An Everest Climber's Never-Ending Quest For Adventure

Everest climber, guide and mountaineer Melissa Arnot Reid is the first American woman to ever summit Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen — a feat only 7 women worldwide have accomplished. Arnot Reid joins Nerdette host Tricia Bobeda to talk about the mindset of a high-altitude climber, what happens when you have snot frozen to your face, and how to train your body to reach Everest's peak. Plus, Arnot Reid reveals her secret obsession with true crime stories, so we bring in former FBI Profiler and Real Crime Profile host Jim Clemente to talk about what it takes to crack unsolved cases.

An Everest Climber's Never-Ending Quest For Adventure

Rainn Wilson: All About That Bassoon

Nerdette host Greta Johnsen reveals that she has a secret nerdery: she used to play the bassoon. So this week, in one, grand, bassoon-filled extravaganza, Johnsen and co-host Tricia Bobeda bring back the bassoon. First, they talk with culture writer and bassoonist Eileen Reynolds about the history of the bassoon. Then, they call up the self-proclaimed "Bassoon King" Rainn Wilson. Plus, Chicago Philharmonic Principal Bassoonist John Gaudette plays a familiar tune.

Jessica Pimentel: Actress By Day, Death Metal Frontwoman By Night

Jessica Pimentel, known for her role as Maria Ruiz on Orange Is The New Black, isn't just an actress. She's also in a band ... a death metal band. Nerdette's Tricia Bobeda sat down with Pimentel to talk about what it's like to lead an alternate life as a death metal frontwoman and how her music, which is heavy and hardcore, is inspired by her Buddhist faith. Pimentel also talks about what it's like working with one of the most diverse, majority women casts on what she originally referred to as, "that computer show about jail," and what's cooking for Maria's character next season.

Jessica Pimentel: Actress By Day, Death Metal Frontwoman By Night

Forget Cats: Jenny Slate Is A Plant Lady

Actress and comedian Jenny Slate has played many memorable characters on shows like Parks and Recreation, Kroll Show, Girls, and Brooklyn 99. She also wrote and voiced her web series Marcel The Shell. Her most recent role is alongside Edie Falco and John Turturro in the film Landline. But from all of her work on TV and film, few people know about Slate's one true love: houseplants. Nerdette's Greta Johnsen talked with Slate about why she loves houseplants, what she names them and how they play into her future goals. Then, a plant expert answers all of Slate's most pressing questions.

Author Samantha Irby Wants To Put Normal On TV

Samantha Irby released her third book, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, this year, but it's her first collection of essays that is being turned into a TV show. Last year, FX bought the rights to Meaty, Irby's first collection of essays. Now Irby, who grew up in Evanston and lived in Chicago, is working with Broad City's Abbi Jacobson and Inside Amy Schumer's Jessi Klein to write for television for the first time. For Irby, almost everything is on the table when it comes to her work — whether it's body image, digestive issues, or applying for The Bachelorette.

Author Samantha Irby Wants To Put Normal On TV

Nerdette's Summer Homework Special

The best part about the summer? Plenty of extra time to do homework! Guests on Nerdette always assign listeners homework, and we've compiled the BEST OF THE BEST into this hour-long Nerdette summer homework special. Tom Hanks talks typewriters, Jane the Virgin actor Jaime Camil recommends a show about aliens, and Jessamyn Stanley explains why yoga is meant for all body types. We'll also hear from Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!'s Peter Sagal, space doctor Sheyna Gifford, astronomer Jill Tarter, and many more. Do your homework!

Jill Tarter On A Life Spent Searching For Extraterrestrials

Astronomer and former SETI director Jill Tarter talks about the future of our planet and why she ate so many ice cream cones when she worked at NASA. Tarter's career was the basis for Carl Sagan's 1985 science-fiction novel, Contact, which was later made into a film starring Jodie Foster. She talks about what it's like to have Sagan fictionalize her life, why we need to listen more than we talk, and why it's important for us to think of ourselves as Earthlings.

Jill Tarter On A Life Spent Searching For Extraterrestrials

From 'Homeland' To 'Freaks And Geeks,' She Can Direct Anything

TV director Lesli Linka Glatter started her career as a choreographer, but after a serendipitous series of events, Glatter found her way to film and television directing. Since then, Glatter has directed a spate of well-loved shows, including Homeland, The Walking Dead, Justified, Mad Men, True Blood, Weeds, ER, The West Wing, and Gilmore Girls. Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen sat down with Glatter to talk about the differences between directing film and TV, working on shows with strong, complex women leads, and why some days she thinks about opening a 24-hour coffee/poetry/shoe/book store.

From 'Homeland' To 'Freaks And Geeks,' She Can Direct Anything

W. Kamau Bell On Embracing Awkward And Loving 'Shark Tank'

Stand-up comedian W. Kamau Bell is the host of CNN's United Shades of America. He's also the author of a new book, The Awkward Thoughts Of W. Kamau Bell. Nerdette's Tricia Bobeda talked with Bell about why awkwardness and comedy go hand in hand, what it's like to be a blerd (black nerd), and why the TV show Blackish is so great.

W. Kamau Bell On Embracing Awkward And Loving 'Shark Tank'

Avoiding Armageddon With Dr. Carrie Nugent

This week is all about looking for pieces of space, whether they're in orbit or in Antarctic ice. First, asteroid hunter Carrie Nugent talks about chasing down elusive celestial bodies and why she doesn't like talking about what it's like to be a woman in science. And then we talk about meteorite hunting with the hosts of Undiscovered, a new podcast from NPR's Science Friday team.

Avoiding Armageddon With Dr. Carrie Nugent

Guardians Of The Galaxy's Sean Gunn Loves Math, Cats, and Rap

Sean Gunn is known for playing the ever-eccentric Kirk on Gilmore Girls and space-pirate Kraglin in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. On Nerdette, he talks about what it's like to be in a movie directed by his big brother, and how intense Gilmore Girls fans are. Plus, Sean shares his little-known obsessions with math, cats, and rap.

Guardians Of The Galaxy's Sean Gunn Loves Math, Cats, and Rap

Jane the Virgin's Jaime Camil Loves His Cast, Broadway, And Ancient Aliens

Jaime Camil plays the dramatic, charismatic, slightly self-absorbed yet extra-endearing Rogelio De La Vega on the CW's telenovela-style comedy, Jane The Virgin. Camil, who has starred in many Mexican sitcoms, films and telenovelas, tells Nerdette's Greta Johnsen why Jane the Virgin is so relatable and how it's changing the game for people of color on American television.

Jane the Virgin's Jaime Camil Loves His Cast, Broadway, And Ancient Aliens

Breaking Yoga Stereotypes With Jessamyn Stanley

Yoga enthusiast, expert and internationally recognized teacher Jessamyn Stanley breaks all the stereotypes of a yogi. Nerdette's Greta Johnsen and Tricia Bobeda sat down with Stanley to talk about her new book, Every Body Yoga; how yoga is for everyone (and not just the models drinking coconut water in the Lululemon ads); and why yoga is more than just a way to burn calories.

Breaking Yoga Stereotypes With Jessamyn Stanley

Rebecca Skloot On Oprah, Henrietta Lacks, And Storytelling In Science

Rebecca Skloot talks about the long journey of turning her book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, into an HBO film starring Oprah. She also discusses the importance of storytelling in science and why, even after 18 years, she's still traveling the world to talk about the life of Henrietta Lacks.

Rebecca Skloot On Oprah, Henrietta Lacks, And Storytelling In Science

Neil deGrasse Tyson And Jim Lovell On Failure, iPhones and Mars

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell talk about the importance of failure, the future of innovation, and when we'll get to Mars.

Neil deGrasse Tyson And Jim Lovell On Failure, iPhones and Mars

Roxane Gay On Writing, Trashy TV And Channing Tatum

Author Roxane Gay talks about writing her most recent book, a collection of short stories called Difficult Women, and why Beyoncé, Law and Order SVU and Channing Tatum's neck are mentioned in the book's acknowledgements. Then, "reformed librarian" Kelly Jensen on why feminism isn't always fun — but should be accessible — and how her new book is helping girls (and boys!) everywhere.

Roxane Gay On Writing, Trashy TV And Channing Tatum

Let's Talk About Sex (And Religion) With Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus

Orthodox Jewish sex therapist Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus founded one of the largest women's sexual health clinics in the country. From taboos to vibrators, Bat Sheva talks about how she helps women embrace their sexuality. She also discusses her approach to solving specific challenges for women in the Orthodox Jewish community.

Let's Talk About Sex (And Religion) With Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus

Animating Disney's Moana with Amy Smeed

Amy Smeed, the leader of the animation team for Disney's Moana, talks about what it's like to build a character who is decidedly not a Disney princess, how the animation process works, and why deadlines are important.

How To Build The Best Bad Robots

YouTube's queen of crappy robots, Simone Giertz, tells us how she got in the business of making the world's best crappy robots, like an alarm clock that slaps you awake in the morning with a robotic arm, a robot that very terribly applies lipstick, and a vegetable chopper with 8-foot long knives. In an interview with Nerdette hosts Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen, she talked about how building terrible robots is a constant learning experience.

The Past, Present and Future of Sci Fi With NK Jemisin

Hugo Award-winning author N.K. Jemisin talks about how all of her book ideas start with a simple question: "What if?" She also explains the unusual circumstances surrounding her Hugo Award victory and how science fiction is evolving for the better.

The Past, Present and Future of Sci Fi With NK Jemisin

Popular vs. Cool With Derek Thompson

Senior Editor of The Atlantic, Derek Thompson, tells Tricia about his new book Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction. He explains what makes Adele's Hello and Drake's Hot Line Bling top charts hits and how Star Wars was almost not famous. Plus, Derek says that popular doesn't always mean cool, which is great news for nerds everywhere.

Life On Mars With Dr. Sheyna Gifford

Dr. Sheyna Gifford tells us about her year living on a volcano in Hawaii with just five other people as part of HI-SEAS IV, a NASA project to simulate life on Mars. Sheyna was the space doc on the mission, accompanied by a physicist, an architect, an engineer, a biologist and a commander. Living in a 1200 square foot biodome and going outside only in their space suits, the crew studied the psychological effects and group dynamics that could be at play when astronauts make it to Mars. On Nerdette, Sheyna tells Tricia what the year was like and how she got through it. She also gives some excellent homework.

Brainpickings Creator Maria Popova Only Stops Working To Play Bridge

Maria Popova, the creator of the website Brain Pickings, explains how her job is to reflect on everything from literature and physics to astronomy and art. She tells Nerdette hosts Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen about her rigorous daily diet of reading, writing, tweeting, and reflecting, as well as her newest guilty pleasure: Playing bridge.

Brainpickings Creator Maria Popova Only Stops Working To Play Bridge

Lizzo: She Sings, She Raps, She Flutes

Singer, rapper and flute player Lizzo breaks down her debut EP Coconut Oil and her bevy of musical styles. The multitalented artist talks about her early days in music, from being a band geek and starting girl groups as a kid to making music now that's empowering and body-positive.