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Morning Edition
4:00am - 9:00am

To the Best of Our Knowledge

Sunday 9:00 - 11:00pm


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.

Big Soda

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Do you ever get the feeling that this is Big Soda's world and we're just living in it? Even though soda sales have declined in recent years, Big Soda looms large in our popular culture. In this hour, we explore "Coca-Cola Capitalism" and soda politics.  Soda Politics; The Vestibules -- Laurence Olivier for Diet Coke; The Secret History of Soft Drinks; Coca-Cola Capitalism; Coke and Cocaine; Why Football Matters.

Wearing it On Your Sleeve (update)

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Fashion Matters Jacki Lyden on Why Fashion Matters; A Philosophy of Fashion; Gender and Race on the Runway; Fashion, Fast and Slow; The Hindus: An Alternative History.

Traditional Knowledge

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Reading books isn't always the best way to learn. Some things you need to learn from your elders, and their wisdom has often been passed down through the generations. We celebrate traditional ways of knowing - from the Potawatomi knowledge of the plant world to the Norwegian folk wisdom of how to chop and burn wood. Also, a plea for Africans to reclaim their local knowledge. How to Chop, Stack and Burn Wood; Hmong Knives; Talking to Plants; BookMark: Philip Glass Recommends "The Wayfinders" by Wade Davis; The Eternal Moment; Reclaiming Africa.

Science Fiction: Thinking the Unthinkable (Updated)

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In this hour, we meet science-fiction writers who are thinking the unthinkable and daring to go beyond the limits of our imaginations. The Book of Strange New Things - Michel Faber; Stories of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang; Questionable Practices - Eileen Gunn; BookMark: Stephen Burn on "Infinite Jest"; On Our Minds: Kurt Godel.

A More Perfect Union

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 So what about that phrase “a more perfect union”? What does that mean? And how do we reconcile all the different visons of what a more perfect union might be? Especially the ones you disagree with. Are the Armed Men in Oregon Religious Fanatics?; A Former Neo- Nazi Skinhead, Now What?; 19th Century Utopias; The Soundtrack to a Literal "Cult" Sensation; Do You Believe in Gnomes?.

Political Correctness? (Updated)

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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; Is It A Problem To Teach Rape Law?.

Renunciation

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Ah, January.  Season of diets and fasts and cleanses, of "Drynuary" and "Veganuary."  Why does being virtuous always seem to mean giving up pleasure?  This hour, we explore the concept of renunciation and our complicated feelings about it. The Man Who Invented "Dry-nuary"; The Story of a Contemporary Hermit; The Religious Roots of Renunciation; Renunciation as a Creative Force; David Foster Wallace on Alcoholics Anonymous; How Prohibition Shaped America.

The Artist (Repeat)

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We explore the creative process in this hour -- DEVO co-founder Mark Mothersbaugh talks about his visual art exhibition, "Myopia," and Joshua Wolf Shenk lays waste to the myth of the lone genius. Steal Like an Artist - Austin Kleon; Powers of Two - Joshua Wolf Shenk; DEVO Co-Founder Mark Mothersbaugh's Visual Art; BookMark: Charles Duhigg on "The Children"; On Our Minds: The Great Migration.

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.

Get Happy

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With New Year's still fresh in mind, chances are you're contemplating ways to be a better person. This hour, we talk about the psychology and history behind the very idea of happiness, and also offer some practical advice for how to live well. Want to be Happier? Turn Everyday Tasks Into a Game; A Little Less Feeling, A Lot More Action; A History of Happiness; How to Find Happiness in Everyday Life and Language; David Morris Recommends “Solo Faces” by James Salter; Climbing Free with Alex Honnold.

Procrastination (Remix)

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We explore procrastination and try to answer the question, Why do we put things off and how can we stop? Procrastination 101; Procrastination Anxiety; Procrastination as Vice; Coping with Procrastination; Moving Past Procrastination; Felicia Day, Geek Goddess.

Owning the Future

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We explore our obsession with the future in this episode. Is our obsession a way of avoiding having to deal with the present and our current problems like climate change, race and terrorism? Why Are We Obsessed with the Future?; You Too Can Predict the Future; Why You're Spending Time Thinking About the Future in the Present; Kurt and Bernard Vonnegut in the House of Magic.

Best of 2015

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You know those end of the year lists?  Best books, movies, music and so on?  This hour, To the Best of Our Knowledge shares the best interviews from 2015.  Plus a booklist or two. The 36 Questions that Lead to Love; Helen Macdonald Battles Grief with a Goshawk; The Historic Hunt to Record America's Rarest Bird; Poet Claudia Rankine on Her Award Winning Book, "Citizen"; Keith Powell on Hollywood's "Urban" Voice Problem; Being Terry Gilliam.

God Talk

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Some people talk to God and some think God talks to them. But what one person calls mysticism, another might call mental illness. We examine a range of spiritual experiences - from hearing voices to prayer and conversations with God. Also, David Steindl-Rast reflects on life as a Benedictine monk. Did God Talk to Me?; "Let Us Pretend"; The Strange But True Story of Margery Kempe; David Steindl-Rast Reflects on a Life as a Benedictine Monk; "The Nightmare".

Animals in Winter

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Animals in Winter Ingenuity of Animals in Winter; How Animals Sound in Winter; The Reindeer People; Women Hunting; Helen Macdonald recommends "The Dark is Rising"; The Dutch Christmas Tradition of Black Pete.

Awkward

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When was the last time you said something so mortifying that all you wanted to do was crawl under a rock and hide? We've all been through plenty of uncomfortable moments, but it seems like we rarely talk about them. From teenage angst to cringe comedy, this week we're setting aside the shame and reveling in all things awkward. Awkward Moments Read Out Loud; Our Awkward Age; Jesse Eisenberg Imagines An Awkward Introduction; The Upside of Awkwardness; Jennifer Jacquet Recommends 'Last Chance To See'; Rediscovering Alexander Von Humboldt, The Largely Forgotten Father Of Environmentalism.

Cinephilia (Updated)

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In this hour, we explore people's obsessions with movies and talk with legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog. Room 237 - Manohla Dargis; Werner Herzog Strives for the 'Ecstatic Truth'; Frank - Jon Ronson; Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!.

Why We War

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Why We War The Worth of War; War is Beautiful; War is Revenge; Is War Inevitable?; 50th Anniversary of "A Love Supreme".

Confronting Climate Change

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Rising sea levels, brutal storms and droughts, record temperatures...is there anything we can do about climate change? As world leaders gather at the Paris Climate Summit, we consider a range of proposals - from geoengineering and new green technology to a post-carbon economy.  Capitalism vs. the Climate; Modern Monkeywrenching; Is Nuclear Power the Answer?; Geoengineering 101; Al Gore's Optimism; Questioning our Growth Fetish; Finding Hope in the Age of Climate Change.

Handwork

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More than 38 million Americans knit or crochet. Not because they need another scarf or afghan, but because they like the way knitting feels. Handwork turns out be a powerful antidote for digital overload. This hour explores the therapeutic value of drawing, knitting and other handcrafts.  And, this year's most coveted gift for writers, English majors and luddites? The manual typewriter. Can Knitting Improve Your Health?; How Hands Have Shaped Humanity; Lynda Barry's Radio Drawing Lessons; The Magical Mechanical Typewriter; The Typewriter Poet.