We have an unprecedented number of guests for you in the mystery Christmas package with airholes that is this special festive episode of Shift Run Stop. Maggie Philbin and Click presenter LJ Rich join us to talk about tea, t-shirts and the days of three-channel TV, while comedy writer-performer Daniel Maier regales us with showbiz anecdotes and shows off his Pocketeers collection. Noted anosmic Alice Bartlett knows the best ice creams for people who lack the sense of smell, and writer Anna Pickard recounts her efforts to find a real Dickensian Christmas in the States.
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The life of David Sedaris took an unexpected, and not entirely unwelcome, turn when his "Santaland Diaries" were first broadcast on Morning Edition in 1992.
Sedaris recounted his experiences playing Crumpet the elf at Macy’s in New York during the holidays. Almost overnight, he went from obscurity to sought-after talent.
Now, 13 years later, he is a best-selling author who still appears on public radio from time-to-time.
And in those intervening years, the popularity of his original NPR appearance has only grown. So, here, once again, is Sedaris reading in 1992 from his "Santaland Diaries."
Charlie Brooker reads his contribution to The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas.
Tom Flynn is the Editor of Free Inquiry magazine. A journalist, novelist, entertainer, and folklorist, Flynn is the author of numerous articles for Free Inquiry, many addressing church-state issues, as well as the best-selling The Trouble With Christmas, about which he has made hundreds of radio and TV appearances in his role as the curmudgeonly âanti-Claus.â He is also the author of the critically acclaimed anti-religious black comedy science fiction novels, Galactic Rapture and Nothing Sacred. His latest work, The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief, is a comprehensive reference work on the history, beliefs, and thinking of Americaâs fastest growing minority: those who live without religion. In this interview with D.J. Grothe, Tom Flynn discusses the trouble he has with Christmas. He also explores the relationship of atheism and skepticism with science fiction. He talks about the connection that many of the leading figures in science fiction have had with the Center for Inquiry over the years. He surveys influential atheist and humanistic writers in science fiction including H.G. Wells, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov, Douglas Adams, Phillip Pullman, and Kurt Vonnegut, among many others. He discusses the secular humanism in Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek franchise, and an interesting connection an episode had with Scientology. He details Orson Scott Card’s relationship with secular humanism. He talks about the influence of Robert Heinlein’s earlier works on the development of his own religious skepticism. He discusses the similarities of Scientology and Mormonism with science fiction. He examines the intersection of sci fi and religious satire, as in the works of James Morrow and Bo Fowler. And he explains his own foray into science fiction, with his critically acclaimed books Galactic Rapture and Nothing Sacred.
From the album 8-Bit Jesus: Classic Christmas Songs in the Style of Classic NES Games. You can hear all the tracks and download the entire album here: