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Heaven, Earth, and Under the Sea

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy talks about racial politics and the Obama Presidency. Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbo discusses his novel The Snowman. Oscar-nominated actress Vera Farmiga tells us about acting in and directing her latest film, “Higher Ground.” Plus, this week’s Please Explain segment is all about sea creatures like squid and octopuses!  

Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency

Harvard professor of law Randall Kennedy looks at racial politics and the Obama presidency, and examines the complex relationship between the first black president and his African-American constituency. The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency explores the nature of racial opposition to Obama, whether Obama has a singular responsibility to African Americans, the challenges posed by the dream of a post-racial society, and cultural biases.

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Jo Nesbø on His Novel The Snowman

Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbø talks about his latest novel, The Snowman. It’s the seventh book in his Harry Hole series, about a Norwegian detective. In this story, he’s investigating crimes that appear to be by Norway’s first serial killer.

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Vera Farmiga on "Higher Ground"

Oscar-nominated actress Vera Farmiga discusses making her directorial debut with the film “Higher Ground,” which she also stars in. It’s based on Carolyn S. Brigg's memoir This Dark World, which follows a woman's immersion into fundamentalist Christian faith and her decision, 20 years later, to leave it all behind. “Higher Ground” opens August 26 at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and Angelika Film Center.

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Please Explain: Cephalopods and Sea Creatures

You may have spent time at the beach this summer, watching the waves and swimming in the surf, but on this week’s Please Explain, we're going below the surface to look at some of the creatures that live on the ocean floor—cuttlefish, squid, and octopus. Roger Hanlon senior scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and Ellen Prager, formerly the chief scientist at Aquarius Reef Base in Florida and author of Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime join us to talk about these creatures and their amazing abilities to camouflage themselves.

Watch this amazing video of an octopus shot by Roger Hanlon:

Please Explain: Cephalopods

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Is NYC Ready for a Major Hurricane? A Look Back

While the coverage of Hurricane Irene is taking over the news this weekend, back in 2008 did an Underreported segment that looked at whether New York City was prepared for a major hurricane. Listen to that here.

And you can find out how New York and neighboring states are preparing for Hurricane Irene on WNYC.org! Plug your address into an interactive flood zone map, follow the hurricane’s path on a storm tracker, and learn how to pack an urban survival kit. Be prepared!

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