Latest Stories

Clockwise: Wheat in a field, flint corn, kamut grains, and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
Articles

Most of us get our food from the grocery store, not the fields where it grows. But if you really want to understand where our food comes from — and the potential threats to the food supply — you have to think about seeds.

Tyrone  Muhammad
Articles

Tyrone Muhammad, also known as "Muhammad the Mortician," is the funeral director at Newark’s Peace and Glory Home for Funerals. He spent decades trying to stop the epidemic of gun violence in the black community he serves, but nothing prepared him for a pandemic.

Length: 
9:59
Albert Camus in the 1950s
Audio

Albert Camus’s first novel, "The Stranger," speaks strongly to the search for meaning. It’s the story of an alienated man who commits a senseless murder. Literary critic Alice Kaplan calls it "the perfect Black Lives Matter book."

Length: 
14:41
Window man
Articles

David Kessler is one of the foremost experts on death and grieving. He’s written many books on the subject, and worked with Elizabeth Kubler Ross on famous five stages of grief. He recently added a sixth: finding meaning.

Length: 
11:35
light in the dark
Articles

Philosopher John Kaag discusses how the 19th century thinker William James might help us seek meaning and purpose in a confusing time.

Length: 
10:36
chris ware on "society is nix"
Bookmarks

When he’s not drawing, Chris Ware likes to read and look at vintage comics. He highly recommends a book that defies even his powers of description — a folio-sized reproduction of some of America’s first newspaper cartoons, made long before super-heroes and adventure stories took over the medium. Back then, he says, the medium could be anything — and was.

Length: 
3:30
Screenshot from "Desert Bus" playthrough by Phrasz013.
Sonic Sidebar

A simulated eight-hour bus drive earns you one point. Why would anyone want to play a game like that?

Length: 
3:04
Mark on own personal "Walden Pond" in Animal Crossing
Video

Game developer Tracy Fullerton tells us why Henry David Thoreau would play her new game. It’s called “Walden.”

Length: 
8:46
Mark and Anne in front of Mark's home in "Animal Crossing"
Video

Mark just built a new house. In fact, he built a whole town. And it's the one place we can actually visit, because it’s inside a game. He’s been taking refuge from the grim reality of a global pandemic...in Animal Crossing.

Length: 
8:35
The many realities
Video

How do you know what’s real? Start with your senses — if you can see, touch, hear or taste something, it’s real — right? Not necessarily, according to cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman and neurologist Suzanne O’Sullivan.

Length: 
18:13