Episode 277: Elle Fanning, Gary Shteyngart, and The Sporkful

ROBYN BECK / Getty Images
ROBYN BECK / Getty Images

Elle Fanning talks about her extra-curricular activities … Author Gary Shteyngart is only a little failure … Ruben Östlund has made a film that may increase Sweden’s divorce rate … One bubbly coffee entrepreneur explains his innovation … Michelangelo really, really, did not want to paint that ceiling … Patrick Haggerty puts together a playlist for a party in ‘Lavender Country’ … Dan Pashman of The Sporkful builds a bacon tower … Spooky new music from King Tuff … And experiencing a horrifying, immersive, nightmare scenario from which you cannot hide — for fun!

Dan Pashman - "Sticky Boomerangs"


The sticky subject of faulty boomerangs.


Soon You Might Be Able to Go Inside a Horror Movie

Small Talk

If going inside a hyper-realistic, immerse virtual reality horror film is your idea of a fun time - and you happen to own an Oculus Rift - there's a project you may want to support.

The Sistine Chapel's Unwilling Artist

A History Lesson With Booze ®

The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel might be Michelangelo's most iconic masterpiece, but when he was first offered the commission, he absolutely did not want the job. Learn all about it, and a fortifying drink to serve with it.

A Dinner Party in Lavender Country


In 1973, "Lavender Country" was the first openly gay album of country music. It has been reissued and its creator, Patrick Haggerty, continues his work as a musician and activist.

ROBYN BECK / Getty Images

Elle Fanning Has Empathy, Luck, Friends

Guest of Honor

In the gritty-yet-sensuous jazz biopic "Low Down," teen actor Elle Fanning gives her first performance depicting a real-life subject... who was on the set every day to watch. Elle tells Rico about it, and reveals the secret to stardom.

A New Trend Bubbling Up: Carbonated Coffee

Main Course

Building on the cold brew coffee trend - and the eternal love for cracking open a cold, carbonated bottled drink on a hot day - Austin entrepreneur Kevin Chen has developed Coffer, a naturally-fermented carbonated coffee soda.

The Big Literary Successes of a 'Little Failure'


Lauded author Gary Shtenyngart has penned hit novels including "Super Sad True Love Story" and "Absurdistan." His newest book, "Little Failure" is his first memoir, named after the nickname his mother called him.

Dan Pashman Shares: Stacked Pork, Soaked Pork, and Sharing


Dan Pashman is the host and creator of WNYC's podcast The Sporkful, and author of the new textbook-style tome "Eat More Better: How to Make Every Bite More Delicious." It's designed to help readers get maximum pleasure from food. As this week's etiquette expert, he answers listeners' questions about, for instance, a vegan who takes no pleasure from vegetables.

Ruben Östlund, director of FORCE MAJEURE, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. Photo credit: Johan Bergmark

Ruben Östlund Leaves Audiences with Questions

Chattering Class

In Swedish filmmaker Ruben Ostlund's fourth feature film, he depicts a family unable to trust each other after the father flees a disaster, raising questions about the roles we all play in society and relationships.

King Tuff Casts a 'Black Moon Spell'

One For The Road

Just in time for Halloween parties, here's a spooky song from King Tuff, "Black Moon Spell."