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Peculiar Book Club Presents: Charming Disaster Concert and Tarot Reading

Peculiar Book Club Presents: Charming Disaster Concert and Tarot Reading

Dec 8, 7:00pm - Dec 8, 9:00pm

Peculiar Book Club Presents Charming Disaster's virtual Musical Tarot Show, with a set list inspired by the cards of the Tarot! Free to all Peculiar Book Club subscribers, and $5 for non-subscribers (proceeds go to the artists).

TICKETS: www.eventbrite.com/e/charming-disaster-concert-and-tarot-reading-tickets-408749890927

Charming Disaster is a goth-folk musical duo based in Brooklyn, NY, formed in 2012 by Ellia Bisker and Jeff Morris. Inspired by the macabre humor of Edward Gorey and Tim Burton, the murder ballads of the Americana tradition, and the dramatic flair of the cabaret, they write songs that tell stories about death, crime, myth, magic, folklore, science, and the occult.

Their new album, the Marie Curie-inspired Our Lady of Radium, is out now on vinyl, CD, and all digital platforms.
Listen: charmingdisaster.bandcamp.com
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We'll leave you moaning with Damon Young and On Getting Off

We'll leave you moaning with Damon Young and On Getting Off

Dec 15, 6:00pm

Join host Dr. Brandy Schillace for a conversation inspired by philosophy, literature, and private life, exploring the paradoxes of the bedroom with Damon Young, author of On Getting Off! In true book-club style, you will meet the author and participate in the discussion–so come with questions! Join us, too, for the PopCult Quizzer with host Davey Berris, where science fact meets science fiction.

Livestream on Thursday, December 15th at 6 PM EDT. Donations requested for tickets to support books and authors that even a mad scientist would be proud of!
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1 interested  ·  2 going
Get Bitten (actually, don't) with Kris Newby on the Secret History of Lyme!

Get Bitten (actually, don't) with Kris Newby on the Secret History of Lyme!

Jan 12, 7:00pm

Online

The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons: A riveting thriller reminiscent of The Hot Zone, this true story dives into the mystery surrounding one of the most controversial and misdiagnosed conditions of our time—Lyme disease—and of Willy Burgdorfer, the man who discovered the microbe behind it, revealing his secret role in developing bug-borne biological weapons, and raising terrifying questions about the genesis of the epidemic of tick-borne diseases affecting millions of Americans today.

ALSO ON THIS SHOW! Music by @TheMaryLous!
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3 interested  ·  3 going
Learn the Secrets of the TOUR GUIDES

Learn the Secrets of the TOUR GUIDES

Jan 19, 7:00pm

Historian, Co-Host of the Tour Guide Tell All Podcast, the BRILLIANT Rebecca Fachner joins us for an EXTRA show! Join us and you don't even have to read a book first--but we WILL be sharing stories, and our own reader lists of fav books. I figure hey, January is a dark month. Let's talk about the time I made someone pass out in the medical museum...

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Bone Up on What the Dog Knows!

Bone Up on What the Dog Knows!

Jan 26, 7:00pm

What the Dog Knows tells the stories of cadaver dogs, drug and bomb detecting K9s, tracking and apprehension dogs—even dogs who can locate unmarked graves of Civil War soldiers and help find drowning victims more than two hundred feet below the surface of a lake. Working dogs sometimes seem magical, as they distinguish scent, cover territory, and accomplish tasks that no machine is yet capable of. With an additional chapter included in the paperback, What the Dog Knows reveals the science, the intense training, and the skilled handling that lie behind those abilities—and shows why we keep finding new uses for the wonderful noses of working dogs.
***NOTE: This show is free to subscribers. If you are not a subscriber and wish to come, please visit our Patreon page.

MUSICAL GUEST: Charming Disaster!

Their music is available on all the major platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, etc.) but Bandcamp is the best (artist-friendliest) way to get it: charmingdisaster.bandcamp.com/

***Tonight's song comes from their Our Lady of Radium album!
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Bring on the DRAMA! It's the Gilded Edge

Bring on the DRAMA! It's the Gilded Edge

Feb 10, 12:00am

Online

“The Gilded Edge is a compelling read from start to finish. Gripping, suspenseful, cinematic. This is narrative nonfiction at its best.”—Lindsey Fitzharris, bestselling author of The Butchering Art

No, it isn't fiction. But you will think it MUST be--sex, death, poetry, women's rights:
Nora May French and Carrie Sterling arrive at Carmel-by-the-Sea at the turn of the twentieth century with dramatically different ambitions. Nora, a stunning, brilliant, impulsive writer in her early twenties, seeks artistic recognition and Bohemian refuge among the most celebrated counterculturalists of the era. Carrie, long-suffering wife of real estate developer George Sterling, wants the opposite: a semblance of the stability she thought her advantageous marriage would offer, threatened now that her philandering husband has taken to writing poetry. I bet you can see where this is going!

We are super excited that music for the show will be provided by our FAVORITE BAND! Charming Disaster! "Paris Green" comes from their newest endeavor: _Super Natural History_
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Peer Behind the Veil with Jill Tracy and Secret Music!

Peer Behind the Veil with Jill Tracy and Secret Music!

Feb 23, 7:00pm

Your Backstage Pass Beyond the Veil! A full sensory experience... "The Secret Music of Lily Dale" is both book and album.

This is a rare peek inside the famed little town that talks to the dead— with both sights and sounds. An unprecedented project, Jill Tracy reveals a sonic exploration of Lily Dale, the private community of mediums and Spiritualists in upstate New York. These are her elegant, mystical, late-night piano recordings channeled alone on an antique grand inside the 1883 auditorium, site of séances and spirit communication for over 100 years.

Bask in the vast, otherworldly ambience, the magical Leolyn Woods, nighttime thunderstorms, Lily Dale's beloved bells, chimes, and nature. During her nights alone at the piano, you’ll witness mysterious sounds that appeared on the recording that defy explanation. Beautiful, contemplative, and mysterious... be transported into a truly magical place few ever get to experience.

***NOTE: This show is available as a livestream for subscribers. AFTER the live show, it will be free to view on YouTube. If you are not subscribed, but would like to join the live-stream and chat with the author, please visit our Patreon page
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Un-Break Your Heart with Florence Williams!

Un-Break Your Heart with Florence Williams!

Mar 9, 7:00pm

Is there a SCIENCE for SADNESS?
When twenty-five-year marriage suddenly falls apart, journalist Florence Williams expects the loss to hurt. But when she starts feeling physically sick, losing weight and sleep, she sets out in pursuit of rational explanation. She travels to the frontiers of the science of “social pain” to learn why heartbreak hurts so much―and why so much of the conventional wisdom about it is wrong.

Soon Williams finds herself on a surprising path that leads her from neurogenomic research laboratories to trying MDMA in a Portland therapist’s living room, from divorce workshops to the mountains and rivers that restore her. She tests her blood for genetic markers of grief, undergoes electrical shocks while looking at pictures of her ex, and discovers that our immune cells listen to loneliness. Searching for insight as well as personal strategies to game her way back to health, she seeks out new relationships and ventures into the wilderness in search of an extraordinary antidote: awe.

With warmth, daring, wit, and candor, Williams offers a gripping account of grief and healing. Heartbreak is a remarkable merging of science and self-discovery that will change the way we think about loneliness, health, and what it means to fall in and out of love.
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Fight for your Rights with Ordinary Equality!

Fight for your Rights with Ordinary Equality!

Mar 23, 7:00pm

THE BATTLE GOES ON! Ordinary Equality digs into the fascinating and little-known history of the women and queer people who have helped shape the U.S. Constitution for more than 200 years. Based on author Kate Kelly’s acclaimed podcast of the same name, Ordinary Equality recounts a story centuries in the making. From before the Constitution was even drafted to the modern day, she examines how and why constitutional equality for women and Americans of all marginalized genders has been systematically undermined for the past 100-plus years, and then calls us all to join the current movement to put it back on the table and get it across the finish line.

MUSIC: a chatty little number by Cord Ravenswood, our Peculiar in the Field, talking about Hawks and Doves!

***NOTE: This show is available as a livestream for subscribers. AFTER the live show, it will be free to view on YouTube. If you are not subscribed, but would like to join the live-stream and chat with the author, please visit our Patreon page
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Let's Get (Astro)Physical with Katie Mack!

Let's Get (Astro)Physical with Katie Mack!

Apr 27, 8:00pm

The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking)

The Universe had a beginning, and it will have an end. Modern cosmology — the study of the nature and evolution of the cosmos itself — has allowed physicists to explain the history of the Universe from the first tiny fraction of a second until today. But what’s next? We now have the tools to extend our knowledge into the distant future and speculate about the ultimate fate of all reality.

ALSO: I mean, it's KATIE MACK! Squeeeee

Music for the Event is provided by our favs: Charming Disaster! Appropriately, the song will be "Days are Numbered"
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An Immense World with Ed Yong

An Immense World with Ed Yong

May 11, 8:00pm

Ed Yong SHOULD need NO introduction--but just in case: he is a Pulitzer Prize–winning science writer on the staff of The Atlantic, where he also won the George Polk Award for science reporting, among other honors. His first book, I Contain Multitudes, was a New York Times bestseller. We are SO grateful to have him with us!

In An Immense World, Ed Yong coaxes us beyond the confines of our own senses, allowing us to perceive the skeins of scent, waves of electromagnetism, and pulses of pressure that surround us. We encounter beetles that are drawn to fires, turtles that can track the Earth’s magnetic fields, fish that fill rivers with electrical messages, and even humans who wield sonar like bats. We discover that a crocodile’s scaly face is as sensitive as a lover’s fingertips, that the eyes of a giant squid evolved to see sparkling whales, that plants thrum with the inaudible songs of courting bugs, and that even simple scallops have complex vision. We learn what bees see in flowers, what songbirds hear in their tunes, and what dogs smell on the street. We listen to stories of pivotal discoveries in the field, while looking ahead at the many mysteries that remain unsolved.

MUSIC! By Charming Disaster, bringing us "Forces of Nature!"

***NOTE: This show is available as a livestream for subscribers. AFTER the live show, it will be free to view on YouTube. If you are not subscribed, but would like to join the live-stream and chat with the author, please visit our Patreon page
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Join us for THE EVENING HERO--a PBC fiction book choice!

Join us for THE EVENING HERO--a PBC fiction book choice!

May 18, 8:00pm

We don't do much fiction, but sometimes there is a story that begs to be read. This one is a medical humanities style tale; Marie Myung-OK Lee writes a sweeping, lyrical novel following a Korean immigrant pursuing the American dream who must confront the secrets of the past or risk watching the world he’s worked so hard to build come crumbling down.

Dr. Yungman Kwak is in the twilight of his life. Every day for the last fifty years, he has brushed his teeth, slipped on his shoes, and headed to Horse Breath’s General Hospital, where, as an obstetrician, he treats the women and babies of the small rural Minnesota town he chose to call home. He immigrated from Korea after the Korean War, forced to leave his family, ancestors, village, and all that he knew behind. But his life is built on a lie. And one day, a letter arrives that threatens to expose it.

He begins to question the very assumptions on which his life is built—the so-called American dream, with the abject failure of its healthcare system, patient and neighbors who perpetuate racism, a town flawed with infrastructure, and a history that doesn’t see him in it.

Toggling between the past and the present, Korea and America, Evening Hero is a sweeping, moving, darkly comic novel about a man looking back at his life and asking big questions about what is lost and what is gained when immigrants leave home for new shores.

MUSIC: The lovely and talented SUSAN HWANG returns! susanhwanglalala.com/
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Get Puzzled with A J Jacobs!

Get Puzzled with A J Jacobs!

Jun 8, 7:00pm

No, it's not a new Batman Villain! But you will love The Puzzler anyway!

The New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically goes on a rollicking journey to understand the enduring power of puzzles: why we love them, what they do to our brains, and how they can improve our world.

What makes puzzles—jigsaws, mazes, riddles, sudokus—so satisfying? Be it the formation of new cerebral pathways, their close link to insight and humor, or their community-building properties, they’re among the fundamental elements that make us human. Convinced that puzzles have made him a better person, A. J. Jacobs—four-time New York Times bestselling author, master of immersion journalism, and nightly crossworder—set out to determine their myriad benefits. And maybe, in the process, solve the puzzle of our very existence. Well, almost.

MUSIC: This show will feature guests THE MARY LOUS! Spooky, Ukey, Sometimes Kooky RiotGhoooul from Nowhere, New Jersey. themarylous.bandcamp.com/


***NOTE: This show is available as a livestream for subscribers. AFTER the live show, it will be free to view on YouTube. If you are not subscribed, but would like to join the live-stream and chat with the author, please visit our Patreon page
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Trek Your Way to Saving Yellowstone!

Trek Your Way to Saving Yellowstone!

Jun 22, 7:00pm

Each year nearly four million people visit #Yellowstone National Park—one of the most popular of all national parks—but few know the fascinating and complex historical context in which it was established. In late July 1871, the geologist-explorer Ferdinand Hayden led a team of scientists through a narrow canyon into Yellowstone Basin, entering one of the last unmapped places in the country. The survey’s discoveries led to the passage of the Yellowstone Act in 1872, which created the first national park in the world.

Now, bestselling author Megan Kate Nelson examines the larger context of this #American moment, illuminating Hayden’s survey as a #national project meant to give Americans a sense of achievement and unity in the wake of a destructive civil war. Saving Yellowstone follows Hayden and two other protagonists in pursuit of their own agendas: Sitting Bull, a #Lakota leader who asserted his peoples’ claim to their homelands, and financier Jay Cooke, who wanted to secure his national reputation by building the Northern Pacific Railroad through the Great Northwest. Hayden, Cooke, and Sitting Bull staked their claims to Yellowstone at a critical moment in Reconstruction, when the Ulysses S. Grant Administration and the 42nd Congress were testing the reach and the purpose of federal power across the nation.

MUSIC: The zany CORD RAVENSWOOD (Our Peculiar in the Field) joins us for a nice little song about YELLOWSTONE
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Hauling like a Brooligan with Stephen Gallagher!

Hauling like a Brooligan with Stephen Gallagher!

Jul 14, 12:00am

Maybe you're a fan of DOCTOR WHO. Or perhaps you were a fan of ELEVENTH HOUR with Patrick Stewart (Or Silent Witness. Or Rosemary and Thyme. Or Murder Rooms.) Perhaps thrillers are more your thing, books like KINGDOM OF BONES or BEDLAM DETECTIVE--or scifil, supernatural, graphic novels. Then YOU, my friend, are a fan of STEPHEN GALLAGHER!

A novelist, screenwriter, and director with a list of books that runs right off the shelf, Stephen is also patient, kind, giving, and supportive of new writers everywhere. He is ALSO going to be on our show to talk about... well. All the things? DO NOT MISS!

"This is the end! Making a public spectacle of yourselves. I couldn't have believed you could have behaved like this, either of you. Just hauling like brooligans." Genevieve, film, 1953

MUSIC provided by the marvelous CHARMING DISASTER! Don't miss "Hellebore" (from their newest endeavor, Super Natural History!)
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Catch The Memory Thief with Lauren Aguirre!

Catch The Memory Thief with Lauren Aguirre!

Jul 27, 7:00pm

Could you lose your entire memory overnight? If so--what does it mean for the rest of us? The day neurologist Jed Barash sees the baffling brain scan of a young patient with devastating amnesia marks the beginning of a quest to answer those questions. First detected in a cluster of stigmatized opioid overdose victims in Massachusetts with severe damage to the hippocampus - the brain’s memory center - this rare syndrome reveals how the tragic plight of the unfortunate few can open the door to advances in medical science.

After overcoming initial skepticism that investigating the syndrome is worth the effort - and that fentanyl is the likely culprit - Barash and a growing team of dedicated doctors explore the threat that people who take opioids chronically as prescribed to treat severe pain may gradually put their memories at risk. At the same time, they begin to grasp the potential for this syndrome to shed light on the most elusive memory thief of all - Alzheimer’s disease.

Through the prism of this fascinating story, Aguirre goes on to examine how researchers tease out the fundamental nature of memory and the many mysteries still to be solved. Where do memories live? Why do we forget most of what happens in a day but remember some events with stunning clarity years later? How real are our memories? And what purpose do they actually serve?

MUSIC: That's right, all this memory talk means CHARMING DISASTER's "Disembodied Head" is coming your way!
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Be Peculiar with Riva Lehrer, the Artist behind GOLEM GIRL!

Be Peculiar with Riva Lehrer, the Artist behind GOLEM GIRL!

Aug 25, 12:00am

What do we sacrifice in the pursuit of #normalcy? And what becomes possible when we embrace monstrosity? Can we envision a world that sees impossible creatures?

Lehrer was born with spina bifida, essentially a hole in the spine. In spina bifida patients, the spine does not fuse properly, leaving a fissure or lesion, creating an easy entry point for infections that risk going directly to the patient’s brain. Riva's parents and doctors were determined to “fix” her, sending the message over and over again that she is "broken." That she will never have a job, a romantic relationship, or an independent life. Enduring countless medical interventions, Riva tries her best to be a good girl and a good patient in the quest to be cured.

Everything changes when, as an adult, Riva is invited to join a group of #artists, writers, and performers who are building Disability Culture. Their work is daring, edgy, funny, and dark—it rejects tropes that define disabled people as pathetic, frightening, or worthless. They insist that disability is an opportunity for creativity and #resistance. Emboldened, Riva asks if she can paint their portraits—inventing an intimate and collaborative process that will transform the way she sees herself, others, and the world. Each portrait story begins to transform the myths she’s been told her whole life about her body, her sexuality, and other measures of normal.

This is the vividly told, gloriously illustrated memoir of an artist born with #disabilities who searches for freedom and connection in a society afraid of strange bodies

MUSIC: Charming Disaster presents us with a single--
"Ouroboros" - alchemy, transformation, metamorphosis! Don't miss out!
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Go Back to the FUTURE (of life on Earth) with Rob Dunn!

Go Back to the FUTURE (of life on Earth) with Rob Dunn!

Sep 14, 4:00pm

What if the world went on without us? Guess what. It will.

A leading# ecologist argues that if humankind is to survive on a fragile planet, we must understand and obey its iron laws

Our species has amassed unprecedented knowledge of #nature, which we have tried to use to seize control of life and bend the planet to our will. In A Natural History of the Future, biologist Rob Dunn argues that such efforts are futile. We may see ourselves as life’s overlords, but we are instead at its mercy. In the evolution of antibiotic resistance, the power of natural selection to create biodiversity, and even the surprising life of the London Underground, Dunn finds laws of life that no human activity can annul. When we create artificial islands of crops, dump toxic waste, or build communities, we provide new materials for old laws to shape. Life’s future flourishing is not in question. *Ours is.*

MUSIC: Join us for the music of EKKO ASTRAL, the D.C.-based pioneers of “mascara moshpit” music – a pummeling puree of garage princess post-punk.
ekkoastral.bandcamp.com/

***NOTE: This show is available as a livestream for subscribers. AFTER the live show, it will be free to view on YouTube. If you are not subscribed, but would like to join the live-stream and chat with the author, please visit our Patreon page.
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Find your THRILL with Alex Grecian and Reb Rabbit!

Find your THRILL with Alex Grecian and Reb Rabbit!

Sep 29, 12:00am

COMING SOON! That's right, it's so new we can't even tell you about it--but this book is spine-tingling good! (More to come with cover reveal). Join us for the LAUNCH of RED RABBIT!

Alex Grecian is the New York Times bestselling author of The Yard and its sequels The Black Country, The Devil’s Workshop, The Harvest Man, and Lost and Gone Forever, as well as the contemporary thriller The Saint of Wolves and Butchers, and the ebook The Blue Girl. He has also written multiple award-winning graphic novels, including Proof, and Rasputin.

MUSICAL GUEST: The Mary Lous! Ukey, Sometimes Kooky RiotGhoooul from Nowhere, New Jersey.
themarylous.bandcamp.com/merch
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Get SPOOKY with Mary Roach!

Get SPOOKY with Mary Roach!

Oct 12, 7:00pm

"What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that's that―the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my lap-top?" In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die.

MUSICAL GUEST: the marvelous Susan Hwang!

***NOTE: This show is available as a livestream for subscribers. AFTER the live show, it will be free to view on YouTube. If you are not subscribed, but would like to join the live-stream and chat with the author, please visit our Patreon page
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Get SHOCKED and AMAZED for HALLOWEEN!

Get SHOCKED and AMAZED for HALLOWEEN!

Oct 27, 12:00am

It's our annual HALLOWEEN show! Costume contest (see our FB for how to sign up and vote), give-aways, candy, prizes, game--and how about some circus performance? SURE! A kooky evening of music and mayhem, with guests Charming Disaster and Sarah Mack (squid facts!) Don't miss it!

James Taylor is the planet’s foremost authority on sideshow. You saw James Taylorand SHOCKED AND AMAZED! on The Learning Channel’s “Sideshow: Alive on the Inside,” “The Jerry Springer Show,” “Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel,” and Fox Television’s “Fox Files.” Sword swallowers, fire eaters, regurgitators, human pin cushions, torture kings, contortionists and motordrome riders look to James Taylor’s SHOCKED AND AMAZED!

With him on this FABULOUS evening is sword-swallowing wonder The Lady Aye (who has been on our show before with her book THE RED MENACE!)

MUSIC:
IT WOULD NOT BE HALLOWEEN WITHOUT CHARMING DISASTER, WOULD IT? No. It would not. So a new and exciting song by our favorite duo "Time Machine!"
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AROUSE yourself with Randi Hutter Epstein and the history of HORMONES

AROUSE yourself with Randi Hutter Epstein and the history of HORMONES

Nov 9, 7:00pm

How about a guided tour through the strange science of hormones and the age-old quest to control them?

Metabolism, behavior, sleep, mood swings, the immune system, fighting, fleeing, puberty, and sex: these are just a few of the things our bodies control with hormones. Armed with a healthy dose of wit and curiosity, medical journalist Randi Hutter Epstein takes us on a journey through the unusual history of these potent chemicals from a basement filled with jarred nineteenth-century brains to a twenty-first-century hormone clinic in Los Angeles.

Brimming with fascinating anecdotes, illuminating new medical research, and humorous details, Aroused introduces the leading scientists who made life-changing discoveries about the #hormone imbalances that ail us, as well as the charlatans who used those discoveries to peddle false remedies. Epstein exposes the humanity at the heart of hormone science with her rich cast of characters, including a 1920s doctor promoting vasectomies as a way to boost libido, a female medical student who discovered a pregnancy hormone in the 1940s, and a mother who collected pituitaries, a brain gland, from cadavers as a source of growth hormone to treat her son. Along the way, Epstein explores the functions of hormones such as leptin, oxytocin, #estrogen, and #testosterone, demystifying the science of endocrinology.

A fascinating look at the history and science of some of medicine’s most important discoveries, Aroused reveals the shocking history of hormones through the back rooms, basements, and labs where endocrinology began.

Musical Guest: Mya Adriene Byrne is an American singer-songwriter falling mostly in the Americana vein, a combination of folk, blues and country music. Out and proud, she is a leader for the presence of queer #trans women in country and Americana, and is one of the first two trans artists to play AmericanaFest. Recently featured on Reba’s Top Ten remix of “I’m A Survivor” (on mandolin & lap steel), Byrne was named a 2022 Artist to Watch by Nashville Scene/CMT, and wrote and performed the theme song for Amazon Music’s Country Heat podcast hosted by Kelly Sutton. Her new single, “Autumn Sun”, is out now.
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