Episode 13: 616.835-The Polio Epidemic and Vaccines

This week, Katie is bewitched with the polio epidemic and vaccines.  As the U.S. takes its first tentative steps toward post-COVID life with the massive roll-out of vaccines, Katie takes time to reflect on another virus that changed our world: Polio. For decades, parents lived in fear of summer- time polio outbreaks. Children went fromContinue reading “Episode 13: 616.835-The Polio Epidemic and Vaccines”

Ep. 12: 941.081 – Victorian Customs and Entertainment

In this episode, Hailee is bewitched by the customs, entertainment, and daily lives of the Victorians. The victorian period is named after for reign of Queen Victoria encompassing the span of history between 1837-1901. During this time, Brittain and the United States were experiencing the first Industrial Revolution. Also during this time, Alexander Graham BellContinue reading “Ep. 12: 941.081 – Victorian Customs and Entertainment”

Episode 11: 910.9164- The survival story of Jose Salvador Alvarenga

In this week’s episode, Katie is bewitched by the incredible survival story of Jose Salvador Alvarenga. In November 2012, Alvarenga headed out on a fishing trip despite warnings of a storm brewing. The routine trip soon turned life-threatening when engine failure and rough seas dragged Alvarenga and his mate, 22-year-old Ezequiel Cordoba, deep into theContinue reading “Episode 11: 910.9164- The survival story of Jose Salvador Alvarenga”

Episode 10: 612.821 – Sleepwalking

This week, Hailee is bewitched with the strange, funny, sometimes deadly behaviors of people who sleepwalk.  Sleepwalking is a behavior disorder that originates during deep sleep and results in walking or performing other complex behaviors while still mostly asleep. Listen this week as Hailee discusses some funny sleepwalking stories, including some sleep talking stories fromContinue reading “Episode 10: 612.821 – Sleepwalking”

Episode 9: 977.41- Mackinac Island

In this episode of The Reference Desk, Katie is bewitched with Mackinac Island.   Nestled in the cold, deep waters between the upper and lower pennisulas of Michigan lies the idyllic and picturesque Mackinac Island. What was once a beloved spot for indigenous people evolved into a fur trader’s outpost, a military stronghold, and eventually theContinue reading “Episode 9: 977.41- Mackinac Island”

Episode 8: 978.02 – The Donner Party

This week, Hailee is bewitched by the tragic fate of the Donner Party. Literally every conceivable thing went wrong for this rag-tag group of travelers. pioneers traveling the Oregon trail were *inspired* by the promise of free land in California and Oregon. Spurred on by what journalist John L. O’Sullivan coined Manifest Destiny, and encouraged byContinue reading “Episode 8: 978.02 – The Donner Party”

Ep. 7 – 305.4821: Debutantes of the London Social Season

In this episode, Katie is bewitched with the debutantes of the London social season.  Since the late 1700s, Britain’s most eligible young ladies have been presented to society during London’s social season. Providing the framework for our favorite novels like Pride and Prejudice, debutante society hides a deeply problematic world of sexism, racism, classism, andContinue reading “Ep. 7 – 305.4821: Debutantes of the London Social Season”

Episode 6: 781.66 – Rock myths, legends, and curses

In this week’s episode, Hailee is bewitched with rock and roll myths, legends and curses. Who created Rock and Roll? It’s a question that has been heavily debated and there are many possible answers. It has been attributed to Blues legend Robert Johnson, southern gospel music from backwoods churches, but one thing is very clear,Continue reading “Episode 6: 781.66 – Rock myths, legends, and curses”

Special Episode: Meet Your Hosts!

In this special edition episode of the Reference Desk, we formally introduce ourselves! We tell a little bit about each of our backgrounds, how we met, and why we are creating this podcast. We also answer some questions about our reading habits and play a fun round of “would you rather”! We hope you haveContinue reading “Special Episode: Meet Your Hosts!”

Episode 5: 615.78- Ayahuasca

In this episode, Katie is bewitched with the psychedelic drug ayahuasca. Deep in the Amazon basin of South America, indigenous people rely on the wisdom of the sacred ayahuasca brew, a psychoactive drink. For centuries, this medicine has guided and healed those who partake in its sacred ritual. Traditionally, a trained shaman guides their communityContinue reading “Episode 5: 615.78- Ayahuasca”