A year ago, Dr. Steven Pinker's book Enlightenment Now made headlines for giving hard data that proved that the world is safer, happier, and freer than ever, but he was surprised by how many people just don't want to believe good news! Today Dr. Pinker returns to the podcast to review the metrics of societal progress that continue to show that the world just keeps getting better, but he also discusses two areas that give him cause for concern. Steven Pinker ponders whether the immigration debate might actually be a positive turning point as polls show that Americans are rejecting alternative facts and alarmism. He reveals how genetics may play a part in our political preferences and explores how linguistics can make for more productive political discussions. Dr. Pinker recalls growing up during the turbulent 60’s in Montreal and how he went from a teenage anarchist to a leading proponent of science, reason, humanism, and progress. Plus we discuss his ongoing fight against political correctness, why we need to stop giving words too much power, and why he says those baby boomers who say millenials are a generation of snowflakes have no one but themselves.
Order his latest book Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Keep up with him on Twitter at @sapinker or at www.stevenpinker.com. Today's podcast was sponsored by Blinkist. Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
Howie Mandel talks about making his first comedy special in 20 years, his childhood growing up in Toronto, and how the show Candid Camera inspired him to pull an elaborate prank that got him expelled form high school. He shares how "winging it" the first time he want on stage turned into his signature improvisational style, and how he still finds much of his comedic inspiration from interacting with his audience. He recalls opening for Diana Ross in Vegas, his very first TONIGHT SHOW appearance, how the HBO YOUNG COMEDIANS SPECIAL changed his life, and the time when a sitcom audition led to his getting cast in the serious TV medical drama SAINT ELSEWHERE. Howie reveals why he originally turned down the offer to host DEAL OR NO DEAL and the anxiety he gets whenever he sees contestants making bad decisions on the show. He opens up about his struggle with obsessive compulsive disorder, and how he went from fearing that it might be a career killer to using his fame to raise awareness of mental health issues. Plus Howie Mandel gives the secret to winning the golden buzzer on AMERICA'S GOT TALENT.
Howie's new comedy special HOWIE MANDEL PRESENTS HOWIE MANDEL AT THE HOWIE MANDEL COMEDY CLUB this Friday Jan 18 at 10PM E/P on Showtime. DEAL OR NO DEAL airs Wednesdays at 9AM ET on CNBC and AGT: CHAMPIONS airs Mondays on NBC at 8PM ET. Follow Howie on Twitter at @HowieMandel. Today's episode is sponsored by Flatiron School and Hackable podcast. Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
Abbi Jacobson opens up about the frustrations of TV development hell, playing “herself” on Comedy Central’s Broad City, and being a woman in a position of power. She discusses her ongoing struggle with work-life balance, how it took a book deal just to make her take 3 weeks off to travel the country and get over a broken heart, and how that trip taught her that “the things we’re most afraid of, are the things that will most change us.” Abbi reveals how she and co-creator Ilana Wexler got Amy Poehler to champion Broad City for television, how they convinced Hillary Clinton to guest star in the middle of the election, and what you can learn about a TV network from the snack selection in the lobby. Plus Abbi Jacobson talks aura readings in Sedona, feeling a little out of place at a Mormon lodge in Utah, and why a bed and breakfast is the worst place to go when you just want to be alone!
Order Abbi's new book I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff on Amazon or wherever books are sold. Keep up with Abbi on Twitter at @AbbiJacobson, and don’t miss the final season of Broad City beginning January 24 on Comedy Central. Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
Brad Meltzer is the #1 bestselling author of political thrillers like The Escape Artist and The Inner Circle. Today he talks about making his first foray into nonfiction for his latest book The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington, all the research that went into it, and his initial concern that a long forgotten rumor of a secret plot to assassinate America’s founding father might turn out to be just that - a rumor. He tells the story of America’s "other Benedict Arnold" and the deadly conspiracy by some of the very men charged with protecting George Washington’s life. He reveals how the incident gave birth to American counterintelligence, why Washington wasted no time in making an example of one of the traitor, and why there was a deliberate effort to cover-up the plot to kill Washington for more than 240 years. Plus he shares some of the wild conspiracy theories he hears from his fans at book signings, his alarm over the explosion of conspiracy thinking and paranoia in American politics, and a few memories of his friend the late President George H.W. Bush.
Order THE FIRST CONSPIRACY: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington on Amazon or wherever books are sold. Keep up with Brad at BradMeltzer.com or on twitter at @BradMeltzer. Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
Actor Bill Murray (Lost in Translation, Rushmore) discusses how his music and poetry album New Worlds evolved out of a chance meeting with classical cellist Jan Vogler on a flight from Berlin to NYC. Plus, Bill Murray shares his philosophy of life, his favorite American humorists, and his thoughts on being an internet folk hero.