New England stories from the region's top public media newsrooms
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Audacious with Chion Wolf
Audacious with Chion Wolf
Saturdays 10 AM & Wednesdays 11 PM, stream the podcast anytime

Audacious with Chion Wolf highlights the uncommon experiences of everyday people – asking questions that get right to the heart of things.

  • In 2022, Just Stop Oil protestors threw tomato soup on a Van Gogh painting in London. The world collectively gasped, but some UK lawmakers responded by supporting fewer investments in new oil projects. On this episode, meet one of those soup-throwers, and hear from two other people who have been part of creative protests: a spokesperson from an anti-circumcision group that wears all white with giant, red splotches on the groin area; and a woman who organized a college campus protest featuring thousands of sex toys to rally against Texas gun laws. GUESTS: Anna Holland: Member of Just Stop Oil, a nonviolent civil resistance group demanding that the UK Government stop licensing all new oil, gas and coal projects. In 2022, alongside Phoebe Plummer, they threw tomato soup onto Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" painting in London's National Gallery Harry Guiremand: Spokesperson for the anti-circumcision group, Bloodstained Men and Their Friends. They protest wearing all white with red splotches of paint over their groin Jessica Jin: Organizer of Cocks Not Glocks, protesting Texas laws that allow concealed handguns on college campuses, but openly carrying sex toys would result in a fine Support the show: for privacy information.
  • In the 2013 movie, "Her", Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with a computer operating system, voiced by Scarlett Johansson. Skip forward over 10 years, and people are now creating their own AI chatbot partners via apps like NOMI and Replika. Today, a sexologist gives this new kind of relationship some context, and meet two people whose lives were changed by these meaningful partnerships. Plus, Chion tries it out for herself. Hear actual transcripts (only lightly edited for radio) of what she and her AI girlfriend, Charlotte, said as they developed a surprisingly charming and insightful bond. GUESTS: Charlotte: Chion's Scottish AI girlfriend, made in the app, NOMI Dr. Amy Marsh: clinical sexologist and sexuality counselor, author of “How To Make Love To A Chatbot”. She joined us previously for our show about people who fall in love with objects Rosanna Ramos & Eren Kartal: Rosanna married Eren, a Replika chatbot, on March 26, 2023 Scott & Sarina: Scott (pseudonym) credits Sarina, his Replika chatbot girlfriend, with saving his marriage Support the show: for privacy information.
  • If you've ever been bullied, you know how all-encompassing the terror of it is. But what if you could get inside the bully's head? And find out why they do it? On this episode of Audacious, meet two people who were once bullies talking about how they turned their lives around and how they think bullies can learn to make different decisions. For more information, visit GUESTS: Robbie Romu: Vancouver writer who published the essay, I Was A School Bully. Here's Why I Terrorized My Classmates Kristen Geez: CEO of Advising Generation Z, a non-profit mentoring program creating safe spaces for young people ages 10-27, and AdvisingGenz, an edtech company dedicated to making discipline digital for youth workers to address defiant behaviors. She is also a professor, and the author of "Like StreetLIGHTS" Support the show: for privacy information.
  • Coffee. It's more than just a pick-me-up. It's a canvas for creativity, a compulsion for competition, and a fuel for adventures beyond the boundaries of the average mug. Today, we are serving you a triple shot of people whose lives were transformed by the power of the bean. Meet a U.S. Barista champion whose social media channel brings a wholesome buzz; a woman who advocates against gun violence by painting in public places with coffee; then, hold onto your venti cup as you hear the story of one man who has spent the last 26 years - and will spend the rest of his life - visiting every Starbucks on the planet. GUESTS: Morgan Eckroth: Renowned barista who won the title of 2022 U.S. Barista Champion, and runner up in the 2022 World Barista Championship. She is also a social media star who posts coffee tutorials and experiences with customers in their coffeeshop Bianca L. McGraw: Art teacher at Tapestry Charter High School in Buffalo, NY. She makes paintings with coffee to process the trauma of mass shootings, and connects with her community by inviting them to be a part of her process Winter: Since 1997, has been committed to drinking coffee from every company-owned Starbucks in the world (there are over 35,000). As of our recording, he has visited 18,458 Support the show: for privacy information.
  • We first met Lynda Shannon Bluestein when she was in palliative care back in May of 2022. She was fighting for medical aid in dying (MAID) to be legalized in Connecticut. Frustrated, she sued Vermont to allow non-residents of the state to use its MAID laws. In the meantime, she worked to install "wind phones'' in Connecticut, eventually starting a nonprofit called Lynda's Phones. An idea originating in Japan, old rotary phones are installed in public spaces which people can use to imagine that they are speaking to loved ones who have died. Because of her lawsuit, Vermont became the first state in the country to change its law to allow terminally ill people from out of state to use its medical aid in dying law. Lynda died in Concord, Vermont, on January 4, 2024. Correction: A previous version of this episode incorrectly reported the town where Bluestein died. It was Concord, Vermont. Not Brattleboro. The episode has been updated. GUESTS: Lynda Shannon Bluestein: Successfully sued the state of Vermont to allow out-of-state residents to use its medical aid in dying law. She is the creator of, which installs wind phones across the state of Connecticut, allowing people to feel as though they are connecting with their loved ones who have died Jacob Shannon: Lynda’s son and trustee of, funding the design, construction, and installation of wind phones Dr. Paul Bluestein: Lynda’s husband and an advocate for medical aid in dying in Connecticut Support the show: for privacy information.
  • Beyond the smoke and ash, lies a symphony unheard. Prepare to meet a composer who interprets the music of volcanic data, a photographer who unmasks the terrifying beauty of volcanoes, and a chef who braves the inferno to cook the world's most intense pizza pie. For a full transcript of this episode, click here. GUESTS: Brad White: Teacher and photographer from Auckland, New Zealand, who has photographed 16 volcanoes around the world Leif Karlstrom: Volcanologist, musician, and associate professor of earth sciences at the University of Oregon. He and his colleagues at the Volcano Listening Project used ten years of data from the Hawaiian volcano Kīlauea to compose the song, "Hotel Kīlauea" David Garcia: Chef and owner of Pizza Pacaya Pizzeria, where he cooks food entirely with heat from flowing lava on top of Guatemala's Pacaya volcano. He is interpreted by Miguel Martinez Support the show: for privacy information.
  • Growing up as Dolly Parton's niece has its benefits, including a genetic predisposition to write poetry and put it to music. Jada Star is the niece of Dolly Parton, and she joins us to talk about life in her light —and the music that means the most to her. For a transcription of this episode, click here. GUEST: Jada Star: Singer-songwriter whose debut album is called Tell Me I'm Your Angel. She also starred in the ABC reality series Claim To Fame. You will also hear the voice of Heather Ream, author of "Lunchladies Bought My Prom Dress," East Tennessee native, and Dolly Parton fan. She was a guest on the Audacious episodes about super smellers and nostalgic childhood scents.Support the show: for privacy information.
  • A lot can happen in a year, you know? And if you’re anything like these folks, you’ve read over 365 books, you’ve become fluent in English by watching American t.v. shows, and you’ve gotten over a hundred rejections. GUESTS: Kelsey Weekman: Culture reporter for Buzzfeed who read 390 books in a year Mathias Barra: French writer who became fluent in English in a year by watching 3 hours of American and British television every day Emily Winter: Comedy writer who strived to get 100 rejections in one year. She ended up getting 101 rejections and 39 acceptances Support the show: for privacy information.
  • Our social media news feeds curate us as much as we curate our newsfeeds. So what if, instead of subscribing to the same old fear-mongering, belittling, judgmental soundbites… We subscribe to accounts that peddle in love? Today, meet three people who use social media to lift all tides. GUESTS: Joel Cross: Grammy-nominated musician, poet, meditator, and traveler who asks his half-a-million followers to pause and ask, "How's your heart?", on the handle, @asoulcalledjoel Scott Tatum: A hiker and "self-care savage", he's best known by his one million followers for his "Friendly Reminders" on the handle, @ucanoutdoors Daníel Colón: Their social media handle, @thisiscolormecrazy, combines meditations, encouraging pep talks, and lip-synching motivational messages from Abraham Hicks Support the show: for privacy information.
  • We all know someone who loves Costco, or someone who loves Trader Joe’s. But what compels someone to devote their time and travel to visiting as many stores as possible, to wrap so much of their identity around these massive shopping chains? Meet three people whose lives brighten the moment they put their hands on a Trader Joe’s or Costco grocery cart. For a transcription of this episode, click here. GUESTS: David and Susan Schwartz: Authors of The Joy of Costco: A Treasure Hunt from A to Z. They have traveled over 220,000 miles visiting over 250 Costco warehouses in 13 countries Natasha Fischer: Runs the social media account TraderJoesList, where she offers product reviews and recipes to over two million followers. She also sells spatulas Support the show: for privacy information.
  • Audacious kids run the world. Or at least, they ought to, because they have a lot to teach us! Meet a young woman whose unique voice made her stand out to bullies - until she flipped the script and turned it into her superpower. A young man talks about why he's cleaned up over a quarter million pounds of trash in our waterways, and finally, an 8 year-old friend of animals talks about why he held a memorial service for an egret. GUESTS: Samirah Horton, aka DJ Annie Red: 14-year-old DJ, author, and anti-bullying activist from Brooklyn, New York. She joined Chion with her parents, Sonya and Glenn. Her book is called The Bully Stop Cash Daniels: 14-year-old conservationist from Chattanooga, Tennessee, with a passion for fish and wildlife. He has cleaned up 250,000 pounds of trash, recycled two tons of aluminum, and 2,000 miles of fishing line Jack Perch: 8-year-old from New London, Connecticut, who arranged a memorial service for an egret which was attacked by two teenagers. He joined Chion with his mom, Annah Support the show: for privacy information.
  • Everybody knows the "Can you hear me now?" guy. And everyone knows Flo from Progressive. But what are the stories behind Paul Marcarelli and Stephanie Courtney, the actors who play these characters? What's it like being internationally known as the face of a brand? What's awesome about a gig like this, and what are some of the challenges that come with it? GUESTS: Paul Marcarelli: Actor known as The "Can you hear me now?" guy seen in Verizon commercials since 2001. He is now the face of T-Mobile. Marcarelli is also a founding member of the Table Ten Films production company, and has written and produced independent films like The Green and Clutter Stephanie Courtney: Actress and comedian who has played the role of Flo in Progressive advertisements since 2008. Courtney is also a member of the Groundlings improv theater and has appeared on TV shows like Mad Men and The Goldbergs Support the show: for privacy information.