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Weird Work

Jan 18, 2018

Will Shortz is the crossword puzzle editor at The New York Times. But he’s also the only person in history to receive a degree in Enigmatology -- the study of puzzles. And he’s been creating and publishing his own puzzles since he was 14 years old.

Today, Will talks with Sam about the origin of the paper’s famous...


Jan 11, 2018

Voodoo conjures up pin-pricked dolls and black magic spells. But it’s all just a product of Hollywood, not an actual religion. Everything down to the spelling of its name is bogus.

Vodou, however, is a religion. And today, Sam speaks with Sallie Ann Glassman -- a Vodou priestess. She tells Sam about her journey to...


Jan 4, 2018

Kevin Elkins is a scent maker. He’s crafted custom scents for luxury hotels like The W Hotels and Hotel Emma. For Kevin, the perfect scent is all about the romance.

Today, Sam talks with Kevin about what it takes to be a scent maker, the science behind smell, and together, they figure out the unofficial scent of 2018.


Dec 28, 2017

Iya Whiteley always dreamt of becoming an astronaut. Only, there was a slight hitch. Iya grew up in the USSR where women were not allowed to become pilots.

So she pursued her other passion of studying human behaviors and decision making skills under intense pressure and a space psychologist. She explains what it takes...


Dec 21, 2017

It’s an iconic sound. Lenny Pickett’s saxophone solo during Saturday Night Live’s opening credits has become a hallmark of the show.

Lenny talks with Sam about his responsibilities as bandleader, how he overcame his initial fears of performing on live television, and why he thinks music today is completely...