123 – Man of Steel, Heart of Ice: Joseph Stalin

It’s the start of *DICTATOR DECEMBER*! This week, Julia covers Very Bad Person™ Joseph Stalin (1878-1953), General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Learn how this poor boy from Georgia […the country…] became one of the most feared leaders of the 20th century. Later, please enjoy a quiz on a completely different topic: “Universally Adored Humans”!
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[Music: 1) Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, “Nutcracker Suite,” 1892; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

122½ – Black Friday Special: Maneater

*Content warning: Cannibalism*

Oh, did you enjoy Gorge Day in the U.S.? For this Black Friday special, we’re joined in-studio by three of the coolest librarians covering a topic by which we’re all truly fascinated: cannibalism. Cassie Guthrie, Beth Merkle, and Laura Osterhout are here to tease their December 13th fundraiser event in the Rochester area: Christmas with the Donner Party: A History Happy Hour with Historian Maya Rook. [All proceeds benefit New Yorkers for Better Libraries.] Today, we discuss cannibalism in literature, television, film, historical events, and [obviously] serial killers. Later, enjoy a quiz called “The Opposite of Cannibalism”!

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[Music: 1) Hall & Oates, “Maneater,” 1982; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

122 – Dungeons & Dragons (with Jamie Kusack)

For total RPG newbies like Julia and Lauren, this episode with listener (and Dungeon Master!) Jamie Kusack totally opened our eyes. Learn all about how to create your character and go on an adventure in America’s most popular role-playing game, Dungeons & Dragons. Later, enjoy a quiz about… well, dungeons and dragons!

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[Music: 1) No More Kings, “Critical Hit,” 2009; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

121 – The Beyhive

All rise…it’s an episode about the Queen Bey herself, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter! Take a trip down memory lane with great pop-culture info about Destiny’s Child, the career of Beyoncé, and some piping hot celebrity gossip. Later, test your knowledge with a quiz about bees!

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[Music: 1) Beyoncé, “Countdown,” 2011; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

120 – Dharma, Karma, Samsara: An Intro to Hinduism

Take a deep cleansing breath as you prepare to learn about the world’s third largest religion. Julia covers the aims of human life, major Hindu texts, the caste system, Hindu deities, and [best of all] festivals. Later, enjoy a quiz called “A Passage to India”!

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[Music: 1) Veena Kinhal, “Haratanaya Sree,” 2009. Public domain license. 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

119 – Number Munchers: Math 102 (with Bailie H.)

Back by popular demand… we have another math episode! This time, guest host Bailie has us covered on prime numbers, factorials, and whole bunch of important mathematicians […some with more functioning eyeballs than others]. Later, enjoy a quiz about other interesting math tidbits!

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[Music: 1) Mos Def, “Mathematics,” 1999; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

118 – Say It With Me…

We’ve heard your requests, and today’s the day. Time for a episode on–say it with us–TSGYOUBNEPHR-CULILLOSSEAS! [Whoops: Tuberculosis. It’s tuberculosis.] This week, Lauren takes us through the symptoms and history of [maybe!] humanity’s first known disease, which also happens to make you soooo good lookin’. Later, enjoy a quiz on poets and poetry. [And cover your mouth when you cough! ]

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[Music: 1) Van Morrison, “T.B. Sheets,” 1967; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

117 – Right Out the Window

Take everything you thought you knew about the Defenestrations of Prague–and, well, throw it out the window. Julia dives head first into the religious feuds of Renaissance-era Bohemia and clues us into the multiple times that Bohemians attempted to solve all their problems by defenestrating their enemies. Later, enjoy a quiz called “Windows to the Soul”!

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[Music: 1) R. A. Dvorsky Orchestra, “Pod Nasim Oknem,” c. 1930s; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

116 – Like a Big Pizza Pie

Are we lunatics? [If by “lunatic” you mean “crazy about the Moon,” then heck yeah!] Learn all about Earth’s natural satellite [and BFF] in the realms of science, culture, and history… And once and for all, we’ll learn the difference between a Blue Moon, a Strawberry Moon, a Harvest Moon, and a SUPERMOON. Later, test your knowledge of holidays with a quiz entitled “Movable Feast”!
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[Music: 1) Joseph Arthur, “Honey and the Moon,” 2007; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

115 – Alma, The Bride of the Wind

We hope you’re sitting down for this one, because the story of Alma Mahler, “The Most Beautiful Woman in Vienna,” is a REAL doozy. This episode has everything: art, music, sex, death, Nazis, literature, insanity, more Nazis… Julia paints a portrait of this Austrian lady who bewitched the most famous men of her day. And later, enjoy a quiz called “Gustav and Walter and Franz”!

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