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  • Alternatives to a Hectic and Expensive Holiday

    How will you celebrate the holidays this year? Will you max out your credit cards buying gifts for everyone you know? Will you celebrate an “Alt-Christmas” by baking cookies for everyone or making your gifts by hand? How do you plan to handle the stress of the holidays? We’ll spend this hour with Nicole Berckes […]

  • Nature, Nurture, and Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong

    We all know the difference between right and wrong, but why do we know that one action is morally superior to another? Philosophers and scientists have long argued that our ability to reason, coupled with our education and socialization have developed the “moral compass” which guides each of us through life. Harvard biologist Marc D. […]

  • Postcards from Mars

    We’re approaching the third anniversary of the Spirit and Opportunity Rover landings on Mars, and the rovers, which were expected to function for a few months at best, are still exploring the red planet and sending stunning photographs home. We’ll spend this hour with Jim Bell, the NASA scientist responsible for the rovers’ color imaging […]

  • Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization

    It’s been said that every cloud has a silver lining, but what exactly is good about the breakdown of a society and what leads to that breakdown in the first place? Political scientist Thomas Homer-Dixon will join us this hour to discuss his new book “The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of […]

  • Farmers Branch Ordinances and llegal Immigration

    Earlier this month, the Farmers Branch City Council passed an ordinance designed to thwart illegal immigration by requiring apartment renters to provide proof of citizenship or residency. The council also agreed that Farmers Branch police officers should be allowed to check immigration status of detainees and begin deportation proceedings in certain cases. We’ll talk about […]

  • The Trouble with Diversity

    Is there a problem with the current idea of diversity? Has our cultural focus on identity allowed economic inequality to flourish? Walter Benn Michaels, professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago, argues (among other things) that affirmative action in schools has not made them more open, it’s just guaranteed that the rich […]

  • Is the Christian Right Reimagining U.S. History?

    Are fundamentalists rewriting U.S. History? Jeff Sharlet thinks so. The Harper’s Magazine contributing editor and editor of The examines new interpretations of our nation’s past in textbooks and teaching guides in his December cover story “Through a Glass Darkly: How the Christian Right is Reimagining U.S. History.” Jeff Sharlet will join us for the […]

  • The Secret Life of Houdini

    Who was Harry Houdini? We know him as a magician and escape artist. But did you know he was an aviator, a movie mogul, and a spy? We’ll spend this hour with William Kalush and Larry Sloman, co-authors of “The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero” (Atria, 2006).

  • A Veteran Reporter's View of History

    Today is the 43rd anniversary of one of Dallas’ most infamous days – the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. We’ll talk this hour with a journalist who was on-duty that day. Eddie Barker was news director and anchor of KRLD-TV, Channel 4 and was prepared to cover Kennedy’s address at the Trade Mart. […]

  • The Extreme Future

    What does the future hold? Can we even plan for the future? Futurist Dr. James Canton examines ideas as diverse as radical life extension, a self-aware internet and the future of energy production in his new book “The Extreme Future: The Top Trends That Will Reshape the World for the Next 5, 10, and 20 […]