On the day of the Palestinian elections, we welcomed noted journalist Rami Khouri, current editor-at-large for the Beirut-based Daily Star and former editor of the Jordan Times, who provided a guided tour d'horizon of the Middle East. Topics included in this must-listen conversation include the war in Iraq, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the possible repercussions of the Palestinian election, Iran's new president and nuclear program, and the ongoing political conflict between Syria and Lebanon. (01/25/06)

Rami Khouri (89:17)

Noted linguist and social commentator John McWhorter (who is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Public Policy and professor of linguistics at the University of California Berkeley) discusses the current state of the black community in the United States, as described his new book Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America. (01/24/06)

John McWhorter (92:15)

The father of string theory, Leonard Susskind, discusses the origins and landscape of the universe and how current research into string theory disproves the theory of intelligent design. The occasion for this conversation was the publication of his new book The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design. (01/09/06)

Leonard Susskind (94:16)

Three historians who specialize in the study of empires compare and contrast great empires throughout history and examine how they have shaped the world today. Our guests in this discussion are Brian Lavelle, professor of classics at Loyola University Chicago, Cornell Fleischer, professor of history at the University of Chicago, and Michael Khodarkovsky, professor of history at Loyola University Chicago. (01/06/06)

Empires (101:01)

Two expert philosophers discuss the roots of consciousness and the functions of the human mind. Our guests in this discussion are David Hilbert, professor of philosophy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and David Finkelstein, professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago. (01/04/06)

Philosophy of Mind (91:51)