Bat Bombs, Truth Serums, and the Masterminds of WWII Secret Warfare15 March - 45 mins
Many a man has been impressed by the ingenuity of secret agent operations, and intrigued by the subterfuge, gadgets, and disguises required to pull them off. Much of what we think about when we think about spies got its start as part of the Office of Strategic Services, the American intelligence agency during World War II.
Here to unpack some of the history of the world of cloak and dagger operations is John Lisle, author of The Dirty Tricks Department: Stanley Lovell, the OSS, and the Masterminds of World War II Secret Warfare. Today on the show, Lisle explains why the OSS was created and the innovations its research and development section came up with to fight the Axis powers. We talk ab...
The Heroic Exploits of WWII’s Pacific Paratroopers
When people think of the paratroopers of World War II, they tend to think of the European theater — the 101st Airborne Division and the Band of Brothers. But paratroopers were also deployed in the Pacific, and here to unpack their lesser-known but equally epic and heroic story is James Fenelon, a former paratrooper himself and the author of Angels Against the Sun: A WWII Saga of Grunts, Grit, and Brotherhood. Today on the show, James tells us about the formation, leadership, and training of the 11th Airborne Division, the role they played in the campaigns of the Pacific — which included being dropped one by one out of a tiny plane described as a “lawnmower with wings” —how they built a reputation as one of the war’s most lethal units, and the division’s surprising connection to the creation of the Twilight Zone. At the end of our conversation, James shares what lessons we all can take away from the exploits and spirit of the 11th Airborne.
24 May Finished
Answers to the FAQ of Modern Etiquette
The charge to be well-mannered, to treat others with civility, kindness, and respect, is perennial. But the rules for how to carry those manners into action, the rules of good etiquette, change over time. Given all the cultural and technological changes modern society has experienced, it's not always easy to know the best practices for a contemporary gentleman. Here to offer some guidance on that front is Thomas Farley, aka, Mr. Manners. Today on the show, Thomas offers some answers to the frequently asked questions around modern etiquette, including when to send a handwritten thank you note, whether "no problem" is an appropriate response to "thank you," if it's okay to ghost someone, how to deal with our ever proliferating and out-of-control tipping culture, whether it's okay to exclude kids from your wedding, if you should still open a door for a woman, and more.
22 May Finished
The Art and Science of Getting Unstuck
Do you feel stuck in life — that you aren’t making progress in a relationship, job, or goal and you don’t know how to fix the problem and move forward? Well, perhaps you can take a little solace in the fact that it’s a universal human experience, even amongst history’s highest achievers. Indeed, when Adam Alter, a social psychologist and professor of marketing, looked at the lives of successful actors, musicians, writers, filmmakers, and entrepreneurs, he found that they all had passed through times in their lives and careers when they felt totally stuck. Today on the show, Adam, who’s the author of Anatomy of a Breakthrough: How to Get Unstuck When It Matters Most, explains why getting stuck is an inevitability in life, as well as mindset shifts and practices to escape from stuckness. We first talk about what contributes to getting stuck, including the goal gradient effect, and how the illusion of the creative cliff can keep you from seeing that you may end up doing your best work later in life. We then talk about dealing with the emotional angst of feeling stuck, and how it can be better to initially accept your stuckness than kick against the pricks. From there, we turn to some tactics for getting unstuck, including doing a friction audit and copying the work of others. In my favorite part of the conversation, we discuss the importance of recognizing when to move from exploring to exploiting, and vice versa. We end our conversation with why the mantra for getting unstuck is “action over all.”
17 May Finished
The Essential Guide to Visiting and Camping in the National Parks
America’s national parks are one of the country’s greatest treasures, and many people have it on their bucket list to visit one or more of these gems. But figuring out where to go and how to execute a national park experience can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. Here to offer some really helpful advice on both visiting and camping in the national parks is Jeremy Puglisi, co-author, along with his wife Stephanie, of Where Should We Camp Next?: National Parks: The Best Campgrounds and Unique Outdoor Accommodations In and Around National Parks, Seashores, Monuments, and More. Today on the show, Jeremy walks us through how to navigate the complex reservation system some of the parks have in place and what it takes to secure a campsite inside the parks. He then shares his best tips for getting the most out of a national park experience in general, as well as when you’re visiting some of the country’s most iconic destinations, including Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon. At the end of our conversation, Jeremy shares the national parks he thinks are underrated, and if you want to avoid the crowds of the national parks, he also shares his picks for the country’s best state parks.
15 May Finished
Thoreau on Making a Living
We don't often think of work when we think of Henry David Thoreau. We think of Thoreau living with his family, or loafing around at a cabin at Walden, and mostly spending his days walking and enjoying nature. We know he did some writing, sure, but often think of him as being largely the abstract thinker type. But Thoreau was a man of much practical skill, who lived a life of both thought and action. He did lots of kinds of work — from carpentry to surveying to helping raise Ralph Waldo Emerson's kids — and thought a lot about the nature of work, both the paid variety and the kind that's necessary for simply sustaining day-to-day life. Today on the show, John Kaag, a professor of philosophy and the co-author of Henry at Work: Thoreau on Making a Living, shares some of Thoreau's insights on work with us. We discuss what Thoreau can teach us about the value of resignation, the importance of continuing to work with your hands to maintain what Thoreau called your "vital heat," what makes for meaningful work, and the trap of working in bad faith. We end our conversation with a call to consider what you're really being paid for in your job and the true cost of the things you buy.
10 May Finished
Optimize Your Testosterone
When men think about optimizing their hormones, they tend only to think about raising their testosterone. But while increasing T can be important, an ideal health profile also means having testosterone that's in balance with your other hormones as well. Today on the show, Dr. Kyle Gillett joins me to discuss both of those prongs of all-around hormone optimization. We start with a quick overview of the different hormones that affect male health. We then get into what qualifies as low testosterone and how to accurately test yours. We also discuss what causes low testosterone in individual men, and how its decline in the general male population may be linked to both birth control and the world wars. In the second half of our conversation, we discuss how to both raise testosterone and get rid of excess estrogen, including the use of some effective supplements you may never have heard of. We then get into the risks and benefits of taking TRT, before ending our discussion with what young men can do to prepare for a lifetime of optimal T and hormonal health.
8 May Finished