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6:00pm - 7:00pm

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.

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.

Late Bloomers

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Are you afraid of getting old? Most people are, but studies show we're usually happier in our 60s and 70s. Aging often brings wisdom and resilience - and a new creative spark. We celebrate the fine art of aging - and hear about some artists who remade their careers late in life. Aging Artfully; Literary Genius After 60; Why People Get Happier in Old Age; It's Never Too Late to Dance; Dangerous Idea: Why We Need Outsider Writers; Daring to Offend.

Race and Justice

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A police officer's shooting of a young, unarmed Afrian American man here in Madison joins a long list of national tragedies.  So we devote this hour to conversations about race and justice. Race and Justice in Madison; One Child's Response to Tony Robinson's Death; Covering "Ghettosides" in South L.A. ; Working for Equal Justice - Bryan Stevenson; Investigating a Murder in Mississippi.

Fermentation (Updated)

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Celebrate Live Culture: Exploring the Fermentation Revival Ferment This!; You Won't Believe What They Eat In Iceland; Smells Bad, Tastes Bad, Covered in Slime; Grow Your Own Clothes; The Day The Yogurt Took Over; What Your Poo Says About You; Dangerous Idea: Human Vices Help Drive Evolution; What Comes After Homo Sapiens?.

Words and Music (Updated)

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Composer Stephen Sondheim does it and so does hip hop poet MK Asante.  They combine words and music to make art.  So how do they do it?   We explore the neuroscience of rap, and hear how jazz composer Maria Schneider sets poetry to music.  Hip Hop Poet - MK Asante; Neuroscience of Rap - Charles Limb; Music & Poetry - Maria Schneider; Stephen Sondheim - Art of the Musical; Dangerous Idea: Abolish Debt; On Our Minds: Policing the Police.

Why fashion matters

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How clothing shapes our indentities, cultures, economies and environment Jacki Lyden on Why Fashion Matters; A Philosophy of Fashion; Gender and Race on the Runway; Fashion, Fast and Slow; BookMark: Edward Hirsch on "Memorial"; On Our Minds: Quan Barry Writes Vietnam.

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.