January 29, 2018
EP. 223 — How 2 Scientists You’ve Never Heard Of Redesigned Our Planet
In the year 2050, there will be 10 billion people on Earth. Or at least that’s the scientific estimate. Sounds like a giant human milestone, right? Well IT TOTALLY IS…assuming we harvest 50% more food than we are now, to feed those people. Oh and 4.5 billion people will be short on fresh drinking water by 2025, 1.2 billion people are short on electricity right now, and global temperatures are about to rise a degree Fahrenheit or two (or 8.1, turning most of the world into a desert). So…where do we go from here, Earth?
Well on this week’s episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with science/history/everything about life on Earth writer Charles C. Mann. They’ll explore the lives of Norman Borlaug & William Vogt, the title “characters” of Mr. Mann’s new book The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World. We’ll also uncover photosynthesis’s stupidity, nail down climate change’s branding, and look back on hundreds of years of human self-improvement that suggest we might just make it to 10 billion if we pull it together.
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.