Episode Archive for August 2015

The City is Still Drowning: Gary Rivlin on New Orleans Ten Years After Katrina

August 31, 2015

Ten years ago on August 29, 2005, nearly 80 percent of New Orleans found itself underwater. Over the following months, the New York Times sent its correspondent Gary Rivlin to live in New Orleans and report on the city’s effort to rebuild. To this day, much of New Orleans are still in shambles and few outside of the city understand the nature of the chaos that ensued during and after the storm.

In his new book Katrina: After The Flood, Rivlin reveals how the story of Katrina, and why its impact was so devastating, was much more…

Eugenie Scott: Decrypting Pseudoscience

August 24, 2015

Our very special guest on Point of Inquiry this week is Eugenie Scott, the former director of the National Center for Science Education who has been waging and winning battles against creationism and pseudoscience for years, and has become one of the most venerated luminaries of the skeptic and secular movements. A Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, in 2013 she was honored with the Center for Inquiry Lifetime Achievement Award.

Scott is getting back to her roots as a biological anthropologist to talk about cryptozoology and other fringe anthropological claims. Talking with host…

Bred to Suffer: Paul Shapiro on Animals in Factory Farming

August 17, 2015

Happy cows and chickens grazing in pastures, we see them plastered all over our milk and egg cartons at the grocery store. While most of us realize these images are more marketing than reality, the truth about how animals are treated in factory farming is far worse than most of us imagine. It’s not even clear exactly how much better animals fare when packaging advertises things like “cage-free,” “natural” and “vegetarian-fed.”

This week on Point of Inquiry, Paul Shapiro, the vice president of farm animal protection for the Humane Society, is here to sort through some of…

Dealing with Distraction in the Modern World, with Matt Crawford

August 10, 2015

Every year technology produces more innovative ways to entertain us. Everything from Twitter to Candy Crush and from billboards to viral commercials, the information that engrosses us on a daily basis makes dull tasks such as waiting in line at the post office pass in the blink of an eye. But what happens when the distractions of technology don’t disappear when you leave the queue?

Here to talk about the difficulty of unplugging our brains from our media-drenched world is author and contributing editor to The New Atlantis, Mathew Crawford.

Crawford is a research fellow…

Ta-Nehisi Coates: A Country Built on Black Bodies

August 03, 2015

This week on Point of Inquiry, our guest is Ta-Nehisi Coates, a renowned journalist and celebrated essayist on culture, history, and politics. He’s a senior editor at The Atlantic, where last year he ignited national introspection and heated debate with his cover feature, “The Case for Reparations.” He is also author of the new bestseller, Between the World and Me, a book he wrote for his son about surviving in America as a black man.

Coates joins Lindsay Beyerstein to discuss the heightening racial tension in America, the result of what he describes as a country…