So much of what we've seen on TV and film about the Wild West depicts the rugged cowboy who is always ready for a showdown. But the Wild West was much more nuanced than that. In fact, many of the towns in the Wild West thrived because of the women who ran the towns - specifically women in the prostitution industry. While prostitution was at times extremely dangerous, it also gave women economic agency which was rare for the period. It allowed them to build brothels, schools, and stores and even yield political influence in the region.
Jan MacKell Collins, who appeared on Adam Ruins The Wild West, joins us on this week's episode to unpack this 'not so polite' (although just as crucial) section of our history books. Jan is the author of six books and is the contributor to Backwoodsman Magazine, Colorado Central Magazine, Frontier Gazette and True West Magazine.
Adam is on Twitter @AdamConover and you can find past episodes and bonus content from the TruTV show at AdamRuinsEverything.com. Produced by Shara Morris for MaximumFun.org.
On Adam Ruins Hollywood, Adam shattered the facade of awards shows, red carpets, and reality TV. So now that we're steeped in the awards show season, we brought Rachel Bloom onto the podcast, who appeared on the TV show, and is a red carpet expert! She is the Star and Co-Creator of the fantastic CW show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which actually won her a Golden Globe last year. Rachel tells us what really goes on at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards - how red carpets are really a marketing strategy for fashion designers and how campaigning for awards is integral to the awards show process.
On the Adam Ruins Everything podcast, Adam typically brings experts who appeared on the TV show to further expand on the arguments they make on the show. But during the off-season of the TV show, we thought we'd try something new. We are going to start bringing guests onto the show who may or may not have appeared on the show, but who are just as thoughtful and groundbreaking in their work.
Today's guest is Jonathan Blow, the indie game developer who is best known as the creator of Braid and The Witness. In The Witness, which was released last year to rave reviews, a player walks around a picturesque island solving complex puzzles. The puzzles themselves are not only incredibly challenging and quite philosophical, but they're almost a glimpse into the highly intelligent mind of Jonathan himself. Jonathan attended the University of California at Berkeley, and worked several jobs including Game Developer Magazine, before releasing Braid in 2008.On the podcast, Jonathan and Adam discuss The Witness at length... including, SPOILER ALERT, the solutions to puzzles and the game's ending! (Don't worry, spoilers will be clearly marked, so you have time to pause.) Within the game, they discuss architecture's role in gaming, how the game raises questions about religion and the self, and much more. If you're planning on playing the game, we encourage you to pause the episode before it gets spoilery and play the game yourself before finishing the episode.
On the season finale of Adam Ruins Everything, Adam ruins 'going green', the idea that individual choices such as recycling, driving hybrid cars, or reusing plastic bags are not enough to combat climate change. Today's podcast guest, Dale Jamieson, who appeared on Adam Ruins Going Green, says those choices on their own will not stop global warming and instead we need to make larger, systemic changes and work together with other countries to curb our carbon emissions.
Dale is a Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy and Chair of the Environmental Studies Department at New York University. On the podcast, he and Adam discuss why individual choices of going green are ineffective, the actual science of the global temperature increases and its implications, and what the incoming administration means for the United States' role in fighting climate change.
Adam is on Twitter @AdamConover and you can find past episodes and bonus content from the TruTV show at AdamRuinsEverything.com.
Just say no...to the War on Drugs! On this week's Adam Ruins Everything, we talk to Sheriff John Urquhart who appeared on the Drugs episode of the TV show. John is the sheriff for all of King County, Washington, which includes Seattle. He has seen the War on Drugs' failures firsthand as an undercover narcotics investigator and has since developed views on the drug crisis that are refreshing for a law enforcement officer. On this week's episode, Adam and Sheriff Urquhart discuss the implications of the heroin epidemic in the country, the racialization of the War on Drugs, the controversial idea of safe injection sites, and much more.
Homelessness is a chronic problem we see everyday, and we might feel hopeless in our efforts to fix it. But today's guests actually have a solution that has been proven to curb homelessness. And it's been right in front of the whole time -- literally give people homes! Rudy Salinas and Dorothy Edwards, who appeared on Adam Ruins Housing, work for Housing Works LA, an organization which creates accessible housing and service options by actually giving people homes and ensuring they can stay in those homes.
Rudy is Housing Works' Program Director, and Dorothy is a Homeless Advocate who was homeless herself for 15 years. On the podcast, Dorothy shares her inspiring personal story from being homeless to now working for Housing Works, how Housing Works targets at the most vulnerable homeless people, how giving people homes is economically the best option for all of us.
If it weren't for the Innocence Project's Chris Fabricant, we might not even have an Adam Ruins Everything Podcast! After he and Adam met of the set of Adam Ruins Forensic Science, Adam found his work so fascinating that he felt he had to talk to Chris in a longer format, and thus the original idea for the podcast was born.
As the Innocence Project's Director of Strategic Litigation, Chris develops and executes strategies to address the leading causes of wrongful conviction, including eyewitness misidentification, the misapplication of forensic sciences and false confessions. His cases take him all across the country to help exonerate the wrongfully accused.
On the podcast, Adam and Chris discuss outdated forensic science techniques such as bite mark analysis, why DNA analysis works, and Chris' bizarre deposition with bite mark "expert" Michael West, which was recently profiled in The Washington Post.
You've seen it from rom-coms to Hallmark cards - our society is obsessed with everyone finding their soulmate. But did you know the idea of 'the one' is a relatively new concept in our culture? In fact, marriage and love were completely separate entities for centuries, and this week's podcast guest, Professor Stephanie Coontz, tells us all about it.
Stephanie Coontz, who appeared on Adam Ruins Weddings teaches history and family studies at The Evergreen State College.
Her book, Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage traces the history of marriage from a union based on alliances and financial gain to today's notion of finding our 'other half'. On the podcast Adam and Stephanie discuss how the Enlightenment altered our idea of marriage, how the media covers love, and how equality is erotic.
You've heard the phrase plenty of times in your life: "Drink more water!" But our guest on this week's podcast dispels that myth.
Professor Tamara Hew-Butler, who appears on the Adam Ruins Football episode of the TV show, studies how too much water while exercising can actually be dangerous. Her research at Oakland University specifically focuses on excess water and hyponatremia, a potentially fatal condition when your body holds too much water.
Adam and Tamara discuss the myth of drinking eight glasses of water a day, Adam's lessons from his very long, first marathon, and Tamara's hilariously unorthodox lab experiments.
Adam is joined by historian Ed Ayers to talk about our forefathers' democratic vision for the United States, the historical implications of our current election, and misconceptions about the discipline of history.
Since we're experiencing one of the most interesting elections in modern history, we needed to know what it all means. So on this week's podcast we talk to historian Ed Ayers.
Ed, who appeared on the voting episode of Adam Ruins Everything, is the host of the brilliant podcast and public radio show BackStory with the American History Guys. He's also the President Emeritus of the University of Richmond, where he now serves as Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities.