Virginia Insight

Aired on WMRA 2006 - 2015
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Virginia Insight has a rich history of archives to peruse. From politics to culture, technology to religion, entertainment to relationships, Virginia Insight inspires understanding.

Rehabilitation... Really?

Dec 4, 2014

To some, a justice system approach that includes efforts at rehabilitation may seem reasonable; especially when dealing with first offenders guilty of small crimes.

But why have rehabilitation-strategies become a significant tactic for federal prosecutors who chase after corporate crime of massive scale?

We get details on how this new way of responding to corporate lawbreaking got started.  Plus an assessment of how well it is, or isn’t, working.

Christmas on TV

Dec 1, 2014

It has been one of America’s all-time favorite holiday, television specials for half a century.

But did you know “A Charlie Brown Christmas” almost never made it to the airwaves?

Researcher Stephen Lind tells us more about that, as well as exceptional detail from the other Christmas specials he has been studying.

Thursday at 3pm, WMRA presented a special episode of BackStory... American as Pumpkin Pie: A History of Thanksgiving.

When we sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, we think we know what we’re commemorating. But if an actual Pilgrim were to attend your Thanksgiving, chances are he’d be stunned by what he saw there.

Learning Forever

Nov 24, 2014

"Life Long Learning."

Seems an interesting concept.

There are a number of centers across Virginia that specialize in the idea.  Could there be something here for you?

Beth Barber
- Executive Director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute   of the University of Virginia, with locations in Charlottesville and Staunton.

A Virginia Politics Update

Nov 20, 2014
Virginia General Assembly Fickr Stream

Political scientist Bob Roberts teaches and studies public policy at James Madison University.  Former journalist Bob Gibson heads up the Sorenson Institute for Political leadership.  Anita Kumar spent many years reporting on Virginia politics. Now she is a White House correspondent for a national news service. 

Kumar, Gibson, and Roberts will be sharing their take on the latest political news.  We hope you will too.

Eclectic Conversations: ‘Purpose’

Nov 17, 2014

Maybe you’ve already got one.

Or maybe you have been looking for one.

But you’ve certainly got an opinion about whether having one is worthwhile.

The idea of a "sense of purpose in life" is the starting point for the next in our occasional series Eclectic Conversations.

It's a time when we gather a panel from widely different disciplines, get them started on a topic, then watch to see what else comes up.  And your help in taking the conversation to fascinating places will be most welcome.

An Hour with Emmett

Nov 13, 2014

As one of the longest serving legislators in Virginia state government, he has become something of a bridge between political factions that might otherwise never communicate.

Behind the scenes his views are frequently sought out by public officials and journalists.

He has been with us before.  But it has often been for just a few minutes at a time, as part of a panel of guests.

On this edition, we will be going for a much deeper understanding of the perspectives of state Senator Emmett Hanger.

A Fireman's Tale

Nov 10, 2014

You saved lives as a medic in Vietnam... explored the deepest seas as a Navy salvage diver... and even spent time as a theater director in New York. 

But your favorite job? 

Your years as a Virginia firefighter.

Digital Humanities

Nov 6, 2014

Are you a techie, or are you artsy?  Do you like the latest digital gadgets, or is a good novel more your thing?

Maybe you don't have to choose.

What if we could use the power of digital technology to open up new worlds in the arts, in literature, and in history?

It turns out we can.

Digital humanities people use the latest technology to map time as well as space, and to experience and explore creative works in unexpected ways. Some of them you can try for yourself.

The Brain on Friends

Nov 3, 2014

If you remember brain researcher Jim Coan, it may be for his landmark study showing how people under threat do better when someone is, quite literally, holding their hand.

On "Becoming American"

Oct 30, 2014
Andrew Jenner

If you heard any part of the WMRA News Department’s recent series of stories on new American citizens, you probably found yourself moved with emotion as you listened.

Here there were tales of hardship, of hard work, of dreams, of determination, and of joy.

You may also have found yourself thinking, "I never knew how much people like this went through to become part of our society."

A Drive Through Beauty

Oct 27, 2014

Millions of people have been coming to Virginia this month.  They come from all over the United States. Some come from halfway around the globe. They come to take a drive along one of America’s most incredibly scenic national parks at a time of year when the colors along the roadway can be absolutely breathtaking.

Maybe you have made this drive yourself.

If you have, you are cordially invited to share your story of the Blue Ridge Parkway, too.

Zach’s 'Revolution'

Oct 23, 2014

As a kid he once thought he would spend his life rebuilding cars. Then, while on a missionary trip to the Philippines, he discovered medicine.   

These days he says he is determined to help people rebuild their health.

His approach includes unusual and even controversial methods, all stemming from his belief that, "our separation from nature has led to huge health problems," and that, "inflammation is the root cause of all human disease."

We pursue further detail from the founder of the Scottsville, Virginia based Revolution Health Center.


Oct 20, 2014

Some believe it could become for environmental science what the Super Collider was for physics. 

Its name, N.E.O.N, stands for the National Ecological Observatory Network.  It is a network that will collect massive amounts of scientific data about changes in ecology taking place all across the United States. 

And in this new future of super science, Virginia will play a key role.

A Virginia Politics Update

Oct 16, 2014
David Shankbone

A Supreme Court NON-ruling changes the face of marriage in Virginia, and many other states across the nation. You probably heard about that. 

But did you hear about the ruling in a different federal court case that could change the face of Virginia’s Congressional districts? 

We will get detailed briefs on the importance of these court cases, and much more, when we meet with our Politics Update Team.