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Modern Notion Daily

Ideas

The radio extension of ModernNotion.com, a website for the ultra-curious that finds the science behind the story and the truth in every tale. It’s your middlebrow library for highbrow ideas. We tell stories about history, science, technology, culture and life.

The radio extension of ModernNotion.com, a website for the ultra-curious that finds the science behind the story and the truth in every tale. It’s your middlebrow library for highbrow ideas. We tell stories about history, science, technology, culture and life.

Location:

Evanston, IL

Description:

The radio extension of ModernNotion.com, a website for the ultra-curious that finds the science behind the story and the truth in every tale. It’s your middlebrow library for highbrow ideas. We tell stories about history, science, technology, culture and life.

Language:

Multilingual


Episodes

Sisters in Law: Sandra Day O’Connor & Ruth Bader Ginsburg

9/10/2015
On today’s show, we’re talking with Linda Hirshman, a former attorney and author of the new dual biography, Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World (Harper, September 2015). Hirshman argues that these first two women to sit on the Supreme Court could…

Duration:00:49:04

What We Can Learn from Online Daters

9/9/2015
On this episode of Modern Notion Daily, our guest is Christian Rudder, a co-founder of the online dating service OkCupid and author of Dataclysm: Love, Sex, Race, and Identity—What Our Online Lives Tell Us about Our Offline Selves (Broadway Books, paperback September 2015). Rudder gained some attention when he wrote the OkTrends blog for OkCupid,…

Duration:00:48:51

Investigating the Murder of a White Supremacist Leader

9/8/2015
On this episode of Modern Notion Daily, our guest is John Safran, an Australian comedian, documentary maker, and author of the book God’ll Cut You Down: The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist, a Black Hustler, a Murder, and How I Lost a Year in Mississippi (Riverhead Books, paperback September 2015). As part of his…

Duration:00:48:54

Taking Down Boston’s Most Notorious Gangster

9/4/2015
Our guest today on Modern Notion Daily is Dick Lehr, coauthor with Gerard O’Neill of the definitive book on Boston’s most notorious gangster, Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil’s Deal (PublicAffairs, reissued August 2015). Lehr and O’Neill were part of an investigative journalism team at The Boston Globe in the 1980s, covering…

Duration:00:48:26

The Night Bob Dylan Went Electric

9/3/2015
Our guest today is Elijah Wald, author of Dylan Goes Electric! Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night That Split the Sixties (Dey Street Books, July 2015). Fifty years after the fact, we talk with Wald about the night Bob Dylan first performed with an electric band at the Newport Folk Festival, shocking his fans and…

Duration:00:50:02

The Tricky Science of Forensics

9/2/2015
On today’s show, our guest is Val McDermid, author ofForensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us about Crime(Grove Press, July 2015). McDermid is a crime novelist and tries to make her fiction as close to real life as possible. WritingForensics, a nonfiction title that explores the science of crime scene investigation, allowed…

Duration:00:48:25

The Ups and Downs of Voting Rights in America

9/1/2015
Today on Modern Notion Daily: journalist Ari Berman takes us through the history of voting rights and restrictions in the last 50 years, as detailed in his book Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, August 2015). Berman explores why the Voting Rights Act of 1965…

Duration:00:49:01

The Complex Lives of Killer Whales

8/31/2015
David Neiwert, author of Of Orcas and Men: What Killer Whales Can Teach Us (The Overlook Press, June 2015), joins us to talk orcas on today’s episode of Modern Notion Daily. Neiwert explores the killer whale’s unique intelligence and ability to echolocate, as well as the conditions these animals are subjected to in captivity. We…

Duration:00:49:11

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Project Apollo

8/27/2015
Today, on Modern Notion Daily: we get a rare look at the manned space flights of Project Apollo. Our guests are John Bisney and J.L. Pickering, coauthors of Moonshots and Snapshots of Project Apollo: A Rare Photographic Look (September 2015, University of New Mexico Press). For more than four decades, Pickering has been collecting 8″x10″…

Duration:00:48:40

Sea Wars: Somali Pirates & Oyster Farming

8/26/2015
This hour, our theme is “sea wars,” and we bring you two very different stories. First, we’re talking with John Boyle, author of Blood Ransom: Stories from the Front Line in the War Against Somali Piracy (Bloomsbury, July 2015). Boyle interviewed prisoners in Somalia who were serving time for alleged pirate activity. Then we’re joined…

Duration:00:48:37

The American Doctor Who Resisted in Nazi-Occupied Paris; NYC Subway Cars Become Artificial Reefs

8/25/2015
On today’s Modern Notion Daily podcast, we’re talking spies and subways cars in the ocean. First we’re in the studio with Alex Kershaw, author of Avenue of Spies: A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family’s Heroic Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Paris (Crown, August 2015). Kershaw tells the story of an American doctor and…

Duration:00:48:55

John Horton Conway: The Seductive Mathematician

8/24/2015
On today’s episode of Modern Notion Daily, our guest is Siobhan Roberts, author ofGenius at Play: The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway(Bloomsbury USA, July 2015). Roberts spent seven years writing this biography of one of the most famous contemporary mathematicians and creator of the Game of Life. The magnitude of Conway’s genius is matched…

Duration:00:47:02

The Race to Crack the Genetic Code

8/21/2015
On today’s Modern Notion Daily show, our guest is Matthew Cobb, a zoology professor and author of Life’s Greatest Secret: The Race to Crack the Genetic Code (Basic Books, July 2015). Cobb traces the history of genetic discoveries from Mendel and his predecessors (yes, he stood on the shoulders of other early geneticists) to CRISPR…

Duration:00:48:41

The Origins of International Adoption from Korea

8/20/2015
On today’s Modern Notion Daily podcast, our guest is Arissa H. Oh, author of To Save the Children of Korea: The Cold War Origins of International Adoption (Stanford University Press, June 2015). During the Korean War and the rise of “war orphans,” Americans began adopting Korean children in large numbers; that trend spiked in the…

Duration:00:48:10

Murder & Romance in the 19th Century

8/19/2015
This hour, our guest is Michael Knox Beran, author of Murder by Candlelight: The Gruesome Crimes Behind Our Romance with the Macabre (Pegasus, August 2015). Beran explores three murders from the 19th century that showcase people’s changing attitudes toward the macabre at that time. Music this hour: “Miri’s Magic Dance” by Kevin MacLeod, from the…

Duration:00:48:12

Andy Warhol’s Epic 1963 Cross-Country Road Trip; Sardinian Foods

8/17/2015
On today’s episode of Modern Notion Daily, our guest is Deborah Davis, author of The Trip: Andy Warhol’s Plastic Fantastic Cross-Country Adventure (Atria Books, July 2015). Based on Warhol’s trove of receipts and other ephemera, Davis recreated his 1963 road trip from New York to Hollywood, where a friend was throwing him a party. That…

Duration:00:49:49

A History of the Written Word

8/14/2015
On today’s episode of Modern Notion Daily, our guest is Matthew Battles, author of Palimpsest: A History of the Written Word (W. W. Norton & Co., July 2015). Battles explores the trajectory of writing, from the forms it takes (cuneiform, pictographs, letters, characters, emojis) to the way it’s been produced (on clay tablets, on parchment,…

Duration:00:49:46

The Oregon Trail

8/13/2015
On today’s episode of Modern Notion Daily, our guest is Rinker Buck, author of The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey (Simon & Schuster, June 2015). After coming across an Oregon Trail marker in Kansas, and then reading that it had been decades since anyone traversed it, Buck decided it was his turn. It took…

Duration:00:50:26

Three Stoners Who Became Gunrunners for the Department of Defense

8/12/2015
On today’s Modern Notion Daily podcast, author Guy Lawson joins us to talk about his new book, Arms and the Dudes: How Three Stoners from Miami Beach Became the Most Unlikely Gunrunners in History (Simon & Schuster, June 2015). It could only have happened in the internet age, argues Lawson: three kids from Miami Beach…

Duration:00:50:23

The First Lady of the Black Press; Fake Blood for Mosquitoes

8/11/2015
On today’s show our guest is James McGrath Morris, author of Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press (Amistad/HarperCollins, February 2015). Payne was one of the first African-American women journalists, and her heyday was in the 1950s and 1960s. Before she even got into journalism professionally, Payne was an…

Duration:00:50:49