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 ttbook.org.
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'
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
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
The line between free speech and hate speech isn't always clear. When college students shout down a campus speaker, when a woman yells racial slurs in a parking lot, or when HR calls with a reprimand — when does free speech violate safe space? When does sensitivity become censorship? This weekend’s program "Filtering Free Speech" examines the difficult subject of censorship and free expression. In our first interview, acclaimed writer Walter Mosley uses the "N-word" four times to describe a very troubling experience when he was reprimanded for using this word in a Hollywood writers’ room. Mosley, who himself is black, was so angered by the exchange that he resigned from his job. The "N-word" is intrinsic to his story — not gratuitous — so we have chosen not to bleep the word. On the broadcast our host provides a very clear warning to alert listeners to what they will hear. If you'd prefer to listen to a censored version, you can listen to one here. Original Air Date: September 28, 2019 **Guests: ** Walter Mosley — Jonathan Haidt — Dorothy Kim — Alissa Quart — David Maraniss **Interviews In This Hour: ** An Uncomfortable Conversation In The Writers' Room — Who Decides Who Should Speak On Campus? — White Supremacists Are Embracing Symbols Of The Middle Ages. What's A Medieval Scholar To Do? — So You've Been Cancelled — What Can We Learn About Today From The McCarthy Era Blacklist? — Who Decides Who Should Speak? The Past And Present Of Free Speech On College Campuses
It's easy to take seeds for granted, to assume that there will always be more corn or wheat or rice to plant. But as monocropping and agribusiness continue to dominate modern farming, are we losing genetic diversity, cultural history, and the nutritional value of our food? We speak to farmers, botanists and indigenous people about how they are reclaiming our seeds. *Original Air Date: * September 14, 2019 **Guests: ** Bob Quinn — Robin Wall Kimmerer — Seth Jovaag — Cary Fowler **Interviews In This Hour: ** Where Did We Go Wrong With Wheat? — The Wisdom of the Corn Mother — The Seeds Of Tomorrow: Defending Indigenous Mexican Corn That Could Be Our Future — Saving Seeds For Future Generations — Ancient Grains, Native Corn, And The Doomsday Seed Vault: How Growing Food Might Survive Disaster
We’ve all been changed by the experience of living through a pandemic. We figured out how to sanitize groceries, mute ourselves on Zoom and keep from killing our roommates. But we’re also tackling bigger, existential questions — how can we, individually and collectively, find meaning in the experience of this pandemic? *Original Air Date: * May 23, 2020 **Guests: ** David Kessler — Tyrone Muhammad — Nikki Giovanni — John Kaag — Alice Kaplan **Interviews In This Hour: ** Grief Is A Natural Response To The Pandemic. Here’s Why You Should Let Yourself Feel It. — 'You Smell Death': Being A Mortician In A Community Ravaged By COVID-19 — Nikki Giovanni Reads a Poem of Remembrance — Does Philosophy Still Matter In The Age Of Coronavirus? — Why Camus' 'The Stranger' Is Still a Dangerous Novel
Not everyone has a nice, big yard to stretch out in while sheltering in place from COVID-19. But maybe you don't need one. People are using virtual spaces to live out the real experiences they miss — like coffee shops, road trips, even building your own house on a deserted island, or Walden Pond. In a world where we're mostly confined to our homes and Zoom screens, does the line between virtual and real-life space mean much anymore? Original Air Date: * *May 16, 2020 *Guests: * Mark Riechers — Tracy Fullerton — Simon Parkin — Jane McGonigal — Donald D. Hoffman — Suzanne O’Sullivan *Interviews In This Hour: * There's No Pandemic In Animal Crossing — I Went To The Woods To Level Up Deliberately — The Most Boring Video Game Ever Made — Want to be Happier? Turn Everyday Tasks Into a Game — How We Fool Ourselves With The Concept of 'Reality' Further Reading: NYAS: Reality Is Not As It Seems
Rustling of leaves, sploshing of water, birds calling, bees buzzing. Wherever you live — city or country, East coast, West coast, or in between — we share common, contemplative experiences on our walks outside. In this hour, we assemble a sonic guide to finding solace in nature. Original Air Date: * *May 09, 2020 *Guests: * William Helmreich — David Rothenberg — Laura Dassow Walls — Robert Moor — Nate Staniforth — Andreas Weber *Interviews In This Hour: * The Great Urban Nature Explorer — Why The Walden Pond Experiment In Self-Reliance Is More Relevant Than Ever — The Wisdom of Trails — Lose Yourself In The Sky — Finding Love In The Ecosystem
We owe our past and future existence on Earth to fungi. Some can heal you, some can kill you, and some can change you forever. And the people who love them are convinced that mushrooms explain the world. Original Air Date: * *June 08, 2019 *Guests: * Lawrence Millman — Paul Stamets — Eugenia Bone — Michael Pollan — Dennis McKenna — Robin Carhart-Harris *Interviews In This Hour: * Humanity? It All Started With The Raven and Fungus Man — The Soil-Cleaning, Insect-Warding, Smallpox-Curing Power of Mushrooms — From Candy Caps To Morels: Notes From A Mushroom Hunter's Cookbook — John Cage, Vaclav Halek and the Marvels of Mushroom Music — Did Magic Mushrooms Shape Human Consciousness? — 'Fantastic Fungi' And How To Film Them
In times of crisis, we need music. We look at how far people will go — even under quarantine, during a pandemic — to find ways to make music together. Original Air Date: * *April 25, 2020 *Guests: * Lisa Bielawa — Varttina — Bobby McFerrin — Moken — Vijay Iyer — Brandy Clark — Nicole Paris — Edward Cage *Interviews In This Hour: * Putting The Mood Of COVID-19 To Music — The Haunting Finnish Acapella of Värttinä — The 50 Voices of Bobby McFerrin — A Bold and Beautiful Voice from Cameroon — Vijay Iyer on Jazz, Improvisation and the Origins of Music — Country Singer Brandy Clark on a Big Day in a Small Town — Beatboxing With My Dad
We all miss touching things — groceries, door knobs, hands, faces. And most of all, skin. The living tissue that simultaneously protects us from the world, and lets us feel it. In this episode, the politics, biology, and inner life of your skin. Original Air Date: April 18, 2020 **Guests: ** Angelo Bautista — Tiffany Field — Alissa Waters — Nina Jablonski **Interviews In This Hour: ** My Problem With Skincare — Even During Quarantine, You Need A 'Daily Dose Of Touch' — Reclaiming Scars As Works Of Art — The Science Of Skin Color
We all tell stories about our lives: funny stories, happy stories, sad stories. But are they true stories? In an age of “alternative facts” and “fake news,” we’re all thinking harder about why truth matters – not just in politics, but in our personal lives. A biographer, a poet, a memoirist and a filmmaker describe the moral struggle and personal cost involved in telling not just the truth, but the whole truth. Original Air Date: November 10, 2018 *Guests: * Caroline Fraser — Terese Marie Mailhot — Karl Ove Knausgård — Errol Morris *Interviews In This Hour: * Little Lie in the Big Woods — When It's Real, The Stakes Are Higher — 'This Novel Has Hurt Everyone Around Me': A Frank Conversation with Karl Ove Knausgaard — Errol Morris: Thomas Kuhn Threw an Ashtray at Me
Why do people turn to poetry during troubled times? We saw it after 9/11 and we're seeing it now as the coronavirus travels around the world. When the world seems broken, poetry is often the one kind of language that helps. Original Air Date: * *April 04, 2020 *Guests: * Kitty O'Meara — Jericho Brown — Edward Hirsch — Alice Walker — Ken Nordine — Li-Young Lee — Jimmy Santiago Baca *Interviews In This Hour: * A Viral Poem For A Virus Time — Can A Poem Be A Prayer? — Poetry In A Time Of Grief And Loss — Hope Rises. It Always Does. — Li-Young Lee's Love Poetry — Ken Nordine's 'Yellow' — Words Can Change Your Life
This week, To the Best of Our Knowledge comes to you from our kitchens and homes. We’re safe, but we’ve all been thinking about the people on the front lines of the pandemic — doctors, nurses and hospital staffs. We’ve been seeing them on social media — the nurses in NYC wearing garbage bags because there aren’t enough sterile gowns. Doctors figuring out those weird new face masks. Those incredibly brave doctors and nurses in Italy, Spain, France, the U.S. This hour we tell some remarkable stories of doctors and scientists who are saving lives. *Original Air Date: * March 28, 2020 **Guests: ** Larry Brilliant — Josh Mezrich — Missy Makinia — Manu Prakash **Interviews In This Hour: ** The Hippie Doctor Who Helped Eradicate Smallpox — Would You Give Your Kidney to a Stranger? — Could a 50 Cent Microscope Change the World?
Even with all the music available today, most of us still listen primarily to just a few comfy genres. But there’s so much more out there — and so much of it defies neat, algorithm-friendly categorization. Original Air Date: * *June 01, 2019 *Guests: * Kevin Gift — Wendel Patrick — Philip Glass — Robert Glasper — Toni Blackman — Clarice Jensen — Evelyn Glennie — Nikka Costa *Interviews In This Hour: * How One Man Became Two Musicians — Philip Glass Asks 'Where Does Music Come From?' — Jazz That Smells Like Teen Spirit — Hip Hop as Diplomacy — A Former Child Pop Star Performs America’s Songbook — An Acclaimed Cellist Goes Rogue — Touching The Sound Of Everyday Objects