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"WPR Politics" is a weekly podcast about the ins and outs of Wisconsin's political news. Host John K. Wilson and WPR reporters clue listeners into stories they may have missed and tell them what's actually interesting about stories they've already heard a thousand times.
 
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.
 
In 2010, Wisconsin got a federal grant to build a high-speed rail line between Madison and Milwaukee. Derailed is the story of how the rail project came together, how it fell apart and how Wisconsin changed along the way.
 
Each week, the WPR morning host welcomed financial expert Kevin McKinley to discuss financial matters with listeners. "On Your Money" originally aired as the 8am segment on Tuesdays on "The Morning Show" and was rebroadcast on Saturdays at Noon on the Ideas Network stations. The program was retired on August 4, 2018.
 
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After a pandemic year of social isolation, we knew loneliness would be a problem. But public health officials have been warning for years that in countries all over the world, rates of loneliness are skyrocketing. How did loneliness become a condition of modern life? Original Air Date: April 10, 2021 Guests: Jason Rohrer — Samantha Rose Hill — Clau…
 
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 H…
 
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 recl…
 
Colonization in Africa was much more than a land grab. It was a project to replace — and even erase — local cultures. To label them inferior. Music, arts, literature and of course language. In other words, it permeated everything. So how do you undo that? How do you unlearn what you’ve been forced to learn? Original Air Date: March 20, 2021 Guests:…
 
DNA tests are uncovering family histories. In some cases they're also revealing mixed bloodlines and the buried history of slavery. For African Americans, this can be emotionally-charged. What do you do when you find out one of your direct ancestors was a slave owner? And does it open the door to new conversations about racial justice and social he…
 
This week marks one year since the last episode of the WPR Politics Podcast that we all recorded together in the same room — and what a year it has been. So, in an endeavor of profound self reflection, we went back and listened to that episode to see what few things we knew back then about the COVID-19 pandemic, and all the ways it would come to af…
 
We're back! Kristina Salceanu, the founder of Advent of Change, joins us for a fascinating chat about scaling up a small business. We chat about launching and marketing new products in the charity sector, using brand advocates to your advantage and how social media can help to propel your ideas and make them a reality. Don't forget to share and sub…
 
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 crisscrosse…
 
It's a bit unusual for us to devote an entire episode to a single Wisconsin politician, but lately, Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson has been in the news — a lot. He's been amplifying refuted claims about election fraud; he's been downplaying the severity of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection and questioning who was involved; and he's been a ringleade…
 
With the way the world is moving these days, you could be forgiven for totally forgetting all those Wisconsin election challenges brought by former President Donald Trump and his supporters after his loss in November 2020. But state GOP lawmakers remember, and this week they introduced a huge slate of election bills, many of which would make change…
 
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: Rober…
 
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 — …
 
It's been 10 years this week since former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker introduced sweeping legislation gutting the state's once-strong public-sector unions, leading to giant protests and epic political drama. Whether you remember Act 10 like it was yesterday, or you weren't around yet like two-thirds of the WPRPP team, gather round. It's storytime.…
 
We take a look at the romantic tropes of modern love and how they’re changing. Do the old dreams of true love and happiness ever after fit our new lives and new identities? Original Air Date: February 13, 2021 Guests: Logan Ury — Angelo Bautista — Jane Ward — Angela Chen — Bara Jichova Tyson Interviews In This Hour: The New Coffee Date: COVID-19 Pu…
 
Hope means believing there’s a future. But can hope co-exist with cataclysmic realities like climate change, or disruptive technological advances like artificial intelligence? What’s ahead for future generations? Original Air Date: May 04, 2019 Guests: Roy Scranton — Anne Lamott — Amy Webb — Victor LaValle — Robert Zubrin Interviews In This Hour: C…
 
We’ve all been there, that place where we feel hope slipping away. Maybe we’ve even lost hope. This hour we talk with people who’ve turned that around and made hope real, whether it’s through political activism, faith, music, or reading a life-changing novel. Original Air Date: April 27, 2019 Guests: DeRay Mckesson — Lydia Hester — Serene Jones — M…
 
Is hope something we’re innately born with, or something we can choose to have? We talk with people who tell us where they think hope lives in ourselves and our communities. Original Air Date: April 20, 2019 Guests: Andre Willis — Steven Pinker — Tali Sharot — Alice Walker — Chigozie Obioma — Claire Peaslee Interviews In This Hour: Defining A New G…
 
We’re in the midst of the largest vaccine rollout of our lives. A turning point, we hope. But it’s complicated — medically, logistically, philosophically. Who will get it first? Will it work? And, as a new variant of the virus emerges, will we get it in time? We decided to take you behind the scenes, talking with people who volunteered for trials, …
 
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 …
 
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-…
 
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, 20…
 
Over the past decade, plant scientists have quietly transformed the way we think of trees, forests and plants. They discovered that trees communicate through vast underground networks, that plants learn and remember. If plants are intelligent beings, how should we relate to them? Do they have a place in our moral universe? Should they have rights? …
 
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 Jablons…
 
Before the time of commercial flights and road trips, we traveled to far off places without taking a single step. All you had to do was open a book. From Africa to England, to a kamikaze cockpit, and to realms of fantasy. Books aren’t just books. They’re passports to anywhere. Original Air Date: March 14, 2020 Guests: Philip Pullman — Ruth Ozeki — …
 
We’re in the holiday season of the worst pandemic of our lives. Canceling our gatherings is the safe thing to do. But, how can we still — creatively and safely — connect with the people we love? Maybe there are some opportunities for us this year, too. Original Air Date: November 28, 2020 Guests: Priya Parker — Stanley Weintraub — Peter Reinhart — …
 
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-Youn…
 
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 Roth…
 
What do you do when the headlines are freaking you out and the news is making you tense? A lot of people find sports takes their mind off things. It’s like this one worry-free, politics-free zone. Until it isn’t. Original Air Date: November 07, 2020 Guests: Kurt Streeter — David Shields — Melissa Joulwan — Michael Powell Interviews In This Hour: A …
 
Be still. Prepare the altar. Gather around in a circle. Light the fire. And join us for rituals that will put fear in your heart. Because what if experiencing your fears — the dread, the horror of it all — is good for you? Original Air Date: October 26, 2019 Guests: Amy Stewart — Kathryn Harkup — Gemma Files — Dan Chaon — Blanche Barton Interviews …
 
Why don’t we all just take moment to acknowledge that we are collectively exhausted? The pandemic, the protests, the President’s Twitter feed — everything is exhausting. But maybe it doesn’t have to be? Original Air Date: October 24, 2020 Guests: Katrina Onstad — Emma Seppala — Richard Polt — Filip Bromberg — Lars Svendsen — Anne Helen Petersen Int…
 
Americans are getting ready to vote. But this election is different from other years. What's really on the ballot? Original Air Date: October 17, 2020 Guests: Kim Wehle — Carol Anderson — Jeremi Suri — Eric Liu Interviews In This Hour: A Choice Between 'We The People' And 'Something Darker' — Just 48 Years Of Free and Fair Elections — Where Are We …
 
New experiences actually rewire the brain. So after all we’ve been through this year, you have to wonder — are we different? We consider the "COVID brain" from the perspective of both neuroscience and the arts. Also, we go to Cavendish, Vermont to hear the remarkable story of Phineas Gage, the railroad worker whose traumatic brain injury changed th…
 
There's a certain a kind of visual encounter that can be life changing: A cross-species gaze. The experience of looking directly into the eyes of an animal in the wild, and seeing it look back. It happens more often than you’d think and it can be so profound, there’s a name for it: eye-to-eye epiphany. So what happens when someone with feathers or …
 
Africans are moving into cities in unprecedented numbers. Lagos, Nigeria, is growing by 77 people an hour — it's on track to become a city of 100 million. In 30 years, the continent is projected to have 14 mega-cities of more than 10 million people. It's perhaps the largest urban migration in history. These cities are not like Dubai, or Singapore, …
 
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 Int…
 
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