KERA's Think podcast

Why we can’t stand humiliation

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We often talk about the damage caused by shame, but how often do we explore the virtues of humiliation? Essayist and author Vivian Gornick joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why humiliation can be an embarrassment or a weapon, and why we often bring it on ourselves. Her article, published in Harper’s Magazine, is called “Put on the Diamonds: Notes on humiliation.”

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  • KERA's Think podcast

    Searching the Amazon for the next miracle drug


    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?


    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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  • KERA's Think podcast

    Think Again: Revisiting why we love to curse so #&%@$!+ much


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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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    When you’re bipolar, chaos is always lurking


    When the mind breaks down, plans for the future are thrown into chaos. Naomi Jackson is an assistant professor of English at Rutgers University–Newark, and she joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the series of events that led to her diagnosis of bipolar disorder and the things she almost lost as she battled her way back to health. Her essay “Her Kind” was published in Harper’s Magazine.
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    Want to help the planet? Stop buying so much


    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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