Episode 89: Neil Strauss, Cold (Con)fusion, and Rabbit Rex

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Neil Strauss/Photo by Bjorn Opsahl

This week: Author/Interviewer Neil Strauss inhales rock-n-roll… Science gives cold fusion the cold shoulder… And Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad unearths a giant rabbit. Plus music from Bright Eyes, and a joke from top tailor Vahram Mateosian.

Icebreaker: Vahram Mateosian
Vahram Mateosian, tailor to Wes Anderson and other notables at the NYC outfit “Mr. Ned,” tells a joke with a headline punchline.

Small Talk: Jad Abumrad
Radiolab co-host Jad Abumrad unearths news of a really wild hare. (Radiolab is in the midst of a national live tour.)

A History Lesson with Booze: Cold (Con)Fusion and “The Saint” This week in 1989, two respected electrochemists, Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischman, announced they’d discovered science’s holy grail: A process for generating clean fusion energy at low temperatures. The media called it a miracle… but was it too good to be true? Listen to the tale and then experiment with this custom cocktail:

The Saint,” as concocted by Dustin Summer, bar manager at The Red Door, in Salt Lake City, UT.

In a short glass, add:

  • slice of orange, muddled in glass
  • a few ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 oz. High West Silver Whiskey
  • 1 oz. Hpnotiq
  • 1/2 oz. habanero-infused vodka

Shake and strain into a small snifter containing a chip of dry ice, and marvel as the ingredients fuse… in theory.

Guest of Honor: Neil Strauss
Contributing editor to Rolling Stone and author of the bestselling “The Game,” Neil Strauss talks about his latest book: a dictionary-sized anthology of his celebrity interviews called “Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead.” Strauss chats with Rico about The Boss’s wandering mind, Courtney Love’s unrighteous indignation, and the Borat interview method.

One For The Road: Bright Eyes – “Shell Games”
Conor Oberst and his merry men came out with a new (and last?) LP in February: The People’s Key). They still rule the land of indie-rock, but the track “Shell Games” strikes a populist chord that’s almost Springsteen-ian. It’s perfect for Spring Break, or a Spring Break-Up.

Music On This Week’s Show:

Sea & Cake – “The Argument”

Aphex Twin – “Boy/Girl Song”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

Rainstick Orchestra – “Electric Counterpoint”

Joey Santiago – “Fake Purse”

Dokken – “The Hunter”

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – “Born to Run”

Bright Eyes – “Shell Games”

Neutral Milk Hotel – “King Of Carrot Flowers Part 1”