December 13, 2015

EP. 100 — BONUS! Why All Your Favorite Movies Are About The Apocalypse

From ‘Mad Max’ to ‘San Andreas’ to ‘The Avengers,’ the most popular movies of our times are about how we fear our world will end. We’re obsessed with stories of drought, natural disaster, nuclear war, zombies, aliens and robots. We fear the day science fiction turns into science fact, and while some movie apocalypses are basically pure make-believe, others seem eminently possible.

So what are we doing about the threats of water and energy shortages? And are we destined to play out the doomsday scenarios we see in popular science fiction?

In this special bonus episode taped live at the UCB Sunset theatre in Los Angeles, Jack O’Brien, Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim are joined by three amazing guests to answer these questions and elaborate on the current state of the end of the world. On the science-fiction front, they’re joined by Akiva Goldsman, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of ‘A Beautiful Mind’ and ‘I Am Legend’. And on the real science side, they’re joined by Eric Fitch, whose company Purpose Energy is turning wastewater from beer into renewable energy, and Jon Freedman, whose working to shape international and domestic water policies on behalf of GE Water & Power.

Recent Episodes

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.