Surprisingly Awesome

There are a lot of things out in the world that sound boring, but when you dig in deeper, you discover that actually, they are fascinating. Take for example, mold. Gross, right? Boring, definitely. But did you know that mold is more closely related to humans than to plants? And that mold has the ability to control the minds of certain living organisms, making them leave their homes to go where the mold wants to go.  Did you know that penicillin comes from mold and that the researchers who discovered this mold’s medical powers valued it so much that as World War II approached, they dusted the inside of their clothing with spores so that if something happened to their lab, the fungus would survive?Surprisingly Awesome is a show full of stories like this. Stories about things that sound totally boring, but turn out to be totally awesome.


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January 19, 2017

Our theme music is by Nicholas Britell. We were edited this week by Annie-Rose Strasser, produced by Christine Driscoll, and mixed by Zac Schmidt. 

If you want to subscribe to Twice Removed (you do!) you can use this link, or search for it wherever you get your podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/id1182594071  

December 22, 2016

Hey Surprisingly Awesome listeners – we think you’ll love Homecoming, a non-fiction thriller from Gimlet Media. It was written by Eli Horowitz and Micah Blumberg, and stars some talented people you may have heard of, like Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, David Schwimmer, David Cross, and Amy Sedaris.

The whole first season is out now, and it’s the perfect thing to binge-listen to this holiday season. We’re playing the first episode here, and you can go listen and subscribe to Homecoming to hear the rest.

November 21, 2016

Hey Surprisingly Awesome listeners – we think you’ll love Undone, a new show from Gimlet Media. It’s about how the big stories we thought were over, were actually the beginning of something else. 

Hosted by Pat Walters and developed with help from the documentary series Retro Report, Undone challenges what you thought you knew about history.

Want to hear the rest of the episode? Subscribe at gimletmedia.com/fallseason

October 18, 2016

Something borrowed, something blue, something that explains why weddings look the way they do.

The Facts

Our theme music is by Nicholas Britell and our ad music is by Build Buildings. We were edited this week by Annie-Rose Strasser, and produced by Christine Driscoll, Elizabeth Kulas, and Rikki Novetsky.  Sylvie Douglis and Nick Fountain field produced at the wedding.

Thank you to Sue and Austin’s friends and family for letting us ask so many questions and bother you during the whole wedding.

Thanks to Jorge Just — and sorry we forgot to thank you last time, and to our beloved mix engineer Andrew Dunn. ANDREW DUNN MIXED THIS EPISODE, he always mixes our episodes, and we have not been great about remembering to tell you that!

Additional production assistance came from Jacob Cruz, Emily Kennedy, Melanie Kruvelis, Sarah Melton and Sarah Stoddard.

Thank you to Karen Klaiber Hersch, Gayle Strege, Patrick O’Neil, Jennifer Gellmann and Sharon Boulani.

And finally, stay posted with us as we report the next season. You can follow us on Twittersubscribe to the newsletter, or subscribe to us on your podcatcher for all our cool updates!

See you in 2017!

Learn More

If you want to learn more Folk-Lore of Women you can access it via the wonderful Project Gutenberg at this link.

Did you like learning the value of the garter industry in 1952? What a rebel – you probably need Dr. Vicki Howard’s book at this link or your local library.

There are a lot of wedding traditions out there!  We obviously didn’t cover them all! There’s a great history about women changing their last names by Dr. Sophie Coulombeau at the BBC. For some funny and insightful thoughts on the prevalence of Corinthians in wedding vows, check out this essay by Kate Braestrup at Huffington Post.
Our Sponsors

Blue Apron – Delivering all the fresh ingredients you need to create home-cooked meals. Click now to get your first three meals for free.

Casper – Get $50 towards any Casper Mattress purchase by visiting casper.com/awesome and using the offer code “AWESOME”.

October 5, 2016

This week: It’s awesome in the sacred sense – but stressful in the practical sense.

The Facts

Surprisingly Awesome’s theme music is by Nicholas Britell. Our ad music is by Build Buildings.

Additional music came from Kyle Morton, Sex Life, and Xolo

We were edited this week by Annie-Rose Strasser, and produced by Rachel Ward, Christine Driscoll and Rikki Novetsky.  Our field producers were Sylvie Douglis and Nick Fountain.  

Production Assistance came from Jacob Cruz, Emily Kennedy, Melanie Kruvelis, Jessica Langley,  Sarah Melton, and Sarah Stodder.

Thank you to Meg Keene at A Practical Wedding, Erin Boll, proprietrix of the Instagram account Pisces Bride, Stevie Lane who designed our wedding invitation, and for helping us find Sue and Austin. 

Learn More

Source for the inverse relationship between the cost of weddings and duration of marriages: ‘A Diamond is Forever’ and Other Fairy Tales: The Relationship between Wedding Expenses and Marriage Duration. At one point this was the most downloaded paper on SSRN, the database we found it on.

Here’s the link to Tamara Sniezek’s paper, Is It Our Day or the Bride’s Day? The Division of Wedding Labor and Its Meaning for Couples. You’ll never look at invitations the same way again.

Several years ago, Slate did a great, concise post about wedding averages and how they’re reported, The Wedding Industry’s Pricey Little Secret.

Rebecca Mead’s book is called One Perfect Day, and you can check it out at the library, like we did, or get it… you know where. (Amazon, you can buy books on Amazon.)

Our Sponsors

eero – For free overnight shipping, visit eero.com and at checkout select overnight shipping then enter “awesome” to make it free

Hello Fresh – To get $35 off your first week of deliveries visit hellofresh.com and enter promo code “AWESOME”

September 21, 2016

4 billion people in the world don’t have standard addresses – so how do they get mail?

The Facts

Surprisingly Awesome’s theme music is by Nicholas Britell and our ad music is by Build Buildings.

They were edited this week by Annie-Rose Strasser. Peter Clowney weighed in too. The show was produced by Elizabeth Kulas, Christine Driscoll and Rachel Ward.  It was mixed by Andrew Dunn. Special thanks to Maeve Higgins, who brought us that Vonnegut essay.

We had production assistance from Shani Aviram, Jacob Cruz, Emily Kennedy, Rikki Novetsky and Sarah Stodder.

Additional music for this episode came from Our Many Stars, Onry Ozzborn, and One Two Three.

Sponsors

Frank + Oak

Wealthsimple

Prudential

September 7, 2016

THE FACTS:

Surprisingly Awesome’s Theme Music is “This is How We Do” by Nicholas Britell and our ad music is by Build Buildings. We were edited this week by Annie-Rose Strasser, Alex Blumberg, and produced by Rachel Ward, Christine Driscoll and Elizabeth Kulas. We were mixed by Andrew Dunn.

Austin Thompson mixed Matthew Boll’s music. Thank you to Joe Staples. Jacob Cruz, Emma Jacobs, Tiffany Lee, Rikki Novetsky, Elah Feder, Melanie Kruvelis, and Jacqui Helbert provided production assistance.

LEARN MORE:

If you want to hear more from Tim Manley, look for his web series “The Feels,” and check out his storytelling at The Moth.

Dr. Nina Kraus at Northwestern University sent us the Smoke on the Water music – you can learn more about her lab at www.brainvolts.northwestern.edu.

You can hear more of Mathew Boll at AmericanVacation.org and follow him on Twitter @bigbearii.
OUR SPONSORS:

Frank & Oak – Go to frankandoak.com/awesome to get your first outfit for $79 (a pair of pants and a shirt).

Lenovo – See how Lenovo is revolutionizing data center technology.

Wealthsimple – Investing made easy. Get your first $10,000 managed for free.

August 24, 2016

The Facts

Surprisingly Awesome’s Theme Music is “This is How We Do” by Nicholas Britell and our ad music is by Build Buildings. We were edited this week by Annie-Rose Strasser, and produced by Rachel Ward, Christine Driscoll and Elizabeth Kulas. Andrew Dunn mixed the episode.

Additional music came from Danca, Nathan Michel, and Marmoset.  

Jacob Cruz, Cheyna Roth, Emma Jacobs, Rikki Novetsky, Anna Stitt, NPR West and WERU in Blue Hill, Maine provided production assistance.

Our Sponsor

Lenovo – See what Lenovo is doing to revolutionize datacenter technology at www.lenovo.com/datacenter

August 16, 2016

Don’t fret – we’ll have a regularly scheduled Surprisingly Awesome for you next week, but this week, we wanted to share something special with you, since Surprisingly Awesome listeners love learning new things.

It’s a new Gimlet Media show called Science Vs., that pits the facts against everything else: everything your uncle says at Thanksgiving, everything you read on the internet, and everything you half overheard in a coffee shop.

We’re sending you a segment of the Science Vs. series about gun control. If you want to hear more, subscribe where ever you get your podcasts!

August 9, 2016

This week, we found many surprising twists, turns, and holds in the story of modern yoga. 

The Facts

Surprisingly Awesome’s Theme Music is “This is How We Do” by Nicholas Britell and our ad music is by Build Buildings. We were edited this week by Annie-Rose Strasser, and produced by Rachel Ward, Christine Driscoll and Elizabeth Kulas. Andrew Dunn mixed the episode. 

Jacob Cruz, James T. Green, Emma Jacobs, Rikki Novetsky, and Benjamin Riskin provided production assistance. 

Additional music in this episode is “Santoor and Tabla at Assi Ghat, Varanasi” by Samuel Corwin and “Electronica Tanpura 9” by sankalp.

Learn More

If you want to learn more about Wendy Doniger’s banned book, you can check out its page on Amazon here — Christine is in the middle of reading it and highly recommends it, and we are linking through Amazon so you can check out the reviews and get a window into the controversy surrounding it. 

Or if you just wanna hear more about Indra Devi (and who wouldn’t?!) you can read more about her and get a copy of Michelle Goldberg’s book here. Adam “can’t recommend it enough!” 

And if you’re like, “no way, take me to the science!” You can read more about the current research on the health benefits of yoga, by checking out UCLA’s longer interview with Dr. Helen Lavretsky, or a super informative article from Julia Belluz at Vox — “I read more than 50 scientific studies about yoga. Here’s what I learned.

Finally… Flossgate continues! You can head to our show page at www.gimletmedia.com/surprisinglyawesome to hear an extra interview and read some of the studies we looked at while building our flossing show.

August 5, 2016

Is it really true that you never need to floss again?

The Facts 

Surprisingly Awesome’s theme music is “How We Do” by Nicholas Britell. Our ad music is by Build Buildings. Andrew Dunn and Austin Thompson mixed this episode. This episode was edited by Annie-Rose Strasser and produced by Rachel Ward and Christine Driscoll.

Sponsor

Spotify Discover

Learn More

Read the AP article that everyone is talking about.

Read the systematic review that no one is talking about.

July 27, 2016

The Facts
Surprisingly Awesome’s theme music is “How We Do” by Nicholas Britell. Our ad music is by Build Buildings. Andrew Dun mixed this episode.This episode was edited by Annie-Rose Strasser, and Peter Clowney and produced by Rachel Ward, Christine Driscoll, and Elizabeth Kulas. 

Jacob Cruz, David Pitman, and Laura Varela provided production assistance. 

Thank you to New England Public Radio and KQED in San Francisco. 

Learn More

Impress us and Punmaster Gary Roma with your best #flossipher puns and send them to us at @SurprisingShow

Did you like our incredibly fast description of biofilm? You can read a very approachable primer about the biofilm in your mouth here.

Not enough floss, hoss? You can get more flossing fix in the ebook – The Joy of Flossing, which we read for this episode. It’s just 42 pages and it you’ll even find some philosophy in there, too.

June 28, 2016

Journey with us back in time – but also forward in time because this is a new episode, revisiting old topics.

June 14, 2016

John Hodgman learns that the advantage of extinct hockey is that it can’t break your heart.

May 31, 2016

To all the haters, and all the doubters, we told you we could make anything awesome.

May 17, 2016

Yo mama so fat we did a whole podcast about her.

May 3, 2016

Adam and Adam get chased out of a mattress store.

April 19, 2016

Wake up sheeple, the doxa is real!

April 5, 2016

What one idea from music theory can tell us about culture, biology, math, physics and The Simpsons.

March 22, 2016

The greatest love story ever told: humans and rats with wings.

March 8, 2016

The world in a cup of pudding – or rather, 12,000 cups of pudding.

The Facts
Surprisingly Awesome’s theme music is “How We Do” by Nicholas Britell. Our ad music is by Build Buildings. This episode was edited by Alex Blumberg, Caitlin Kenney, and Annie-Rose Strasser. It was produced by Kalila Holt and Rachel Ward. It was mixed by David Herman. Emma Jacobs, Andrew Norton, Jacob Cruz and the Block House in Austin, Texas provided production assistance. Special thanks to Steve Belkin, Gary Leff, Mara Lederman, Conor Henderson and Michael McCall.

Sponsors
Casper
Ford
Squarespace

January 26, 2016

If you want perfect stickiness, look to gecko fee…

January 12, 2016

The epic struggle of parents versus kids. Yummy v…

December 15, 2015

Just because it has the word “interest” in it doe…

December 1, 2015

A 1990s pop hit reveals how the Adams feel about …

November 17, 2015

From the dawn of human civilization, to the end o…

November 5, 2015

Adam McKay helps Adam “Who Cares about Sports” Da…

November 3, 2015

Mold giveth, and mold taketh away. The same not-q…

October 29, 2015

A new show hosted by Adams Davidson and McKay that reveals the hidden awesomeness in everyday things. From Gimlet Media.

October 29, 2015

A new show hosted by Adams Davidson and McKay that reveals the hidden awesomeness in everyday things. From Gimlet Media.