155 – Our Place in Space

It’s time to cast an eye around our galactic neighborhood and refresh your elementary-school science class memory with this episode on Our Solar System! [Find out what exactly the Oort Cloud is and which dwarf planet was named by an 11-year-old girl.] Later, slake that passion for fashion with a quiz on supermodels!

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[Music: 1) StoryBots, “We Are the Planets (The Solar System Song),” 2013; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

154 – He… Could… Go… All.. the… Way!

During this temporary sports hiatus, Julia brings you a list of famous plays from American football games [both professional and college-level] throughout history. By the end, you’ll finally “get” what situation sports commentators are referring to when they mention “The Catch” or “The Drive.” [Oh, and a preemptive apology to New York football fans– there are a few plays described here that might cause you some angst.] Later, enjoy a quiz called “Flag on the Play!”

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[Music: 1) Styx, “Renegade,” 1978; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

153 – Look, I Made a Hat! (Stephen Sondheim)

Start your vocal warm-ups and stretch those hamstrings–it’s time to PUT ON A SHOWWWWWW! Today, we learn all about the godfather of musical theater: Stephen Sondheim. Hear about his life, his music, and why his songs are so damned hard to sing. Stick around later for “Into the Woods”– a quiz on things you’d find in the forest.

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[Music: 1) Original Broadway Cast of Company, “(Not) Getting Married Today,” 1970; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

152 – The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: Mansa Musa

We’re transported back to 14th century Africa to take a closer look at the Mali Empire and the emperor who was so rich he accidentally created a ten-year-long gold recession: Mansa Musa. Learn about his famous pilgrimage to Mecca [and the Five Pillars of Islam], the learning center at Timbuktu, and how the Mali Empire became so darn great. Later, enjoy a quiz called “Going for the Gold!”

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[Music: 1) Griot B & Schoolyard Rap, “Mansa Musa,” 2018; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

151 – The Big Easy (with Father Brad Doyle)

We’re joined this week by very special guest Father Brad Doyle of The Quizzical Papist podcast, who regales us with the highlights of his favorite city: New Orleans. Julia and Lauren attempt to keep the swears at a minimum while learning about the geography, history, music, food, culture, and quirks of the Crescent City. Later, enjoy a quiz called “Papal Potables”!

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[Music: 1) Johnny Horton, “Battle of New Orleans,” 1959; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

Be sure to check out The Quizzical Papist on iTunes/Apple Podcasts here!

150 – This Episode Can Kill You

Try not to touch, breathe in, or otherwise consume this episode–we’re warning you! This week, Lauren covers some deadly poisons and toxins, and generally loses it about radiation sickness. Later, soothe the burn with a quiz on cure-alls!

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[Music: 1) Alice Cooper, “Poison,” 1989; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

149 – Play Your Cards Right

Quick– how many face cards in a standard deck of playing cards have only one eye showing? If the answer didn’t come to you immediately, you’re not alone. This week’s episode is all about playing card trivia: how cards are made, frequent questions, incredible factoids, and the rules to a card game that has mystified Julia for years. Later, enjoy a quiz called “House of Cards!”

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[Music: 1) Motörhead, “Ace of Spades, 1980; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

148 – The Right to Bear Arms

This week, we learn all about one of the celebrated heroes of the Polish Army during WWII [who just so happened to be a nearly 500-lb bear…]. Lauren tells us the fascinating story of one of history’s greatest mascots, and later gives us a quiz about the wonderful weirdness of MLB mascots!

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[Music: 1) Igor Stravinsky, “Peasant With Bear,” from Petrushka, 2008; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

147 – Come with Me and Es-CAPE!

Welcome back to geography class! Today, we’re covering everyone’s favorite coastline formations: CAPES. [Where are they? What are they known for? And which ones are truly GREAT?] Later, enjoy a quiz called “If You Like Piña Coladas and Getting Caught in the Rain”!

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[Music: 1) Rupert Holmes, “Escape (The Piña Colada Song),” 1979; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

146 – That Old Man and the Sea

Finally! Today, by popular demand, we tackle the Grandfather of Masculine Literature: Ernest Hemingway! Learn all about Papa’s accident-prone, globe-trotting life, and get a rundown of his famous novels. Later, bulk up your knowledge on Oscar Wilde with a quiz entitled “The Importance of Being Ernest!”

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[Music: 1) Jimmy Buffet, Live at Wrigley Field, “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere,” 2006; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]