129 – Enter the Wu-Tang Clan

And now for something completely different… Julia journeys all the way to Shaolin [a.k.a Staten Island] to become better versed in a hip-hop group about which she previously knew nothing: the world-famous Wu-Tang Clan. Learn about the members, their early history, famous albums and songs, and a lot of Wu-Tang trivia along the way. Later, enjoy a quiz called “Leggo My Logo!”

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[Music: 1) Lobo Loco, “Kung Fu Fighters March – Fast (ID 833),” 2019. Courtesy of Lobo Loco, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

128 – Mystery Woman: Agatha Christie

*Whew*! We’re free from the holiday season [and concurrent theme months], so let’s start the new year off with a good old-fashioned episode about Agatha Christie! Learn all about her life, mysterious disappearance, and her famous character with a magnificent mustache. Later, grab some fries and some beard balm and take a quiz on Belgium and facial hair styles!
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[Music: 1) Christopher Gunning, “The Belgian Detective (From Poirot),” 2013; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

127 – The Butcher of the Balkans: Slobodan Milosevic

We end the remarkably uplifting [/sarcasm] month of *DICTATOR DECEMBER* with a look at the first European head of state to ever be prosecuted for genocide and war crimes: Serbian nationalist Slobodan Milošević. Come with us on a journey to Yugoslavia and the Balkan States as we cover the Bosnian War. Later, have a much grander time with a quiz called “New Year, New YOU-goslavia!”

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[Music: 1) Freddie Mitchell Orchestra, “Auld Lang Syne Boogie,” 1949; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

126 – The Killing Fields: Pol Pot

It’s a Holiday in Cambodia with our penultimate episode in Dictator December! Discover the complexities of the Indochina Wars, the Vietnam War, and the mysteries of Cambodian Dictator Pol Pot. Later, soothe your soul with a quiz on vacation destinations!

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[Music: 1) Dead Kennedys, “Holiday in Cambodia,” 1980; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

125 – El Comandante: Fidel Castro

You’ll probably want a daiquiri or mojito after this episode about longtime Cuban “leader”–he wouldn’t call himself a dictator–Fidel Castro. Learn about guerilla warfare in Cuba, the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Castro’s dairy obsession, and more. Later, enjoy a quiz called “Havana Ooh Na Na (Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye)!”

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[Music: 1) Steam, “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye,” 1969; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

124 – El Caudillo: Francisco Franco

Are you ready for more Dictator Data? This week, get into the Spanish spirit with our episode on Francisco Franco. Learn all about the Spanish Civil War, Franco’s role in WWII, and more! Later, cleanse your brain with a quiz on San Francisco and Famous Franks!

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[Music: 1) Judy Garland, “San Francisco,” 1962; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

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.]