Land of the Giants - The Self-Driving Experiment

Seven years ago, Elon Musk stood on stage and said he “would consider autonomous driving to be basically a solved problem.” He also said Teslas could “drive with greater safety than a person right now.” That statement wasn’t true. But Musk has continued making this claim. Meanwhile, several other companies have made major strides on autonomous driving. Can Tesla catch up?

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NPR's Book of the Day - In ‘The Apology,’ a South Korean grandmother makes amends from the afterlife

There are lots of secrets that 105-year-old Hak Jeonga has carried with her throughout her life. But even after she dies, there's still one big one – generational curse included – that she must resolve. Jimin Han's new novel, The Apology, follows the family from South Korea to Chicago to right some of the wrongs that have happened over time. Han tells NPR's Eyder Peralta how she was influenced by her own family's experience of longing and separation following the Korean War, and why Korean shamanism influenced this story of immortality.

NPR's Book of the Day - James McBride’s new murder mystery digs into Black and Jewish communities in the ’30s

In James McBride's new novel – the titular shop at its heart – The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store – can be found in a neighborhood in Pottstown,Pennsylvania, where working-class Jewish immigrants and African-Americans live side by side, forming a community of protection and respect for one another. In today's episode, McBride speaks with NPR's Scott Detrow about the murder mystery that unfolds in the novel, the inspiration he took from his own grandmother, and the allure of writing about Pennsylvania.

Read Me a Poem - “Waiting for Icarus” by Muriel Rukeyser

Amanda Holmes reads Muriel Rukeyser’s poem “Waiting for Icarus.” Have a suggestion for a poem by a (dead) writer? Email us: If we select your entry, you’ll win a copy of a poetry collection edited by David Lehman.


This episode was produced by Stephanie Bastek and features the song “Canvasback” by Chad Crouch.

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In God We Lust - Listen Now – Over My Dead Body: Gone Hunting

When Mike Williams vanishes on a hunting trip, the authorities suspect he was eaten by alligators but the true predators who took Mike may lurk much closer to home. The mystery of Mike’s disappearance might have faded from memory, if it wasn’t for one woman’s tireless crusade. From Wondery, comes a new season of Over My Dead Body; a story about an obsessive love affair, a scandalous secret and a mother’s battle for the truth.

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NPR's Book of the Day - ‘War and Punishment’ chronicles the history of Russian oppression of Ukraine

Journalist Mikhail Zygar says a lot of Russian historians were actually propagandists – they worked for people in power and wrote recorded events the way politicians and elites wanted. In his new book, War and Punishment, he breaks down the historical myths he says are part of the Russian psyche, one he says Putin uses to defend the invasion of Ukraine. Zygar tells NPR's Leila Fadel that he doesn't think everyone believes the propaganda, but that it's essential to uncover the truth about the Russian empire to understand how we got to today's war, and where it might go next.