Modern Notion iTunes1StitcherFacebookTwitter

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.

fed
Hosts

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

The Stanford Prison Experiment, Dangerous Personalities

On today’s show Dr. Philip Zimbardo joins us to talk about his famous Stanford Prison Experiment from 1971. Zimbardo, a psychologist, designed an experiment in which 24 college-aged men lived in a prison simulation for two weeks. Twelve played the role of guard, while the other 12 were the prisoners. Zimbardo planned to observe how…

The Wild Weasels of the U.S. Air Force, Betty Crocker

Retired Lt. Col. Dan Hampton joins us on today’s podcast to talk about his new book, The Hunter Killers: The Extraordinary Story of the First Wild Weasels, the Band of Maverick Aviators Who Flew the Most Dangerous Missions of the Vietnam War (William Morrow, June 2015). Wild Weasels are known for their deadly air missions, and…

Up Close & Personal with Seashells

On today’s Modern Notion Daily, our guest is Helen Scales, author of Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells (Bloomsbury, July 2015). A marine biologist, Scales decided to explore the science of shells (they’re made from calcium carbonate) and their symbolism throughout human history. Music this hour: “Soldiertype (militarised)” by Ketsa,…

Sega vs. Nintendo, Ouija Boards

On today’s show, we’re talking with Blake J. Harris, author of Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation (Dey Street Books, June 2015). Harris explores the tense competition between Sega and Nintendo, two Japanese video game companies, in the early 1990s. Nintendo dominated the market so thoroughly in 1990 that no…

The Man Who Survived a Plane Crash & 81 Days in the Alaskan Wilderness; TV Dinners

On today’s episode of Modern Notion Daily, our guest is Brian Murphy, author of 81 Days Below Zero: The Incredible Survival Story of a World War II Pilot in Alaska’s Frozen Wilderness (Da Capo Press, June 2015). Leon Crane was a test pilot in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, stationed at Ladd…

The Three Japanese Girls Who Came to America in the 1870s + Princess Caribou

Author Janice Nimura joins us on today’s episode of Modern Notion Daily to talk about her latest book, Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back (W. W. Norton & Co., May 2015). In the 1870s, Japan was in the midst of the Meiji Era—a time of great change, when the…

The Soul of an Octopus

When it comes to octopus adventures, Sy Montgomery has seen it all! She joins us today on Modern Notion Daily to talk about her new book, The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Explanation into the Wonder of Consciousness (Atria Books, May 2015). Montgomery talks about the proper plural of “octopus” (hint: it’s not “octopi”)…

A Doctor Examines Medical Marijuana

Author and palliative care physician David Casarett joins us on today’s episode of Modern Notion Daily to discuss his new book, Stoned: A Doctor’s Case for Medical Marijuana (Current, July 2015). When a patient with advanced cancer asked Casarett about the effects of medical marijuana (positive or negative), he realized that he actually didn’t know…

A Reluctant Nudist’s Adventures, Space Plants

On today’s episode of Modern Notion Daily, our guest is Mark Haskell Smith, author of Naked at Lunch: A Reluctant Nudist’s Adventures in the Clothing-Optional World (Grove Press, June 2015). Haskell Smith decided to take on the role of gonzo journalist and find what nudism was all about, from the inside. His research took him…

The Virginia County That Refused to Desegregate, Keys to the City

On today’s episode of Modern Notion Daily, our guest is Kristen Green, author of Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County: A Family, a Virginia Town, a Civil Rights Battle (Harper, June 2015). Green grew up in Farmville, Virginia, where the school district refused to desegregate for five years after they were ordered to…