News & Information

Dino Extinction, Modern Mourning, Transcontinental Railroad

Constant Wonder
  • May 14, 2019 8:00 pm
  • 1:42:47

From catastrophic asteroids to terminal constipation, how did the dinosaurs get wiped out? Guest: Mike Benton, Professor of Vertebrate Paleontology, University of Bristol I’m sure you have that one friend on Facebook who bombards your feed with conspiracy theories about the moon landing, secret societies, government testing, and so on. But stop me if you’ve heard the one about dinosaurs going extinct due to terminal constipation. Yikes. That and more dinosaur extinction theory. Honoring the Dead in the 21st Century Guest: Candi K. Cann, Associate Professor and Faculty of Residence at Baylor University Death is an overwhelming topic, perhaps only second to love and life in literature and media, but more overwhelming still is the process of mourning for those left behind. Once described as “a special sort of madness,” defining mourning and studying its many facets is a difficult business, one which Candi K. Cann is deeply engaged in. Listen to her describe how modern cultures are changing, and remaining consistent, by incorporating ancient forms of mourning. America Connected by the Golden Spike Guest: David Haward Bain, Senior Lecturer in English and American Literatures at Middlebury College, and author, "Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad" Taking a train ride across the country today might seem like a romantic adventure—one you take if you have the time, because, of course, flying is so much faster. But when the first transcontinental railroad was built 150 years ago this month, taking a train felt that much faster than the alternative—horse and cart. In fact, the train turned a couple months’ journey into days.  How the Railroad Transformed America Ryan Lee, Curator of 19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts, Brigham Young University We’ve just heard how the transcontinental railroad was built, and now we’re going to hear about how the railroad changed life in America forever. After May of 1869, travel that once took months now only took days, but that’s really just the beginning.  At Brigham Young University, Special Collections has mounted an exhibition titled “Since the Golden Spike: 150 Years of Utah Railroad History” and we have its curator here in studio to talk about the impact the railroad made on America, on trade, tourism, and also, on what it meant to consider oneself American.