Professor John Helliwell studies what makes people happy, and how we can maximize life-satisfaction. Learn more about his work here.
This is a special episode. I was on stage at the Upright Citizen's Brigade theater in Hollywood with comedians Moshe Kasher, Nicky Glazer, and Nick Kroll. I think the idea was roughly to make fun of me and my wacky theories for an hour. I had a blast, as you'll hear, and gave them plenty of material to work with.
When Aidan's car broke down four years ago, that was the last straw. He quit his job, threw his stuff into a bag, and hit the road, where he's been ever since. A young man who is clearly on an authentic quest of some sort, he's smart, articulate, and very thoughtful. This episode features his original music (and a cameo by Werner Herzog, just because). Download Aidan's music here.
Stephen O'Donnell paints exquisite "historicized self-portraits" in which his face appears in some unexpected places. Check out his work here.
Dr. Tonia Mills is an anthropologist with an additional degree in child development. She lived for years with the Beaver Indians of British Columbia and has studied many aspects of their society—particularly their beliefs around reincarnation. One of the many fascinating people I've met thanks to Stanley Krippner, Tonia shares some fascinating, intimate stories from her life among the Beaver people.
My second summer in Alaska. This time, I got a job on a tender, and found myself engaged in an epic struggle for the soul of a young man. Photos at chrisryanphd.com.
I don't always agree with renegade historian Thad Russell—you'll hear that we disagree passionately about "Death Panels" and whether Americans die in the streets—but I respect his intelligence and ballsy insistence on telling it like he sees it.
You may know her from her very popular web series, Ask a Mortician, from a previous episode of this podcast (#25), or as the author of the fantastic book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory. Caitlin and I talk about life, death, and publishing.
Mitch Schultz wrote and directed the documentary, DMT: The Spirit Molecule (narrated by Joe Rogan). We talk about consciousness, making movies, and the joys of Austin, Texas. Find out more at spectralalchemy.com.
Coupla very smart, very funny guys. They've been on Letterman, Conan, and late night what have you. Zach does crazy videos and rap, while Myq is a wordsmith extraordinaire. If you want to hear the part of the conversation where they were asking me questions, you'll find that here.
It's 1983, and I'm on my first trip to a foreign culture with a sharpened Kung-Fu star hanging from my neck. One thing leads to another and I realize I've stumbled into something far deeper, and more dangerous, than I could have imagined.
In which I spend some time working the slime line, scam my way out the door, and wake up on the wrong side of a jealous performance artist.
A Korean kid in the American South, adopted by people who probably shouldn't have, lesbian, super-smart Harvard student, stand-up comic, diagnosed with an incurable disease at 30 ... Mandy has been there and there and there and back. Please join us for this powerful, heartfelt conversation about belonging, family, and that familiar feeling that we're getting better and dying at the same time.
The only man I know who has passed a joint to a chimp sitting next to him in a tree, (or at least, who's admitted it to me!) Richard is a man of many dimensions. In part 1 of what I hope will be a multi-part series, we talk about his education, his first foray into business with one of America's first mountain bike shops, and what lessons rugby imparts in the "third half," among many other fruitful tangents.
Ceara is a sweet, smart, sexy young woman who degrades, dismisses and denigrates men over the internet. And they pay her handsomely to do it! What a world.
One of the leading ethnobotanists in the world, Dennis has just published a fantastic memoir about his fascinating life (much of it shared with his very famous brother, Terence) called Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss.
When the salmon don't come, there's no work to be had in Kenai, Alaska. So what do you do? Get some tequila!
I get meta in this one—reading a paper I wrote 20 years ago about a near-death experience that happened to me 25 years ago. Damn, I'm getting old!
I found a mysterious letter on my car this morning. This is what it said.
One of my closest friends, Dr. Stanley Krippner returns to Tangentially Speaking, to share his thoughts on the trajectory of history, the nature of consciousness, and his advice to young people after 81 years of living la vida loca.
In which Russ and I find ourselves wearing shorts without underwear in a medium-security Alaskan prison.
One of the leading thinkers in the emerging field of Evolutionary Psychology, Miller has written two well-received books: one on how sexual selection favors the evolution of non-physical traits like creativity, generosity, and morality (The Mating Mind), and another on how advertisers are co-opting our innate, evolved desire to be "cool" in order to attract mates (Spent). Currently an Associate Professor at University of New Mexico, he's also currently collaborating with controversial author, Tucker Max (a previous guest) on Mating Grounds, a multi-media project to help young men get a better handle on dealing with women.
Join Peter, Andy Gurevich, and me at Lompoc Brewing's Hedge House, where we talk about religion, sex, love, and beer. Then some very interesting friends of Peter's show up, including a hot young humiliatrix, named Ceara.