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Episode 225: The Wrong Route of Dreaming

In our youth (and often in adulthood), we're asked what we want to be when we grow up. How crucial might "what" be in that framing of our futures and the approach we encourage young people to take? Does it focus primarily on an occupation as a destination rather than a lifestyle or set of values to uphold?

Episode 223: Zootopia

Released in 2016 to critical and commercial success, Zootopia tells the story of rabbit Judy Hopps in her evolving dream to police the streets of the the titular animal metropolis. While the film may have catered to younger audiences in its animation style, the strong, articulate commentary it makes on race and racism remains its most impressive feat.

Episode 222: A Pale Blue Launch I

What would you send into outer space to commemorate Earth and humanity, to a potential audience of alien life? This week, we begin a new interview series to tackle that question. In each entry, we’ll interview someone about the five objects - with a stipulation - they would place in a space capsule to launch into the starry beyond.

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Episode 220: Resume vs. Eulogy Traits

At distinct moments in time, our lives are considered and evaluated by figures of authority, sympathy or community. As a result, many of us sculpt our lives to improve the inevitable review process attendant to these moments. How might a life lived for one’s resume contrast one lived for a more kind eulogy?

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Episode 214: “I’m Not Very Good with Names”

Especially as we grow older, we'll experience countless introductions to peers, leaders, potential friends, partners and other acquaintances. Despite sharing these moments, we don't always recall those we meet and may eventually hear an apology that someone isn't "very good with names". Perhaps our mentality and approach to introductions are the issue, not the fault of human memory.

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Episode 200: Who We Are and How We Share Them

A personal reflection on a difficult experience.

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Episode 172: Honest is the Best Policy

The phrase "honesty is the best policy" has been a common utterance of parents, teachers and other moral guides in society. It points to a tendency and belief system many hope we might adopt and employ in our daily lives. But what is the philosophy behind the saying and what does it actually request of the individual?

Episode 166: “Scare the Bird”

We all perceive and interact with innocence in different ways. It's often written about, illustrated and described at length in cultures around the world. Whether defined by appearance, age, gender or other factors, it has a captivating effect on many of us. How do we engage with it in the border between humans and other animals?

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Episode 165: Wonder and Knowledge

In a vast and complicated universe, our ability to perceive and interpret our place within it is especially valuable. Some of us passionately seek answers to questions big and small while others prefer to marvel at the deep and unfolding mysteries of our world. What are the benefits and drawbacks to each as a set of skills and lenses?

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. How does this concept manifest in the improv exercise “The Yes Game”?

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Episode 152: The Dreams of the Dying

Humanity at large has been fascinated, confused and humbled by dreams and the threshold of death since time immemorial. But what would the crossroads of these two phenomena look like and how might it help us better understand our minds and our lives?

Episode 143: “Can Democracy Stop Terrorism?”

Since the September 11th terror attacks, the United States has continued to wage a "war on terror". It has been the catalyst for numerous political and ideological shifts around the globe over the past sixteen years and reflects a turning point of sorts. It is important to examine, given attacks in recent years, how democracy plays into the topic of terrorism.

Episode 132: “I Love You”

Especially around and after Valentine's Day, it's worth reexamining our cultural definitions of love, how we express it and how we relate to it. In particular, the phrase "I love you" has various connotations and contexts tied to its utterance. It seems to represent gentle, almost habitual moments but also the dramatic, life-or-death circumstances depicted in romantic cinema and literature.

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Episode 128: The Influence of Gift Cards

Though we might have the tendency to overlook them as mundane or commonplace, gift cards play an interesting role in our gift-giving practices. Increasingly, they are more popular than tangible gifts and present a comfortable middle ground between the effort of finding a gift and the impersonal association we have with giving cash.

Episode 121: The Stigmatization of Play

As we enter adulthood, we naturally leave behind many of the vestiges of childhood. We outgrow old clothing, our interests evolve and our social circles expand and adapt. But in this process, as adulthood often prepares us to work, we often lose the time and apatite for play. How does this waning relationship affect our lives practically?

Episode 120: Why We Hesitate to Discuss Our Beliefs

Many of us have been confronted by the realities which operate in spite of, beneath and because of our beliefs. We have been forced to engage in dialogue with those who do not share our perspectives and the clash of numerous systems of belief has been prominent in our discourse as a society. But even under less confrontational circumstances, many of us do not share our beliefs. Are some of our most strongly-held perspectives so deeply woven in our subconscious that we cannot articulate them clearly?

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Episode 114: “Do Schools Kill Creativity?”

With over 41 million views, Sir Ken Robinson's TED Talk "Do schools kill creativity?" is worthy of the attention. In his profound, sincere and often humorous evaluation of the education system, he explores the effect it has on the self-esteem and creative explorations of children. We react to the points he makes through the lens of our own experiences in education.

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Episode 107: Appreciating Strangers

In an ever-growing and interconnected world, a glimpse outside of our social groups and inner worlds can remind each of us of the vast oceans of strangers in our world. Is there are respectful and acceptable manner in which to approach those we would like to know but do not yet?

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Episode 105: Alternative Genius

Because intellectual capability is often a marker of individual value and aptitude, the title of "genius" is a highly complimentary term. But in what ways do we label others and their work as genius only to gloss over nuance and complexity as a result? Are there ways in which each of us possess genius but deny ourselves that pride in the face of more overt and compelling examples?

Episode 101: Purity Balls

As the modern era has developed and expanded various ideas and definitions, notable stigma and presumptions surrounding sex and sexuality still remain. In particular, the sexual freedom of some is cast down as promiscuity, fecklessness and misdirection by others. This led Swedish photographer David Magnusson to pursue stories related to purity balls, emotionally prominent events in which young daughters vow to abstain from sex until marriage, and their fathers promise to protect their purity in return.

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Episode 100: For the “Weird”

For as long as I can remember expressing myself and any multitude of thoughts and feelings I've had, others have labelled me as "weird". The term has always truck me as intentionally disparaging, a means by which we keep the herd homogeneous and deter social outliers. But what if our (rather common) use of the term stems from a place of fear of difference? - Kip

Episode 87: “You Will Only Ever Have Two Choices”

This week we're looking at Jim Carrey's speech to the 2014 graduating class of the Maharishi University of Management. In this address, he discusses his belief that our choices are generally based in either fear or love. He encourages the graduates to have faith in themselves, to follow their passions in spite of negativity and doubt. He also promotes feelings of connection and urges them to express both their desires and skills without hesitation.

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Episode 85: How We Teach Sex

Without question, sex plays a huge role in our biological, sociological and personal lives. Some treat it with hesitation, others with curiosity and delight and still others find sex to be taboo and unworthy of discussion. But everyone has the right to understand both their sexual identities and the role sex plays in our society. Given its importance, we wanted to examine how it is taught, both in our country and elsewhere.

Episode 80: The Right to Disloyalty

In a world where causes and sincerity are increasingly valued, we are very quick to label those who come to stand against as "traitors". Despite our language of simple dichotomies, between heroes and traitors, loyalty and betrayal, these ideas are more complex than they might appear. Does the concept of loyalty allow for natural and inevitable human growth and change?

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Episode 67: “Robots Have Emotions Too”

This week we analyze and respond to an article written by Dr. James E. Young. He and fellow researchers conducted studies to determine the current sentiments human beings have towards robots. Their research indicates that people have an inherent impulse to personalize robots and imbue them with intentions, emotions, social abilities and attachments.

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Episode 50: The Haka and Cultural Appropriation

In an increasingly global world, we are constantly exposed to new cultures, ideas and perspectives, many of which originate in remote spaces and times. As such, we often risk losing their original meanings and purposes. As peoples encounter new cultures, they often adopt and adapt foreign practices for different functions.