Decoder Ring

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Decoder Ring is the show about cracking cultural mysteries. In each episode, host Willa Paskin takes a cultural question, object, or habit; examines its history; and tries to figure out what it means and why it matters.


32:42 | Apr 30th, 2018

Welcome to Decoder Ring! Decoder Ring is a monthly podcast about cracking cultural mysteries. Every episode we’ll take on a cultural object, idea, or habit and speak with experts, historians and obses...Show More

41:19 | Feb 3rd

When Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote an exposé of Lord Byron's incestuous affair in 1869, it nearly destroyed The Atlantic Monthly, and threw the reputations of two literary icons into chaos. This is a st...Show More
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mpr recommended:

Lord Byron is the story that just keeps giving.

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38:17 | Feb 25th, 2019

Baby Shark is an megaviral YouTube video, an unstoppable earworm, a top 40 hit, a Eurodance smash, a decades old campfire song, and the center of an international copyright dispute. This month on Deco...Show More
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rmmiller364 recommended:

Such a fun episode! Warning: you will get Baby Shark stuck in your head if you listen to this one.

38:34 | Aug 27th, 2018

Paper dolls were a ubiquitous part of children’s lives for decades, and then mostly disappeared. David Wolfe was a boy growing up in the 1950’s, with paper dolls as his primary means of accessing a wo...Show More
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mpr recommended:

“Paper dollyworld a world of charm and grace.”

35:53 | Apr 29th, 2019

Videomate: Men is a VHS tape released in 1987 featuring 60 single men pitching themselves as dates to women on the other side of the TV screen, who could connect to these eligible bachelors from the c...Show More
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jspinelle recommended:

This was a fun trip back in time and look at the ways dating has, and hasn’t, changed since the 1980s.

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