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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

Why Are We Still Using Fat Suits?

A fat suit is a custom-made costume with one goal: to make an actor appear fat without them actually having... more

22 May 2024 · 36 minutes
How the Jalapeño Lost Its Heat

The jalapeño is the workhorse of hot peppers. They’re sold fresh, canned, pickled, in hot sauces, salsas, smoked into chipotles, and... more

08 May 2024 · 32 minutes
From ‘The Last Archive’: Building an Automatic Songwriting Machine

We’re bringing you an episode of The Last Archive from our friends at Pushkin Industries. In this episode: an exploration... more

01 May 2024 · 53 minutes
Making Real Music for a Fake Band

Pop culture is full of fictional bands singing songs purpose-made to capture a moment, a sound. This music doesn’t organically... more

24 Apr 2024 · 41 minutes
Can the “Bookazine” Save Magazines?

Magazines have fallen on hard times – especially the weekly news, fashion, and celebrity mags that once dominated newsstands. The... more

10 Apr 2024 · 37 minutes
Andrew Wyeth's Secret Nudes (Encore)

In 1986, Andrew Wyeth was the most famous painter in America. He was a household name, on the cover of... more

27 Mar 2024 · 54 minutes
Why Stylists Rule the Red Carpet

Like a manager or an agent or a publicist, a stylist has become a kind of must-have accessory for well-dressed,... more

13 Mar 2024 · 42 minutes
The Gen X Soda That Was Just "OK"

Thirty years ago, a new kind of soda arrived in select stores. Instead of crowing about how spectacular it was,... more

28 Feb 2024 · 43 minutes
Why Do So Many Coffee Shops Look the Same?

The eerie similarity of coffee shops all over the world was so confounding to Kyle Chayka that it led him... more

14 Feb 2024 · 33 minutes
2024 Teaser

We’re back with a new batch of cultural mysteries! This year, we’re putting out more new episodes—like many more of... more

07 Feb 2024 · 1 minute
Decoder Ring
Why Are We Still Using Fat Suits?
Decoder Ring
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