Rebecca McInroy

Senior Producer & Host, Two Guys on Your Head, Views & Brews

Rebecca McInroy is a host, show creator, and senior producer, who produces a wide range of content for KUT, KUTX and KUT.ORG. Rebecca believes it is important that Public Radio directly connects with the community it serves. Many of her programs combine the talent, and knowledge of the Austin community, with the production arm of KUT/X Radio to produce content that bridges the gaps that lie between the world of news and entertainment.

Rebecca is the co-creator, host, and executive producer for Views and Brews, a discussion program taped live at the Cactus Cafe on the UT Campus.  With this show KUT invites the community in to explore a wide range of subjects and ideas. We’ve talked about Jazz and the Spiritual Journey through the music of John Coltrane, The History of Defiance, Time, Memory, Food Politics, and much more. Our goal is to engage with the community to share thoughts, inspire new perspectives, and develop compelling content all while involving Austin in the discussion.

She is the co-creator, and executive producer for: Two Guys on Your Head, with Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke; Liner Notes, with Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe; and The Write Up with Owen Egerton.

She is also the co-creator, host, and executive producer for In Perspective, a round-table discussion program, produced in collaboration with The Humanities Media Project, that works to illuminate the importance of humanities research in a broader context.

Rebecca is currently in pre-production on The Secret Ingredient with Tom Philpott and Raj Patel, that will focus on the history of food systems, and food politics. This show is set to launch in September of 2015

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Two Guys on Your Head
12:42 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

A Brief History of Artificial Intelligence

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The human brain is perhaps the most complicated machine in the known universe, and the way we sometimes try to understand it’s capacity is to liken it to the most sophisticated artifacts we’ve created. The brain is hence “like a computer” and no longer like the “steam engine” it was compared to in the late 19th century.

The circuitry in the brain is made up of pretty basic materials, so it’s understandable that we would try to replicate it.  Yet it seems the more we learn about the brain, the more complex it becomes.The development of A.I., while it brings about a better understanding of how our brains work, it also generates more questions about what it means to be human.

What counts as “human”? Why is intelligence the marker of humanity? And what types of questions are currently vexing computer scientists, psychologists, and philosophers about A.I.?

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke take us through a brief history of the development of artificial intelligence, and pose some interesting questions about where we might be headed.

Two Guys on Your Head
12:02 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Why a High IQ Isn't All That

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We value brains. We hold test scores in high esteem. We spend money and hours on brain training games and ginseng. But what does intelligence really mean? How do we define and gauge actual smarts? Does a high IQ predict success?

In this episode of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the history and development of intelligence tests; as well as what these tests can actually tell us about one's ability to achieve.

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Two Guys on Your Head
3:10 pm
Sun October 26, 2014

Why Humor Helps Us Conquer Fear

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Halloween will soon be upon us, and among the ghouls and goblins walking the streets, you might see someone dressed up an Ebola patient out asking for candy. How will you respond?

Would you buckle over in laughter, or would you be totally offended by this irreverent ode to this devastating threat?

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke discuss why we respond to fear and other uncomfortable and threatening situations with humor.

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The Write Up
3:30 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

How Novelist Louisa Hall Got From the Squash Court to 'The Carriage House'

Credit Louisa Hall

This month’s guest on "The Write Up" is novelist and poet Louisa Hall.

Louisa Hall’s life reads like a novel all its own – after graduating Harvard, she became a professional squash player, ranked second overall in the US. But near the height of her career, Hall abandoned the sport and headed to Texas to study literature at the University of Texas, write poetry, and begin working on her first novel.

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Two Guys on Your Head
10:53 am
Sat October 18, 2014

Why Do We Freak Out About Existential Threats Like Ebola?

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With the arrival of Ebola on U.S. soil came the wall-to-wall media coverage one might expect. 

But does saturated coverage of threats like the Ebola virus and Islamic State militants do more harm than good and inspire less-than-rational thinking? 

In this week's "Two Guys on Your Head," Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke join KUT's Rebecca McInroy to talk about how the 24-hour news cycle causes readers, listeners and viewers to vicariously experience seemingly far-away threats, and how the availability of instant news causes some people to irrationally assess risks and threats. 

In Perspective
3:08 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

In Perspective: How Grief, Technology & Storytelling Help Us Remember Tragedy

  

This month on "In Perspective," our roundtable participants discuss public memory in relation to grief, war, and memorials such as the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Two of our guests represent that museum, which commemorates the September 11 attacks of 2001 and the World Trade Center bombing of 1993. Also joining us are two distinguished faculty from The University of Texas at Austin and by a call-in guest who is an assistant professor and filmmaker from Northwestern University.

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Two Guys on Your Head
7:52 am
Fri October 10, 2014

How to Make Yourself Happy

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Happiness may be one of the most common and egalitarian of human emotions, but all aren't created equal when it comes to elation.

The work of Harvard’s Dan Gilbert speaks to findings in psychology that reveal that people have about a 50-10-40 ratio for happiness – 50 percent depends on genetic makeup; 10 percent depends on what happens to us throughout the day; and 40 percent is dependent on how we react to those environmental goings-on.

So, why is it some of us are more predisposed than others to see the glass as half empty as opposed to half full?

In this edition of “Two Guys on Your Head,” Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke discuss how self-imposed strategies might give us an edge when it comes to feeling happier.

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Two Guys on Your Head
9:43 am
Mon October 6, 2014

What Makes Cat Videos So Clickable?

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Internet memes are a dime a dozen, but users young and old have undoubtedly seen, and quite possibly enjoyed, a good cat video or two.

Even if we have better things to do, it seems almost inhuman to resist clicking the "play" button above a cute kitten's face.

But why are those prolific time-wasters so irresistible? On this week’s edition of "Two Guys on Your Head," Dr. Art Markman, Dr. Bob Duke and host Rebecca McInroy discuss the animal magnetism of cat videos.

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Two Guys on Your Head
9:32 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Can Online Brain-Trainers Really Make You Smarter?

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You can go to the gym and work out your quads, or your biceps, or your balance and isolate those muscle groups to focus improvement of those areas of function with work. 

So it's not too far of a stretch to assume if we exercise specific areas of our brains might we see improvement in functions as well, right?  Unfortunately, it’s not quite so simple.

But have so many brain-training systems like Lumosity become so popular?

On this week’s show, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke will demystify the process of brain function improvement and illustrate the effectiveness of brain training programs.

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Two Guys on Your Head
8:35 am
Fri September 19, 2014

How Your Brain Can Help You Put Off Procastination

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Procrastination is the all-too-familiar foe of productivity, but why do some wait until the last minute to even get a project started?

In this episode of "Two Guys on Your Head" Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke explore the psychology behind procrastination, and how we can overcome factors that might be keeping us from getting started.

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In Perspective
10:00 am
Wed September 17, 2014

In Perspective: Is the Israeli-Palestinian Cease-Fire a Calm Before Another Storm?

This summer’s escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has come to a relative stand-still with both sides currently holding to the cease-fire signed late last month. But many say the conflict is far from resolution.

In its inaugural episode, “In Perspective” invites subject matter experts from UT-Austin, New York University, and Rice University to discuss the conflict, its future and its impact on Israeli and Palestinian cultures with KUT’s Rebecca McInroy.

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Two Guys on Your Head
8:45 am
Fri September 12, 2014

How Embarassment Limits Our Ability to Learn New Languages

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Can you remember what it was like for you to learn your native language?  Probably not, but why is that?

As humans, we begin learning to speak our native language during the earliest stages of our lives, in infancy.  Most people don’t have many accessible memories from this period of development. How do we do that?

If we can learn a language in our infant stages of life, why is it so difficult to learn a second language later in life?

On this week’s episode of Two Guys on Your Head, Art Markman and Bob Duke explore how we learn language.

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The Write Up
12:04 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Writing To Stay Sane

Credit Manuel's Dad

Manuel Gonzales loves zombies. Especially self-loathing zombies with unrequited office crushes and enough makeup to hide their undead identity.

His story collection, The Miniature Wife and Other Stories (Riverhead), is populated with zombies, werewolves, unicorns and other monsters and misfits. But Gonzales re-imagines these familiar figures in hilarious and heartbreaking ways. With deft humor and compassion, Gonzales makes what could be over-tread ground fresh and newly strange.

As funny as the stories often are, they also bubble with moments of dread and outright terror. But the terror comes from unexpected sources. Gonzales’ werewolf in the story Wolf” is not nearly as horrifying as the relative trying to kill it. The mad scientist in the title story isn’t as haunting as the murderous wife he “unintentionally" shrunk to the height of a coffee cup, and the unicorn in  “One-Horned & Wild-Eyed” is more eerie than beautiful and dangerously seductive.

Gonzales carries his playfulness into form, as well. Obituaries, pseudo-journalism, and voice-driven monologues fill the pages. The book is a weird, glorious ride that never leaves you less than surprised. 

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Two Guys on Your Head
11:01 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Why All Memory is Virtual Memory

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We may think of our memory functioning much like a movie camera does; capturing a scene and replaying it in a linear fashion. Yet, in actuality, it’s more like catching bits of paper at a ticker tape parade and weaving together a story of the past by re-constructing the pieces of paper we and others around us catch.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke explain how and why we construct memories, and how our memories can be influenced by variables that we may never consider.

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Two Guys on Your Head
8:58 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Why Can School Be So Boring?

If you’ve seen "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off" or ever been in a classroom, you know that school can sometimes be very boring. However, learning and coming up with ideas in an environment with others in our social group should be fun! So why do schools get such a bad rap?

In this episode of Two Guys on Your Head Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Robert Duke talk about some of the historical and present day factors that contribute to why school is so boring, and offer a few suggestions for a brighter future.

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Two Guys on Your Head
3:57 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Let It Go!

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“He did it!” "She hit me first!” “He never said he was sorry!” "She doesn’t care if I forgive her so why should I?”

From the time we are very small, our interpersonal relationships are based on conflict. How does the saying go? You can please some of the people some of the time, but you’re not gonna fool me a second time… Hmmm we’ll look that up later. In the mean time please forgive us for getting it wrong.

Why? You may ask.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the psychological purpose of forgiveness.

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Two Guys on Your Head
11:31 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Let's Celebrate! But Why?

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We've passed the 4th of July, Christmas is a ways away, and New Year’s isn't for months So why, you may ask, is Two Guys on Your Head doing a show on celebration?

Aside from the show being on-air for a year, we've got a lot to celebrate and so do you—even though you might not think so right away.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke discuss the evolutionary reasons behind the importance of celebration, gratitude, and achievement.

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The Write Up
1:56 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Who Has Two Thumbs and Dreams of Pulp-Noir Domination?

Credit nerdlocker.com

In this edition of "The Write Up," host Owen Egerton talks with the creator, writer and director of The Intergalactic Nemesis, Jason Neulander. Plus, Dr. Brett Sherman reviews The Foundations of Arithmetic by Gottlob Frege.

Jason Neulander moved to Austin in the early 1990s with nothing but a dream and motorbike. He founded The Salvage Vanguard Theater upon his arrival and went on to create theatrical experiences, not only on the stage but throughout the city.

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Two Guys on Your Head
8:06 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Why Failure Can Make You a More Successful Person

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Failure is a word that carries a lot of baggage, arousing emotional responses that we’d usually rather avoid. 

What about success? Why does the thought of success conjure images and feelings of comfort and satisfaction. This week, "Two Guys on Your Head" examine how the heights of success and the "training wheels" of failure impact our everyday lives.

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Two Guys on Your Head
7:59 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Are We Wired to Need Greed?

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Is greed good?  Is greed a human instinct?  Why are some people inclined to hoard?

For some individuals, greed and selfishness are much more commonly displayed than generosity. So, it might be fair to say greed feels more natural for some. On the other hand, most might say they favor unselfishness.

In this installment of "Two Guys on Your Head" Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke discuss whether greed is instinctual or not.

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