250 episodes

Each weekday, Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood make today make sense. Along with our supersmart listeners, we break down happenings in tech, the economy and culture. Every Tuesday we bring on a guest to dive deeper into one important topic. Because none of us is as smart as all of us.

Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly American Public Media

    • Business
    • 4.6 • 4.5K Ratings

Each weekday, Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood make today make sense. Along with our supersmart listeners, we break down happenings in tech, the economy and culture. Every Tuesday we bring on a guest to dive deeper into one important topic. Because none of us is as smart as all of us.

    Make Me Sports

    Make Me Sports

    We started out this episode talking about the folks who are still unvaccinated for COVID-19, but quickly turned to the way the NFL switched from carrot to stick in response to the delta variant. That’s just one of a few big stories we have to talk about on this oddly sports-centric show. We’ll also talk about why HIPAA doesn’t mean what many people think it means, and play another round of Half Full/Half Empty.



    Here’s everything we talked about today:




    “St. Louis, St. Louis County To Renew Mask Mandates On Monday” from St. Louis Public Radio
    “Rick Dennison out as Minnesota Vikings assistant after refusing COVID-19 vaccine, sources say” from ESPN
    “NFL to enforce forfeits in event of COVID-19 cancellation” from Sports Illustrated
    “Some Nice Pictures of Naomi Osaka at the Cursed Olympics Which Do Not Deserve Her” from Jezebel, plus Osaka’s tweet about the event.
    Our Half Full/Half Empty topics: Teenagers flooding the job market (plus Kimberly’s story about lifeguards), the EU carbon tariff, Dollar General health care, and the Cleveland Guardians



    Our show needs your voice! Tell us what you think of the show or ask a question for our hosts to answer! Send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).

    • 20 min
    Let’s talk about loneliness

    Let’s talk about loneliness

    Welcome to the metaverse! It’s run by Facebook. Plus: We cover a wide range of topics on this show and on our other daily news programs. But there’s a big one, a part of the human condition, we don’t often touch. So today we’re going to talk a bit about the proliferation of “ethical non-monogamy” on dating apps, the increase in sex toy sales in the pandemic, and why we don’t talk about those things on air very often.



    Here’s everything we talked about today:




    “Mark Zuckerberg is betting Facebook’s future on the metaverse” from The Verge
    “Polyamory increases in popularity as record numbers flock to dating apps” from ABC News
    “How Polyamorists and Polygamists Are Challenging Family Norms” from The New Yorker
    “People are more sexually adventurous right now — and more cautious” from Mashable
    “Augmented reality may change how we see the world. Until then, we have Pokémon.” from “Marketplace Tech”
    Plus a Pokémon grammar lesson
    “Jordan Peele reveals title of new thriller starring Daniel Kaluuya” from The A.V. Club

    Our show needs your voice! Tell us what you think of the show or ask a question for our hosts to answer! Send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).

    Join us on YouTube Fridays at 3:30 p.m. Pacific/6:30 p.m. Eastern for our live happy hour episode! Subscribe to our channel and sign up for notifications so you don’t miss it.

    • 16 min
    Hey, whatever happened to student loan forgiveness?

    Hey, whatever happened to student loan forgiveness?

    Federal student loan forbearance is set to expire at the end of September. There was a lot of talk at the start of the year of the Biden administration forgiving some amount of student loan debt, and one listener wants to know: What happened with all that? We’ll attempt to figure out the answer on this Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday, plus more of your questions about the doctor shortage and the longevity of phone and electric car batteries.



    Here’s everything we talked about today:


    “Broken iPhone? Stalled Tractor? FTC Wants to Make It Easier to Fix Them” from The Wall Street Journal
    “The Fix Is In” from United States Public Interest Research Group
    “Electric Car Battery Life: Everything You Need to Know” from Car and Driver
    “Tesla and the science behind the next-generation, lower-cost, ‘million-mile’ electric-car battery” from CNBC
    “Millions of electric cars are coming. What happens to all the dead batteries?” from Science
    “Biden has canceled $1.5 billion in student loan debt so far. It doesn’t mean broad forgiveness will come soon” from CNBC
    “Student loan borrowers may get more time without having to make payments” also from CNBC
    “Miguel Cardona’s Education Priorities: Addressing Disparities, Student Loans, Pre-K and More” from the Education Writers Association
    And, of course, our episode on the student loan system
    “The Covid-19 relief bill created 1,000 more residency slots for new doctors. Wealthy hospitals should be last in line to get them” from Stat News
    “What would rural health care from a discount retailer look like?” from “Marketplace Morning Report”
    “Out here, it’s just me: In the medical desert of rural America, one doctor for 11,000 square miles” from The Washington Post





    Our show needs your voice! Tell us what you think of the show or ask a question for our hosts to answer! Send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).

    Join us on YouTube Fridays at 3:30 p.m. Pacific/6:30 p.m. Eastern for our live happy hour episode! Subscribe to our channel and sign up for notifications so you don’t miss it.

    • 17 min
    Our power grid is buckling under the weight of climate change

    Our power grid is buckling under the weight of climate change

    The power grid isn’t like other infrastructure. It’s a complex system that’s always on, on-demand all over the country. When supply can’t keep up with demand, as in extreme weather, things can go wrong very quickly. Carnegie Mellon assistant professor Destenie Nock studies and helps plan power systems, and on today’s show she’ll tell us about the challenges of maintaining and repairing a power grid in the face of climate change, and the outlook for potential solutions.



    Here’s everything we talked about today:




    “Recent heat waves show the US power grid is not ready for climate change” from Recode
    “U.S. electrical grids are not prepared for climate change” from Marketplace
    “Luntz: ‘I was wrong’ on climate change” from Politico
    “The Luntz Memo and the Framing of Climate Change” from Big Think
    “Drought in Utah Town Halts Growth” from the New York Times
    “U.S. judge rules DACA program illegal, suspends new applications” from Reuters
    A list of 10 dyslexia-friendly fonts



    Our show needs your voice! Tell us what you think of the show or ask a question for our hosts to answer. Send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).

    • 35 min
    Monday is longreads day

    Monday is longreads day

    We’re keeping with our What’d We Miss Monday theme and tackling a bunch of the biggest stories that crossed our desks this weekend. There’s the delta variant of COVID-19, the plight of Uyghurs in China and potential new worker safety regulations in the face of climate change. But if that all sounds like too much of a bummer, we have a fun story about gardening in space.



    Here’s everything we talked about today:




    “Florida man gets 8 months in prison in 1st felony sentence from Capitol riot” from NBC News
    “A federal judge upholds Indiana University’s vaccination requirement for students.” from The New York Times
    “Amazon to Stop Covid Testing in U.S. Warehouses” from The Information
    “60% of people being admitted to UK hospitals are unvaccinated – adviser” from Reuters
    “US to Accuse China of Microsoft Hacking” from The New York Times
    “Senate passes bill that would ban all products from Xinjiang over China rights abuse” from Axios
    “Actor John Cena apologizes to Chinese audience after calling Taiwan a country” from NBC News
    “One by One, My Friends Were Sent to the Camps” from The Atlantic
    “Dixie Fire may have been sparked by PG&E equipment, company says” from the San Francisco Chronicle
    “Biden administration, workers grapple with health threats posed by climate change and heat” from The Washington Post
    The Guardian’s Pegasus project
    “Astronauts on International Space Station are growing chile peppers in a first for NASA” from CNN
    “The Truth Behind the Amazon Mystery Seeds From China” from The Atlantic

    Our show needs your voice! Tell us what you think of the show or ask a question for our hosts to answer! Send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).

    • 18 min
    We’re feeling a little apocalyptic today

    We’re feeling a little apocalyptic today

    You know how in disaster movies, you usually see a montage of news stories as everything falls apart? We can’t help but feel that way about all the climate-related news this week. Good thing it’s happy hour. Plus, Kai and Kimberly disagree on President Joe Biden’s rhetoric around Facebook and play a round of our favorite game, Half Full/Half Empty.



    Here’s everything we talked about today:




    “Biden says platforms like Facebook are ‘killing people’ with Covid misinformation” from CNN
    And a thread from lawyer and podcaster Ken White about Biden’s comments
    “Largest wildfire in U.S. spreads, larger than size of New York City and just 7% contained” from CBS News
    “Extreme Heat Across US Is Squeezing Shellfish Supplies” from Bloomberg
    “Work Injuries Tied to Heat Are Vastly Undercounted, Study Finds” from The New York Times
    “Flood Deaths Are Rising In Germany, And Officials Blame Climate Change“
    And our Half Full/Half Empty topics: infrastructure, TikTok’s crypto ban and marketing power, Comic Sans (thanks to listener Dale for suggesting that one!) and the new Indiana Jones movie



    Our show needs your voice! Tell us what you think of the show or ask a question for our hosts to answer! Send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).

    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
4.5K Ratings

4.5K Ratings

Samantha and George ,

We love the way You unpack all the current events!

Thank you, Kai and Molly! Our family is absolutely hooked on your podcast.

We feel like we’re sitting down with close friends laughing having something cold to drink and talking about current events except you’re way more knowledgeable!

Keep up the excellent work we truly love you guys!

Love From The Tuttle’s
Marin County California

Jhwahaha ,

Shows like this divide America

Show is made directly for 1/2 of Americans. This show perpetuates the political divide echo chamber; it’s laden with dangerous misinformation and half truths. I am saddened by the level of hatred and personal attacks the hosts lay down every episode against fellow countrymen.

JLT1007 ,

Sadly unfollowed

Used to love this show. This has become too pretentious and unbearable to listen.

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