Episode 95: Hank Green

In 2007, Hank Green along with his brother John, tried a Youtube experiment - for an entire year they made a video a day together - which they thought was a dumb idea. To their surprise, these videos quickly led to millions of fans. Eleven years later Green has harnessed his popularity to focus on what's important to him and now oversees a video company that produces popular Youtube educational content, has raised millions of dollars for charity, founded the world's largest conference celebrating online video, and now written his first novel, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. In this episode, Hank talks about his first novel, how his life parallels his main character’s, and why taking risks is the best way to learn.

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Episode 94: Zachary R. Wood

As president of his college group "Uncomfortable Learning," Zachary R. Wood attempted to bridge the gap between dissenting views by inviting controversial speakers to campus and was shut down by student protests. Now a recent graduate, and a new author of the memoir, Uncensored, he opens up about his abusive childhood with a schizophrenic mother, and the pressure he felt to constantly strive for perfection as a son, student, and black man.

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Episode 93: Tina M. Tchen

The former Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama and leader of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund talks about her time at the White House and her childhood growing up in 1960s Ohio as the daughter of Chinese refugees. With a sense of humor and positively Tchen gives her take on the current administration, the importance of diversity of thought and representation in politics, as well as her lifetime commitment to tackling issues related to corporate compliance, ethics, and equality.  

Episode 92: Jay and Mark Duplass 

In a very funny, touching, and creatively inspiring interview, the filmmakers discuss their incredibly close brotherly bond, how they never doubted success would happen, even though it took almost two decades to achieve, and how they had to learn how to quit each other in order to find the space to have their own lives.

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Episode 91: Carl Zimmer

The author of 13 books about evolution, neuroscience, biology, and most recently heredity, as well as the weekly “Matter” science column in the New York Times, discusses his accessible style of science storytelling, answering Michael’s burning questions on his recent book She Has Her Mother’s Laugh, science in schools, genomes, and whether there is a gene to make you a successful podcaster. 

Episode 90: Saru Jayaraman

The co-founder and president of ROC, Restaurant Opportunities Center United, Saru Jayaraman has devoted her career to improving the lives of restaurant workers. Her activism through legislation, initiatives, and conversation as well as her two books, have raised the awareness and made significant improvements, of some of the appalling conditions of the workers who make and serve the food in the places millions of Americans like to eat.  

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Episode 89: Dan Pfeiffer 

One of President Obama’s longest-serving staffers, first as Communications Director then as Senior Advisor, Dan Pfeiffer discusses present-day politics through the unique lens of his experience, which he also details in his new book, Yes, We (Still) Can. From what motivates Mitch McConnell, to his work as a pundit on CNN, Pfeiffer is one of the few who might be able to answer Michael’s question, “What the fuck is happening right now?”

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