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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News

CNN
July 7, 2015 | NPR · Hillary Clinton worked to paint herself as honest and trustworthy in her first national television interview of the 2016 campaign, pointing the finger at Republicans for damaging accusations.
 

July 7, 2015 | NPR · Abdullahi Yusuf, 19, had pleaded guilty to charges he tried to leave Minnesota and aid the self-proclaimed Islamic State. He says through his lawyer that the box cutter is not his.
 

AFP/Getty Images
July 7, 2015 | NPR · The Millennium Development Goals, set in 2000, revolutionized the fight against poverty. Now the world is setting Sustainable Development Goals. But critics say there may be too many priorities.
 

Arts & Life

Joshua Cogan
July 7, 2015 | NPR · Walk down a street in Peru and you’ll likely see an example of the glow-in-the-dark posters and murals. Lots of people love them. But the upper crust — and the government — aren’t impressed.
 

NPR
July 7, 2015 | NPR · Smoky and floral brews can provide a kick of flavor to desserts, especially when blended with chocolate. Pastry chef Naomi Gallego shows us a few tricks for surprising the palate with tea.
 

Reuters /Landov
July 7, 2015 | NPR · Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck says his department would investigate any sexual assault accusations against Bill Cosby — even past the statute of limitations.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
July 7, 2015 | NPR · Ex-Hole drummer Patty Schemel powers the Brooklyn glam/garage trio in a surging, shredding kiss-off song.
 

July 7, 2015 | NPR · While Bob Boilen’s out, Katie Presley and All Songs intern Julian Ring are replaying their favorite episodes of the podcast. Today: A look back at the ’90s.
 

Courtesy of A24
July 7, 2015 | NPR · Films about music — including documentaries about Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone and Kurt Cobain — tend to focus on everything surrounding the ineffable art without delving deeply into its core.
 

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