Sunday Specials

******* WBEZ airs Specials now on Sundays at 11am and a different special at 8pm. Check back each week for something new*******

Sunday October 11, 2015 at 11am:  Teaching Teachers (American RadioWorks)

Research shows that good teaching makes a big difference in how much kids learn. But the United States lacks an effective system for training new teachers or helping them get better once they’re on the job. This documentary examines why, and asks what it would take to improve American teaching on a wide scale. We meet researchers and visit U.S. schools that are taking a page from Japan and rethinking the way they approach the idea of teacher improvement.


Sunday October 11, 2015 at 8pm: Reveal: Where’s the Water?” (October Episode) PRX

This episode of Public Radio’s investigative program “Reveal” features stories about water issues around the country, from the parched California coast to the skyrocketing water bills in New York City, including: 
Reveal takes a hard look at the water crisis in America. 
Reveal tracks down the water guzzlers in California - usage data tells the story. 
What’s behind skyrocketing water bills in New York City? 
And Reveal makes the connection between global agriculture, the parched US southwest and Saudi Arabia. Who is driving water policy in some parts of the U-S?  


Sunday October 4, 2015 at 11am: “The Living Legacy: Black Colleges in the 21st Century” (American RadioWorks)

Before the civil rights movement, African Americans were largely barred from white-dominated institutions of higher education. And so black Americans, and their white supporters, founded their own schools, which came to be known as Historically Black Colleges and Universities. HBCU graduates helped launch the civil rights movement, built the black middle class, and staffed the pulpits of black churches and the halls of almost every black primary school before the 1960s. But after desegregation, some people began to ask whether HBCUs had outlived their purpose. Yet for the students who attend them, HBCUs still play a crucial — and unique — role. In this documentary, we hear first-person testimony from students about why they chose an HBCU; and we travel to an HBCU that’s in the process of reinventing itself wholesale


Sunday October 4, 2015 at 8pm:   “Immigration Uncovered: Untold Stories of Moving North”  (PRX/Round Earth Media)

The United States has always been a beacon for those searching for safe haven, for a place to build a better life. Though the barriers are high, and the odds are stacked against them, hundreds of thousands of people leave their homes in Mexico, Honduras and other Central American countries and head for the U.S.

Immigration Uncovered: Untold Stories of Moving North flies close to the ground, bringing you personal stories — sometimes uplifting, sometimes heartbreaking, but always surprising — of people crossing borders, encountering new cultures, and building new lives in a new land.



Sunday September 6 thru 27, 2015 at 8pm: "Education Documentaries from American RadioWorks" (APM)

As the new school year kicks off this is an opportune time to explore critical issues facing K-12 and higher education. WBEZ will feature four different American RadioWorks’ documentaries on education Sunday nights throughout the month of  September.  American RadioWorks is an award-winning documentary unit of American Public Media.  
9/6/15 at 8pm: “The Living Legacy: Black Colleges in the 21st Century”
Before the civil rights movement, African Americans were largely barred from white-dominated institutions of higher education. And so black Americans, and their white supporters, founded their own schools, which came to be known as Historically Black Colleges and Universities. HBCU graduates helped launch the civil rights movement, built the black middle class, and staffed the pulpits of black churches and the halls of almost every black primary school before the 1960s. But after desegregation, some people began to ask whether HBCUs had outlived their purpose. Yet for the students who attend them, HBCUs still play a crucial — and unique — role. In this documentary, we hear first-person testimony from students about why they chose an HBCU; and we travel to an HBCU that’s in the process of reinventing itself wholesale. 
9/13/15 at 8pm: “Teaching Teachers”
Research shows that good teaching makes a big difference in how much kids learn. But the United States lacks an effective system for training new teachers or helping them get better once they’re on the job. This documentary examines why, and asks what it would take to improve American teaching on a wide scale. We meet researchers and visit U.S. schools that are taking a page from Japan and rethinking the way they approach the idea of teacher improvement. 
9/20/15 at 8pm:  “From Boots to Books: Student Veterans and the New G-I Bill”
The longest war in American history is drawing to a close. Now, those serving are coming home, and many hope to use higher education to build better lives. They have help from the Post-9/11 GI Bill. In this documentary, we explore how the GI Bill of 1944 revolutionized the lives of millions of young veterans, institutions of higher education, and American society at large. But America’s economic and academic systems have changed, and veterans today are returning to a very different reality than their predecessors. 
9/27/15 at 8pm:  “Beyond the Blackboard: Building Character in Public Schools”
In the 1940s, British headmaster Kurt Hahn set up a wilderness school to teach the skills young men needed to survive World War II: leadership, persistence, working together. Fifty years later, Hahn’s ideas inspired the founding of a network of public schools in the U.S. Students in these schools outperform their peers when it comes to test scores, graduation rates, and problem-solving ability. This documentary explores the “Expeditionary Learning” approach and investigates what American schools could learn from its success. 


Sunday August 30, 2015 at 8pm: "Red Beans, Red Wine & Rebuilds: A Katrina Anniversary Special" (PRX/Gravy Podcast)

Ten years this weekend, after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, how does the city’s food reveal how the place has changed? The stories of a wine bar, and a soul food joint help answer that question, as does post-storm longings for hot sausage and the arrival of taco trucks to the city. In this hour-long special episode of Gravy, we’ll look at the ten years since Katrina through food: from what was eaten in the aftermath of the storm to the stories of two restaurants that tap into the post-Katrina gentrification and marketing of New Orleans.
In part one, we hear the personal stories of three New Orleanians, taken from blogs they kept in the immediate aftermath of Katrina. Food figures largely in their writing, and that food reveals residents who were already wrestling with what had irrevocably changed and what was holding true about their city. These blog posts are included in the new collection "Please Forward," edited by Cynthia Joyce.
In part two: what does a once-bohemian wine store and restaurant in one of the city’s fastest gentrifying neighborhoods show us about the cultural transformation that part of town is undergoing? Writer Sara Roahen brings us the story of Bacchanal and the Bywater.
And in part three: was the post-storm resurrection of a beloved soul food restaurant in New Orleans uniformly a good thing? Reporter Keith O’Brien tells the story of the rebuilding of Willie Mae’s Scotch House, once purely a local’s favorite which now serves a growing clientele of tourists.  


Sunday August 23, 2015 at 8pm: "Intelligence Squared: A Debate – Does the U.S. Need to Defeat ISIS, or is Containment Enough?" (PRX)

The region under the control of ISIS continues to expand, despite airstrikes and the deployment of U.S. military advisers. Should the U.S. goal be containment, or can ISIS be defeated?
In June 2014, the Sunni militant group ISIS declared that it had established a new caliphate spanning territory in Syria and Iraq. Since then, the region under its control has expanded, despite airstrikes and the deployment of U.S. military advisors, and Jihadist groups across the Muslim world have pledged their allegiance. What should the Obama administration’s next steps be? Should the U.S. goal be containment, or can ISIS be defeated?
Debaters in support of Defeating ISIS:
  • Michele Flournoy – Co-Founder and CEO of CNAS…and former Under Secretary of Defense
  • Phillip Zelikow – Professor of History, UVA…and former Counselor, Dept. of State
Debaters against Defeat but in support of Containment:
  • Anne-Marie Slaughter – Pres and CEO of New America Fdtn…former Director of Policy Planning Dept. Of State
  • Dov Zakheim – Senior Advisor, CSIS…former Under Secretary of Defense


Sunday August 16, 2015 at 8pm: “The Search for Tiny Libraries in New Zealand” & “My Changing City: London”

Dotting the countryside of New Zealand are dozens of tiny libraries – freestanding buildings that serve as meeting places, resource centers and lending libraries for the smaller regions located between larger urban areas. 
Library enthusiasts Julie Shapiro and a colleague travel around New Zealand, seeking out these tiny libraries, meeting the steadfast librarians and trustees responsible for keeping the lights on and the books in circulation, and exploring the stories behind these enchanting, tiny institutions.
Then, in a fast changing city, can neighborhood community survive?
Kuba Nowak lives in London’s East End, a fast-changing part of the city. He loves his community and neighbors, many of whom have lived there most of their lives. They celebrate their community by planting trees, sharing produce from their gardens and holding regular street parties with food, music and dancing. However rising property prices and new development mean the neighborhood is changing rapidly - can his neighborhood community survive?
With urbanization a global phenomenon and increasing pressure on cities driving similar change from Cape Town to Toronto, Mexico City to Mumbai, the story of this street is a familiar one. And as policy-makers the world over seek to support stable, contented societies, Kuba’s formula for community spirit is of interest to us all.


Sunday August 9, 2015 at 8pm: “Reveal” (August Episode) PRX

In this episode of Public Radio’s Investigative program “Reveal,”  follow-ups on some of the biggest stories of the last few months, including: An investigation into the culture of secrecy within the Jehovah’s Witnesses that lead us to the story of one woman who was ostracized after she accused an elder of abuse.
More information:


Sunday August 2, 2015 at 8pm: “Explorers of the the Brain” (PRX and National Science Fdtn)

Right now, inside your head, is a three-pound, non-stop, multitasking marvel. How does it work? Why does it work that way? How can we find the answers?  
The new documentary “Explorers of the Brain” takes you to the front lines of research in brain science. From the magnetoencephalography lab at NYU, to the Center for Neuroscience at UC Davis, to the Digital Brain Bank and at several stops in between, we’ll meet leading scientists and engineers working to bring us closer to a fundamental understanding of how and why the brain does what it does.   
Hear about the latest research from the frontier of neuroscience.
“Explorers of the Brain” was produced by award-winning documentary producer and author Richard Paul in association with the National Science Foundation.


Sunday July 26, 2015 at 8pm: “Innovation Hub:  It’s All Relative – Einstein’s Theory Turns 100” (PRI)

As Einstein's groundbreaking theory of relativity turns 100, Innovation Hub takes a look at the preeminent genius of the 20th Century. We'll explain why Einstein was a rebel, how his work continues to shape the world around us, and what his life tells us about the nature of intelligence. 
Join Einstein biographer Walter Isaacson, the Boston Globe’s Hiawatha Bray, Clinical psychologist Elaine Castles and others as they explore the continuing reverberations of the most important scientific theory of the past 100 years.
  • It's Einstein's fault that you need your phone to know where the heck you are. At least, indirectly — GPS would never have been invented without the theory of relativity, explains Hiawatha Bray of the Boston Globe.   
  • The quintessential genius of the 20th century had trouble getting a job teaching high school. Before he reached fame and success, Albert Einstein faced a whole lot of failure, according to biographer Walter Isaacson.  
  • IQ tests have been used to support the case for eugenics, and to justify thousands of sterilizations. Clinical psychologist Elaine Castles tells the history of how we measure intelligence — and why it's not all it's cracked up to be.


Sunday July 19, 2015 at 8pm: “Reveal” (July Episode) PRX

In this episode, Reveal looks at people who get hurt at work and who’s responsible for protecting them: companies, governments and sometimes, the workers themselves.
This includes Reveal’s collaborative investigation into the sexual assault of women who clean our offices and workspaces on the night shift.  This is in collaboration with FRONTLINE, Univision, the Investigative Reporting Program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and KQED.

Sunday July 12, 2015 at 8pm: “Dogged Pursuit of Pluto” (Big Picture Science/PRX)
Pluto gets a close-up on July 14th. That’s when NASA Spacecraft New Horizons does a fly-by of the planet 3 billion miles away.  It will beam back pictures in high resolution and we’ll all get to see the closest images ever of Pluto. It’s an historic encounter that will last less than three minutes.
In this hour special we’ll hear from Pluto rock stars, including  the astronomer who discovered two of Pluto’s five moons, the planetary scientist who coined the term “dwarf planet,”  and the man who claims to have “killed” Pluto. Find out how the New Horizons spacecraft will dodge rocks and other dangers as it approaches the planet and what we might learn about planet formation once we arrive. And why the battle over Pluto’s nomenclature continues 
Plus, Neil deGrasse Tyson reads his hate mail – from 3rd graders.


Sunday June 7, 2015 through July 5, 2015 at 8pm: “To The Best of Our Knowledge:  Death: A Five Part Series”  (PRI)

We're in the midst of a "death movement," where people are challenging preconceived notions of dying. People are now coming together to talk about their own fear of dying at "death cafes" and "death salons." And as lifesaving technologies continue to advance, the cost of end-of-life care is skyrocketing, raising difficult questions about when to prolong the lives of the frail and terminally-ill. There is also a metaphysical angle to this renewed interest in death: remarkable stories of near-death experiences have sparked scientific studies and philosophical speculation about what happens when we die. We can't avoid death, but we can change our perceptions and learn how to talk about it. 
In “Death: A Five Part Series,”  To The Best Of Our Knowledge presents a rich, cross-cultural perspective on death and dying, speaking with a wide range of guests -- from medical professionals and morticians to historians, anthropologists, religious thinkers and writers. 
Sunday 6/7/15 at 8pm:  
Episode 1:  Death: The Reckoning
Chart the emerging "death movement" – from death cafes and death dinners to innovative schools that now talk openly about death with their students. A therapist/hospice worker reflects on her own experience of talking to people who are dying.  And we explore how can we prepare for our own death and for the deaths of our loved ones
Sunday 6/14/15 at 8pm:
Episode 2:  Death: Exit Plan
Medical expenses are sparking vigorous debates among doctors, ethicists and families struggling with end-of-life decisions.  What is sensible end-of-life care?  And what is a good death?
Sunday 6/21/15 at 8pm:
Episode 3:  Death: The Last Moment
Death is not a moment in time, but a process. In this hour a talk with emergency room doctors and hospice nurses about what happens when we die.  Also, a debate over how to explain near-death experiences.
Sunday 6/28/15 at 8pm:
Episode 4:   Death: The Wake
Historians, anthropologists, morticians and undertakers talk about caring and commemorating the dead.
Sunday 7/5/15 at 8pm:
Final Episode 5:  Death: After Life
A reflection on religious and philosophical traditions about the afterlife. Also, dreams of immortality and transhumanism
More info about the series:


Sunday May 31, 2015 at 8pm: “Reveal” (May Episode) PRX

This month’s episode of Reveal continues its in-depth look at law and disorder.  Public Radio’s investigative examines: 
Some of the tensions between police and the communities they serve, and how video cameras are dramatically changing the public's relationship with law enforcement. 
In Washington, D.C., we examine why there’s been a huge increase in the number of people charged with assaulting a police officer. We team up with WAMU and American University to examine three years of court cases, and find that the people being charged are the ones who normally end up in the hospital. 
We also explore what happens when police and communities keep an eye on each other. Officers patrol the streets watching for crime, but now citizens are using video cameras to monitor police. We tag along with cop watchers in Texas.

Sunday May 24, 2015 at 8pm: “Riding With The King:  A Tribute to B.B. King” (PRI)

Musical icon B.B. King passed away a couple weeks ago.  His memorial service is scheduled to be held this Saturday in Las Vegas.

To honor his memory we offer an encore of a 2005 radio special hosted by Grammy-winning blues musician Keb' Mo', celebrating B.B. King's 80th Birthday. 
In 2005, B.B. was excited to be celebrating his 80th birthday. He'd just released a new record and completed his first vacation after fifty-seven years on the road. The King of the Blues was vibrant and excited as he looked back at his 80 years on the planet. B.B. talks about life, music, picking cotton, playing for a white audience, and what it was like to meet the president.  Along with music featured throughout the program, this special tribute includes insights from Rock icon Carlos Santana, Blues pioneers Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy, and John Mayall as well as Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. 


Sunday May 17, 2015 at 8pm: “Lost Children of the Holocaust” (BBC Special)/APM

The story of child survivors stranded in post-war Europe - an extraordinary tale of courage and humanity born out of atrocity.

Following the end of the Second World War, the BBC began a series of special radio appeals on behalf of a group of children who had survived the Holocaust but were stranded in post-war Europe. They'd lost their families in the genocide but it was thought they might have relatives in Britain. A recording of one of these moving broadcasts still exists in the BBC archives.

70 years on, the BBC's Alex Last tries to find out what happened to the twelve children named in the recording. All had been in concentration camps including Auschwitz, Theresienstadt, Belsen, and Dachau.

Were any of them able to find their relatives and were any of them still alive?  The search involved months of work and took Alex to Germany, Israel and the United States as he traced the survivors.

Five are still alive today and four were well enough to speak to Alex as he pieced together the stories of lost children of the Holocaust.


Sunday May 10, 2015 at 8pm: “Resilient Nurses: How health care providers handle their stressful profession” (Humankind)

Nurses are the heart of American health care. They outnumber physicians 6-to-1. But with health insurance expansion, they face increasing pressure. We hear nurses in a variety of clinical settings explain their challenges. They also describe self-care practices that help them cope and thrive.
The first half-hour takes a  look at the stressful conditions in which many nurses work: 12-hour shifts, the emotional toll, the rapid pace, and the way that technology and institutional practices can make it hard to form a caring bond with patients.
The second half-hour features stories of how nurses use self-care techniques that help them manage -- and transcend -- the stresses of their essential profession, both on the job and after hours.


Sunday May 3, 2015 at 8pm: Intelligence Squared: A Debate – Should We Abolish the Death Penalty?

The death penalty is legal in more than 30 states, but the long-controversial practice has come under renewed scrutiny after a series of botched executions in several states last year.
Opponents of capital punishment argue that the death penalty undermines the fair administration of justice, as wealth, geography, race and quality of legal representation all come into play, with uneven results.
But proponents of the death penalty believe capital punishment serves a moral and social purpose in American society. They argue that while the administration of the penalty is not perfect, improvements can be made in the justice system to address some opponents' concerns without doing away with the punishment altogether. Some people deserve to die, they say, for committing certain types of crime.
Two teams faced off over these questions in the latest event from Intelligence Squared U.S., debating the motion, "Abolish The Death Penalty.”
For The Motion:
Diann Rust-Tierney became the executive director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty in 2004. With 30 years of experience in public policy and litigation advocacy, she manages the operations of NCADP and directs programs for the organization and its 100 affiliate organizations. 
Barry Scheck is the co-founder and co-director, with Peter Neufeld, of the Innocence Project and a professor at the Cardozo School of Law. Known for landmark litigation that has set standards for forensic applications of DNA technology, he and Neufeld have shaped the course of case law nationwide, leading to an influential study by the National Academy of Sciences, as well as important state and federal legislation. They co-authored Actual Innocence: Five Days to Execution and Other Dispatches from the Wrongly Convicted with Jim Dwyer. 
Against the Motion:
Robert Blecker is a professor at New York Law School, a nationally known expert on the death penalty and the subject of the documentary “Robert Blecker Wants Me Dead.” After a brief stint prosecuting corruption as a New York special assistant attorney general, he joined New York Law School, where he teaches constitutional history and criminal law, and co-teaches death penalty jurisprudence with leading opponents. 
Kent Scheidegger has been the legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation since 1986. A nonprofit, public interest law organization, CJLF's purpose is to assure that people who are guilty of committing crimes receive swift and certain punishment in an orderly and constitutional manner. Scheidegger has written over 150 briefs in U.S. Supreme Court cases. 


Sunday April 26, 2015 at 8pm: “Reveal” April Episode (PRX)

This month’s episode of Reveal is entitled “Law and Disorder.”  Public Radio’s investigative program looks at:
Why more minorities and kids with special needs are ending up with felony charges for acting out in school (Reveal and Center for Public Integrity investigate)
Toxic aspects of being a police officer
Tracing how people are piecing together semi-automatic weapons from gun parts they buy on eBay


Sunday April 19, 2015 at 8pm: “The Adaptors: An Earth Day Special” (APM and Burn: An Energy Journal)

Climate change is calling. The Adaptors are responding.  Hosted by Alex Chadwick and Flora Lichtman, “The Adaptors” looks at people from all walks of life who are working to counteract energy and climate crises.
Adaptors are all around us: farmers and coastal-dwellers finding new ways to work and live; scientists thinking outside the box about energy; corporate leaders bringing new technologies to market; DIY inventors dreaming up the next big thing in green living. These stories provide a measure of hope that we can muster the will to tackle perhaps the biggest challenges we’ve ever faced.
Among the people you’ll meet: Retired engineer Louis Michaud believes he has an idea that could solve the world’s energy problems: a tornado machine. And NYU philosopher Matthew Liao has an outside-the-box proposal: decrease energy use by engineering humans to have meat allergies, fur, and yes, cat eyes.


Sunday April 12, 2015 at 8pm: “Confronting Hatred: 70 Years After the Holocaust” (PRX)

Holocaust Remembrance Day is next week.  Join WBEZ as Morgan Freeman narrates an hour-long special  bringing together a range of voices to talk about racism, anti-semitism, and the ways in which hatred can grow…and how the Holocaust continues to inform contemporary discussion about hate speech, propaganda and human rights.
We’ll hear stories from people confronting hatred in their lives, their communities, and sometimes in their own hearts.  Stories include how easily a young boy got recruited by skinheads in Pennsylvania, how one man is working to reshape international criminal law after the genocide in Rwanda, and how both an imam and a heavy metal rock band confront hatred in their communities. 

Sunday April 5, 2015 at 8pm: “Church Music” (PRX)

Church music is often a pure form of human expression. In this one-hour special we explore various types of church music in America – plus, the culture and the people behind the voices, who sings and why, and what those songs say about our country, our communities and ourselves.
This program and promos are available for download from PRX:


Sunday March 29, 2015 at 8pm: “We’ll Be Here All Night” (PRX and Tablet Magazine)

Both funny and serious stories for Passover about family, slavery, food, and... well, lice.
The special features funny, poignant, and thought-provoking stories and conversations that touch on the plagues, on slavery, on food, on the act of story-telling and more, and are meant to appeal to people of all religious (and non-religious) backgrounds. Hosted by Sara Ivry (Vox Tablet) and Jonathan Goldstein (WireTap, This American Life).  Contributors include Israeli writer Etgar Keret, DC food historian Michael Twitty and radio producers Sally Herships (Marketplace), Debbie Nathan (This American Life), and Jonathan Groubert (The State We’re In). The show was produced by Julie Subrin (Vox Tablet, The Next Big Thing).
Hosts Sara and Jonathan briefly lay out the basics of the holiday of Passover, and then Jonathan speaks with writer and filmmaker Etgar Keret about the narrative strengths and weaknesses of the Passover story, from a Hollywood producer’s point of view, ending with an animated discussion of the ten plagues.
Meet Abigail Rosenfeld, one of Brooklyn’s "lice ladies,” the women (usually Orthodox Jews) who make a living helping desperate parents rid their schoolchildren of this pest. Rosenfeld is therefore an expert on this plague which was visited upon the ancient Egyptians, though she’s quick to note that today’s lice bears little resemblance to the ones we read about in the Passover story.
Debbie Nathan shares a moving, probing, and funny story on learning that her Southern Jewish great-great-grandparents owned slaves in Mississippi, on the history of Jewish slave owners in the American South and on her elderly aunts and cousins' responses to this revelation.
Michael Twitty, a Washington, DC based food historian and Jewish educator on how he's adapted one of Passover’s symbolic rituals to reflect his ancestors' slave history.
Jonathan Groubert, a Brooklyn-raised radio journalist and host based in Amsterdam, recounts the joke his Sheepshead Bay dad used to tell at the Seder every year.


Sunday March 15, 2015 at 8pm: “Reveal” (March Episode) PRX

In this episode of “Reveal” Public Radio’s investigative program looks at the power of a photo, what happens when a V-A doctor hands out opiates to veterans like candy…and you’ll hear from spinal surgery patients who got screwed out of the real deal. Al Letson hosts.
In this month’s “Reveal” stories about trust.  Including:
How some air marshals are pulled off high risk flights for sexual trysts
A look at the power of a photo that exposed prisoner abuse by the American military
Patients who had cheap knock-off screws used on them in spinal surgeries
What happens when a V-A doctor handed out opiates to veterans like candy

Sunday March 8, 2015 at 8pm: Intelligence Squared Debate - Are Liberals Stifling Intellectual Diversity on Campus?

What is college for? For many, it’s a time for personal and intellectual growth, to meet new people, and to explore ideas and philosophies that challenge their beliefs. Or is it?
Recent cancellations of conservative speakers, rescinded honorary degrees, and scrutiny of certain campus groups have heightened perceptions that there is pervasive liberal intolerance on campuses. Are liberals shutting down speech and debate on campus? Or is this theory a myth, based on the preponderance of liberals at universities rather than intentionally discriminatory actions?


Sunday March 8, 2015 at 8pm: The Third Coast International Audio Festival's "ReSound"

On a special airing of ReSound this weekend: Where kids go to get away; from themselves, their troubles, the rules they’re supposed to follow, and of course, their parents.‚Äč  Encore of this show will air Wednesday night 3/11/15 at 10pm.

ReSound usually airs Saturdays at 1pm and Wednesday's at 10pm on WBEZ.


Sunday March 1, 2015 at 8pm: “Innovation Hub: Closing the Gap – A Women’s History Month Special” (PRI)

On this Women’s History Month Special,, “Innovation Hub: Closing the Gap” shares stories of deeply-driven and powerful women whose innovations upended expectation, reimagined what was possible and changed our world: 
  • Mahzarin Banaji of Harvard  talks about the biases we don't even know we have -- and how that impacts women especially)
  • Author Jonathan Eig explores the secret history of the birth control pill; Professor Eileen Pollack on women in science
  • Plus little vignettes on Coco Chanel, Julia Child, and some thoughts on Silicon Valley's "woman problem" from… successful women in Silicon Valley

Sunday February 22, 2015 at 8pm: “Reveal” February Episode (PRX)
In this episode of “Reveal” Public Radio’s investigative program tracks down secrets one powerful religious hierarchy was keeping under wraps; troops open up  about their experiences with torture and whether officers are being held accountable; and high-speed broadband is like electricity for the 21st century. Reveal examines why so many cities are left with poor service. Al Letson Hosts


No Sunday Specials January 11 through February 15

Snap Judgement will temporarily be moved to 8pm to make room for a six-week run of NPR's Invisibilia Sunday's at 7pm. 


Sunday Jan 4, 2014 at 8pm: “Innovation Hub:  Ringing in the Future” (PRI) 

At the start of the New Year, Innovation Hub looks at the research, industries, gadgets and more that will change your world. What you’ll need to know for 2015. Including the surprising power of our social networks, the pros and cons of our increasingly connected homes and David Pogue on why passwords are an unreasonable burden and why we shouldn’t have to endure them anymore 


Sunday Dec 28, 2014 at 8pm: "Political Junkie’s 2014 Remembrances” (PRX)  

Join political junkie Ken Rudin as he and guests remember the lawmakers and newsmakers from the world of politics who passed away this year. Ken will be joined by the colleagues, friends and journalists of those we lost in 2014 to  chronicle their accomplishments and impact.   
From giants, like former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker, Florida Gov. Reubin Askew, Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry and Tom Menino of Boston, to headline-makers like Ohio Congressman James Traficant, White House press secretary James Brady, Vermont Senator James Jeffords, and Mayor Jane Byrne of Chicago, and many more, we hear about their legacies from those who knew them best.

Sunday Dec 21, 2014 at 8pm: “Innovation Hub:  Unwrapping the Future” (PRI)

Forget apps to help you with last-minute shopping. We look at how innovations are reshaping our holidays — altering approaches to travel, family gatherings, food, and more:
  • Retailers are hunkering down in “Amazon War Rooms” to fend off the online giant.  But that may not be enough to save them, according to CNBC's Courtney Reagan and Howard Anderson of Harvard Business School.
  • Downtown haunts will soon be located next to a runway. Cities of the future are being built around airports, says John Kasarda, author of “Aerotropolis."
  • People may love peppermint mochas, but they don’t really like opera music in the morning. Historian Nancy Koehn explains how Starbucks changed culture – and why, early on, CEO Howard Schultz had more failures than successes. 
Kara Miller is the host and executive editor of Innovation Hub, which she launched in 2011. Kara also contributes to "The Takeaway," and WGBH's "Morning Edition." Her writing has appeared in The Boston Globe, The National Journal, The Boston Herald,, The Huffington Post, and The International Herald Tribune. 


Sunday Dec 14, 2014 at 8pm: “Intelligence Squared: Should We Genetically Modify Food” (NPR and Intell Squared)

Genetically modified (GM) foods have been around for decades, and they are developed for a number of different reasons—to fight disease, enhance flavor, resist pests, improve nutrition, survive drought. But across the country and around the world, communities are fighting the cultivation of genetically engineered crops. 
Are genetically modified foods safe? How do they impact the environment? Can they improve food security? Is the world better off with or without genetically modified food?  Join WBEZ Sunday night at 8pm for this Intelligence Squared debate. Among the debaters: An executive with Monsato and a policy expert with the Union of Concerned Scientists.  Among the audience members with questions is Bill Nye, “The Science Guy.”


Sunday Dec 7, 2014 at 8pm: “The First Family of Radio: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s Historic Broadcasts” (Amer Radio Works/APM)

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were the "first couple" of American radio. From the 1920s through FDR's fourth term, the president and first lady used this extraordinarily powerful new medium to win elections, combat the Great Depression and rally the nation to fight fascism. FDR's prowess before the microphone is well documented. But few people remember that Eleanor Roosevelt was a radio star in her own right - with commercial sponsors paying top dollar for her talents as a news commentator.
The Roosevelts forged an uncommonly personal relationship with the people..
A very significant date for the Roosevelts, and our nation, was 73 years ago, Sunday, December 7, 1941, the bombing of Pearl Harbor — “a date which will live in infamy.” It is also the day that Eleanor Roosevelt, not FDR, spoke to the nation. (His speech to Congress was the following day, Monday, December 8.) But on that Sunday evening, during her regularly scheduled national news/talk show, "Over Our Coffee Cups" on NBC, Eleanor Roosevelt told her audience:
“We know what we have to face and we know that we are ready to face it … Whatever is asked of us, I am sure we can accomplish it. We are the free and unconquerable people of the United States of America.” 
It was an exceptional moment. As the nation plunged into war, Americans heard from the first lady, not the president. It speaks to the unprecedented public role Eleanor Roosevelt created for herself, and the remarkable political partnership she had forged with FDR. 
Join WBEZ Sunday night for the hour-long special “The First Family of Radio” documenting how the Roosevelts forever changed the way Americans relate to the White House and its occupants.  Their legacy helped shape our political media today.


Sunday Nov 30, 2014 at 8pm: State of the ReUnion: “Pike County, OH - As Black As We Wish To Be” (PRX)

In this episode a visit to a tiny town in the Appalachian foothills of Ohio where, for a century, residents have shared the common bond of identifying as African-American despite the fact that they look white. Racial lines have been blurred to invisibility, and people inside the same family can vehemently disagree about whether they are black or white. It can be tense and confusing. As a result, everyone’s choosing: Am I black? Am I mixed race? Or, am I white? Adding to the confusion, there’s a movement afoot to recognize their Native-American heritage.


Sunday Nov 23, 2014 at 8pm: “Thanksgiving is for Eaters” (WNYC/PRX)

A radio special that makes every bite better.  Host of “The Sporkful” podcast  Dan Pashman spends the hour offering up an entertaining combination in kitchen experts and some of public radio’s favorite personalities:  Mo Rocca, Amy Sedaris, Sam Sifton, Robert Krulwich and Brooke Gladstone.
You’ll learn useful tips about how to make classic Thanksgiving dishes, interesting facts about the science of cooking and the art of eating, and surprising details about the ways in which diverse cultures have adapted Thanksgiving traditions and made them their own.  And you’ll hear from listeners all over the country recounting the sights, smells and tastes that answer the question, “How do you know it’s Thanksgiving in your house?”
Mo Rocca and Amy Sedaris share tips for holiday entertaining, covering everything from what music to play to mediating family disputes. NY Times Magazine drinks columnist Rosie Schaap brings Dan to her bar, where she offers the perfect cocktail for a fall day in the kitchen (pro tip: not too many!). Radiolab’s Robert Krulwich discusses the economics of leftovers and tells the story of the time a turkey tried to put the moves on his wife. On the Media’s Brooke Gladstone takes Dan into her kitchen to teach him how to make her trademark Thanksgiving dessert, a Mennonite dish with saltines in it. Everything goes wrong to hilarious effect, but the dish still comes out right.


Sunday Nov 16, 2014 at 8pm: “Witnes: The Building of the Berlin Wall” (APM/BBC)

This hour long special marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall.  The stories we’ll hear are told by people who were witness to the divide between East and West.

You’ll hear stories from people who saw the wall being built, and tell of the mad dash to get into the West before it was closed. West Berliners who depended on the airlift to survive read the letters they wrote to those who dropped packages. We’ll also meet two men who hatched a daring – and successful – plot to dig under the wall and smuggle through loved ones. And, of course, we’ll go back to that iconic night and hear from some of the first to climb atop the wall and lift a hammer against it.


Sunday Nov 2, 2014 at 8pm: “Beyond the Frontlines: A StoryCorps Military Voices Special” (StoryCorps)

Veteran’s Day is Tuesday November 11th.  In anticipation of that this Sunday night we’ll air "Beyond the Frontlines: A StoryCorps Military Voices Special" a one-hour program hosted by StoryCorps founder Dave Isay. 
The special features Dave Isay and Sylvie Lubow, who heads the StoryCorps Military Voices Initiative, in an unscripted conversation about the importance of listening to and honoring the experiences of post-911 service members and their families. 
Dave will share StoryCorps interviews about dedication, loss, camaraderie, and the transition back to civilian life. They are often difficult to hear; but these men and women deserve more than a "thank you for your service" -- their stories need to be heard, and they need to know that we're listening.
As retired Oklahoma National Guardsmen Justin Cliburn put it, "People ask me, 'What was it like when you were in Iraq?' And it's really hard to ever give a straight answer. But it's really easy to direct them to the StoryCorps interview and say, 'Well, this is exactly what one aspect of it was like.'”

Sunday Oct 26, 2014 at 8pm: “Political Junkie 2014 Midterm Election Special” (Ken Rudin/PRX)

Join Ken Rudin and an all-star panel of political reporters, analysts and special guests for the Political Junkie 2014 Midterm Election Special.  This one-hour special episode of Ken Rudin’s Political Junkie airs less than a week before voters go the polls. Ken and his guests will cover the key House, Senate and gubernatorial races from across the country as the campaign season reaches the final stretch. 

Ken’s guests include:  Reid Wilson, The Washington Post;  Amanda Vinicky, WUIS – Springfield:  Wayne Slater, The Dallas Morning News – Dallas;  Steve Kraske, KCUR – Kansas City, Mo;  Kathie Obradovich, The Des Moines Register – Des Moines;  Vin Weber, Former Congressman (R-Minn.);  Anna Greenberg, Democratic Pollster, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner…and others.


Sunday Oct 26, 2014 at 8pm: "Travelogue - Volume One" State of the Re:Union Season 5 (PRX & NPR)

A collection of stories from the road. SOTRU Host Al Letson and the producers reflect on the show and play some of their favorite stories mixed with unheard interviews. We’ll also hear a story about a road trip that completely shifted Al’s life.


Sunday Oct 19, 2014 at 8pm:  "Truckers of the High Seas" State of the Re:Union Season 5 (PRX & NPR)

In our globalized world, it only takes a click to buy something from China and have it delivered right to your doorstep. But that product sailed across the ocean on a cargo ship before it got to you. Over 90 percent of global trade travels across the ocean by ship.
In this episode, we’ll step on board some of these ships and meet the sailors who work there. What’s it like to live for months at sea, isolated with only your co-workers? And when a ship stops in the USA, how do sailors spend the few precious hours they have on shore? Tune in to this hour with SOTRU to find out.

Sunday Oct 12, 2014 at 8pm:  "American Justice" State of the Re:Union Season 5 (PRX & NPR)

The United States has the largest criminal justice system in the world. If you added up all the people in America currently in prison, on probation, or on parole, it would total about six million: smaller than the population of New York City, but way bigger than Los Angeles. The system is vast, but how well is it working?

In this episode of State of the Re:Union, we’ll chronicle how a few communities across the country have responded creatively to problems with police, courts, and prisons. From a group of families in Albuquerque raising questions about the police department’s use of lethal force, to an historic case on the Pascua Yaqui Reservation in southern Arizona, to a program in San Quentin State Prison rethinking the meaning of offender rehabilitation and accountability, SOTRU explores American justice.


Sunday Oct 5, 2014 at 8pm:  "Trans Families" State of the Re:Union Season 5 (PRX & NPR)

When you pass someone on the street, what’s the first—maybe even subconscious—thing you notice about them? Usually it’s whether they’re a man or a woman. Gender is foundational to our understanding of one another. In recent years, though, more and more people are publicly declaring that they feel themselves to be a different gender than the one assigned to them at birth. It’s estimated that there are more than a million people in the U.S. who identify themselves as transgender. That’s more than a million people with families, communities and stories we are only just starting to hear, as transgender Americans come out in greater numbers than they ever have before. 
In this hour of radio, SOTRU tells stories of trans people and their families at many different moments of life, from childhood to adulthood to elders, as parents, as spouses and as kids, themselves.

Sunday Sept 28, 2014 at 8pm:  "Ready to Work: Reviving Vocational Ed" (APM)

Vocational education was once a staple of American schooling, preparing some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Today that kind of tracking smacks of classism. "College for all" is the new mantra. But not everyone wants to go to college, and nearly half of jobs don't require a bachelor's degree. Many experts say it's time to bring career and technical education back. This American RadioWorks documentary explores how vocational education has changed and how it's reshaping debates about the purpose of school. 


Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 8pm: "The New Face of College" (APM)

The 21st-century college student is likely to be older than traditional students. She's more likely to be female, working, and Hispanic or African-American. She's more likely to be a mom. She's less likely to attend college full time or finish in four years. This American RadioWorks documentary explores how universities are adapting to their new students. We see how the University of Texas-El Paso, where most undergraduates are Hispanic and low-income, is becoming a top-tier research university. And we travel to a tiny college on an Indian reservation in eastern Washington that is trying to bring liberal arts to migrant farm workers.


Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 8pm: “Greater Expectations: The Challenge of the Common Core" (APM)

There's plenty of controversy surrounding the Common Core, a new set of education standards adopted by most states. Getting less attention is what the standards actually say, and the fact that many teachers like them. This American RadioWorks documentary takes listeners into classrooms to explore how the standards are changing teaching and learning. Many teachers say those changes are desperately needed, but some are worried about new Common Core tests and whether they will help improve schools or get in the way of better education.

Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 8pm: “The Science of Smart”  (APM)

Researchers have long been searching for better ways to learn. In recent decades, experts working in cognitive science, psychology, and neuroscience have opened new windows into how the brain works, and how we can learn to learn better.

We’ll explore some of the big ideas coming out of brain science by meeting the researchers who are unlocking the secrets of how the brain acquires and holds onto knowledge. And we’ll also meet the teachers and students who are trying to apply that knowledge in the real world.


Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 8pm: “What's Your Story?” (Finale Episode of The Really Big Questions Series (Encore) - PRI)

What was your childhood like? Are you sure? Research shows that we create stories about our lives and believe them even when they’re not accurate. We depend on stories as the key to understanding and remembering our lives. But there are costs:  We approach stories less critically than other types of information and our behavior and beliefs are influenced by stories, even those we know are false, according to the work of psychologist Melanie Green. 

In this final episode of "The Really Big Questions," Dean Olsher talks with scientists of story and expert storytellers about the costs and benefits of our love affair with stories, and what our interest in stories tells us about the human mind.


Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 8pm: “What is a Good Death?” (Episode 4 of The Really Big Questions Series (Encore) - PRI)

Many Americans are trying to take control of their deaths, creating advance directives and asking for “green burials,” but strong forces exist to countermand their wishes. Most of us say we want to die at home, or in hospice, but the number of Americans dying in intensive care units continues to rise. Why don’t we get the death we hope for?
There’s a growing movement to bring engagement with death back into our culture, through death salons, home funerals, and meaningful end-of-life care.

Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 8pm: “Why Does Music Move Us?” (Episode 3 of The Really Big Questions Series (Encore) - PRI)
Music exists in every culture. Does that mean it offers an evolutionary advantage? What drives humans to make music? And why does music get so deeply embedded into our lives? We’ll delve deeper into what music can teach us about the human brain – with musicians and researchers.
Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 8pm: “Why Do We Share?” (Episode 2 of The Really Big Questions Series (Encore) - PRI)

Are humans basically selfish, or basically giving? There’s a widespread assumption that you have to offer people incentives to do good deeds and threaten punishment to stop them from doing evil deeds. But the way people act in the real world contradicts that idea. Humans may actually have been shaped by evolution to care about each other, to share, and to cooperate

Sunday, August 3, 2014 at 8pm: “What is This Thing Called Love?” (Episode 1 of The Really Big Questions Series (Encore) - PRI)
Join host Dean Olsher in a program pondering the “why” behind our drive to pair up. Why do human beings feel romantic love? Why does love cause transcendent joy?  What happens to the brains of people who are in love? How can scientifically studying love help us navigate our relationships? A fascinating cast of characters tackles these questions head-on.
Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 8pm: “On Being: Revealing Ramadan” (APM – A special produced by “On Being”)
Sixteen Muslims, in their own words, speak about the delights and gravity of Islam's holiest month. We asked them to reflect with us on what it means to be part of what often is referred to in the abstract as "the Muslim world."
Through vivid memories and light-hearted musings, they reveal the richness of Ramadan — as a period of intimacy, and of parties; of getting up when the world is quiet for breakfast and prayers with one's family; of breaking the fast every day after nightfall in celebration and prayers with friends and strangers.  
On Being is hosted by Krista Tippet.
Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 8pm “Selected Shorts: Love Songs?” (PRI)

A program of stories about finding love in unexpected places.
First, from the fertile brain of Simon Rich, cave boy meets cave girl in “I Love Girl,” in which Cro-Magnon suitors vie for the same woman. The reader is Michael Ian Black, a writer, comedian, and actor who has created and starred in many television series including Stella and The State.
Next, if Jonah had started a commune, it might have the same strange quality as the world of “When We Lived Together in the Belly of a Whale, Some Nights Were Perfect,” by Mara McCormick Sternberg. It’s read by Tony Award-winning actor BD Wong.
Our last work on this program of stories about finding love when and where you least expect it is N.M Kelby’s “Jubilation, Florida.” These lovers are gently used, a little cynical, and married to other people, but at least for one night, they seem to be destined for each other. Amy Ryan performed “Jubilation, Florida” at the Boston University Theatre in Boston. The story was original published in One Story magazine.
Sunday, July 13, 2014 at 8pm “Recycled” from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (PRX)
A compilation of short documentaries (3 to 7 minutes long) on the theme, "Recycled," exploring aspects of human life that get repeated and re-used, for better and for worse.  The hour long special is produced by students in the Duke University class, “The Short Audio Documentary,” and hosted by John Biewen, audio program director at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke.

Sunday, July 6, 2014 at 8pm: “Reveal” (Episode 3) PRX and Center for Investigative Reporting
In this latest episode from PRX and the Center for Investigative Reporting: an investigation into accidents and equipment failures with the military; a collaborative investigation into U-S water standards including the politics and influence surrounding our water; and another in CIR's series of veteran investigations. This time, the gap between promise and reality: how billions in taxpayer dollars have flowed to private companies that are failing U-S veterans.


Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 8pm: “What’s Your Story?” Final episode in the series “The Really Big Questions” (PRI)
What was your childhood like? Are you sure? Research shows that we create stories about our lives and believe them even when they’re not accurate. We depend on stories as the key to understanding and remembering our lives. But there are costs:  We approach stories less critically than other types of information and our behavior and beliefs are influenced by stories, even those we know are false, according to the work of psychologist Melanie Green. 
In this final episode of The Really Big Questions, Dean Olsher talks with scientists of story and expert storytellers about the costs and benefits of our love affair with stories, and what our interest in stories tells us about the human mind. Guests include: 
  • EO Wilson, evolutionary biologist at Harvard University and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, explains how the mind is wired for storytelling.
  • Andrew Gordon, a computer scientist at the University of Southern California, is trying to build a computer that can tell a story.
  • Anne Bogart, theatre director and author of What's the Story, explains the process of translating stories for the stage--and why she thinks stories can help us save us from our distraction-filled modern life.
  • Writer AJ Jacobs comes clean about his mixed feelings about stories.
  • Psychologist Melanie Green explains that stories influence our behavior and beliefs even when we know a story is false. 
  • Chang'aa Mweti, storyteller and professor of education at the University of Minnesota Duluth, explains the role of stories in Kenya, where he grew up.
  • Psychologist Raymond Mar discusses his research indicating that reading fiction can build empathy.

Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 8pm: “Who Cares” The challenges of caregiving (Capital Public Radio/PRX) 
If you're not a caregiver now there's a good chance you'll become one, joining an estimated 66 million adults who make up the "backbone" of America's long-term care system. Without recognition and support, the backbone is at risk of breaking.
This hour-long, first-person documentary explores who cares for family caregivers, the challenges they face, the stress they endure and how they care for themselves.
Sunday June 15, 2014 at 8pm: “Life Stories: Families – Fathers, Sons and Brothers” (PRX)
For Father’s Day, four stories about men and family.
These are public radio stories made over many years, by producer Jay Allison -- working together with Christina Egloff, and friends, colleagues, neighbors, strangers and whoever would take the loan of one of his tape recorders. They are stories about life as we find it, and record it.  Hosted by Alex Chadwick
  • Dad's Moving Out (11:56) There was a moment when Dan knew for sure his parents were splitting up. He remembers it clearly. His parents remember it clearly too, but differently. Produced with Dan Robb.
  • My Brother, Tom Jones (20:56) Alex is a Tom Jones impersonator, a dedicated one. This portrait of him and his work was made by his younger brother who has always admired him. Produced with Dan Gediman.
  • Dad and Sam (4:45) Love and Brotherhood. "Every year my father would go get Uncle Sam from the Delaware State Mental Hospital and bring him home for Christmas...”
  • Descended from the Holocaust (19:52) A physician in central Massachusetts borrows a tape recorder and accompanies his parents to the Holocaust Museum to talk to them about something they've never talked about before: their experience in the Nazi concentration camps. Produced with Dr. Alan Berkenwald
Sunday June 8, 2014 at 8pm: “Criminal” (PRX)
Four stories of people who have done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in-between. First, a new technique for lie detection, one that's nearly always correct. Then, a lawyer neighbor comes up with a theory to absolve his neighbor of murder allegations. Plus, a look at a time when the line between man and beast was much thinner. Finally, a smart, motivated, convincing college graduate sets up a counterfeiting operation. This program is based on a podcast called, Criminal.
Sunday June 1, 2014 at 8pm: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” Part of Studio 360’s American Icon Series
Ken Kesey had worked in a mental hospital, but his first novel was really a parable of what happens when you stand up to the Man — a counterculture fable that doesn’t end well. Despite his far-reaching influence, Kesey was shut out by filmmakers who turned the story into an Oscar-sweeping phenomenon. Cuckoo’s Nest changed how many people thought about mental illness and institutions. Sherman Alexie debunks the myth of the silent Indian; we visit Oregon State Hospital, where the director played himself on screen; a psychiatrist explains how the movie gave mental hospitals a bad name, with tragic consequences; and actress Louise Fletcher takes us into the mind of one of the most fearsome movie villains, the sweet-faced Nurse Ratched. “She doesn’t see her behavior as it really is. Who does? Who sees that they’re really evil?”

Sunday May 25, 2014 at 8pm: “What is a Good Death” from “The Really Big Questions” (PRI)
Many Americans are trying to take control of their deaths, creating advance directives and asking for “green burials,” but strong forces exist to countermand their wishes. Most of us say we want to die at home, or in hospice, but the number of Americans dying in intensive care units continues to rise. Why don’t we get the death we hope for?
There’s a growing movement to bring engagement with death back into our culture, through death salons, home funerals, and meaningful end-of-life care.
This show is part of a limited series called The Really Big Questions (TRBQ) — five, hour-long programs in which scientists and philosophers come together to explore compelling questions about what makes us human.


Sunday May 18, 2014 at 8pm:  Big Picture Science:  “Our Tasteless Show

Imagine biting into a rich chocolate donut and not tasting it. That’s what happened to one woman when she lost her sense of smell. Discover what scientists have learned about how the brain experiences flavor, and the evolutionary intertwining of odor and taste.     Plus a Chicago chef who tricks tongues into tasting something they’re not. It’s chemical camouflage that can make crabgrass taste like basil and turn bitter crops into delicious dishes – something that could improve nutrition world-wide. And an astronomer who developed recipes that are out of this world.

Guests Include:

Bonnie Blodgett – Author of Remembering Smell: A Memoir of Losing—and Discovering—the Primal SenseGordon Shepherd – Neurobiologist, Yale University School of Medicine, author of “Neurogastronomy: How the Brain Creates Flavor and Why It Matters.” 

Homaro Cantu – Chef and owner of restaurants Moto and iNG in Chicago, chairman and founder of Cantu Designs Firm           

Niki Parenteau – Astrobiologist, SETI Institute

Markus Hotakainen – Astronomer, chef, author of gAstronomical Cookbook


Sunday May 11, 2014 at 8pm -- Two different half hours related to Moms

8pm:  “Remembrance: On Time and Distance”  (PRX)

Producer Dmae Roberts presents a touching and brutally honest half-hour radio memorial on the 10th anniversary of her mom’s death. “Remembrance: On Time And Distance” is, in part, a memoir about the complex ties that bind a mother and daughter.   With humor She recounts her weekend trip to Taiwan to rescue her mom when she fell ill and highlights  the phone messages she saved while taking care of her mom in her final years as her mother struggled with breast cancer.  This is a personal story about caregiving and healing and that ever-complex relationship with our mothers.

8:30pm:  Morning Shift Encore:  Listeners Share Songs that Remind Them of their Moms” (WBEZ/Morn Shift)

WBEZ’s Morning Shift asked listeners to share the songs and musical anecdotes that most makes them think about their mothers.  In this encore presentation of that Mother’s Day Music edition WBEZ’s Tony Sarabia and Richard Steele guide us through listeners’ favorite musical memories of mom.

Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 8pm: “Rubin Carter’s Hurricane” (Humankind)
Memorialized in a Bob Dylan song and then Denzel Washington’s Academy Award-nominated portrayal, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter was a professional boxer who was falsely accused of a triple murder and eventually freed by a federal judge after 19 years in prison.  Carter died April 20th…(last month) at the age of 77.  
This hour long program features an in-depth interview with Rubin Carter – recorded when he was 74 years old.  He talks about how he transcended the “inner prison” of hatred   This special also features the judge whose ruling set him free as well as many other voices in an exploration of the plight of inmates who've been falsely convicted.

Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 8pm: “Why Does Music Move Us?” part of “The Really Big Questions” (PRI)
Music exists in every culture. Does that mean it offers an evolutionary advantage? What drives humans to make music? And why does music get so deeply embedded into our lives? We’ll delve deeper into what music can teach us about the human brain – with musicians and researchers including:
  • Jazz guitarist Pat Martino who lost his memory after neurosurgery and retaught himself how to play.
  • Neuroscience researcher Psyche Loui at Wesleyan University who studies chills and strongly emotional responses to intense aesthetic experiences like music.
  • Petr Janata from the Center for the Mind and the Brain at UC Davis who is interested in how we “groove” to music, the pleasurable urge to move that’s elicited by music.
  • Steven Pinker, linguist and evolutionary psychologist who is famous for the line that music is not an evolutionary adaptation but “auditory cheesecake.”

Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 8pm: Carbon One’s “Meltdown” PRX

Tuesday, April 22nd is Earth Day…Sunday night at 8pm we explore how mountains and forests are being impacted by climate change and, in turn, affecting our health. An economist and a doctor connect a rise in Dengue fever and a rise in the temperature of the Earth. A corporate consultant and an environmental advocate explain how planting trees is good for business. And a professional snowboarder and snow experts lay out the problem.  In fact, the melting of snow is motivating skiers to launch into action on climate volatility.


Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 8pm: “When Words Matter: A National Poetry Month Special (State of the ReUnion)” PRX

In this hour-long special, State of the Re:Union will explore all facets of poetry and its influence in host Al Letson’s life. We will talk to poets from all over the country about the craft, the lifestyle, the resurgence of poems, and of course, listen to beautiful poetry. 
Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 8pm: "Intelligence Squared Debate:  Does affirmative action on campuses do more harm than good?" (NPR)
Affirmative action, when used as a factor in college admissions, is meant to foster diversity and provide equal opportunities in education for underrepresented minorities. But is it achieving its stated goals and helping the population it was created to support? Its critics point to students struggling to keep up in schools mismatched to their abilities and to the fact that the policy can be manipulated to benefit affluent and middle class students who already possess many educational advantages. Is it time to overhaul or abolish affirmative action? Taped at Harvard Law School
Affirmative action on campus does more harm than good
"The very large preferences that are now routinely employed by colleges and universities produce fewer, not more, black scientists, black engineers, and black medical doctors. We are talking epic policy failure."
—Gail Heriot, Professor of Law, USD School of Law & Member, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
"When you use very large racial preferences to create racial diversity, you open up a credentials chasm that's an invitation to feelings of alienation and isolation among the group that's benefited."
—Richard Sander, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
"Affirmative action has supplied a tremendous incentive that has prompted thousands to elevate their sights and pursue ambitions that they would not have otherwise pursued." 
—Randall Kennedy, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
“Much of this discussion, whether intentionally or not, echoes rumors of inferiority which continue to exist in this country.” 
—Theodore Shaw, Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 8pm: “Why Do We Share?” The next episode in the series “The Really Big Questions” (PRI)
Are humans basically selfish, or basically giving? There’s a widespread assumption that you have to offer people incentives to do good deeds and threaten punishment to stop them from doing evil deeds. But the way people act in the real world contradicts that idea. Humans may actually have been shaped by evolution to care about each other, to share, and to cooperate. 
Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 8pm: “Lady Writes the Blues:  Celebrating Rosemarie McCoy” (PRX/Radio Diaries)
In honor of Women’s History Month we introduce you to Rosemarie McCoy. You probably don’t know her name, but you likely know her songs –more than 800 of them spanning the full range of American pop music, from Rhythm and Blues to Rock and Roll, country to gospel music and jazz. 
In the 1950′s and early 1960′s American pop music saw the melding of different genres —rhythm & blues, country, and rock & roll — bringing together black and white, northern and southern musical styles.
This is the story of one of the most prolific songwriters of that era.    Rose Marie McCoy’s songs have been recorded by Nat King Cole, Elvis Presley, Dizzy Gillespie, Ike & Tina Turner, Big Maybelle, Ruth Brown, James Brown, Sarah Vaughan, Johnny Mathis and Aretha Franklin.
Born in 1922, Rose grew up in a tin shack in rural Arkansas. Her success was even more remarkable in an era when blacks and women were largely excluded from the business side of the music industry. But despite publishing over 800 songs, Rose Marie McCoy remains largely unknown.


Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 8pm: “Witness-- A Women’s History Month Special from the BBC”

On this special hour-long episode of Witness from the BBC World Service, listen to incredible interviews looking at women’s history as told by people who were there. We hear from British suffragettes – considered by some at the time to be akin to terrorists – on their struggle for the vote. The first woman to run in a marathon, Kathrine Switzer, explains why the director of the Boston Marathon physically attacked her mid-race. Marsha Hunt recounts her time in London as an African American in the 1960s – and pokes holes in popular perceptions of the time. We travel with Irish campaigners for reproductive rights as they brought The Pill (actually aspirin tablets) back from Belfast to protest Irish laws against contraception. We hear the story of the first woman in space, Russian Valentina Tereshkova. And we join Jacqui Ceballos in New York as feminism entered a new phase during the street rally of 1970.
Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 8pm: “Reveal” (Episode 2) (PRX)
On this Reveal pilot, WBEZ reporters show how heroin moves from Juarez to Chicago and into the Midwest; plus reports from inside "The Box" from teens in solitary confinement. And an update on the Center for Investigative Reporting's examination of prescription drug abuse in the Veteran’s Administration.  

Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 8pm: “America’s Test Kitchen – Gluten Free Special: The Secrets, Science and Techniques of Great Gluten-Free Baking” (PRX)
On this special, you’ll hear about the science of gluten-free cooking, including new tricks we discovered in the test kitchen. We’ll be tasting gluten-free white sandwich bread, and we’ll find out what’s hot and what’s not in the world of kitchen gadgets. Then we’ll head into the test kitchen to learn how to make the best gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. And of course, we’ll be taking your calls to answer all of your cooking questions.


Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8pm: "Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio" (PRX and Mighty Writers)
Starting in the 1950s, Black radio stations around the country became the pulse of African-American communities, and served as their megaphone during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements.
Stations like WDAS in Philly, WDIA in Memphis, WWRL and WBLS in NYC,  WVON in Chicago, WLAC in Nashville and KWBR in San Francisco featured radio personalities with styles all their own who played records you'd never get to hear on mainstream radio. Beyond being hip radio stations, these were pipelines into the Black community where you'd get the latest news on current events and the Civil Rights Movement — at a time when the mainstream media wasn't covering these stories from a Black perspective.
Going Black examines the legacy of Black radio, with a special focus on the legendary WDAS in Philadelphia.  The story of Black radio in Philadelphia is actually the story of a music that would have gone undiscovered, of Civil Rights and progress in the African-American community, and of how the radio medium has changed in the last century. The documentary special is hosted by legendary Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP) music producer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Kenny Gamble
The program features  first-person accounts of Civil Rights events and rare archival audio of Black radio air checks from the 60s and 70s, including a 1964 interview with Malcolm X, just a few months before his assassination. The documentary also includes a soundtrack featuring R&B, jazz, gospel and soul hits from the 50s through the 80s, especially from the Sound of Philadelphia.

Sunday, Februrary 16, 2014 at 8pm: “The Really Big Questions:  What is This Thing Called Love?” (PRI)
Join host Dean Olsher in a program pondering the “why” behind our drive to pair up. Why do human beings feel romantic love? Why does love cause transcendent joy?  What happens to the brains of people who are in love? How can scientifically studying love help us navigate our relationships? A fascinating cast of characters tackles these questions head-on.
This show is part of a new series called THE REALLY BIG QUESTIONS (TRBQ) — five, hour-long programs in which scientists and philosophers come together to explore compelling questions about what makes us human.
Sunday, February 9, 2014 at 8pm: “American Icons:  Native Son” from Studio 360 (WNYC and PRI)
Based in Chicago, the story of a young man in the ghetto who turns to murder was an overnight sensation. Author Richard Wright set out to confront white readers with the most brutal consequences of racism, and finally lay to rest the stereotype of the passive Uncle Tom.  One scholar argues Wright 
“literally wanted to create a bigger Thomas.”  But some think Native Son exploited the worst stereotypes of black youth. 
During this special, we trace the line from Bigger Thomas to Notorious B.I.G., and visit a high school drama class acting out Native Son, and struggling to grasp the racism their grandparents experienced. With Nathan McCall, Carl Hancock Rux, and Richard Wright's daughter, Julia Wright.

Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 8pm: Re:Writing Black History (PRX)

During a month selected to celebrate “history,” we certainly are treated to a lot of the same familiar stories: the battles won for Civil Rights, the glory of Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, the hardships endured by slaves. And as important as those narratives are for us to collectively remember, many others get lost in trumpeting the same heroic tales. In this hour, State of the Re:Union zeroes in some of those alternate narratives, ones edited out of the mainstream imagining of Black History, deconstructing the popular perception of certain celebrated moments. From a more complicated understanding of the impact of the Civil Rights Act of ’64 on Jackson, Mississippi… to a city in Oklahoma still trying to figure out how to tell the history of one particular race riot… to one woman’s wrangling with her own personal racial history.

Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8pm:  Curious City History Special (WBEZ)

WBEZ’s news gathering experiment “Curious City” is expanding…and will now be heard regularly Thursdays and Saturdays on WBEZ.

Curious City answers your questions to just about anything relating to Chicago, the region and its people. From nuclear weapons to donuts, Victorian sexuality to vintage motels . In a special one-hour Curious City we bring you answers to some of the best Chicago history questions you've posed to Curious City.


Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 8pm: King's Last March (American Radio Works/APM/PRX)

Although it was one of the most challenging and controversial chapters of his career, the final year of King's life has not been the focus of significant public attention. This dramatic and illuminating documentary uses a rich mix of archival tape, oral histories and contemporary interviews to paint a vivid picture of what may have been the most difficult year of Dr. King's life.


Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 8pm: Teenage Diaries Revisited (PRX)

A lot of life happens in two decades.  Back in the 1990s, Radio Diaries producer Joe Richman gave tape recorders to a handful of teens and asked them to report on their own lives. Now, almost 20 years later, Joe has checked back in... With Josh, still struggling with Tourette syndrome as an adult; Melissa, who was a teen mom and is now the mom of a teenager; and Juan, a Mexican immigrant who is now a father and husband...and still undocumented.


Sunday January 5, 2014 at 8pm:  Tulsa, Oklahom: Reconciliation (State of the ReUnion)

Tulsa, Oklahoma sits at a crossroads of American identities. In a special episode of SOTRU -- produced in collaboration with This Land Press -- we travel to the middle of Middle America to see what happens when these identities collide. We explore one of the country's deadliest race riots, a story that has been suppressed for 90 years; spend time in a native community that's resurrecting a language teetering on the edge of extinction; and visit a shrine for undocumented immigrants in a state with some of the harshest immigration laws in the nation.



Sunday December 29, 2013 at 8pm:  "The Hospital Always Wins (State of the ReUnion)

In this special hour we take listeners to a place that exists in every American city, but most of us have never seen the inside of it. Back in 2004, SOTRU producer Laura Starecheski visited a state mental hospital in Queens, New York, called Creedmoor. She met an artist there named Issa Ibrahim. He had no perceptible symptoms: he was talented, charismatic, funny, engaging. To be blunt, he just didn’t seem like your typical long-term mental patient. But he’d been at Creedmoor for more than ten years already, with little hope of getting out. Why was Issa still stuck in the hospital? Laura’s quest to uncover Issa’s story took almost a decade. In this special episode, State of the Re:Union takes a close-up look at love, guilt and forgiveness, revealing both the brightest and the darkest parts of human nature.



Sunday December 22, 2013 at 8pm:  Portland, OR: A Tale of Two Cities (State of the ReUnion)

There’s the Portland that many are familiar with, the city some residents praise as a kind of Eden: full of bike paths, independently owned small businesses, great public transportation and abundant microbreweries and coffee shops. And then there’s the other Portland: the city where whole stretches of busy road are missing sidewalks, the city that’s been getting whiter and less diverse, where some longtime African American residents feel as if decades of institutional racism still have not been fully addressed.


Sunday December 15 at 8pm:

Mandela: In His Own Words (BBC/APM)

Nelson Mandela wrote a letter every day of his life. He also wrote diaries, kept notebooks, scratched out ideas for speeches and doodled his thoughts and meditations on scraps of paper. In this two part series the BBC’s Fergal Keane journeys back through the landmark moments in Mandela's life and career, as well as reflecting on less known events.


Sunday December 8 at 8pm:

"The Life of Nelson Mandela" (BBC)

BBC’s former South African Correspondent Allen Little looks back on the life of Nelson Mandela:

Nelson Mandela was one of the world's most revered statesmen, who led the struggle to replace the apartheid regime of South Africa with a multi-racial democracy.   Jailed for 27 years, he emerged to become the country's first black president and to play a leading role in the drive for peace in other spheres of conflict.  His charisma, self-deprecating sense of humor and lack of bitterness over his harsh treatment, as well as his amazing life story, partly explain his extraordinary global appeal.


Sunday December 1 at 8pm:

The Long Game: Texas' Ongoing Battle for the Direction of the Classroom (Trey Kay and PRX)

For more than a half a century, citizens of the Lone Star State have had intense, emotional battles over what children should and shouldn’t be taught in public school classrooms   In many ways, Texans are stuck.  Some believe teachers should lay out relevant facts before students and have them draw their own conclusions. Others believe there should be particular values —perhaps absolute values— added into the mix to help guide students.”  

For “Long Game,” Trey Kay (producer of the Peabody, Murrow and DuPont honored “Great Textbook War”) spent nearly two years gathering interviews and acquiring archival audio in Texas.  During this process, he was present to capture a new controversy that erupted over a Texas-generated curriculum system known as CSCOPE.   The controversy reached critical mass after conservative talk show host Glenn Beck began speaking to his national audience about CSCOPE as a form of leftist indoctrination that was running rampant in Texas and could potentially appear in public schools in other states.  After about six months of intense media and political pressure, the lesson plan wing of CSCOPE –used in over 70% of Texas schools – was disbanded.

Kay’s report also examines Texas’ perennial battle over science standards and in particular, how the state chooses to teach all things related to the origins of the universe and theory of evolution


Sunday November 24 at 8pm:

“America’s Test Kitchen Thanksgiving Special:  Turkey Q&A and the Real Story of the First Thanksgiving”  (PRX And America’s Test Kitchen Radio)

On this Thanksgiving edition of America’s Test Kitchen, we talk to the experts to investigate the true beginning of Thanksgiving. We’ll be tasting turkey, and we’ll find out what’s hot and what’s not in the world of kitchen gadgets. Then we’ll head into the test kitchen to answer the top ten Thanksgiving day questions from stuffing to brining to perfect piecrust. And of course, we’ll answer your cooking questions.



Sunday November 17 at 8pm:

"We Knew JFK: Unheard Stories from the Kennedy Archives" (PRX and First Person Productions)

Never-before-broadcast memories from JFK's confidantes recorded just after the assassination. The special is hosted by legendary journalist Robert MacNeil. 

You'll hear from JFK colleagues who were with him during his first political race in 1946, until his last days in office.  Famous names and voices wrestle with grief and memory; they provide intimate details on JFK the man, the president and father.  Timed to air near the 50th anniversary of his murder in Dallas, November 22.



Sunday November 10 at 8pm:

“American Icons:  The Vietnam Veterans Memorial”  From Studio 360 (WNYC and PRI).  

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
How do you build a monument to a war that was more tragic than triumphant? Maya Lin was practically a kid when she got the commission to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall. “The veterans were asking me, ‘What do you think people are going to do when they first come here?’” she remembers. “And I wanted to say, ‘They’re going to cry.’" Her minimalistic granite wall was derided by one vet as a “black gash of shame.” But inscribed with the name of every fallen soldier, it became a sacred place for veterans and their families, and it influenced later designs like the National September 11 Memorial. We’ll visit a replica of the wall that travels to veterans’ parades around the country, and hear from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel how this singular work of architecture has influenced how we think about war.



Sunday November 3 at 8pm:

“Burn: Rising Seas with Alex Chadwick”  (American Public Media)

Sea level rise is just one of the ugly faces of climate change. A dangerous one, too. Especially for the United States, which has 20 of the most threatened coastal cities in the world. It’s estimated that parts of Miami will be permanently flooded in as few as 15 years from now.   BURN’s latest special examines the causes and consequences of rising seas. We visit south Florida, the Gulf Coast, the streets of New York City, and Greenland, where ice-melt is going to make the world a very different place.

BURN host Alex Chadwick talks with people deeply involved in the issues of how and when sea-level rise will begin to inundate Miami, as well as the reasons why waters are rising so quickly along North America’s Atlantic seaboard. To get firsthand reports on the rapidly melting ice sheets of Greenland (a significant cause of sea-level rise), BURN sends Neal Conan, former NPR host and reporter, with Gretel Ehrlich, longtime Greenland explorer and writer, to Greenland to meet with leading researchers.



Sunday October 27 at 8pm:

“War of the Welles” (Documentary from PRX and SCPR)

A new documentary from R.H. Greene, "War of the Welles," tells the back-story of the production of "War of the Worlds" 75 years ago… correcting many myths, and explaining why it works as a radio broadcast.  This program is hosted by George Takei, star of the "Star Trek" TV and film series.


Sunday October 20 at 8pm:

“Ties That Bind:  A StoryCorps 10th Anniversary Special”  (From NPR)

There are questions we would answer, if only we were asked. How did we grow up? What do we remember about home? What about our family?

Ties that Bind” is  a celebration of  the first decade of StoryCorps.  This special retrospective, hosted by NPR's Scott Simon and StoryCorps founder Dave Isay, looks back on 10 years of celebrating everyday people.

Recorded in StoryCorps' own interview booth in Manhattan, this special features Dave and Scott in an unscripted conversation about the importance of humanity, intimacy and the need to bear witness. They share stories about StoryCorps' beginnings and its growth into an archive of interviews with nearly 100,000 Americans from every state of the union.

Dave and Scott also revisit some of the most beloved conversations, reflect on Studs Terkel's speech at the launch of the project, get updates from the participants, and go behind-the-scenes of a StoryCorps interview.

Listen in on some unforgettable StoryCorps moments: Danny and Annie Perasa share their belief in the everlasting power of their love in the face of death, the amazing Ms. Divine leaves her mark, Monique Ferrer remembers her husband who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11, and Scott Simon shares one of the last recorded conversations he had with his mother Patricia in a StoryCorps recording booth.

This program is NOT available on demand. More information about Storycorps is at:


Sunday October 13 at 8pm:

Intelligence Squared U-S Debate: “ Is the US drone program fatally flawed?”

Remotely piloted aircraft, or drones, have been the centerpiece of America’s counterterrorism toolkit since the start of the Obama presidency. The benefits have been clear: Their use has significantly weakened al Qaeda and the Taliban while keeping American troops out of harm’s way.  But critics of drone strikes argue that the short-term gains do not outweigh the long-term consequences—among them, radicalization of a public outraged over civilian deaths. 

Is our drone program hurting, or helping, in the fight against terrorism?  A debate.


Sunday October 6 at 8pm:

Live Wire! Radio – Episode 223:  “Monsters of Public Radio” 

A special studio edition of Live Wire Radio. Host Luke Burbank sits down to talk with the some of the so-called “Monsters” of public radio:  He’s joined first by Ira Glass -- host and producer of This American Life.   Then Luke talks with RadioLab’s Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich… and towards the end of the hour he is joined by  Prairie Home Companion's Garrison Keillor.  Also, music from Sallie Ford and The Sound Outside.


Sunday Sept 29 at 8pm:


Reveal is a new investigative program from the The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. In this pilot: an exclusive story about the volume and impact stemming from the VA's over-prescripton of opiates to addicted veterans; the attorney behind many of the worst for-profit charities; bodycams for cops; and how one reporter helped one man prove his brother had been abused at a state mental facility. Hosted by Al Letson from State of the Re:Union and WJCT, Jacksonville.

Follow Reveal and comment on Twitter @Reveal and @CIROnline
Join Reveal on Facebook - share, comment and suggest stories to our team



Sunday Sept 22 at 8pm:

Humankind:  Stressed-Out Students

Applying for college is increasingly stressful as more and more students compete for a limited number of admissions to the best schools. Add to that the pressure cooker of high-stakes standardized testing, with teachers' jobs and school funding on the line.

The result is an epidemic of stressed out students, with elevated rates of cheating, abuse of "study drugs", and sleep-deprived high schoolers, who take on a heavy load of extra-curricular commitments to beef-up their college applications.

This new one-hour special examines the level of stress experienced by many secondary school students in America. We probe the causes and effects. And we look at positive coping skills kids can learn -- and ideas on how to restructure school life to minimize stressful conditions.



Sunday Sept 15, 2013 at 8pm:

American Radio Works Documentary -- "Second Chance Diploma:  Examining the GED"

The General Educational Development test (GED) is a second chance for millions of people who didn't finish high school. Each year, more than 700,000 people take the GED test. People who pass it are supposed to possess a level of education and skills equivalent to those of a high school graduate. Most test-takers hope the GED will lead to a better job or more education.

But critics say the GED encourages some students to drop out of school. And research shows the credential is of little value to most people who get one


Sunday Sept 8, 2013 at 8pm:

American Radio Works Documentary  -- One Child at a Time: Custom Learning in the Digital Age

Researchers have long known the best way to learn is with a personal tutor. But tutoring is expensive. Providing the benefits of tutoring to everyone hasn't been possible. Now, experts say technology creates new ways for schools to customize education for each student. This program documents the rise of so-called "personalized learning." It takes listeners to schools that are reinventing their approach to education, and explores how teaching and learning change when personalization replaces one-size-fits-all in the classroom.


Sunday Sept. 1, 2013 at 8pm:

The Hidden World of Girls with Host Tina Fey (Hour 2)

Host Tina Fey takes us around the world into the secret life of girls and the women they become. Sound-rich, evocative, funny, and powerful--stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, secret identities. Of women who crossed a line, blazed a trail, changed the tide. These specials are produced by Peabody Award-winning producers, The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva), in collaboration with NPR reporters and foreign correspondents, independent producers and listeners around the world.


Sunday August 25, 2013 at 8pm:

Remembering Marian McPartland

Marian McPartland died this week at the age of 95.  We pay tribute to host Marian McPartland with a special memorial program. For more than thirty years, composer and pianist Marian McPartland brought jazz into the homes of public radio listeners through her interviews and duets with some of the greatest musicians in the world.  The program was called Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz.  It aired for a long time on WBEZ.

She composed piano pieces that have entered the jazz repertoire and songs—with lyrics by such stars as Johnny Mercer, Sammy Cahn, and Peggy Lee—that are considered part of the Great American Songbook.

“Remembering Marian McPartland” is hosted by Marian's longtime friend Murray Horowitz and features Marian's original compositions and musical collaborations with Sarah Vaughan, Karrin Allison, Thad Jones, Elvis Costello, and more.


Sunday August 18, 2013 at 8pm:

The Hidden World of Girls with Host Tina Fey (Hour 1)

Groundbreaking writer, actress and comedian, Tina Fey comes to Public Radio to host The Hidden World of Girls, inspired by the NPR series heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. From the dunes of the Sahara to a slumber party in Manhattan, from the dancehalls of Jamaica to a racetrack in Ramallah, Tina Fey takes us around the world into the secret life of girls and the women they become.  Produced by Peabody Award-winning producers, The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva), in collaboration with NPR reporters and foreign correspondents, independent producers and listeners around the world.


Sunday August 11, 2013 at 8pm:

PRI’s Studio 360 American Icon Series:  Georgia O'Keeffe's Skull Paintings, Jimi Hendrix's Star-Spangled Banner, Harley-Davidson

This program highlights milestones in American culture with works that define and redefine what it means to be an American with a closer look at three of the country's cultural masterworks. Veteran NPR producer Jay Allison, a longtime biker, heads to Laconia Bike Week to find the source of the Harley-Davidson’s mystique. Georgie O’Keeffe leaves a mystery in the New Mexico desert. And Jimi Hendrix shocks a nation with his performance of the "Star-Spangled Banner" at Woodstock. All that, and soul singer Sharon Jones on the folk song "This Land Is Your Land."


Sunday August 4, 2013 at 8pm:

WTF Episode 305 with Jonn Hamm and Bryan Cranston

Despite Marc’s wishes to the contrary, Jon Hamm is not much like Don Draper at all. In a Cat Ranch chat, Jon reveals what it was like to grow up in St. Louis, why he hung around a lot of alternative comedy shows in the 90s, and why a role on Mad Men saved his career.
Then Bryan Cranston talks to Marc about what led him to the role of Walter White in Breaking Bad. Along the way he almost became a cop, worked alongside some carnies, and was briefly wanted for murder.



Sunday July 28, 2013 at 8pm:

WTF Episode 304 with Molly Shannon

Molly Shannon makes a visit to The Cat Ranch -- Marc's house -- and Marc helps trace her path through the show business ranks, including a strange detour with Gary Coleman, leading to her amazing success at Saturday Night Live. Marc and Molly talk God, motherhood and how an early tragedy drove her ambition.


Sunday July 21, 2013 at 8pm:

WTF with Marc Maron:  Jonathan Winters (Episode 303)

In 2011, Marc headed north to Santa Barbara to sit with one of the giants of comedy, Jonathan Winters. At 85, he was still firing on all cylinders, creating characters on the spot and recalling old improv bits from decades ago. They discuss his storied career in comedy, film and art. It’s the history of modern comedy in one interview.


Sunday July 14, 2013 at 8pm:

WTF with Marc Maron:   Michael Keaton (Episode 302)

Michael Keaton is in the garage for a talk and he leaves nothing outside the door. Marc talks to Keaton about everything: his early stand-up career, his big break in Hollywood, the circumstances that led to him becoming Batman, Beetlejuice, and everything in between.


Sunday July 7, 2013 at 8pm:

WTF with Marc Maron (New Episode 301):  Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner

Mel Brooks. Nothing we write here can do this justice. So just listen to Mel and Marc take you through the life of a legend, from his youthful days in Brooklyn and his time served in World War II to his triumphs on the big screen, the small screen and The Great White Way. It’s Mel Brooks. What more is there to say?

And then, with a little help from Mel, Marc is able to sit down for a chat with another legend of comedy, Carl Reiner. They talk about the origins of the 2000 Year Old Man and Carl’s journey from writing to acting to directing.

But the best part of both interviews happens at the end, off mic. Marc will tell that story at the end of the episode.


Sunday June 30th, 2013 at 8pm

Intelligence Squared U.S.: Is the FDA Hazardous to our Health?

The Food and Drug Administration is charged with protecting the public health. Under this mandate, it regulates drugs and medical devices for their safety and effectiveness. But is it a failing mandate? It’s long been argued that the FDA’s long and costly approval processes stifle innovation and keep life-changing treatments from the market. But the question remains: When it comes to public health, is it ever okay to sacrifice safety for speed? The debaters are Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Dr. Jerry Avorn, Peter Huber, and Dr. David Challoner.


Sunday June 23rd, 2013 at 8pm:  Interfaith Voices

Gay in the Eyes of God

Open any Torah, Bible or Koran, and the passages about homosexuality seem clear: being gay is an abomination; a sin; something that incurs the wrath of God. But for some, these interpretations are changing.

"Gay in the Eyes of God" is a special production of Interfaith Voices, the leading religion news magazine on public radio. It explores the ways in which the major American religious traditions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) grapple with acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

We present personal stories as well as interpretations of scripture and theology - both traditional and progressive. The series features stories from:

•       Celestine and Hilary - a Catholic couple where one partner is transgender
•       A Catholic lesbian who decides the only way to be faithful is to be celibate
•       Gay and lesbian Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn
•       An Orthodox rabbi who defends tradition
•       An openly gay imam who leads a welcoming service in a Washington, DC mosque
•       An African-American Christian woman who struggles with her father over being a lesbian

"Gay in the Eyes of God" comes an important time, as the Supreme Court takes up the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, and the nation becomes more accepting of LGBT people. Still, the country is divided, and our series reflects many different views on this issue.



Sunday June 16, 2013 at 8pm:  Hearing Voices: Father Figures

For Fathers' Day:  Paternal praise, pride, disappointment and love.  Scott Carrier gives his son Milo a “Ski Lesson;” comic strip artist Lynda Barry wishes her divorced dad a “Happy Father’s Day;"  a doctor tells his daughter about her granddad in “StoryCorps- Dr. William Weaver;"  “Grilling Me Softly” is how host Jay Allison describes his daughter’s questions about his love life...and more.


Sunday June 9th, 2013 at 8pm: Live Wire! Radio (Episode 217)

This episode of the fast paced variety show features "Running with Scissors" author Augusten Burroughs , Ryan White and musical guest Radiation City -- a Portland band composed of two couples and a multi-instrumentalist. This show features hosts Luke Burbank and John Roderick.