EP 247: A Skeptic's Guide to the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia w/ Dr. Michael Shermer

Dr. Michael Shermer, founder of Skeptic Magazine, talks about his new book Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality & Utopia. He reveals the surprising history of our concept of heaven, he proves that out-of-body experiences are nothing more than hallucinations, and he questions why reincarnated souls only seem to hang around India. He discusses why it’s unlikely that you or anyone else will ever live past 125, why utopian societies always end badly, and why scientists still have some major kinks to work out in their quest to cheat death. Plus, skeptic Michael Shermer talks about his unlikely friendship with Deepak Chopra, he weighs on Trump’s ongoing battle

EP 246: Phil Rosenthal Eats His Way Around The World

Phil Rosenthal, creator of Everybody Loves Raymond, reveals how the idea for his new travel show Somebody Feed Phil came from a trip he and Ray Romano took to Italy, he recalls some of the cultural roadblocks he encountered when he later produced the Russian version of Everybody Loves Raymond, and talks about the places he likes to call the "world’s greatest hits." He praises TelAviv as a perfect example of food’s power to overcome all differences, says Portugal is way more than just Spain’s little stepbrother, and suggests a city where you can experience all kinds of international cultures and flavors right here in America. Plus talks about an encounter with the notorious durian fruit, ho

EP 245: Secretary of State George Shultz on Reagan, Gorbachev, and Winning the Cold War

Former Secretary of State George Shultz recalls his close friendship with President Ronald Reagan, the moment he realized that Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was someone the U.S. could do business with, and Reagan's Pershing missile moment as a masterclass in peace through strength. He suggests that President Trump may soon need to have a "Pershing moment" of his own, reveals what he learned in a meeting years ago with a young Vladimir Putin, and weighs in as an economist on the Trump tax reform act. Plus George Shultz discusses why Ronald Reagan never bluffed, why foreign policy is a lot like gardening, and why the prospect of nuclear war still keeps him up at night. George Shultz is

EP 244: Greg Barker Captures Obama's Final Year

Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker Greg Barker (Ghosts of Rwanda, Manhunt, Homegrown) talks about following President Barack Obama and other senior White House officials during the final 12 months of the Obama Administration for his new film THE FINAL YEAR. He reveals some of the heartbreaking humanitarian nightmares faced by UN Ambassador Samantha Power, what it was like for Secretary of State John Kerry to return to Vietnam 45 years after fought in the war there, and why President Obama chose Greece for his last overseas stop. He explains John Kerry's version of diplomatic speed dating, gives a fly on the wall perspective on the Syrian peace deal that never was, and discusses the Obama Ad

EP 243: General David Petraeus on Counterinsurgency, the Paradox of Nation Building & a Military

General David Petraeus talks about implementing the successful "Surge" strategy in Iraq, and some of the unique complexities he encountered when translating that plan to the war in Afghanistan. He discusses the fundamentals of counterinsurgency, his personal disdain for yes men, the paradox of nation building, and how a grad school dissertation on the Vietnam War helped shape his world view. Plus General Petraeus weighs in on President Trump and the return of large geopolitical rivalries. Today's episode was sponsored by LinkedIn Jobs and The Art of Charm podcast.

EP 242: Nightline's Dan Harris Becomes My Meditation Guru

ABC Nightline's Dan Harris has become a self-professed meditation evangelist ever since his infamous on-air panic attack in 2004 and today he tries to win over the ultimate skeptic...ME. He reveals how daily meditation has improved life at home and at work, he dispels some of the myths surrounding meditation, and he discusses the science behind the physical, mental and emotional health benefits of meditation. He gives a crash course in how you can begin meditating with as little as one minute of free time, and he tells stories from his 23 state meditation bus tour including encounters with some surprising meditation fans like an Ohio Congressman and the cadets and professors of VMI. Order

EP 241: Daniel Ellsberg Reveals America's Secret Nuclear War Plan

Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower behind the Pentagon Papers, reveals how helped design America's top secret nuclear war plan and why he has since dedicated his life to dismantling it. He explains why the movie Dr. Strangelove is not far from the truth, discloses that the President isn’t the only one with his finger on the nuclear button, and explains just how far down the chain of command that authority may reverberate. He reveals the potentially staggering human cost of America’s first strike strategy, the perverse logic behind the Joint Chiefs’ apparent peace with that risk, and their calculated willingness to obliterate US allies in the process. Plus Daniel Ellsberg weighs in on the

EP 240: Mike Duncan Answers "Is America Rome?"

Mike Duncan, host of The History of Rome podcast and Revolutions, constantly gets asked "Is America doomed to the same fate as the Roman Empire?" Today he points to some startling parallels to US current events including populist demagoguery, economic inequality, the erosion of societal norms, and debate over who deserves to be a citizen. He also offers ideas on how the American Republic can avoid the same fate as the Roman Republic before it's too late. Order Mike Duncan's book The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic on Amazon or download the audio book at Audible.com. Subscribe to Revolutions and The History of Rome wherever you listen to podcasts or v

EP 239: Dilbert Creator Scott Adams on Persuasion in the Age of Trump

Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert cartoons, talks about his new book Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don't Matter. He reveals why facts and ideology no longer matter, why Donald Trump makes what he says are intentional misstatements, and how Trump uses what he calls “linguistic kill shots” to flatten his opponents. He also weighs in why Trump’s "persuasion skills" haven’t been very effective on Congress and whether or not Trump supporters should be insulted at being manipulated by their President. Plus, how to hypnotize anyone, how Scott’s endorsement of Trump impacted his Dilbert readership, and an early prediction for 2020. Order Scott's book Win Bigly: Persuasion in a Wo

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