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To The Best Of Our Knowledge
October 5, 2019
Listen to This Week's Show

A Personal Miracle

Welcome back to the operating room. This week we are re-airing "Your Miraculous And Mysterious Body," which features a story about a woman giving a kidney to a complete stranger. Would you give a kidney to someone you don't know? That's one of the questions we were asking each other around the TTBOOK office during the editing of this piece. You'll hear the actual operation, as I recorded three hours of surgery at University of Wisconsin with Dr. Josh Mezrich. There were beeps, and squishes and sounds of metal and clicking technical equipment.

But what was truly amazing was hearing, and watching, Missy Makinia's kidney taken out of her body and shipped off to save someone else. That we can do this - and that some people choose to do this - is utterly miraculous. Let us know what you think of the show at


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Would You Give Your Kidney to a Stranger?

Galactic kidneys
Missy Makinia donated her kidney to whoever might need it. Her transplant surgeon — Josh Mezrich — invited Shannon into his operating room to see firsthand what it takes to remove and transport a human kidney.
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So You've Been Cancelled

Journalist Alissa Quart thinks it's unfair when people's reputations are torn to shreds on Twitter for saying the wrong thing. She even wrote a poem about it.
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What Monuments Can Tell Us About National Identity

Haleema reporting in Pakistan
You could say that the work of nation-building is never really done. Haleema Shah has been thinking about that after a recent trip to a country close to her heart — Pakistan.
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10/19: Adam Rippon @ Wisconsin Film Festival

Former Olympic figure skater and self-professed America's Sweetheart Adam Rippon showcases his funny and inspiring personality in this entertaining memoir in the vein of Andy Cohen. Angelo will host this conversation with Rippon at the Wisconsin Book Festival on October 19.

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10/17: Opening Night Poetry @ Wisconsin Book Festival

Poets Kevin Coval, Shira Erlichman, and Angel Nafis come together for a joint reading to start the Wisconsin Book Festival off right! Charles will host this joint reading on October 17 at the Wisconsin Book Festival.

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10/19: 'Food Politics' Panel @ Wisconsin Book Festival

Presented in partnership with the UW-Madison Center for the Humanities, three of the country's foremost authors on Food Politics gather to discuss the transformative power of food in our communities, including food security, food justice, and food as means of liberation. Jennifer Gaddis, author of The Labor of Lunch, Monica White, author of Freedom Farmers, and Anne Zeide, author of Canned, will engage in a wide-ranging discussion about many of the most pressing food issues facing society today. Shannon will moderate this 10/19 panel at the Wisconsin Book Festival.

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10/18: Téa Obreht @ Wisconsin Book Festival

On October 18 at the Wisconsin Book Festival, Anne will host a conversation with Téa Obreht — a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction — as she speaks about her latest novel, "Inland." 

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