Armchair Expert Umbrella with Dax Shepard
Armchair Expert Umbrella with Dax Shepard
About Armchair Expert Umbrella with Dax Shepard
Armchair Expert Umbrella is a media/podcast network comprised of all shows produced by Armchair Expert.
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier gets bitten by a squirrel, forcing him to come face-to-face with his greatest nightmare: rabies. Why does this virus have a near 100% mortality rate and how are you meant to be treated for it? David joins the 60,000 Americans who find themselves having to reckon with the risk of rabies every year, whether they are bitten by dogs, raccoons, bats… or in David’s case, a squirrel. To learn more, David meets fellow victims Courtney and Paul, who all had to have jabs in their arms, legs, and butts! David discovers that American emergency rooms can be very expensive and that rabies makes you terrified of water! For more on his rabies encounter, see Farrier’s newsletter Webworm: https://www.webworm.co/p/rabies
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier travels to Austin, Texas to investigate America’s love of BBQ. Why do 7 out of 10 adults in America own some kind of BBQ device, and why is there so much BBQ in Texas? David meets up with the BBQ editor of Texas Monthly, Daniel Vaughn. David discovers that Daniel has eaten at over 2,000 barbecue spots all over the planet… 2,119 to be precise - many of them in Texas. Daniel agrees to take David on a day of BBQ eating, from Austin to Lockhart to Luling - shoving brisket and sides town their gullets in a feeding frenzy of epic proportions.
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to Waco, Texas - taking a drive to visit the Branch Davidians compound, the old home of David Koresh. David is surprised to find that the strange offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventist church still exists and sits down to interview their new leader. Why are they still on the same grounds where so many terrible things happened? What do they believe? What do they think of Koresh? What is inside their church? And why did things go so crazy here 30 years ago, America essentially going after one man with an army of guns, helicopters, tear gas, 12 tanks, and almost 900 members of the FBI, ATF, Texas National Guard, the Army, the Waco police department, and the Texas Rangers.
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to understand Waffle House, the much loved diner found scattered throughout the American south. What makes this chain so special, and what the heck is the Waffle House Index? David interviews Waffle House’s Njeri Boss about the magic of waffles and why it’s actually more about the hash browns. He also talks to photographer Micah Cash about his book Waffle House Vistas (https://bittersoutherner.com/) and why this generic shoebox restaurant is actually incredibly diverse and special. What does Hootie and the Blowfish and the Bloodhound Gang all have in common? Waffle House!
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out for the DMV in an attempt to get his American driver’s license. By his side (and scared in the passenger seat) is Monica Padman, there to assist the New Zealander in his quest. Things take a turn when they discover Monica’s car is far too dirty. A diversion to a carwash, a quick quiche, and a lot of debate over the road rules take the pair to the DMV. Will David pass? What could go wrong? A whole lot, apparently.
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to understand America’s obsession with Valentine's Day. Why do Americans fork out $20 billion each year in an attempt to woo a mate or prove their love to an existing one? David discovers he doesn’t have a valentine, so interviews online dating coach Perri Schneider. What are the do’s and don’ts of American dating? Farrier then discovers that sales of vibrators go up on and around Valentine's Day, so talks to engineer Anna Lee of Lioness who invented a smart vibrator. What can we learn from this smart vibrator, and why has the clitoris been mistaken for the nose when it comes to the world of vibrator technology?
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier looks at America’s obsession with sandwiches. Why is Subway the United State’s biggest fast food chain, leaving Starbucks and McDonalds in its wake? To get answers, David heads to Philly to investigate one of America’s greatest inventions: The Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich. There he discovers two sandwich stores locked in a decades-long rivalry. What’s the beef between Geno’s and Pat’s? And what of the man who supplies both stores with their tasty sodas? David also meets the man behind the popular Instagram account @SandwichesOfHistory, Barry, who recreates sandwiches of yore. Why were ancient sandwiches so disgusting? Why would someone combine peanut butter with tomatoes in a sandwich?
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier returns to Aotearoa, New Zealand, to investigate why so many of New Zealand's native birds are flightless. Literally. David sets out to find three such creatures: the little penguin, the kakapo, and - of course - the useless kiwi bird. What happened to their wings, and why does the world’s heaviest parrot choose to live on the forest floor instead of the majestic trees? David learns why New Zealand birds are so stinky and marvels at the weight of the extinct Moa. Also, why did the world’s biggest FLYING bird live in New Zealand? And why does one particular flightless bird lead to so many ghost scares each year?
BONUS episode of Race to 35 with Esther Perel. Months after their retrievals, Monica and Liz return to the attic to discuss their feelings surrounding the egg retrieval process with some distance from the experience. Esther Perel joins the women in the attic to talk about ambiguous loss, jealousy/discomfort, and plans for the future.
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier looks at why Christmas is the OG holiday in America. He brings back Mike McHargue from the very first episode of Flightless Bird to talk about how religion and commerce mix. In 2021 Americans spent $800 billion on Christmas-related purchases and this year it looks to soar to new heights! Mike and David delve into the origins of Santa Claus, before David takes a trip to “Holiday Road,'' a giant Christmas display in Calabasas. Finally, David calls his mum/mom in New Zealand to discuss what it was like giving birth (to him) on Christmas Day.
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to understand the vast array of soft drinks on offer in the United States of America. He ends up stumbling into Waco, Texas - home of Dr. Pepper - where he attempts to solve the riddle of what the heck Dr. Pepper tastes like. Along the way, he discovers Big Red and the chaotic history of bottled soda water. He visits the Dr. Pepper Museum where he meets the Dr. Pepper-obsessed Joy Summer-Smith, associate director of the Dr. Pepper Museum. Before he leaves Waco, David hears some ghost stories and attempts to come to terms with the fact he’s very far away from New Zealand’s unique soft drink, L&P
Monica and Liz are all synced up in episode 9 (out of 10) of Race to 35. The two are feeling unexpectedly sad as this process comes to an end. They have resigned to the idea that their follicles are players and that they, the coaches, can only do so much. Liz re-visits trauma from her synchronized swimming days and talks about the time she interviewed for Anna Wintour. L & M chat with Andrew Solomon (Pulitzer Prize finalist author of Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity and The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression) about expanding the notion of the nuclear family, choosing surrogacy, his personal story of picking an egg donor and his experience interviewing polyamorous couples and parents of psychopaths. He, also, shares two new terms with the ladies: "supermarket people" and "the good enough mother".
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to understand why Americans love leaf blowers so much. Plagued by leaf blowers around his tiny one-bedroom apartment, David attempts to reach President Joe Biden to discuss leaf blower use at the White House. Failing miserably, he has to settle for another politician - also powerful - Pleasantville Village Trustee, Nicole Asquith. Why are various cities and states attempting to phase out gas-guzzling leaf blowers and why are they so dangerous? David speaks to Seattle Met magazine journalist Benjamin Cassidy, who recently wrote about Seattle's leaf blower turf war, before musing on Americans’ obsession with the perfect lawn.
Liz and Monica declare their sisterhood in episode 8 (of 10) of Race to 35. The two discuss how pain is passed down, Monica cries over Delta, and they talk about how this experience is affecting the way they view their parents. In the second half of the episode, they discuss the choice to not have kids with Chelsea Handler. They talk about the value of being able to give globally instead of insularly, Chelsea shares the story of when she realized she didn't want kids, and she reinforces the idea that one can have a full life without children.
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to understand one of America’s grandest animals, the Grizzly Bear. Emblazoned on the California flag and seal, what does this giant predator have to say about the American people? David discovers that animals kill about 400 Americans every year… how many of those deaths involve bears? To get some perspective on this often misunderstood creature, David sits down with journalist and newspaper editor Rob Chaney, who wrote an incredible book about Grizzlies called “The Grizzly in the Driveway”. What are the main misconceptions about the Grizzly bear and why does the population of Grizzlies in major parts of America still face being wiped out? Why can other countries co-exist with this giant beast yet America is still struggling? David also learns about how to best protect yourself from a Grizzly attack, what happens to the human body in a Grizzly attack, and why despite their size this spectacular megafauna still tends to come out the loser when it comes to humans.
Liz and Monica are “feeling superior to men today" in episode 7 (of 10) of Race to 35. The two talk about their fears of being needy and question what it would look like to build a non-traditional family. They chat with a choice mom, Dana, who has a two year old son via IUI and donor. She talks the women through the process of picking a donor and the highs and lows of having a child without a partner.
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to find the perfect turkey and in doing so discovers what Thanksgiving is all about. Somehow, Farrier gets acclaimed celebrity chef Michael Voltaggio to cook him, Dax, Monica, and Rob a full Thanksgiving meal - which involves a lot of turkey, sides, stuffing and pies. Voltaggio and Farrier discuss turkey jacuzzis and where Michael can be found most Thanksgivings. Puzzled by the origins of Thanksgiving, David talks to Crystal EchoHawk, founder & Executive Director of illuminative.org - to find out the real origins of Thanksgiving and how to best spend the Holiday - including just checking an app like Native Land to clock the history of the land we live on. Kristen and Dax smell the turkey in the air and decide to show up for a tasty Voltaggio meal - and the whole Flightless Bird team gives thanks.
Monica and Liz's trays finally arrive in Episode 6 (out of 10) of Race to 35. In this episode, the two women start a new shot and Monica lies to Liz about how much it hurts. Additionally, Liz is put on a blood thinner because she tested positive for a genetic blood mutation. The two talk to singer/songwriter Christina Perri about her struggle with fertility and her experience enduring multiple miscarriages. Christina learns vital information about her body and the simple solution that could have prevented her miscarriages. She bravely shares this information with Monica, Liz, and the listeners in hopes of preventing the same outcome for others.
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to understand the American airport and what makes it tick. Why are the top seven busiest airports in the world all based in America, and what does that mean for the traveler? David sets off for the world’s third business airport, Denver, to dig into the various conspiracy theories surrounding the airport. Why does it greet passengers with a giant terrifying mustang with glowing red eyes and did it really kill the artist who made it? David descends into the huge underground network of tunnels under the airport to find out what’s really going on there and tries to find answers to the strange, apocalyptic artwork on display at the terminals.
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