Nerdette Podcast A safe space for nerding out about all the things you're watching, reading, listening to and encountering in real life. Hosts Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen talk to people about their obsessions: from science to science fiction, great lady nerds of history to Beyoncé. Because what the world needs now is not another superhero, but for the glasses-clad alter ego to make you a podcast.
Nerdette Podcast

Nerdette Podcast

From WBEZ Chicago

A safe space for nerding out about all the things you're watching, reading, listening to and encountering in real life. Hosts Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen talk to people about their obsessions: from science to science fiction, great lady nerds of history to Beyoncé. Because what the world needs now is not another superhero, but for the glasses-clad alter ego to make you a podcast.More from Nerdette Podcast »

Most Recent Episodes

Power Up: Musician Neko Case

Super-talented singer-songwriter Neko Case is not immune to self-doubt. In the years before becoming "an adult," she tells us she had a complicated relationship with ambition. "I wanted to be in a band and I wanted to play music, but I couldn't have even told you that then," Case said. "I wouldn't have even thought that I was capable of that, even though I was completely obsessed and had been my whole life." Her work has gone on to receive a lot of critical acclaim over her 30-plus years of making music. Her newest album is called Hell-On. She stopped by WBEZ to tell us how she maintains her sanity while touring and how she's not superstitious — even though she learned her house burned down on the same day she recorded the vocals for a song called "Bad Luck."

Power Up: Dame Steve Shirley

"I'd been patronized as a child," Dame Stephanie Shirley — a.k.a. Steve — tells us this week. "I wasn't going to be patronized as an adult." The kind of company that Stephanie Shirley wanted to work for didn't exist in 1962, so she created her own. "I wanted a company that was suitable for me [and] that I would like to work in," Shirley says. "And I knew there were lots of women who had also hit the glass ceiling and were completely and utterly ignored by the industry." She's talking about the software industry, which was even more of a boys club in the sixties. So Shirley started her own business, hired a bunch of women from IBM, and even changed her first name from Stephanie to Steve — in order to get the attention of potential clients through promotional materials. Shirley tells us her incredible story, which includes creating a company that would later be valued at $3 billion, being made a dame by Queen Elizabeth, and keeping herself mentally and physically fit in the midst of life's many hurdles. Power Up is a Nerdette project where fascinating people explain how they set themselves up for success in an exhausting world. Tell us how YOU power up by recording yourself on your phone and emailing the audio file to nerdettepodcast@gmail.com.

Power Up: Teen Vogue's Vera Papisova

Speaking out about traumatic incidents can sometimes be more traumatic than the incidents themselves. That was the case for one reporter after she documented rampant sexual harassment at a recent music festival. Vera Papisova is the wellness editor for Teen Vogue and runs the magazine's sexual assault awareness campaign. After Teen Vogue published her explosive article about sexual assault at Coachella 2018, Papisova became the target of internet trolls. "People usually say, 'Ignore the trolls,' and 'Don't read the comments,'" Papisova tells Nerdette. "I went against both of those. I broke both of those rules." Papisova tells us about her experience at the festival, how she's been responding to her online harassers, and what she's doing to maintain her sanity. Power Up is a Nerdette project where fascinating people explain how they set themselves up for success in an exhausting world. Tell us how YOU power up by recording yourself on your phone and emailing the audio file to nerdettepodcast@gmail.com.

Power Up: NPR's Audie Cornish

Audie Cornish says she had something like an epiphany after posting a photo of herself and her new baby on Twitter in April. "I realized, oh my god, I'm part of the problem," Cornish tells Greta Johnsen. "Because there is absolutely nothing worse than opening up a glossy magazine and seeing a picture of some woman with, like, a pet and a 3-year-old, everyone's groomed to the nines, and she's like, 'I woke up like this.'" Cornish is the host of NPR's daily news program 'All Things Considered.' She talked with Nerdette host Greta Johnsen about all the people not pictured in that photo that are helping her navigate motherhood for the first time. They also talk about finding forgiveness and having children during times of strife. "There's always something difficult in the world," Cornish says. "But it's so worth it. Because I look at him as being somebody who's going to be a part of shaping his own world, not that he's arriving a victim of it." Help support Nerdette! Any gift, no matter how small, is truly, sincerely appreciated. And we'll give you swag! Donate here: www.wbez.org/nerdalert

Nerdette's Finest: Negin Farsad

If you're looking for a way to combat the online trolls and bots fomenting unrest in the U.S., comedian Negin Farsad might have a solution for you. It's a philosophy she calls "Being aggressively delightful." You might think that sounds exhausting, but Farsad says not so! "I also think rage is exhausting," she told us in February 2018. "I might think rage is more exhausting than trying to be friends with people." It's genius I tell you! We're replaying this great moment in Nerdette history because we're turning five years old and we need your help! If you like Nerdette, please donate to support the show's future. Any amount really, REALLY helps. And as a thank you, we're offering some pretty sweet gifts. Like mugs, sweatbands, buttons, and even Lady Nerds of History posters. Read about what you can get (and donate!) here: www.wbez.org/nerdalert Seriously, thank you. (And if you want to hear the full version of our interview with Negin Farsad, check it out here.) This special rebroadcast was produced by Stefania Gomez.

Nerdette's Finest: Neil deGrasse Tyson Assigns Homework

On Nerdette, our guests assign us homework. It's usually something to read, watch, or do — like a great book, a compelling TV show, or a life-changing daily routine. We've been lucky enough to have famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on the show TWICE, and both times he assigned homework that essentially asks you to save the world. "If I were to give homework, the homework would be that there are problems society faces — civilization faces — that cannot and will not be solved awaiting the next app on your smartphone," Tyson told Nerdette co-host Tricia Bobeda in 2017. "Ask not what your cell phone can do for you," Tricia replied. "Yes!" Tyson said. "Ask what you can do for civilization." Kaboom. Why are we replaying these bits of homework right now? Well, our little program is turning five years old — FIVE — and we're asking you to join the team. These last five years of Nerdette wouldn't have been possible without you. You've listened. You've told your friends to listen. And maybe, on occasion, you've kicked us a couple dollars to show us how much you appreciate the voices we bring you. Well this is one of those occasions. If you like Nerdette, please donate to support the show's future. Any amount really, REALLY helps. And as a thank you, we're offering some pretty sweet gifts. Like mugs, sweatbands, buttons, and even Lady Nerds of History posters. Read about what you can get (and donate!) here: www.wbez.org/nerdalert Oh yeah, one more thing. THANK YOU YOU'RE THE GREATEST. (And if you want to hear the full versions of both of our interviews with Neil deGrasse Tyson, check them out here and here.) This special rebroadcast was produced by Stefania Gomez.

Nerdette's Finest: Tom Hanks

On a scale of 1 to famous, Tom Hanks is off the charts. So how did we land this amazing interview? Easy! We put a 1939 Underwood Champion typewriter into a recording studio and lured him in Elmer Fudd style! (Bugs Bunny:Carrots::Tom Hanks:Typewriters) The reason we're rebroadcasting part of this episode right now is because our little show is celebrating a birthday. We've been around for FIVE YEARS! To celebrate, we're showcasing some of our favorite episodes AND we're asking you to support the future of the show. These five years of Nerdette have been made possible by you. You're a part of the team. And if you donate today, we're going to thank you with some killer swag. We've got mugs, sweatbands, buttons, and even Lady Nerds of History posters. We really hope you contribute and join in on the magic. Here's the place to go: www.wbez.org/nerdalert and seriously, thank you. (If you want to hear our full interview with Tom Hanks, check it out here.)

Nerdette's Finest: Roxane Gay

Nerdette has been around for FIVE YEARS! And we're celebrating our birthday by showcasing some of our favorite parts of our favorite episodes. Did you know that writer Roxane Gay has a fascination with Channing Tatum's neck? You're about to! Because this special episode is from our 2017 interview with the amazing author of Difficult Women. Roxane Gay also tells us about her love of Thor, her co-authoring of a little Marvel comic called Black Panther, and how she never reads anybody's Goodreads reviews of her work. Real talk: these five years of Nerdette have been made possible by you. You're a part of the team. And we're asking you to support the future of Nerdette. As a thank you for donating, you'll get some fun gifts! Like mugs, sweatbands, buttons, and even Lady Nerds of History posters. Read about what you can get (and donate!) here: www.wbez.org/nerdalert THANK YOU! (And if you want to hear our full interview with Roxane Gay, check it out here.)

Power Up: Design Sponge's Grace Bonney

In 2016, Grace Bonney spoke with 100 women doing creative work and turned those interviews into a book, In the Company of Women. It became a New York Times bestseller, and earlier this month, Bonney released a follow up: a biennial business magazine called Good Company. Plus, while she's out promoting her new publication, she also runs the creativity website Design*Sponge. Like so many of us, Bonney is busy. So how does she refuel? "That's one of the things I think everyone has a really pithy answer to, like yoga or meditating," Bonney told Nerdette host Greta Johnsen. "I don't do any of those things. I think I ask for help." Bonney tells us what asking for help looks like. PLUS: The Nerdette Rummage Sale IS NOW OPEN! Support Nerdette right now and get some sweet, sweet swag — like mugs and buttons and sweatbands for instance: www.wbez.org/nerdalert

Power Up: The Kondabolu Brothers

We brought brothers Hari and Ashok Kondabolu on Nerdette to talk about making time for self-care in what can be a grinding, freelance economy. Instead, they unpacked their relationship. "Do you look up to me at all?" Hari asks his younger brother, with host Greta Johnsen listening in the wings. "No, we have completely different lives," Ashok immediately responds. "This is not relaxing!" Hari says. Well, we tried. But Hari and Ashok DID give us some wonderful ideas about how to recharge your batteries by ignoring the phone, taking aimless walks, and selling your clothes. About our guests: Hari's a comedian with a new Netflix special, Warn Your Relatives, and Ashok's a former member of the rap group Das Racist who's now producing the show Hey, How Ya Doin? The pair also co-host Earwolf's Kondabolu Brothers podcast, where they debate current events, share odd stories, and further unpack their relationship. PLUS: The Nerdette Rummage Sale IS NOW OPEN! Support Nerdette right now and get some awesome swag at a special discount!: wbez.org/nerdalert

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