show episodes
 
The United States of Anxiety is a show about the unfinished business of our history, and its grip on our future. Each week, host Kai Wright invites listeners to gather for intimate conversations and deeply reported stories about the choices we’ve made as a society -- and the new choices we can imagine now. We’re learning from our past, meeting our neighbors, and sharing the joy (and the work!) of living in a plural society. Our inbox is also open for your voice memos—send them to anxiety@wny ...
 
10 Things That Scare Me is a tiny podcast about our biggest fears. In each episode, one person talks. Alone in a room. It could be anyone. It could be you. It’s someone driven by fears that keep them up at night, that define their lives, and inform their choices. This is a podcast about them, about you, about us, and the world we inhabit together. New episodes every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
 
When the rapper Prodigy suffered a sickle cell crisis after a Las Vegas concert in 2017, his friends didn’t think much of it at first: they were used to him getting sick. But a few days later, he died. The Realness goes behind Prodigy’s music to reveal his lifelong struggle against his own body, and how that struggle informed his lyrics and fueled his success. The Realness by Only Human is produced by WNYC Studios, a listener-supported producer of leading podcasts including Radiolab, Snap Ju ...
 
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show series
 
Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant To Say Goodbye To Its Radioactive Waste Just before Thanksgiving, the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth is expected to reach a historic milestone. All the radioactive fuel that generated electricity—and controversy—for nearly half a century will finally be removed from the reactor building. It will be stored outsid…
 
Ice-Hunting Lunar Rover Robot Gets A Landing Site This week, NASA announced that it had selected a destination for a planned robotic lunar rover called VIPER, the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover. The mission is planned for launch in 2023, and will rove about the Moon’s south pole, mapping the location and concentration of water ice …
 
New science finds we’ve got less than a decade to avoid climate catastrophe. Activist and author Bill McKibben says the only solutions that can beat that deadline are collective. Host Kai Wright invites listeners to ask McKibben their own climate questions, on the heels of a United Nations report that declared the damage from carbon and methane emi…
 
Nighttime Streetlights Are Stressing Out Urban Insects As insect populations—including bees, moths, and other pollinators—decline worldwide, researchers have established a variety of potential causes, including climate change, pesticides, and habitat loss. But now, new findings suggest yet another culprit may be part of the equation: night-time lig…
 
Scientists Potty Train Cows To Lower Greenhouse Gasses Scientists have known it for a long time: Cattle are a major source of nitrogen emissions, contributing to the global warming crisis. Alternatives have been tossed around for years: from eating less meat to feeding cows seaweed. Now, a new study out of Germany and New Zealand has a more outside…
 
How did September 11, 2001, and its aftermath, affect the way anyone perceived as Muslim, and those around them, fit inside the American experiment? Host Kai Wright is joined by award winning journalist Aymann Ismail, who talks about his post-9/11 childhood in northern New Jersey -- and what he learned about his identity as an adult. Then, a conver…
 
New Policies Emerge In The Wake Of Climate-Connected Disasters This week, people across the United States continued to be reminded of the results of a shifting climate—with people in the Gulf states still recovering from Ida, northeastern states dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Ida-induced flooding, and western states battling wildfires and …
 
One man’s ongoing effort to get justice for the abuse he endured at a U.S. prison in Iraq. At the start of the Iraq War in 2003, Salah Hasan Nusaif al-Ejaili was working as a journalist when the U.S. military detained him inside Abu Ghraib, a prison that would become notorious for American abuses committed in the wake of the September 11th terroris…
 
To Breed An Oyster In the ocean, climate change involves more than just warming temperatures. Water levels are shifting, and ocean chemistry is changing. Changes to ocean salinity caused by shifting amounts of freshwater could have big effects on the health of oysters, who need a certain range of saltiness in the water to be happy. As part of her d…
 
The “Great Resignation” appears to be a real thing. But why? We ask workers what they really want. Plus, 45 questions to help us understand each other, and ourselves. Recent research shows that for a lot of us, our relationship with work has evolved greatly through this ongoing pandemic. In our Labor Day episode, journalist Sarah Jaffe, author of t…
 
Fact Check My Feed: Why Are People Taking Discredited Horse Medicine For COVID-19? If you’ve been online at all in the past few weeks, you’ve probably seen discussion about the drug ivermectin. It was originally developed as an antiparasitic treatment for livestock, and in 2015, the Nobel Prize in Medicine went to scientists who found that it helpe…
 
Nation Grapples With Several Climate Disasters At Once Hurricane Ida wreaked havoc on the eastern U.S. this week. It all started in Louisiana, leaving daunting damage and a long road to recovery for residents. Even though Ida was downgraded to a tropical storm after leaving the state, it left a trail of destruction through the eastern U.S. and mid-…
 
Hundred year old school buildings. Sputtering HVAC systems. Covid revealed a legacy of racism that’s built into the physical infrastructure of education. A lack of investment in school buildings determines who can safely go back and who can't. But if we all pay taxes, why is our public school system full of inequality and inequity? Kai speaks with …
 
A Skeletal Record Of Medieval England Society Whether you like it or not, a record of your life is constantly being chronicled. No, not through the internet or on social media—through your bones. If you’ve ever fractured a bone, that skeletal trauma stays with you forever, even after it heals. So researchers across the pond are using bones from med…
 
Pfizer’s Vaccine Is Now Fully Approved. What’s Next For The Pandemic? This week, the COVID-19 vaccine marketed by Pfizer finally received full FDA approval, moving out of the realm of “emergency use” to the status of a regular drug. In the wake of that change, many organizations—from the Pentagon to Ohio State University to the city of Chicago—are …
 
Why do we equate macho bullying with competent leadership? The cautionary tale of Andrew Cuomo. From sexual harassment to intimating deemed rivals, the list of accusations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have crescendoed into a long awaited resignation. But what kind of leader do we value? What makes a competent leader -- and why are we so o…
 
Haiti’s recent tragedies revive a conversation about disaster, aid, and how people recover. Then, a discussion about perspective on the 30th anniversary of the Crown Heights riots. After a 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked Haiti’s southwestern region, many of us were left wondering -- what does it mean to best support Haiti through disaster? And if t…
 
You, Too, Can Be All Thumbs. Or At Least Three. Take a look at your hand and fingers—and imagine that instead of five digits, you had an additional thumb, approximately opposite your natural thumb. Researchers at University College London built what they call the “Third Thumb”—a flexible, 3D-printed prosthetic device, controlled by pressure on sens…
 
Why The Delta Variant Will Make More Kids Sick As cases of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 continue to spike around the U.S., children are one of the hardest-hit groups. As children under 12 remain ineligible for vaccination, they and other unvaccinated groups are facing the highest rates of infection and hospitalization of the enti…
 
Originally Aired: 11/23/2020 “Reverse racism” has haunted the fight for job equity for generations. How’d this bizarre idea become such a bugbear? One Supreme Court case, 50 years ago helps explain. This week, our reporter Marianne McCune tells the story of that case -- and its aftermath -- to help explain why the American workplace is still so seg…
 
A Stomp, A Roar, An Elephantquake? An adult African elephant, the largest land animal on Earth, can weigh as much as two tons. Their activities—walking, playing, even bellowing—might shake the ground beneath them. But research in the journal Current Biology finds that the signals from an elephant’s walk are capable of traveling as far as three kilo…
 
This Fish Is The Master Of The Poignant Pause When listening to a well-practiced speaker, like during a lecture, a political event or during a favorite public radio show, you may notice they use pauses for dramatic effect. This type of nuance in communication may seem distinctly human, but we’re not the only species that takes advantage of pauses i…
 
If sports are a metaphor for life, what are they telling us about our society right now? Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation, and author of ten books on the politics of sports, joins Kai to talk about the “Pandemic Games,” the peril of chasing perfection, and just how much has changed since the 2020 summer of activism in big league sports. Plu…
 
How Imperfect Data Leads Us Astray Datasets are increasingly shaping important decisions, from where companies target their advertising, to how governments allocate resources. But what happens when the data they rely on is wrong or incomplete? Ira talks to technologist Kasia Chmielinski, as they test drive an algorithm that predicts a person’s race…
 
President Biden’s Infrastructure Bill Sees The End Of The Road President Biden’s huge infrastructure bill is finally seeing the end of the road. The nearly 2,000 page bill covers infrastructure improvements—everything from roads to broadband. The package also includes funding for projects that would build up the country’s climate change resilience.…
 
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