The Cooler A weekly podcast from KQED Pop that tackles popular culture in a smart, fun and personal way.
The Cooler

The Cooler

From KQED

A weekly podcast from KQED Pop that tackles popular culture in a smart, fun and personal way.More from The Cooler »

Most Recent Episodes

Forgotten '90s Stars: Where Are They Now?

As most of you know by now, we recently introduced a spicy, sizzling hotline, and we've loved hearing your voices and folding your ideas into the show. Recently, we asked if there are any topics you want us to specifically weigh in on, and Shauna from Reno, NV called in asking for us to check in on where forgotten stars have gone. What's new with the intense British woman from The Weakest Link? What about Ashley from Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Screech from Saved By The Bell and Kevin Costner? We've got the answers! Listen to hear all about it: Until next week! Subscribe and rate us five stars in iTunes! And find us on Facebook and Twitter!

A Buffet of Bullsh*t

This week, we're digging deep into the archives to find our fave Peak and Pit bits, including a rough demo of our jingle, an offensively bad French accent, which the French government is still pissed about, and even a conversation about ball sacks (yes, you read that correctly). Listen to hear all about it: Until next week! Subscribe and rate us five stars in iTunes! And find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Resolutions: Learn a Foreign Language and Say Thank You Next to Anxiety

This week, we're celebrating the newborn year with a few resolutions. Like Honey Boo Boo, we love ourselves, but realize there is room for improvement: Our resolutions run the gamut from learning a new language: To learning to camp: To saying no to anxiety and self-sabotage: Did you make a resolution this year? Share it with us @KQEDPop on Twitter or in the comments below! Oh, and don't forget to subscribe and rate us in iTunes! Listen to hear all about it: Until next week! Subscribe and rate us five stars in iTunes! And find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Resolutions: Learn a Foreign Language and Say Thank You Next to Anxiety

QUIZ: How Well Do You Remember 2018?

Because of all the constant breaking news, it's been difficult to keep track of everything that's happening in the world. How severe is our collective trauma-induced amnesia? Let's find out with this 2018 quiz! Listen to hear all about it: Until next week! Subscribe and rate us five stars in iTunes! And find us on Facebook and Twitter!

The Best Sexy and Weird Christmas Songs You've Never Heard

Because 2018 was so wacky, to put it mildly, we're digging up some of the most unconventional holiday songs we could find. There are songs about getting it on with Santa. Robbing Santa. Cussing out Santa. And even one about a hippopotamus. Listen to hear all about it: Until next week! Subscribe and rate us five stars in iTunes! And find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Coolio Awards: The Best and Worst of 2018 Pop Culture

We are hosting the fourth annual Coolio Awards! Last year, we awarded Maxine Waters for reclaiming her time, Tarana Burke for starting the #MeToo movement and Sarah Jessica Parker for freaking the f*ck out over a solar eclipse. https://www.instagram.com/p/BYEQQVgjM14/?utm_source=ig_embed This year we are honoring new people for being involved in the best and worst pop culture moments of the year. Who will win Best Use of Sound Effects to Punctuate a Point? Queen of the People? Well-At-Least-You-Tried Participation Trophy? And who will be honored in our In Memoriam retrospective of all the people canceled in 2018? Listen to hear all about it! Until next week! Subscribe and rate us five stars in iTunes! And find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Cringeolences, Teatox and Cardi Banks (FIXED)

Note: Mercury has been trolling us with tech issues all day. Thanks for hanging in there! Is it gross to honor someone who's just died with a selfie of yourself and the dearly departed? We lay down some social media ground rules. Would you be willing to spend a bunch of time peeing out of your butt to get a flat tummy? We look into the tea detox trend. We'll be sharing breaking news on someone you probably haven't missed even once over the past 15 years: Kid Rock. And we'll be debating whether Tyra Banks' new trap single is so bad it's good, or just so bad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okbEEBZMw2U Listen to hear all about it: Until next week! Subscribe and rate us five stars in iTunes! And find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Early Aughts Nostalgia... Already?! (With Nish Kumar)

Juicy Couture, The Hills, SpongeBob SquarePants memes, a Mean Girls musical, Detective Pikachu. We're not in the early aughts anymore, but it sure feels like it with the latest wave of nostalgia. Is looking back so much and so soon bad for us? Also, a conversation with The Mash Report's Nish Kumar about Brexit and the dark side of the Spice Girls. And a message for those making fun of the Dwight Howard affair situation: your homophobia and transphobia is showing and it's not a good look. Listen to hear all about it: Until next week! Subscribe and rate us five stars in iTunes! And find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Chani Nicholas on Healing Astrology, Mercury Retrograde and What Our Future Holds

This week, we are joined by cosmic goddess Chani Nicholas. You're probably one of the million readers who flock to her wildly popular astrology blog every month. And if you're not, that's about to change. Interview Highlights On why people are gravitating toward astrology for healing: "I think that there is a need to make meaning out of the massive amounts of completely overwhelming and sometimes totally depressing information that we are inundated with. It's like, how do we keep up? I can't even process the mass shooting that happened three weeks ago. I can't process the one that happened last week or the wildfires. It's all so much. Our systems aren't made to be able to handle this much information. "People more and more need somewhere to just touch down and reconnect with themselves, even if it's just for a moment...We need to stay as close to our humanity as possible in these times because it's so easy to get caught up in the extremes. How do we stay close to our human connections, our human emotions, our bodies, our selves? I think, if astrology is worked with in an intelligent way, it can help us do that." On Mercury retrograde: "On behalf of all astrologers, it's Mercury retrograde; Mercury is not in anything. It's just appearing to go backward. Mercury is the planet of communication so it is popular belief that, when Mercury appears to station and stop in the sky and go backward and then become invisible and then reappear again, communications go through a kind of underworld experience, which pop culture has really grabbed onto and made a lot more out of than it really needs to be. "I think that we're really forward-focused and we're really hung up on progress. Nature reminds us all the time it's really important to also follow the rhythms of life. And so Mercury retrograde might have us reviewing certain ways in which we're communicating, might have us backtracking, might have us not going forward in all areas of our life. But that's not the end of the world." On Mercury's trans nature: "Mercury is the only planet in the traditional system that can be either male or female, and so it represents this trans kind of nature. It's transgender, it's trans diurnal and nocturnal. It moves, it's liminal, it's in between the spaces, and so it teaches us of the third way. When Mercury's retrograde and we're thinking of this kind of liminality, then what else is present? Why are we so hell-bent on having life be one way? What else is Mercury trying to open up to us?" On what we can expect from the future based on the stars: "I think what astrology does well is it teaches us about cycles. And cycles don't mean repeating everything verbatim; they mean we're turning back to something with a new consciousness, more information, and having grown. This cycle that we have entered as of a year ago, the last time we were in it was 84 years ago, which was 1934. And the last time we were in a similar position as we're having this year was 1936. "Back when astrologers saw this coming, a lot of us were talking about the return of fascism. We have that sentiment already loud and clear. It doesn't mean that we're going to be in the same situation. But what it does mean to me is it's an urgent call to action to be very aware of what's happening, to be very vocal of it. "If you're somebody who said, If I was back in 1930-whatever, I would have done ABC! Well, now it's your time to do that, no holds barred, without feeling any kind of shame, without feeling any reticence. Be proactive in your civic duties. Be a citizen of this world. Be a citizen of this country. Be a neighbor. Be somebody who is actively engaging in what justice looks like here and now in this moment." And there's a lot more where that came from! Listen to hear all about it: Until next week! Subscribe and rate us five stars in iTunes! And find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Chani Nicholas on Healing Astrology, Mercury Retrograde and What Our Future Holds

Victoria's Secret Is That She Doesn't Have Any Trans Friends

Victoria's Secret has a message for trans and curvy woman: You can't sit with us! Or be in our fashion show! Or wear our products! We discuss why some brands find it so hard to get woke. We're also talking about why Stormy Daniels might be more of a saint than you think. And we have some bad news for anyone who's still crushing on Leonardo DiCaprio. Listen to hear all about it: Until next week! Subscribe and rate us five stars in iTunes! And find us on Facebook and Twitter!

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