Past Present Podcast: Voting Rights, Olympics Commentary, and Think Tanks

Olympic Flag

On this week’s episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia debate recent court decisions on voting rights, sexism in Olympics commentary, and corporate influence in think tanks. Voting Rights This summer, courts struck down restrictive voting laws in North Carolina, Kansas, and Wisconsin. Niki pointed out that there have been only 31 cases of voter fraud since 2000. We recommended Ari Berman’s history of voting rights, Give Us the Ballot. Olympics Commentary The Olympics sportscasters can’t […]

Past Present Podcast: Veeps, Beach-Going, and the Olympic Doping Scandal


On this week’s episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate the changing role of the vice presidency, the history of beach-going, and the Russian doping scandal overshadowing the Rio Olympics. Role of the Vice Presidency Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have picked Tim Kaine and Mike Pence as their respective running mates, but does the Vice Presidency even matter? Niki recently argued in the Atlantic that the twentieth century saw the rise of […]

Past Present Podcast: Pat Summitt, Hellerstedt, and the Democratic Sit-In

Pat Summitt

On this week’s episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki debate the legacy of basketball coach Pat Summitt, the place of Women’s Whole Health v. Hellerstedt in America’s abortion debate, and the House Democrats’ sit-in over gun control. Pat Summitt The winningest college basketball coach, Pat Summitt of the University of Tennessee, died last week at the age of 64. Neil commented on Summit’s incredible achievements on the court and argued she was the most […]

Past Present Podcast: Muhammad Ali, Brock Turner, and the First Woman Nominee

Muhammad Ali history

On this week’s Past Present podcast, Niki, Neil, and Natalia debate the legacy of Muhammad Ali, the aftermath of the Brock Turner trial, and America’s first woman nominated to the presidency by a major party. Muhammad Ali Muhammad Ali died last week at the age of 74. Natalia remarked on a life that was as notable for Ali’s political activism as it was for his athletic prowess. She also connected Ali’s story […]

Past Present Podcast: Merrick Garland, Misty Copeland, and Contested Convictions

Misty Copeland

On this week’s Past Present podcast, Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and Neil Young discuss Merrick Garland, Misty Copeland, and brokered conventions.     Merrick Garland President Obama has nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Niki noted that Republican leaders and activists have cited historical precedents to defend their opposition to Obama’s nomination, but that this has been an incorrect use of history. Neil noted Garland was a shrewd […]

The Church of Sport

greg pressler desert run

Someone I trust offered me some sage advice years ago. “Never talk about politics, money, or religion with people who you haven’t seen naked.” Although I didn’t know it then, his words to the unwise have kept me out of trouble on more than one occasion. Along the road of life, I’ve taken a more dim view on the taboos we’ve placed on the discussion of certain topics. As long […]

Go Bigger: Using Failure to Drive Your Success

Greg Pressler

When New Year’s resolution chit chat gives way to the topic of goal setting (a.k.a. plans, schemes, or ideas, if you will), there’s a question I like to pose: If your next goal were so outrageous that the possibility of failure was incredibly high, would you still pursue it, or would the likelihood of failure be sufficient enough to deter you from the possibility of succeeding? Like other goals in […]

Maxwell Carl Scott on Snowboards, Slopes, and Spring Break

spring break snowboards

Maxwell Carl Scott is the Owner / Brand Manager of Spring Break Snowboards. When he’s not on the slopes, he’s in the studio creating new projects or lending his creativity to the coolest brands. What’s Spring Break about? How did it start? Spring Break began in 2010 as an experimental art project by founder Corey Smith and friends. The aim of the project was to deconstruct modern snowboarding and re-imagine […]

Past Present Podcast: Thanksgiving Feasting, Football Controversies, and Black Friday Shopping


On this week’s Past Present podcast, Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and Neil Young discuss Thanksgiving food, the controversial history of football, and Black Friday. Thanksgiving Feasting At the first Thanksgiving meal in 1621, the colonists and Native Americans probably didn’t eat turkey, but food has always been important to the holiday. Niki noted that the CBS documentary, Harvest of Shame, broadcast the day after Thanksgiving in 1960, showed the […]