Episode 54: Venus Williams, Wrong Turns, and Cloud Control

This week: Tennis superstar Venus Williams lives long and prospers…Texas criminals get literate…And a befuddled (or brilliant!) aviator takes a wrong way turn into the history books. Plus, rocker Cass McCombs on cloud control.

Icebreaker: Cass McCombs Mellow rocker Cass McCombs plays socio-meteorologist with this tiny lesson on cloud conformity.

Small Talk: Break the Law, Crack a Novel
Chris Beha, Harper’s Magazine editor and author of The Whole Five Feet: What The Great Books Taught Me About Life, Death and Pretty Much Everything Else, shares Texas’ novel solution to its overcrowded jails: reading.

A History Lesson With Booze: Wrong-Way Corrigan and “Corrigan’s Bluff.”
This week in 1938, aviator Douglas Corrigan took a fateful wrong turn into the history books. Inspired by Charles Lindbergh, Corrigan pledged to fly his own junker of a plane across the Atlantic. Which he did, despite the efforts of safety regulators… and with some help from what he insisted was the world’s worst sense of direction. Hear the tale… then toast Corrigan’s trip with a drink that’ll leave you spinning.

*CORRIGAN’S BLUFF, created by Brad Farran of Clover Club in Brooklyn:

In a shot glass pour:

  • 3/4 oz. Lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. Maraschino (liqueur)
  • scant bar spoon of Creme de Violette
  • 2 oz. Red Breast Irish whiskey

Claim you’re drinking something else. Drink it down, giddy with your secret knowledge. Feign ignorance if questioned. Accept punishment/hangover.

Guest of Honor: Venus Williams, Trekkie
Tennis superstar Venus Williams takes a break from dominating Grand Slams to talk with Rico about rain days and her bestselling book Come to Win, in which folks from Vera Wang to Bill Clinton praise the influence of sports on their business lives. She also does a mean Shatner.

One For The Road: A Tribute to Daniel Shorr
Only one song has the power to sum up the massive affection we held for NPR legend Daniel Shorr, who passed away this week at age 93. You guessed it.)

Music On This Week’s Show:

The Sea & Cake – “The Argument”

Aphex Twin – “Girl/Boy Song”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

Dick Jurgens & His Orchestra – “Ride Tenderfoot Ride”

Department of Eagles – “Sailing By Night”

Spizz – “Captain Kirk”