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WikiSleep

WikiSleep

By Adrien Sala
Sleep and relaxation stories. No Ads. Just sleepy go bye-bye weekly episodes. Sit back, relax and listen to host Adrien Sala calmly read interesting biographies, folk tales and other stories—all without interruption from disruptive ads.
SOON TO BE AN APP! Visit wikisleep.com to learn more...
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Episode 159: The Brief Life of Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon who succeeded to the throne at just 20 years old. He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through western Asia and northeast Africa—and by the age of thirty, he'd created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is widely considered to be one of the most successful military commanders in history, yet he died when he was just 32 years old. #WikiSleep #Sleep #AlexandertheGreat #SleepStories #History #MentalHealth
41:58
September 30, 2022
Episode 158: Sherlock Holmes, A Scandal in Bohemia
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle made Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson famous for solving confounding crimes in late 19th century. Holme's, a drug addled obsessive whose passions included cocaine and conundrums, struggled throughout these tales to relate to human emotions. In this first chapter, though, we learn that there was one woman with which he was obsessed... #WikiSleep #Sleep #SleepStories #MentalHealth #SherlockHolmes 
39:58
September 22, 2022
Episode 157: The Sad Story of Anne Boleyn read by Britt Buntain
More than 500 years after her death, Anne Boleyn remains a divisive character in the history of England. Was she adulterous and cruel—or was she the victim of a tyrant whose ability to remain faithful to any single woman caused him to fabricate treasonous stories that would guarantee his freedom to roam while she met her end? #WikiSleep #AnneBoleyn #Sleep #MentalHealth  
41:48
September 15, 2022
Episode 156: Patrick Swayze
Patrick Swayze was an American actor, dancer and singer known for playing lead roles, particularly as romantic, tough and comedic characters. His appearances in iconic films like The Outsiders, Ghost and, most famously, Dirty Dancing made him a huge star in his relatively short life. #WikiSleep #Sleep #Swayze #DirtyDancing #MentalHealth
30:20
September 08, 2022
Episode 155: Coco Chanel ready by Britt Buntain
For tonight's story, Britt Buntain reads about fashion designer, Coco Chanel. Chanel's story is fascinating, not only because of her astounding success and connections to the highest echelons of European power—but also because of the dark side of her life. A known Nazi sympathizer, Chanel pulled some pretty shitty moves in the years leading up to and during WWII. Yet despite this, after the war she went on to enjoy decades of further success… 
38:58
September 01, 2022
Episode 154: The Real-Life Witch Hunter, Matthew Hopkins
Tonight’s story is about a real-life witch hunter, Matthew Hopkins, who exploited the fears and hysteria that surrounded the occult during the 17th century in England to satisfy his own perverse views on so-called sinners. Self-proclaimed "WitchFinder General," he and his associates were responsible for more people being hanged for witchcraft than had been in all the previous 100 years combined. #WikiSleep #WitchHunter #Sleep #ScaryStory #Witchcraft #MentalHealth 
25:44
August 25, 2022
Episode 153: The Scoundrel Bernie Madoff
Bernie Madoff was an American scoundrel, fraudster and financier who ran the largest Ponzi scheme in history, worth an estimated $64.8 billion. The ruin of many people, with some losing fortunes that would have kept their families housed, fed and free for generations, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison—where he died alone during the pandemic. #WikiSleep #Sleep #Madoff #Ponzi #MentalHealth
34:58
August 18, 2022
Episode 152: Sir Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian and author who is widely recognized as one of the most influential scientists of all time—and a key figure in the scientific revolution. Famous for his work on gravity, he also explored the properties of light, invented calculus, served as Master of the Royal Mint and was deeply into alchemy. #WikiSleep #Sleep #IsaacNewton #MentalHealth #SleepStories
34:14
August 11, 2022
Episode 151: Whitney Houston
One of the best-selling recording artists of all time, Whitney Houston released several record-breaking albums, singles and soundtracks during her life. Passionate and supportive of several foundations and different causes globally, her life was sadly cut short after battling addiction, yet her influence continues to open doors for women of colour in music and film. 
41:58
August 04, 2022
Episode 150: The Greek Myth of Paris & Oenone read by Britt Buntain
In this Greek myth, Paris, the abandoned son of the king Priam and the queen Hecuba, falls in love with the mountain nymph Oenone while living as a shepherd on the slopes of Mount Ida. The couple marry and have one son, but then the meddlesome gods emerge to drive a wedge into their idyllic life—a wedge that eventually leads to the fall of Troy in later tales. #WikiSleep #Sleep #GreekMyth #MentalHealth #SleepStories
22:35
July 28, 2022
Episode 149: The Great Chicago Fire
The Great Chicago Fire was a massive blaze that burned between October 8th and October 10th, 1871. An estimated 300 people perished, while the inferno destroyed roughly 3.3 square miles of the city and left more than 100,000 residents homeless. While undeniably devastating, the Great Fire led to new safety standards and practices that helped prevent more fires in the future. #WikiSleep #Sleep #ChicagoFire #Inferno
27:05
July 21, 2022
Episode 148: A Brief History of the Roman Colosseum
The Roman Colosseum has stood for more than 2,000 years and been host to everything from gladiatorial battles, public executions by wild animals, apartments, games, concerts and more. The largest free-standing amphitheatre ever built, its history is a fascinating and often gruesome look into the shifting tastes of humans as we moved through the centuries.
35:33
July 14, 2022
Episode 147: Bob Ross, le parrain du calme
Connu sous le nom de Happy Painter, Bob Ross était un peintre américain, professeur d'art et animateur de télévision, ainsi que le créateur de The Joy of Painting. Sa manière calme et apaisante l'a aidé à attirer un public international qui aimait regarder son processus, tout en embrassant les "petits accidents heureux" en cours de route.
30:24
July 07, 2022
Episode 146: La grande attaque ferroviaire de 1963
La grande attaque ferroviaire (The Great Train Robbery) est l’histoire vraie d’un braquage qui s’est déroulé au Royaume-Uni en 1963, et qui a fait sensation en tenant en haleine la nation anglaise tout entière. Une bande de 15 voleurs réussit à dérober 73 millions de dollars à bord d’un train postal. La majeure partie de l’argent ne fut jamais retrouvée, et bien que personne ne fut tué pendant le braquage, les sentences pour certains voleurs capturés furent exceptionnellement sévères.
40:19
July 07, 2022
Episode 145: The Wright Brothers read by Britt Buntain
The Wright brothers were two American aviation pioneers generally credited with inventing, building, and flying the world's first successful motor-operated airplane. With unwavering passion in the face of danger and doubt, their innovations help change the course of human history. #Sleep #WikiSleep #WrightBrothers #Aviation #MentalHealth
39:19
June 30, 2022
Episode 144: Sleepy Penguin Meditation
With the WikiSleep app about to released in the coming weeks, I wanted to share a meditation that will be on it. In this body scan visualization, I invite you to inhabit the body of a sleepy little penguin dozing in the sun on a nice, warm rock by the ocean. Much like traditional visualizations, we take a meditative journey, but with this one, you breathe in and imagine your chubby little penguin butt and belly basking in the warmth of the sun... #WikiSleep #SleepMeditation #BodyScan #
19:13
June 23, 2022
Episode 143: The Gambino Crime Family
The Gambino Crime Family is an Italian-American Mafia family and one of the "Five Families" that have dominated organized crime in New York City for generations. With infamous leaders including John Gotti, Paul Castellano and John Gambino, the family operated a brutal regime for decades before declining into a shadow of its former self. #WikiSleep #Sleep #Gambino #Mafia
41:58
June 16, 2022
Episode 142: The Great Library of Alexandria
The Great Library of Alexandria was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world—and a center for intellectual exploration so free that it would make most universities of today collapse with envy. Housed on the Mediterranean shores of Egypt, the library lasted for hundreds of years before disappearing completely. #WikiSleep #AncientEgypt #Sleep
34:58
June 09, 2022
Episode 141: Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton is an American singer-songwriter, actor and businessperson, known primarily for her work in country music and philanthropy, especially around literacy. Possibly the most famous country musician in history, her fierce intelligence and talent have helped her endure in a career that is nearly seven decades long. #WikiSleep #DollyParton #Sleep #CountryMusic
42:13
June 02, 2022
Episode 140: A Half-Hour of Pi
Pi is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, approximately equal to 3.14 into infinity. For thousands of years, mathematicians have attempted to extend their understanding of it, yet the number extends into the trillions with no discernible pattern. How many digits can you stay focused for as Adrien Sala reads into that infinity? #WikiSleep #Sleep #Pi
36:01
May 26, 2022
Episode 139: Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter
Steve Irwin, also known as The Crocodile Hunter, was an Australian zookeeper, conservationist, television personality and wildlife expert. Famous for his enthusiasm, he was stung in the chest by a stingray off the coast of Australia in what many have called a one-in-a-million strike that pierced his heart. Initially believing it was simply a pierced lung, he died before reaching shore. #WikiSleep #SteveIrwin #CrocodileHunter
28:01
May 19, 2022
Episode 138: Typhoid Mary read by Britt Buntain
Typhoid Mary was an Irish-born American cook believed to have been an asymptomatic carrier of the bacteria that caused Typhoid fever. Defiant of public health orders, she persisted in working as a cook and thereby exposed others to the fever. As a result, she was condemned to forced quarantine for nearly three decades of her life. #WikiSleep #Sleep #TyphoidMary
27:59
May 12, 2022
Episode 137: Hunter S. Thompson
Journalist, author and founder the Gonzo journalism movement, Hunter S. Thompson is best known for his book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, in which he grapples with the implications of what he considered the failure of the 1960s counterculture movement. Often unhinged but endlessly brilliant, his work continues to inspire writers around the world. #WikiSleep #Sleep #Gonzo #HunterSThompson
43:55
May 05, 2022
Episode 136: A Simple Sleep Meditation w/ Kyla Gagnon
I was busy recording frogs on the west coast of Vancouver Island last night (for real), so for tonight's episode, I'm sharing a sleep meditation from breath worker, Kyla Gagnon, that will appear on the forthcoming WikiSleep app. I recommend going to wikisleep.com and signing up for early and extended free access to the app...which will be very cool and is coming very soon. #WikiSleep #Sleep #SleepMeditation #BodyScan 
15:05
April 28, 2022
Episode 135: The Museum of Bad Art
The Museum of Bad Art is a privately owned museum whose motto is "Art too bad to be ignored." Made up of pieces mostly discarded and then rediscovered, many of the artists display an intensity or emotion that they are unable to reconcile with their level of skill—yet are earnest in their intention. #WikiSleep #Sleep #MOBA 
30:38
April 21, 2022
BONUS EPISODE! Beach Meditation with Kyla Gagnon
As part of the forthcoming WikiSleep App, we'll be including meditations and visual journeys that will help deliver more options for sleep. If you'd like early access to the app, please visit WikiSleep.com. Today's episode comes to us from Kyla Gagnon, a breathworker who takes us on a soothing and warm meditation under the sun... #WikiSleep
18:09
April 19, 2022
Episode 133: The Dutch Tulip Hysteria of 1634
Tulip-o-mania was a period during the Dutch Golden Age when contract prices for some bulbs of the recently introduced and fashionable tulip reached extraordinarily high levels, with the major acceleration starting in 1634 and then collapsing in February 1637. It is generally considered to have been the first recorded speculative financial bubble in history—and countless people lost entire fortunes speculating on the pretty little flower. #WikiSleep #TulipMania #Sleep #MassHysteria #Dutch
33:58
April 14, 2022
Episode 132: Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain has often been referred to as the reluctant voice of alternative rock, grunge and Generation X. A person who struggled to reconcile the enormous success of his band, Nirvana, with his underground punk rock ethos, he often fought back against mainstream media and expectations from the music industry. Battling heroin addiction and depression, the musician's life was sadly cut short when was just 27 years old. #WikiSleep #Sleep #Cobain #KurtCobain #Nirvana #MentalHealth
40:27
April 07, 2022
Episode 131: Robin Williams
Easily one of the most recognizable entertainers and comedians of the 20th century, Robin Williams was known for his impressions, astonishingly quick wit, improvisations and seemingly boundless energy. An actor, stand-up and stage performer, he was also a generous and kind man who quietly battled a degenerative brain disease that may have led to his untimely death. #WikiSleep #Sleep #RobinWilliams #SleepStories #MentalHealth
41:59
March 31, 2022
BONUS EPISODE: Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie, Part Two
As you may be aware, this podcast is becoming an app (and I encourage you to go to WikiSleep.com to sign-up for early and extended free access). While that is being built, I thought I'd read a story. So here's part two of one of my favourite mystery novels, written by the best selling fiction author of all time, Agatha Christie. #WikiSleep #Sleep #AgathaChristie
30:00
March 29, 2022
Episode 129: Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie (Part One)
Agatha Christie is the best-selling fiction author in history and Murder on the Links is one of her most popular novels. Published in 1923, it follows Hercule Poirot and his companion as they travel from England to France at the behest of a wealthy mystery man. Can you guess who the murderer is? This is part one in an ongoing series for this book that will be released over the next month... #WikiSleep #Sleep #Poirot #AgathaChristie #SleepStory
50:25
March 24, 2022
Episode 128: Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter known for her portraits, self-portraits and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico. Raw and fiercely proud of her country, she challenged questions of identity, gender, class and race within Mexican society—and she is considered by many to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century. #WikiSleep #Sleep #FridaKahlo #Frida
41:58
March 17, 2022
Episode 127: Mac Miller
Mac Miller was an American hip-hop artist and rapper who was primarily based in Philadelphia. His introspective, often raw lyrics about his challenges with mental health and addiction brought him wide respect from fans and other artists around the world. Known for his smooth, casual style, his career was skyrocketing before it was cut short by an accidental overdose. #WikiSleep #MacMiller #Sleep #MentalHealth
29:59
March 10, 2022
Episode 126: Mexican Beach Sleep
This episode is a simple 60-minute relaxation of a Mexican beach sunset with a subtle undertone of bedtime brainwaves. As a reminder, I am working on very cool app that will have all the same great content as the podcast, plus much, much more. To learn more about what's in store, please visit www.wikisleep.com, where you can sign up for for early and free access. We'll return soon with some fresh episodes but keep in mind that once the app is available, it will be the only place to find #WikiSleep stories. #Sleep #Ambient 
59:59
February 24, 2022
Episode 125: Florence Nightingale read by Britt Buntain
A rebel, pioneer and all-around badass, Florence Nightingale changed the way nursing is practiced world-wide. Forgoing a life of privilege, she is directly responsible for a significant increase in life expectancy and created a system of care that is still studied and taught to this day. #WikiSleep #FlorenceNightingale #Nursing #Sleep
30:08
February 17, 2022
Episode 124: The Brief & Wonderful Life of Heath Ledger
Heath Ledger was one of Hollywood's biggest rising stars before his death. From humble beginnings on television in Australia to leading roles and Oscar nominations, his talent and magnetism drew audiences toward him unlike any other actor during his era. A life cut short just as it was truly taking off. #WikiSleep #Sleep #HeathLedger #MentalHealth #TheJoker #SleepStories
30:01
February 10, 2022
Episode 123: Otis Redding
Otis Redding's distinct voice and talent for music and business made him an icon of soul in the 1960s. Despite dying tragically young, his legacy has endured and he continues to be billed as the "King of Soul." #WikiSleep #OtisRedding #SleepStories #SoulMusic #Sleep #MentalHealth
30:33
February 04, 2022
Episode 122: Mr. Rogers
Fred Rogers, also known as Mr. Rogers, was the beloved host and creator of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, a PBS show that emphasized young children's social and emotional needs. Quiet and informal, yet focusing on important issues, the show was so popular that at its peak, it was watched in 1.8 million homes every day. #WikiSleep #Sleep #MrRogers #FredRogers #SleepStories
34:20
January 27, 2022
Episode 121: Marco Polo
A Venetian merchant, explorer, storyteller and emissary to Kublai Khan, Marco Polo travelled throughout Asia along the Silk Road between 1271 and 1295. On the road for 24 years, he returned home in the midst of a war and was soon taken prisoner. While imprisoned, he detailed his adventures into what became The Travels of Marco Polo, a book that described to Europeans the then mysterious culture and inner workings of the Eastern world. #WikiSleep #Sleep #MarcoPolo #SleepStories #Travel
30:38
January 20, 2022
Episode 120: A Very Brief History of Whisky
Whisky has been around for nearly a thousand years and is among the first spirits to reach North America. Whether it was the Scots or Irish that distilled it first isn't entirely clear, but it was almost certainly a Celt in that region who was probably a monk experimenting with recipes for aqua vitae. Regardless, whisky is now produced all over the world, with some of the best coming from Canada, the U.S. and Japan. #whisky #WikiSleep #Sleep #whiskey #WhiskyHistory
30:05
January 13, 2022
Episode 119: Catherine II de Russie lu par Samia McFee en français
BONUS EPISODE! Catherine the Great, read by Samia McFee en français. We'll be releasing several French and Spanish episodes as the WikiSleep app is getting finalized, with more on the app itself once its released. For now, here's a bonus episode for all my French speaking pals and family. #WikiSleep #Sleep #French #French #histoirefrançaise #sommeil
41:59
January 10, 2022
Episode 118: Betty White
Betty White was a cultural icon whose record-breaking career spanned over nine decades. While most people know her today as Rose from The Golden Girls and other contemporary roles, her work in the first half of her career was unparalleled and she broke barriers for both women and African-Americans in television in the 1950s and '60s. #WikiSleep #Sleep #BettyWhite #MentalHealth
35:05
January 06, 2022
Episode 117: James Dean, read by Britt Buntain
The embodiment of "live fast, die young," James Dean was a cultural icon and actor famous for his rebel image, who died just as career was taking off. As a result, his persona has been frozen in time and endured for nearly seven decades. #WikiSleep #JamesDean #Sleep #SleepStory #Hollywood #MentalHealth
30:08
December 30, 2021
Episode 116: A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
In stave one of A Christmas Carol, we meet Ebenezer Scrooge, the penny-pinching humbug who'd rather freeze than spend a penny on coal. It's here that we get our image of him: grumpy, anti-social, old and sad. He is visited by his old business partner's ghost who forewarns him of the three that will visit him after... #WikiSleep #SleepStory #AChristmasCarol #Scrooge #Dickens
59:57
December 23, 2021
Episode 115: Outlaw Jesse James
Often portrayed as something of a Robin Hood outlaw, Jesse James was in fact a cold-blooded bandit with deep ties to the Confederates fighting against abolition. His path of death and destruction culminated in a betrayal from within, yet turned him into a heroic symbol of the South. #WikiSleep #Sleep #JesseJames #Outlaw #SleepStories
36:40
December 16, 2021
Episode 114: The Halifax Explosion of 1917
A little over 100 years ago this week, the largest man-made explosion to have ever occurred at the time happened by accident in Halifax's harbour. With enough force to empty the harbour basin of water and to send its three-ton anchor nearly two miles away, the explosion decimated the city, leaving thousands dead and injured. It is still one of the largest non-nuclear blasts in history. #WikiSleep #HalifaxExplosion #Sleep #Disaster #Halifax
34:58
December 10, 2021
Episode 113: The Occupation of Alcatraz
For 19 months in the early 1970s, Alcatraz was peacefully occupied by indigenous activists seeking to raise awareness of their treatment by the US government. Using the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie, they reclaimed the island and sought to establish a cultural education center for all indigenous people. Though ultimately unsuccessful, the occupation helped bring to light the harsh policies of the government toward indigenous people. #WikiSleep #Alcatraz #Sleep #MentalHealth
31:02
December 02, 2021
Episode 112: The Largest Art Theft in History
In the early morning hours of March 18th, 1990, thirteen works of art were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Comprised of work by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas and more, the haul has been valued at over $500 million—yet none of the stolen pieces have ever been recovered and no one has been charged. A true whodunnit with a $10 million bounty. #WikiSleep #Heist #ArtTheft #Sleep
35:15
November 25, 2021
Episode 111: Revenge of the 47 Rōnin
The revenge of the 47 Rōnin is a true story from Japan about a group of samurai who were left leaderless after their master was forced to commit seppuku. After laying in wait for two years, they avenged their master's honour, knowing full well that they would meet death as a result—becoming legends in the process. #WikiSleep #47Ronin #Japan #Sleep #SleepStories #Samurai
34:38
November 18, 2021
Episode 110: Roman Emperor Nero
Nero was the last emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, often described as tyrannical, self-indulgent and debauched, who came to power at just 16 years old. But while he was at times brutal, he was also an advocate for public works, the rights of slaves and the arts. A complicated figure who definitely didn't play the fiddle while Rome burned. #WikiSleep #Sleep #Nero #SleepStories #RomanEmpire
35:19
November 11, 2021
Episode 109: Carrie Fisher read by Britt Buntain
Carrie Fisher was an American actress, writer, and spokesperson, most known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars films. She was a tireless advocate for addiction and mental health and celebrated for her honest, often funny, and heartfelt perspective on these subjects. #WikiSleep #CarrieFisher #StarWars #SleepStories #Sleep #PrincessLeia 
34:58
November 04, 2021
Episode 108: H.H. Holmes & His Murder Castle
H.H. Holmes was a notorious serial killer operating in the US and Canada in the late 1800s. A conman, bigamist and swindler, Holmes constructed a hotel in Chicago purposely designed for the murder and disposal of his victims. No one is exactly sure how many people died at his hands, but some believe it could have been as many as 200 people. #WikiSleep #HHHolmes #Sleep #MurderStory #SleepStory
35:14
October 28, 2021
Episode 107: Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper was a notorious, unidentified serial killer active in and around the Whitechapel district of London during the late 1800s. Despite his true identity never being discovered, macabre fascination into the gruesome killings and the mystery perpetrator has endured for generations. #WikiSleep #JackTheRipper #Sleep #MurderStories #MentalHealth
35:15
October 21, 2021
Episode 106: A Very Brief History of Wine
In a way, the history of wine is the history of civilization, intertwined with religion. It’s a big complicated subject that people spend their entire lives learning and exploring—and is loaded with tradition, nuance, strange stories and all sorts of rules that go against the rules of the rules that you should always follow. And that makes people nervous. But really, who cares? It’s just wine. #WikiSleep #Wine #HistoryOfWine #MentalHealth
35:46
October 14, 2021
Episode 105: Maya Angelou, read by Britt Buntain
Maya Angelou was a celebrated American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist mainly known for her seven autobiographies—but she also had an extremely colourful life, rising from the hardscrabble Depression-era South to become a pimp, a sex worker, a supper club chanteuse, and friends of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X, as well as a journalist in Egypt and Ghana. She is one of the most prolific writers of the 20th century. #WikiSleep #MayaAngelou #Sleep
35:14
October 07, 2021
Episode 104: Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse was an enormously talented British singer and songwriter, celebrated for her deep, expressive vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres, including soul, jazz, and blues. Physically and mentally affected by addiction and depression, her life was sadly cut short after only two major albums, yet her impact is still being felt today around the world. #WikiSleep #AmyWinehouse #MentalHealth #Sleep 
34:58
September 30, 2021
Episode 103: Dante
Dante's Divine Comedy is one of the most important poems of the Middle Ages and is often considered to be the greatest literary work in the Italian language. A poet, writer and philosopher, Dante lived for much of his life in exile from his home of Florence—and like many artists, the true magnitude of his work wasn't recognized until years after his death. #WikiSleep #Sleep #Dante #Poet #DivineComedy #MentalHealth #DivinaCommedia
31:56
September 23, 2021
Episode 102: Norm MacDonald
Norm MacDonald was a Canadian stand-up comedian, writer, and actor known for his deadpan style. He was notorious for derailing conversations by spouting irreverent, long, fake stories with gummy punchlines—and for his unrelenting lampooning of public figures. Celebrated by comedians around the world, he is often considered one of the best comics to have ever lived. #WikiSleep #NormMacDonald #Sleep #MentalHealth
32:30
September 16, 2021
Episode 101: A Brief History of Cameras read by Britt Buntain
Cameras are ubiquitous, pervasive and largely taken for granted—but the history and impact of image capture goes back for hundreds of years. Britt Buntain explores camera history, fun facts and the impact in this crash course on one of our most useful tools. #WikiSleep #Sleep #Camera #History #MentalHealth
36:39
September 09, 2021
Episode 100: David Bowie
Easily one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Bowie's ability to transcend culture and create art that shaped our world is unparalleled. An actor, painter, cultural provocateur and immensely talented musician, his life was a fascinating journey through creation, drug addiction, rebirth, pop, and sexuality. Even his death was an artistic creation, with his final album, Blackstar, intentionally being released days after his death. #WikiSleep #Bowie #Sleep #MentalHealth
41:58
September 02, 2021
Episode 99: Sharpshooter Annie Oakley
One of the most famous figures to emerge from the era of the Wild West, Annie Oakley's skill with a pistol brought her international renown. An advocate for teaching women how to handle a gun, she shot through cigars as they hung from her husband's mouth, and could split a playing card edge-on at 30 paces. A fan favourite, she was the second-highest grossing performer in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, after Wild Bill himself. #WikiSleep #AnnieOakley #Sleep #WildWest #MentalHealth
29:59
August 26, 2021
Episode 98: Phil Hartman: actor, comedian, murder victim...
Phil Hartman was a Canadian-American actor, comedian, screenwriter and graphic designer who gained fame in the late 1980s as a long-time performer on SNL. Known for being a gregarious and kind human, his life was tragically cut short when he was murdered by his wife as he slept. #WikiSleep #Sleep #PhilHartman #SleepStories #MentalHealth
34:58
August 12, 2021
Episode 97: A Brief History of Marijuana
The history of cannabis, also known as weed, ganja and marijuana, dates back to at least the third millennium BCE in written history—and even further back by archaeological evidence. For thousands of years, the plant has been valued for its material use, as food and medicine, and for its psychoactive properties for religious and recreational use. #WikiSleep #Sleep #Marijuana #Cannabis #MentalHealth
37:58
August 05, 2021
Episode 96: Charles Ponzi, the Man Behind the Scheme
Charles Ponzi was an Italian con artist who became known in the early 1920s as a swindler in North America for his a fraudulent money-making scheme in which he paid old investors with new investors’ money. The scheme, which defrauded countless people of their life savings, was not originally invented by Ponzi, but became so identified with him that it now is referred to as a "Ponzi scheme." #WikiSleep #Sleep #Ponzi #MentalHealth #SleepStories
41:58
July 29, 2021
Episode 95: Charles the Mad, read by Vanessa La Belle
Charles the 6th, also known as Charles the Mad, was King of France from 1380 until his death in 1422. He was known for his mental illness and psychotic episodes that plagued him throughout his life, leading him to believe at one point that he was made of glass and to not know his wife and children. #wikisleep #sleep #SleepStory #MentalHealth
25:33
July 27, 2021
Episode 94: The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe
Poe was a profound master of the macabre—and in this short story, he continues his exploration of the meaning of obsession, love and self-indulgence. A masterful work that in just a few short pages manages to expose the depths of devotion, passion and darkness. #sleep #wikisleep #EdgarAllanPoe #Poe #SleepStories 
21:60
July 22, 2021
Episode 93: Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch painter who became one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art, yet he wasn’t successful during his lifetime. Rather, he was considered a madman. He only became famous after his death and now exists in the public imagination as a misunderstood genius where discourses on madness and creativity converge. #WikiSleep #sleep #VanGogh
44:58
July 15, 2021
Episode 92: Andy Warhol, read by Britt Buntain
Andy Warhol was an American artist, film director, and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement of the 1960s. Surrounded by controversy—and constant adoration or contempt from the art world—he survived an assassination attempt while defining the world of pop art through the 1980s. #WikiSleep #Sleep #AndyWarhol
33:19
July 08, 2021
Episode 91: The Stonewall Riots
52 years ago this week, members of the LQBTQ community in Greenwich Village in NYC fought back against discriminatory and often violent raids of gay bars and clubs. The Stonewall Riots are considered by many to be the spark that ignited the gay rights movement and led to the creation of various gay activist groups in the United States and around the world. #WikiSleep #Sleep #Stonewall 
39:58
July 01, 2021
Episode 90: Far Away and Long Ago
Always there had been war between the Giants and the Gods—between the Giants who would have destroyed the world and the race of men, and the Gods who would have protected the race of men and would have made the world more beautiful. A Norse tale as old as time. #WikiSleep #SleepStory #NorseMyth #Asgard #Ragnarok #MentalHealth #Sleep 
30:47
June 24, 2021
Episode 89: Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen was a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet, and novelist whose work explored religion, politics, isolation, depression, sexuality, loss, death and romantic relationships. Born in Montreal, he is famous for his modesty, conflicted reclusiveness and inventive writing that caused Bob Dylan to call him the number one songwriter of their time. #WikiSleep #LeonardCohen #SleepStories #Sleep #MentalHealth 
41:58
June 17, 2021
Episode 88: Miles Davis
Miles Davis was an American trumpeter, bandleader, and composer—and is among the most influential figures in the history of jazz. Often fuelled by drug and alcohol addiction, his life was a tumult of failed relationships, extraordinary successes, injuries and excess. His album, Kind of Blue, remains the best-selling jazz album of all time. #wikisleep #sleep #MilesDavis #jazz #MentalHealth
46:33
June 10, 2021
Episode 87: Anthony Bourdain read by Britt Buntain
Anthony Bourdain was an American chef, author, journalist, and travel documentarian who starred in programs exploring culture, cuisine, and the human condition. His unfiltered, honest, and gritty commentary made him one of the most celebrated chefs in modern history. #WikiSleep #Bourdain #Sleep #MentalHealth #Podcast
33:58
June 03, 2021
Episode 86: Lucky Luciano, Godfather of the Mafia
Lucky Luciano is considered the father of modern organized crime in the United States and was the first official boss of the Genovese crime family. From humble beginnings as an Italian immigrant, Luciano rose to ultimate power through a combination of ruthlessness, calculated risk and an inescapable genius for profiting from crime. #WikiSleep #SleepStories #LuckyLuciano #Mafia #Sleep
48:23
May 27, 2021
Episode 85: Bob Ross
Known as the Happy Painter, Bob Ross was an American painter, art instructor and television host, as well as the creator of The Joy of Painting. His calm, soothing manner helped bring him an international audience that loved to watch his process, while embracing "happy little accidents" along the way. #WikiSleep #SleepStories #BobRoss #ASMR #MentalHealth 
30:09
May 20, 2021
Episode 84: Sam Cooke
BONUS EPISODE: Sam Cooke was an American singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur—and one of the most influential soul artists of all time and is commonly referred to as the "King of Soul" for his distinctive vocals. His life was cut short in during an altercation at a hotel when he was just 33 years old—in an incident that has been disputed for decades. #WikiSleep #SleepStories #SamCooke #MentalHealth
33:58
May 18, 2021
Episode 83: Catherine the Great
Catherine the Great's rise from relative royal obscurity to become the longest serving Empress in the Romanov Dynasty was filled with intrigue, alliances and a coup d'état that established her as the sole ruler of the Russian empire. Famous for her love of the arts, sex and war, Catherine's reign is often considered the pinnacle of the Russian renaissance. #WikiSleep #SleepStories #Sleep #CatherinetheGreat #MentalHealth
47:58
May 13, 2021
Episode #82: Michelangelo
Michelangelo was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance. Born in the Republic of Florence, he exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art through pieces such as the statue of David and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. His artistic versatility was of such a high order that during his lifetime, he was known as Il Divino—the divine one. #WikiSleep #SleepStories #Michelangelo #Renaissance #MentalHealth #Sleep
44:59
May 06, 2021
Episode 81: Julia Child
*BONUS EPISODE* For the first time, WikiSleep has a guest host: Britt Buntain. In this episode, she reads about Julia Child—one of the most iconic celebrity chefs ever, who also worked to develop anti-shark formulas in the fight against German U-boats in WWII. Tall, genuine and approachable, Child helped bring French cooking to a North American audience. #WikiSleep #WikiSleepPodcast #Sleep #SleepStories #MentalHealth  Please note: we will continue to have bonus episodes sporadically with different hosts as the WikiSleep app is being built. 
30:03
May 03, 2021
Episode 80: Helen of Troy
Helen of Troy was said to have had a face that launched a thousand ships. The most beautiful woman in Ancient Greece, she abandoned her husband and stole off in the middle of the night with a young prince named Paris. These actions led to the Trojan War and would ultimately cause the downfall of Troy. #WikiSleep #SleepStories #HelenOfTroy #GreekMyth #MentalHealth
49:58
April 29, 2021
Episode 79: Chris Farley
Chris Farley was an American actor and comedian, known for his loud, energetic comedic style. Hugely popular from his time on SNL and trough films like Tommy Boy and Beverly Hills Ninja, his life was cut short at just 33-years-old by a heart attack related to drug addiction. Despite dying so young, he remains an icon of 1990s comedy and continues to be popular with comedy fans today. #WikiSleep #Sleep #ChrisFarley #SleepStories #MentalHealth 
32:58
April 22, 2021
Episode 78: André the Giant
One of the most famous wrestlers in history, André the Giant stood over seven feet tall and weighed upwards of 600 pounds, yet could perform technical, acrobatic moves in the ring. Born into a poor immigrant family in France, he rose to world-wide fame, appearing in movies like The Princess Bride, as well as several American TV shows. A noted gentle giant, he was also a lover card games and wine and considered to be extremely generous by friends and colleagues. #WikiSleep #SleepStories #AndretheGiant #sleep #mentalhealth
41:58
April 15, 2021
Episode #77: Caligula
Caligula, the third Roman Emperor, was known for his cruelty, sadism, extravagance, and sexual perversion. He is often described as an insane tyrant, yet he instituted political reforms and infrastructure projects that had a lasting impact on the empire, despite his considerably short reign. #WikiSleep #WikiSleepPodcast #SleepStories #MentalHealth #Sleep 
37:04
April 08, 2021
Episode #76: Bonnie & Clyde
Bonnie and Clyde were a notorious American criminal couple who traveled the Central United States with their gang during the Great Depression. Their sensational and murderous bank robberies and hold-ups of small stores and rural gas stations, captured the attention and then the ire of Americans across the country. #WikiSleep #WikiSleepPodcast #BonnieAndClyde #sleepstories
39:58
April 01, 2021
Episode #75: Nina Simone
Known as the High Priestess of Soul, Nina Simone was an American activist, pianist, singer and performer. Her music became synonymous with the civil rights movement and her strong presence and talent helped propel her to the highest echelons of Jazz around the world. #NinaSimone #WikiSleep #WikiSleepPodcast #SleepStories
34:58
March 25, 2021
Episode #74: Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny is an animated, anthropomorphic grey and white rabbit famous for his flippant, indifferent personality. Originally voiced by Mel Blanc, he has appeared in feature films, TV series, music records, comics, video games, award shows, amusement park rides, and commercials. He has been in more films than any other cartoon character, is the 9th most-portrayed film personality in the world, and has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. #wikisleep #BugsBunny #sleepstories 
33:58
March 18, 2021
Episode #73: Daphne & Apollo
Daphne was Apollo's first love, but it was not brought about by accident. It was the malice of Cupid who cursed Apollo with loving someone who could never love him back. #wikisleep #WikisleepPodcast #GreekMyth #sleep #sleepstories 
31:28
March 11, 2021
Episode #72: Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie is the best-selling fiction writer in history, with over TWO BILLION books sold. She also wrote the longest-running play ever (The Mousetrap) and managed to cause an international sensation when she "disappeared" for ten days. The mysteries of this mystery writer never seem to end. #wikisleeppodcast #wikisleep #AgathaChristie #sleep #mentalhealth
41:58
March 04, 2021
Episode #71: Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong was an American trumpeter, composer, vocalist, and actor who was among the most influential figures in jazz. He broke many barriers in his five decade career and gained international fame for his unique style of storytelling while playing. Known as Pops and Satchmo, he played 300 shows a year for nearly 30 years. #wikisleep #sleep #LouisArmstrong 
38:35
February 25, 2021
Episode #70: Mae West
Mae West was an American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, comedian, and cultural icon. She was also considered one of the most controversial stars of her day. A supporter of the women's liberation movement, she was also an early supporter of gay rights and racial equality. Unabashedly risqué, she was heavily censored in Hollywood, but not before becoming the second highest-paid person in America in the 1930s. #wikisleep #sleep #MaeWest
38:59
February 18, 2021
Episode #69: Goat Testicles & Other Intrigues
The bizarre and true story of a medical charlatan name J.R. Brinkley, who rose to fame through the practice of implanting goat testicles into men and women as a cure-all for a range of ailments including impotence, flatulence and dementia. Brinkley inadvertently became a pioneer of radio advertising, all while skirting the law and hawking faux medicines to an unsuspecting public. #wikisleep #JRBrinkley #sleepstories #mentalhealth #sleep
49:14
February 11, 2021
Episode #68: Prince
Prince is widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians of his generation. A multi-instrumentalist who was considered a guitar virtuoso, he was known for his diverse work across multiple genres and his eclectic and androgynous persona. Amazingly prolific, he remains revered by music fans around the globe. #WikiSleep #Prince #sleep #MentalHealth #WikiSleepPodcast
40:45
February 04, 2021
Episode #67: How Odin Found His Wisdom
The gods and goddesses of Asgard were collectively called the Æsir, and chief and father of them all was Odin. His lofty throne rose high in the midst of Asgard, the sacred city the gods had built for their beautiful home. But despite being the Allfather, Odin still required wisdom, which he set out to find among the giants. #wikisleep #sleepstories #Odin #NorseMyths #sleep
30:04
January 28, 2021
Episode #66: The Gentleman Hijacker
The gentleman hijacker is the true story of one of the most daring heists in aviation history. On the day before Thanksgiving 1971, a man carrying a black briefcase boarded a plane in Portland for a short trip north to Seattle. In that briefcase was a bomb, which he used to demand the equivalent of $1.2 million dollars, four parachutes and a couple bourbon sodas before disappearing mid-flight. No one was hurt during the hijacking and it remains the only unsolved case of air piracy in commercial aviation history. #wikisleep #sleepstories #sleep #DBCooper #hijacking #wikisleeppodcast
37:07
January 21, 2021
Episode #65: Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso remains one of the most enduring figures of the 20th century. A prolific artist, he began his career at just 13 years old and practiced in painting, ceramics, poetry and other mediums. He achieved universal renown and immense fortune during his long life – and became an international celebrity, with often as much interest in his personal life as his art. #wikisleep #wikisleeppodcast #picasso #sleepstories #sleep
36:58
January 14, 2021
Episode #64: The Life and Adventures of Calamity Jane
Calamity Jane is an icon of the Wild West, an adventurous frontierswoman who rode for the Pony Express, befriended Wild Bill Hickok and performed in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show. Famous for being hot-tempered and quick with a gun, she has become a cornerstone of American folklore.  #wikisleep #wikisleeppodcast #CalamityJane #wildwest #sleepstories #sleep 
34:58
January 07, 2021
Episode #63: Jim Henson & The Muppets
Jim Henson was an American puppeteer, animator, cartoonist, actor, inventor, filmmaker, and screenwriter who achieved worldwide praise as the creator of The Muppets. He is also known for reimagining puppetry to be less for children and include darker themes and stories. #wikisleep #wikisleeppodcast #themuppets #sleepstory #sleep
35:58
December 31, 2020
Episode #61: Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France before the French Revolution, was a complicated figure with deep roots in the royal families of Europe. Sister to the Emperor of Rome and married to King Louis XVI, she was often portrayed in gossip pamphlets as a lustful woman who wished to bathe in the blood of the French people while spending lavishly on herself. But how much of this was actually true? #wikisleep #wikisleeppodcast #marieantionette 
46:42
December 17, 2020
Ep. 60: The True Story of Blackbeard the Pirate
Blackbeard was a real life British pirate who sailed the West Indies and the east coast of America in the early 18th century. His clothing, figure and exploits set the prototype for the image of pirates for centuries to come. #wikisleep #wikisleeppodcast #blackbeard #pirates #sleepstories 
44:34
December 10, 2020
Episode #59: Napoleon's Escape
Napoleon is considered one of the most ambitious and successful military leaders in European history, but he wasn't always victorious. After losing several battles in 1814, he was forced to abdicate his throne as emperor and was then exiled to a sparsely populated island near Tuscany called Elba. But while the coalition countries divvied up Europe, he quietly plotted his escape in a campaign that became known as the 100 Days War. #wikisleep #wikisleeppodcast #napoleon 
35:59
December 03, 2020
Episode #58: Gabriel García Márquez
Gabriel García Márquez was a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo throughout Latin America. His writing is visual, magical, playful and poignant. Considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. #gabrielgarciamarquez #wikisleep #wikisleeppodcast #sleepstories #onehundredyearsofsolitude #Columbia 
34:58
November 26, 2020
Episode #57: The Great Train Robbery of 1963
A true heist that took place in the UK in 1963, The Great Train Robbery was a sensation that gripped the nation. A group of 15 robbers managed to hijack a high-value postal train and get away with the equivalent of roughly $73 million dollars – most of which was never recovered. No one was killed during the robbery, but for many of those who got captured, the sentences were astonishingly high. #wikisleep #sleepstories #greattrainrobbery 
34:58
November 19, 2020
Episode #56: Salvador Dali
Salvador Dalí was a Spanish surrealist artist renowned for his technical skill, precise draftsmanship and the striking and bizarre images in his work. His artistic repertoire included painting, graphic arts, film, sculpture, design and photography, with major themes in his work that include dreams, the subconscious, sexuality, religion, science and his closest personal relationships. #wikisleep #salvadordali #sleepstories 
43:58
November 12, 2020
Episode #55: 2BR02B by Kurt Vonnegut
"2 B R 0 2 B" is a futuristic short story by Kurt Vonnegut. It is set in a society in which aging has been cured, individuals have indefinite lifespans, and population control is used to limit the population of the United States to forty million, which is maintained through a combination of government measures. In short, for someone to be born, someone must first volunteer to die. As a result, births are few and far between, and deaths occur primarily by accident. 
33:42
November 05, 2020
Episode #54: Vlad the Impaler
Vlad III, also known as Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Dracula, was the ruler of the Romanian Principality of Wallachia during the 15th century. Tales of his brutality against his foes sparked folklore that exists through today and he was famously used as the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. But most of the history of Vlad's rise and fall have been carried forward through oral histories and stories crafted by his enemies. Regardless, his methods were gruesome and his reign frightful. 
40:11
October 29, 2020
Episode #53: Pablo Escobar
Pablo Escobar was a Colombian drug lord and narco terrorist, who was the founder and sole leader of the Medellín Cartel.  Dubbed "The King of Cocaine," Escobar was arguably the wealthiest criminal in history, amassing an estimated net worth of US $60 billion by the time of his death in 1993. To many in Columbia, he was a hero who funded infrastructure and services for the poor. To others, he was a ruthless gangster who used his power to intimidate and terrorize a nation. 
31:58
October 22, 2020
Episode #52: Story of A Golden Age
Long before Odysseus set off on his epic Homeric journey, he was just a boy who believed that the island of Ithaca was all that existed in the world. On his twelfth birthday, though, everything changed. Promises made to his grandfather reshaped his path as he set off for adventure and to learn of  lands beyond what could be seen.
34:58
October 15, 2020
Episode #51: Ruth Bader Ginsburg
A US Supreme Court Justice from 1993 until her death in September 2020, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, sometimes known as the Notorious R.B.G., was a tireless advocate for gender equality in American law. Tenacious, extraordinarily intelligent and strong, many of the laws she championed had a direct impact on the discrimination she faced in her own life and career.
34:58
October 08, 2020
Episode #50: Tom Petty
Tom Petty was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor whose music has been lauded around the world for its authenticity. In a final tour celebrating Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker's 40th anniversary, he was secretly dealing with a fractured hip, which ultimately led to his untimely death.  
38:58
October 01, 2020
Episode #49: Tupac Shakur
Considered by many to be one of the most influential rappers of all time, much of Tupac Shakur's work addressed contemporary social issues that plagued inner cities and he is considered a symbol of resistance and activism against inequality. But he wasn't without controversy. Jailed for sexual assault, sued for the wrongful death of a child and a figurehead of the East Coast, West Coast rap rivalry, Shakur's short life burned hot before coming to a tragic end.
41:53
September 24, 2020
Episode #48: Coco Chanel
The founder and creator of a brand that endures long after her death, Coco Chanel rose from impoverished means to become one of the richest women in the world. She was a complex character, however, who unapologetically affiliated with the Nazi regime and leaned toward views that today would put her on the wrong side of history.  
39:58
September 17, 2020
Episode #47: Prometheus
The story of Prometheus, a Greek Titan god credited with the creation of humanity from clay and who defies other gods by stealing fire and giving it to humanity for civilization. He was a champion of humankind and paid dearly for his actions in opposition to the tyrant, Jupiter. 
32:32
September 10, 2020
Episode #46: Rasputin
Rasputin, infamous, intriguing and bizarre, rose from being an illiterate villager in the depths of Siberia to become an invaluable part of the Romanov dynasty. A self-proclaimed holy man, he was famous for his lust, miracles, and ability to evoke feelings of love or hatred in all he met. 
33:17
September 03, 2020
Episode #45: Salem Witch Trials
The Salem Witch Trials were one of Colonial America's most notorious cases of mass hysteria. All in all, more than two hundred people were accused between February 1692 and May 1693. Thirty were found guilty and nineteen were executed. The trials have been described as a vivid cautionary tale about the dangers of isolationism, religious extremism, false accusations, and lapses in due process. 
34:12
August 27, 2020
Episode #44: Dr. Seuss
Despite being one of the biggest selling children's authors of all time, Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Ted Geisel, never had children of his own. He wrote both adult and kids books, was a captain in the American Army Air Force and, at the time of his death in 1991, had sold over 600 million books worldwide.
33:49
August 20, 2020
Episode #43: Atlanta the Huntress
The Greek tale of Atlanta the Huntress written by James Baldwin. Atlanta, abandoned at birth for being a girl, was discovered by a she-bear and raised in the wild before being kidnapped by hunters who turned her into a warrior. Despite her superiority, strength and speed, some Greeks still looked poorly upon her – at their own peril.
42:47
August 13, 2020
Episode #42: Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams, most famous for writing The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, was an English author, screenwriter, essayist, humorist, satirist and dramatist. He is one of only two non-members of Monty Python to have a writing credit on the show and was an avid defender of wildlife. He also happens to be one of this podcast host's favourite humans. 
38:58
August 06, 2020
Episode #41: Marilyn Monroe
Wildly famous and iconic for being a major sex symbol of the 1950s and '60s, Marilyn Monroe was a far more complex character than how she was portrayed in the media. From very humble beginnings that were fraught with abuse and housing issues to becoming one of the most recognizable and bankable stars of the era, Monroe's short life was extravagant, brutal and underestimated by most.
52:04
July 30, 2020
Episode #40: Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway was more than a Nobel and Pulitzer prize winning writer. He was a war correspondent for both World Wars, the Spanish Civil War and countless other major events during his lifetime, often writing for the Toronto Star. Married several times, he was an adventurous compatriot of writers like James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald and poet Ezra Pound. He travelled the world, but loved the solitude of Wyoming for hunting and Cuba for drinking. He was a massive character with an incredible life who impacted American literature for years.
49:14
July 23, 2020
Episode #39: Cleopatra
Super badass, Cleopatra was the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, reigning from 51 to 30 BCE. She had children with Roman Emperor Caesar, and later, with the next most powerful man in the empire, Mark Antony. A life filled with espionage, assassinations and love, her story is complex and intriguing, leaving people to have remained fascinated by her for over 2,000 years.  
54:57
July 16, 2020
Episode #38: The History of Ice Cream
Ice cream may seem like a ubiquitous summer treat of modern times, but its history — and the history of frozen desserts — actually dates back thousands of years. From ancient Chinese dynasties and Roman Emperor Nero, to French and British confectioners, all the way through to George Washington and WWII, ice cream and frozen desserts have played a major role in class and morale of the people.  Today, the ice cream industry is worth over $21 billion in the US alone. 
37:58
July 09, 2020
Episode #37: Bob Marley
Bob Marley's music remains a part of popular culture despite his death at a young age nearly 40 years ago. His activism, passion and smooth rocksteady style launch him to international fame, playing for hundreds of thousands around the world and bringing Jamaican music to the masses. 
35:28
July 02, 2020
Episode #36: The Notorious B.I.G.
Iconic, insanely talented and ambitious, The Notorious B.I.G.'s legacy is one full of mystery, murder and missed potential. Dead at just 24 years old, the Junior M.A.F.I.A. co-founder set the framework for East Coast hip-hop for years to come, with much of his major commercial success coming after his untimely death. 
40:05
June 25, 2020
Episode #35: The Odyssey, Book III
In Book III of Homer’s Odyssey, Telemachus and Minerva sail onto the shores of Pylos, who Nestor reigns. Feasts and offerings to the gods follow and Nestor shows Telemachus the respect he would have given his father, Ulysses.
50:52
June 18, 2020
Episode #34: Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity and blew the doors off physics. By 43 years old, he had been awarded the Nobel Prize and was celebrated internationally as the ruling monarch of the mind. A life-long pacifist, he worked to save the lives of countless scientists from the Nazi regime. 
37:39
June 11, 2020
Episode #33: Anne Boleyn
Easily the most famous of King Henry VIII's many wives, Anne Boleyn became the target of hatred during her brief reign as Queen. Aristocratic, educated and wickedly smart, many believe her downfall and purported adultery we designed by King Henry so he could move on to his next love interest. Regardless, Anne Boleyn's short life was directly connected to the Reformation in England and cemented Henry as a ruthless monarch willing to execute anyone who got in his way. 
39:58
June 04, 2020
Episode #32: Achilles
The greatest of the Greek warriors in Greek mythology, Achilles was the son of the sea goddess, Thetis, and a mortal king, Peleus. Fate foretold of Achilles' glory on the battlefield, but in chasing that glory, he was destined to live a brief but celebrated life. His story has been interpreted and retold countless times, with the Homeric epic poem, The Iliad, being the most detailed account of his achievements. 
31:34
May 28, 2020
Episode #31: Al Capone
Notorious, infamous, and vicious, Al Capone was an American gangster and businessman who attained notoriety during the Prohibition era as the co-founder and boss of the Chicago Outfit. His seven-year reign as a crime boss ended when he went to prison at the age of 33, after which he lost  control of his gang and entered a steep mental decline due to a syphilitic infection. He died with the mental capacity of an eight year old. 
38:27
May 21, 2020
Episode #30: Mark Twain
Known for his sharp wit and wise mind, Mark Twain was a celebrated writer during his lifetime. A friend of interesting figures Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, his started out in his career as a steamboat man before chasing adventures around the world as a writer. He was much-loved during his lifetime and is said to have delivered speeches that were the equivalent to today's stand-up comedy. 
34:58
May 14, 2020
Episode #29: A Ghost Story
Originally published in Harper's Magazine in 1908, The Shell of Sense by Olivia Howard Dunbar tells the tale of a woman recently deceased. Trapped between this world and the next, and tortured by a love growing in her absence, the ghost navigates the ether, searching for meaning. 
52:58
May 07, 2020
Episode #28: Billy the Kid
A legend of the Old West, Billy the Kid started his life as Henry McCarty, the son of Irish Catholic parents in New York City. Orphaned at 14 years old, Billy took to gambling and stealing in the American south before rising to become one of the most notorious figures in the Lincoln County War. Constantly on the run, evading sheriffs, getting capture and escaping jail more than once before meeting his end at just 21 years old, Billy the Kid became of piece of American folklore.
38:58
April 30, 2020
Episode #27: Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and cleric who became Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. He is remembered for works such as A Tale of a Tub, A Modest Proposal, and, most famously, Gulliver’s Travels. His deadpan, ironic writing style has led to such satire being termed "Swiftian".
35:02
April 23, 2020
Episode #26: Alan Turing
Widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence, Alan Turing’s work led to some of the most important breakthroughs for the Allies in WWII. Complex and misunderstood, Turing was convicted of gross indecency in 1952 simply for being gay and, despite his massive contribution to Allied effort, he was forced to undergo chemical castration or face jail.
38:12
April 17, 2020
Episode #25: Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici was an Italian noblewoman who was queen consort of France from 1547 until 1559, by marriage to King Henry II, and Queen mother of kings Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III. The years during which her sons reigned have been called "the age of Catherine de' Medici" as she had extensive, if at times varying, influence in the political life of France.
37:53
April 10, 2020
Episode #24: Ernest Shackleton
Sir Ernest Shackleton was an Irish Antarctic explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic. He was one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration and famously saved his entire crew after his ship, Endurance, became trapped in pack ice and was slowly crushed and sank. The crew escaped by camping on the sea ice until it disintegrated, then by launching the lifeboats to reach Elephant Island, after which Shackleton and a small crew sailed in a makeshift boat over stormy ocean conditions to South Georgia Island, 720 nautical miles away to get help.
43:15
April 05, 2020
Episode #23: The Odyssey, Book Two
The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other Homeric epic. In Book Two, Telemachus, son of Ulysses, finally confronts the suitors who have been eating his father’s food and drinking his wine in his absence while they attempt to capture the hand of his mother in marriage. He learns of their intentions and a looming war with them before meeting with the Goddess, Minerva.
42:49
March 27, 2020
Episode #22: Franz Kafka
Born in 1883 in Prague, Franz Kafka was a Bohemian novelist and short-story writer, widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature. His work fuses elements of realism and the fantastic and typically features isolated protagonists facing bizarre or surrealistic predicaments and incomprehensible socio-bureaucratic powers. He never married, yet had a tortured relationship with sex and was womanizer who was engaged several times. Although the term "Kafka-esque" has entered the English language to describe situations like those found in his writing, he was virtually unknown during his lifetime.
36:37
March 20, 2020
Episode #21: Hedy Lamarr
Once billed as the most beautiful woman in the world, Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian-American film star whose true passion was inventing. During a career in which she out-billed some of the top male actors of the era, Lamarr spent her free time nurturing her inventiveness and ideas, some of which are used in the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology of today.
35:50
March 12, 2020
Episode #20: The Wright Brothers
Inventive, ambitious and brave, the Wright Brothers tackled the challenge of aviation with a dedication that was hard to match. Several near misses, test flights and an unwavering commitment to flying, their historic flight at Kitty Hawk on December 14th, 1903 set in motion a revolution in how we travel over the earth.
38:48
February 28, 2020
Episode #19: The Cask of Amontadillo
The Cask of Amontadillo is a macabre short story by Edgar Allan Poe in which a passion for rare wine meets the darkness of the catacombs by chasing the temptation for a taste. A prime example of Poe’s penchant for the doors that lead toward death.
27:48
February 21, 2020
Episode #18: The Great Fire of London
In September of 1666, The Great Fire of London swept through the central parts of the English city, raging uncontrolled for days. The flames gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman city wall, destroying 87 parish churches, St Paul's Cathedral, and most of the buildings of the City authorities. It is estimated to have destroyed the homes of 70,000 of the city's 80,000 inhabitants.
37:01
February 13, 2020
Episode #17: The War of the Worlds, Chapter One
As humans on Earth busied themselves with their own endeavours during the mid-1890s, aliens on Mars began plotting an invasion of Earth because their own resources were dwindling. The War of the Worlds is a science fiction novel by English author H. G. Wells, first published in 1897 by Pearson's Magazine in the UK and by Cosmopolitan magazine in the US. 
25:49
February 06, 2020
Episode #16: Mata Hari
A Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who was convicted of being a spy for Germany during World War I, Mata Hari was at once celebrated for her allure as a provocative seductress and persecuted for it at the same time. Claiming to be of Javanese ancestry, her story is one in which she broke into the personal circles of Europe’s elite, only to be cast aside and used as a scapegoat. 
30:09
January 28, 2020
Episode #15: Bruce Lee
Famous for his exceptional skill and speed as a martial artist, Bruce Lee’s rise to fame took a meandering route that included living in Hong Kong under Japanese occupation as a child, street fighting and appearing in over 20 films by the age of 18. Founder of Jeet Kune Do, or the Way of the Intercepting Fist, Lee’s untimely death led to rumours of organized crime and a family curse.
35:59
January 22, 2020
Episode #14: Joan of Arc
An illiterate farm girl who claimed that the voice of God instructed her to take charge of her country's army and lead it to victory, Joan of Arc was able to convince the as-yet crowned King Charles VII to let her do it. What's more astounding is that once in charge, her swift victories led to the consecration of Charles and brought her family into nobility. A meteoric rise that ended as quickly as it began.  
34:58
January 14, 2020
Episode #13: The Red Barn Murder
***Fair warning, this episode has some pretty gory details*** The Red Barn Murder was a notorious crime committed in Polstead, England in 1827, that provoked numerous newspaper articles, songs and plays that remained popular throughout the next century and continue to be performed today.
30:28
January 07, 2020
Episode #12: The Odyssey, Book One
The Odyssey begins after the end of the ten-year Trojan War, and Odysseus has still not returned home from the war after angering the god Neptune. Odysseus' son, Telemachus, is about 20 years old and is sharing his absent father's house on the island of Ithaca with his mother Penelope and a crowd of 108 boisterous young men, "the Suitors", whose aim is to persuade Penelope to marry one of them, all the while reveling in Odysseus' palace and eating up his wealth...
34:59
January 03, 2020
Episode #11: Santa Claus
Jolly Ol' Saint Nick has become a cultural and commercial icon, but have you ever thought about where that image and idea comes from? An amalgam of Dutch, Middle Eastern, British and American versions, Santa Claus finds his roots as a pious saint from the tenth century. 
33:32
December 20, 2019
Episode #10: Charles Dickens
Ebenezer Scrooge, Oliver Twist and David Copperfield were all borne from the mind of Charles Dickens, who is largely thought to be the best writer of the Victorian era. Through his own life he rose from extreme poverty to the highest echelons of society, but never forgot his roots and used his writing to highlight the challenges of the poor in the 19th century.
40:36
December 12, 2019
Episode #9: Harry Houdini
Harry Houdini began his life as Erik Weisz, a young immigrant from Hungary who rose from poverty in America to be one of the most famous escape artists and entertainers in history. 
38:26
December 05, 2019
Episode #8: The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde
A short fable written by Irish Poet and famous wit, Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince tells the story of a devoted little swallow who is compelled to serve a gilded prince despite his desire to fly to the warmer climes of Egypt where his friends have flown for the winter. 
39:58
November 28, 2019
Episode #7: Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
A writer who fought in the second world war, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was taken prisoner in the Battle of the Bulge and survived the bombing of Dresden as a prisoner of war. These experiences, among many, led Vonnegut to be a lifelong pacifist with a penchant for writing about the human condition in a way that few have been able to do. 
36:58
November 21, 2019
Episode #6: The Tell-Tale Heart
Edgar Allan Poe's famous short story, first published in 1843. Told from the standpoint of one individual, it is a tale of self-delusion, guilt and the perils of having a roommate. 
24:20
November 13, 2019
Episode #5: Frankenstein
Written by Mary Shelly when she was just 18, the first edition of Frankenstein was published anonymously in London on January 1st, 1818. Shelly's name appeared on the second edition, published in 1823, and the story of Frankenstein has seen rises and falls in popularity in the 200 years since it was given its first breath.
39:26
October 30, 2019
Episode #4: Edgar Allan Poe
Famous for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe was one of the first American authors to live off writing alone…much to his peril. A fierce critic of transcendentalism, he was found delirious on the streets of Baltimore in clothes that were not his own days before he died. The mystery of Poe persists, but was he really mad? Or was his legacy usurped by a jealous foe? 
35:58
October 24, 2019
Episode #3: The Brothers Grimm
The Brothers Grimm compendium of folk tales has remained the most popular book in Germany for years, second only to the bible. Born into the Holy Roman Empire during the 18th century, these two unlikely storytellers rose from poverty to prominence as anthologists of some of the most famous tales we know today. It wasn't an easy life though.
24:58
October 13, 2019
Episode #1: Charlie Chaplin
He was the world's first international movie star at 25 years old, with enough clout and money to dictate his terms. Starting from nothing, Charlie Chaplin's rise to superstardom is fraught with intrigue, despair and more success than most anyone could handle. 
55:23
October 10, 2019