Popular Culture

How many cigarettes are sold each year, worldwide? Believe it or not, six trillion. Our guest, who calls the cigarette "the deadliest artifact in the history of human civilization," was the first-ever historian, several years ago, to testify in court against Big Tobacco. On this installment of ST, which first aired earlier this year, we speak with Robert N. Proctor, Professor of the History of Science at Stanford University.

On today's show, we speak by phone with Davy Rothbart, a writer, editor, filmmaker, and contributor to public radio's "This American Life." He's also the founder/publisher of the popular "Found Magazine," which collects discarded notes, letters, photos, lists, and drawings that are both discovered and sent in by its readers.

On this installment of ST, a fascinating book about culture, cuisine, customs, cutlery, crockery, and civilization itself.

"It's always five o'clock somewhere," as the old saying goes. And this expression, of course, was as true in the 1770s or 1860s or 1930s as it is today --- and maybe it's all the more fitting right this instant, as we approach the holiday season. On today's show, therefore, we are discussing the histories, traditions, origins, myths, and/or recipes related to various cocktails.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the renowned artist, art director, cartoonist, and illustrator Wayne White --- along with the filmmaker Neil Berkeley, who's directed a documentary about White's influential and still-thriving career, "Beauty Is Embarrassing." This film premiered at SXSW in Austin, Texas, earlier this year, and it will be screened tonight, the 15th, at the Philbrook Museum of Art (at a "Third Thursday" event, beginning at 5:30pm), and tomorrow night, Friday the 16th, at the Circle Cinema (at 6pm).

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