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.

Our ears are complicated, delicate instruments that largely evolved in far quieter times than the age we currently inhabit — an early world without rock concerts, loud restaurants, power tools and earbuds.

Writer David Owen describes our current age as a "deafening" one, and in his new book, Volume Control, he explains how the loud noises we live with are harming our ears.

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In 2013, Edward Snowden was an IT systems expert working under contract for the National Security Agency when he traveled to Hong Kong to provide three journalists with thousands of top-secret documents about U.S. intelligence agencies' surveillance of American citizens.

More than 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, and a growing number of those deaths are attributed to the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl. Journalist Ben Westhoff says the drug, while an important painkiller and anesthesia medicine in hospitals, is now killing more Americans annually as a street drug than any other in U.S. history.

Nearly 2,000 cities, towns and counties across America are currently participating in a massive multidistrict civil lawsuit against the opioid industry for damages related to the abuse of prescription pain medication. The defendants in the suit include drug manufacturers like Mallinckrodt, wholesale distributors McKesson and Cardinal Health, and pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens.

Diver and photographer Jill Heinerth has explored unmapped, underwater caves deep in the earth, as well as the submerged crevices of an iceberg. She has seen hidden creatures and life forms that have never been exposed to the light of day.

"Since I was the smallest child, I always wanted to be an explorer — to have an opportunity to go someplace where nobody has ever been before," she says. "As an artist with my camera, it's an incredible opportunity to document these places and bring back images to share with others."

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We tend to think of being asleep or awake as an either-or prospect: If you're not asleep, then you must be awake. But sleep disorder specialist and neurologist Guy Leschziner says it's not that simple.

"If one looks at the brain during sleep, we now know that actually sleep is not a static state," Leschziner says. "There are a number of different brain states that occur while we sleep."

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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

You might know our guest Keith Hernandez as a big-league ballplayer or as a memorable guest on two episodes of "Seinfeld." And if you're a New York Mets fan, you'll know him as a color analyst for the team's TV broadcasts. In 17 seasons in the big leagues, Hernandez was known for hitting wicked blind drives and for dazzling defensive plays at first base. He won Gold Glove Awards, a batting title, a Most Valuable Player Award and two World Series rings.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. Although President Trump was forced by the courts a year ago to end his administration's policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, recent reports from the border have described hundreds of children, teens and toddlers being held in squalid conditions at a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. In the days following the 1986 explosion in the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, a military officer working to manage the response from an abandoned hotel nearby noticed a mysterious black carpet in the empty dining hall. When he got closer, he realized it was not a carpet; it was thousands of flies, alive but immobilized by the radiation in the air. That's one of the details you'll find in the book "Midnight In Chernobyl" by our guest, journalist Adam Higginbotham.

In the 1980s, Tracy Edwards dreamed of racing a sailboat around the world. But at the time, open ocean sailboat racing was a male-dominated sport. She was only able to sign on as a cook for an all-male team in the 1985-86 Whitbread Round the World Race, a grueling 33,000 mile endeavor.

Afterward, when she still wasn't able to crew, she decided to take matters into her own hands: "My mom always told me, 'If you don't like the way the world looks, change it,'" she says. "So I thought, OK, I will."

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In 1961, when President John F. Kennedy announced a goal of "landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth" before the end of the decade, the mission seemed all but impossible.

"[The U.S.] didn't have a spaceship that could fly to the moon," journalist Charles Fishman notes. "We didn't have a rocket that could launch to the moon. We didn't have a computer small enough or powerful enough to do the navigation necessary to get people to the moon. We didn't have space food."

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross. In the early morning darkness of June 17, 2017, the Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a cargo ship in the South China Sea. The much larger cargo vessel ripped a huge hole in the Fitzgerald, killing seven sailors. Two months later, another destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, collided with another cargo ship leaving 10 more sailors dead.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. The Pulitzer Prize for History was awarded this week to historian David Blight for his book about 19th century abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass is probably best known for his compelling autobiographies in which he described his experiences as a slave and his escape to freedom.

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This is FRESH AIR. On the last hole of the Masters Golf Tournament Sunday, Tiger Woods made sports history when he stood over a two-foot putt on the 18th green.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JIM NANTZ: Many doubted we'd ever see it, but here it is.

(CHEERING)

NANTZ: The return to glory.

(CHEERING)

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Robert Caro has spent decades researching and chronicling the lives of notable men.

Venezuelans have been suffering one calamity after the next, but in recent weeks, much of Venezuela has had to go long stretches without electricity.

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As head of New York City's correctional health services, Dr. Homer Venters spent nine years overseeing the care of thousands of inmates in the jails on Rikers Island. Though he left Rikers in 2017, what he witnessed on the job has stayed with him.

"What's important to consider about jail settings is that they are incredibly dehumanizing, and they dehumanize the individuals who pass through them," Venters says. "There is not really a true respect for the rights of the detained."

Dr. Thomas Boyce, an emeritus professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, has treated children who seem to be completely unflappable and unfazed by their surroundings — as well as those who are extremely sensitive to their environments. Over the years, he began to liken these two types of children to two very different flowers: dandelions and orchids.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross. American presidents like to describe the United States as a force for freedom and independence in the world. Our guest, historian Daniel Immerwahr, says there are also plenty of times in our history when we've subjugated and ruled foreign lands - sometimes with bloody conquests. Today, roughly 4 million people live in the American territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Marianas.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Our guest James Balog is an award-winning photographer, whose work explores the relationship between humans and nature. It's a subject that's taken on increased urgency, he believes, with growing evidence of the impact of climate change. He was last on our show to talk about climate change and the melting of Arctic glacial ice, which he documented through time-lapse photography. That led to his project the Extreme Ice Survey and his film "Chasing Ice."

Most New Yorkers walk by sewer grates or subway entrances and think nothing of it, but not journalist Will Hunt. Hunt is fascinated with the world below us.

"There's just so much beneath the streets of New York City that people walking around on the surface don't ever think about," Hunt says. "Every manhole, every doorway, every stairway going down into the dark [feels] like a potential portal into this like separate world."

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross, who's off this week.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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