Cover art for podcast Decoder Ring

Decoder Ring

18 EpisodesProduced by Slate PodcastsWebsite

Decoder Ring is the show about cracking cultural mysteries. In each episode, host Willa Paskin takes a cultural question, object, or habit; examines its history; and tries to figure out what it means and why it matters.

episodes iconAll Episodes

Murphy's Law

December 9th, 2019

38:57

Nick Spark fell down a rabbit hole tracking down the origins of Murphy’s Law, the ubiquitous phrase that says “If it can go wrong, it will go wrong”. …

Gender Reveal Party

November 6th, 2019

40:09

Jenna Karvunidis invented the gender reveal party, but now she has regrets. On this episode of Decoder Ring, we explore the pink and blue world of the gender reveal party, and how Jenna's small barbecue celebration …

Bart Simpson Mania

October 7th, 2019

48:13

In the early 1990's Bart Simpson became a breakout star while also becoming a target in the culture war, culminating in president George HW Bush …

Ice Cream Truck

August 12th, 2019

41:45

Why is the ice cream truck business so bananas? On this episode of Decoder Ring we find out via three seperate stories about the strange world of ice cream trucks—about the first ever ice cream trucks in China, the …

Pillow Talk

July 15th, 2019

30:36

Over the last half century the decorative pillow has been crowding out our sitting and sleeping spaces, multiplying across our beds and couches …

Chuck E. Cheese Pizza War

June 11th, 2019

48:53

The King was an  animatronic lounge singer who performed in Chuck E. Cheese locations in the 1980's and early 90's, but then he disappeared. The King was a victim of a conflict known as the pizza wars, when Chuck E. …

Videomate: Men

April 29th, 2019

35:53

Videomate: Men is a VHS tape released in 1987 featuring 60 single men pitching themselves as dates to women on the other side of the TV screen, who …

Truck Nutz

March 25th, 2019

35:47

Truck Nutz are a brand name for the dangling plastic testicles some people affix to the bumper or hitch of their vehicle. Also known as Bull’s Balls, …

Baby Shark

February 25th, 2019

38:17

Baby Shark is an megaviral YouTube video, an unstoppable earworm, a top 40 hit, a Eurodance smash, a decades old campfire song, and the center of an …

The Grifter

January 31st, 2019

53:46

Brett Johnson was a career criminal: a fraudster, a con man, a cyber criminal, but now he’s a legal person operating on the right side of the law, helping companies stop people like he used to be. His story is the stuff …

Sad Jennifer Aniston

December 3rd, 2018

43:50

Jennifer Aniston’s story had it all: Heartbreak, secrecy, sex, betrayal. But what it also had was a new kind of tabloid: Us Weekly and its copycats. …

The Incunabula Papers

October 29th, 2018

53:19

Ong's Hat, or The Incunabula Papers, is a conspiracy theory that arose on the early internet. Combining cutting edge science, mysticism, and obvious …

Hotel Art

October 1st, 2018

32:27

Hotel Art used to be one of the ultimate symbols of bad taste, it was often ugly, kitschy, and strange. Today, the art you find in a hotel is far …

The Paper Doll Club

August 27th, 2018

38:34

Paper dolls were a ubiquitous part of children’s lives for decades, and then mostly disappeared. David Wolfe was a boy growing up in the 1950’s, with …

The Basement Affair

July 30th, 2018

43:17

What are the real reasons people go on reality TV? This episode follows the story of Ann Hirsch and Cathy Nardone, two women cast on VH1’s “Frank the …

Clown Panic

June 25th, 2018

37:46

Decoder Ring is a podcast about cracking cultural mysteries. Every month host Willa Paskin,Slate’s TV critic, takes on a cultural question, object, …

The Johnlock Conspiracy

June 4th, 2018

52:02

Who gets to decide if Sherlock Holmes is gay? For over a century, fans of Sherlock Holmes have been analyzing, debating, and creating new texts with …

The Laff Box

April 30th, 2018

32:42

Welcome to Decoder Ring! Decoder Ring is a monthly podcast about cracking cultural mysteries. Every episode we’ll take on a cultural object, idea, or …

Loading ...

Are you the creator of this podcast?

Verify your account

and pick the featured episodes for your show.

Listen to Decoder Ring

RadioPublic

A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed
https://feeds.megaphone.fm/decoderring

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens