Episode 163: The Great American Eclipse

On August 21st, 2017, millions of Americans flocked to see a total solar eclipse as it ventured across the continental U.S. Beyond the visual and scientific marvel, the event came at a time of great division in our country. The path forward is unclear, and rife with political disagreements, shame and fear for our future. But the eclipse obscured all of that for a while, creating unity and a sense of perspective and place in the universe. This week, we speak with technology journalist Wade Roush about his thoughts and experiences on the eclipse. How might it serve as a metaphor for our current political climate? What is its value as a natural phenomenon?

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Episode 162: The Friendly Bonds Among

In various settings, people consider friendship to be a marker of personal success and completion. Friends attend our proudest moments and comfort us in troubled times. But what are the functions and roles of friendships and how do they impact the way we look at friends? This week, we're joined by Jack Quigley to explore some of these questions. Are there specific roles and relationships we allow our friends to take on? How might we limit our perspectives of our friends because of friendship?

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Episode 161: The Silhouettes of Affection

Although love represents an ideal that many of us strive for in our personal, romantic and ongoing relationships, it manifests in many forms. Between various cultures, art forms and perceptions, the ways we express love are nearly infinite. But what do we make of the love we feel but do not express? This week, we welcome Sam Whipple to discuss the phenomenon of unexpressed love. How might expressions of platonic love alter our presumptions of romantic love? What might we miss in our relationships when we do not receive expressions of love from those around us?

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Episode 160: The Crossroads of Customer Service

Many of us interact with employees on a consistent, often daily basis. We may not think much of these moments, or the people with whom we're speaking, but customer service as an intersection between consumers and sellers serves to reveal some of our societal attitudes. This week, we welcome Nick Suyematsu to discuss the philosophy behind customer service. How do employees wield the ability to influence the emotions of customers? What do our expectations of thee interactions say about our attitudes when spending money? What can customer service teach us about general human interaction?

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Episode 159: The "Yes" Game

Looking at a culture where news, opinions and often daily conversations can tend towards negativity, a positive outlook can seem miraculous. When looking at performing environments, however, performers are encouraged to embrace new challenges, ideas and forms of expression. This week, Mark Ashin joins us to discuss an improv exercise casually known as The "Yes" Game. In the exercise, pairs of participants stand across from one another. One begins speaking about a source of joy or excitement and their partner simply affirms by repeatedly saying "Yes". What can we learn from the principles behind this game? Why might some of us find it difficult or uncomfortable to embrace? How can the philosophy involved help us be more enthusiastic and encouraging towards one another?

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