January 15, 2018
EP. 221 — All The Ways Your Microbes Make You YOU
You are a human being. Which means “you” are actually one human plus the trillions of microscopic life forms living in you. And “you” are living in a civilization that’s only had microscopes since the 1670s, and only begun to understand what microscopes reveal. And “you” are living on a planet that was dominated by microbial life for about half its natural history, with more complex species only showing up in the last quarter, like a Miami Heat fan in between South Beach clubs. Which all begs the question: is this the microbes’ world, and we’re just living in it? And what does that mean for us as a species?
On this week’s episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with science journalist Ed Yong (The Atlantic) for a look at the incredible world of microbes we’ve been living in this whole time, covered brilliantly in Ed’s book I Contain Multitudes. Find out how trillions of tiny bacteria & germs guide everything from your nutrition, to our psychology, to the evolution of life on earth itself.
January 26, 2020
Freedom sucks…and that is why we have to defend it. Because our democracy involves doing a lot of stuff that takes energy, takes time, and lacks that Michael Bay Quality that only a surprise missile launch can provide. So on this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt and special guest Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) are exploring the ways being afraid of everything (an easy action) can stop us from being free. Discover the decades-long tradition of some Americans wanting to give up everything in exchange for not needing to think, the centuries-long tradition of people inciting fake panics, and the reasonable ways you can help change things for the better.
January 19, 2020
How’s your local shopping mall doing? Have you checked on it lately? Swing by sometime, because its department store might’ve turned into a call center or a hospital or a go-kart track. On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by the one and only Kai Ryssdal (Marketplace, Make Me Smart) for a look at surprising, strange, and shocking stories from all over the U.S. economy. Discover an international pig flu, a 26-word statement that built the modern Internet, and more amazing ways cash is ruling everything around you. By the way, if you’re an American listener, you spent the past few years funding an astonishingly huge bailout. Surprise! Listen for details!
January 12, 2020
Movies, TV, gaming: three things that are theoretically a waste of time. Oh sure, they deliver value in the art sense, and comfort in the goofing-off sense. But what if they’re more valuable than that? What if consuming shows and playing video games (accidentally) turns people into real-life heroes? On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians/writers Caitlin Gill and Alex Watt for a look at the surprising number of times that exact thing happened. They’ll explore stories of regular people who saved a life thanks to skills gained randomly from cartoons, sitcoms, ‘World Of Warcraft’, and more silly entertainment.