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What on Earth is Going on? is a podcast for the curious, where small talk is banned and tangents are prized. Strap yourself in for genuine dialogues with people who think deeply and are ready to tackle the big questions, such as broadcaster Terry O'Reilly, economist Miles Corak and journalist Jessica Vomiero.

Join Ben Charland to peel back the headlines and ask, what are the forces, people and ideas that shape the human story today? Have things always been this nuts, or are they getting crazier by the day? From the Mafia to the Beavertonwomen in politics to women in leadershiphistory to artificial intelligence, and entrepreneurship in the digital age to the art of wheelchair fencing, just what on Earth is going on?

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Jan 25, 2019

Uncertainty and doubt are central to the human experience. Yet in the 'post-truth' era, when you can curate your own experience of the world, our democracy seems under threat from such relativism. And making things black-and-white could be just as bad. Theatre and, ironically, the "theatre of the real" (stage...


Jan 18, 2019

The Mafia is one of the most successful threads of pop culture—so successful that many real mobsters take their cues from it. The Godfather, The Sopranos and even Narcos have built a mythology we all recognize. But when it comes what's really going on, these touchstones are dwarfed by actual organized crime.

Joining...


Jan 11, 2019

The 2018 US midterm elections were historic: increase in voter turnout (50%), victory for the Democrats (40 seats), and the 'Pink Wave' (a record 127 women elected to Congress). Other firsts, such as the youngest woman in the House and the first-ever Native American congresswomen, mark an election that was seen as a...


Jan 4, 2019

Cixin Liu's novel, The Three-Body Problem, is a hallmark of modern Chinese writing. When it was first published in 2006, it took readers, critics and even scientists by storm. And when it was finally translated into English in 2014, it became the first Asian book to win the Hugo Award for science fiction. A piece of...