KERA's Think podcast

Want to help the planet? Stop buying so much

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It’s Cyber Monday, so that means a spending spree for holiday gifts — which might be fun for you but is rough on the planet. Journalist J. B. MacKinnon joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the push-pull between the supposed economic harm of less shopping with the environmental impacts of buying too much. His book is called “The Day the World Stops Shopping: How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves.”

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  • KERA's Think podcast

    Why your kids are obsessed with toy videos


    Have you heard of the child star with international reach who got his start by opening boxes of toys? If not, your kids surely have. New York Times writer Jay Caspian Kang joins host Krys Boyd to talk about 10-year-old Ryan Kaji and the $25 million a year toy empire he built with the help of his parents that has major brands angling for partnerships. His article is for The New York Times magazine is headlined “The Boy King of YouTube.”
  • KERA's Think podcast

    Strangers are friends you haven’t met yet


    Learning to respect one another is important, but what if we could take it a step further and actually learn to love even our opponents. Valarie Kaur is a Sikh activist, lawyer, filmmaker and founder of the Revolutionary Love Project, and she joins host Krys Boyd to talk about her approach to conflict resolution and why she says every interaction we have should begin with love. Her book is called “See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love.”
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  • KERA's Think podcast

    How our emotions guide our decisions


    It’s an evolutionary benefit that our feelings are not separate from our thoughts. Theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow joins host Krys Boyd to discuss emerging science working to better understand how our decisions, big and small, are influenced by our emotions, and why harnessing that knowledge can help us lead happier, healthier lives. His book is called “Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking.”
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    Here’s why you’re burned out at work


    One takeaway from the current Great Resignation is workers are burned out. Author Jonathan Malesic joins host Krys Boyd to talk about what we can do about feelings of worthlessness and exhaustion, whether that’s from inside a cubical or via the virtual office. His book is called “The End of Burnout: Why Work Drains Us and How to Build Better Lives.”
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    From the archives: Ronald Reagan’s daughter on Alzheimer’s and caregiving


    When her father, President Ronald Reagan, announced he had Alzheimer’s, Patti Davis and her family began a very public journey to cope with the disease. Davis joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the support group she founded and the struggle with prolonged grief that comes with the illness. Her book is “Floating in the Deep End: How Caregivers can See Beyond Alzheimer’s.” This episode originally aired Dec. 2, 2021.
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    Our hobbies, ourselves


    If you picked up baking sourdough during the pandemic, 59-percent of Americans joined you in a hobby, too. Julie Beck, senior editor at The Atlantic, joins guest host Courtney Collins to discuss why our free time is often seen as a hole to fill with activity and productivity, and why that might be more a reflection on capitalism rather than personal goals. Her recent article is “How Hobbies Infiltrated American Life.”
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    The life-changing prospects of prom night


    Prom is a rite of passage for American teens, and the stories that emerge from that night can shape the rest of a life. Author Navdeep Singh Dhillon joins guest host Courtney Collins to discuss his YA novel set at a high school prom, where a young Sikh boy wants to radically change his identity – and along with a similarly dispositioned girl – sets off for a night of adventure and hard lessons. The book is called “Sunny G’s Series of Rash Decisions.”
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    From the archives: When our bodies attack us


    One of medicine’s great mysteries is: Why does the body’s immune system sometimes attack itself? Scientific American senior editor Josh Fischman joins guest host Courtney Collins to talk about rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases and the progress being made to fight them. “The Body Against Itself” appears in the September issue of Scientific American. This episode originally aired on Sept. 21, 2021
  • KERA's Think podcast

    How trauma is etched onto our brains


    Even the smallest stressors can imprint significant traumas on our bodies and brains. Rutgers University professor Tracey Shors joins guest host Courtney Collins to discuss how the body processes trauma and the therapeutic approaches to help mitigate the negative effects it has on our lives. Her book is called “Everyday Trauma: Remapping the Brain’s Response to Stress, Anxiety, and Painful Memories for a Better Life.”
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    From the archives: Animals sometimes don’t follow the rules


    When bears attack, there’s probably an animal conflict resolution specialist standing by to take on the case. Mary Roach joins guest host Courtney Collins to talk about when humans and wildlife are in conflict – from errant elephants to rule-breaking moose and life-threatening trees. Her book is called “Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law.” This episode originally aired on Sept. 24, 2021.

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