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Episode 1608

In the Ballpark

Novelist Charles Dickens and the musician Prince were very different types of artists, but they also had a lot in common. A new book chronicling their extraordinary careers becomes a larger meditation on perfectionism and creativity itself. Plus...

Um, Actually Word Game

On the game show Um, Actually, the host reads out a series of supposed facts about various geeky subjects, and contestants must interject with the correct information, prefacing their answers with the phrase Um, Actually. That’s the...

Common Bonds Word Game

Quiz Guy John Chaneski puts us in a bind with a puzzle about “Common Bonds,” and a challenge to guess the word that often appears with each of three others. For example, what word often accompanies these three: slide, golden, and five...

Episode 1590

Primary Colors

Centuries ago, monks who took a vow of silence developed their own hand signs, with hundreds of gestures, that are still in use today. Plus, how do speakers of different languages distinguish similar shades and tints of colors such as red, yellow...

Episode 1604

Snookums and Snicklefritz

A new book about how animals perceive their environment reveals immense worlds beyond our own. A bee can see ultraviolet light, catfish have taste buds all over their bodies, and manatees use highly sensitive lips to examine nearby objects. Also...