Smart, informative conversations and interviews that go beyond mere headlines and sound bites.
There are over ten million people in prison worldwide, and the experiences of those prisoners differ drastically from prison to prison and from country to country. The pay gap between men and women has shrunk a lot since the 1970s, but progress has stalled. NASA's developed a plan to clean up orbit. Also on today's show: Alaskan middle schoolers endure an unusual final exam; robot designers borrow a trick from the human body.
If you need therapy and love watching movies, YouTube channel Cinema Therapy is for you. TIME picked a kid of the year for the first time. A program that helps low-income kids cope emotionally and socially keeps benefitting them years later. Also on today's show: a replay of our Thanksgiving special canvasses the history of Thanksgiving on the celebration of its 400th anniversary, the British celebration of the landing of the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock, and preparing and tasting different foods are a great way to introduce kids to making healthy, varied choices.
Since COVID-19 suppressed the celebration of the 400th anniversary of Thanksgiving, Americans celebrate the anniversary this year. Across the pond, Brits celebrate the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock. A nonprofit helps kids enjoy and make the foods on their dinner plates. Also, on today's show: the US's dietary guidelines come under fire; nearly all apps today seem to be playing games with users; British citizens turned up over 47,000 artifacts in their backyards.
Smell is the most expendable sense according to millennials, but would you give it up? A world memory champion explains how he got to where he is. Letting your mind wander might take you to new, fantastical places in reality just as much as it does in imagination. Also, on today's show: a new initiative gets stories by and about Black families published; debate rages over the fate of American wild horses; TV is teaching tweens and teens some perhaps questionable values.
Diseases are evolving to survive medicine—and some think that doctors are actually to blame. Pronouncing a name correctly is a huge indicator of respect. Girls on the autism spectrum manifest symptoms differently than boys do, which could affect how they're treated. Also, on today's show: the time might be right for a third party to break into American politics; research suggests that a doomsday scenario might be a little further than it appears; bacteria in the belly shapes processes in the brain.
Just being nice isn't always enough - we need deep kindness. DNA analysis unfolds the mysterious origins of Polynesian Islanders. How a mother's letter led Tennessee to ratify the 19th Amendment and give women the vote nationwide. Also, on today's show: meet the US State Department's first-ever ambassador of hip-hop; why spirituality and religious beliefs are typically ignored when treating serious mental illness; an upcoming exhibit will feature aquatic creatures that normally lurk thousands of feet below the ocean.
The importance of discerning fact from fiction when searching health information online. How empty buildings in the suburbs are being turned into community centers and libraries. Why does a meme go viral? Also, on today's show: the threats facing California's coastal kelp forests; the importance of the voice inside your head.
The Bush family has unique experiences with politicians in the home. Indigenous tribes in Brazil are making their voices and stories heard through a new documentary. A viral community-created musical version of Ratatouille turned into a fully-produced Broadway concert. Also, on today's show: the educational game 5 STA-Z engages students in a Ugandan refugee camp in a new way; blind classical singers learn pronunciation and diction in a different way than singers who can see. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Why homelessness is becoming a more visible problem along the West Coast. The Associated Press is making waves in media industry standards. From North Korea to Norway, a journalist travels the outline of the world's largest country in search of the answer to one question: what is it like to be Russia's neighbor? Also, on today's show: rest is an important part of learning; how to encourage curiosity in children without going nuts fielding their endless questions.
Could personal choice stop gun-related deaths by suicide? How a non-profit is connecting prisoners to their families without paying a lot of money for each phone call. What can parents do to improve their child's body image? Also, on today's show: what's being done to unearth the work of forgotten female Renaissance artists; using pink lights inside of greenhouses.
Lewy-body dementia is a common type of dementia but is harder to diagnose. Why is that? A sanctuary in Austin rescues animals from abuse and neglect and unites them with kids who have experienced similar trauma. A mysterious, virtually unexplored ecosystem deep in the ocean is now at risk. Also, on today's show: technology is trying to learn to smell as well as dogs can; the strange sleeping habits of octopuses; the truth behind cute, purebred little dogs.
Scientists craft very tiny computers to give to very tiny animals. The radio drama returns in the form of podcasting. Talking to strangers powerfully affects your mood and capabilities. Also on today's show: sharks are vanishing from oceans they once ruled; computers compose and compete; scientists tickle rats, and you, too, might be able to get in on the action.
A neurologist who studied memory disease all his life shares his struggle with Alzheimer's. An education researcher sums up why Common Core failed in a new book. Tests prove that helping others really does make us happier. A portrait of the real Daniel Boone.
Railroads not only changed America's landscape, but also created the first big business. Why Pan Am flight attendants were more than just a pretty face. How artificial intelligence is helping to track down lead water pipes. And why scientists decided to strap 3D glasses on cuttlefish.
How Black farmers received over a billion dollars in compensation in a discrimination case versus the US Department of Agriculture. Squirrels are inspiring researchers to learn from them in improving human and robotic agility. Also, on today's show: not translating information during evacuations can have devastating effects on migrants; we can change the way we see everyday moments to see the lines and shapes to connect everything.
The prison system ruptures families and relationships in a way that makes it harder for offenders to rehabilitate. Newly declassified documents show how the FBI tried to discredit Martin Luther King, Jr. at the time of his death. Food stamps don't make people healthier. Also, on today's show: unlocking letterlocking; the remarkable staying power of Lord of the Rings; how crabs can protect endangered reefs. (AP Photo/File)
Climate change poses a greater threat to American security than China, Russia, and Iran. A Chicago mentorship and therapy program is helping young men stay in school and out of trouble. Childcare workers are exiting en masse from their jobs, meaning a big shift for the families that rely on the industry. Also, on today's show: a psychologist says we're failing to prevent suicide because we misunderstand why suicide happens; how a unique kind of fabric deters mosquitos from biting through it.
We take a closer look at a very big week for the US Supreme Court. Then, a new housing program in California specifically for women who've spent years in prison for killing their abuser. Plus, how artificial intelligence has now helped to finish the symphony Beethoven didn't manage to finish before he died. Also, on today's show: why you should not listen to personal financial advice from people on social media; a helpline for perpetrators of abuse; a nutty nutrition supplement for babies that can prevent malnutrition from doing irreversible harm.
911 dispatchers need to be trained better to respond to calls involving mental illness and substance abuse. Afghan women are fighting Taliban restrictions with social media campaigns. A zombie plague is slowly consuming crops. Also, on today's show: an imagined illness can be contagious; a new movie helps us address the role of technology in our lives; a scientist discovers a better treatment for Lyme disease.
Why do churchgoing Americans trust their religious leaders' advice on COVID-19 more than they trust that of politicians and officials? You might want to think twice before killing a spider. And what if we designed cities around the needs of children? Also, on today's show: a nationwide chicken conspiracy; the massive legacy of Star Trek; how society can do a better job supporting women who suffer a miscarriage.
A paranormal investigator tracks down ghosts using science. An artist set up a free hotline for people to call and just scream. Godzilla is the longest-running film franchise in the world—what's the giant lizard's secret? Also, on today's show: the mission to save a rare palm tree; a popular chef shares her bizarre secret ingredients; how the harp became hip.
Why are TSAs around the country no longer asking to see boarding passes? How to take back some of the control you've handed over to big tech companies like Facebook and Apple. How a nonprofit is pushing states to prioritize kinship when placing children in foster care. Also, on today's show: people who stir up contention and anger online have a certain personality profile; how some media outlets are actively trying to regain your trust.
How you and I helped create the problems with the global supply chain. A major new vaccine has finally been approved for a very old disease – malaria. What took so long? How the US government's efforts to bolster the housing market after the 2008 crash helped create the current crisis of affordable housing. Also, on today's show: why the youngest employees in a company are at high risk for age-based discrimination; the reason urban legends have a way of becoming our spookiest stories; what Adele's new hit song and the COVID virus have in common. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)
If kids don't usually contract severe COVID-19, why do they still need the vaccine? Tiny swimming robots might solve plastic pollution in the ocean. Some social scientists believe we should ditch the labels baby boomer, Gen X, millennial, and Gen Z. Also, on today's show: a sponge that sops up oil could reduce oil spill damage; technology can make it easier for the elderly to live independently; more exercise might help those with cancer.
How listening to a refugee's story can change everything for that person – and maybe you as well. One of the four civilians who were part of SpaceX's historic all-civilian mission talks about how he ended up on the crew. Using virtual reality to treat extreme fear of something - like spiders. Also, on today's show: what the Nobel Prizes get wrong about how science works, and who does the work; how airlines and the public can help with unruly passengers on airlines; why some people care about what celebrities think about masks or the COVID vaccine. (Barbara Davidson/Pool Photo via AP)
Theft of LEGOs is on the rise—that's right, the little brick toy. A significant herd of Montana bison is now officially back under the care of the Native Americans whose land they're on. When you put a therapist and a filmmaker in the same room and give them a movie to watch, you get cinema therapy. Also, on today's show: why a surprising number of people say the best years are their 30s; how it's possible to solve the murder of an MI-6 agent without access to any secret intelligence; how the opera can remedy some COVID-19 symptoms.
A generation of Americans with autism say that acceptance and support are what they need and not cures. Then, an immigrant who built a multi-million-dollar company out of her basement shares her story. Also, on today's show: a virtual reality theater makes it possible for performers and audiences to connect even when they are far apart; Southern diets get an unfairly bad rap for being unhealthy.
The tug of war between consumption and economic recession. Then, what's happening to the outdoorsy towns that are being flooded by young people working remotely by day and recreating outdoors after hours? And, a classic game becomes the favorite of a whole new generation. Also, on today's show: what people who spent 40 days underground learned about the passage of time; the answers to why women haven't evolved larger pelvic bones so that babies could be born more easily.
First on Top of Mind, what journalism has to do with democracy and peace. Then, how zombie story origins have evolved from black magic to viruses. And, for some people, audiobooks are more than just entertaining; they're life-changing. Next, how smartwatches could help prevent the next pandemic. Also, why people who are anxious about or tend to avoid relationships often end up more attached to fictional TV characters instead. Finally, the number of kids experiencing serious depression and anxiety has been increasing. We'll meet a therapist who's designed a card game to teach coping techniques.
A woman who survived the Bosnian genocide shares her story. Lots of us love bees, but we should love wasps too! Compared to democratically elected leaders, dictators have a certain “look” that's easy to pick up on. Also, on today's show: the strange, darkly colored fish that live at the bottom of the sea; the modern benefits of the ancient practice of fish farming; the awkwardness inherent to conversations.
Why Facebook is having, what some are calling, a “Big Tobacco” moment. Then, a 3D printer that prints food and cooks it with lasers as it prints. And, an astronaut shares the lessons she learned while up in space. Also, on today's show: some potential reasons why over four million Americans quit their jobs in August; animals are evolving rapidly to keep up with the demands of climate change.
Is China on the verge of war with Taiwan? Then, what happens when you let anyone – be that people living on the street or with a serious addiction – create and record music for free. And, a cartoon book that tries to demystify the US healthcare system. Also, on today's show: a social studies course for 9th graders that boosted their school success for the rest of high school; a walking path that traces the “origin story” of the Middle East; why so many species have been declared extinct. (Military News Agency via AP)
What you need to know about the new pill for treating COVID-19. Then, how conservatives seem to be finding their voice in late-night TV and political satire comedy. And, a voice actress pranks scam callers with impressive impersonations. Also, on today's show: Pop It! toys are suddenly popping up everywhere; why product placement is exploding on streaming shows, and whether it works; why men are at higher risk for suicide than are women.
Europe and Asia are facing a critical shortage of natural gas—why isn't the US? Then, restaurants are so desperate for workers that some are making a radical change in how they pay their workers. And, a Nobel Peace Prize winner talks about how Facebook threatens democracy. Also, on today's show: the little helicopter-seedpods we played with as kids inspired engineers to create a microchip that floats in the same way; climate change and social media are making things worse for cheetahs; the pandemic has got a lot of people falling out of love with their job.
Why are the rich and powerful of the world stashing their money in South Dakota? Then, people who witness sexual harassment don't often report it. And, celebrating babies born on planes. Also, on today's show: humans live twice as long as they did just 100 years ago; why the lautenwerck, a once-popular instrument, faded out of use and memory.
The US Supreme Court is tackling some of the most divisive issues in American politics right now. Then, TikTok is speeding up trendy slang words. And, many Americans stand firm in the belief that they have the right to choose their medical treatment—but the Constitution doesn't guarantee that right. Also, on today's show: pretty, white, young women who go missing tend to attract more attention from the media; how something mundane ends up unused in the closet for months and months while you wait for just the right moment to use it. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool, File)
How did the US military mistake an Afghan aid worker for a terrorist in a deadly drone strike? Then, meet the chef who helped cook up the world's most expensive French fries—they'll set you back $200. And, why Facebook is in such hot water right now with Congress. Also, on today's show: why China might want to build a spaceship that's half-mile long; mythological stories about the change of seasons; a 96-year old woman German woman faces murder charges in regards to a Nazi concentration camp.
President Biden says America's mistake in Afghanistan was trying to “nation-build - what does that mean? Then, the pipeline that brings stuff from Asia into US stores is seriously clogged. And, why menopause is so poorly understood and hardly ever discussed openly. Also, on today's show: large-scale kelp farms could address the carbon problem in the atmosphere; climate change in Alaska transforms native Alaskan communities; why schools are a top target for ransomware hackers. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
A woman shares her progression from poverty to the presidency of a major university. Then, why privacy advocates are so worried about Apple's plan to look for child pornography in the photos on people's iPhones. And, it's become more common in America for people to cut off ties with a family member. Also, on today's show: zoos and art are vital to making people care about wildlife conservation; everyone needs a hug; most people understand certain sounds, even if they speak different languages or whether they can read or write.
Depression and anxiety are increasing among us, and a large percentage of people get no lasting relief from standard treatment, either medication or therapy. What if the answer is in our brains? Psychologist Lisa Miller has come to believe that spirituality is the brain's natural shield against depression and anxiety, and she's got the scientific evidence to back that up. Miller is a professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University and director of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute at Columbia Teachers College. Her new book is “The Awakened Brain: The New Science of Spirituality and Our Quest for an Inspired Life.”
A woman with autism finds her voice and releases her poetry at the age of 25. Then, a food writer comes up with an entirely new shape of pasta. And, insurance companies have stopped footing the bill for COVID-19 tests and treatments. Also, on today's show: why families develop words or phrases that mean something special to them; donating to thrift stores doesn't do much good; a bestselling author revisits the agony of 8th grade.
The son of Martin Luther King Jr. discusses voting rights and a community built on respect and dignity. Then, a civil rights group uses New York's Fashion Week to make a big statement about surviving sexual assault. And, A new book teaches white kids about racism. Also, on today's show: how potential students taking a nontraditional path to medical school can get help; how paper can cool buildings down from dangerous temperatures.
Why a nuclear submarine deal between Australia, America, and the UK has France upset. Then, some word-of-mouth COVID-19 remedies aren't just wrong—they're downright dangerous. And, why El Salvador recognized bitcoin as legal tender. Also, on today's show: technology might help eliminate drunk driving; one woman fights for vitiligo empowerment; how low turnout in local elections makes it possible for fringe groups to flex more power in city policies. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)
How Germany's long-time leader, Angela Merkel, shaped the European Union. Then, a new understanding of dopamine's effect on the brain has us rethinking addiction treatment. And, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes explains why recognizing silly scientific research is serious business. Also, on today's show: why the fertility industry has relatively little regulation; why girls and women outperform boys and men at all levels of education; a type of co-parenting that helps maintain stability for children while a couple divorces. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
The reason why tens of thousands of migrants from Haiti arrived at the US/Mexico border. Then, a look at the risks and opportunities in Tesla's plans to create a human-like robot. And, is it good for science that many of the most impressive dinosaur discoveries end up on the auction block? Also on today's show: how scientists are trying to grow meat from animals cells; dancing can help children cope with trauma; NASA is preparing to launch an enormous new telescope into space and everything has to go just right. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)
Today on Top of Mind: First, how a salute used by characters in The Hunger Games novels became a real-life symbol of revolution. Then, police reform negotiations fell apart in Congress this week over the topic of qualified immunity; we'll find out what that is. And, training plants to detect soil contamination and send word to the lab. Next, the real history of how McDonald's became so ubiquitous in Black neighborhoods across America. Also, only Congress can declare war. But that's not how things have worked in America for decades. Finally, a solution to the overflowing outhouses plaguing remote corners of state and national parks. (AP Phioto/Sakchai Lalit)
We get to the bottom of all this news about COVID vaccine booster shots. Then, how a weird internet joke made ‘80s pop legend Rick Astley a legend. And, the CDC is now funding research for gun violence and insists the goal is not to restrict gun access. Also, on today's show: a new book studies the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II; at-home tests for COVID-19 could help to end the pandemic, but first they need to be cost-effective. (Photo courtesy of KnowYourMeme.com)
What the recent recall election in California tells us about the current political climate in America. Then, the latest developments in treating food allergies. And, the gray wolf may be back on the decline not long after being removed from the endangered species list. Also, on today's show: making the MRI machine mobile; fuzzy puppets may be useful in therapy for children with autism; the story behind the first all-black high school rowing team in the country. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Who are the Taliban officials now leading Afghanistan's government, and what do their appointments signal for the country's women? Then, will America's prisons be able to keep up with their aging population and age-related illnesses? And, how some states are trying to hold companies that make products responsible for dealing with the packaging waste those products create. Also, on today's show: how approval voting works and why some grassroots activists say it can help with America's political polarization; movies where Cinderella gets a say in her own life; how tourist sites commemorating tragedy can be adapted for kids' understanding. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Is it possible for a judge to set aside their political and religious beliefs when they're ruling on issues like abortion or gun rights? Then, why relaxing isn't a waste of time. And, “Little Women,” by Louisa May Alcott, gets reimagined. Also, on today's show: some human rights are so fundamental they're wired into our brains; why infectious disease researchers are releasing more mosquitoes into communities already suffering from Dengue fever; how the pandemic transformed our relationship with celebrities.