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

AFP/Getty Images
September 22, 2017 | NPR · The president is backing appointed Sen. Luther Strange, who’s been heavily funded by a superPAC aligned with Mitch McConnell. Many of Trump’s allies, however, are backing Judge Roy Moore.
 

AP
September 22, 2017 | NPR · The operation was prompted by an apparent war among drug lords. Residents were forced to dive for cover on the floors of their homes as several hundred well-armed gangsters roamed the streets.
 

AFP/Getty Images
September 22, 2017 | NPR · Even before Maria, the island suffered from frequent power outages and crippling debt. Now organizations must figure out how to deliver relief to a place that may not have electricity for months.
 

Arts & Life

September 22, 2017 | NPR · Battle of the Sexes tells the story of the 1973 tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King. The event drew an enormous audience and NPR’s Bob Mondello says the movie could too.
 

September 22, 2017 | FA · Emma Stone stars as King in a breezy new film that carries us back to ’73, and the heyday of the women’s lib movement. Critic John Powers says the message of Battle of the Sexes still resonates today.
 

20th Century Fox
September 22, 2017 | NPR · The new chapter in the spy franchise ramps up the first film’s caustic, violent cynicism but leans even harder into the artifice; a reliance on soundstages and CGI dampens the excitement and energy.
 

Music

September 22, 2017 | FA · Mabern has worked as a pianist for more than half a century. Now he brings brings his confident style and sense of musical history to his latest album, To Love And Be Loved.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 22, 2017 | NPR · Pimienta spoke with Alt.Latino about winning Canada’s biggest music prize, the importance of listening to our ancestors, and speaking up for indigenous people everywhere.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 22, 2017 | WXPN-FM · Amadou and Mariam are two blind musicians from Mali who met, fell in love with each other’s musicianship and became global Afropop sensations. The duo performs music from its new album, La Confusion.
 

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