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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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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
The Forgotten Video Game About Slavery

In 1992, a Minnesota-based software company known for its educational hit The Oregon Trail released another simulation-style game to school... more

15 Nov 2023 · 47 minutes
The Dating Manual Unlike Any Other

From the moment it was released in 1995, The Rules was controversial. Some people loved it—and swore that the dating... more

08 Nov 2023 · 37 minutes
Mailbag: The Recorder, Limos, and “Baby on Board” Signs

We receive a lot of fantastic show ideas from our listeners—and we’re grateful for each and every one. For our... more

01 Nov 2023 · 40 minutes
When Art Pranksters Invaded Melrose Place

In the mid-1990s, the prime time drama Melrose Place became a home to hundreds of pieces of contemporary art—and no... more

25 Oct 2023 · 41 minutes
Decoder Ring
Can the “Bookazine” Save Magazines?
Decoder Ring