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3:00am - 4:00am

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.

Food for Thought (Updated)

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What we eat can often say a lot about us. But why do we consider certain foods more appealing than others? In this hour, we look a the trends and tastemakers who shape our feelings about food. The Buzz Behind Food Trends; Sonic Sidebar: Food Preferences; Julia Child and the Love of Cooking; 1971 - An FBI break-in that rocked the nation.

Amusement Parks

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It doesn't matter whether you grew up going to Coney Island, Six Flags, or Pacific Park -- to a kid, all amusement parks are magical. This hour we take a trip to the land of funnel cake, freak shows and fast rides.  How Amusement Parks Modernized America; Coney Island A Century Ago; Behind the Scenes of a Sideshow; The Most Unusual Roller Coaster in the World; Getting High At Disney World; Walt Disney and the Cultural Significance of the Theme Park.

Life, Art, and Therapy

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Whatever happened to psychoanalysis?  It used to be the most influential science of the mind, but today its founder, Sigmund Freud, just looks like a sex-obsessed old man.  Analyst Adam Phillips says we got Freud all wrong; he remains a radical thinker if we know how to read him.  This hour explores the connections between therapy and art. Rethinking Freud - Adam Phillips; Growing Up Freudian - Erin Clune; Cartooning & Psychotherapy - Alison Bechdel; Art as Therapy - Alain de Botton; BookMark: Nic Pizzolatto on Absalom, Absalom!; On Our Minds: James McBride .

Hitchhiking (Updated)

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Does anyone still hitchhike?  Cult film director John Waters does.  At the age of 66, he hitchhiked 2,800 miles, from Baltimore to San Francisco.  He tells us about the people who picked him up, along with some who didn't.  And did the America Interstate System pave the way for fear and violence on the highways? Killer on the Road - Ginger Strand; Carsick: Hitchhiking Across America - John Waters; Anywhere - Mishy Harman; PEN World Voices Festival Chairman on Charlie Hebdo Controversy; Colm Toibin on Poet Elizabeth Bishop; BONUS SEGMENT -- Sonic Sidebar: John Waters' Hitchhiking Playlist.

Going Wild

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Looking for wildness, inside and out. Kids Go Wild; How To Reclaim Your Sense of Wonder; The Adventure Gap: Diversity In Outdoor Recreation; "More Hawk Than Human": Helen Macdonald Battles Grief With a Goshawk; BookMark: Werner Herzog on "The Peregrine"; The Dead Lands - Ben Percy's Post-Apocalyptic Wilderness Thriller.

Fighting

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The Thrill of the Fight

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Forget baseball. Boxing just might be our national sport. After all, the highest paid athlete in the country is a fighter. And a long awauted superfight between this generation's best boxers has earned millions in ticket sales. This hour, we explore the popularity and enduring appeal of combat sports.  The Ecstasy of the Fight; Inside the Mind of a Fighter; The Professor Who Became a Cage Fighter; The Toughest Teen in the World; Dangerous Idea: Can Real Life Superheroes Fight Crime?; 'The Hunger Games' Meets Ancient Rome in 'An Ember in the Ashes'.

Remembering the Vietnam War

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Forty years ago, the U.S. ended its war in Vietnam, but we're still fighting over its legacy - in foreign policy and military strategy, and also in books and movies. But there's one question Americans rarely ask: what does the war mean to the Vietnamese themselves?  Taking Revenge Against Coppola's "Apocalypse Now"; A Vietnamese Doctor's Unforgettable Diary; How Soldiers Cope with Killing; War Criminal?; BookMark: Paul Beatty on "The Nazi and the Barber"; The Man Who Invented Chemical Weapons.

Building Stories (Update)

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Building Stories Stories from Cabrini Green; Ever Wonder About the Sounds a Building Makes?; Chris Ware on his graphic novel "Building Stories"; Meat Houses. Yes, Houses Made Out of Meat; Ken "The Voice" Nordine reads his jazz poem "Yellow"; Here, Bullet - War Poetry by Flashlight ; Poet Rae Armantrout on Reading Poetry Out Loud.

The Quantified Self

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Can the self actually be quantified? This hour, we examine the growth of personal data collection. From Bites to Bytes - Quantifying the Everyday; Does Data Give Life Meaning?; The Sonified Self - Transforming Data Into Music; Our Automated Future; Chronicling, then Letting Go.

The Quantified Self

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The Magic Book (Update)

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Magic Books The Codex Seraphinianus; The Talking Book; The Aleppo Codex; Novelist Remembers Armenian Massacre, 100 Years Later; Singer Diamanda Galas: The 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Shame

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We explore our obsession with public shaming in this hour. Public Shaming on Social Media; Shame-Based Sentencing Instead of Jail Time; The Upside of Shame: Promoting Positive Change; Dangerous Idea: Universal Recess!; Sowing Your Wild Oats in Mid-Life.

Getting Medieval (Update)

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Arms, armor, bodices and battle axes! Celebrate a new season of Game of Thrones with some real medieval history. Just How Heavy Was That Armor?; Get Your Medieval On!; Geoffrey Chaucer, Detective; Meet a Medieval Warrior-Girl: Nicola Griffith's "Hild"; George R. R. Martin Tells Us Why We're Addicted to Historical Fantasy; BookMark: Nick Bantock; Was Abe Lincoln Racist?.

Political Correctness?

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Is it ever possible to be too racially sensitive or tolerant? This hour, a look at how we talk about touchy subjects -- whether political correctness promotes safety or censorship. Is Political Correctness a Form of Censorship?; Political Correctness Is About Safety; The Limits of Tolerance; Racial Paranoia; Dangerous Idea: Trauma; T.C. Boyle Talks "The Harder They Come".

It's All About Cats

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Cats on public radio! Yes, it's a thing. He Made A Cat Video And You'll Never Guess What Happened Next...; The Case For Cat Citizenship; Cats Hate Your Music - Here's What They Want You To Play; The Big Cat Biologist And The Blind Date: 3-Minute Fiction; The Shocking Truth About Tiger Farms; Dogs Helped Humans Conquer The World.

Re-Remixing

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Ever get the feeling that nothing’s original these days, that every new song that comes out is just a rehash of another? This hour, we’re looking at the fine line between inspiration and imitation, and finding out what separates an original work from a bland copy. The Thin Line Between Inspiration and Imitation; Why Is Pop Culture So Obsessed With the Past?; The Evolution of Copyright; A Cassette From My Ex; Dangerous Idea: Latin Can Save Your Life; What Early Christian Texts Suggest About the Life of Jesus; Inspiration or Imitation? [Playlist].

Vaccine Wars

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Is there any evidence that vaccines cause autism? If the answer is no, then why is anti-vaccination on the rise? Autism. Jenny McCarthy. Measles at Disneyland. How did we get here? The Least-Vaccinated School in Town; The Complicated History of Vaccination; The Ethics of Vaccines; Kazuo Ishiguro on 'The Buried Giant'.

Lab Lit

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Science is moving out of the lab and into the pages of literary fiction.  This week, we introduce the “Lab Lit” movement and talk about why fiction needs more realistic portrayals of scientists and science culture Science in Fiction - Jennifer Rohn; Archangel - Andrea Barrett; Sonic Sidebar: Antarctica in Fiction and Art; Women and Plants - Elizabeth Gilbert; BookMark - Karl Ove Knausgaard on "The Flame Alphabet"; On Our Minds: Science and the Avant Garde.

Drones (Updated)

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Imagine a world where flying robots watch over our borders, assist with search and rescue missions, and survey roads and pipelines. Sounds like science fiction, but in many parts of the country it's a reality. This week, we explore the rise of drones, both as a military tool and a disruptive technology. The Meme of Our Time - Alex Rivera; Commercial Drones - Missy Cummings; Drones Gone Wild; The Life of a Military Drone Pilot - Bruce Black; BookMark: Steve Roggenbuck; On Our Minds: Nadia Hashimi.