The Stuff of Life

Eavesdrop on experts and researchers as they ponder what makes our world so maddening, so strange and so achingly beautiful. Not to mention ridiculous. Join Julie Douglas for this week’s episode of The Stuff of Life, a podcast by


No matter where you fall on the political spectrum we can all agree that more than ever, the world feels broken. In this episode, we take a trip to Washington DC on the day of the inauguration and the eve of the Women’s March. And we look to Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken things, to find out how to mend ourselves.

The Stuff of Life Podcast Heads to Washington, D.C.

The U.S. is having a moment right now. So the Stuff of Life podcast team went to Washington, D.C., to hear how that moment is playing out in people's minds.

Life the Game

In this episode we look at the idea that life is just a game.

The First Songs

Nature gave us the first songs -- the patterns and melodies that we replicate in instruments, and our own voices. We take a visit to the exhibit, "Wild Music," to look at our deep connection to nature and music.

Under the Weather

The Earth is wrapped in an atmosphere that weighs 5.5 quadrillion tons. And inside this atmosphere the weather creates a crazy quilt of conditions. To say that the weather is unpredictable is to sum up our entire existence. And to personify weather is deeply human.

Map of Self

Finding our way in the world is one of the most fundamental things we humans do, and maps map it possible. But on some level, these maps are a thing of fiction.

Mourner for Hire

In this episode we’ll look at how, as the bereaved, we find solace in ritual – everything from providing comfort food to hiring professional mourners.

Life at the Death Café

In this episode we put out a pot of tea, a plate of cucumber sandwiches, and we take a seat with death. What is a “good death,” how do we achieve it and how might our dreams help?

An Object Lesson

In some ways our stuff is ourselves – it tells a story about who we are. But why do some of us develop pathological attachments to objects?

Building Eternity

In one way or another we’re all trying to transcend death, whether it’s through an “I was here” graffiti scrawl or an e-epic-length autobiography. In this episode we look at our attempts to achieve immortality – through objects that we store in time capsules, and through the information we store in the avatars we build of ourselves.