Something You Should Know About Fun

Pop Culture Origins

October 1, 2009

Interview with Martin Smith, author of the book Poplorica: A Popular History of the Fads, Mavericks, Inventions, and Lore that Shaped Modern America


Mike Carruthers:

It’s fascinating to trace back the origins of things today that we take for granted - like the popularity of alcohol and drug rehab.


Martin Smith: 

You can trace that directly back to the 1970’s when First Lady Betty Ford went public with her addiction to alcohol and painkillers.

Martin Smith


The Dark Side Of Plants

June 9, 2009
Interview with Amy Stewart, author of Wicked Plants




Mike Carruthers:
We think of plants as being fairly benign but there are some mean, nasty and dangerous plants - for instance oleander.


Amy Stewart:
Oleanders grow all over the southern part of the United States and it is really a highly, highly toxic shrub that will make you very sick. It will make you very weak and can kill you quite quickly.

Amy Stewart


Fascinating History of Blue Jeans

September 11, 2009

Interview with James Sullivan author of Jeans: A Cultural History of an American Icon




Mike Carruthers:
Do you know why denim pants are called jeans?


The word jeans comes from Genoa, Italy which was a major shipping port in the middle ages and the French called the Genoans, "The Gene." And one of the things that they made in Genoa was sort of a precursor to denim material, which is known as jean cloth. 

James Sullivan


Why Barbie Is The Most Successful Doll Ever

February 16, 2009

Interview with Robin Gerber, author of Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World's Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her




Mike Carruthers:
On March 9th this year Barbie turns 50. Worldwide, she is the most popular doll of all time.


Robin Gerber:
She's sold in a hundred and forty countries. Three dolls are sold every second they say.

Robin Gerber


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