KERA's Think podcast

From the archives: What the world demands of deaf people

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When Jaipreet Virdi was a child, illness left her with severe hearing loss – leaving her in limbo between the deaf community and those who had no trouble hearing. She’s now an assistant history professor at the University of Delaware, and she joins host Krys Boyd to talk about her research into medicine’s long legacy of promised hearing cures and why science has yet to achieve a universal solution. Her book is called “Hearing Happiness: Deafness Cures in History.”

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  • KERA's Think podcast

    How bad ideas spread


    As families gather this holiday season – many for the first time in nearly two years – we may learn that some of our loved ones have developed a few ideas they didn’t have the last time we saw them. Today, host Krys Boyd looks at how disinformation spreads so easily. We’ll be joined by a journalist who writes about the changing media landscape, a linguist who explains how cults use very specific language to recruit new members, and a researcher who says bad ideas are parasites that infect our brains.
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    From the archives: Why people obsess over Pakistani mangoes


    Pakistani mangoes are prized for their taste and texture, but you have to be very internet savvy to find one. Food writer Ahmed Ali Akbar joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the backchannels of importing fruit, the lengths people will go to, and the customs bureaucracy that keeps foods from reaching American shores. His article “Inside the Secretive, Semi-Illicit, High Stakes World of WhatsApp Mango Importing” was published by Eater. This show originally aired on Sept. 16, 2021.
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    From the archives: Beyond biology: Rethinking what makes a family


    A man, a woman, and their 2.5 kids were considered the foundation of a solid family, but new research says diversity in parenting is actually good for the goose and the gander. Susan Golombok, director of the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge and a professional fellow at Newnham College, Cambridge, joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the outdated ideas we have about creating a happy home and the variety of parents out there who are thriving. Her new book is “We Are Family: The Modern Transformation of Parents and Children.” This show originally aired on Jan. 4 2021.
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    The Patricia Highsmith we never knew


    “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “Strangers on a Train” are just two of the classic works of fiction by Fort Worth-born author Patricia Highsmith – a writer of mysteries who was a mystery herself. Anna von Planta was Highsmith’s primary editor for the later part of her life, and she joins guest host John McCaa to discuss Highsmith’s literary legacy, as well as her private life, which was often marked by controversy. Von Planta is the author of “Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941-1995.”
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    Why we can’t stop eating


    What if managing our diet is less about fads and more about just enjoying real foods? Mark Schatzker of the Canadian Broadcast Corporation joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his journey into food production and eating habits around the world to discover secrets of health and happiness. His book is called “The End of Craving: Recovering the Lost Wisdom of Eating Well.”
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    Are tech companies more powerful than nations?


    By offering more and better-delivered services, tech companies are often much more efficient than government. Ian Bremmer is a political scientist and president of Eurasia Group, and he joins host Krys Boyd to talk about how the well-oiled machines of big technology – with their influence and reach into every part of daily life – are challenging national governments in shaping society. His article “The Technopolar Moment” was published in Foreign Affairs.
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    When disaster strikes, his phone always rings


    When disasters strike, local officials rely on the expertise of those who unfortunately have seen it all. Robert A. Jensen is chairman of Kenyon International Emergency Services, a disaster management company, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the delicate art of balancing practical management of large-scale disasters while honoring the humanity of families affected and the lives lost. His new book is “Personal Effects: What Recovering the Dead Teaches Me About Caring for the Living.”
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    A judge’s ideas on fixing the justice system


    Maybe the way to change a prejudiced justice system is from the inside out? Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell is the first African American woman to sit on the Superior Court of Northern California, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how racism finds its way into courtrooms – and about her efforts to be fair in an imperfect system. Her book is called “Her Honor: My Life on the Bench …What Works, What’s Broken, and How to Change It.”
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    Think Again: Life in transition


    On this week’s episode: what transitioning genders can look like at two different stages of life. Revisit the full conversation with Marlo Mack: Revisit the full conversation with Deirdre Nansen McCloskey:
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    The words we need that don’t exist


    It can seem impossible to put into words times when we’re overcome with emotion. John Koenig joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his work coining new words and phrases that he hopes will perfectly capture the nuance and beauty of specific moments in our lives when the words we have at our disposal fail. His book is called “The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.”

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