Why does our culture place value in that which is deemed authentic or original? What happens when we find out that the thing we have enshrined as authentic is determined to be nothing more than a copy? How does our relationship to the ideas of authenticity and originality impact the decisions we make from what […]

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There are times in our lives when we have no choice but to perform. The stakes are high, the pressure is on, the price of failure immense. It seems natural that most of us would try to minimize the amount of time that we spend in such anxiety-inducing situations. But what of those people who […]

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In a certain sense, childhood is most acutely experienced in retrospect. As a child, it’s simply life as you know it. But, as an adult, childhood (both one’s own and the developmental category in general) takes on a kind of mythic significance and, perhaps, nostalgic appeal. In this episode of Off Topic we look at […]

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This week on Off Topic, we take a close and critical look at the institution of marriage. Why do we do it? What do we hope it will be? What is it really? How has it changed?

In this episode:

Professor Stillman battles a pesky woodpecker, and in so doing, comes face to […]

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The figure of the Genius looms large in our contemporary thinking about art and creativity. Art is a gift given to the masses by those fortunate few who are capable of creating something from nothing, of inventing forms and sounds that the rest of us simply couldn’t imagine. Well, maybe that’s overstating it […]

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Stream or download this episode in its entirety below.

In this episode of Off Topic:

Professor Stillman confronts the ambiguities inherent in the snake’s side of the story.
Canadian novelist Peter Behrens discusses how the Irish established the template for what it means to be an immigrant in North America.
Duke […]

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In case you missed the premiere episode of Off Topic on Friday night at 7pm, we’ve posted it here for you to enjoy at your leisure.

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November 30, 2015 | NPR · Officer Jason Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke was captured on dashcam video shooting the teen 16 times.

November 30, 2015 | NPR · New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie nabbed the backing of the New Hampshire Union Leader this weekend, citing his executive and national security experience. But that doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed a win.

Courtesy of Providence
November 30, 2015 | NPR · Providence is widely considered the finest restaurant in Los Angeles. Its award-winning chef, Michael Cimarusti, is piloting Dock to Dish, a program that hooks chefs up directly with local fishermen.

Arts & Life

November 30, 2015 | NPR · ABC will air “It’s Your 50th Christmas Charlie Brown” Monday night. On the classic Christmas cartoon’s golden anniversary, NPR explores what makes this ageless special endure.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images
November 30, 2015 | NPR · Imported from Europe, the custom of leaving gratuities began spreading in the U.S. post-Civil War. It was loathed as a master-serf custom that degraded America’s democratic, anti-aristocratic ethic.

Cohen Media Group
November 30, 2015 | FA · Five Turkish teens are censured by a culture threatened by their burgeoning sexuality in Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s debut film. Critic John Powers says Mustang brims with “the zing and energy of life.”


Courtesy of the artist
November 30, 2015 | KCRW · KCRW’s Jason Bentley spins music by ATTLAS, Stardust, Roisin Murphy and more in a two-hour EDM mix.

Courtesy of the artist
November 30, 2015 | WXPN · Hear two of the L.A. band’s new singles, both of which boast major-league hooks.

Courtesy of the artist
November 30, 2015 | NPR · Watch the frontman from NYC’s progressive rap crew Ratking go on a rescue mission to save his mother from some bumbling bad guys in this humorous new video.

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