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.]

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.]

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.]

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.]

109 – Jusst Desserts, Part 2

Everything in moderation! Julia serves up another helping of treats. [This week, we’re featuring cookies and biscuits, meringues, frozen desserts, and Truly American Desserts.] Later, enjoy a quiz called “Bake-Off”!

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[Music: 1) The London Film Score Orchestra, Tom Howe, Music Featured in the TV Program The Great British Bake-Off, “Signature Cakes / Sparkle / Happy Pizza / Organic Mix,” 2014;  2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

108 – Jusst Desserts, Part 1

By popular demand– Julia dishes out heaping portions of knowledge about some of the world’s best baked goods. This week, it’s cakes, custards, and pastries. [No soggy bottoms here!] Later, enjoy a quiz called “Great, British”!

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[Music: 1) The London Film Score Orchestra, Tom Howe, Music Featured in the TV Program The Great British Bake-Off, “Signature Cakes / Sparkle / Happy Pizza / Organic Mix,” 2014;  2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

105 – Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dancer

Julia dances circles around the competition as she discusses the most elegant and graceful of all topics. Learn about types and methods of ballet, famous dancers and choreographers, Ballets You Should Know, vocabulary terms, and everything in between. [Don’t get tutu stressed out, okay?] Later, enjoy a quiz called “Dance Like Nobody’s Watching!”
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[Music: 1) Philadelphia Orchestra performing “Danses des petits cygnes,” from Swan Lake, Peter Tchaikovsky, 1963; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

103 – Just Deserts

Julia dusts off her binoculars and sun hat this week to survey the world’s deserts: how they’re formed, where they’re located, which places you should avoid, and much more. [If you thought that deserts were just a bunch of sand, then you’re in for quite a treat.] Later, enjoy a quiz called “Desert Rose”!

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[Music: 1) Little Glass Men, “Desert Castles,” 2015. Courtesy of Ryan Claus/Little Glass Men, CC BY 4.0 license; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

Episode 99 – It’s Element-ary

For our 99th episode, you can count on Julia to describe the origins of every single element name on the periodic table. We’ve got you covered from Actinium to Zirconium! Later, enjoy a quiz called “Title Elements”!

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[Music: 1) Tom Lehrer, “The Elements,” Music by Sir Arthur Sullivan, 1959; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]

Episode 96 – Men are from Ares, Women are from Aphrodite: Greek and Roman Mythology

In our 96th episode, Julia covers what you’ve all been waiting for during *MYTHOLOGY MAY* — the Greeks and the Romans. We have everything: Titans, Olympians, Furies, Fates, Muses, monsters, heroes, comedy, tragedy, and everything in between. Later, enjoy a quiz called “A Night With Venus…”!

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[Music: 1) “Toccata” from Claudio Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Emmanuelle Haïm, Warner Classics, 2004; 2) Frau Holle, “Ascending Souls,” 2017. Courtesy of Frau Holle, CC BY-NC 3.0 license.]