Social Trends

It doesn't matter whether you grew up going to Coney Island, Six Flags, or Pacific Park — to a kid, all amusement parks are magical. This hour we take a trip to the land of funnel cake, freak shows and fast rides.

Fire eating

For decades, Todd Robbins has been entertaining audiences with his sideshow act, first at Coney Island and later with several off-Broadway shows. He demonstrated a few tricks of his trade.

Ferris wheel

At one point there were more than 1,500 amusement parks across America. Historian Lauren Rabinovitz says they helped ease the country into a period of rapid technological change.

Sabaa Tahir speaks about the inspiration behind her young adult debut.

Writer Kerry Howley on the appeal of mixed martial arts.

fighter

Ever wonder what goes through the mind of a fighter in the moments before a fight? Here's one take, courtesy of writer Jonathan Gottschall.

boxer

We explore the popularity and enduring appeal of combat sports.

cage fighter

Jonathan Gottschall is an English professor who trained for MMA – mixed martial arts – out of curiosity and wound up in the ring. Steve Paulson talked with him about why, and what it taught him about our relationship with violence.

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