Summary: Nerdette is a safe space for nerding out about all the things you're watching, reading, and encountering IRL. Interviews with your favorite (or soon-to-be favorite) authors, artists, astronauts, and more.
The optimism of one woman’s 20s meets the disappointment of her 30s in I Used To Go Here, a new film from Chicago filmmaker Kris Rey. We talked to Rey about the inspiration for the film, her recent name change from Swanberg to Rey, and what she tells young filmmakers. “Go for it,” she said. “The stakes are not that high. You can always start over.”
The 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified exactly 100 years ago Tuesday, the culmination of decades of activism that finally gave women the right to vote. Finish the Fight! is a new children’s book that chronicles the stories of some of the lesser-known suffragettes that made the 19th Amendment possible. Greta talks with author Veronica Chambers about 100 years of women’s suffrage and some of her favorite, lesser-known suffragettes.
We’re all human, but who has the right to make mistakes? That’s a question at the heart of Members Only, the debut novel from author Sameer Pandya. In it, Raj Bhatt's life falls apart after he makes a racist remark to an African-American couple at a posh tennis club. In this Nerdette Book Club author interview, host Greta Johnsen talks with Pandya about the weaponization of the term “cancel culture,” why a tennis club serves as the setting for a story about Indian-American identity and who gets to recover from their mistakes. Listen to this spoiler-free conversation with Pandya and then join us later this month for a panel discussion on Members Only.
Some of you may already be familiar with Nerdette Recaps with Peter Sagal, the podcast where Greta Johnsen and Nerdette cohost-emeritus Tricia Bobeda recapped Game of Thrones with Peter Sagal, host of NPR's Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! Well we are very happy to announce that we’re BACK, and this time, we’re doing '90s movies! So here is our very first episode! It’s a recap of 1995's 'Clueless,' featuring Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, and Paul Rudd. We break it down, ask if it holds up, and hear from YOU, too. Recaps will run the next six weeks, but this is the only episode we’re going to put in the Nerdette feed. So If you like it, hop on over and subscribe to Nerdette Recaps with Peter Sagal wherever you get your pods.
We talk with New York Magazine advice columnist Heather Havrilesky about quarantine madness, cinnamon rolls and making friends during a pandemic.
More women are running for political office this year than ever before, but men still disproportionally represent the American populace. We talk with Erin Vilardi, the founder of VoteRunLead, an organization that encourages and trains women to run for office -- and win. Are YOU considering a run for office? Vilardi explains why women are well-suited for leadership and why you should take the plunge.
Welcome to the Nerdette Book Club! Each month, we read a book and chat about it with a rotating group of panelists. This month’s pick is Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho. It tells the story of Andrea Tang, a thirtysomething Malaysian woman who lives and works in Singapore. Her love life is a mess and she’s vying for partner at her law firm, all while drinking a lot and somehow spending many hours playing Candy Crush. Listen along as Nerdette host Greta Johnsen discusses the book with podcast expert and Servant of Pod host Nick Quah.
As you'll soon find out, Emily Graslie has a contagious enthusiasm for science and discovery. She holds the very real title of “Chief Curiosity Correspondent” at the Field Museum here in Chicago. She hosts a YouTube series called The Brain Scoop. And she’s also the host of a series on PBS called Prehistoric Road Trip, where she travels across the western United States to examine the history of our planet. We talk with Emily about exploration and discovery, how loving art and science does not have to be mutually exclusive, and then she drops more clam facts on us than we thought was possible.
When you hit a rough spot with a good friend, what do you do about it? Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman are longtime friends and business partners. Their fans also know them as the hosts and creators of 'Call Your Girlfriend,' a podcast “for long-distance besties everywhere.” When they recently hit a rough patch, the pair took what might be considered an unusual step to save a friendship: they went to therapy together. Their new book is called Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close. They talked with Greta about writing it together, the scholarship of friendship, and where their relationship is today.
This is a weird year for [insert almost anything] and also summer blockbusters. But even though the theaters remain (mostly) closed, there's still plenty of great new movies to stream from the comfort of your own home. We talk with Eliana Dockterman, staff writer at Time, about the uncertain future for new movies, a few great films you can watch right now, and a few more that you'll have to wait for.
It’s the Nerdette Book Club! And today we're talking with Lauren Ho, the author of this month’s selection, Last Tang Standing. It's a wonderful summer romance that follows the story of Andrea Tang, a 33-year-old Chinese-Malaysian lawyer, as she tries to make partner at her Singaporean law firm while fending off the unhealthy interest her relatives have in her love life. Before she wrote this novel, Lauren herself was a Chinese-Malaysian lawyer living in Singapore. So ahead of our panel discussion later this month, we talked with Lauren about the reasons behind her huge career change, where the similarities between her and Andrea begin and end, and how Andrea was born “from the ashes of a comedy set where I bombed. Badly.”
Kate Stayman-London loves reality TV. But even though shows like The Bachelorette and Love Island bring her joy, “we should also hold those things accountable to our values,” she said. Stayman-London’s debut novel, One To Watch, puts a plus-size woman as the star of a Bachelorette-style reality TV show. It’s both a lovely summer read and also a critical assessment of reality TV tropes. Greta talks with Kate about the impetus for the novel, what it means to see stories about large women, and whether or not any reality TV shows might take her lead.
Sheyna Gifford spent a year living on a volcano in Hawaii with just five other people as part of a NASA project to simulate life on Mars. Living in a biodome the size of a two-bedroom apartment, the crew studied the psychological effects and group dynamics that could be at play when astronauts eventually make it to Mars. This interview — about relationships, food and free time while in isolation — originally aired on Nerdette back in 2017, but it also has a few interesting parallels to our collective situation during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Plus, Sheyna assigns us some truly excellent homework, about why you should think very carefully about who and what you want on your spaceship.
In this chock-full-of-bassoons episode, we talk about the history of the orchestra's largest woodwind with bassoonist and culture writer Eileen Reynolds, we jam with a principal bassoonist from the Chicago Philharmonic, and we even call up the self-proclaimed “Bassoon King,” The Office's Rainn Wilson. Join Johnsen, Nerdette co-host emeritus Tricia Bobeda and this bevy of bassoon buffs for more bassoon than you knew you needed. This episode originally aired on August 11, 2017.
After she visited the very bottom of the Marianas Trench last month, Kathy Sullivan became the very first human to both fly to space and reach the deepest part of the ocean. We talk with her about about what drew her to the deepest part of the deep sea, what's so powerful about the power of discovery and why you, too, should follow your dreams.