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The Happiest Nation on Earth

The country of Denmark has topped the World Happiness Report every year except one since 2012. While we could debate about what kinds of definitions and metrics are used to measure something as intangible as happiness, it is nonetheless a noteworthy distinction. So what makes Danes so happy? This is one of several questions we put […]

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The New Kurdistan: One Family’s Role

What would make a successful Iraqi geologist and his physicist wife pull up roots from the city they’ve grown up in, learn a new language, and become humanitarians and educators in a foreign culture — within their own country? Today we’re speaking with Youssif Matti, an Aramaic Iraqi, who has been living and working in […]

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Bikers of a Different Stripe

In the fall of last year we began an occasional series on American subcultures. We all know that it is unwise to paint American culture with too broad a brush. And that was proven over and over again as we talked to people from just about as diverse backgrounds as you can get. From the […]

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Friends from Faraway Places

Welcome to the first episode of Season 2 of the World to the Wise podcast. I hope you’ve had a chance to catch up on Season 1 during our break, because we have a whole set of new and fascinating people and stories for you in Season 2. We’re also excited to tell you about […]

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Season 1 Wrap-up

This week we wrap up what for me has been a great ride, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it too. It’s been roughly 6 months and exactly 25 episodes since we launched in April, and we’ve been to a lot of parts of the world in that short time. The great thing about podcasts is […]

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Gullah Culture and the South Carolina Low Country

My wife and I had the pleasure of spending Labor Day weekend in the Charleston, SC area. Besides some great time with family and enjoying Folly Beach, we also did a tour of Charleston led by a guide named Alphonso Brown. Mr. Brown is Gullah. Know what that means? He is part of the Gullah […]

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An Amish Odyssey

I hope you have already listened to last week’s episode, where I interviewed journalist and author Jeff Smith about his experience reconnecting with childhood friends Bill and Tricia Moser. At Tricia’s invitation to visit them on their new farm in rural Michigan, Jeff had a rather large surprise waiting for him. The Mosers had left the […]

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Becoming Amish

Are you still in touch with the people you grew up with? Like the next door neighbor near your age or kids you went to elementary school with? Me? Not in the least. The fact that we moved around a lot didn’t help that much, but it’s rare these days even for people who were […]

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Inside the Nashville Songwriters’ Culture

As a part of our series on subcultures in the United States, we take an interesting turn this week and visit a unique breed of human: the Nashville songwriter. You might argue that songwriters the world over are a different breed — and I wouldn’t argue with you. But Nashville is almost without question home […]

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No Place Like Santa Fe

In our series on subcultures in the United States, we pay a visit this week to the unique city of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The oldest state capital in the US, this jewel at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountains was established 400 years ago by the Spanish — its full name being […]

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