Halloween Special: Lady Killers!!!

We're bringing you a Halloween treat this week: six horrifying murderesses from days of yore. A blood-thirsty countess, a maniacal nurse, a cruel midwife, and even a diabolical wrestler: these ladies prove that dudes don't have the serial killer market cornered! Happy Halloween!

Madame de Pompadour: A Mistress to Top Them All!!

Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, better known as Madame de Pompadour, was probably the most successful and influential "official mistress" in western history. She captured Louis XV's attention, along with everybody else's, with her wit, style, charm, and boundless energy. From theatre to architecture, gardening to philosophy, encyclopedias to politics, this busy lady had her fingers in just about everything at Versailles and beyond. You'll just swoon for this fascinating seductress! 

Susanna Moodie: Iconic Canadian Chronicler!

Susanna Moodie is well known to English lit majors from Cape Breton to Vancouver Island, but her full life story is even more interesting than the years depicted in her famous book Roughing It in the Bush suggest. Abolitionist, successful writer, independent lady, Ontario brush clearer, and now Canadian icon: Susanna Moodie probably didn't mean to help define the Canadian identity, but she's right up there with Sir John and Gordon Lightfoot!

The Secret History of Underwear!!

We're making a sexy splash with our fall premiere, because haven't you always wanted to know just what ladies have been wearing under their street clothes throughout the ages? Linen strips, breast bags, knickerbockers, and girdles, we've got you covered! (Wink.)

The Salem Witch Trials: Still Insane, After All These Years!

WHAT was going on in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692?? A pretty fair question! In the span of just a few months, a small colonist community went a little nuts and condemned and executed 20 people, mostly women, for witchcraft. At a time in Western history when witch hunts and trials had been winding down, they made a sudden big, if brief, comeback in New England. This week we give you the who, what, where, and when, as well as some pretty interesting theories on why, exactly, the whole mess happened. Frustrated teens? Mental illness? Could funky rye have played a part?? Historians are still divided!

Makeup: A COLOURFUL History!!

What do ancient Egyptian kohl, nail polish in imperial China, and red lipstick during World War II have in common? They're three of the many ways makeup has been used in human history for practical and social purposes! There might just be more meaning behind the history of makeup than you would notice at first blush...

Sacagawea: Teenage Adventurer!!

You've probably heard at least a little something about this intrepid interpreter who trekked with Lewis and Clark on their famous "Corps of Discovery" expedition in 1805, but there's a lot of myth and mystique surrounding the actual details of her life. This week we give you just the facts, ma'am, along with a look at the mystery and contentious debate around Sacagawea's death. This daughter of a Shoshone chief certainly made her mark on the history and national narrative of the storied American west. And she kept a remarkably cool head while doing it!

The Bechdel Test: Cultural Litmus Paper!!

In 1985 cartoonist Alison Bechdel wrote a comic titled, "The Rule." And after a 20-year incubation period, the internet discovered it and went nuts! Much to Bechdel's surprise, her comic took on a life of its own as a female representation litmus test for movies, and all sorts of other media. This week Heather and Dayna trace the path of what has become known as the Bechdel Test, and discover some surprising movie passes and fails!

Mary Seacole: Superhero Nurse!!

We're pretty sure you'd be hard-pressed to find someone as brave, accomplished, well-traveled, selfless, business savvy, boundary-pushing, and just generally awesome as Mary Seacole, a Jamaican nurse best-known for pushing her way onto the battlefields of the Crimean War. She fought Cholera with scientific rigour, and refused to let racism stand in the way of her passions. We think you'll end up loving her as much as we do!

Iris Apfel: One Chic Bird!

Iris Apfel is a 94-year-old "geriatric starlet" who has been turning heads and minds for decades. With indomitable style and grace this rare bird proves the truth of the phrase "you do you" and inspires everyone who crosses her path in the worlds of design, fashion, and culture, from presidents to students to people on the street. Business maven, style icon, teacher, designer, irrepressible old dame: Iris is one of a kind!

LM Montgomery: Patron Saint of Spunky Redheads

Prince Edward Island is well-known for its red dirt, its potatoes, and for being the birth-place of a certain polite commonwealth nation. But Anne of Green Gables is what draws in thousands of tourists from around the world every year. This week we look at Anne's witty, intrepid, and complicated creator, Lucy Maud Montgomery, one of Canada's best-known and most beloved literary heroes.

Amazons: Myth? Fact? Both??

Was there really an ancient society of brutal female warriors? Or was it all a scary-sexy invention of the Greek imagination, much like our modern obsession with vampires? Like a lot of history, the truth may be somewhere in between... and the modern postscript to the Amazon story is pretty intriguing! 

The Supremes: Supremely Talented, Supremely Important!

Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, and Diana Ross were school pals who went on to change the face of pop music in the US. From crazy hit streaks to diva behaviour, these ladies and their successors packed an awful lot of excitement into just a few short years. OooooOOOoooo baby love, the Supremes are a force to be reckoned with!

Ching Shih: Best Pirate Ever???

Ching Shih is arguably the most successful pirate ever, and you've (probably) never heard of her. From humble beginnings in a floating brothel in Qing Dynasty China, she went on to masterfully command a massive fleet of ships, with the Empire and its allies at her mercy. We think she's a little scary, and a lot impressive!