Viewpoints Radio

MediaTracks Communications

Sit down with Viewpoints each week as we report on social issues, the environment, history, food – you name it. What’s it like to give birth in prison? Could the plague resurface with climate change? How has politics been permanently reshaped by the Trump era? Candid stories on topics you should know, plus Culture Crash – a three-minute recap on a timely topic in media to keep you up-to-date on all things music, TV and film.

Hosted by Marty Peterson, Gary Price, Evan Rook and produced by Amirah Zaveri. New shows posted each Sunday by 5 a.m. EST. Subscribe and listen, and find out more info at viewpointsradio.org. Also, follow us on Twitter & Instagram at ViewpointsRadio.

The Mental Effects of Solitary Confinement & Imprisonment
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Do you find yourself carrying less and less cash in recent years? You’re not alone. Last year, cash payments made up about 18 percent of all transactions, according to a national study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. For homeless populations and nonprofit fundraisers that rely on in-person cash giving, what’s the outlook? How can the public help in different ways or donate through digital transactions?

Dec 5

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Last minute emails. Gift buying. Traveling. Sometimes the holiday to-do list can feel never-ending. It can be a stressful period – especially after another year spent living within a pandemic. We speak with psychiatrist Dr. Frank Anderson about the importance of setting boundaries and expectations this holiday season.

Dec 5

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We share why we think the new Netflix release, “Tick, Tick…Boom” is perhaps the best musical movie of 2021.

Dec 5

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The U.S. still has the highest number of inmates in the world, with more than 2 million people behind bars. For a segment of this population, spending weeks, months, or even years in solitary confinement is very much a reality. We speak with two criminal justice experts about the lasting effects of solitary confinement and the mental health crisis plaguing prisons.

Nov 28

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There’s nothing quite like comics. The art of illustration mixed with text takes on many forms, including comic strips, books, graphic novels and more. Columbia University professor and author of American Comics: A History Jeremy Dauber joins us this week to help highlight the interesting history of comics and how it’s evolved into a multi-billion-dollar industry today.

Nov 28

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The Forward is a science fiction series comprising of six short novellas written by prominent authors in the genre. We discuss what we like about this unique format.

Nov 28

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Rental and home prices across the country are skyrocketing. On average, rental prices have risen by 16 percent this year. In some cities, people are seeing as high as 30 percent increases on monthly rent. For middle and low-income citizens already on a tight budget, it’s impossible to make ends meet – especially as prices for food, gas and other basics keep ticking upwards. We speak with two housing experts about the complete lack of affordable housing in this country and the worsening homelessness epidemic.

Nov 21

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Tech companies make billions of dollars each year selling personal information from users’ online activity. While it may seem like people have some control over privacy settings, this is merely an illusion argues law professor Neil Richards. This week on Viewpoints - we highlight the lack of privacy online and why consumers should expect better from corporations and their government.

Nov 21

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Actress Kristen Stewart plays Princess Diana in the highly anticipated release, “Spencer”. We highlight Stewart’s performance and what we loved about this new take on the late royal.

Nov 21

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Today, there are close to 11 million vacant jobs in the U.S. – a record-breaking number. Why are more Americans not filling these positions? How is this affecting businesses? What will eventually happen if these jobs go unfilled? We explore these questions and more this week as we’re joined by hospitality entrepreneur, Ravindra Jayara, and senior labor economist, Dr. Abigail Wozniak.

Nov 14

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We’ve barely just scratched the surface of space exploration. Many scientists at NASA and in the private sector have set their sights on the eventual human mission to Mars – but what lies past the red planet? Will humans one day be able to travel outside of our solar system? Physicist Dr. Daniel Whiteson joins us this week to explain the strange and beautiful intricacies of the cosmos.

Nov 14

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We explore some of our favorite Thanksgiving-themed episodes to get you in the holiday spirit. We touch on multiple “Friends” features to classic Thanksgiving installments of “The Simpsons” that never get old.

Nov 14

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In 2020, nearly 40 million Americans lived in food-insecure households. With food prices rising across the country, food insecurity is only set to worsen, disproportionately affecting minority populations. How can people help? What are other resources available to those in need? Two experts on food insecurity join us this week to help breakdown the modern hunger crisis.

Nov 7

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Sharing a meal and trying something new is not only a way to expand your palate, but to learn about foreign cultures, customs and traditions. We speak with Korean cook, Joanne Molinaro about her early memories of food and family and the traditional Korean recipes and ingredients that make up the cuisine.

Nov 7

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The popular book, “Dune” is now hitting screens in theatres and on streaming platform, HBO Max. We discuss the highly anticipated blockbuster release featuring male lead Timothee Chalamet.

Nov 7

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Across the U.S., many teachers are simply overwhelmed. In their careers, they’re not only an educator, but a leader, listener and mentor. They play many other roles than simply teaching students the set curriculum. However, the pandemic has exacerbated these duties and some educators are perpetually stressed and leaving the field for good. We speak with two education experts about the current classroom landscape and what schools can do to fully support their teachers to make sure their needs are heard.

Oct 31

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Poverty exists, but it’s hard to grasp what it’s really like if you’ve never experienced it firsthand. Journalist Sarah Smarsh joins Viewpoints this week to share her story of growing up poor in rural America. She shares memories from her childhood

Oct 31

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We explore the long list of film franchises the seem to go on forever. Among these are the Star Wars franchise and the most recent installment in the Bond series, No Time to Die.

Oct 31

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Today, many young people look up to the influencers they habitually watch online, whether that’s through TikTok, Instagram or YouTube. This pastime has turned into a career option for some, and today, some college students are pursuing degrees in social media to work within the industry or try their hand at becoming an influencer themselves. We discuss the state of social media education and the larger implications of this shift in modern culture.

Oct 24

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It’s been a century and a half since the fire that reshaped the Chicago landscape took hold across the city. Chicago History museum curator Julius L. Jones joins us this week to discuss some interesting historical facts about the fire that you’ve probably never heard before.

Oct 24

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Netflix’s new release, “Squid Game” has become an overnight sensation, garnering more than 111 million views from accounts in just its first few weeks on the platform. What makes the show just so good?

Oct 24

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You may have held out on getting a pet for years and years, but when the pandemic hit, it seemed like an opportune time to add a new furry member to the family. Today, more than 70 percent of Americans own one pet or more, and this number is only set to i

Oct 17

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The FDA is a massive organization that handles a wide variety of regulations and responsibilities. However, some critics argue that the FDA has failed to evolve with the times, spending large amounts of resources on dated measures and messaging tactics. Former FDA employee Dr. Richard Williams joins us this week to highlight some of these issues within food messaging and nutrition guidelines.

Oct 17

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We discuss the dilemma of cropping full screen shows and films to fit our modern, widescreen TV’s. Many who are against this edit argue that changing the format ruins the originality and nostalgia of the media.

Oct 17

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How long do you think beer has been around for? Well, archaeologists have recently discovered proof of beer-making in the Middle East dating back more than thirteen thousand years. While the rise of hard seltzers has been making headlines lately, beer has a rich cultural history and has evolved as a drink over thousands of years. Two brew experts join us this week to uncover some interesting facts about the beer world.

Oct 10

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Dominic Fike, a popular, up-and-coming musician, performed recently at the Firefly Music Festival in Delaware. We discuss his performance at the highly anticipated event and the difficult task of becoming not only a great musician, but performer as well.

Oct 10

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When’s the last time you visited your community library? If it’s been awhile, there’s a large chance a lot has changed in recent years. Many libraries have stepped up and evolved during the pandemic to offer more remote classes and resources, as well as a place to work and connect with others if you need to get out of the house. The best part? It’s all free.

Oct 10

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I don’t know if it’s just us, but this year really has flown by. It’s odd to think that 2022 is only three months away. Unfortunately, the Delta variant is causing the COVID-19 pandemic to still linger on this year, but many are optimistic that the worst is now behind us. Pediatrician Dr. Jenna Wheeler joins us this week to offer up some advice on holiday gatherings, keeping healthy through flu season and the importance of getting younger children vaccinated as soon as they’re eligible.

Oct 3

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Alzheimer’s was first described in a female patient back in 1906. For many decades, scientists have been trying to decode this disease with no avail. Instead, more questions keep popping up as we learn more about this complex disease and face dead ends in treatment exploration. Two experts in the field join Viewpoints this week to shed some light on modern Alzheimer’s research.

Oct 3

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We explore one of our favorite horror franchises, Scream, now streaming on HBO Max.

Oct 3

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Many film lovers have gotten accustomed to watching new movies at home during the pandemic, but is it for the better? Film creators are pushing for a return back to theaters, but only time will tell what’s next.

Sep 26

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Opera is a beloved art form, but its racial history is as flawed as the rest of our culture. We talk to Naomi Andre, a professor at the University of Michigan, about the history of race in opera and how this traditional art form is evolving with the times.

Sep 26

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Like many other mental illnesses, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is often misunderstood and clumped into a stereotypical category. Many people believe that the disorder is just physical behaviors, such as persistent organization, washing one’s hands all the time, or checking the lock on the door constantly. But what people don’t realize is that OCD is a lot more than just these behavioral actions. David Adam, who has OCD and has extensively studied the disorder, joins us this week to help dispel any myths and pre-conceived perceptions.

Sep 26

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Constructing a new building requires many resources, from hundreds of hours of labor to thousands of pounds of steel, cement, glass and other building materials. Design consultant Ned Cramer joins us this week to uncover how the industry is utilizing new technology to build more sustainably and lessen waste.

Sep 19

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Many Americans stay home and crank up the air conditioning once temperatures reach 80 degrees. Imagine working for hours on end outside in temperatures exceeding 90 or 100 degrees. On top of this, there’s little shade, minimal breaks and often not enough water. This is the reality for millions of laborers who work in agriculture, construction and other industries. Why aren’t there more legal guidelines protecting these essential workers?

Sep 19

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We explore the different focuses of the sports documentary series that highlight the stories of different sports superstars.

Sep 19

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Today, there are many young adults who were mere babies when 9/11 happened. They learn about the terrorist attacks from history books, television segments and documentaries as well as the firsthand stories of people who lived through the experience. Former FDNY Battalion Chief Joseph Pfeifer joins us this week to share his story from that morning. Pfeifer was the first firefighter chief on the scene at the World Trade Center complex and lost his brother, Kevin, who was also a firefighter.

Sep 12

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The 2021-2022 school year is officially in full swing. But, it’s not the return that many were hoping for as COVID-19 cases spread, and outbreaks pop up in classrooms across the U.S. While there are barriers and challenges just like last year, school must go on. We speak with education expert, Julie King, to get some tips on how to navigate the hectic back to school season and how parents can communicate with their kids so they feel heard and supported.

Sep 12

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Kanye West just released his latest album, “Donda” late last month. We sift through the hype and offer our take on the new creative release.

Sep 12

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How do artists find inspiration for a new song on an album, or a new idea for a movie? We discuss how great art is more interconnected than you may think.

Sep 5

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Ballet requires athleticism, artistry and decades of grueling practice. It’s an extremely competitive field and few dancers manage to become principal dancers at major theatres. This week on Viewpoints – James Whiteside, a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, shares his professional ballet journey and what he’s learned about himself along the way.

Sep 5

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The average American checks their phone about 90 times a day, according to a 2019 survey from tech research firm, Asurion. How often would you say you check? Every hour? Once every 20 minutes? Do you ever panic when your phone isn’t right next to you? This ‘attached at the hip’ mentality is severely affecting happiness and quality of life for millions of people. So, what can be done to break this all-consuming cycle? Addiction expert Dr. Anna Lembke joins us to break down the widespread problem and offer up some solutions.

Sep 5

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We discuss some of our favorite non-fiction reads as the weather turns cooler and the season of pumpkin everything is soon upon us.

Aug 29

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There’s something special about dinosaurs. These majestic creatures walked the Earth more than 230 million years ago, yet, even today, they capture our wildest imaginations. Most us have heard the familiar narrative that an asteroid collided with Earth and this catastrophic event led to their downfall..but is there more to the story? Would dinosaurs still be around today if the asteroid flew past Earth? This week on Viewpoints.

Aug 29

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The news of the Taliban regaining control of Afghanistan has swept news headlines this month. Hundreds of thousands of Afghan citizens have already fled the country, but how will everyday life change for those who remain? We discuss the precarious situation in the region and the reversal of modern freedoms and economic stability for millions of men, women and children.

Aug 29

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We highlight the podcast, Dissect, which takes a look at the poetic lyrics behind some of the biggest songs in rap and hip-hop.

Aug 22

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Have you ever had trouble falling or staying asleep? If you have, you’ll know that not getting good rest can have a big impact on how you feel physically and mentally. For astronauts in space, sleeping in a zero-gravity environment surrounded by loud fans, bright lights and cramped quarters can be an issue. We discuss some of the bodily systems behind sleep and how astronauts in space for months on end deal with these challenges.

Aug 22

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Gold mining has been a lucrative business for many generations. Today, it’s still a booming industry with global mining companies expanding into new markets each year. This week – we highlight the incredible story of activists in northern El Salvador who stood up to mining company, OceanaGold and won.

Aug 22

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What were some of the best movies if we rewind back one decade? We highlight some of our top picks from the year 2011, including the documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi and the baseball sports hit, Moneyball.

Aug 15

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Every year it seems like there’s a new diet or health trend that captures people’s attention. The keto diet, which mainly cuts out carbohydrates, has seen a sustained rise in popularity. Originally used as a treatment for kids with epilepsy, today, thousands of ordinary people follow this regimen as well. This week – we’re joined by registered dietician, Kristen Sedler, and two people who tried the keto diet and both had entirely different experiences.

Aug 15

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