To The Best Of Our Knowledge show

To The Best Of Our Knowledge

Summary: To The Best Of Our Knowledge is a nationally-syndicated, Peabody award-winning public radio show that dives headlong into the deeper end of ideas. We have conversations with novelists and poets, scientists and software engineers, journalists and historians, filmmakers and philosophers, artists and activists — people with big ideas and a passion to share them.For more from the TTBOOK team, visit us at

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  • Artist: Wisconsin Public Radio
  • Copyright: Copyright 2020 by Wisconsin Public Radio


 Secrets of Alchemy | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:42

Once upon a time, science and magic were two sides of the same coin. Today, we learn science in school and save magic for children’s books. What if it were different? What would it be like to see the world as an alchemist? Original Air Date: September 19, 2020 Guests: Sarah Durn — Pamela Smith — William Newman — Charles Monroe-Kane — Jason Pine Interviews In This Hour: Transmutation Of The Spirit — The Historical Lessons Embedded in Alchemical Recipes — Was Sir Isaac Newton 'The Last of the Magicians'? — The Buried Secrets of Czech Alchemy — Drug Store Alchemy in the Ozarks

 Books We Can't Forget | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:33

Is there a book you can’t forget? A book that left a mark on you? On Bookmarks, our micropodcast, we share tiny stories from writers, about the books they love most. This week, we’ll preview Season One and celebrate books and reading with an eclectic cast of writers from around the country. Original Air Date: November 16, 2019 Guests: Chloe Benjamin — Anne Lamott — Rebecca Traister — Natalia Sylvester — Tommy Orange — Pamela Paul — Shannon Henry Kleiber — Jericho Brown — Susan Orlean Interviews In This Hour: Anne Lamott on 'Pippi Longstocking' — Powerful Book Encounters — Tommy Orange on 'A Confederacy Of Dunces' — Reading As Our First Window To The World — A Book Club On The Day Of The Book Choosing — Jericho Brown on 'The Witches Of Eastwick' — The Book Burning That Brought All Of Los Angeles Together Further Reading: "Bookmarks" Podcast from TTBOOK

 Why Do We Have So Much Stuff? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:47

If you wrote a list of all the things you own in your house, how long would it be? We surround ourselves with possessions, but at what point do they start to possess us? Original Air Date: September 05, 2020 Guests: Angelo Bautista — Eula Biss — Adam Minter — Giles Slade — Clare Dolan Interviews In This Hour: The Magnum Opus Of Pointless Stuff — 'A $400K Container For A Washing Machine': An Author Grapples With The Inherent Ickiness Of Homeownership — The Global Garage Sale — Why Stuff Doesn't Last Anymore — A Museum Of The Mundane

 Up All Night | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:37

How well do you sleep? Every night, millions of us turn out the lights hoping and praying for a good night’s sleep. And every night, millions of us lie awake in the dark. We explore what keeps us up, and what happens when we embrace the times when we just can't seem to rest. Original Air Date: March 07, 2020 Guests: Steve Paulson — Guy Leschziner — Daniel Pink — Marina Benjamin — Ada Calhoun Interviews In This Hour: A Shadow Self Emerges from the Darkness — Tales From The Wee Hours — Developing a 'Nocturnal Literacy' — Kicking Your Nap Up A Notch...With Coffee — The Things That Keep Gen X Women Up At Night

 Growing Justice | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:48

A new generation of Black farmers are working to reclaim land, hoping to grow justice along with vegetables and plants. Original Air Date: August 22, 2020 Guests: Leah Penniman — Savi Horne — Venice Williams — Marcia Chatelain Interviews In This Hour: How Black Farmers Lost 14 Million Acres of Farmland — And How They're Taking It Back — 'When You Hold Land You Have to Keep It' — My Garden Is An Outdoor Parish — Cooking Greens: A Delicious Family History Lesson — The First Job, The Polling Place, The Community Space: How McDonald's Became 'The Closest Thing To Home' For Black Communities

 Out Of The Mental Illness Box | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:28

When treating mental illness, you know the drill. Take your meds. Call me in the morning. Let's check in on how you feel in a few months. Repeat. But maybe there’s something else you can add to that toolkit. We talk with a psychiatrist who prescribes exercise as medicine, a woman who treats her anxiety with horror films, and the scientists examining how depression can be treated with psychedelics. Need to talk? Contact the National Alliance for Mental Illness at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. Original Air Date: February 15, 2020 Guests: Eliza Smith — Claudia Reardon — Shira Erlichman — Rosalind Watts — Charles Raison — Roland Griffiths — Robin Carhart-Harris Interviews In This Hour: Treating Anxiety With Horror Films — Do 10 Burpees And Call Me In The Morning — How Psychedelic Experiences Might Treat Depression — The Power in Naming an Illness

 Searching for Order in the Universe | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:44

When things don't go the way they're supposed to — viruses, star systems, presidents, even fish — we're often desperate to explain the chaos. In this episode, we search for order in the universe. Original Air Date: August 08, 2020 Guests: Patrik Svensson — Lulu Miller — Alexander Boxer — Margaret Wertheim — S. James Gates Jr. Interviews In This Hour: The Weird World Of Eels — We Call Them Fish. Evolution Says They're Something Else. — The Original Algorithm Was Written In The Stars — Seeing The World With A Mathematician's Eyes Further Reading: Nautilus: Eels Don’t Have Sex Until the Last Year of Their Life—NYAS: The Mystery of Our Mathematical Universe

 Loving Bees | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:07

Bees stir each one of our senses — the zen-like hum, the sweet honey, the waxy smell of wildflowers mixed with hard work, the vibrant orange and black bodies attached to window-paned wings.  If they land on us, and we are calm, say beekeepers, it will be a gentle touch; they will sting only to save their lives.  Bees are endangered, but all over the world, people are stepping up to save them — in backyards, science labs, and the abandoned lots of urban Detroit. We explore the art to building a relationship with bees, and the science of how they thrive and what we might do to preserve them for future generations. Original Air Date: July 28, 2018 Guests:  Heather Swan — Nicole Lindsey — Timothy Paule — Thor Hanson — Christof Koch — Tania Munz — Stephanie Elkins — Peter Sobol — Anne Strainchamps Interviews In This Hour:  Falling In Love With Bees — Listening To The Mood Of The Hive — 'Medicine' — Why We Ought to Live a 'Pro-Bee Lifestyle' — Rebuilding Detroit, Hive by Hive — 'Honeybee' — How Do We Wrap Our Minds Around Bee Consciousness? — Waggle Dancing with Karl von Frisch — 'To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee'

 Mysteries of Migration | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:53

If you had to travel 500 miles across country, on foot, with no map, no GPS, without talking to anyone — to a destination you've never seen, could you do it? It sounds impossible, but millions of creatures spend their lives on the move, migrating from one part of the Earth to another with navigation skills we can only dream of. How do they do it — and what can we learn from them? Original Air Date: July 25, 2020 Guests: Moses Augustino Kumburu — David Wilcove — Stan Temple — David Barrie — Sonia Shah Interviews In This Hour: The Serengeti's Great Migration, Up Close — Why Do Animals Migrate? — Sandhill Cranes Make The Long Journey South — The Greatest Navigators on the Planet — The High Costs — And Potential Gains — Of Migration, Both Animal And Human

 Going Underground | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:49

Scientists and explorers have found a whole new world, ripe for discovery, under our feet. The earth's underground is teeming with life, from fungal networks to the deep microbiome miles below the planet's crust. It's an exciting place, and it's changing what we know about the planet and ourselves. Original Air Date: November 02, 2019 Guests: Robert Macfarlane — Jill Heinerth — Ben Holtzman — Werner Herzog — Christine Desdemaines-Hugon Interviews In This Hour: Why We Descend Into Darkness — A Cave Diver's Treks Through The Veins Of The Earth — How To Listen To An Earthquake — Why Werner Herzog Is Awe-Struck — Finding Our Ancestors in Ancient Cave Art  pW6TkBklA1pNfk8GXhMi

 The Power of Pleasure and Joy | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:35

What if the most unselfish thing you could do was to pursue pleasure? To look for delight? To feel joy? We make the case for the transformative power of joy, pleasure and delight. Original Air Date: October 12, 2019 Guests:  Ross Gay — Kathryn Bond Stockton — Laurie Santos — Lynne Segal Interviews In This Hour:  365 Days Of Delight: A Poet's Guide To Finding Joy — A Queer Theorist On Ecstatic Kissing — Laboratory of Joy: A Psychologist On The Science of Feeling Good — The Revolution Will Be Joyful: Feminist Lynne Segal On Fighting Power With Pleasure — The People Power Of Happiness

 Jazz Migrations | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:37

Music crosses boundaries between traditional and modern, local and global, personal and political. Take jazz — a musical form born out of forced migration and enslavement. We typically think it originated in New Orleans and then spread around the world. But today, we examine an alternate history of jazz — one that starts in Africa, then crisscrosses the planet, following the movements of people and empires -- from colonial powers to grassroots revolutionaries to contemporary artists throughout the diaspora. This history of jazz is like the music itself: fluid and improvisatory.   In this hour, produced in partnership with the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) — a global consortium of 270 humanities centers and institutes — we hear how both African and African-American music have shaped the sound of the world today.   Original Air Date: July 04, 2020 Guests:  Meklit Hadero — Valmont Layne — Gwen Ansell — Ron Radano Interviews In This Hour:  How Meklit Hadero Reimagined Ethiopian Jazz — So You Say You Want A Revolution — Reclaiming the Hidden History of South African Jazz — 'We Are All African When We Listen' Further Reading: CHCI Ideas from Africa Hub

 Music on Your Mind | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:43

Millions of people are caring for someone with severe memory loss, trying to find ways to connect. One of the best ways anyone has found is music. We examine the unexpected power of song to supercharge the human mind. Original Air Date: August 17, 2019 Guests: Shannon Henry Kleiber — Oliver Sacks — Francine Toder — Anne Basting Interviews In This Hour: The Power Of Music And Memory: 'Music Was Waking Up Something Within Each Of Them' — The Deep Connections Our Brains Make To Music — It's Never Too Late To Learn To Play — MacArthur Fellow Anne Basting On Asking People With Dementia 'Beautiful Questions'

 Breaking the Chains | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:38

America is in the midst of what seems like a race revolution. Street protests are continuing across the country. Police departments are enacting changes. Confederate statues are coming down. What's next in the fight for Black equality? We take a hard look at how racism infects not only the police, but the entire criminal justice system. Original Air Date: June 20, 2020 Guests: Michelle Alexander — Bryan Stevenson — Ruth Wilson Gilmore — Malcolm Gladwell — Khalil Gibran Muhammad — Connie Rice — Colson Whitehead Interviews In This Hour: 'The New Jim Crow'? Our Criminal Justice System — The Violence of a Violent Justice System — Can Capitalism Reduce Mass Incarceration? — Fearing the Black Man — Malcolm Gladwell on 'When Police Kill' — 'Why Do Police Do Traffic Stops?' Journalist Malcolm Gladwell On Rethinking Law Enforcement — Reforming The LAPD

 More Than Just a Game | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:31

We play them to pass the time at family functions, or to relax after a long day of work or school. But board games say so much more than we think — about our relationships, our politics, our histories. We learn the storied history of Mahjong, play a few classic games with some modern twists, and consider the mental brutality that is competitive chess. *Original Air Date: * November 30, 2019 **Guests: ** Angelo Bautista — Eric Thurm — Brin-Jonathan Butler — Annelise Heinz — Linda Feinstein — Jeff Yang **Interviews In This Hour: ** Picking Up The Pieces Of Mahjong — What You Learn In The 'Magic Circle' — Chess, A Perfect Game for Crushing Your Opponent’s Ego


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