The Point

9:00am and 7:00pm

WCAI's award-winning public affairs program. Every Monday The Point features Living Lab with Heather Goldstone, examining the stories behind science headlines. Tuesday through Thursday, Mindy Todd hosts a lively and informative discussion on critical issues for Cape Cod, the Islands and the South Coast. Every Friday is the News Roundup, as WCAI Senior Reporter Sean Corcoran speaks with news editors and reporters from around the region.

We welcome your phone calls at 866-999-4626, emails at

Scroll down for audio of programs that have aired recently. Looking for a specific topic? Use the Search box at top right.

The Point hosts: Mindy Todd, Heather Goldstone, and Sean Corcoran.
The Point hosts: Mindy Todd, Heather Goldstone, and Sean Corcoran.
Credit Maura Longueil

This week on The Point

November 24: Cranberries

Cranberries are a staple of the modern Thanksgiving table and a superfruit long known to repel infections. Not surprisingly, cranberry cultivation has changed significantly over the past two centuries. Now, the iconic fruit faces its greatest challenge from climate change. The history and future of the cranberry – plus some great recipes. 

Guest: Susan Playfair, author "America's Founding Fruit: The Cranberry in a New Environment"

November 25: Bird News

Ornithologist Vernon Laux talks about the latest bird news including the return of snowy and saw whet owls.

November 26: Mystery Books

Jill Erickson, Reference Librarian at Falmouth Public Library and Author Peter Abrahams talk about some of their favorite mystery books.

Link to book list

November 27: Sonar and Marine Mammals 

Human caused noise in the ocean is increasing each year and these sounds can drown out the noise that marine mammals rely on for survival.  Joshua Horwitz talks about his book War of the Whales, about a mass stranding of beaked whales in the Bahamas and the legal battle that ensued to expose the Navy’s top-secret sonar program.

November 28: Trapped Under the Sea 

In 1999 five commercial divers entered a nearly 10 mile long horizontal tunnel designed to discharge Boston’s treated sewage out to sea. Only 3 of the 5 divers returned.  Neil Swidy discusses his book Trapped Under The Sea to discuss how very smart people often make very bad decisions and how society calculates human risk in complex and high stakes undertakings. 

December 1: Alan Turing

The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch is based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing. Monday of Living Lab we look at the life of Alan Turing whose brilliant team of code-breakers were a vital resource during the darkest days of World War II.

December 2: Captured 1614

In 1614 twenty Wampanoag men were kidnapped by European explorers to be sold as slaves in Spain. Captured: 1614 depicts this event from the perspective of the Wampanoag people  Executive Producer Paula Peters talks about the interactive exhibit.

Later in the hour Ramona Peters, Founder of  the Native Land Conservancy, a new Native American led land conservancy based in Mashpee joins us to talk about their work protecting and preserving land on the Cape, Islands and beyond.

December 3: Ask the Manager

Your opportunity to talk about the programs you hear on WCAI.   We will discuss some of the changes to our on air schedule, our efforts to increase local news coverage and what we hope to accomplish in the coming year. We hope you’ll join us with your comments and questions.

December 4:  Therapeutic Writing

First we talk about the therapeutic value of writing with the leaders of two writing groups on the Cape, one for people whose lives have been touched by cancer, and the other for formerly homeless women.  Later in the hour, have you ever thought your life could be a book? A literary agent joins us with tips for writing and publishing your memoir.

Natalie Mariano, a physician and leader of a writing class for women who have been touched by cancer.  Nancy Jane Woodside, writing group for formerly homeless women at Eve’s House, a home in Hyannis run by Homeless not Hopeless.  Sarah Jane Freymann, literary agent and co-author of Your Life is a Book: How to Craft and Publish Your Memoir . 

December 5: News Roundup

Area Journalists discuss the regions top stories of the week.


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The Point with Mindy Todd
2:47 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Mystery Books: Some Favorites

book cover art

On The Point, an hour devoted to mysteries. Mindy Todd sits down with Jill Erickson, Reference Librarian at Falmouth Public Library and Author Peter Abrahams, to talk about some of their favorite picks, and listeners chime in.

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The Point with Mindy Todd
10:06 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Owls and Other Fowls in This Month's Bird News

saw whet owl blending in on Nantucket
Credit E. Vernon Laux

Nantucket ornithologist Vernon Laux talks about the latest bird news, including the return of snowy and saw whet owls, on The Point with Mindy Todd.  We also hear from listeners who call in or send email.

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Science & Environment
1:29 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Liven Up Thanksgiving With Cranberry Fun Facts

American cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon.

Can't talk about politics or religion at Thanksgiving dinner? No problem. Talk about cranberries, instead.

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The Point
10:49 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Coping with Teenage Drinking Problems

High school students take action
Credit Falmouth Help Avoid Disaster

On The Point, a discussion about underage drinking, and some of the programs in place on the cape and islands designed to prevent teens from drinking. Even though the legal drinking age in the United States is 21, more than a quarter of all alcohol consumed here is drunk by people under the age of 20, according to Columbia University's National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.

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The Point with Mindy Todd
1:15 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Understanding the Psychology of Violence


Why do some people seem more predisposed to violence than others? What are some situations that increase the risk of aggression and how can we help foster kindness, gentleness and compassion? Psychologist Michael Abruzzese and Psychiatrist Marc Whaley join Sean Corcoran to discuss the psychology of violence.

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The Point with Mindy Todd
2:04 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Getting in the Mood for Holiday Food

white sauce with bay leaves
Credit J. J.

Perhaps more than any other time of year, the period from Thanksgiving to Christmas is associated with food and food traditions. On The Point, we discuss new twists to traditional dishes, more healthful side dishes and some tips on how to make the food at your holiday party stand out.

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Science & Environment
12:35 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Islands Cope With Encroaching Seas, Some Better Than Others

Erosion at Nauset Light, Cape Cod National Seashore
Credit Cape Cod Times

Sea level rise and erosion have become defining features of coastal living in New England. Islands are particularly vulnerable.

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The Point
12:43 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

WCAI's Local News Roundup: New Limits on Cod Fishing; 4-year college comes to town; Rehm to Retire

Ethel Kennedy, wife of the late Robert F. Kennedy, will be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

WCAI News Director Sean Corcoran hosts several local journalists to discuss the top local news stories of the week. Joining Sean this week are Anne Brennan of the Cape Cod Times; Tim Wood of the Cape Cod Chronicle; Sally Rose of the Provincetown Banner; Joshua Balling of the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror; Geoff Spillane of the Mashpee Enterprise; and Jim DeArruda of the New Bedford Standard Times.

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The Point
1:03 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Hatred Makes Victims of Us All

Credit book cover art

A conversation about race, ethnicity, and our response to those we perceive as “different" from ourselves, on The Point with Mindy Todd. First, an interview with Jerome Forman, author of Graphic History of Anti-Semitism, a collection of anti-Semitic postcards, cartoons, advertisements and other ephemera.

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The Point with Mindy Todd
12:21 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Cape, Coast and Islands History, Seen Through Pictures

Credit A Picture History of New Bedford

Today we travel along the Cape, Coast and Islands to look at the history of our region through pictures. First we explore Nantucket with photographer Allen Reinhard and Frances Karttunen, author of Nantucket’s North Shore, a Neighborhood History. Then, a look back at New Bedford with Joseph ThomasJay Avila, and Alfred H.

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