18-40 Segment 1: The Joy of Retirement: How people can look forward to retiring and make it the best time of their lives

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Retirement can be bittersweet. On one hand, it’s something you build toward your whole life, but it can also be intimidated to lose your purpose in the workplace. We talk to Helen Wilkes about how she found a new passion in her retirement, and how she’s helping others make their retirements more fulfilling.


  • Helen Wilkes, author, The Aging of Aquarius: Igniting passion and passion and purpose as an elder

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18-40 Segment 2: When a Young Person Gets Sent to Adult Prison

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There are millions incarcerated in American prisons, even many juveniles who were sentenced to long terms alongside adults. We talk to guests about how and why this happens, whether it should continue, and what life is like for young people behind bars.


  • Peter K. Enns, Associate Professor, Department of Government at Cornell University and author, Incarceration Nation: How the United States became the most punitive democracy in the world
  • Jean Trounstine, Professor, Middlesex Community College and author, Boy with a Knife: A story of murder, remorse, and a prisoner’s fight for justice

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Culture Crash 18-40: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing and the difficulty of classifying art

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Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture. What’s new and old in books, film, and entertainment.

Sometimes, classifying art in one specific genre can be tricky. Look at Star Wars. It’s a space opera, sure. But what does that mean? It was built to be a Western. And sci-fi. With some fantasy aspects? And who is the intended audience? Is it for kids? Teenagers? Adults? All of the above? That can be the difficulty in classification.  

So it is with Hank Green’s novel, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. His brother is responsible for the young adult hits Looking for Alaska, The Fault In Our Stars, and Paper Towns, so many people are rushing to call Hank Green’s book YA as well. And the cover certainly makes it look like a YA book. But it’s not actually about teenagers. It’s about a 20-something woman with a career to think about. In fact, none of the main characters are under the age of 20.

The term YA can be limiting. Many people look down on that designation, which is itself an arbitrary reason to eliminate something from your radar because, in essence, all PG-13 movies are for young adults and adults still go see Jurassic Park movies and Marvel movies.

Ultimately, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing falls into that group… as do John Green’s books for that matter. They’re PG-13 stories that are appropriate for young adults and also just wonderful stories that everyone can embrace. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing tells one woman’s story as she is thrust in the center of an international affair. It tackles the issues of social media, of civic duty and tolerance, and it’s a fun story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s sort of a sci-fi adventure dramedy. Give it a chance, it’s good!

Hank Green’s book An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is available now.

I’m Evan Rook.