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Decoder Ring

Slate Podcasts

Decoder Ring is the show about cracking cultural mysteries. In each episode, host Willa Paskin takes a cultural question, object, or habit; examines its history; and tries to figure out what it means and why it matters.

PublishesWeeklyEpisodes101Founded6 years ago
Number of ListenersCategories
HistorySociety & CultureDocumentary

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Artwork for Decoder Ring

Latest Episodes

Magazines have fallen on hard times – especially the weekly news, fashion, and celebrity mags that once dominated newsstands. The revenue from magazine racks has plummeted in recent years, and many magazines have stopped appearing in print or shut do... more

8 days ago

In 1986, Andrew Wyeth was the most famous painter in America. He was a household name, on the cover of magazines and tapped to paint presidents. And then he revealed a secret cache of 240 pieces of artwork, many provocative, all featuring the same nu... more

22 days ago

Like a manager or an agent or a publicist, a stylist has become a kind of must-have accessory for well-dressed, A-list celebrities. It’s just expected that they will have hired someone to select the clothes they’ll wear at public appearances. But thi... more

a month ago

Thirty years ago, a new kind of soda arrived in select stores. Instead of crowing about how spectacular it was, it offered up a liquid shrug, a fizzy irony. OK Soda was an inside joke for people who knew soda wasn’t cool. But what exactly was the pun... more

2 months ago


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4.7 out of 5 stars from 3.6k ratings
  • Too Many Ad Breaks!!

    Would be a 5 if there weren’t 5 as breaks in a 30 minute show.

    Apple Podcasts
    Phillie Phan 80
    United Statesa month ago
  • What a voice!

    Poor Kyle’s voice must have been flattened by algorithms too? Love the show. Love the concept. Wild that someone with that voice would be on an audio format!!

    Apple Podcasts
    United Statesa month ago
  • I get that they have to play nice with guests if they want more, but the coffee shop aesthetic episode was comical in how it failed to find any connection between its topic and its purported cause. It was basically an episode flipping between two random histories. The guest even said he asked owners to confirm he was correct but the answers he listed were completely unrelated. It also seemingly forgot about the existence of Dunkin' as well as failed to notice the casual dining look (pre-interne

    Podcast Addict
    a month ago
  • Way way too many commercial breaks

    New listener here - and I won’t be back. 2 commercial breaks in less than 9 minutes. I get that this is a business but come on. That’s so aggressive, and obnoxious even broadcast TV is less aggressive with advertising than that. You don’t give your listeners a chance to even get on board with your story the way you have your show structured around excessive ads in the first 10 minutes.

    Apple Podcasts
    United Statesa month ago
  • Compelling!

    I just listened to a very interesting story about “OK Soda”, something I had never heard about before. I always learn something new from Decoder Ring!

    Apple Podcasts
    United States2 months ago

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Decoder Ring launched 6 years ago and published 101 episodes to date. You can find more information about this podcast including rankings, audience demographics and engagement in our podcast database.

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