19-07 Segment 1: Facing Our Own Mortality: How to plan for a more peaceful death for yourself and loved ones

VP 19-07a wordpress

Facing the prospect of death isn’t pleasant, but it is the reality of being human. We talk to two experts about how people can get their affairs in order both personally and medically to ensure their wishes are respected and their loved ones can properly grieve if the unthinkable happens.


  • Katy Butler, journalist and author, The Art of Dying Well: A practical guide to a good end of life
  • Dr. Sunita Puri, Medical Director of Palliative Medicine, University of Southern California, author, That Good Night: Life and medicine in the eleventh hour

Links for more information:

Stay in the loop! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! Subscribe and review on iTunes!

19-07 Segment 2: Considering the Precarious Future of AI

VP 19-07b wordpress

Between Alexa, Google and Siri, artificial intelligence is here. But looking forward, AI will only get more and more intelligent. Author and researcher James Rollins discusses why AI has long scared scientists and storytellers, and what the future of our technology could look like if we aren’t careful.


  • James Rollins, researcher and author, Crucible 

Links for more information:

Stay in the loop! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! Subscribe and review on iTunes!

Culture Crash 19-07: The Academy’s Unforced Errors

Culture Crash Logo

Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine what’s new and old in entertainment.

As you may have heard, this year’s Oscars have been a disaster since the word “go.” Over the past few months, the Academy has announced a Best Popular Film award, that Kevin Hart would be the host, and that only two of the nominees for Best Song would be performing. All three of those ideas stirred up controversy and all three have been reversed. Best Popular Film has been shelved for discussion another year, this year’s awards show will not have a host, and all the Best Song nominees will perform.

So, problems fixed, right? Well, not so fast, because the Academy is committing another unforced error. Higher-ups at the Oscars have begun insisting certain awards will be announced during commercial breaks and occur off-air to trim the show’s runtime, and I guess to skip on giving hard-working craftspeople their shining moments.

Awards are, of course, arbitrary. Ranking art is a personal endeavor, so calling someone the Best Actress or Best Director of a certain year is relatively insignificant. What many of us who love awards shows like the Oscars are attached to is the celebration of an art form we cherish. I disagree with the winners more often than not, but I like seeing the craft celebrated; I like having a list of things worth checking out, and I like getting a glimpse behind the scenes at the editors, screenwriters, and costume artists who make the movies we all go see. To steal these moments from those artists is to ignore the greater purpose of the show in the first place.

It’s not supposed to be about stargazing celebrity obsession. I mean, okay, of course, it is. But it isn’t just that, or at least it shouldn’t be. It should also be a celebration of filmmaking. To eliminate so-called “lesser” awards so Lady Gaga or Christian Bale can have more time to shine is a shame. The Oscars air once a year. I wish the Academy would let that show serve to honor as many people as possible and not just the famous ones in the fancy tuxes.

I’m Evan Rook. 

Stay in the loop! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! Subscribe and review on iTunes!