18-43 Segment 1: Spiders & Bats: The truth behind the Halloween icons of fear

Spiders and bats are two of the most indelible symbols of Halloween fear across the country. We talk to experts to get the truth behind these traditionally scary creatures, and hear why neither of them are nearly as scary as we’ve been made to believe.

18-43 Segment 2: Halloween Frights & Traditions

It’s the time of year when we dress up in costumes, head to haunted houses, and shell out candy to trick-or-treaters. But why do we do those things? We take a look at the traditions of Halloween and what makes being scared so fun.

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Culture Crash 18-43: Netflix’s Binge-worthy Horror Drama, The Haunting of Hill House

Earlier this month, Netflix released The Haunting of Hill House, a 10-episode horror series loosely based on the novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson. The series follows the Crain family; two parents and five children, over the course of multiple timelines. We watch their time spent decades earlier in the Hill House, a creepy old mansion they moved into in an effort to flip the house, and we watch them in the present day. We know from the onset that whatever happened back in that mansion, it wasn’t good, and it still haunts them even now. 

18-42 Segment 1: The Art of Video Games

Video games are often considered child’s play, or at least something below “real” art. Author Andrew Ervin argues that’s not true, and that video games are now big-business for TV networks and advertisers, as well as a source of true artfulness.

18-42 Segment 2: What We Can Learn from Lists

Lists are a part of our everyday. Often, they are a forgotten part of our everyday. But Shaun Usher read through countless lists to compile a stunning collection of lists throughout time that shed light on the times, our collective history, and the list makers themselves.

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Culture Crash 18-42: The Old Man & the Gun Allows Robert Redford to Age Gracefully

Movies with bank heists tend to be action-packed movies full of chase sequences and maybe a dramatic shoot-out. What bank robbery films tend not to be are quiet meditations on aging. But that’s exactly what director David Lowery’s latest film, The Old Man and the Gun set out to be.

18-41 Segment 1: Stutters, Stammers, and Vocal Fillers

If you’ve had to speak in public, you know the nerves that come with public speaking. So you probably also know the pain of umming, uhhing, or misspeaking. We explore where these vocal blunders come from and what they might mean.

18-41 Segment 2: Growing Up Poor in Rural America

Sarah Smarsh is a journalist and author who grew up poor on a farm in Kansas. She discusses life in rural America, how our culture treats people living in poverty, and the causes she attributes to America’s wage gap.

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Culture Crash 18-41: Better Call Saul’s unique pacing and why it works so well

One of the traditional ways that TV shows have kept these shock-and-awe moments coming is by moving things along quickly. As soon as some incredible act of deceit takes place, the show starts speeding toward that next signpost. That’s where Better Call Saul, AMC’s Breaking Bad spin-off, differentiates itself. The show often moves at a glacial pace. It’s a law show with no case of the week format. It’s a show about drug cartels that has focuses on the politics of the cartels much more than actual drug deals.

18-40 Segment 1: The Joy of Retirement: How people can look forward to retiring and make it the best time of their lives

Retirement can be bittersweet. On one hand, it’s something you build toward your whole life, but it can also be intimidated to lose your purpose in the workplace. We talk to Helen Wilkes about how she found a new passion in her retirement, and how she’s helping others make their retirements more fulfilling.

18-40 Segment 2: When a Young Person Gets Sent to Adult Prison

There are millions incarcerated in American prisons, even many juveniles who were sentenced to long terms alongside adults. We talk to guests about how and why this happens, whether it should continue, and what life is like for young people behind bars.

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Culture Crash 18-40: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing and the difficulty of classifying art

Sometimes, classifying art in one specific genre can be tricky. Look at Star Wars. It’s a space opera, sure. But what does that mean? It was built to be a Western. And sci-fi. With some fantasy aspects? And who is the intended audience? Is it for kids? Teenagers? Adults? All of the above? That can be the difficulty in classification. So it is with Hank Green’s novel, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. His brother is responsible for the young adult hits Looking for Alaska, The Fault In Our Stars, and Paper Towns, so many people are rushing to call Hank Green’s book YA as well. And the cover certainly makes it look like a YA book. But it’s not actually about teenagers. It’s about a 20-something woman with a career to think about. In fact, none of the main characters are under the age of 20.