Bestselling author Mitch Albom returns to the podcast to talk about how he came to run an orphanage in earthquake ravaged Haiti, how recent political instability in Haiti has led to some frightening encounters for the kids, and the hardest part about running an orphanage. He shares how he became a surrogate father to a young girl with a terminal illness, how he learned what it means to be "kid tough," and how a girl named Chika taught him some valuable lessons about the important things in life.
Order Mitch's touching book Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Keep up with him at www.mitchalbom.com or on Twitter at @MitchAlbom. Today’s episode was sponsored by Bayer.
Actor/comedian Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs, Curb Your Enthusiasm) reveals how Jimmy Durante inspired him to get into comedy as a boy, what it was like rooming with a young Conan O'Brien when he started at Chicago’s legendary improv group Second City, and the time he witnessed one of Larry David’s famous fights with his audience at a comedy club. He talks about his worst gig as a comedian, why he always goes on stage to a different song, and why not everyone should follow their dream to Hollywood. Plus Jeff shares how he kicked the sugar habit, what you can order in a catalogue for fat guys, and how he almost got fired from his hit show The Goldbergs.
Jeff's new hourlong standup special Jeff Garlin: Our Man In Chicago is available on Netflix starting November 12. You can also catch Jeff on The Goldbergs and the next season of Curb Your Enthusiasm coming in 2020. Today’s episode was sponsored by Afternoon Cyber Tea podcast and Kendra Scott Jewelry. Visit www.kendrascott.com and use promo code KICK for 20% off your next order.
Bestselling sports writer Joe Posnanski recalls delving into the rabbit hole of magician Harry Houdini’s legendary life and separating fact from the fiction invented by Houdini and his followers. Joe discusses the handcuffs that Houdini almost couldn’t get out of, some of the more bizarre things people challenged him to escape, and how Houdini upped the ante with increasingly more dangerous escapes to keep audiences interested. He explains why many people falsely believe that the magician died performing his most famous trick, and we talk about the secret code that Houdini’s widow Bess used to try to make contact with him from beyond the grave. Joe also gives us entre into the world of Houdini superfans from the couple who committed a crime to honor their hero to the mysterious man who calls himself "Houdini’s ghost." Plus he reveals what it’s like inside David Copperfield’s private magic warehouse in Las Vegas, how Houdini learned from some of the turn of the century’s most bizarre sideshow acts, and his daughter’s favorite Houdini revenge story.
Order Joe Posnanski's wonderful new book The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Keep up with him at JoePosnanski.com or on Twitter at @JPosnanski. Today’s episode was sponsored by Kronos HR Solutions and Avalara Sales Tax Solutions.
Golden Globe-winner Edward Norton talks about his film Motherless Brooklyn's 20 year journey to the big screen and what it was like to write, direct, and star in this neo-noir masterpiece. He shares some of the things he’s learned from working with directors like Milos Forman and Woody Allen. Edward talks about the real life New York powerbroker who inspired his film’s antagonist, his own grandfather’s crusade for low income housing, and the things that get lost in the service of progress. Plus we delve into our mutual love of jazz, classic noir detective films, and Manhattan landmarks of a bygone era.
Don't miss Edward Norton's new film Motherless Brooklyn now showing in theaters. Order Stuart Russell's new book Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Today’s episode was sponsored by Afternoon Cyber Tea podcast, Invitae, and Purotrader. Check out www.Purotrader.com and use the promo code NEWS for a chance to win a day at the Porsche Racing Experience in Los Angeles or Atlanta.
Artificial Intelligence researcher Stuart Russell says that machines are probably a long way from achieving the kind of self-awareness portrayed in films like 2001 and The Predator, but he warns the greater danger is that they might obey our instructions too well. We get into the myriad unintended consequences of AI from the social media algorithms that are actually rewiring our political preferences to how AI that is intended to solve global climate change could go horribly wrong. He suggests that we will need to rethink the standard model of how people use tools and technology to achieve our goals, and he gives just a few examples of the many ways AI will change our lives for the better if we get it right.
Order Stuart Russell's new book Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Today’s episode was sponsored by Bayer, Avalara Sales Tax Solutions, and Belkin. Visit www.belkin.com and use promo code KICKASS for 30% off all Belkin products.
Actor, comedian, and humorist John Hodgman talks about the strange sense of validation he gets from his airline loyalty program, the perks and perils of hotel living, and the best way to get thrown into Disneyland Jail. We discuss his memorable appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, how his Daily Show colleague Al Madrigal got him into standup, and his podcast where he mediates minor disputes between squabbling couples. He recalls his early days as a fancy New York literary agent, the worst book manuscript he ever read, and the writer who became his stalker. Plus we talk about John’s remarkable skill at gaining entry into all manner of exclusive, and sometimes sinister clubs, from Yale’s secret societies and meetings of the New World Order, to the Church of Scientology’s Flag Land Base and Mar-a-Lago.
Order John Hodgman's book Medallion Status: True Stories from Secret Rooms on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Be sure to subscribe to the Judge John Hodgman podcast, and keep up with John at www.JohnHodgman.com or on Twitter at @Hodgman.
Chef David Chang shares that he originally wanted to be Tiger Woods not Wolfgang Puck, and he eventually got into cooking because he hated his job in finance. He recalls learning in some of the best kitchens in New York and Tokyo, then rebelling against New York’s fine dining establishment, and how struggling to get Momofuku off the ground shaped his success. Dave talks about his new Netflix series Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, smoking weed and touring Vancouver with Seth Rogen for the show, and exploring the mysteries of Marrakech with Chrissy Teigen. Plus he talks about his love/hate relationship with the California food scene, customers who Instagram their food, how food delivery apps are disrupting the restaurant industry, and what that means for chefs.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner is now available on Netflix. Keep up with David at momofuku.com or on Twitter at @DavidChang, and be sure to subscribe to his podcast The David Chang Show on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen. Today’s episode was sponsored by Avalara Sales Tax Solutions, and Belkin. Visit www.belkin.com and use promo code KICKASS for 30% off all Belkin products.
Ambassador Susan Rice has been at the table during the most pressing international crises of the past 30 years and she discusses it in her new memoir Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For. She talk about her family’s unique American story and how playing peacekeeper during her parents troubled marriage made her grow up fast but also prepared her for a life in international diplomacy. She recalls her baptism of fire when she joined the Clinton administration and immediately got thrown into the deep end with back-to-back crises in Somalia and Rwanda. She describes the US Embassy bombings in 1998 as the hardest day in her career, her contentious relationship with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and how she became the public face of the 2012 Embassy attack in Benghazi. Plus she speculates on what might have motivated President Trump to suddenly pull out of Northern Syria, she says Vladimir Putin is a creep and a pig, and she talks about her famous moves on the dance floor.
Order Susan Rice's book Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Today’s episode was sponsored by Avalara Sales Tax Solutions, the Invitae Genetic Test, and the TRTL Travel Pillow.
Governor John Kasich shares some of the stories of every day Americans doing great things that inspired his latest book to write the book It's Up to Us: Ten Little Ways We Can Bring About Big Change. This two-time Presidential candidate says that the actions of ordinary people matter way more to this country than whose occupying the White House. He talks about the importance of breaking free of political echo chambers, and shares what kind of news outlets make it into his own daily newsfeed. We talk about his uncanny abilities as a political prognosticator, and why he’s staying out of the Republican presidential primary (at least for now). Plus John Kasich on thinking about eternity, what he’d like his obituary to say about him, and the meditative power of playing golf.
Order his new book It’s Up to Us: Ten Little Ways We Can Bring About Big Change on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Look for him regularly as a political contributor on CNN, and keep up with him at www.johnkasich.com or on Twitter at @JohnKasich. Todays episode was sponsored by Kronos HR solutions, Purple Mattress, Belkin, and Purotrader.
Blackstone Co-founder, CEO, and Chairman Stephen Schwarzman shares lessons for how to think about ambition and scale, risk and opportunities, and how to achieve success through the relentless pursuit of excellence. He talks about his middle class beginnings as the son of a linen salesman in Philadelphia, getting paired with a literal Nazi for a roommate at Yale University, and his own version of a summer at sea - working on Scandinavian shipping boats. He reveals how a famous statesman convinced him to go into business instead of politics and how he was completely unqualified for his first job in finance. He recalls how he took $400,000 in 1985 and turned Blackstone into an investment firm that today manages over $500 billion, and how he capitalized the fund just days before Black Monday. He shares how an early loss completely changed how Blackstone evaluates risk, why the firm jumped into real estate at a time when no one was buying or selling, and how the company weathered the 2008 financial crisis. Plus Stephen Schwarzman discusses his his friendship with President Donald Trump, his efforts to backchannel trade negotiations between the US and China, and why the Chinese know him by the nickname “Farmer Blackstone.”
Order Stephen Schwarzman's book What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Today’s episode was sponsored by Avalara Sales Tax Solutions.
Dave Asprey talks about his plan to live to 180 and his new book Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever. He opens up about a traumatic health crisis that got him interested in health and longevity as a teenager and his battle with early cognitive decline that set him on a path to hacking the human brain. He shares the one food that he never ever eats, the benefits of periodic fasting, and how he manages to feel more rested on less sleep. We talk about the importance of light, gut health, and even jaw alignment to our wellness. Plus he describes some of the more cutting edge treatments that he’s tried from stem cell injections to blood transfusions, including a couple that he wished he hadn’t tried, and he reveals why Russians may have the inside track on hacking longevity.
Order Dave Asprey's new book Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Subcribe to his podcast Bulletproof Radio on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen, and keep up with him at www.bulletproof.com or on Twitter at @BulletproofExec. Today’s episode was sponsored by TRTL the world's most comfortable travel pillow. Visit www.trtltravel.com and use the code KICK for 20% off.
Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses some of his favorite letters from fans on a diverse array of topics from Pluto and Bigfoot to race and religion. He shares touching personal letters from his cousin wondering about her deceased father’s spirit, and a mother whose autistic son is torn between what he learns in Hebrew school
and what he learns from Cosmos. He talks about the tweet that enraged the musician Moby, the rapper who insisted that the earth is flat, and a man who asked Neil to help promote his "perpetual motion machine." Plus Neil answers your questions about black holes, the speed of light, the moon landing, and more.
Order Neil deGrasse Tyson's new book Letters from an Astrophysicist on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Subscribe to his podcast Startalk on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen, follow him on twitter at @NeilTyson, and visit his webpage at www.haydenplanitarium.org/tyson. Today’s episode was sponsored by Avalara sales tax solutions and Purple Mattress. Text KICK to 84-888 for a FREE Purple pillow with the purchase of a Purple Mattress.
Bestselling author Ryan Holiday discusses his new book Stillness Is the Key, how he became the leading modern proponent of Stoicism,
and why many people today misunderstand what it means to be a Stoic. He says ancient Greeks and Romans were every bit as distracted as we are today and reveals some of their secrets to ignoring the chaos and finding focus. He also shares how he finds silence and serenity in his own life and how his daily routine keeps him calm and prepared even on the most hectic of days. He discusses his definition of "stillness," how TV’s Mr. Rogers personified it, how Tiger Woods eventually attained it, and why President Donald Trump is the precise antithesis of it. We talk about our mutual love of Winston Churchill, how learning to see the world like an artist helped Churchill keep it together while freeing the world from tyranny, and why he once altered a priceless painting by Peter Paul Rubens.
Order Ryan Holiday's new book Stillness Is the Key on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Keep up with Ryan at www.ryanholiday.com and on Twitter at @RyanHoliday. Today’s episode was sponsored by BetterHelp online counseling, Avalara sales tax software, Kronos HR solutions, and Purotrader.com.
Jeannie Gaffigan reveals how she went from a perfectly normal life
to being rushed into surgery for a pear-sized brain tumor over the coarse of an Easter Weekend, why things got worse just when she thought she was in the clear, and how she learned that laughter truly IS the best medicine. She reveals how she and her husband comedian Jim Gaffigan write jokes together, talks about Jim’s surprising swagger when he first began romancing her, and how she finally knew that he was "the one." She discusses why she and Jim decided to end The Jim Gaffigan Show after two seasons, what it was like to balance a tv family with their real family, and how they manage to keep track of five children.
Order Jeannie's book When Life Gives You Pears: The Healing Power of Family, Faith, and Funny People on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Follow Jeannie on twitter at @JeannieGaffigan. Today’s episode was sponsored by Capella University's online doctoral program.
Meryl Streep is arguably the greatest actress of this or any generation. She has starred in more than 60 films, won 3 Oscars, and received a record setting 21 nominations. Entertainment reporter Erin Carlson discusses Streep's illustrious acting career, her advocacy for women off the screen, and her deeply guarded personal life. Erin delves Jane Fonda’s mentorship of Streep on the film Julia, Meryl’s rivalries with Jessica Lang, and the behind-the-scenes drama between her and Dustin Hoffman on Kramer vs Kramer. She suggests that the late actor John Cazale was the love of Meryl Streep’s life, she shares how he how helped her hone her craft, and reveals how Meryl coped with his tragic untimely death. We talk about acting over 40, how Meryl became a champion for better roles and equal pay for actresses, and how she navigated doing business with disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein. Plus Erin weighs in on Meryl Streep’s best performances and most underrated films.
Order Erin's book Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Today’s episode was sponsored by Stitcher's new podcast Lost at the Smithsonian. Subscribe on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, or favorite podcast app.
New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer grew tired of his kids’ obsession with reality TV and people who were famous for being famous so he began to write children's books about real heroes from history. He talks about the newest additions to his Ordinary People Change the World series I Am Walt Disney and I Am Marie Curie, and reveals some of his own childhood heroes. He says he puts just as much historical research into his children’s books as he does into his bestselling political thrillers and explains why it was so important to show kids that even famous historical figures started out somewhere. He talks about the new PBS TV series based on his books and how it’s a dream come true for a man who grew up with Sesame Street and Mr. Rodgers. Plus Brad announces his next book for his adult readers - a sequel to his best-selling novel The Escape Artist.
Order I am Marie Curie and I am Walt Disney and other books in Brad’s Ordinary People Change the World series for kids on Amazon or wherever books are sold. Visit www.bradmeltzer.com for more information, and follow Brad on Twitter at @BradMeltzer. Today’s episode was sponsored by PuroTrader, the online community for cigar lovers. Visit www.purotrader.com and use the promo code NEWS for a chance to win a day at the Porsche Racing Experience in Los Angeles or Atlanta.
Scott Aukerman is the co-creator of hilariously awkward talk show Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. He talks about expanding the Ferns universe for Between Two Ferns: The Movie, how he and Zach improvised the entire film, and what it was to direct his hero David Letterman. Scott reveals how Between Two Ferns was born out of his and Zach's love of bad cable access programming, why actual ferns were so essential to the look of the show, and how they managed to snag President Barack Obama as a guest. Plus we celebrate 10 years of Scott's podcast Comedy Bang! Bang!
Between Two Ferns: The Movie comes out on Netflix beginning this Friday, September 20. Subscribe to Scott’s podcast Comedy Bang! Bang! on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen and follow Scott on Twitter at @Scott Aukerman. Today's episode was sponsored by Bank of America's The Academy for Consumer and Small Business and Invitae.
Randall Munroe is the former NASA physicist turned bestselling cartoonist behind XKCD and the What If blog. He talks about his new book How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems. Randall reveals the cost of putting a lava moat around your house, how to move your house with helicopters, how to throw a coin or just about anything across a river, and how Serena Williams takes down a drone. Plus Randall explains fishing with electricity, why scientists still haven’t figured out how ice works, and why the US military once nuked a bunch of beer cans.
Order Randall Munroe's new his book How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold, and view some of his wonderful cartoons at www.xkcd.com. Today's episode was sponsored by Capella University's online doctoral program.
Caitlin Doughty is a best-selling author, funeral director, and host of the popular YouTube channel Ask a Mortician. She returns to the podcast to answer children's questions about death such as "why don’t we eat human’s after they die?" and "what if they make a mistake and bury me in coma?" She says it’s illegal to own or sell human remains, but there's a loophole that might allow you to keep human bones and you can pretty much do anything with cremated ashes. She explains how a whole person's ashes can fit into a tiny urn and what happens when a cemetery runs out of room She unravels some famous movie myths about death, takes me behind closed doors at a funeral directors convention, and opens up about a mortician's worst nightmare!
Buy Caitlin's latest book Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Follow her on Twitter at @TheGoodDeath, subscribe to her YouTube series Ask a Mortician, and learn more at www.caitlindoughty.com or www.orderofthegooddeath.com. This episode is sponsored by Kronos HR solutions, BetterHelp online counseling, White Castle microwavable sliders, and MyBookie.
Acclaimed author Salman Rushdie talks about drawing on Cervantes and pop culture for his new novel Quichotte. He describes having to consume a massive amount of "trash tv" in preparation for the book, how Quichotte addresses the most pressing issues of our time from opioids to immigration, and why the “the age of anything can happen” may not necessarily a good thing! Rushdie opens up about his early career as a stage actor, his secret longing to be a second rate spy novelist, and why he finally decided to make a novelist a character in one of his stories. Then we talk about the moment when a writer finds his own voice, how he developed his signature style of magical realism, and how it manifests in his latest novel with everything from mastodons to talking crickets. Plus we talk about the fatwa that was issued against him 30 years ago and what it was like to play that scary event for comedy in the latest season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Order Salman Rushdie's latest book Quichotte: A Novel on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Follow him on Twitter at @SalmanRushdie and visit salmanrushdie.com for a list of his upcoming public appearances (unless your fanatic trying to assassinate him...in which case disregard this). This episode is sponsored by Purotrader and Invitae.
Comedian Anthony Jeselnik revels in making audiences a little uncomfortable and now he's making his fellow comedians uncomfortable as host of the hilarious new interview show Good Talk with Anthony Jeselnik. He shares how the Saturday Night Live bit "Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey" inspired his uniquely off-beat style of comedy, the time he auditioned to be the anchor of SNL’s Weekend Update, and some pretty smart advice he once got from Lorne Michaels on how to write a late night monologue. Anthony recalls the Comedy Central Roast that changed his life and what makes for the perfect roast speech. We delve into how Good Talk deconstructs the late night talk show, why this famously confident comedian never does self-deprecating humor, the power of silence in standup, and the one thing that Anthony says is the most important element of good comedy. Plus talks about how to out-deadpan Tig Notaro, what it was like to roast a future President, and the comedic genius of HBO’s Deadwood.
Good Talk with Anthony Jeselnik premieres this Friday, September 6 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central. Keep up with Anthony Jeselnik at www.anthonyjeselnik.com or on twitter at @Anthony Jeselnik. This episode is sponsored by MyBookie, and White Castle.
If you’ve ever seen the Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated film
Catch Me If You Can, then you know the story of the boy con artist Frank Abagnale. Abagnale has since reformed his ways and now he is a leading expert on fraud, forgery and cybersecurity who consults for Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, and law enforcement. Frank discusses his early life of crime, how he turned it all around, and how he’s helping to protect Americans from scammers. He recalls how wearing the uniform of a pilot or a doctor played on people’s trust of authority, he reveals what kind of personalities were most susceptible to his schemes, and he warns that technology has made it much easier for crooks to pull off the same cons that he got away with in the 1960s. He discusses which demographics are most vulnerable to fraud and cautions that it actually has nothing to do with how smart you are. We talk about a range of specific scams including those spam emails from a "Nigerian Prince" and automated phone calls purporting to be the IRS. Frank also gets into how con artists are using crowd funding sites, dating apps, and even ancestry companies to rip you off. Plus Frank reveals why he doesn’t own a debit card and why he wants Americans to do away with passwords once and for all.
Order Frank Abagnale's new book Scam Me If You Can: Simple Strategies to Outsmart Today’s Rip-Off Artists on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Today's podcast was sponsored by Bank of America’s The Academy for Consumer and Small Business, Capella University's online doctoral program, and BetterHelp online counseling.
In 2018 Senator Jeff Merkley posted a viral video that triggered worldwide outrage at the forced separation of migrant children from their parents. Now over a year later, he claims that there are still families who haven’t been reunited and that family separations are the result of a deliberate effort by the Trump Administration to deter immigrants by inflicting maximum pain. Senator Merkley makes the case that Trump’s zero tolerance policy toward illegal immigration is violating both US and international laws, and he reveals what happened when he confronted his old Senate colleague Jeff Sessions about this issue. He recalls his travel through war-torn Central America in the 80’s and actually claims that those countries are much worse off today. Plus he shares heart-breaking stories from refugees who risked everything to escape worst imaginable kind of evil at the hands of gangs and drug cartels.
Order Senator Jeff Merkley's book America Is Better Than This: Trump's War Against Migrant Families on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Follow Senator Merkley on Twitter at @SenJeffMerkley. This episode is sponsored by Anchor. Anchor is a Spotify-owned company that makes it easy for anyone to make a podcast, for free. Get started at www.anchor.fm/kickassnews. We're also sponsored by AncestryDNA. Go to www.ancestry.com/kick today for 20% off your AncestryDNA kit.
Adventurer and explorer Josh Gates has spent his career crossing the globe to investigate the world’s most intriguing mysteries as host of Expedition Unknown on Discovery Network. In the age of Google Maps, he says there are still unexplored parts of the world full of wonders to be uncovered. The self-described “opened-minded skeptic” talks his obsession with Yeti and why these "mystery primates" appear again and again in cultures all around the world. He reveals how Expedition Unknown helped recover Judy Garland’s stolen ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz, new forensic evidence they found in the case of D.B. Cooper, and recent developments that have lead him to revisit several topics in the new season. Josh recalls some of his craziest adventures in Season 7 such as braving the Siberian winter to look into the bizarre Dyatlov Pass incident and scouring the ancient caves of Israel and Jordan for the lost Dead Sea Scrolls. He walks me through how he decides which legends to chase, which ones are too dangerous, how to handle a shakedown by local authorities in a strange country, and the most awkward of conversations - how to divvy up a treasure!
Expedition Unknown airs Wednesdays at 9PM Eastern on Discovery Network. Keep up with Josh at www.joshuagates.com or on Twitter at @JoshuaGates. This episode is sponsored by Capella University, MyBookie, and White Castle.
This is a rebroadcast of an interview with former Secretary of State George Shultz that originally aired January 19, 2018. Secretary Shultz recalls his close friendship with President Ronald Reagan, the moment he realized that Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was someone the U.S. could do business with, and Reagan's Pershing missile moment as a masterclass in peace through strength. He suggests that President Trump may soon need to have a "Pershing moment" of his own, reveals what he learned in a meeting years ago with a young Vladimir Putin, and weighs in as an economist on the Trump tax reform act. Plus George Shultz discusses why Ronald Reagan never bluffed, why foreign policy is a lot like gardening, and why the prospect of nuclear war still keeps him up at night.