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Hosted by British born host Dr. Alan Campbell, Watching America combines interviews, engaging audio, and deep dive talks in to our local and national culture through the eloquent and ever-curious lens of a ‘Brit’ who has spent over two decades ‘figuring it all out’; Watching America.
 
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Smart Pill

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Smart Pill

WHRO Public Media

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Smart Pill is a podcast delivering concentrated knowledge on topics that are important to curious young professionals. Our goal? To help you talk and act more intelligently about the issues affecting your life. Produced by the WHRO Emerging Leaders Board, some episodes share recordings of our live salon series, while others, use interviews with experts to explore salon themes. Past themes: Sea Level Rise; the Impact of Digital Technology on Art; Diversity and Inclusion in Comics and Geek Cul ...
 
WHRO arts and culture reporter Rebecca Weinstein brings you a fresh, exciting take on our vibrant local arts scene. A seasoned writer and classically trained soprano with a commitment to expanding audiences for the arts, she grew up and discovered her love of the performing arts in the Hampton Roads area, studied music at the prestigious Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, and honed her arts writing skills while living and working in the Washington, D.C. area. Rebecca is your friendly, knowle ...
 
Sometimes children say it best. Unafraid to say what they mean directly and unapologetically, most children will tell you exactly what they are thinking if you ask them. And sometimes they are wise beyond their years. Hampton Roads teacher and award-winning author, Lydia Netzer, found this out recently when she set out to get some answers from local children. After an exhaustive past few years of political rhetoric from politicians and pundits on “what will fix America,” Netzer decided to as ...
 
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This is an intimate conversation with controversial radio talk show host and author, Larry Elder. We hear about his childhood, his relationship with his father, and his perspective on guns, race, and health care. He’s said publicly on multiple occasions—including in this interview—that he would not run for office. Of course, we know that Elder is i…
 
Studies show that loneliness has been on the rise in the United States—even before the pandemic. Social psychologist and lawyer, J. W. “Terry” Freiberg, explores the very real pain of chronic loneliness in his latest award-winning book, “Surrounded By Others, and Yet So Alone.” It’s the third publication in his award-winning series exploring the pr…
 
Clarissa Ward has been reporting from Afghanistan as the Taliban takes control. Her compelling journalism from the streets of Kabul brings the reality of the situation to the world. Ward spoke about her career as a journalist in hectic environments earlier this year on Watching America. -Growing up between two cultures - two worlds - can teach a ki…
 
Stephen Spielberg’s blockbuster film “Catch Me If You Can” brought the story of con man Frank W. Abagnale into widespread public awareness. But as award-winning author Alan C. Logan reveals, Abagnale’s confessions of his own exploits are hoaxes themselves. Logan’s new book, “The Greatest Hoax on Earth: Catching the Truth, While We Can,” is an exhau…
 
Seth David Radwell was puzzled when he noticed his colleagues were increasingly less inclined to discuss topics of national interest. “How are we,” he says, “as a democratic republic, going to forge solutions if we can’t even discuss the problem?” Radwell says the way to reignite robust public discussion is to embrace enlightenment values--objectiv…
 
T.K. Thorne served on the police force in Birmingham, Alabama for more than two decades before retiring as a precinct captain. After that, she began the career she’d dreamt of since childhood as an award-winning author. Her latest book, “Behind the Magic Curtain: Secrets, Spies, and Unsung White Allies of Birmingham’s Civil Rights Days,” peels back…
 
Jemel McWilliams is the creative force behind performances you've likely seen-- John Legend, Janelle Mona, Alicia Keys, Lizzo, MAGIC! and The Walls Group have worked under his direction. His artistic vision has manifested on the multiple platforms, including the Oscars, Grammy's, Coachella, BET Awards, NBC's "The Voice," and numerous music videos. …
 
On this episode of Watching America, we hear from a former secret service agent who studied abnormal and forensic psychology. Mary Beth Wilkas Janke discusses her memoir, “The Protector: A Woman's Journey from the Secret Service to Guarding VIPs and Working in Some of the World's Most Dangerous Places.” Janke shares details of her harrowing adventu…
 
Dr. Stephen Meyer has dedicated his life to the philosophy of science in an attempt to answer some of the most pressing questions in the universe. In this episode of Watching America, Meyer talks about his book, “Return of the God Hypothesis.” While intellectuals in the 19th century began insisting that science and religion were in a never-ending w…
 
The legacy and the promise of John F. Kennedy, Jr. has always been a subject of controversy speculation in American culture. Now a scholar and friend of Kennedy comes forward with an important book to help unravel the mystery. In AMERICA'S RELUCTANT PRINCE: THE LIFE OF JOHN F. KENNEDY JR., Steven M. Gillon draws on his scholarship and his personal …
 
Several years ago, Donna Francart started volunteering for a community crisis response team. She became aware of her innate compassion in dealing with difficult situations, which ultimately led her to a new line of work as a Deputy Coroner. Francart shares her experiences, documented through years of journaling, in her memoir, “I’ve Seen Dead Peopl…
 
This episode is not appropriate for all listeners.Award-winning photographer Mark Laita has used his skills for clients such as Adidas, Apple and Mercedes-Benz, and his photography has been exhibited worldwide. But he might be doing the most important work of his life right now on Skid Row in Los Angeles. A few years ago, Laita started taking photo…
 
You may know actor Greg Ellis from his role as “Lieutenant Commander Groves” in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean. Perhaps you’d recognize him as “Chief Engineer Olsen” from J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek. Or maybe you remember him from The Titanic, Forsaken, and countless television roles. In this episode of Watching America, we don’t talk about the roles…
 
We first met with Ayaan Hirsi Ali last year about her work as an advocate for freedom of speech and the rights of Muslim women, as well as her conviction to the values of Western liberalism. Ali was born and raised in Somalia, became a Dutch citizen (and representative) as a young adult, and now is a citizen of the U.S. In this episode, she talks a…
 
In her latest book, “First Platoon: A Story of Modern War in the Age of Identity Dominance,” award-winning author Annie Jacobsen documents how the U.S. Department of Defense has built the world’s most powerful biometrics database. It has the power to identify, monitor, catalogue, and police people all over the world.The San Francisco City Book Revi…
 
It started with one haircut.“One evening in the spring of 2015, I was on my way to a friend’s house after work. I didn’t make it. I walked past a man who was homeless at the time. I would often stop to speak with him … but this time was different … I remembered that I had my tools in my backpack and asked if he’d like his hair cut. In the hour that…
 
Dr. Alan Campbell continues his conversation about the British royal family with “Watching America” senior producer, Gina Gambony. We pick up from the last episode regarding the approach of the end of an era following the death of Prince Philip and the exit of Harry and Meghan from “the Firm.”In this episode, we also hear from Roberta Fiorito from …
 
In this episode of Watching America, Dr. Alan Campbell talks with Neil Farber, MD about his new book, “Serendipity: Utilizing Everyday Unexpected Events to Improve Your Life.” The word “serendipity” implies accidental good luck. But doctor and researcher Neil Farber says it happens more than we think, and we can harness its power.Farber has spent d…
 
Michele Bailey has a long history in business. She is the CEO of “The Blazing Group” and “My Big Idea,” where she helps businesses build their vision and brands, create strategy-first cultures, and focus on the personal and professional growth of entrepreneurs and employees. Bailey talks with host Alan Campbell about her new book, “The Currency of …
 
Sometimes inspiration comes like a bolt from the blue.On this edition of Watching America, we hear the story of “acquired savant” Tony Cicoria, who became musically inspired after being struck by lightning. His story was was brought to public attention in the book, “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain,” by Oliver Sacks. We hear another inspi…
 
In this episode of Watching America, Dr. Alan Campbell talks with Michael Patrick Smith, a musician, playwright, and author of The Good Hand: A Memoir of Work, Brotherhood, and Transformation in an American Boomtown. Kirkus reviews calls Smith’s debut “a white-hot, fiercely argued case for working rural people in the face of their economically brut…
 
“If we can re-humanize the people with whom we disagree, that takes us a good bit of the way to being able to engage with them outside of this realm of moral purity and moral pollution.”What is “moral pollution”? On this episode of Watching America, we learn what it is and how it creates divisions between people that are difficult to bridge. Pamela…
 
Author Mark Harris took on the daunting task of writing a biography of Mike Nichols, the larger-than-life theatre and film actor, comedian, producer, and director. Harris worked on the book for several years, and the product, “Mike Nichols: A Life,” has been lauded as “meticulous,” “engrossing,” and “superbly written” by reviewers. The book, releas…
 
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