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Kris Krüg/PopTech / flickr creative commons

Kurt Andersen's new book is Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire. It's a 500-year history "of America jumping the shark." The idea, largely, is that our present post-fact, fake-news moment is... nothing new.

This hour, we look back at the history. We look at our present -- which is to say, we look at our present president: "To describe [Trump] is practically to summarize this book," Andersen says in Fantasyland. And we wonder if there's any way to regain and retain reality in America.

Fort George G. Meade Public Affairs Office Follow / Creative Commons

Make room, troops. Last week, the Boy Scouts of America unveiled a major decision -- starting next year, the organization will begin admitting girls. Yes, that’s right. Girls.

While the news has been met with applause by some, others have expressed more critical views -- including the Girl Scouts. This hour, we find out why. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Coming up: We sit down with Chuck Collins, senior scholar at the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies.

But first: A look at how researchers are working to preserve the world's most endangered languages -- including locally-based efforts to expand fluency of the Mohegan language

zenilorac / flickr creative commons

Numbers are so fundamental to our understanding of the world around us that we maybe tend to think of them as an intrinsic part of the world around us. But they aren't. Humans invented numbers just as much as we invented all of language.

Hatim Kaghat / Creative Commons

Until about 150 years ago, most people  were born into a religion that carried them to adulthood. That's no longer the case. 

AJ Zanyk / Creative Commons

It's been 60 years since singer Harry Belafonte released The Banana Boat Song (Day-O) on vinyl. He had spent much of his youth in Jamaica and has said he chose to sing the traditional island work song as a way to challenge negative cultural assumptions about people of the Caribbean.

An Ode To Yodeling

Oct 10, 2017
Matt Raible / Flickr

What is yodeling, anyway? Some consider it singing, some say it's an ululation, and still others consider it merely a means to herd animals. Whatever yodeling is, one's thing clear: Yodeling has been around for thousands of years and shows no signs of disappearing.

Football Legend Y.A. Tittle Dies At 90

Oct 10, 2017

Yelberton Abraham Tittle, better known as Y.A. Tittle, has died at age 90. He passed away Sunday night at Stanford Hospital near his home in Atherton, Calif.

Tittle was a great quarterback for Louisiana State University and went on to play 17 seasons of pro football. His greatest success was in New York when he led the Giants to three division titles in four years. In 1954, he became the first pro football player to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Tittle never won a championship, but as The Associated Press reports:

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

During the 1920’s, some Connecticut women took jobs painting watch dials with radium-laced paint. At the time, they didn’t know it was toxic. As these so-called “Radium Girls” began to die, their stories became part of a rallying cry for industrial regulation.

Princeton University Office of Communications

John McPhee is a writer's writer. He's thought of as one of the progenitors of the New Journalism, of creative nonfiction or narrative nonfiction, along with people like Gay Talese and Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson. But his style is... quiter than those folks'. His writing is transparent. He tends to keep himself out of the narrative. He doesn't even, in fact, have an author photo.

Frank C. Muller / Flickr

In the 1800s, Connecticut peddlers would travel south to peddle goods made in small factories around the state. The best way to increase their profit margin was to slip a few pieces of prized nutmeg -- and a few fake wooden ones to match -- in their bag. It didn't take long to expose the fraud, earning us the nickname of the Nutmeg State, known by all as clever, if ethically challenged, people. 

Maisa Tisdale

Within the shadow of P.T. Barnum lies a much quieter tale of Bridgeport prosperity -- a tale involving two nineteenth-century sisters, Mary and Eliza Freeman.

While neither achieved the same level of recognition as Barnum, both established a significant place within the history of Connecticut’s Park City. 

Jhontas Jesus Silva / Flikr

Of the many strange behaviors we humans have engaged in, few seem more abhorrent than cannibalism. But the act of feasting on another human's flesh cannot be so easily dismissed as simply disgusting or deviant. Freud, in fact, believed cannibalism played a role in the birth of religion itself.

Columbia Pictures

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" was originally released on December 14, 1977. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards and has gone on to gross more than $300 million worldwide. 

Raffaele Pagani / Flickr

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the Amazons of ancient Greek mythology is that they were not entirely mythical. While many of the deeds and details ascribed to these women warriors were imagined, the Amazons themselves were inspired by a real-life horse-riding tribe of nomads called the Scythians.

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