KERA's Think podcast

Who we build monuments to and why it matters

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Approximately half a million statues and monuments are maintained throughout America. And they honor some very different ideas. Paul M. Farber, co-director of the National Monument Audit, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss a recent study of 50,000 monuments across the U.S. and what the research shows about who we memorialize and who we leave out. The National Monument Audit was produced by Monument Lab in partnership with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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  • KERA's Think podcast

    How gender stereotypes mix with alcohol

    32:02

    Why is it that beer is considered a man’s drink when a glass of wine or a cosmopolitan is more appropriate for a woman? Mallory O’Meara joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the history of women and alcohol, from a Sumerian beer goddess to today’s lighter fare and asks: when did drinking become so gendered? Her book is called “Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol.”
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    The race to save coffee from extinction

    30:27

    Coffee is a $100 billion dollar industry — and it’s in danger of extinction. Sarah Sax, climate justice reporting fellow for High Country News, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how climate change and questionable farming practices are harming crops, and ways researchers are trying to breed more sustainable beans. Her article “Coffee as we know it is in danger. Can we breed a better cup?” was published by Vox.
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  • KERA's Think podcast

    Searching the Amazon for the next miracle drug

    28:04

    In the race to develop life-saving drugs, plants might have the answers. Dr. Cassandra Quave is a medical ethnobotanist and an associate professor of dermatology and human health at Emory University. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her work searching the globe for plant medicines that will fight superbugs and even the common headache. Her book is called “The Plant Hunter: A Scientist’s Quest for Nature’s Next Medicines.”
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    What if you were assaulted and no one believed you?

    32:17

    Sexual misconduct claims often come down to a case of he said, she said. Deborah Tuerkheimer is a professor at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss who is deemed a credible source, why women aren’t listened to, and who retains power in the legal system. Her book is called “Credible: Why We Doubt Accusers and Protect Abusers.”
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    Think Again: Revisiting why we love to curse so #&%@$!+ much

    31:02

    John McWhorter is a linguist who spends his time thinking about words, what they mean, why we use them and how they’ve evolved — and that includes profanity. He joins Think to talk about his most recent book, “Nine Nasty Words: English in the Gutter: Then, Now, and Forever.” Just a warning: there’s uncensored profanity in this language, so it might not be appropriate for younger listeners.
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    From the archives: What it’s like to grow up undocumented

    35:34

    Being an undocumented immigrant often means living in the shadows, hidden to the rest of the world. Author Qian Julie Wang joins host Krys Boyd to tell the story of her childhood in an undocumented family, how the experience shaped her life, and how she now views the American Dream. Her book is called “Beautiful Country: A Memoir.” This show originally aired September 8, 2021. 
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    Ronald Reagan’s daughter on Alzheimer’s and caregiving

    28:45

    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.”
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    Why we find pleasure in pain

    31:28

    Some of us look for a movie to give us a good cry — is that actually a sign of strength? Paul Bloom is professor of psychology at University of Toronto and the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Yale University. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why we sometimes seek out pain, the search for moral satisfaction and how sometimes this pursuit can go awry. His book is called “The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning.”
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    Anxious all the time? Here’s how to free your mind

    30:44

    Sometimes being alone with your thoughts leads to obsessive overthinking. Nancy Colier is a psychotherapist and regular contributor to Psychology Today, and she joins host Krys Boyd to explain how excessive thinking to the point of stress is an addiction and offer tips on how practices like mindfulness can calm an overactive mind. Her book is called “Can’t Stop Thinking: How to Let Go of Anxiety and Free Yourself from Obsessive Rumination.”
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    The tailor-made healthcare of the future

    31:22

    Right now, our bodies might be trying to tell us about our future health. Daniel M. Davis is professor of immunology at the University of Manchester, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the newest science that is striving to understand the ways our bodies talk to us, revealing secrets of disease and how we might protect ourselves from illness far into the future. His book is “The Secret Body: How the New Science of the Human Body Is Changing the Way We Live.”

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