When is wildness on our side, and when does it have to be eliminated? We’re not be talking about wilderness but wildness. We examine wildness as both a place of terror and a place to find meaning. And, as you’ll hear later, we don’t have to go into nature to find it. We’ll hear a story about what happens when you venture into nature for the first time. We’ll hear from a graduate student who holds some nontraditional ideas about his clothing and is a modern day outlaw because of it. We’ll introduce you to someone who studied Muay Tai in a gritty gym in Oakland. He has to be wild, right? We meet a wilderness rites of passage guide who tells us what happens when we don’t have elders, and finally, we’ll meet Tea. She may or may not raise wolves.

Hosts/Producers: Christy Hartman and Joshua Hoyt

Featured: Andrew Forsthoefel, Dr. Richard White, Andrew Todhunter, Osvaldo Murro, Mason Alford, “Jordan,” Annalise Lockhart, Liam Purvis, Darlene Franklin, Martin Shaw, Melina Lopez, Teresa Yammamoto, Joshua Hoyt

Release Date: 5 June 2013

Music: Ian Brown, Monk Turner and Fascinoma, Gasnoprod

Image via flickr



Teaser Story: What is Wildness?

In this two-and-a-half minute voxpop, we hear how thirty turkey vultures inspire one moment of pure feeling, a wildness that isn’t meant to last.

Featuring: Andrew Forsthoefel

Producer: Marnie Crawford Samuelson

Image via wikimedia



Intro Story: No Place to Hide

Christopher Dorner was a policeman who turned his gun on society itself as he fled into the woods for refuge. This story asks, just how wild was he?

Featuring: Dr. Richard White

Producer: Joshua Hoyt, Sophia Paliza, Christy Hartman

Music: Anji

Image via flickr



Story 1: With Shovel and Saw

But sometimes we do find wildness IN wilderness. Where that wildness comes from can be surprising. Stanford Freshman Mason Alford bring a microphone along to find out what happens when we go into the woods for the first time.

Producer: Christy Hartman

Featuring: Andrew Todhunter, Osvaldo Murro, and Mason Alford

Image courtesy of Caleb Kruse



Story 2: Invisible Lines

Pretty much everyone lives in “the village” nowadays. But who gets to decide what’s normal? We’ll introduce you to a Stanford Graduate student who is VERY frustrated by what “the village” considers normal behavior and abnormal, or wild behavior. It has to do with something very simple.

Featuring: “Jordan,” Annalise Lockhart

Producer: Rachel Hamburg

Music: Podington Bear, Max McClure, First Time Out, DJ Ra So, and Jahzzar

Image via flickr



Story 3: The Cage

Fighting is one of the most quintessential wild behaviors, somewhere up there with survival of the fittest and conquering that which is trying to eat or destroy you. And yet, in some ways it’s no different from Basketball or tennis. It’s just another sport.

Featuring: Liam Purvis, Darlene Franklin

Producers: Darlene Franklin, Charlie Mintz, Christy Hartman

Music: Anitek, Kevin Macleod, Zapac, Broken Gadget ,cdk

Image courtesy of Rachel Hamburg



Story 4: Wild vs. Savage

Dr. Martin Shaw, mythologist and guest lecturer at Stanford, has invested considerable effort in listening to the land. What stories does the land have, and how can we listen? Martin Shaw shares his stories about his work with at-risk youth and why we should pay attention to the lack of elders.

Featuring: Martin Shaw, Melina Lopez

Producers: Melina Lopez, Rachel Hamburg

Music: Sláinte

Image via wikimedia


Story 5: Wolftown

A show on wildness wouldn’t be complete with at least one story about wild animals. In this story, Joshua Hoyt connects with someone from his past. Someone who he thought might be able to shed some real light on wildness. She’s the kind of a mentor, or an elder, like Dr. Martin Shaw talked about in our last story. Her name is Teresa Yammamoto, or Tea. And she’s going to school, I mean, mentor, Joshua Hoyt in the ways of the natural world.

Featuring: Teresa Yammamoto, Joshua Hoyt

Producers: Joshua Hoyt, Christy Hartman, Charlie Mintz

Music: Holly Cole Trio

Image via flickr


Breaking into Song

Sometimes, the only way to voice our feelings is to break into song. We’re not just talking about singing, we’re talking about that surprising moment – when melody, lyrics, and pure emotion swell inside us. When we have no choice but to open our mouths and let our voices soar. In that moment, our own voice escapes us and ventures into the world with what seems like a mind of its own. We hear ourselves like we never have. Others hear us too, and the results can be life-changing – for the better and for the worse. In our first story, we find out what really happens when you open your heart and break into song for the girl who may (or may not be) the one. In our second story, we explore what it takes to lend your voice to others, and break into song for them, whatever the consequences may be. In our third story, we go to France, to find out what happens when two lifelong enemies break into song together.

Host: Victoria Hurst

Producers: Natacha Ruck and Victoria Hurst

Featuring: Lecturer Wendy Goldberg, Danny Smith, Chris Worth, Andi Harrington, Jared Muirhead and Natacha Ruck

Release Date: 22 May 2013

Image via flickr



Intro Story: Zipping into Song

Find out what happens when Stanford Lecturer Wendy Goldberg straps herself to a pulley and goes flying over the jungle of Honduras.

Featuring: Wendy Goldberg

Producer: Victoria Hurst

Music: Sweet Thang by Shuggie Otis , The Concubine by Beirut

Image via wikimedia



Story 1: The Fire

Sometimes, breaking into song has the power to reveal suppressed feelings or thoughts. What happens after you open your mouth and tell people how you really feel? Danny Smith interviews independent musician, Chris Worth, to find out what happened when he improvised a song for a girl he calls “Mrs. Rosie.”

Featuring: Chris Worth, The Red Couch Project

Producers: Danny Smith and Victoria Hurst

Image via wikimedia



Story 2: The Part of Me in You

Everybody can break into song, but very few can create a deep and powerful song on the spot. Stanford Alumnus Andi Harrington can, and she can also break into song for you. If you just give her a few words and a mood, she will improvise something to match your feelings. But once, Andi received a very strange request; when she decided to honor it, she discovered how far breaking into song could take you– and the people around you.

Featuring: Andi Harrington and Jared Muirhead

Producers: Natacha Ruck, Bonnie Swift, and Charlie Mintz

Music: Andi Harrington, Sam Grinsell

Image courtesy of Rachel Hamburg



Story 3: La Vie En Rose

Sometimes, songs are used as weapons, but when you dare to break into song with your enemies, you get to see the world in a new way.

Producer/Featuring: Natacha Ruck

Original Music Composition: Eoin Callery
“La Vie en Rose” Montage created using tracks from Audrey HepburnMadeleine Leaper, Dean Martin, and Cindy Lauper
Additional music: Annie Cordy

Image via wikimedia



Listening is way more than just paying attention, and this week’s show explores how. To find out just what listening can do to us, we eavesdrop with a cochlear implant, learn what crying babies teach us about music, find out how silence can be full, how God enters our thoughts, and ask what a single moment of being listened to can achieve. We’re finding out what happens when we listen to sounds we never expected to, when we take our listening where it’s never been.

Host/Producer: Charlie Mintz

Featuring: Professor Tanya Luhrmann, Professor Jonathan Berger, Musikilu Mojeed , Rachel Kolb, Eoin Callery, D’or Seifer, Daniel Steinbock

Release Date: 20 February 2013

Image via wikimedia



Intro Story: The Bus is an F

A lot of people in relationships will say their partner hears the world differently. This is a story where that’s literally true.

Featuring: Eoin Callery and D’or Seifer

Producers: Charlie Mintz, Natacha Ruck, Christy Hartman

Image via wikimedia



Story 1: A Sense of Unhappy Confusion

What is so piercing about a baby’s cry? Why can’t we ignore it? We were curious what makes us listen, and we ended up learning why we like music.

Featuring: Jonathan Berger

Producers: Charlie Mintz, Krystal Le, Natacha Ruck

Music: Broken Gadget, Gurdonark, Stefsax, Basematic, jlbrock44

Image via flickr



Story 2: Eavesdropping on the World of Sounds

Rachel Kolb could never just overhear. She was born deaf, but it wasn’t one-on-one communication that was hardest — it was with groups. Then one day, she managed to listen to something she never expected to hear.

Featuring: Rachel Kolb

Producers: Charlie Mintz, Victoria Hurst, Rachel Hamburg

Music: Kevin Macleod – Light Thought Var. 1
– Jarvic 8
– Slow Heat
– Gypsy Shoegazer
– Wet Riffs
– Avec Soin
Jessica_Pavone – Dedicated to Elizabeth Cotten, with Matt Bauder
Emphemtry – Old Dreams
Oskar Schuster – Sneuwland

Image via flickr



Story 3: Daniel and the Quakers

Sometimes the space between words, and what happens during that space, is much more powerful than anything anyone could say.

Featuring: Daniel Steinbock

Producers: Charlie Mintz, Zainab Taymuree

Music: Cara Roxanne
– Intimate
Dan Warren – Instrumental Restoration
Ergo Phizmiz – Margita Zalite – Rolands Vegners
Kevin Macleod – Frost Waltz
Jared C. Balogh – A Tough Decision
Pitx – See you Later

Image via flickr



Story 4: Listening to God

Most of what we listen for, other people can hear it. But sometimes what we listen for doesn’t even have a sound.

Featuring: Professor Tanya Luhrmann

Producers: Jonah Willihnganz, Nina Foushee, Rachel Hamburg

Music: Steffen Basho-Junghans and Rob Voigt

Image via flickr



Story 5: Sometimes, They Don’t Listen

Nigerian investigative journalist and Stanford Knight Fellow Musikilu Mojeed has a very specific definition of what it means for people to listen: government taking action. His long quest to bring down one of Nigeria’s most corrupt politicians shows hard it can be for that version of listening to happen — and also, the power of being listened to.

Featuring: Musikilu Mojeed

Producers: Charlie Mintz, Joshua Hoyt

Music: Blue Suede Through
Christos Koulaxizis – The Place
Brendan Bonsack – Clockwork Waltz
Grapes – I dunno
Anitek – Dormouse
Anitek – Calling
ArnoDee – Compulsion
Kevin Macleod – “Cool Vibes”, Wisps of Whorls
Stefsax – Awel

Image via wikimedia



Bonus: The Rest is Silence

On our show we told the story of Rachel Kolb’s first experience eavesdropping, with the help of her cochlear implant. But the decision to get that implant is a story of its own.

Featuring: Rachel Kolb

Producer: Ariana Peck

Image via wikimedia



Whether or not there’s a cape, a sword, or a noble steed involved, we all go on quests. We leave the comforts and routines of ordinary life in search of a light that hovers just beyond the horizon. In the old days, it was a better trade route, a new world, the holy grail. It’s much the same today. But what is it about the quest that makes it so different from merely reaching for a goal? And what makes it worth leaving everything else behind? In this episode, a girl named Rachel searches the world in a quest for her holy grail. Accompanying her is an academic all-star named Bobby, who is questing for certain kind of community. In our last piece, a film editor named Giusepi goes on a quest around America for a better way to serve people.

Producers: Rachel Hamburg and Sophia Paliza

Host: Rachel Hamburg

Featuring: Bobby Holley, Daniela Bize, Guisepi the Tea Guy

Release Date: 30 January 2013

Images courtesy of Rachel Hamburg


Story 1: In Search of a Nomad Base

Rachel Hamburg tells the story of her search for a transformative feeling she had once while traveling. While searching, she joins Bobby Holley, a computer-geek turned nomad, on his quest to build a “nomad base” – a free home for travelers, hitchhikers, and wanderers – in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Producer: Rachel Hamburg

Featuring: Bobby Holly, Daniela Bize

Music: Cam Deas, Black Twig and Steve Gunn, Fred van Eps, Victor Herbert Orchestra, James Blackshaw, Loren MazzaCane Connors, The Oo-Ray, Broke for Free, and Phil Reavis

Original Music: Manolis Seuega

This piece also features the music of Jake Wachtel (Walk/Tell) who traveled around the world for a year and then recorded an album called WanderLove, which features 80 instruments that he collected on his journeys.



Story 2: Giusepi the Tea Guy

Guisepi is a film editor with an unusual quest: to build a bus that will allow him to travel America, bringing free tea to strangers.

Producer: Sophia Paliza

Music: Yair Yona, Steffen Basho-Junghans, Steven R. Smith



Bonus Story: Heinrich Kaput

While hitchhiking in Germany, Bobby Holley befriends a stranger who makes an unusual request.

Producer: Rachel Hamburg and Bobby Holley

Writer: Bobby Holley

Music: Axel Linstädt for Improved Sound Limited, James Blackshaw, and Phil Reavis

Returning Home

What is it like to be a student who has fought in a war? In this episode, six Stanford students and recent alumni, all veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, tell their stories. With thoughtfulness, humor, and stone cold honesty, they share with us their decision to join, their experiences in boot camp, living and fighting in Iraq, and their eventual return home to civilian and student life. This is your chance to listen.

Producers: Xandra Clark and Natacha Ruck

Hosts: Natacha Ruck and Xandra Clark

Featuring: Dustin Barfield, Chris Clark, Josh Francis, Annie Hsieh, Heidi Toll, Russ Toll, and William Treseder

Music and scoring by Eoin Callery

Release Date: 16 December 2012


Awards: The General Oliver P. Smith Award from The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation

Special Thanks: Lee Konstantinou, Rachel Hamburg, Christy Hartman, Charlie Mintz, Jonah Willinghanz, Heidi Thorsen, Will Rogers, Victoria Hurst, and Cathy Yuan.

Warning: This episode contains strong language, and may not be suitable for all audiences


October is full of ghosts, but in our show we will not be talking about little kids who wear white sheets. We’re embracing the unseen, and talking about haunting: how things we can’t see nonetheless press upon us, affect our choices, our actions, and sometimes even our beliefs. We’ll be talking about the ghosts that inhabit California’s highways, about a spirit who is very hungry, about the ghosts of our past selves that persist inside each of us, and finally, we’ll bring you “What Can Be Named,” the story of a young man haunted by a country.

Producers: Rachel Hamburg and Christy Hartman

Host: Christy Hartman

Featuring: Dr. Nicholas Jenkins, Dong-Nghi Huynh, Dr. Joshua Landy, Nina Foushee

Release Date: 31 October 2012

Music: California Ramblers, Neuroleptic Trio, Coda, Sunhiilow, Dan Friel, Broken Gadget, Zoë Lidstrom, Carnivorous Snowflake, Gist, Jason Marey,Owen Callery and Silvio Rodriguez.

Note: The Proust passages from In Search of Lost Time were translated by Enright, Kilmartin, Mayor, and Moncrieff.



Story 1: Shadows in Gold

When he first came to America, Professor Nicholas Jenkins rented a Chrysler Park Avenue and set out on a leisurely drive through the hills of California, the Golden State. Then, he slammed his car into a bridge, and began a very different kind of journey – into the shadowy reality of California’s highways.

Producers: Will Rogers and Rachel Hamburg

Featuring: Dr Nicholas Jenkins

Music: California Ramblers, Neuroleptic Trio, Coda (courtesy of elementperspective), Dan Friel, Sunhiilow



Story 2: The Possession of Chi

In the summer of 2009, Stanford student Dong-Nghi Huyhn returned to Vietnam to mourn the death of her aunt. Her family observed a hundred day funeral ritual, which was interrupted when her aunt suddenly returned in the form of their housekeeper.

Producers: Rachel Hamburg and Andrew Todhunter

Featuring: Dong-Nghi Huyhn

Photo by C. Frank Starmer



Story 3: Yanked by their Noses

Marcel Proust had a theory about the past – that our former selves don’t die, but live like ghosts inside of us, and can be reawakened suddenly. Re-awakening these ghosts is the best thing that could ever happen to you, because for a moment you live outside of time, and you discover your true self – the one that lives in both the past and the present. Dr. Joshua Landy reads passages from Proust and explains that this frequently happens through smell. Producers Rachel Hamburg and Christy Hartman take this a little too literally, and decide to perform an experiment with unsuspecting pedestrians.

Producers: Rachel Hamburg, Charlie Mintz, Christy Hartman

Featuring: Dr. Joshua Landy

Photo: Jacques Emile-Blanche – Portrait de Marcel Proust




Story 4: What can be Named

Nina Foushee shares her fiction story “What Can Be Named”, about a couple – Ellen and Thomas – on their first trip to Arizona, and what happens when the ghosts inside them unexpectedly come to the surface.

Photo by Robin Stevens

Producers: Rachel Hamburg and Christy Hartman


In Between

We all come from somewhere—and then life happens. In college maybe more than anywhere else, you’re stuck between two worlds. This week on our show, the story of the Chi Theta Chi co-op, one of the most unusual houses at Stanford, and its residents’ fight to preserve their independence from the university. Plus a story of animals being trained to act, a near death experience, and other tales of liminality.

Producer: Charlie Mintz

Host: Natacha Ruck

Featuring: Sam CC, Abel Allison, Elif Tasar, Gerad Hanono, Adam Pearson, Nathaniel Nelson, Deborah Golder, and Logan Hehn

music by Mississippi John Hurt, Colleen, The Norskadelen Trio, Anaïs Mitchell

Release Date: 19 August 2012

Everything we see, we see from two vantage points: from between our two eyes. This is what gives the world depth. So we at State of the Human wondered what else seeing between two points could do. Today’s show is all about people living in between. You’ll hear the story of a boy who ventures off into the forest with some friends and gets caught between the world of the living and the world of the dead. The experience teaches him something he could only learn in a space just on the other side of life. Then it’s the story of a high school girl who is best friends with a 100 year old woman, her great aunt Mary. The girl learns how to survive high school, but she also learns a bigger lesson, about unfairness, and about moving on. Our third story tells the tale of a Stanford co-op called Chi Theta Chi. For generations the house was a world apart from Stanford, but then Stanford tried to change that, and the students living there got caught between who they were, and who Stanford wanted them to be. Last, it’s a story about yearning to bridge the space between human and animal. It’s about traveling the space between your mind, and a horse’s.



Story 1: Where Sam Went

When Sam went off into the woods with his friends, he had no idea he’d end up paralyzed, on his back. He had no idea he’d have to come to terms with the most important thing in life. He just wanted to smoke a little pot. But instead he got stuck in between.

Producers: Irys Clayter, Sophia Paliza and Charlie Mintz

Featuring: Sam CC




Story 2: Great Aunt Mary

Beth’s parents never stuck around anywhere long. So Beth settled in with her great aunt Mary, who lived alone at 100 years old. Mary helped Beth figure out how to survive high school. But soon Beth faced a new challenge: an out-of-town relative intent on destroying Mary’s life.

Producer: Rachel Hamburg

Featuring: “Beth”



Story 3: Save XOX!

Chi Theta Chi had a special deal with Stanford: they leased the house, so they got to take care of it. They painted the walls, built a bar in the basement, and fixed what needed fixing. This made it the most independent house on campus. But Stanford got nervous about all that independence, and so it tried to take Chi Theta Chi back.

Producers: Austin Meyer, Rachel Hamburg, and Charlie Mintz

Featuring: Abel Allison, Elif Tasar, Gerad Hanono, Adam Pearson, Nathaniel Nelson and Deborah Golder



Story 4: Love of Horse

Many of us seek oneness–with the world, with another person, or just with ourselves. But Logan Hehn is seeking oneness with a horse. He wants to travel along that space between his consciousness and that of the animal beneath him.

Producers: Christy Hartman and Joshua Hoyt

Featuring: Logan Hehn


Learning to Lie

When asked what trait they want to instill in their children, most parents answer “honesty.” But in truth, learning to lie is a crucial part of childhood. This week, we take a deep look at how and why we learn to lie, and what lying does to you. Our first story investigates the most common lie of the western world and how it ushers us into the world of lies. Our second story is about the irrepressible urge to tell the truth, and our third and final story is about lying as a form of love.

Producer: Natacha Ruck

Featuring: Joshua Hoyt, Victoria Hurst, Poncie Rutsch, Christy Hartman, Dana Kletter, Dr. Gail Heyman, Dr. Karl Rosengren, Anish Mitra, Ian Girard, Rebekah Morreale, and Ashley Artmann.

Release Date: 1 August 2012

show image via flickr




Joshua Hoyt Interviews psychologists to find out when and how children learn to lie.

Featuring: Austin Meyer, Dr. Gail Heyman, Dr. Karl Rosengren.



Story 1: The Santa Game

Victoria Hurst tackle the big one: Santa Claus. He’s the biggest, Jolliest lie in the western world. For his sake we’ve cleaned our rooms and smiled when our great aunts pinched our cheeks. Because of him, we believed wholeheartedly in the fairness of the world and in bearded old men from the North. But What has he really taught us?

Producer: Victoria Hurst

Featuring: Anish Mitra, Ian Girard, Rebekah Morreale, and Ashley Artmann.

Image Courtesy of Ken Grobe



Story 2: The Lying Lesson

Dana Kletter was only seven years old when she found herself in a situation where she needed to learn how to lie–and to lie well. It was a matter of survival. But like any little girl, she also felt a big pressure to tell the truth, no matter how dangerous that may be.

Producer: Poncie Rutsch

Featuring: Dana Kletter

Image Courtesy of Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / The National Library of Wales



Story 3: Lie to Me

What happens when lying takes over your home, and comes between you and the ones you love? In this story, Christy Hartman explores how hard it can be to face the truth about your family, and how learning to lie can be a gift of love.

Producer: Christy Hartman

Image Courtesy of Christy Hartman



This week on our show, four stories of giving. First, it’s a story about a charity fundraiser, and the woman who comes to question why fundraisers even exist. Then it’s the story of a t-shirt entrepreneur’s attempt to send one million shirts to Africa. Third, it’s two interviews with people who had to decide if they were willing to donate bone marrow. Last, the story of Odyssey Works, a group of artists that create works of art for a single person.

 Producer: Charlie Mintz

Featuring: Rachel Hamburg, Will Rogers, Jason Sadler, Saundra Schimmelpfennig, TMS Ruge, Nick Hartley, Mandeep Gill, Kristina Kulin, Abraham Burickson, and Jen Harmon

Release Date: 18 April 2012



Story 1: Me and the 49ers Cheerleaders

State of the Human producer Rachel Hamburg had the chance to cater a charity fundraiser. She got to see what enticements were used to get people to give. She started to wonder, what was the point of it all?


Featuring: Rachel Hamburg



Story 2: How Not To Give

It was an epic project: send one million shirts to Africa. But before it even got off the ground, it hit a snag. Is sending a million used shirts across the Atlantic ocean even a good idea?


Producer: Will Rogers and Charlie Mintz

Featuring: Jason Sadler, Saundra Schimmelpfennig, TMS Ruge

Links: Good Intents; Project Diaspora; I Wear Your Shirt



Story 3: A Tale of Two Donors

No one said donating bone marrow was a trip to the water park. But if it’s a choice between avoiding pain, and saving a life, how do you decide what to do? 


Featuring: Nick Hartley, Mandeep Gill

Links: Stanford BLood Center


Story 4: Odyssey Works

What would it be like to have a play made just for you? One that incorporated your dreams, and your wishes, and brought you into its world to participate?


Featuring: Kristina Kulin, Abraham Burickson, and Jen Harmon

Links: Odyssey Works