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KERA Think Rundown – Week of 2/27/12

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Think airs Monday to Thursday from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. on KERA FM. Encore airings of Think can be heard Monday to Thursday nights on KERA FM beginning at 9:00 p.m. Podcasts and streamed video are available online at www.kera.org/think

Monday, 2/27

Hour 1:  Why is our society divided and how do politics and our self-interests conspire to further fragment our culture? We’ll talk this hour with Richard Sennett, Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge and author of the new book “Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation” (Yale University Press, 2012).

Hour 2:  How did Apple become the omnipresent and incredibly successful company that it is today? We’ll find out this hour with Adam Lashinsky, senior editor at large for Fortune where he covers Silicon Valley and Wall Street. His new book is “Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired–and Secretive–Company Really Works” (Business Plus, 2012).

Tuesday, 2/28

Hour 1:  How do our memories work and can we increase our memorization skills? We’ll explore the realm of memory this hour with Joshua Foer, whose book “Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything” (Penguin, 2012) is now out in paperback.

Hour 2:  What’s it like in the slum settlements of Mumbai? Katherine Boo, staff writer for The New Yorker, spent three years reporting on the Annawadi settlement near the city’s airport. She writes about the experience and the incredible lives of the people who live there in her new book “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity” (Random House, 2012). We’ll talk with her this hour.

Wednesday, 2/29

Hour 1:  From the Think archive – What was life really like during the 1890s Alaska and Yukon gold rush? We found out last spring with bestselling nonfiction author Howard Blum who tells the intertwining stories of three men and their parallel pursuits of fortune in his book “The Floor of Heaven: A True Tale of the Last Frontier and the Yukon Gold Rush” (Crown, 2011).

Hour 2:  From the Think archive – How does an actor prepare to become a character on the stage or screen and how does the art of improvisation contribute to their success? Last June we discussed the craft with Academy Award winner Alan Arkin whose recent memoir is “An Improvised Life” (Da Capo, 2011).

Thursday, 3/01

Hour 1:  What will the Super Tuesday primaries bring for the field of Republicans still seeking their party’s Presidential Nomination? How are the candidates doing in Texas and how will the current redistricting battle affect our state’s role in naming the nominee? We’ll spend this hour with Bill McKenzie of The Dallas Morning News and Bud Kennedy of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Hour 2:  What are the challenges of designing support systems for off-earth exploration? We’ll spend this hour with NASA Engineer Kobie Boykins, who will speak about his work on the Mars rover and other projects at the IMAX theater in Dallas this evening.