Right Now in Part-Time Genius

Why do movie theaters limit their audiences to 299 seats? Did dishware really save the movie industry? And why is Lara Croft: Tomb Raider considered a Hollywood masterpiece? (spoiler: it has nothing to do with the plot!) Grab your popcorn and turn off your ringers as Will and Mango head to the movies.

Why did the Inventor of Shopping Malls Hate Malls?

While no one is going to malls (or so it seems), everyone seems to be talking about them: the CDC is writing up reports on mall walkers, people are growing beards to get into the mall Santa game, and writers are waxing nostalgic about them. But what exactly were malls intended to be? Why did the inventor of the mall try to distance himself from his greatest invention? And why are there never any escalators in the middle of them? Will and Mango dig in.  

How Close Are We to Resurrecting a Woolly Mammoth?

Will and Mango dig wonder: how hard it is to bring a species back from extinction? Plus: why do people wake up in the morgue after being declared dead? Why are fish markets the best places to look for extinct species? And can resurrecting the Wooly Mammoth help us solve climate change? 

Introducing Sleepwalkers: Sleepwalking

Welcome to the A.I. revolution that is already transforming our lives, for good and evil. But what exactly are we sleepwalking into? We start by investigating the connections between online dating, terrorism, and screen addiction.In this episode we hear from: Tristan Harris of the Center for Humane Technology, Gillian Brockell of the Washington Post, Yasmin Green of Jigsaw, and Dr. Helen Fisher. 

How did Thurgood Marshall become such an Incredible Lawyer?

Maybe it was his dad? Or all the punishments he got as a naughty high schooler? Or perhaps it was inspired by watching so many Soap Operas? Whatever the cause, Thurgood Marshall's life story is remarkable. From watching trials as a child to almost getting lynched for trying cases in the deep South, Will and Mango look back at the life and legacy of one of America's greatest legal minds.

Fan Favorite: How Did Wine Fraud Become Such a Big Business?

When a billionaire realized his $125,000 bottle of wine might be fake, he hired a crack team to solve the case. This is the story of a private investigator, a motley crew of geniuses, and a fine wine that supposedly belonged to Thomas Jefferson! Plus: Will and Mango discuss Prohibition wines, the Scottish Four Loko, and why badminton gave wine crimes a bad name.

Fan Favorite: How does Rick Steves Think You Should Travel?

9/11 changed Rick Steves and how he wanted to approach writing about the world. In this special interview, Will and Mango sit down with legendary PBS host and travel writer Rick Steves to talk about the newest edition of "Travel as a Political Act", why watching a Sufi dance can be such a transcendent moment, and whether the best French cheeses really smell like "Angel's Feet." (They don't.)

From the Canadian professor who found patterns in Scratch-off lottery tickets to the Michigan couple that turned a lottery flaw into their retirement savings plan to the strange reason you should hold onto any lottery ticket that has Herbert Hoover's face on it, Will and Mango look into the long history of lotteries and the geniuses who've managed to game them.

Fan Favorite: What's the Science of Painkillers?

When you've got a headache, those bottles of over-the-counter medicines can feel interchangeable. But the truth is, the drugs work in different ways... and each has their own benefits and side-effects. From which drugs work best on toothaches, to which ones are best for hangovers, Will and Mango explore the strange world of painkillers. Plus: why, 5 years from now, you might be replacing your pills with a phone, a pair of goggles and some green apple air freshener.

What are the Greatest Things We Didn't Know about Brazil?

When's the best time to surf the Amazon? Can Brazilian termites help you make a better pizza? And: did you overpay on the black market for that venomous snake? Will and Mango scour the web for some fun facts on Brazil. (Plus, you probably did overpay for that snake.)

Fan Favorite: What Makes the Happiest Places on Earth?

What do sauna culture, "Right to Roam" laws and all-you-can-eat buffets (for monkeys!) have to do with putting smiles on citizens faces? Will and Mango explore why some countries always end up at the top of the Happiness Index, and how other nations can (politely) elbow their way in. Featuring Suzanne Jones, Mayor of Boulder, CO.

Did (Everyone's Favorite Frenchman) Lafayette Really Save America?

Sure, we know Lafayette as a street. And a college. And some of us know him as the charismatic Frenchman from Hamilton. But did you know he was France's richest orphan? And that his real name was Gilbert? And he might have been closer to George Washington than anyone really knew. Will and Mango have best-selling children's author Nathan Hale on to talk about his new book Lafayette and explain all.

9 Valentine's Day Facts You'll Want to Share

From the worst Valentines cards in history, to why candy necklaces are so meaningful in Alabama, to a few salmon that are not excited about this special day, Will and Mango have cobbled facts to warm your heart.

9 Delightful Corners of the Internet

From the best place to do your book shopping to a very sweet rodent with too much to carry, Will and Mango explore some of the World Wide Web's weirdest corners.

How Did Jacques Cousteau Fall in Love with the Sea?

Whether you knew him as a conservationist, an explorer, a spy or a fashion icon, Jacques Cousteau showcased the sea's mysteries to a curious world. But how did the rebellious teenager with a penchant for breaking windows grow up into a marine legend? Will and Mango explore.

9 Things Hiding on your Money

From the treasury joker who snuck his face on some cash, to Theodore Roosevelt’s drastic redesign for the penny, to the very best reason Harriet Tubman belongs on the $20, Will and Mango are diving into dollar bill facts Scrooge McDuck-style.

What does Plastic Surgery have to do with the Civil War?

Why are people getting plastic surgery on their fingerprints? Why was the Civil War such a golden era for procedures? And why is everyone suddenly obsessed with the length of their philtrums? Will and Mango take a brisk walk through the history of plastic surgery.

9 Wonderful Wintertime Inventions

Did a 15-year old really invent the snowmobile? Why was the original use for a Kleen-Ex? How come Eddie Bauer gets zero credit for his genius idea? And what's so special about the Greenwood Champion Ear Protectors? Will and Mango spend a cold, wintry day digging into some spectacular inventions.

In 2019, a new cache of works entered the Public Domain— from Charlie Chaplin to Jane Austen stories to Felix the Cat cartoons. But what does that really mean? Will and Mango dig into how Mickey Mouse changed copyright laws, why Woody Guthrie  got foiled by his publishers and why British clowns check a case of eggs before putting on their makeup.

The Surprising Origins of 9 TV Spin-Offs

What was the worst cartoon inspired by Happy Days? Why did The Golden Girls try to open a hotel? And which dysfunctional character from The Office almost got a starring role on Parks and Rec? Will and Mango explore the weird world of sitcom spin-offs in today's 9 things.