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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.

What We Can Learn from Online Daters

On this episode of Modern Notion Daily, our guest is Christian Rudder, a co-founder of the online dating service OkCupid and author of Dataclysm: Love, Sex, Race, and Identity—What Our Online Lives Tell Us about Our Offline Selves (Broadway Books, paperback September 2015). Rudder gained some attention when he wrote the OkTrends blog for OkCupid,…

Investigating the Murder of a White Supremacist Leader

On this episode of Modern Notion Daily, our guest is John Safran, an Australian comedian, documentary maker, and author of the book God’ll Cut You Down: The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist, a Black Hustler, a Murder, and How I Lost a Year in Mississippi (Riverhead Books, paperback September 2015). As part of his…

Taking Down Boston’s Most Notorious Gangster

Our guest today on Modern Notion Daily is Dick Lehr, coauthor with Gerard O’Neill of the definitive book on Boston’s most notorious gangster, Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil’s Deal (PublicAffairs, reissued August 2015). Lehr and O’Neill were part of an investigative journalism team at The Boston Globe in the 1980s, covering…

The Night Bob Dylan Went Electric

Our guest today is Elijah Wald, author of Dylan Goes Electric! Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night That Split the Sixties (Dey Street Books, July 2015). Fifty years after the fact, we talk with Wald about the night Bob Dylan first performed with an electric band at the Newport Folk Festival, shocking his fans and…

The Tricky Science of Forensics

On today’s show, our guest is Val McDermid, author of Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us about Crime (Grove Press, July 2015). McDermid is a crime novelist and tries to make her fiction as close to real life as possible. Writing Forensics, a nonfiction title that explores the science of crime scene investigation, allowed…

The Ups and Downs of Voting Rights in America

Today on Modern Notion Daily: journalist Ari Berman takes us through the history of voting rights and restrictions in the last 50 years, as detailed in his book Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, August 2015). Berman explores why the Voting Rights Act of 1965…

The Complex Lives of Killer Whales

David Neiwert, author of Of Orcas and Men: What Killer Whales Can Teach Us (The Overlook Press, June 2015), joins us to talk orcas on today’s episode of Modern Notion Daily. Neiwert explores the killer whale’s unique intelligence and ability to echolocate, as well as the conditions these animals are subjected to in captivity. We…

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Project Apollo

Today, on Modern Notion Daily: we get a rare look at the manned space flights of Project Apollo. Our guests are John Bisney and J.L. Pickering, coauthors of Moonshots and Snapshots of Project Apollo: A Rare Photographic Look (September 2015, University of New Mexico Press). For more than four decades, Pickering has been collecting 8″x10″…

Sea Wars: Somali Pirates & Oyster Farming

This hour, our theme is “sea wars,” and we bring you two very different stories. First, we’re talking with John Boyle, author of Blood Ransom: Stories from the Front Line in the War Against Somali Piracy (Bloomsbury, July 2015). Boyle interviewed prisoners in Somalia who were serving time for alleged pirate activity. Then we’re joined…

The American Doctor Who Resisted in Nazi-Occupied Paris; NYC Subway Cars Become Artificial Reefs

On today’s Modern Notion Daily podcast, we’re talking spies and subways cars in the ocean. First we’re in the studio with Alex Kershaw, author of Avenue of Spies: A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family’s Heroic Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Paris (Crown, August 2015). Kershaw tells the story of an American doctor and…