Forever Ago

American Public Media

Brains On presents Forever Ago®, a history show for the whole family! Every episode looks into the surprising and fascinating history of things we think are ordinary, but they’re not -- like ice cream flavors, video games, baths and more. We make learning about the past fun while teaching listeners to think critically about history.

  • 30 minutes 1 second
    Why do we eat popcorn at the movies?

    Popcorn is a buttery, tasty treat. You can find it everywhere, from circuses to sports games. But it’s probably best known for its starring role as a movie theater snack! So why do we eat popcorn at the movies anyway? Why not pizza or peanuts or potato chips? 


    Join Joy and co-host Rose as they dive into the delicious history of this beloved snack and learn how for a long time, movie theater owners refused to let people eat popcorn in their fancy buildings. Plus, they’ll meet a very famous popcorn influencer and try their luck with a sweet new First Things First featuring Slurpees, Milk Duds and Sour Patch Kids! 




    Resources:


    Check out pictures of the first steam-powered portable popcorn poppers and the super snazzy movie palaces of the 1920s.



    This episode was sponsored by:
    Walt Disney Studios - Disney and Pixar's Inside Out 2 is coming to theaters, June 14th.

    PRX - Check out new episodes of PRX's Jamming on the Job wherever you get your podcasts.

    12 June 2024, 8:00 am
  • 31 minutes 45 seconds
    Hole in One: History of the bagel

    Today, bagels are a classic American breakfast food. But less than 100 years ago, most people in the U.S. had never heard of them! Join Joy, co-host Arianna, and special guest Sohla El-Waylly of the Deep Dish podcast to learn how a group of tough, dedicated bakers helped bagels go from nearly unknown to breakfast big shot. Plus, Arianna pays a visit to Asa’s Bakery in Minneapolis and learns how to roll bagels and bialys. And of course, a brand new First Things First!


    Featured Experts:


    Sohla El-Waylly is a chef, cookbook author and podcast host! Check out her books, recipes and cooking tips on her website.


    Asa Diebolt, is a baker and owner of Asa’s Bakery in Minneapolis, MN.

    This episode was sponsored by:
    Walt Disney Studios - Disney and Pixar's Inside Out 2 is coming to theaters, June 14th.

    PRX - Check out new episodes of PRX's Jamming on the Job wherever you get your podcasts.

    5 June 2024, 8:00 am
  • 28 minutes 37 seconds
    Terrific Toilets: how humans solved the potty problem

    It’s easy to take toilets for granted, but these porcelain thrones are nothing short of marvelous. In this episode, Joy and co-host Caleb find out how bathrooms and sewers helped civilizations grow. Plus they take a pit stop in ancient Rome where public restrooms were very public. And they learn about a privy fit for a literal queen. Enjoy and remember to wash your hands when you’re done!

    This episode was sponsored by:
    Walt Disney Studios - Disney and Pixar's Inside Out 2 is coming to theaters, June 14th.

    PRX - Check out new episodes of PRX's Jamming on the Job wherever you get your podcasts.

    29 May 2024, 8:00 am
  • 28 minutes 5 seconds
    How guide dogs came to lead the way

    Dogs have served as human’s loyal companions for thousands of years. They’ve also been trained to do some pretty cool jobs! In today’s episode, Joy and cohost Oliver learn all about the history of guide dogs. These are canine companions that are trained to help guide people who are blind or have vision loss. They’ll also meet 16 year old Ella Shea and her guide dog Pico!  Plus, we’ll hear one of your invention mentions, and play a brand new edition of First Things First!

    Resources:
    To learn more about guide dog schools, visit https://www.igdf.org.uk/

    This episode was sponsored by:
    Walt Disney Studios- Disney and Pixar's Inside Out 2 is coming to theaters, June 14th.

    22 May 2024, 8:17 am
  • 2 minutes 2 seconds
    Smarty Pass Sneak Peek: Rock, Paper Scissors

    It’s a Forever Ago face-off! Joy has turned the garage at HQ into a boxing arena and has brought in Molly Bloom and Nico Gonzalez Wisler for a rock, paper, scissors showdown!  Grab your smarty pass to witness the raw power of rock, paper, scissors!

    20 May 2024, 8:00 am
  • 24 minutes 3 seconds
    Where did the Fortune Cookie come from?

    When most of us think of fortune cookies, we think of those little folded cookies that come with Chinese food. But did you know that fortune cookies aren’t from China? So where did they come from? And why do we think of them as Chinese? Join Joy and co-host Harlem as they find answers and trace the cookie’s journey. We’ll also hear from journalist Jennifer 8. Lee who wrote an entire book all about fortune cookies, plus a brand new First Things First!

    Featured expert: Jennifer 8. Lee is a journalist, film producer, and author. She wrote an entire book about the history of fortune cookies called The Fortune Cookie Chronicles. Lee also produced a documentary about the origins of General Tso’s Chicken. To learn more, check out her website.

    Resources:
    To learn more about the internment of Japanese Americans, check out the graphic novel Displacement by Kiku Hughes.

    This episode was sponsored by:
    Walt Disney Studios- Disney and Pixar's Inside Out 2 is coming to theaters, June 14th.

    15 May 2024, 8:45 am
  • 1 minute 41 seconds
    Forever Ago is Back May 15!

    Hey Forever Ago Friends!! Ready for more Forever Ago FUN?! Well you’re in luck— Forever Ago is back with a brand new season May 15th! Tune in to learn all about how wheelchair basketball was invented, why we eat popcorn at the movies, and what humans did with their doo before modern toilets!

    7 May 2024, 9:18 pm
  • 1 minute 29 seconds
    Smarty Pass Sneak Peek: Instrumental Enigma

    Forever Ago host Joy Dolo has a brand-new game she’s calling Instrumental Enigma. It sounds like a lot of fun! Emphasis on sounds! Grab your Smarty Pass to hear what producers Rosie duPont and Aron Woldeslassie think of the new game and all of its interesting sounds!

    22 April 2024, 8:00 am
  • 1 minute 37 seconds
    Whatchamicallit: A Smarty Pass Sneak Peek

    Do you know what Blibber-Blubber was? How about Wiff-Waff? If only there were an incredible game hosted by Joy Dolo to help us figure it out. Oh wait, there is! Grab your Smarty Pass and let’s play Whatchamacallit! The greatest game to explain a name.

    18 March 2024, 8:00 am
  • 1 minute 48 seconds
    Heartwords: A Smarty Pass Sneak Peek

    It’s a time-honored Valentine’s Day tradition to hand out conversation hearts - those candies with phrases like “be mine” and “love always” written on them. In this episode, we play a game where contestants come up with conversation candies for made up holidays.





    19 February 2024, 9:00 am
  • 1 minute 1 second
    Want more Forever Ago fun? Join Smarty Pass today!

    Forever Ago won’t be back for a few months, but never fear! You can catch up on tons of Forever Ago fun today by signing up for Smarty Pass and accessing a back catalog of bonus episodes. You’ll also get ad-free episodes, discounts on merchandise and event tickets, and an exclusive thank you gift mailed straight to your home!


    Plus, this month we’re hosting a super special challenge. If we get 300 new subscribers in February, all of our Smarty Pals will get to join us for a virtual party hosted by Joy Dolo, Molly Bloom, Sanden Totten and Marc Sanchez where we will challenge you with mystery sounds, answer your questions, and more.

    We’re on track to throw the Smash Brains Forever party of the year but need more listeners to reach our goal! Support the show and subscribe today for just $4/month or $36/year at smartypass.org.

    13 February 2024, 6:00 am
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