Society

What is Going On with Vatican Art?, with Eric Armusik

Catholic artist Eric Armusik joins Tim to talk about the current trend at the Vatican to embrace ugly art at the expense of so much beauty it could showcase. Eric paints classical figurative art. His work is reminiscent of the old masters. His works are inspired by grand and vivid murals that he first saw in Gothic cathedrals as a child. But what caught my attention was a social media post from Eric that highlighted something we all may have noticed but may not have thought much about, which is how the Vatican seems to have gotten away from this sort of beauty and realism in its own art.

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Are Doctors Overmedicating Kids?, with Brooke Siem

Author, writer and advocate Brooke Siem joins Tim to talk about her own experience with doctors prescribing anti-depressants to long-term negative effects. Brooke is an advocate for the practice of safe de-prescribing for psychiatric drugs. In 2022, she published a memoir on her own struggles with antidepressant withdrawal. The title of that book is called, “May Cause Side Effects.”

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Is Cancel Culture Killing Comedy?, with Evan Nierman

Author and crisis manager Evan Nierman joins Tim O’Brien to talk about cancel culture and its attacks on comedians and comedy in general. Will it kill comedy as we know it? And how can you defend yourself if the “cancel vultures” attack?

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Unprecedented: Parents of Mass Shooter Convicted, with Attorney Mark Chutkow

Attorney Mark Chutkow joins Tim O’Brien to talk about an unprecedented case where the parents of a mass shooter are prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to prison. Is this a one-off or a sign of things to come? That’s just one of the questions we discuss.

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Preview: Shaping Opinion 2.0

If you follow us on social media or have subscribed to our new Substack page you may already know we’ve been on hiatus in recent months. Most of the episodes you have heard since the start of the New Year have been encore episodes.

Today, we have some good news. Starting next week, you will be seeing and hearing Shaping Opinion 2.0!

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Encore: What They Won’t Tell You About Socialism

Economist, professor and author Paul Rubin joins Tim to talk about the impact of socialism on the future, particularly among young people who tend to be the most supportive of it, but who stand to lose the most because of it. This is the focus of his new book called, “A Student’s Guide to Socialism: How it will trash your lives.” This episode was first released January 4, 2021.

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1979: City of Champions

This is a Special Edition of the Shaping Opinion Podcast called “1979: City of Champions.” In this extended episode (90 minutes), we take you to when Pittsburgh became the “City of Champions,” and how its impact went well beyond the field, or just baseball or football fans. In the end, it’s about what sports can do to bolster an entire people who are going through hard times. Guests include: Kent Tekulve, Joe Gordon, Lanny Frattare, Michael MacCambridge, John Steigerwald and Walter Iooss, Jr. This is the story of Pittsburgh, City of Champions, like you’ve never heard it before.

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Encore: She Spied on the Germans in WWII

Julia Parsons joins Tim to talk about her role as a code-breaker during World War II. Julia was part of a a team of Navy women stationed in Washington, D.C. during World War II who worked to decipher German submarine messages that were sent in secret code using the Enigma machine. Her work relied on the now legendary Bombe machine invented by Alan Turing. This episode was originally released on July 22, 2019.

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Encore: CNN’s Aaron Brown Tells His 9/11 Story

Former CNN lead news anchor Aaron Brown joins Tim to tell his story from September 11, 2001, where he brought the event to 1.4 billion viewers around the world, live as it happened. It was Aaron Brown on that day, standing on a rooftop in New York City, bringing us one of the most historic and tragic moments of our generation in real time. This episode is part of our special series, “9/11: A Generation Removed.” This episode was originally released on September 7, 2021.

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Encore: Free Speech is the Most Basic Human Right

Author and professor Eric Heinze joins Tim to talk about freedom of speech and expression at the most fundamental level. He recently wrote a book on free speech, but it’s not exactly what you might expect. He explores free speech in a larger more fundamental context than America’s First Amendment. He talks about it in the context of universal human rights. Eric tells us about the thinking behind his new book called, “The Most Human Right: Why Free Speech is Everything.” This episode was originally released May 9, 2022.

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Encore: The Story of a MOTH Storyteller

Storyteller Margot Leitman joins Tim to talk about the art of storytelling, and how you can be a better storyteller.  Margot is an award-winning storyteller, best-selling author, speaker and teacher and a Moth Storytelling “GrandSlam” winner. This episode was originally released January 17, 2022.

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Kent Tekulve – The Closer

If you like baseball you’ll love this interview. If you like Pittsburgh sports, you’ll love this interview. Former Pittsburgh Pirate closer and World Series Champion Kent Tekulve joins Tim in this special extended episode. Kent talks baseball, Pittsburgh, how to teach kids about sports, and somewhat about life.

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Encore: Secrets of a Hostage Negotiator

FBI-trained hostage negotiator Scott Tillema joins Tim to talk about how to negotiate when the stakes are high, even when lives are on the line. Scott teaches organizations how to use the power of life-saving negotiation principles to get results. This episode was first released March 14, 2022.

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Encore: 7 Random People on Their View of The American Dream

In this episode we hear from seven people who talked with Tim to answer the question, “What is the American Dream?”  Tim set out to get the answer to the question on the streets of his hometown, Pittsburgh.  You’ll hear from Vidya, Dwayne, Chuck, Leah, Jack, Tamara and Charlie. Each person was selected randomly in “man on the street” interviews, and we had no idea what they would say, but all of their answers were moving, thought-provoking and inspiring. This episode was first released July 4, 2022.

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Encore: How the Nazis Turned Ordinary Men Into Kill Squads

Historian and author Christopher R. Browning joins Tim to talk about his study of the Holocaust and the “Final Solution” in Poland. In this episode, Christopher discusses his book, “Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland” and how a group of otherwise average, everyday men turned into one of Hitler’s most prolific killing squads in World War II. This episode was first released January 24, 2022.

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