Nerdette

Nerdette

United States

Interviews with your favorite authors, artists, astronauts and more. From WBEZ.

Episodes

Roxane Gay On Writing, Trashy TV And Channing Tatum  

Author Roxane Gay talks about writing her most recent book, a collection of short stories called Difficult Women, and why Beyoncé, Law and Order SVU and Channing Tatum’s neck are mentioned in the book’s acknowledgements.

Then, “reformed librarian” Kelly Jensen on why feminism isn’t always fun — but should be accessible — and how her new book is helping girls (and boys!) everywhere.

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Let’s Talk About Sex (And Religion) With Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus  

Orthodox Jewish sex therapist Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus founded one of the largest women’s sexual health clinics in the country. From taboos to vibrators, Bat Sheva talks about how she helps women embrace their sexuality. She also discusses her approach to solving specific challenges for women in the Orthodox Jewish community.

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Animating Disney’s Moana with Amy Smeed  

Amy Smeed, the leader of the animation team for Disney’s Moana, talks about what it’s like to build a character who is decidedly not a Disney princess, how the animation process works, and why deadlines are important.

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How To Build The Best Bad Robots  

YouTube’s queen of crappy robots, Simone Giertz, tells us how she got in the business of making the world’s best crappy robots, like an alarm clock that slaps you awake in the morning with a robotic arm, a robot that very terribly applies lipstick, and a vegetable chopper with 8-foot long knives.

In an interview with Nerdette hosts Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen, she talked about how building terrible robots is a constant learning experience.

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The Past, Present And Future Of Sci Fi With N.K. Jemisin  

Hugo Award-winning author N.K. Jemisin talks about how all of her book ideas start with a simple question: “What if?” She also explains the unusual circumstances surrounding her Hugo Award victory and how science fiction is evolving for the better.

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Popular vs. Cool With Derek Thompson  

Derek Thompson, senior editor of The Atlantic, tells Nerdette's Tricia Bobeda about his new book Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction. He explains what makes Adele’s "Hello" and Drake’s "Hotline Bling" top hits and how Star Wars was almost totally unknown. 

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Life On Mars With Dr. Sheyna Gifford  

Dr. Sheyna Gifford tells us about her year living on a volcano in Hawaii with just five other people as part of HI-SEAS IV, a NASA project to simulate life on Mars. Sheyna was the space doc on the mission, accompanied by a physicist, an architect, an engineer, a biologist and a commander.

Living in a 1200 square foot biodome and going outside only in their space suits, the crew studied the psychological effects and group dynamics that could be at play when astronauts make it to Mars. On Nerdette, Sheyna tells Tricia what the year was like and how she got through it. She also gives some excellent homework.

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Brain Pickings Creator Maria Popova Only Stops Working To Play Bridge  

Maria Popova, the creator of the website Brain Pickings, explains how her job is to reflect on everything from literature and physics to astronomy and art. She tells Nerdette hosts Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen about her rigorous daily diet of reading, writing, tweeting, and reflecting, as well as her newest guilty pleasure: Playing bridge. 

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Lizzo: She Sings, She Raps, She Flutes  

Singer, rapper and flute player Lizzo breaks down her debut EP Coconut Oil and her bevy of musical styles. The multitalented artist talks about her early days in music, from being a band geek and starting girl groups as a kid to making music now that’s empowering and body-positive.


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Tom Hanks And Typewriters: A Love Story  

Tom Hanks is a little obsessed with typewriters. So when we put the Academy Award-winning actor in front of a pre-WWII Underwood Champion, he gave Nerdette hosts Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen an impromptu master class on the machines he calls “self-contained printing presses with which you can change the world.”

Want to support this show and get a sweet Nerdette mug and/or notebook as a thank you gift? Go to https://wbez.org/nerdalert


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Margot Lee Shetterly, Andy Cohen And The Best Podcasts Of 2016  

We talk to Andy Cohen, the man behind Bravo’s Real Housewives, about celebrity obsession. Then we break down some of the best podcasts of 2016 with help from Lauren Ober, host of NPR’s The Big Listen, and Brittany Luce, of Gimlet. And finally, author Margot Lee Shetterly on her book Hidden Figures (the inspiration for the new film by the same name) which tells the stories of black female mathematicians who played crucial roles in the early days of NASA.

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Stephanie Beatriz, Reality Bytes And Cookies With Dorie  

Stephanie Beatriz plays Rosa on the Fox series Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Beatriz and her best friend Courtney Kocak also host Reality Bytes, a show where they discuss the myriad confusing things about having real relationships in the age of emojis and swipe-y apps. Then, delicious homework from cookie expert Dorie Greenspan.

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‘2 Dope Queens’ Host Phoebe Robinson On Why You Can't Touch Her Hair  

Phoebe Robinson is a stand-up comic, the author of You Can’t Touch My Hair and host of two podcasts: 2 Dope Queens and Sooo Many White Guys. She talks about why people online flipped out about the title of ‘Sooo Many White Guys’ and how being a black feminist can be a full time job.

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Gilmore Girls Revival Recap  

The Gilmore Girls revival is finally here, and we’ve got a LOT of feelings. First, we challenge Gilmore newbies (and Dinner Party Download co-hosts) Brendan Francis Newnam and Rico Gagliano to watch the first episode of the new series. Then, we chat with Liz Torres, the actress who plays Miss Patty. Finally, Tricia and Greta share their major takeaways from the revival.

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Rad Ladies Of History With Author Kate Schatz  

Author Kate Schatz tells us about a few historical heroines and explains why Rad Women Worldwide is a book for boys.

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Design Sponge’s Grace Bonney On What She Learned From 100 Boss Ladies  

Grace Bonney is the brilliant creator behind the website Design*Sponge. She talked to 100 women doing creative work and tells us what she learned by turning those conversations into the new book In The Company Of Women. She talks about the beauty of creative messes, what to do if we magically had an extra hour in the day, and the ever-elusive notion of work-life balance. Plus, we chat with the host of WBEZ's new podcast that tells the inside story about how Oprah's media empire came to be.

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Former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun On The 2016 Election  

It’s been an interesting week to be alive! We have a new president-elect, and we almost elected America’s first female president. To help us understand what happened we’re joined by Carol Moseley Braun, the first African American woman to serve as a United States senator.

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Issa Rae On Adulting, Oversharing And Her HBO Show  

Issa Rae is the creator and star of HBO’s Insecure, a show about 29 year-old, her best friend, and their life choices. Issa tells us why we can’t all be Olivia Pope, how her new show reflects her own personality, and how a life crisis in your 30s is more interesting than one at 22.

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How 'High Maintenance’ Creators Turned Their Web Series Into An HBO Hit  

Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld are the creators of the web-turned-HBO series High Maintenance. (Ben also plays “The Guy,” the show’s pot peddler.) On Nerdette, Katja and Ben talk about how the show has changed now that it’s an HBO production, why the simplest episodes are the most effective, and how they love to talk to strangers.

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Fall TV With Linda Holmes And Jim DeRogatis  

Two of our favorite podcast hosts and pop culture opinion-havers stop by to nerd out about their television favorites. NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour host, Linda Holmes, and Jim DeRogatis of Sound Opinions join us to talk about the most under appreciated and most anticipated shows in their queues. 

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