Monthly Archives: January 2019

Ep. 8 – Charles Siebert on translating nature’s symphony



During his travels in South America at the close of the 18th century, the German explorer Alexander von Humboldt came upon a parrot speaking the words of a lost Indian tribe. The encounter inspired our guest, acclaimed author and New York Times Magazine writer Charles Siebert, to imagine the echoes of human language that might persist, in nonhuman voices, once we are gone. We speak with Siebert about his reporting on humans’ wonder for and wounding of animals, the reach of metaphor, and what he discovered in the gaze of a chimpanzee named Roger.


Ecology and Evolution: Episode I



As part of the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine’s quarterly issue, focusing on Ecology & Evolution, YJBM podcasters John Ventura & Huaqi Li interview Stephen Stearns, the Edward P. Bass Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale about his work.


Cinco Paul – Screenwriter (Despicable Me, The Secret Life of Pets)



One of the biggest names in animated movies, Cinco Paul has co-written the screenplays for Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2 and 3, Horton Hears A Who, Hop, The Lorax, and The Secret Life of Pets, among many others. Cinco and his writing partner, Ken Daurio, are giants in the field, who have now turned their eye on TV, while continuing to write blockbuster films. Join Aaron and Cinco for an in-depth convo about how to write with a partner, how to pitch comedy vs. drama, and where those damn minions come from.


Ep. 7 – “Eating Animals” film director Christopher Quinn on the hidden costs of factory farming



Award-winning film director, writer, and producer Christopher Quinn’s new film, “Eating Animals,” based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s acclaimed nonfiction book, traces the environmental, economic and personal consequences — on human and nonhuman animals — of the rise of industrialized animal agriculture and of our country’s departure from local, sustainable farming. With bracing intelligence, empathy and imagination, the film explores the practical and ethical costs of cheap meat and profiles farmers and whistleblowers who have refused to do so. Quinn takes us behind the scenes of the film, shares his approach to storytelling and discusses why he believes the story of animal agriculture in America is important to tell. 


Nell Scovell – TV Creator/Writer (The Simpsons, Late Night, Sabrina)



Nell Scovell has written on some of the most iconic TV comedies of the past few decades, including The Simpsons, Late Night with David Letterman, Murphy Brown, Coach, The Muppets, Monk, and she’s Creator and Executive Producer of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.

In books, Nell collaborated with Sheryl Sandberg on Lean In, which resulted in a worldwide movement. And Nell’s memoir about her career, Just the Funny Parts, has recently come out in paperback.


Ep. 6 – Gale Ridge on bringing peace to humans’ befuddling relationships with bugs



A concert pianist-turned-entomologist and bedbug expert, Dr. Gale Ridge is an insect detective. She solves mysteries and helps thousands of perplexed, struggling people with all varieties of bug problems — from bedbugs to agricultural pests to imaginary bugs that infest our consciousness. Dr. Ridge speaks about her sleuthing and how she brokers peace between the humans that walk in her door at the Connecticut Insect Inquiry Office and the tiny segmented animals we’ve learned to fear. 


Gavin Edwards – Writer, Journalist, Biographer



Gavin is an incredibly talented non-fiction writer.  Prolific on music and movies, he’s written entire books on Bill Murray, Tom Hanks, and River Phoenix.  This last one brought Gavin’s well-researched and insightful work to Aaron’s attention. Gavin’s writing has been published in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and Wired, among other outlets. Aaron is excited to talk to Gavin about his writing process, interacting with his famous subjects, and finally solving the mystery of how one gets in touch with Bill Murray.