Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

By Marketplace

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Make Me Smart is a weekly conversation about the themes of today, centered around the economy, technology and culture. Hosts Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood use their expertise to connect the dots on topics they know best, and hear from other experts – CEOs, celebrities, authors, professors and listeners – about the ones they want to know better. As the world moves faster than ever, this podcast is where we unpack complex topics, together. Because none of us is as smart as all of us.

Episode Date
68: Ajit Pai's internet is "free and open," but no longer neutral
Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai was on something of a victory lap Monday when he talked with Kai on Marketplace about the repeal of net neutrality. The rule change became official this week. Molly has interviewed Pai two times during the long process of rolling back Obama-era regulations that made internet service providers treat all traffic the same. Molly and Kai dive into a few of Pai's talking points and his vision for America's future online. Plus, we hear your thoughts spurred by last week's episode on blockchain. But first, and not to be dramatic, but we need to talk about the dystopian image of Domino's filling potholes.More links from this episode: Seattle's tax changes and Kai's full interview with Pai.Subscribe to "Make Me Smart"
Jun 12, 2018
67: Blockchain all the things. Or don't.
Could you explain blockchain in a few sentences? After this episode, we hope you'll be able to get close. Pamela Morgan, an attorney and educator, breaks down blockchain for us with the metaphorical help of ... kitties, yarn and pina coladas. There are thousands of blockchains, and you can use the technology for much more than cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or ethereum. (A blockchain mortgage, maybe?) We meet a couple who got married on blockchain. And we start with a "fix" about Apple's new software announcements. Dark mode: engaged.A few links from this week's show: Some backstory for that Burning Man blockchain wedding, the marriage contract itself and more from Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. Plus, if you're still having trouble explaining blockchain in a few sentences, we called on some friends for help
Jun 05, 2018
66: "Roseanne" and ethics in business
When we called up business ethicist Greg Fairchild from the University of Virginia this morning, we expected to have a wide-ranging conversation to get at Kai's question of a few weeks back: Are there market-based solutions to ensure better ethics? We didn't expect we'd have such a timely case study in Disney-owned ABC and "Roseanne." The network canceled its show hours after a racist tweet from star Roseanne Barr. We got the Darden School of Business professor's reaction as the news played out in the way it always seems to these days: fast, furious and on Twitter. Subscribe to "Make Me Smart"
May 29, 2018
65: It's a GDPaRty!
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably seen a email or two (or a million) saying something along the lines of "we're updating our privacy policy." Why now? Well, tomorrow is the deadline for companies to comply with Europe's General Data Protection Regulation, also known as GDPR. Today's show is all about GDPR. It's a GDPaRty! We've got two stressed-out lawyers rushing toward the deadline to get their clients in compliance, but they're taking a break to talk to us. Plus, your questions answered. And what better to do with GDPR than make cocktails about it?The Double Opt In:2 ounces cask-strength bourbon2 dashes bitters2 teaspoons absinthe (our in-house GDPbaRtender used ouzo)2 ice cubesLemon peelLime peelMust order twice to get one drink. The drinker gave consent before the bartender served! Meanwhile, in Oakland, Molly went for a version called GDPR (Right to Be Forgotten):5 ounces bourbonIce (optional)Serve in an opaque glass or soda can to protect drinker's privacyThanks to @ZeusTroan for the "recipes" that made our day! Subscribe to Make Me Smart
May 24, 2018
64: The case of the Butter Bot
It started with an email about butter. We got it in our listener submission inbox, and it was mostly nonsense with a sketchy link. You probably get spammy emails like this every day. Do you ever wonder who sent them, or what they're trying to accomplish? Well, reader, we clicked the link. Then we called Jonathon Morgan, CEO of the cybersecurity firm New Knowledge, to help us make sense of what we found. It gets weird, kind of scary and yes, buttery. Special thanks to listener Steffen Spear who started us on this trail. Check out for links to Kai and Molly's news fixes. Subscribe to "Make Me Smart"
May 22, 2018
63: Take your data and go home
What would a Hippocratic oath look like for the people we trust with our data? That's one of the questions NYU professor Laura Norén asks in her course "Ethics for Data Science." Consumers should be pushing for more empowered, informed consent, she says, because right now they have two choices: blindly agree to give up your data to [insert social media or digital platform here] or quit altogether. We'll start there, and somehow end up at trans-humanism — it's sci-fi stuff, but it's where the privacy conversation wants to go, if you let it. But first, speaking of Facebook: Let's talk about that apology ad the company is running everywhere. Check out for more, including that ad and the latest from the privacy fiasco.Subscribe to "Make Me Smart"
May 15, 2018
62: We could never get free
Molly Wood dives even deeper into radical economics this week with Glen Weyl of Microsoft Research, who's also a visiting scholar at Yale and co-author of the new book "Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society." He says inequality is at the root of most problems facing our world, and those problems are worse because our "free" markets are not free enough. So-called "free market champions" used capitalism as a veil to further entrench privilege and power, Weyl says, and a real free market could make things more equitable. "If we can get these ideas out there in a way that people understand, we can change the world." It gets deep, y'all. Plus, we hear from so many of you who wrote in about the potential merger between Sprint and T-Mobile, and what it means for business and life.Subscribe to "Make Me Smart"
May 08, 2018
61: Is capitalism obsolete?
Make Me Smart often asks if capitalism is working for enough people. But writer and capital-t Thinker Umair Haque is taking it a step further, asking if capitalism might be altogether obsolete. He notes it's ill equipped to address huge, pressing issues like climate change and financial inequality. And if the economy is technically growing — if we're wealthier on paper — but people's lives aren't actually better, then where are we? We'll go deep on this stuff with him. But first, some news we're fixated on this week, like how a Sprint and T-Mobile merger might affect all of us, and a brief history of the Gs, leading up to 5G. Subscribe to "Make Me Smart"
May 01, 2018
60: "The great lie at the heart of the criminal justice system"
When Robin Steinberg and David Feige were public defenders in New York, they saw thousands of clients — often poor people of color — stuck in jail because they couldn't make bail for minor offenses. They started the Bronx Freedom Fund to pay that bail and help people stay in their jobs and with their families while awaiting their day in court. Now they're going national with The Bail Project. We talked with the husband-and-wife team about the economics of criminal justice reform. First though, this week's news fixations: the bond market and (yes, more!) privacy on Facebook. Subscribe to "Make Me Smart"
Apr 24, 2018
59: Adam ruins our show
What does the sketch comedy TV show "Adam Ruins Everything" have in common with our podcast? Well, we kinda share the same mission. In his TruTV show, live tours and podcast, comedian Adam Conover takes on topics we think we know about — like dieting, going green, taxes and, uh, circumcision — then punctures our assumptions with facts and comedy. We learn about his process, whether he actually changes minds and truth-squadding in the age of alternative facts. But first we chat about our own news fixations, like who bought divisive digital ads, Beyoncé and currency manipulation.
Apr 17, 2018
58: So ... you wanna talk about Facebook?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's loooong testimony on Capitol Hill is over, and we have so many thoughts we added an episode to hash them out. So we're back, asking big questions: What problem do lawmakers think they need to solve? Is that even the most pressing problem? And do they know enough about Facebook to tell the difference? Plus, now that he's back in Menlo Park, does Zuckerberg get what a big deal this is? And should he have walked up to address lawmakers to "Enter Sandman" or "Here Comes the Hotstepper"?This isn't just Kai and Molly's stream of consciousness, by the way. We called up Terrell McSweeny at the Federal Trade Commission to give the view from her front-row seat as a data and privacy regulator.
Apr 12, 2018
57: Can big data really bring the world closer together?
As we taped this week's episode, Mark Zuckerberg was about to begin his testimony in front of Congress. Lawmakers are expecting an explanation for how Facebook's self-professed mission to "bring the world closer together" gave way to its current privacy fiasco. But is data collection and use always the bad guy? Nancy Lublin, founder and CEO of Crisis Text Line, says no. Her nonprofit offers emergency, anonymous counseling to millions via text messaging. And now she's launching a for-profit arm called Loris AI that uses data from more than 63 million messages to "make the world a more empathetic place." We'll talk with her about it, but first we'll hear from a Make Me Smart listener who has a front-row seat to the current international trade drama via her job in imports and exports in Erie, Pennsylvania. Plus, Sen. Elizabeth Warren answers our Make Me Smart question.
Apr 10, 2018
56: "The best cure for hatred and ignorance"
Instead of making ourselves smart about news stories this week, we're taking a broader look at The News. It's truly not just navel gazing to say our highly polarized marketplace of ideas and current political strife may have something to do with the media we consume. We'll talk about the economics of reporting, online echo chambers and whether there's a model for news that brings us together rather than driving us further apart. Hear Molly's conversation with HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen, who's thinking a lot about that question as she remakes the pioneering news site.
Apr 03, 2018
55: The surveillance economy
Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to testify before Congress about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but does he get it? Like, really get it? And, crucially, do we? Harvard's Yochai Benkler is on the show today to make us smart about what the data economy hath wrought, and what it means for us as citizens. Plus, one of our listener-experts tells us how advertisers collect data from millions of Facebook users via quizzes — because he's helped them do it.
Mar 27, 2018
54: Protecting speech, protecting students
Kai and Molly are getting smart about last week's nationwide walkout organized by high school students pushing for stricter gun control. First Amendment expert and lawyer Ken White (also a Twitter personality) lays out the law and history of free speech in schools. We hear from high school students, look back at the landmark case Tinker v. Des Moines and examine how social media platforms have changed the equation. But first, we have to talk about that other social media story: Facebook user data obtained by Cambridge Analytica to target political ads. Plus, a follow-up on Kai's interview with Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner, three of the men tasked with steering the economy in 2008.
Mar 20, 2018
53: The hidden workplaces all around us
Where were you when the economy collapsed? We're coming up on the 10-year anniversary of the fall of Bear Stearns, a time when Kai and Molly both happened to be hosting daily news shows. We'll take a listen back, and talk about what was or wasn't known at the time. Then we sit down with National Domestic Workers Alliance director Ai-jen Poo. She came into the Hollywood spotlight when she walked the Golden Globes red carpet with Meryl Streep, but Poo has spent years representing the people who work in homes, away from traditional HR and worker protections. Now she's focused on ensuring that #MeToo is working for everyone. Plus, Kai and Molly pick up conversation threads that you've written in to discuss.
Mar 13, 2018
We're back! New episodes start next week
We've missed you guys. You've sent us a lot of great insights over the break, and Kai and Molly return with all-new full episodes next week, wading back into the big topics we want to get smart about. Tell a friend to subscribe. We'll see you March 13.
Mar 06, 2018
52: Rahm Remixed
Rahm Emanuel likes to talk. The two-term mayor of Chicago and former White House chief of staff to President Barack Obama spoke with us at length about everything from populism to immigration. He told us that Chicago is a "welcoming" city, not a sanctuary city. He's got a special chair. And he's got some sharp words for "Mr. Moody's Doom and Gloom," otherwise known as Kai Ryssdal. Plus, Emanuel takes the longest pause ever to answer our Make Me Smart Question. On March 6th, we'll release our teaser episode for Season 2 of Make Me Smart, and on March 13th we'll be back with our first full episode. #MMS2 is almost here!   
Feb 20, 2018
51: Remember when a Columbia River boat pilot made us smart about shoes?
The Columbia River Bar is one of the most dangerous places in the world for ships of all sizes. That's where the Columbia River Bar Pilots come in. These specially trained experts pilot cargo and passenger ships of all sizes across the bar into the river that separates Oregon from Washington. Capt. Deborah Dempsey was the first woman to become a pilot with the organization, and she tells us why tying your shoes can keep you from falling "in the drink," and what happened the one time she didn't.If you want to learn more about some of the nautical terms Dempsey uses during her talk with us, check out our listen-along glossary at sending us your suggestions for the upcoming season of Make Me Smart! 
Feb 06, 2018
50: The internet of thoughts
This week, we're looking back at our previous episodes that focused on the internet. First up, our conversation with Zeynep Tufekci, author of "Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest," then we revisit our conversation with New York Magazine's Max Read about Facebook. Plus: We're reading your thoughts on what we should do in season 2, and Molly explains why she didn't go to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year. Don't forget to vote for what we should call "moral capitalism" — there's a link to the poll at  
Jan 23, 2018
49: Gerrymandering, hard-wired brains and the baby under the desk
Could big data make elections more fair? One of our listeners is looking for answers about gerrymandering, and we got some help this week from Justin Levitt, professor of law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. He has something to say about elected officials listening to their constituents. Then, we're looking back at previous episodes of Make Me Smart that focused on why it's so hard for people to really listen to each other. We go all the way back to episode one, where we posed this question to people at the presidential inauguration and at the Women's March: "What do you want the other side to know about you?"And of course, we're listening again to our full interview with George Lakoff, who for many years was a professor of cognitive science and linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. He has plenty to say about the way our brains are hard wired to reject information that conflicts with our world view. Plus: Where do you put the baby when your boss won't give you paternity leave?Don't forget to vote for what we should call "moral capitalism"! There's a link to the poll at
Jan 09, 2018
48: Explainathon the third
To kick off the new year, we're answering another bunch of questions from you, the listeners. Kai and Molly give their takes on what companies value most, where we're headed with bitcoin technology, and when we started being so scared of robots taking our jobs. We also had a question we couldn't answer, so we called up the Southern Poverty Law Center. To top it all off, we have an answer to the Make Me Smart question from one of you. This is the final episode of season one, but stay tuned for season two, coming in mid-March. 
Jan 02, 2018
Special report: How one sentence helped set off the opioid crisis
When OxyContin went to market in 1996, sales reps from Purdue Pharma hit one point particularly hard: Compared to other prescription opioids, this new painkiller was believed to be less likely to be addictive or abused.But recently unsealed documents in this investigative episode shed light on how the maker of OxyContin seems to have relied more on focus groups than on scientific studies to create an aggressive and misleading marketing campaign that helped fuel the national opioid crisis.Welcome back to The Uncertain Hour. Where the things we fight the most about are the things we know the least about. Subscribe on your favorite podcast app.Subscribe to The Uncertain Hour podcast
Dec 28, 2017
47: Make Me Smart predictions
It's the final Make Me Smart of 2017 and we got a few of our previous guests to give us predictions about what they think might happen in 2018.Who made predictions:Andy Weir, author of "The Martian" and "Artemis."Annabelle Gurwitch, actress and the author of "Wherever You Go, There They Are: Stories About My Family You Might Relate To.Zeynep Tufekci, associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of "Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest."Terrell McSweeny, a commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission.Heather Arndt Anderson, food historian and author of "Berries: A Global History" and "Portland: A Food Biography."Sue Desmond-Hellmann, the CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.April Reign, creator of the hashtags #OscarsSoWhite and #NoConfederate.Plus we (finally) answer The Make Me Smart question.
Dec 26, 2017
46: With Gates' power comes Gates' responsibility
In 2006, Microsoft founder Bill Gates told USA Today that "with great wealth comes great responsibility, a responsibility to give back to society and a responsibility to see that those resources are put to work in the best possible way to help those most in need."The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest privately owned foundation in the world, and CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann is charge of the $40 billion endowment. She says the foundation's job is to listen but also to innovate, especially in areas where there isn't an obvious commercial benefit. On our site this week, you'll find links to the Gates Foundation 2017 Year in Review, and you can vote on what we should call "moral capitalism." 
Dec 19, 2017
45:"A Wrinkle in Time" and the battle against rhythmic cyclical hopelessness
Madeleine L'Engle, the author of the classic novel "A Wrinkle in Time," believed "there comes a point where you can go as far as thinking will take you, and then you will move into the world that might become fantasy, which is that world beyond where your mind will take you, and then you stop, you stop short, and you listen."L'Engle, who wrote more than 60 books, would have turned 100 years old in 2018. For this month's book club episode, we had a delightful conversation with her granddaughter, author Charlotte Jones Voiklis. Voiklis and her sister Léna Roy just completed a biography of their grandmother called "Becoming Madeleine"  which comes out this February, followed by the movie version in March. Also mentioned on the show: The New York Times obituary for Madeleine L'Engle
Dec 14, 2017
44: Where are all the "lost Einsteins?"
Who are the "lost Einsteins?"  That's the question Raj Chetty is trying to answer. He's a professor of economics who works on the Equality of Opportunity Project at Stanford University. The project uses big data sets, like anonymous tax and U.S. Patent records, to figure out who is and who is not innovating in the United States today.   You can hear more of Kai's conversation with Raj Chetty on
Dec 05, 2017
43: Andy Weir loves to geek out about space economics
Andy Weir really likes to do research. He's a software engineer who wrote "The Martian," which was adapted into a movie a couple years ago starring Matt Damon. Now he has a new book out, "Artemis," about a colony on the moon. We had him on to talk about the economics behind his fictional world and what it might have to do with moral capitalism.On, you can find Molly's interview with Andy Weir on Marketplace Tech and you can read an excerpt from "Artemis" on our blog. Also on our site, you'll find links to all those calculations Weir made finding the cost to get to the moon, plus the music video for the song NASA commissioned to honor Neil Armstrong. Finally, this episode is coming out on Giving Tuesday. If you'd like to become a Marketplace Investor (and get a great pair of socks) check out our donation page.
Nov 28, 2017
42: Breaking bread without conflict
Retired cognitive science and linguistics professor George Lakoff appeared in a previous episode, explaining how your brain reacts to political rhetoric. He's back this week with tips on how to break through to family members this holiday, even if you don't share the same worldview. Also, we talk a lot about avocado toast on this show. Like, a lot. So we wanted to know: What was the avocado toast — the trendy, divisive foodstuff — of the Victorian era? Culinary historian Heather Arndt Anderson shares the story of an unlikely food trend.
Nov 21, 2017
41: Do you hear the people sing?
As we continue to ask the question of whether free-market capitalism is working for enough people, we found ourselves with another question — what happens when it doesn't? Political and economic disruption follows. New leaders emerge. Movements emerge again, like populism.  Sheri Berman, a professor of political science at Barnard College, says, "populism arises at times when existing democratic institutions, governments, political parties, political elites, are seen as not responding to the challenges that societies face." We talk with her about what's different in this particular period.Listen to that interview and get a preview of our protest music playlist, which you can find on Spotify or our site, that we put together with the help of professor Daphne Brooks, who teaches a course about protest music at Yale University.
Nov 14, 2017
40: Explainathon 2! The search for more answers
It's time for another Make Me Smart Explainathon, where we answer as many of your questions as we can about the things you want to know more about. We also have an answer to our Make Me Smart question from a listener, and we picked the final book for our 2017 Make Me Smart Book Club. It's "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle, which is being adapted for the big screen next year by Academy Award-nominated director Ava DuVernay.
Nov 07, 2017
39: Distressed human assets
One way to improve capitalism? Focus on dignity.  That's what Arthur C. Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute, believes.  He says that the only way to more economic growth is bringing a sense of dignity back to the political conversation, so that the 6.8 million people without jobs in this country, who he calls "distressed human assets," can be matched to the more than six million jobs openings.Also, we're talking about the things that frighten us in our first-ever "chicken-off."  And, make sure to get those book club votes in before Thursday, Nov. 2. 
Oct 31, 2017
38: Confronting Capitalism
Ethical capitalism. Moral capitalism. Enlightened capitalism. What are we talking about when we talk about how to change capitalism?  Molly talked with Philip Kotler, the S.C. Johnson & Son Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He has written more than 50 books about marketing, as well as the book we mentioned on the show, "Confronting Capitalism." Speaking of books, you can vote for the book you want to read for our final Make Me Smart book club of 2017 on our website.  And make sure to send us a voice memo with the scary things you'll absolutely never watch or do for our Halloween "Chicken-Off" next week.  Some other things we mentioned on the show:Kai interviewed Robert Reich, former secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton about his book "Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few" YouTube is full of clips of Milton Friedman on "Donahue," including the rest of the clip we played today
Oct 25, 2017
37.5: Hold on for one more day...
No podcast today, but there will be one Wednesday. Until then, we've got a little preview of our continuing discussion of moral capitalism to whet your appetite ... or make you run for the hills. You decide. Talk with you soon.
Oct 24, 2017
37: Is it time to take capitalism into the shop for a look under the hood?
Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, says financial markets are almost like rogue artificial intelligence, but it doesn't have to be that way. Then: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai finally says no, you actually can't take away a broadcast license (Mr. President). Finally, "The Lego Ninjago Movie" producer Daniel Lin answers our Make Me Smart question. 
Oct 18, 2017
36: "The Man in the High Castle" has a lot on his mind
"Blade Runner." "Total Recall." "Minority Report." These are big-budget movies from big-name directors, but they all sprung from the mind of author Philip K. Dick. He also wrote "The Man in the High Castle," our second Make Me Smart book club selection. Author, journalist and podcaster Erik Davis is our guide on this mind-bending journey — along with all of you, of course. Plus, we get some insight into alternate realities and computer simulations from philosopher Nick Bostrom.You can read more about characters and themes of "The Man in the High Castle" here, and here's more on Bostrom's simulation argument (good luck with that). This episode features music by Marian Call — check out her Bandcamp page.    
Oct 10, 2017
35: Facebook is the field democracy plays out on (and that's not good)
Is Facebook too big for anyone to understand how big it really is? Even Mark Zuckerberg? New York Magazine senior editor Max Read is on the show today, explaining how Zuckerberg might have to be like Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (seriously). You can check out Read's story on Zuckerberg, Facebook and democracy here.Plus: Don't miss our blog about the sequester and Trump, and be sure to send us your thoughts on "The Man in the High Castle" for our upcoming book club episode. 
Oct 05, 2017
34.5: No new show today
There's no new Make Me Smart podcast today.  But we did answer that one remaining question about the sequester, from last week's Explainathon. It's called "What You Need To Know About The Sequester And Trump" and it's right there on our site.  You also still have time to send us your thoughts about our book club selection, "The Man In The High Castle" by Phillip K. Dick. 
Oct 03, 2017
34: Explainathon!
Why is voice recognition not out of this world?  Why do companies whisper their earnings estimates?  And should the government run the credit agencies?  These are just a few of the things you asked us to explain in our first ever Explainathon. Thanks to everyone who submitted questions and look for more answers on the blog later this week! 
Sep 26, 2017
33: Equifax and the future of your data
In the wake of the Equifax hack (and the one before that, and the one before that ... ), how should you think about credit, data security and online privacy? And what could the European Union teach American companies about protecting your data? Then: "Outlander" showrunner Ronald D. Moore answers our Make Me Smart question, and we answer some of your questions about #NoConfederate and our interview with April Reign.  Mentioned on the show: If you want to learn more about the history of credit reporting agencies in the United States, you can read Josh Lauer's book  “Creditworthy: A History of Consumer Surveillance and Financial Identity in America.” And if you want to read more about why the idea of a show called "Confederate" upsets people before they've even seen it, we've got some links for you at our website
Sep 19, 2017
32: April Reign, #OscarsSoWhite and the art of influence
The power of social influence is the power to capture your attention. This week, we look at the role of an individual and an institution in shaping what you think you know and why it matters. Facebook wants you to pay attention to its ads, but what about the buyers of those ads and their influence? April Reign, creator of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag wants you to know how to use influence to change a conversation. Case in point: #NoConfederate.
Sep 12, 2017
31: What's a CEO's statement worth to this White House?
The Trump administration announced it's ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Obama-era rule protecting undocumented immigrants from deportation if they arrived as children. Now Congress has to decide whether to pass legislation to maintain the program. Businesses have lined up in favor of DACA, but the question is: What can companies do besides public statements and letters? We follow the corporate money. And Tim Leong tells us what it was like to create the infographics for his book "Star Wars Super Graphic." If you want to know which character talks about the Force the most, he's your guy. Check out a few of his graphics here.   
Sep 05, 2017
30: The price of too much pavement
Houston's natural topography combined with the infrastructure for six million people creates a flood risk,  according to Sam Brody. He's a professor of Marine Sciences and Urban Planning at Texas A&M University at Galveston. And, he says, the city of Houston floods a lot.  Brody and colleagues have spent years warning city officials about the damage brought on by too much pavement."We've come a long way," he says, "and a lot has been done, but I think it's time for a real shift in our thinking and fundamental approach to flood risk reduction and flood management overall." 
Aug 29, 2017
29: Too many two-Molly interviews
President Trump announces a change to U.S. military policy in Afghanistan; Cloudflare's CEO Matthew Prince describes why we shouldn't let companies censor their users — right after he censored one of his users; and we take an audio tour of the solar eclipse. Molly Bloom, host of the podcast "Brains On!" answers our Make Me Smart question, and you STILL have questions about bitcoin!Make sure to start on "The Man in the High Castle" if you want to join our Make Me Smart book club discussion, and send us your questions for our upcoming Explainathon! 
Aug 22, 2017
28: CEOs quit the CEO in Chief
Globalization is in the headlines, but what does it mean for our economy? Marketplace's Scott Tong explains it to us. We answer your questions about globalism, nationalism and the companies that have to navigate between these rocky shoals. Plus, we picked our next Make Me Smart book! You've got about a month to read it. Finally, you have questions and answers about bitcoin and cryptocurrency.Watch: Scott Tong explains why globalization looks like an elephant. Really. Mentioned on the show: "The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August" by Claire North 
Aug 16, 2017
27.5: Where's my podcast?
We won't have a Make Me Smart podcast in the feed today, but we will have one tomorrow. We'll be talking with Marketplace correspondent Scott Tong about globalization; we'll hear your thoughts about our bitcoin episode; and we're going to announce our next selection for the Make Me Smart book club. To pass the time, head over to our site. If you're new to the show, you can check out our back episodes. And we've got a post up right now explaining some more about bitcoins and where they came from. That's all today. We'll talk tomorrow.
Aug 15, 2017
27: Where are all the bitcoins?
What do you need to know to understand the new language of money? Bitcoin? Blockchain? And Ethereum? Laura Shin, senior editor at Forbes magazine and host of the "Unchained" podcast, makes us smart about cryptocurrency and how it might transform your financial life. To learn even more, read Shin's cover story on Forbes about initial coin offerings — think Kickstarter crossed with digital currency.Also, we've got a two-part answer to the Make Me Smart question from Maureen Chiquet, former CEO of Chanel, and Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Expedia. Finally, a shoutout to Marketplace digital production assistant Sarah Menendez, who doesn't need wisdom teeth to make us smart.
Aug 08, 2017
26: Too much is never enough
What do Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations," a science fiction book about Mars and a ride share company have in common? Each one has something to say about the idea of endless economic growth. And so does Kenneth Rogoff, professor of public policy and economics at Harvard University. He makes us smart about the concept of endless economic growth. Whom does it help, whom does it harm? Plus we've got the nominations for the next Make Me Smart Book Club pick. So take a look at the choices and vote!
Aug 01, 2017
25: The police can just take your stuff
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently rolled back federal restrictions on civil-asset forfeiture. Local police and other enforcement agencies can take your property if they suspect that property has been involved in or purchased with profits from some illegal activity — even if you haven't been charged with a crime. Economist Jennifer Doleac talks with Kai and Molly about the policy.If you want to learn more about civil asset forfeiture, we recommend "Taken" in The New Yorker by Sarah Stillman.  
Jul 25, 2017
24: Always tie your shoes
The Columbia River Bar is one of the most dangerous places in the world for ships of all sizes. That's where the Columbia River Bar Pilots come in. These specially trained experts pilot cargo and passenger ships of all sizes across the bar into the river that separates Oregon from Washington. Captain Deborah Dempsey was the first woman to become a pilot with the organization and she tells us why tying your shoes can keep you from falling "in the drink"— and what happened the one time she didn't. If you want to learn more about some of the nautical terms Dempsey uses during her talk with us, check out our listen-along glossary.And don't forget to send us your suggestions for the next Make Me Smart book club!
Jul 18, 2017