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Decoder Ring
Decoder Ring
Slate Podcasts

Decoder Ring is the show about cracking cultural mysteries. In each episode, host Willa Paskin takes a cultural question, object, or habit;... more

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Episodes

The First Alien Abductees

When you think of an alien abduction, what do you picture? Humanoid creatures, medical experiments, lost memories retrieved through hypnosis?... more

09 Aug 2022 · 41 minutes
The Most Famous Poet No One Remembers

Rod McKuen sold multiple millions of poetry books in the 60s and 70s. He released dozens of albums, was a... more

02 Aug 2022 · 48 minutes
The Mall is Dead (Long Live the Mall)

What do we lose if we lose the mall? 70 years into their existence, these hulking temples to commerce are... more

26 Jul 2022 · 45 minutes
Summer 2022 Teaser

Decoder Ring is coming back with a new season featuring a whole new set of questions.... Like, is the shopping... more

19 Jul 2022 · 1 minute
The Storytelling Craze

When did everyone become a storyteller? Decades after George Lucas and Steve Jobs made storytelling a big business, every company... more

17 May 2022 · 41 minutes
“We Got Ourselves a Convoy”

In the 1970s, a song about protesting truckers topped the music charts in multiple countries, and kicked off a pop... more

10 May 2022 · 35 minutes
The Sideways Effect

In 2004, the indie flick Sideways was released in just four theaters, but it had a big impact, earning five... more

03 May 2022 · 39 minutes
The Madness Behind ‘The Method’

When we think of method acting, we tend to think of actors going a little over the top for a... more

26 Apr 2022 · 47 minutes
“F--k Everything, We're Doing Five Blades”

In the early 2000s, an arms race broke out in the world of men’s shaving. After decades with razors that... more

19 Apr 2022 · 42 minutes
Spring 2022 Teaser

Decoder Ring is coming back with a new season featuring a whole new set of questions…and some good surprising answers.... more

12 Apr 2022 · 1 minute
Custer's Revenge

Custer's Revenge is widely considered one of the worst video games ever made. Originally released as part of a series... more

23 Dec 2021 · 47 minutes
The Fame That Got Away

Today on Decoder Ring: Three stories about fame, and one about monkeys. Are primates susceptible to celebrity endorsements? What does... more

14 Dec 2021 · 44 minutes
Truly Tasteless Jokes

Note: This episode is about offensive material, and so contains explicit and offensive language. Truly Tasteless Jokes were a series of... more

07 Dec 2021 · 50 minutes
The Philosophy of Vampires

In literature, the choice to become a vampire is a metaphor for transformative experiences. On this episode, we bring you... more

30 Nov 2021 · 37 minutes
You Just Lost The Game

When you think about the game, you lose the game. When you lose the game you must declare that you... more

23 Nov 2021 · 26 minutes
The Alberta Rat War

Rats live wherever people live, with one exception: the Canadian province of Alberta. A rat sighting in Alberta is a... more

16 Nov 2021 · 42 minutes
The Great Helga Hype

In the summer of 1986, both Time Magazine and Newsweek ran blockbuster cover stories on the same subject: a secret... more

09 Nov 2021 · 56 minutes
Selling Out

In 2001, Oprah Winfrey invited Jonathan Franzen to come on her show to discuss his new novel The Corrections. A... more

06 Aug 2021 · 50 minutes
Tattoo Flash

Time does funny thing to everything, but especially to tattoos. Today, four stories about tattoos whose meanings have shifted with... more

27 Jul 2021 · 50 minutes
The Tootsie Shot

You know the Tootsie Shot. It’s that shot from the movies: a really busy midtown street, protagonist smack in the middle of it... more

20 Jul 2021 · 39 minutes
Who Killed The Segway?

In the year 2000, Dan Kois was a junior book agent working on selling a secretive book proposal called IT, a... more

13 Jul 2021 · 45 minutes
The Sign Painter

Ilona Granet was a New York art-scene fixture who won the praise of the art world when she put up... more

06 Jul 2021 · 58 minutes
That Seattle Muzak Sound

If you love the show and want to support us, consider joining Slate Plus. With Slate Plus you can binge... more

29 Jun 2021 · 44 minutes
The Invention of Hydration

To say that hydration is an invention is only a slight exaggeration. Back in the 1970’s and ‘80s, no one... more

22 Jun 2021 · 37 minutes
The Soap Opera Machine

Welcome to a brand new season of Decoder Ring! On this episode, we investigate the wild world of soap operas... more

15 Jun 2021 · 52 minutes
Decoder Ring Presents The Sporkful’s Mission: ImPASTAble

Right now Decoder Ring is working on a full season of new episodes coming this June, but in the meantime... more

15 Mar 2021 · 31 minutes
The Blue Steak Experiment

What took blue food so long to catch on? Today it’s all over the freezer aisle, in candies for kids,... more

21 Dec 2020 · 41 minutes
The Cabbage Patch Kids Riots

In 1983, the Cabbage Patch Kids were released, causing widespread pandemonium in toy stores and in the media. How did... more

23 Nov 2020 · 36 minutes
Jane Fonda's Workout, Part 2: Hanoi Jane's VHS Revolution

How did Hanoi Jane become Exercise Jane? This is the second part of our two-parter on Jane Fonda's Workout. If you... more

26 Oct 2020 · 50 minutes
Jane Fonda's Workout, Part 1: Jane and Leni

When Jane Fonda granted us an interview to talk about her famous workout tape, things didn't go as planned. On part... more

12 Oct 2020 · 54 minutes
Decoder Ring
Who Killed The Segway?
Decoder Ring
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Listen now on

Apple Podcasts
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Podcast Addict
Pocket Casts
Castbox
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Podcast Republic
Castro
RadioPublic
RSS

Description

In the year 2000, Dan Kois was a junior book agent working on selling a secretive book proposal called IT, a codename for... more