Past Program - 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.

Teen Confessions

Jun 30, 2014

No matter how you feel about prosecuting crime, one thing is certain:  When an innocent person is wrongly convicted, the real criminal walks free.

That is one of the reasons some Virginia researchers are looking at why teenagers seem especially prone to making false confessions.

We examine the research findings, and consider the case for making changes in how police interrogate juveniles.

A Virginia Politics Update

Jun 26, 2014
Ed at

It is months behind schedule.  But just in the nick of time, Virginia government is getting a new state budget.

Yet in addition to steep cuts, harsh words, and vetoes that may not be constitutional... there is also the Governor’s announcement that he will try to go it alone on expanding Medicaid.

And those are just some of the issues up for discussion on this politics update edition.

Stretching Beyond the Line

Jun 23, 2014

Our lives are filled with lines. Lines on a map. Lines on a ball field. Lines on a calendar. Even lines of ancestry.

Peter Cashwell maintains that we use such points of demarcation to divide up the world in ways often much more imaginary than real.

You might just find your mind stretching far beyond the usual lines as we spend time with this teacher, historian, philosopher, bird-watcher, back-roads traveler, and author of the new book Along Those Lines.

An Update on the Walrus

Jun 19, 2014

Most of us have heard about polar bears, and the problems they are having with melting ice in the Arctic.

Pondering Mars

Jun 16, 2014
NASA (Viking 1 Orbiter)

Ever wonder what’s up there on the Red Planet? For almost 40 years, "geomorphologist" Alan Howard has been studying similarities between the Earth and Mars.

And lately that research has been heating up.

NOTE: This is an encore presentation, which originally aired January 16, 2014.

Alan D. Howard, Ph.D. - Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia.

A Virginia Pedaling Update

Jun 12, 2014

When was the last time you were on a bicycle?  Most agree it is great exercise.  So what is keeping you from riding more?  After years of effort,  cycling advocates have recently won legislative changes designed to make Virginia roads at least somewhat safer for cyclists.  

Smart Beginnings

Jun 9, 2014

A collection of non-profits and businesses across the Commonwealth have joined together in something they are calling the “Smart Beginnings Start with Families” campaign. 

A Gardening Update

Jun 5, 2014
"Kor!An" (Корзун Андрей)

Every time green thumb advisors Guinevere Higgins and Dave O’Neill stop by, our phone lines get to overflowing. Our gardening guru dynamic duo stops by to help out with the latest gardening challenges.


Keeping Bees

Jun 2, 2014

When you see a bee in your yard, do you quickly scurry as far away from it as possible?

Church & State

May 29, 2014

Ann Massie has long been fascinated by the phrase “the separation of church and state” --both by the history of the concept, and its practice in American law.  Since a recent Supreme Court decision is adding new urgency to the issue,  we have asked the Virginia legal scholar to share her findings.

For Memorial Day, WMRA presents a special called  Food, Fun, and Relationships from the program series Innovation Hub. All those popsicles and ice cream cones you're gearing up to eat? Hear Dr. Robert Lustig explain why new research shows that we're addicted to sugar. Then, before you head off to Epcot and the Magic Kingdom, we look at what made Walt Disney so innovative.

Re-Imagining Virginia Communities

May 22, 2014

What kind of community do you want? Do you like yours just the way it is? Can you imagine something different for your city, your town, or your neighborhood? Have some ideas just what would make it better?

We may have many more choices than we realize. At least, that’s what community planners Andy Boenau and Fionnuala Quinn say.

With guest host Peter Norton, they’ll share their ideas and learn from yours.

Do "The Arts" Matter to You?

May 19, 2014

Arts and Culture are nice, but how important are they really?

One Virginia community recently discovered that, in dollar terms, arts and culture are generating far more millions for the local economy that most anyone had previously imagined.

Whether it’s economics or something else that most appeals to you -- if you’ve got reasons of your own for supporting the arts, we’d like to hear from you.

The Ressler Vision

May 15, 2014

How do you best help people in need?  Everett Ressler has kept that question in mind for more than 40 years while traveling the globe, working for a wide variety of service organizations --including the Ford Foundation, UNICEF,  Save The Children, and the United Nations. 

A Legionary Physicist

May 12, 2014

Growing up in Vietnam, it was his exceptional mind that helped him escape his war-torn homeland  -- a mind that took him for training to some of the world’s best universities. 

The Master Naturalists

May 8, 2014
Chiswick Chap

What would you like to be a master of? How about a Master Naturalist?

Apron Strings

May 5, 2014

Growing up a white child in segregated Virginia, your most loving experiences are with your family’s black maid.  How does that affect your view of the world?

Beginning Bias Early

May 1, 2014

How young were you when you first began to notice that some people looked different than you?

What Do You Hide the Deepest?

Apr 28, 2014

Kept hidden, emotions and feelings can have a powerful impact on our lives.

Virginia’s Sierra

Apr 24, 2014

When someone says "Sierra Club," do you think about environmentalists somewhere out west doing their work near the Sierra mountains?

Earth Week?

Apr 21, 2014

44 years ago, April 22 marked the first official, "Earth Day." (It got started here in the U.S. but soon spread across the globe.) 

Now some Virginia environmentalists are among those who believe a whole, "Earth Week," is in order.

A Virginia Politics Update

Apr 17, 2014 / Rob Shenk (Flickr)

Virginia’s new fiscal year begins the first of July. Normally, well before now, lawmakers would have already approved a spending plan for that new fiscal year.  The plan would help fund public schools and local governments, as well as cover the cost of every single state agency.

Breaking Bread with Philosophy - An Update

Apr 14, 2014

When Marietta McCarty wrote her most recent book, she envisioned people using it as a guide for dinnertime conversation in people’s homes.

A Fireman’s Tale

Apr 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.

We talk with Danny Lliteras about his new memoir, Flames and Smoke Visible.

Independence Technology

Apr 7, 2014

Technology... It is supposed to make life easier, save us time and effort, and make us more free. But is that always the case?

Key Questions About Wrongful Convictions

Apr 3, 2014

After researching hundreds of trials and tens of thousands of court documents, a Virginia lawyer is pursuing some critical questions about wrongful convictions.

Physics All Around Us

Mar 31, 2014

The science of Physics. Ever wonder what it has to do with your everyday world?

A Virginia Politics Update

Mar 27, 2014
Photo: Waldo Jaquith

The quest to fund state government... Ethics reform that isn't... Washington's paperwork mine... Even the president’s blue jeans.

March-ing Back into that Garden Again

Mar 24, 2014

By now maybe you have forgotten all about that white stuff you had been using a shovel on until recently... because your focus has switched completely to digging in the dirt.

Same Party / Different View

Mar 20, 2014
Virginia General Assembly Fickr Stream

You may have heard that funding to keep Virginia government running later this year is currently caught in the middle of a bitter debate.