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The Kojo Nnamdi Show
Updated: 34 min 44 sec ago

The Politics Hour - December 26, 2014

3 hours 29 min ago

We're nearing the end of what's been topsy-turvy year in local politics - from public corruption scandals in D.C. and Virginia to a shock victory by Republicans in Maryland's gubernatorial race. But with an ongoing in investigation into the 2010 D.C. mayoral campaign and high-stakes legislative sessions looming in Maryland and Virginia, 2015 promises to be equally interesting and unpredictable. Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies, and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Generic: The Unbranding of Modern Medicine

Tue, 2014-12-23 08:32

Generic drugs were introduced decades ago as a free-market alternative to expensive name brands, in contrast to Europe's government-negotiated system. But although we assume generic versions are identical to their name-brand counterparts, they can differ in important ways. And as the price of generics has spiked, legislators and others are questioning the role of this multi-billion dollar industry in our health care system.

The Popularity of Podcasts

Tue, 2014-12-23 07:06

Maybe you're addicted to "Serial." Maybe you binge-listen to "This American Life or "The Gist." If so, you're among the 39 million Americans who reportedly listen to podcasts every month. A decade after these downloadable Internet audio files first appeared, podcasts have become wildly popular. From comedy to commentary, podcasts draw in listeners with their old-fashioned story-telling, intimate conversation and poignant themes. We'll explore the ubiquity of podcasts and ask our guests and listeners for their favorites.

Golden Age of Board Games

Mon, 2014-12-22 08:06

Family gatherings often include a trip to the closet to haul out a dusty box of Clue or Monopoly. But in recent years, the options for board and table-top games have expanded to include role playing, survival tactics and even post-apocalyptic themes. We find out what's new in board games, the lessons they help us learn, and why gathering around a square board with tiny plastic pieces still appeals to us in a game culture saturated by technology.

The "Great War" — Historic Moments, Forgotten Fighters

Mon, 2014-12-22 07:25

A century ago, the "Great War" began in Europe. World War I would ultimately claim 14 million lives over four years, including 499 soldiers from the D.C. region. As centennial celebrations begin around the world, one local historian is pushing to recognize the largely forgotten African — and African American — soldiers who had pivotal roles in both the beginning of the conflict and its final battle. Kojo explores the unique history of blacks during the war, and honors the Christmas Truce, a historic ceasefire which occurred 100 years ago this week.

The "Great War:" Historic Moments, Forgotten Fighters

Mon, 2014-12-22 07:25

A century ago, the "Great War" began in Europe. World War I would ultimately claim 14 million lives over four years, including 499 soldiers from the D.C. region. As centennial celebrations begin around the world, one local historian is pushing to recognize the largely forgotten African — and African American — soldiers who had pivotal roles in both the beginning of the conflict and its final battle. Kojo explores the unique history of blacks during the war, and honors the Christmas Truce, a historic ceasefire which occurred 100 years ago this week.

D.C. Water General Manager George Hawkins

Mon, 2014-12-22 07:06

D.C. Water is in charge of maintaining and developing some of the most critical public infrastructure in our region. General Manager George Hawkins joins Kojo in studio to discuss that challenge.

The Politics Hour - December 19, 2014

Fri, 2014-12-19 07:06

Virginia's governor maneuvers to push gun restrictions in 2015. D.C. lawmakers finalize a soccer stadium deal, as the city's mayor-in-waiting lobbies for Washington's bid to host the Olympic games. And the region dodges as a bullet, as a Congressional spending deal prevents a federal government shutdown. Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies, and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Winter Reading 2014

Thu, 2014-12-18 08:06

Winter is a season for good cheer, but sometimes the books that call to us at this time of year give us the shivers. "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens is a ghost story, after all. Whether you like horror stories or cookbooks, poetry or works in translation, we consider a range of titles that will keep you turning pages. And we want to know what's on your reading list, so join the conversation on air or on our website to share the best book you've read this year.

U.S.-Cuban Thaw: The Local Campaign to Free Alan Gross

Thu, 2014-12-18 07:06

Yesterday's announcement that USAID contractor Alan Gross would be released from Cuban prison surprised many in Washington and Havana. It also had particular resonance in a local Jewish congregation in suburban Maryland, where Gross was an active member. We explore how local activists rallied around the cause of securing Gross' release.

Choosing the Right Retail Mix for a Lively New Development

Thu, 2014-12-18 07:06

With the Burberry and Kate Spade stores already open and Louis Vuitton on the way, the new CityCenterDC aims to be D.C.'s long-missing, downtown luxury shopping mecca. But if you build it, will they come? Mixed-use developments like this one at the old Washington Convention Center site are sprouting all over the region — at all price points. We explore how local developers choose and recruit the mix of stores and restaurants they need to create a vibrant destination rather than a sleepy dud.

Cubed: A Secret History Of The Workplace (Rebroadcast)

Wed, 2014-12-17 08:06

Most of us spend upwards of eight hours a day, five days a week in an office. Shaped by everything from sexual politics to management theory, offices evolved over more than a century from the counting-houses of 19th-century clerks to the open plans and cubicles we love to hate. Author Nikil Saval traces how utopian design ideas became the soulless offices of today.

Joe Dobrow: "Natural Prophets" (Rebroadcast)

Wed, 2014-12-17 07:06

In the '60s and '70s, health food stores were mostly small, local cooperatives with little resemblance to the gleaming Whole Foods or Yes! Organic Markets we have today. But a growing distrust of chemicals and pesticides in commercial food transformed a grass-roots natural food movement into a mainstream, multi-billion-dollar enterprise. Author Joe Dobrow discusses his new book about the entrepreneurs and ideals that shaped today's natural food industry.

Remembering Those Lost in 2014

Tue, 2014-12-16 08:06

This year's obituary pages included stories that ran the gamut from triumph to tragedy. We said goodbye to voices that transformed public radio forever and a politician who left permanent marks, including scars, on Washington, D.C. We explore the stories behind this year's obituaries and reflect on those lost in 2014.

Amy Webb on Tech Trends for 2015

Tue, 2014-12-16 07:06

Digital futurist Amy Webb has followed tech trends for more than a decade, and she's looking ahead to 2015 and beyond. She predicts that ephemeral networks with disappearing email and social media will tackle both privacy and digital clutter. Your next device will be wearable, so you'll get your newsfeed on your wrist and take photos with a blink. Video game technology will hit newsrooms, making journalism into an immersive experience. Digital security will be big, with off-the-grid phones and new encryption for desktops. We explore the trends for 2015 and beyond.

Rob Kapilow: A New Spin for Old Tunes

Mon, 2014-12-15 08:20

From opera star Renee Fleming to pop princess Mariah Carey, it's now de rigueur for music's best and brightest to put their own spin on traditional holiday music. While some overwrought arrangements can elicit eye-rolls or groans, others have potential to be new classics. For more than two decades, composer and commentator Rob Kapilow has encouraged us to listen with new ears to old music through his program What Makes It Great? Kapilow and Kojo explore how composers and performers use traditional tunes to create beautiful new sounds.

Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America

Mon, 2014-12-15 07:30

A little over a year ago, Linda Tirado wrote a post on a message board in response to a question: Why do poor people do things that seem so self-destructive? She responded from firsthand experience: she'd held down multiple low-wage jobs, perpetually one car breakdown away from losing her job and her apartment. Long-term planning? Managing your finances? Those are luxuries those in poverty can't afford. Her response went viral, and she found herself the accidental ambassador for the poor in a new book.

The "Echo Chamber" at the Supreme Court

Mon, 2014-12-15 07:06

The Supreme Court holds itself up as the highest court in all the United States - and a place dedicated to equal justice under the law. But a recent investigation by Reuters found that a small group of elite lawyers is disproportionately involved in the court's business. Between 2004 and 2012, a group of attorneys representing just 1 percent of the petitions filed to the Supreme Court were involved in more than 40 percent of the cases the court decided to consider. Kojo explores what this investigation says about access to justice in modern America.

The "Echo Chamber" at the Supreme Court (Rebroadcast)

Mon, 2014-12-15 07:06

The Supreme Court holds itself up as the highest court in all the United States - and a place dedicated to equal justice under the law. But a recent investigation by Reuters found that a small group of elite lawyers is disproportionately involved in the court's business. Between 2004 and 2012, a group of attorneys representing just 1 percent of the petitions filed to the Supreme Court were involved in more than 40 percent of the cases the court decided to consider. Kojo explores what this investigation says about access to justice in modern America.