Songs, like all art, can take on a life of their own once they are thrust into the public domain. Their meanings can shift substantially, something commentator Alva Noë experienced recently during a school music recital.
Cultural context gives science much of its meaning and importance. So we write a lot about the interplay between science and culture. Hey, its in our name.
Dark detective tales never get old. It's the same old story every time, even when events take place off world and the people are nothing more than machines. It's a form we love to relive and revive with every generation, says commentator Adam Frank.
The work of the Dutch master Johannes Vermeer has long puzzled the art world. Some of his pieces just don't quite fit. They're a little off. What gives? Author Benjamin Binstock has an idea, an idea that commentator Alva Noë finds appealing.
Does the breathless excitement seen in media coverage of Amanda Knox amount to sexism? Commentator Barbara J. King argues 'yes' and says its part of an age-old pattern in human culture.
There was a time when superheroes confined themselves to the pages of comic books piled up in a kids room. Now they're on the big screen and in the mainstream of pop culture. Commentator Adam Frank says there are winners and losers in this transformation.
Like many parents around the world, some moms and dads in Brooklyn are choosing to raise their children without using any diapers. How does this work and does it make any sense? Commentator Barbara J. King checks in with anthropologist Meredith Small, who embraces the idea with enthusiasm.
A performance of Mozart's Requiem has commentator Barbara J. King thinking about the ways humans grieve. Of all species on Earth, we alone mourn across time and space for people we have never met.
For US VegWeek 2013, commentator Tania Lombrozo digs into the paradox of people who love meat but don't love the idea of harming animals. Is there a way out? One place to start is the 7-day VegPledge.
A study out last week analyzes charred food remains in Japanese pottery dated to 15,000 years ago. Results show that hunter-gatherers in Japan cooked fish in the pots, a finding commentator Barbara J. King says adds new depth to our comprehension of the complexity in human prehistory, even before farming.
Is periodic humiliation an inevitable feature of motherhood? Is it something to embrace or endure? Commentator Tania Lombrozo shares some thoughts and experiences.
Baseball is more than a game to many people. Commentator Alva Noë thought he knew it better than most, until his children started playing Little League. That's when the community that makes up organized youth baseball welcomed him into their fold and opened his eyes to whole new levels of meaning in the game.
There's a lot of coughing in audiences at concerts and plays. Why? Commentator Alva Noe suggests that the answer has something to do with the importance of art.
Sheryl Sandberg's new book on women and ambition has some critics wondering what a top tech industry executive can really tell the average American woman. Commentator Tania Lombrozo argues that not all books by women and for women need to be for all women.
Vegans' refrigerators are empty of meat, dairy and eggs. But what if there are animal products in their medicine cabinets? Commentator Barbara J. King considers how far vegans have to go to really make a difference for animals.
The wilderness is not just a thing, it's a need. It's an idea that has grown up with humans and it will follow us from this planet to the next, and beyond. Commentator Adam Frank plots our future course.