170 – All Roads Lead to Rome: The Roman Empire (with Hannah McIntyre)

You know what they say– the bigger they are, the harder they fall. GUESTOBER concludes with the radiant Hannah McIntyre, who recaps four centuries of Roman history and highlights the people, places, and things we should remember about the once-powerful Roman Empire. Later, enjoy an incredible quiz called “Vini, V.D., Vichy!”

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[Music: 1)  Coldplay, “Viva La Vida,” 2008; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

169 – A Fermentation Celebration (with Sam Pike)

We’re just bubbling with excitement over this week’s special guest, Sam Pike of the Urban Farm Fermentory in Portland, Maine. He brews up a batch of fun fermentation facts and pickling particulars [and assures us that kombucha is not as gross as Julia thinks it is]. Later, enjoy a quiz called “Green Eggs with Sam”!

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[Music: 1) The Kills, “Sour Cherry,” 2008; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

168 – The Only Subject that Counts (with Eric Siy)

To continue GUESTOBER, Eric Siy returns with a second installment of math trivia as he teaches us about algebra, philosophy, and another Mathematician You Should Know. [By the way, René Descartes may begin to haunt your dreams…] Later, enjoy a delightful quiz called “Eric Always Forgets About the Lesbians”!

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[Music: 1)  Tom Lehrer, “New Math,” 1965; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

167 – Go Figure (with Ryan Meyers)

To kick off GUESTOBER, we are joined by the delightful Ryan Meyers, whose knowledge of figure skating deserves a perfect 10. Learn about the history of ice skating, its evolution through modern times, and of course, the most famous of figure skaters. Later, take a “Figure 8” quiz!

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[Music: 1) Vanilla Ice, “Ice Ice Baby,” 1990;  2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

166 – Fatale Donna

She may have been thought of as the original femme fatale, but as it turns out, Lucrezia Borgia was a complicated and talented lady: a true Renaissance Woman. Learn all about Lucrezia and her crazy family on today’s episode! Later, take a quiz on some equally famous Italians. Per favore divertiti!

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[Music: 1) Rosemary Clooney, “Mambo Italiano,” 1954; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

165 – A Third-Rate Burglary Attempt

Do you already know everything about Watergate? Think again! Julia takes a deep dive into the 1972 scandal that ultimately brought down the presidency of Richard Nixon [and introduced us to several infamous people in the aftermath]. Later, enjoy a quiz on other famous gates!

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[Music: 1) Devo, “Gates of Steel (2009 Remaster),” 2009; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

164 – Ugly Duckling

Sure, we all loved The Little Mermaid growing up, but did you know how horrific the original story was?! In today’s episode, Lauren takes us through some of the works of Hans Christian Andersen, his lonely life, and strange proclivities. [Hint: You never wanted him as a houseguest!] Later, take a quiz called “Princesses and Peas”!

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[Music: 1) Danny Kaye, “Wonderful Copenhagen/Hans Christian Andersen,” 1952; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

163 – “The Problem That Has No Name”: Feminist Literature

Feminism is for everybody! Julia provides a primer on ten works of feminist literature that You Should Know. Later, enjoy a quiz called “Some Problems That DO Have Names”!

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[Music: 1) Chaka Khan, “I’m Every Woman,” 1978; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

162 – “Vancouver, Vancouver! This is It!”

Get ready, volcanology-fiends: It’s time to get explosive with the most intense volcano blast in modern history on the continental U.S. Settle in for the tale of the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption, along with stories of the people who tracked it [and some noted skeptics]. Later, take a quiz called “Rock Flow”– a quiz about rock/rap collabs and bands!

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[Music: 1) Notorious B.I.G. “Juicy” vs. The xx “Intro” mashup, YouTube user soccerplaya514, 2010; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

161 – 15 (Plus 105) Miles on the Suez Canal

A mule named Sal won’t help you here… Julia digs up some dirt on the major international waterway about which we all keep missing trivia questions. Learn all about the history of the Suez Canal, along with some major global events centering around this manmade border between Africa and Asia. Later, enjoy a quiz called “From C to Shining C!”

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[Music: 1) Giuseppe Verdi, “The Grand March” from Aida, performed by the United States Marine Corps Band, 2002; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]