Dave Davies

Dave Davies is a guest host for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

In addition to his role at Fresh Air, Davies is a senior reporter for WHYY in Philadelphia. Prior to WHYY, he spent 19 years as a reporter and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, covering government and politics.

Before joining the Daily News in 1990, Davies was city hall bureau chief for KYW News Radio, Philadelphia's commercial all-news station. From 1982 to 1986, Davies was a reporter for WHYY covering local issues and filing reports for NPR. He also edited a community newspaper in Philadelphia and has worked as a teacher, a cab driver and a welder.

Davies is a graduate of the University of Texas.

Trees are "social creatures" that communicate with each other in cooperative ways that hold lessons for humans, too, ecologist Suzanne Simard says.

Simard grew up in Canadian forests as a descendant of loggers before becoming a forestry ecologist. She's now a professor of forest ecology at the University of British Columbia.

If you're someone who has turned to snacking on junk food more in the pandemic, you're not alone. Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Michael Moss says processed food is engineered to be "craveable," not unlike a cigarette or a hit of cocaine.

His 2013 book, Salt Sugar Fat, explored food companies' aggressive marketing of those products and their impact on our health. In his new book, Hooked, Moss updates the food giants' efforts to keep us eating what they serve — and how they're responding to complaints from consumers and health advocates.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. Our guest today is author Louise Erdrich. In a career going back to the 1970s, she's published 17 novels and more than 30 books in all, including children's literature, poetry and nonfiction. She won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction twice.

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Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Ballots are being counted this week in what could be a watershed election in Bessemer, Ala.

The vote will determine whether nearly 6,000 employees of the Amazon warehouse there will be represented by a union, something the company has forcefully resisted in its workplaces across the country.

Journalist Alec MacGillis says the stakes of the vote are "enormous."

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Are robots coming for your job? New York Times tech columnist Kevin Roose says companies and governments are increasingly using automation and artificial intelligence to cut costs, transform workplaces and eliminate jobs — and more changes are coming.

"We need to prepare for the possibility that a lot of people are going to fall through the cracks of this technological transformation," Roose says. "It's happened during every technological transformation we've ever had, and it's going to happen this time. And in fact, it already is happening."

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. The American South in the post-Reconstruction era was a land of broken promises and brutal oppression for African Americans, as white leaders stripped former slaves of many of the civil and voting rights they'd won after the Civil War. But in the 1890s, the port city of Wilmington, N.C., was an exception. It had a thriving Black middle class, a large Black electorate and a local government that included Black aldermen, police officers and magistrates.

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The sleight-of-hand master explores themes of identity, honesty and the emotional cost of keeping secrets in the memoir, AMORALMAN. DelGaudio's one-man show In & Of Itself is now available on Hulu.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in today for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

DAVIES: The protests for racial justice that swept through the country last year found support among many Americans. And they also reignited old debates about how militant activists should be and how far they should go in seeking social change. Are peaceful marches the best approach or is mass civil disobedience, even violence, called for? Do demands like defunding the police turn off potential allies and undermine prospects for reform?

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in today for Terry Gross.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Hollywood portrayals of the American Mafia often focus on major cities, but writer Russell Shorto says there have been active mob organizations in countless small and midsize cities in the United States.

Shorto knows this firsthand: His grandfather was a mob boss in the industrial town of Johnstown, Pa. Shorto says his grandfather's involvement with the Johnstown mob initially began as an offshoot of Prohibition, which opened doors for Italian Americans facing employment discrimination.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. You've probably heard our guest, actor Hank Azaria, more times than you realize. He's voiced dozens of characters for "The Simpsons," including Moe the bartender, Chief Wiggum and Dr. Nick. One character he no longer performs is Apu, which he'll explain a little later. He's appeared in many films, including "The Birdcage," "Shattered Glass," "Dodgeball," "Night At The Museum" and "Tuesdays With Morrie," as well as the TV series "Friends," "Mad About You," "Bordertown" and "Ray Donovan."

Now that former President Donald Trump has left office, the community of believers in the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory are left wondering what will happen next.

Washington Post national technology reporter Craig Timberg has written about QAnon and related subjects in recent months. He acknowledges that it can be hard to sum up exactly what QAnon is.

Your local police department may know more about you than you think. Journalist Jon Fasman says local police are frequently able to access very powerful surveillance tools — including publicly accessible CCTV cameras, automatic license plate readers and cell phone tracking devices — with little oversight.

Most of us take our voices for granted, but New Yorker writer John Colapinto got a scare several years ago when his failed him.

After working every day, mostly in silence, he damaged his vocal cords while singing with a rock band in the evenings after work.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

In the 1840s, Elizabeth Blackwell was admitted to a U.S. medical school — in part because the male students thought her application was part of an elaborate prank. She persisted and got her degree, becoming the first American woman to do so. A few years later, her younger sister Emily followed in her footsteps, earning her own medical degree from the institution that would become Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

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Security cameras and facial recognition technology are on the rise in China. In 2018, People's Daily, the media mouthpiece of China's ruling Communist Party, claimed on English-language Twitter that the country's facial recognition system was capable of scanning the faces of China's 1.4 billion citizens in just one second.

Photographer Bob Gruen spent decades capturing the lives and performances of rock stars of the '60s, '70s and '80s, including John Lennon, the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Tina Turner — and many more.

Gruen put in many hours backstage, in studios and on the road, sometimes doing drugs and drinking until dawn with his subjects.

"I carried a little flask of cognac in my camera case. It was part of my equipment. That's the way it was in the '70s," he says. "I don't know how I survived, because I crave peace and quiet — but I actually thrive in chaos."

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