News & Information

Ice King, Japanese Ice, Joan of Arc

Constant Wonder
  • Oct 8, 2019 8:00 pm
  • 1:39:10

How the World Kept Cool When "The Ice King" Ruled Guest: Jonathan Rees, Professor of History, Colorado State University-Pueblo, author, "Refrigeration Nation," "Before the Refrigerator," and "Refrigerator" Before the refrigerator, or air conditioning or electric fans, ice was a hot-–or rather, cold-–commodity. We’re talking with Jonathan Rees about the surprisingly complex workings of the ice industry, and the “Ice King” who started it all by shipping New England ice all around the globe. How delicious can you make ice? Guest: Nathan Hopson, Associate Professor, Modern Japanese and East Asian History, Nagoya University, Japan The Japanese commercialized the ice trade way back in the 11th century. Kakigori was a frozen Japanese delicacy that eventually led to the shave ice craze that pops up every year on American street corners.  The Glory, Gory Game of Mayan Ball (originally aired August 2, 2019) Guest: Stephen Houston, Chair, Department of Anthropology, Dupee Family Professor of Social Sciences, Brown University This Mesoamerican ball game combined decapitation, communion with the dead, and worship of the gods. Misconception and mystery still surround the game, but Professor Houston of Brown University weighs in on the rules, history, and deep cultural implications of the sport.  The Real Impact of Joan of Arc (originally aired August 2, 2019) Guest: Kelly DeVries, Professor, History, Loyola University Maryland 590 years ago, Joan of Arc had a frankly miraculous year. Though countless books and articles have been written on her, her military career is pretty much confined to 1429, and she died only two years later. We revisit this dramatic period of history and ask how she ever could have had the impact she did.