Food for Thought

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Monday, August 29, 2011

The FBI has made counterrorism a top priority since 9/11, and we’ll look at the agency’s controversial use of informants...and whether some have been steering people to plan terror attacks. Then, Anthony Bourdain joins us for the latest installment of our Book Club! We’ll be discussing his book Medium Raw, and we’ll be taking your calls and comments. Also, Alex Shakar talks about his new novel, Luminarium. Plus, psychologist and science historian Michael Shermer on how our beliefs are born, formed, reinforced, challenged, changed, and extinguished.

The FBI and Counterterrorism

Since 9/11 the FBI has made counterterrorism its number one priority, and its efforts have spawned a wide network of informants who are mostly tasked with spying on Muslim Americans. Mother Jones reporter Trevor Aaronson writes about how the Agency is infiltrating communities and in some cases, provoking people to plan terrorist attacks. He's the author of "Terrorists for the FBI," in the latest issue of Mother Jones.

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August's Book: Medium Raw, by Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain joins us for the Leonard Lopate Show Book Club! We’re talking about his latest book, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, the follow-up to his hit book Kitchen Confidential. It’s an account of Bourdain's unexpected voyage from journeyman cook, to globe-traveling professional eater and drinker, to father. Bourdain offers rants and raves, investigations and interrogations of some major figures in food, and he pays homage to the hard working men and women behind the scenes in every restaurant

The Washington Post writes of Medium Raw: “When you read Bourdain, you never quite know what’s going to happen in the next sentence, but you can be sure you’re in for a treat, a shock, a surprise…Anyone who starts this book is liable to lose all control and simply gobble it right up.

You can watch him travel the globe on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations on the Travel Channel!

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Alex Shakar talks about his new novel, Luminarium. The story is an examination of the way we live now, and the role technology and spirituality play in shaping our reality. It also looks at the bond between brothers and the redemptive possibilities of love.


The Believing Brain

Psychologist, historian of science, and skeptic Michael Shermer explains his theory on how beliefs are born, formed, reinforced, challenged, changed, and extinguished—from politics, economics, and religion to conspiracy theories, the supernatural, and the paranormal. His book The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths examines how humans form beliefs about the world. Once beliefs are formed the brain begins to look for and find confirmatory evidence in support of those beliefs, which accelerates the process of reinforcing them.

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Questions for Anthony Bourdain

Find out author Anthony Bourdain's favorite authors, favorite books, favorite restaurants, and what his favorite word is.

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