark: "Independent People" by Halldór Laxness; On Our Minds: Being Cold.

Future Faces (Updated)

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The privacy arms race over facial recognition Focusing on Faces; Protecting Faces; Sonic Sidebar: Facing Age; Changing Faces; Dangerous Idea: Downloadable Selves; On Our Minds: Laura van den Berg.

Very New Poems

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Poetry is back! Elegy for a Dead World; Narrator-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel; A Poet's Glossary; The Poet Laureate of Twitter; A Dangerous idea from John Waters; On Our Minds: Slavery and Capitalism.

Epic Fail (Updated)

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Nobody wants to fail.  But maybe we’ve got the idea of failure all wrong.  Maybe it's not something to avoid, but something to strive for.  .  The Gift of Failure - Sarah Lewis; Twitter's Lovable Misanthrope - Eric Jarosinski; Jodorowsky's Dune - Frank Pavich; Dangerous Idea: DSM as Satire; On Our Minds: Jon Stewart.

Love By The Numbers

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We’re exploring love by the  numbers, this week.  36 questions, 40 first dates, and 43 equations – it’s all part of the new mathematical science of love. Love in 36 Questions; To Fall In Love, Do This; Screw Everyone; Calculus of Love -- Why Good Marriages Are Made of Math; Dangerous Idea: Why it's Good to be Alone; Edmund White on the Politics of Promiscuity.

1001 Nights (Updated)

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1001 Nights retold 1001 Nights 101; 1001 Nights: A Retelling - Hanan Al-Shaykh; SONIC SIDEBAR: Orhan Pamuk on The Arabian Nights; Salman Rushdie on "Luka and the Fire of Life"; Dangerous Idea: Narcissism is Good; On Our Minds: OKCupid.

1001 Nights (Repeat)

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Writing for a Living

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Ever dream of penning a best-seller? You're not alone. According to one estimate, more than 80 percent of Americans think they could publish a book. But what does it really take to make it as a writer? Making It As A Writer; MFA or NYC?; The Decline of the Creative Class; Sonic Sidebar: Why I Write; Dangerous Idea: Do Not Write For Free; Self-Publishing Success; On Our Minds: Reinhold Messner.

Weird Fiction (R)

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Welcome to the creepy, freaky world of weird fiction - from H.P. Lovecraft to emerging star Jeff Vandermeer - where there's a very thin line between the real and the surreal.  Also, the modern master of mythic fiction, Neil Gaiman. Southern Reach Trilogy - Jeff Vandermeer; Ursula Le Guin on Science Fiction; H.P. Lovecraft's Sound - Dean Lockwood; "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" - Neil Gaiman; Dangerous Idea: Critical Thinking; On Our Minds: Lawrence Krauss on the Big Questions.

New African Voices

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Welcome to the next generation of African writers.  They’re young, multi-lingual, and breaking out of all the old literary boxes.  This hour, why Africa has one of the most exciting literary scenes on the planet. New African Literature; Somali-American Fantasy; Nigerian Science Fiction; South African Crime Fiction; Dangerous Idea: A Palace of Unbuilt Roads; On Our Minds: The Poetry of Race.

Extinction

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Our planet is facing a mass extinction crisis. By the end of the century, we could lose up to half of all living species. But people are working hard to save endangered species and habitats, and a few scientists are even trying to bring lost species - like passenger pigeons and woolly mammoths - back to life. How To Clone a Mammoth - Beth Shapiro; Are You Ready for the Next Mass Extinction?; Recording America's Rarest Bird; From the Sabertooth to the Grizzly; BookMark - E.O. Wilson's The Meaning of Human Existence; On Our Minds: Hip Hop, Free Speech and Violence in France [Playlist].

Traveling Time (R)

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Planning a winter getaway? Here's some inspiration to adventure... Old Roads to Rome; Sonic Sidebar: Aboard Niagara; The Road to Tantra - Asra Nomani; The Art of Travel - Alain de Botton; BookMark: Karen Russell on "A High Wind in Jamaica"; On Our Minds: The New High Line.

Investigating Belief (Updated)

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You know the earth is round, the sky is up, and your dog loves you. But HOW do you know those things? This week, how we form opinions – the psychology and brain chemistry behind our beliefs. You & Your Brain - Julian Keenan; Sonic Sidebar: The Political Divide; Irrational Beliefs - Will Storr; Charting Religious Traditions - Karen Armstrong; BookMark: Alfred Kubin's "The Other Side"; On Our Minds: Philip Pullman.

The Artist

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This episode explores the artist and new ways to think about the creative process Steal Like an Artist - Austin Kleon; Powers of Two - Joshua Wolf Shenk; Myopia - Mark Mothersbaugh [Slideshow]; BookMark: Charles Duhigg on "The Children"; On Our Minds: The Great Migration.

The Future of Listening

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Smart phones and digital distribution have made it easier to get into the radio game. After the success of Serial, it seems like everyone’s talking about podcasts. But what does it take to make a hit show? And what do a host of new, independent programs mean for good ol’ radio? Alex Blumberg on Our Podcast Future; What About Public Radio?; It's a Gabfest - Emily Bazelon; Sounds, Original at WFMU; BookMark: Samuel Scheffler on "The Children of Men"; On Our Minds: Keeping Speech Free.

Just Dance!

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Want to improve your mood? Just dance. This hour we’re talking with people who’ve found an easy way to keep themselves happy, to build friendships, and make art. We’re checking in with neuroscientists too, to hear just what happens in our brains when we’re dancing. Also, how dancing together has been part of religious life for centuries.  Dancing Away Anxiety; The Dancing Brain; Dancing Together; Sonic Sidebar: Tango; Sally Gross - Finding Her Own Dance; Deep Tracks: Charles R. Cross; On Our Minds: Picturing Migration.

Self Help

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Every new year brings a fresh start, another chance to remake yourself. We all aspire to be better people, but following through on our goals can often be difficult. How Habits Work — and How to Change Them; Scrutinizing Self-Help; Sonic Sidebar: Should I Ask For Advice?; Help Wanted; Dangerous Idea: The Multispecies City; On Our Minds: Nick Bostrom on Computer Superintelligence.

Was Marx Right?

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Was Marx right after all in his critique of capitalism?  Our ongoing economic struggles have spawned a new generation of Marxist activists and intellectuals, and renewed interest in Karl Marx's own life.  "Why Marx Was Right" - Terry Eagleton; Marx in Soho - Brian Jones; "Love and Capital" - Mary Gabriel; "Utopia or Bust" - Benjamin Kunkel; BookMark: Walter Kirn; On Our Minds: Colson Whitehead.

Religion in a Troubled World

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The Bible and the Quran are some of our most sacred and revered texts. They're also full of violent passages. Is religion the source of violence and intolerance around the world?  We look at how sacred texts inspire both violence and liberation. Karen Armstrong Examines the Link Between Religion and Violence ; Abraham and Isaac; Black Sacred Music - Robert Darden [Playlist]; Humanist Manifesto - A.C. Grayling; BookMark: Mario Vargas Llosa's "Conversation in the Cathedral"; Photographing Angola Prison.