KUOW NPR

by The Conversations Network · · · · 3 subscribers

A collection of lectures from respected academics, writers, public radio personalities and activists.

Who was the best US president? The worst? Historian Robert Merry plays rate the presidents based on popularity and historical judgment. Here are some hints: Abraham Lincoln's at the top, while James Buchanan ranks as one of the country's biggest failures. Merry spoke at Town Hall on September 10, 2012.
French kids don't throw their food. They don't throw tantrums in the supermarket or in the park. And their parents seemed a lot happier than their American counterparts. This was what journalist Pamela Druckerman observed when she moved to France in 2003. She has since raised a daughter and twin …
Molly Ringwald's career began not as the teen star of John Hughes movies, but as a jazz singer. At age six, she recorded an album of Dixieland jazz produced by her pianist father. In the 1980s, Ringwald starred in a series of John Hughes movies that made her a teen …
Shon Hopwood committed five robberies in rural Nebraska in the late 1990s. He spent 13 years in prison, spending most of his time in the law library learning to write briefs for other prisoners. He wrote his first petition for certiorari — a request that the Supreme Court hear a …
Can genetics explain some of history's greatest mysteries? Sam Kean's latest book is called "The Violinist's Thumb and Other Lost Tales of Love, War and Genius Written in our Genetic Code." He unravels our DNA to try to explain Beethoven's death, why the human race almost went extinct, and even …
Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover were from opposing parties, but they became friends when Truman took office after Franklin Roosevelt's death and needed some advice. This was the start of the presidents club, a shadow organization that began as a joke. These private relationships — and rivalries — among the …
Can genetics explain some of history's greatest mysteries? Sam Kean's latest book is called "The Violinist's Thumb And Other Lost Tales Of Love, War And Genius Written In Our Genetic Code." He unravels our DNA to try to explain Beethoven's death, why the human race almost went extinct, and even …
Can genetics explain some of history's greatest mysteries? Sam Kean's latest book is called "The Violinist's Thumb And Other Lost Tales Of Love, War And Genius Written In Our Genetic Code." He unravels our DNA to try to explain Beethoven's death, why the human race almost went extinct, and even …
Aminta Arrington moved with her family from an army post in Georgia to a small town in China six years ago. She hoped to understand the culture and the country and for her young daughter, adopted from China, to understand it too. Tai'an was a shock at first — a …
Nancy Mullane never thought she'd meet a murderer face to face. But when the radio reporter went to a state prison for a story, she found herself in a room with six convicted murderers. She was terrified, at first. What if they hurt her? These were dangerous men, she knew. …
There were many mariners who made voyages before Columbus. In this talk, presented as a trip around the world, archaeologist and historian Brian Fagan chronicles various quests across the oceans, starting in Polynesia and moving to the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, China and Europe. Fagan spoke at Seattle's Town Hall …
Frank Partnoy technically started developing his theory on procrastination when he was 8 years old. His mom asked him to make his bed because they were having company over, and he refused to do so until he heard a car pull up outside. Those thoughts evolved into a two–step analytic …
At more than 200 years old, the Constitution is long overdue for a rewrite. So, in order to pen our country's new governing document, humor writer Kevin Bleyer traveled to the birthplace of democracy (Greece), bused to the home of independence (Philadelphia) and consulted with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. …
A dog can be obese. A dolphin can have an STD. A wallaby can get addicted to opium. There are many links between animal and human health. Cardiologist Barbara Natterson Horowitz and journalist Kathryn Bowers explore those intersections in "Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science …
When Washington Mutual collapsed in 2008, Kirsten Grind wrote some of the first in–depth stories for the Puget Sound Business Journal. Grind's reporting made her a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2010, and now she writes about finance for The Wall Street Journal. Grind traces the rise and fall …
If you say you never lie, you're probably lying. We all lie, a little bit, even if it's just about very small, insignificant things: "Of course you look great in that dress!" or, "No, officer, I had no idea how fast I was going." Dan Ariely is a behavior economist …
Baratunde Thurston was in a bar in New York when a chatty woman next to him asked his job, where he lived and where he went to school. He answered succinctly: He worked for The Onion, he lived in Brooklyn and he went to Harvard. "Harvard?" she repeated. "You're the …
Modern zoos have become an exercise in commercialism. Before looking at animals, you're funneled toward a gift shop filled with junk. Then you can buy hot dogs and pizza at the food court. Worst of all, not all exhibits are replicas of natural habits, and elephants especially are living in …
You sang it in elementary school, summer camp or church, and you probably still remember the lyrics. Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" is arguably the most iconic American folk song, and at one point, there was even a movement to make it the alternative national anthem — before …
Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover were from opposing parties, but they became friends when Truman took office after Franklin Roosevelt's death and needed some advice. This was the start of the presidents club, a shadow organization that began as a joke. These private relationships — and rivalries—among the most powerful …