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The radio extension of Modern Notion, a website for the ultra-curious that finds the science behind the story and the truth in every tale. It’s your middlebrow library for highbrow ideas. We tell stories about history, science, technology, culture and life.

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Hosts

Zack Christenson and Dara Katz are the co-hosts of Modern Notion Daily, and the editor-in-chief and editor of Modern Notion.

This Salon in New York Is the Ground Zero of Brazilian Waxing

On today’s episode of Modern Notion, we visit the salon in New York that originated Brazilian waxing. Jonice Padilha, one of the seven sisters behind Manhattan’s J Sisters salon, speaks to reporter Renee Gross about how the salon came up with the idea of taking it all off. From there, the trend took off—you’ll have…

Mapping the Human Body

What if we looked at the human body as a landscape, and mapped its features using a cartographer’s eye? That’s what Dr. Gavin Francis does in his new book, Adventures in Human Being: A Grand Tour from the Cranium to the Calcaneum (Basic Books, October 2015). On this episode of Modern Notion we dive into some…

Cheddar: It’s Nothing to Cheese At

Our guest on today’s (new! improved! weekly!) Modern Notion is Gordon Edgar, the longtime cheesemonger at Rainbow Cooperative Grocery in San Francisco. Gordon turns his attention to a specific kind of cheese in his new book, Cheddar: A Journey to the Heart of America’s Most Iconic Cheese (Chelsea Green, October 2015). In the midst of a cheese renaissance, Gordon…

Announcement from Modern Notion

Listen for a quick update on what’s happening at Modern Notion.

Winston Churchill, War Correspondent

On today’s show, we’re talking with author Simon Read about Winston Churchill—but probably not the Winston Churchill you already know. In his book, Winston Churchill Reporting: Adventures of a Young War Correspondent (Da Capo Press, October 2015), Read explores the five years Churchill spent as a war correspondent, which took him around the world, from Cuba…

Deathwatch Beetles and Other Creepy Crawlies

On today’s show, our guest is Dave Goulson, a professor of biological sciences and the founder of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust in the UK. Goulson recently wrote a memoir of sorts about a farm he bought in France, called A Buzz in the Meadow: The Natural History of a French Farm (Picador, April 2015). For the last…

Was the CIA behind JFK’s Assassination?

On today’s episode of Modern Notion Daily, our guest is David Talbot, the former CEO and editor-in-chief of Salon.com. Talbot has written a new book, The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government (Harper, October 2015). Dulles was the director of the CIA until President John F. Kennedy fired him; and…

Ambiguity May or May Not Be a Good Thing

Jamie Holmes is our guest today, talking about his new book Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing (Crown, October 2015). Holmes argues that embracing ambiguity can help us lead more productive and happier lives. Also on the show, reporter Lila Cherneff visits a zebrafish lab on Mount Desert Island in Maine to learn about the science of…

Why Aren’t More Women Pursuing STEM Careers?

On today’s show, novelist and English professor Eileen Pollack is discussing her new book, The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys’ Club (Beacon Press, September 2015). Pollack graduated from Yale with a bachelor’s degree in physics, but she believes that a lack of encouragement, and even active discouragement, led her to…

Learn to Fight Like a Navy SEAL

On today’s show, our guest is Clint Emerson, author of 100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation (Touchstone, October 2015). Emerson uses his experiences a Navy SEAL to give tips on how to stay ahead of “the bad guys”—mostly by using “bad guy” tactics. He gives detailed…