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December 28, 2020
Listen to This Week's Show

This Year, 'Like A Ripple On A Pond'

In this historic, strange, and memorable year, we have tried to bring you shows that are full of what we’ve been calling "intelligent optimism." It’s our take at TTBOOK, our personality, but somehow with the pandemic, the election and the civil unrest, this kind of curious wonder — steeped in reality and hope — took on a new urgency. It’s what we had to create, and we hope it’s what you needed to hear.

As we re-air "Finding Meaning in Desperate Times" this weekend, I am thinking about the people who I’ve personally lost this year, most directly or indirectly related to COVID-19. Like many of you, I’ve sent sympathy cards, looked at photos of those lost, and tried to mourn in a way that seems to be missing community and collectiveness. May this show help you work through the loss of the year, from our interview with a mortician in a COVID-19 hot spot, to a conversation with David Kessler on why grief is a natural response to the pandemic.

And I’ll leave you with some poetry, the words of Nikki Giovanni reading her poem of remembrance, "One Ounce of Truth Benefits Like a Ripple on a Pond." 

–Shannon

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Ingenuity of Animals in Winter

Polar bear
Depending on where you live, winter can be tough to get through. It’s cold, it gets dark early, the weather’s messy. Naturalist Bernd Heinrich shares some amazing stories about the ingenious ways animals survive winter.
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Nikki Giovanni Reads a Poem of Remembrance

flowers
The poet Nikki Giovanni, reading her poem "One Ounce of Truth Benefits Like a Ripple on a Pond."
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Does Philosophy Still Matter In The Age Of Coronavirus?

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

The plants Brooke keeps on hand.
As a plant ecologist, Brooke Hecht knows plants. But then a few years ago, while at a professional conference, her young daughter who'd tagged along got sick. And that's when the healing powers of plants came to the rescue.
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