Paul M. Sutter Puts You in Your Place in the Universe

Paul M. SutterThe universe is endlessly vast and can seem incomprehensible. However, it’s not as incomprehensible as you might think. In his book Your Place in the Universe: Understanding Our Big, Messy Existence, astrophysicist Paul M. Sutter explains a lot about what we know of the universe. In my interview with him, we discuss the Big Bang, the Singularity, the Cosmic Web, dark matter and dark energy, and what the end of the universe might be like. So take a listen, and I hope your mind will be as blown as mine was.

-David Perfect

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Margaret Peterson Haddix and the Children of Exile

I find dystopian novels one of the most interesting forms of science fiction. From 1984 to Fahrenheit 451, authors have created futures that we fear may come to pass (if they haven’t already). Margaret Peterson Haddix is known for her juvenile and young adult series. In the Children of Exile series, she envisions a dystopian future that is still suitable for children. Join us for a discussion of Children of Jubilee, the final book in the series; her inspirations and writing process in making believable child characters; and why even children are interested in dystopian fiction. Just make sure that Big Brother isn’t listening as well.

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Spamalot comes to Columbus’s Palace Theater

Spamalot logo

Almost everyone has seen the hilarious comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail. From the Black Knight, the Taunting Frenchman, and the importance of knowing the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow, the film’s many funny moments have a place in the hearts of multiple generations. Eric Idle’s musical comedy Spamalot adapts the movie for the stage and plays Columbus this month.

Troy Bruchwalski plays The Black Knight and Sir Dennis Galahad, The Dashingly Handsome among others. We discuss some of differences between the play and film, how he prepared for his role, and what it is like to be in a traveling production of a Broadway musical.

Spamalot will be playing at the Palace Theatre from November 23 to 25.

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Think you know mitochondria? Think again says Michael W Gray

Michael W Gray

“I never learned to do taxes at school but I know the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.” The phrase “the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell” has become a common punchline in a lot of jokes online, but how much do people really know about mitochondria? Michael W. Gray gives Craft the chance to learn about some of the theories surrounding this organelle, particularly the fact that the mitochondria very likely started off as a separate bacteria that was absorbed by cells a long time ago. He will be giving a talk at Science Sundays on November 18th on the different theories surrounding mitochondria from 3-5 at the Ohio Union Bank Conference Theatre.

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Happy Halloween 2018

It’s here again: Halloween, that time of year when Craft goes a little crazy and gives the world a variety of questionable stories and interviews. We cover all the greatest Halloween hits: cannibalism, zombies, serial killers, where to buy super science supplies, and the scariest of all – politics.

My thanks to great help from Sam Bloch, J. Randall Hicks, David Lindstedt, Bryce Meade, Cody McNulty, and Craft intern David Perfect.

Donate to brain cancer research at the Wexner Medical Center!

Buy the songs and books from this episode by clicking on the icon below and a portion of your purchase will go to brain cancer research. It’s the best way to get music for your Halloween party!

  • Aerosmith, Eat the Rich
  • Hall and Oates, Maneater
  • Loudon Wainwright, III, Graveyard (my YouTube tribute to this song)
  • John F Llewelyn, Birth of a Cemetery
  • Jonathan Coulton, Re: Your Brains
  • Warren Zevon, Werewolves of London
  • Bobbie Darren, Mack the Knife
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Celeste Ng receives 2018 Ohioana award for fiction

Celeste Ng Little Fires EverywhereOhio author Celeste Ng is the 2018 Ohioana Fiction Award winner for her book Little Fires Everywhere. Listen in as we discuss what it’s like to win an Ohioana award; how she ensured that she got the details right about the setting for her novel, Shaker Heights, Ohio; and how she deals with seeing her own books or those of her friends in a bookstore.

You can attend the presentation of the Ohioana Awards on October 18 

And here’s the picture we discuss during our talk of a display in an Ireland bookstore.

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Henry Alford: So you think you can contact improv?

Henry Alford's book

Did your school have mandatory square dancing lesson? Mine did, which may be why I’ll never wear western plaid again.

Humorist and participatory journalist Henry Alford has not only written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Vanity Fair, and the Paris Review but also survived elementary school square dancing lessons. His most recent book, And Then We Danced, details his recent experiences to recover from enjoy dancing lessons. Listen in while he describes the process, including his now-signature move while doing contact improv.

Alford won a Thurber Prize for his book Big Kiss, which detailed his acting career. Other books include How To Live: A Search For Wisdom From Old People (While They Are Still On This Earth) and Would It Kill You To Stop Doing That?: A Modern Guide To Manners.

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Mary Kay Carson at 2018 Ohioana Book Festival

She’s one of Ohioana’s authors for 30 Books in 30 Days, so catch Mary Kay Carson on our YouTube Channel!

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Billy Boyd: Art imitates life

Actor Billy Boyd

Actor Billy Boyd

One of my favorite exchanges in the first Lord of the Rings movie occurs after Aragorn tells the hobbits to stop eating and get walking:
Aragorn: Gentlemen! We do not stop ’til nightfall.
Pippin: But what about breakfast?
Aragorn: You’ve already had it.
Pippin: We’ve had one, yes. But what about second breakfast?
Merry: Don’t think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
Pippin: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn’t he?
Merry: I wouldn’t count on it.

At the end of my talk with Pippin actor Billy Boyd about his appearance at the Columbus Comic Con and the beauties of Scotland, he asked about good places to eat in Columbus. Sadly, I had little to offer because I’m too cheap to go out to eat much. So listen to the podcast and then help him by tweeting your favorite Columbus eateries to @BillyBoydActor.

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Thomas Ian Nicholas: From actor to producer to musician

Thomas Ian NicholasActor Thomas Ian Nicholas has appeared in many films, starring in Rookie of the Year and playing Kevin Myers in the American Pie franchise. He’s also a musician, producer, and writer.

His latest work in production involves magicians and vampires, as well as traveling the country meeting his fans at Comic Con. Listen in for his description of a life in the arts.

You can meet Thomas Ian Nicholas in person on June 8th and 10th at the Columbus Comic-Con.

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