By Ken Jennings and John Roderick

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Subscribers: 2313
Reviews: 26
Episodes: 552

great infotainment!
 Dec 2, 2022
I've been listening to omnibus since it came out in 2018 and haven't missed an episode great job breaking away from iheartmedia and going independent! cheers from Seattle

Tony Q
 Mar 1, 2022
One of the few podcasts I don't/won't miss. John and Ken are just fun. They have great chemistry and make me laugh out loud nearly every podcast.

 Nov 13, 2021

 Sep 29, 2021
Facile, reading-Wikipedia almost word-for-word level podcast. Neither host is 1/10 as funny or charismatic as they think they are. Maybe one interesting fact per ep. Inefficient. Very disrespectful.

 Aug 30, 2021
This podcast is my favorite.


Twice a week, Ken Jennings and John Roderick add a new entry to the OMNIBUS, an encyclopedic reference work of strange-but-true stories that they are compiling as a time capsule for future generations.

Episode Date
Episode 550: The Kruger Millions (Entry 693.JB2801)
In which a vast hoard of gold and diamonds disppears near the Mozambique border during the Boer War, and Ken thinks most penguin species look like hoboes. Certificate #15845.
Jun 01, 2023
Episode 549: Project Cybersyn (Entry 993.AC0245)
In which Latin America's first Marxist democracy tries to collectivize the means of production by inventing a proto-internet in 1970, and John just hopes it was orange and brown. Certificate #53432.
May 25, 2023
Episode 548: The Gimli Glider (Entry 528.PS6104)
In which the pilots of a Canadian commercial jetliner abruptly realize over Ontario that they're entirely out of fuel, and Ken likes sad character licensing attempts at amusement parks. Certificate #41746.
May 18, 2023
Episode 547: Dueling Scars (Entry 385.PR0633)
In which German university students create a new status symbol when they add swordplay to their drinking society meetings, and John's closet skeletons are all bar fights. Certificate #36857.
May 11, 2023
Episode 546: Alligators in the Sewers (Entry 033.LV1142)
In which generations of New Yorkers read about, and lasso, a series of not-legendary-at-all interlopers beneath their city, and Ken doesn't think you should trim a reptile like a bonsai tree. Certificate #36161.
May 04, 2023
Episode 545: Magic Alex (Entry 747.JE0708)
In which a self-proclaimed electronics prodigy from Greece wows the credulous Beatles with five years of inventions he will never invent, and John insists that his recursive t-shirt feature Wil Wheaton. Certificate #45939.
Apr 27, 2023
Episode 544: Saul Zaentz (Entry 1455.1S1435)
In which a future three-time Oscar winner becomes the nemesis of America's favorite fake swamp-rocker, and Ken has prepared a little skit about the death of Stalin. Certificate #42240.
Apr 20, 2023
Episode 543: The Green River Ordinance (Entry 549.RV0320)
In which underslept Wyoming railroad workers strike back against a tide of pushy brush and encyclopedia salesmen, and John appreciates the Jehovah's Witnesses. Certificate #12881.
Apr 13, 2023
Episode 542: Mad Cow Disease (Entry 746.GE4120)
In which the unsavory feeding practices of British dairy farms introduce Europe to a new degenerative brain disease, and Ken believes Prince Edward is not necessarily human. Certificate #41602.
Apr 06, 2023
Episode 541: The Amazing Randi (Entry 038.EX0711)
In which mediums and other charlatans wage a 150-year war with their sworn enemy, elite stage magicians, and John would never yell at a lake or birdbath. Certificate #44722.
Mar 30, 2023
Episode 540: Kevlar (Entry 684.EX2822)
In which a pioneering chemist never sees a cent of the billions of dollars that her tough new polymer earns for her employer, and Ken wonders how many Alaskans fake their own deaths. Certificate #34836.
Mar 23, 2023
Episode 539: The Defector General (Entry 326.IS3301)
In which the greatest turncoat in Chinese history betrays every single warlord or government he ever serves, and John had the 4chan version of the '90s. Certificate #40824.
Mar 16, 2023
Episode 538: The Devils Hole Pupfish (Entry 342.PS10529)
In which a playful-looking but delicate little species is unable to thrive anywhere but its 11-foot wide home near Death Valley, and Ken witnesses a jellyfish tragedy. Certificate #41036.
Mar 09, 2023
Episode 537: The Sight and Sound Poll (Entry 1158.DE0413)
In which a British magazine very gradually takes over film culture with its once-every-decade top ten list, and John is careful not to endorse an invasion of the Sudetenland. Certificate #51403.
Mar 02, 2023
Episode 536: The Bhopal Disaster (Entry 118.JE2106)
In which a series of lapses at a Union Carbide India chemical plant leads to the worst industrial accident in history, and Ken can't get behind a midnight tea break. Certificate #52760.
Feb 23, 2023
Episode 535: The Osage Headrights (Entry 877.MT2508)
In which an Oklahoma tribe becomes the world's richest people before the swindling and the murders start, and John enjoys a web of intrigue. Certificate #47911.
Feb 16, 2023
Episode 534: The Voynich Manuscript (Entry 1403.DA0515)
In which a bizarrely illustrated codex baffles codebreakers for almost four hundred years, and Ken should not have sent that text about the collected works of Dickens. Certificate #42634.
Feb 09, 2023
Episode 533: Rhinos in Europe (Entry 1069.JB3910)
In which Europe is so besotted with exotic ungulates that Roman emperors battle them, artists engrave them badly, and salons honor them in wig form, and John asks about Ken's milk bags. Certificate #27983.
Feb 02, 2023
Episode 532: Cannikin (Entry 180.IS0219)
In which underground nuclear testing in Alaska leads two Jewish Quakers into a new age of direct action in environmental activism, and Ken is grateful for the air fryer. Certificate #53211.
Jan 26, 2023
Episode 531: The Royal Touch (Entry 1087.MT1902)
In which the divine right of kings, along with golden amulets, is considered the only cure for a disfiguring disease, and John considers which celebrities might be carved from wood. Certificate #22347.
Jan 19, 2023
Episode 530: Blue Fugates (Entry 137.DA1006)
In which a rare oxidized form of hemoglobin changes the skin color of a whole holler full of Kentuckians, and Ken wonders when elves got plastic surgery. Certificate #26015.
Jan 12, 2023
Episode 529: Korean Age (Entry 692.JB1117)
In which the world's first cultural superpower decides to make all its citizens a year or two younger overnight, and John could not have been a better baby. Certificate #38756.
Jan 05, 2023
Episode 528: Emperor Norton (Entry 408.MT2221)
In which a colorful newcomer to San Francisco loses a fortune on Peruvian rice and declares himself American royalty, and Ken would have pixelized Kiss. Certificate #42631.
Dec 29, 2022
Episode 527: The Grey Album (Entry 550.MT1906)
In which a future music megastar bridges the gap between rock and hip-hop with one ambitious, illegal remix album, and John is such a good ally that he listened to Suzanne Vega. Certificate #19205.
Dec 27, 2022
Episode 526: Christmas KFC (Entry 220.DE1411)
In which a western religious holiday becomes a romantic poultry-eating occasion in modern Japan, and Ken destroys all his Hard Rock Cafe t-shirts. Certificate #24940.
Dec 22, 2022
Episode 525: The First Council of Nicaea (Entry 472.AC1502)
In which an emperor convenes the first ever ecumenical council to figure out just whom Christians have been worshiping all this time, and John thinks the invention of the wheel led to mass depravity. Certificate #23027.
Dec 20, 2022
Episode 524: Custer the Wolf (Entry 308.JN1012)
In which a national campaign to eradicate a misunderstood predator from the United States very nearly succeeds, and Ken would like to see John James Audubon burning in a pit. Certificate #52363.
Dec 15, 2022
Episode 523: The Phone Book (Entry 931.RV2015)
In which utility companies take it upon themselves to provide the informational staple of every 20th-century household, and John is looking for a missing Jordanian. Certificate #48730.
Dec 13, 2022
Episode 522: The Futuro House (Entry 510.1K0609)
In which a Finnish architect upgrades the prefab, modular homes of the 1960s by turning them into flying saucers, and Ken wants to know his table's name. Certificate #49729.
Dec 08, 2022
Episode 521: The Red Ghost (Entry 1042.LV1104)
In which southeastern Arizona is menaced by a giant, murderous cryptid with a macabre rider, and John conjures up Mr. Clickety-Clack. Certificate #45334.
Dec 06, 2022
Episode 520: The Quadro Tracker (Entry 1016.LK1202)
In which a man who can't find his golf balls solves every law enforcement problem known to man, and Ken has some bad news about parking tickets. Certificate #21137.
Dec 01, 2022
Episode 519: The Johnstown Flood (Entry 674.NA0108)
In which an earthenwork dam enjoyed by millionaires fails and a town of steelworkers disppears from the map, and John is terrified by the menace of West Virginia. Certificate #33180.
Nov 29, 2022
Episode 518: The Last Solviet Citizen (Entry 702.LA0417)
In which one lonely cosmonaut is left in space while his nation disappears from under him, and Ken thinks couples therapy should be about Mars. Certificate #35916.
Nov 24, 2022
Episode 517: Twilight (Entry 1352.DE1223)
In which a bored Phoenix mom has a sparkly dream that ends up changing both teen literature and Washington State tourism, and John explains that his virginity had little to do with vampires. Certificate #18573.
Nov 22, 2022
Episode 516: Mother Trees (Entry 810.LK2129)
In which forests and their fungi form such close relationships that they essentially become a giant leafy brain, and Ken is excited about pre-Wil Wheaton science. Certificate #46162.
Nov 17, 2022
Episode 515: The Goodwill Moon Rocks (Entry 539.JB1804)
In which a space detective learns that hundreds of Richard Nixon's tiny gifts to the world have gone missing over the years, and John wonders if religious sacraments are more effective in space. Certificate #25614.
Nov 15, 2022
Episode 514: Up with People (Entry 1376.MT0715)
In which the counterculture of the 1960s encourages powerful institutions to create a square but multiracial song-and-dance troupe that takes the world by storm, and Ken imagines President Eisenhower as a stern ad executive. Certificate #53773
Nov 10, 2022
Episode 513: Loyalists (Entry 738.1S0819)
In which half a million colonists decide the American Revolution isn't really their thing, and John needs to know how many lanterns there were, just in case. Certificate #13747.
Nov 08, 2022
Episode 512: The Stone of Scone (Entry 1229.PS11822)
In which a medieval legend about a chunk of sandstone means that Scottish cooperation is necessary for Charles III to be crowned king, and Ken passes a Bible quiz. Certificate #42504.
Nov 03, 2022
Episode 511: The Popemobile (Entry 965.JE4615)
In which the history of papal transportation is traced from sedan chairs to Hyundai sedans, and John has been researching the care and upkeep of Catholic moms. Certificate #15163.
Nov 01, 2022
Episode 510: The Dempster Dumpster (Entry 332.LA0345)
In which cities, over the centuries, gradually discover the most efficient way to collect garbage for disposal, and Ken hasn't looked in his pocket since Christmas. Certificate #28712.
Oct 27, 2022
Episode 509: Modernist Cuisine (Entry 798.PR2303)
In which a computer millionaire takes early retirement to self-publish a 50-pound reference work about the chemistry of food, and John discovers a surprise cherry tomato. Certificate #24537.
Oct 25, 2022
Episode 508: The Batavia (Entry 103.AC2741)
In which one eventful Dutch voyage to Indonesia leads to a mutiny, a shipwreck, and a massacre off the coast of Australia, and Ken claims he has a bed in a port somewhere. Certificate #20229.
Oct 20, 2022
Episode 507: The Last Train Robbery (Entry 702.EZ0722)
In which two Depression-era "drugstore cowboys" let their Wild West outlaw fantasies lead them into a life of crime, and John breaks the news to Ken about pirates. Certificate #26056.
Oct 18, 2022
Episode 506: The Thanh Hoa Bridge (Entry 1293.2C0409)
In which the "Dragon's Jaw" across the Song Ma River in North Vietnam proves a challenge for the most advanced air weaponry on earth, and Ken thinks teens should be in parking lots. Certificate #22691.
Oct 13, 2022
Episode 505: Dissociative Fugues (Entry 363.HE1017)
In which human memory and identity are so fragile that a series of people simply walk away from them, and John wishes more things were the movie Tron. Certificate #28975.
Oct 11, 2022
Episode 504: Lem Billings (Entry 121.PR2705)
In which a high school Kennedy confidante becomes an influential White Hoise voice while hiding a delicate secret, and Ken wants to blur some of John Lithgow's wrinkles. Certificate #36906.
Oct 06, 2022
Episode 503: The Murder of Herbert Lee (Entry 817.EX2307)
In which a racist Mississippi state legislator kills his childhood friend, a civil rights organizer, in broad daylight with no consequences whatsoever, and John thinks Ken pronounces "Montgomery" like a Southern belle. Certificate #34239.
Oct 04, 2022
Episode 502: Adbusters (Entry 014.HG0105)
In which a pair of outraged Canadians, kept off the TV airwaves, change the world with their anti-consumerist art magazine instead, and Ken thinks Mr. Ed should have had pop-up ads. Certificate #29414.
Sep 29, 2022
Episode 501: Luke and Laura (Entry 739.MT2210)
In which the first daytime "supercouple" briefly makes soap operas a part of 1980s mass culture, and John wonders if a bride is "zaftig." Certificate #32511.
Sep 27, 2022
Episode 500: Bitcoin Pizza Day (Entry 126.JB1304)
In which $300 million in 2022 money is unwisely spent on the world's first real-world cryptocurrency transaction, and Ken explains why a bro should not have an army. Certificate #11904.
Sep 22, 2022
Episode 499: Exclaves (Entry 436.NU2021)
In which we explore life in parts of the map that are bizarrely separated from the rest of their nations, and John thinks Alaska looks like a very fertile octopus. Certificate #51829.
Sep 20, 2022
Episode 498: The Boots Theory (Entry 143.LK2104)
In which a British fantasy writer reframes cost-of-living calculations for future economists, and Ken doesn't notice cobblers. Certificate #28114.
Sep 15, 2022
Episode 497: Farmer Burns (Entry 166.GN3224)
In which a gifted grappler with Iowa's biggest neck becomes America's first national wrestling celebrity, and pro wrestling reminds John of many of his past relationships. Certificate #29766.
Sep 13, 2022
Episode 496: Tom Thumb (Entry 1315.PR2131)
In which America's first locomotive faces its greatest challenge, a group of angry teamsters, and Ken decides horses are his Sammy Hagar. Certificate #17918.
Sep 08, 2022
Episode 495: The Winchester Geese (Entry 1434.JG1601)
In which a church bishop's sanction makes the London borough of Southwark a haven for sex workers and other outcasts for centuries, and John would like to pay someone to chide him. Certificate #49605.
Sep 06, 2022
Episode 494: Hobby Tunneling (Entry 591.JB2416)
In which a series of largely male and largely odd people over the centuries start digging something and just don't stop, and Ken explains how Canadian lakes are named. Certificate #39623.
Sep 01, 2022
Episode 493: Gillian Hills (Entry 588.PS12101)
In which the daughter of a famous adventurer and hostage does landmark work in 20th-century music, film, and art, and John wonders whom he has talked to for the most hours. Certificate #39582.
Aug 30, 2022
Episode 492: O'Shaughnessy Dam (Entry 877.EX1508)
In which a great American city got its water rights by illegally flooding John Muir's favorite valley, and Ken has opinions on where egrets should poop. Certificate #53464.
Aug 25, 2022
Episode 491: The Placebo Effect (Entry 946.IS3821)
In which people find they can feel better about almost any ailment while taking nothing at all, and many of John's friends are Batman villains. Certificate #42734.
Aug 23, 2022
Episode 490: The Dingo Fence (Entry 351.EZ1415)
In which 3,500 miles of wire mesh are intended to keep the southeast corner of Australia dingo-free, and Ken thinks his dogs are choosing not to do jazz hands. Certificate #51283.
Aug 18, 2022
Episode 489: The Battle of Bamber Bridge (Entry 104.HE1302)
In which wartime Britain reacts skeptically to American racial segregation, leading to a firefight in the village streets of Lancashire, and John ponders the post-apocalyptic looting of opticians. Certificate #53093.
Aug 16, 2022
Episode 488: Be Here Now (Entry 111.JM0414)
In which an LSD-loving psychologist is fired from Harvard and reborn in India, and Ken would like to be in a control group. Certificate #30296.
Aug 11, 2022
Episode 487: The Swamp Dragons (Entry 1261.MK0118)
In which one of the most hapless teams in NBA history has a rebranding brainstorm, and John is mistaken about Jesus riding a dinosaur. Certificate #27789.
Aug 09, 2022
Episode 486: Jobbers Canyon (Entry 673.LK1218)
In which one of America's most historic warehouse districts is threatened by urban renewal, and Ken wants only the best rutabagas in his body. Certificate #48481.
Aug 04, 2022
Episode 485: Twee (Entry 1352.1TH0207)
In which an achingly innocent, gentle, and earnest new aesthetic spawns a decade of music, art, bangs, and Etsy stores, and John has forgotten every band except Kajagoogoo. Certificate #16065.
Aug 02, 2022
Episode 484: The Mother Sauces (Entry 810.PS7825)
In which a taxonomy of five simple French recipes are used to define haute cuisine for generations, and Ken wants noodles named for Drake. Certificate #48504.
Jul 28, 2022
Episode 483: Roller Derby (Entry 1080.NA0302)
In which a Broadway legend retools a Depression-era endurance contest into a thrilling contact sport, and John wants Portland to succeed. Certificate #26834.
Jul 26, 2022
Episode 482: Blackout '77 (Entry 129.PS1828)
In which a crippling power outage strikes New York City during the worst summer in its history, and Ken receives strange wisdom from Nikola Tesla's severed head. Certificate #50165.
Jul 21, 2022
Episode 481: A Message to Garcia (Entry 779.PR2513)
In which fake news from the Spanish-American War inspires a self-proclaimed socialist to write a pro-employer business classic, and John believes sadness can sink ships. Certificate #42914.
Jul 19, 2022
Episode 480: The Hand of God (Entry 565.JB1921)
In which long-simmering resentments over the Falklands War boil over on the soccer pitch, and Ken thinks that Margaret Thatcher was actually a giant marionette. Certificate #38221.
Jul 14, 2022
Episode 479: Facilitated Communication (Entry 447.MK0737)
In which a discredited pseudoscience from the 1980s makes a modern resurgence in the autism community, and John never wants to hear a second record by one of his favorite bands. Certificate #25222.
Jul 12, 2022
Episode 478: Slag (Entry 1170.EZ2218)
In which the waste byproducts of smelting iron become an annoyance and then a hotly contested resource, and Ken wants some aquarium gravel. Certificate #24789.
Jul 07, 2022
Episode 477: The Princeton Incident (Entry 987.RU0310)
In which the worst naval accident in U.S. government history almost kills a president but inspires romance instead, and John doesn't love the coquetteish head-tilting in old photos. Certificate #52488.
Jul 05, 2022
Episode 476: The Appaloosa (Entry 059.ZC0603)
In which the indigenous people of the Columbia River Plateau breed a new horse with a "leopard complex," and Ken notes you can't milk an emu. Certificate #36454.
Jun 30, 2022
Episode 475: The Chronofile (Entry 221.ES0601)
In which a great American futurist spends decades experimentally recording his own personal data every fifteen minutes, and John wants to know if Ken is a good kisser. Certificate #49146.
Jun 28, 2022
Episode 474: Ice Capades (Entry 614.PR0322)
In which figure skating produces the biggest movie star in the world and then a half-century of traveling live entertainment, and Ken believes in promoting peanut vendors. Certificate #43376.
Jun 23, 2022
Episode 473: Riot Dogs (Entry 1075.MK0728)
In which some tail-wagging strays become mascots on the frontlines of social protest, and John has an idea for treating arthritic cows. Certificate #53229.
Jun 21, 2022
Episode 472: The Viking (Entry 1395.IS3321)
In which a proud Norwegian sea captain decides to one-up the fleet of Spanish boats at the Chicago World's Fair, and Ken wonders how well Elvis knew Nixon. Certificate #21995.
Jun 16, 2022
Episode 471: The Babalon Working (Entry 088.RV1703)
In which an American rocketry pioneer gets over a breakup by trying to summon an ancient sex goddess into our dimension, and John has a modest proposal on school prayer. Certificate #36297.
Jun 14, 2022
Episode 470: The Video Game Crash of 1983 (Entry 1394.GE4130)
In which the biggest segment of America's entertainment economy almost disappears in a single year due to lousy product, and Ken is too shy to play Zaxxon in public. Certificate #24180.
Jun 09, 2022
Episode 469: Why Is a Mouse When It Spins? (Entry 1431.JG1414)
In which a great Victorian master of nonsense creates a world of riddles that aren't really riddles, and John thinks a roast chicken has definitely caused a murder. Certificate #35725.
Jun 07, 2022
Episode 468: Waterbeds (Entry 1413.IS5720)
In which the history of water mattresses is traced from ancient goatskins up to 1970s hedonism and even science fiction, and Ken's bed is not moving his butt. Certificate #40450.
Jun 02, 2022
Episode 467: Safety Coffins (Entry 1095.LK0852)
In which a series of questionable legends about premature burial lead to an inventors' boom of escapable caskets, and John has been handcuffed at least seven times. Certificate #35676.
May 31, 2022
Episode 466: Sovereign Citizens (Entry 1194.1C0612)
In which a surprisingly broad spectrum of conspiracists discovers a secret set of rules for outsmarting the U.S. government, and Ken wishes some of his enemies could be flogged more. Certificate #29113.
May 26, 2022
Episode 465: The Goodwill Games (Entry 539.EP0607)
In which an upstart media mogul hatches a plan with Moscow to challenge the Olympics and end the Cold War, and John looks for the sexiest pictures of a former First Lady. Certificate #21182.
May 24, 2022
Episode 464: Moose Cheese (Entry 806.JB1010)
In which brave souls from Siberia to Zimbabwe try riding and milking some rarely domesticated animals, with mixed results, and Ken wants to put a newborn baby on an ostrich. Certificate #52260.
May 19, 2022
Episode 463: Billy Jack (Entry 122.LV1933)
In which one low-budget action flick forever rewrites the rules of how movies are marketed, and John thinks Spider-Man's aunt is the only real movie star. Certificate #33734.
May 17, 2022
Episode 462: The Milgram Experiment (Entry 788.GE2708)
In which a Yale psychologist attempts to explain the Holocaust using research techniques considered unethical today, and Ken has a theory about the origins of Jeopardy! Certificate #20495.
May 12, 2022
Episode 461: Potsdamer Platz (Entry 972.NE0406)
In which the "Times Square of Europe" is bombed into 150 acres of rubble and eventually the greatest real estate opportunity of the post-Cold War world, and John lists the only three places in Germany. Certificate #38531.
May 10, 2022
Episode 460: The Holy Prepuce (Entry 594.JS0503)
In which Apocrypha gospel adventures and medieval miracles are ascribed to the sacred foreskin of Jesus of Nazareth, and Ken disapproves of hand magic in our schools. Certificate #52348.
May 05, 2022
Episode 459: Missing in Action (Entry 795.2CH2811)
In which the majority of Americans become convinced that American POWs are still being held captive decades after the Vietnam War ends, and John assumes those dancing inflatable tube men enjoy Primus. Certificate #49382.
May 03, 2022
Episode 458: Sleng Teng Riddim (Entry 1172.PS3303)
In which the first ever all-electronic groove revolutionized Jamaican music, and Ken thinks there should be more songs about baptism. Certificate #52239.
Apr 28, 2022
Episode 457: Point Nemo (Entry 958.JB3826)
In which the dead center of the Pacific Ocean is revealed to be the home of microplastics, sunken spacecraft, and possibly giant sea monsters, and John refuses to leave his keyboard player in the desert. Certificate #49394.
Apr 26, 2022
Episode 456: The Titanic II (Entry 1311.PR1618)
In which an Australian national treasure and a Chinese resort race to revive the most disastrous brand in maritime history, and Ken is fed up with the sulfurous steel of Belfast. Certificate #50231.
Apr 21, 2022
Episode 455: Ranz-des-Vaches (Entry 1030.PS5010)
In which Swiss mercenaries will desert their post if you whistle a folk song about cows, and John wishes you many goods and cheese. Certficate #26419.
Apr 19, 2022
Episode 454: Solidarnosc (Entry 1187.EC0409)
In which a well-mustached electrician starts a labor movement that even Ronald Reagan can get behind, and Ken is working on a chess novel. Certificate #26170.
Apr 14, 2022
Episode 453: The Presidential Fitness Test (Entry 983.PR3117)
In which terror of falling behind the Swiss leads the White House to introduce America's children to a new and tramautic form of physical education, and John wants to landscape the top of Mount Rainier. Certificate #39398.
Apr 12, 2022
Episode 452: The Torch Lady (Entry 1319.MT2507)
In which a multitude of actresses and one journalist remember being the model for the Columbia Pictures logo, and Ken's fuse box is in the wrong place. Certificate #28564.
Apr 07, 2022
Episode 451: Minitel (Entry 791.IS4209)
In which a French-only precursor to the World Wide Web appears in the late 1970s in a wave of Gallic futurist fervor, and John may have been making long distance calls from a Parisian prison. Certificate #23054.
Apr 05, 2022
Episode 450: Camel Beauty Pageants (Entry 177.MT2324)
In which a Bedouin cultural revival in modern-day Arabia leads to a thriving circuit of competitive camel events, and Ken thinks Brazil is acting a little desperate. Certificate #37337.
Mar 31, 2022
Episode 449: Eyebrows (Entry 446.IS4804)
In which we follow the evolution of the human brow from prehistoric man up through the Kardashians, and John looks into Sanskrit. Certificate #22352.
Mar 29, 2022
Episode 448: Hang In There, Baby (Entry 566.MT2413)
In which a Beverly Hills celeb photographer, a Siamese kitten named Sassy, and a Broadway legend collaborate to create modern poster culture, and Ken hates the ticking of a giant Garfield watch. Certificate #19046.
Mar 24, 2022
Episode 447: Winnipeg the Bear (Entry 1436.PR1712)
In which a Canadian veterinarian saves an orphaned cub on his way to France, unwittingly giving the world a great literary gift, and John thinks there should be a railway car just for thrash metal. Certificate #51029.
Mar 22, 2022
Episode 446: The Hudson Brothers (Entry 604.1J0210)
In which an Oregon pop trio become near-stars of record, TV, and screen in the mid-1970s, and Ken wonders who the Bee Gees are romancing in the afterlife. Certificate #37614.
Mar 17, 2022
Episode 445: The Great Lisbon Earthquake (Entry 548.1S1415)
In which a new breed of Portuguese statesman rebuilds his capital after the worst natural disaster in European memory, and John thinks a rainbow would never hold up in court. Certificate #30150.
Mar 15, 2022
Episode 444: Fanta (Entry 453.EX1524)
In which a wartime shortage of secret ingredient 7x gives the world its second favorite soda brand, and Ken pronounces beverages like an Okie. Certificate #25939.
Mar 10, 2022
Episode 443: The Royal Anus of Louis XIV (Entry 1086.2CH2118)
In which modern surgery begins at Versailles inside the most beloved bottom in all of France, and John has Moroccan gravel in his foot for years. Certificate #52937.
Mar 08, 2022
Episode 442: Nadia's Theme (Entry 823.PS5707)
In which a minor bit of a movie score improbably becomes a chart-topping hit thanks to daytime soaps and Olympic gymnastics, and Ken doesn't enjoy the bongo as a lead instrument. Certificate #25729.
Mar 03, 2022
Episode 441: Lisztomania (Entry 726.MT0908)
In which a Hungarian composer and virtuoso pianist becomes Europe's first rock star, and John is looking for a German countess with the right braids. Certificate #39341.
Mar 01, 2022
Episode 440: The Megavitamin Craze (Entry 772.PR2516)
In which a two-time Nobel Prize winner believes he has discovered the cure for the common cold, and Ken wants cilantro to tell him what to do. Certificate #31531.
Feb 24, 2022
Episode 439: The Mill (Entry 788.MK1242)
In which a coinage act officially defines American currency much smaller than a penny, and John has an important question about a shrimp restaurant. Certificate #40326
Feb 22, 2022
Episode 438: Beanie Babies (Entry 106.PR2105)
In which 1990s America becomes convinced that the world's least cuddly stuffed animals are the road to financial freedom, and Ken's very valuable comic book gets covered with jelly. Certificate #47159.
Feb 17, 2022
Episode 437: Vinegar Valentines (Entry 1396.PS10105)
In which Victorians use February 14 to woo their sweethearts but also to insult all their enemies, and John reveals the best night of the year to play a concert. Certificate #36155.
Feb 15, 2022
Episode 436: The Hays Code (Entry 572.MT2325)
In which scandal-plagued Hollywood hires a Harding Administration official to clean up suggestive movies, and John is a student of kissing. Certificate #29282.
Feb 10, 2022
Episode 435: The Anarchy (Entry 024.DA1106)
In which a German empress comes within a whisker of the English crown during a bloody civil war, and Ken discovers history's most fateful case of diarrhea. Certificate #45359.
Feb 08, 2022
Episode 434: Trofim Lysenko (Entry 743.MT1325)
In which a Soviet agronomist misunderstands genetics so badly that millions of people die, and John finds giraffes to have the sexiest eyelashes. Certificate #27832.
Feb 03, 2022
Episode 433: Chindogu (Entry 215.PR0812)
In which a Japanese college dropout invents a new kind of not-entirely-useless invention, and Ken enjoys a tidy sum. Certificate #36799.
Feb 01, 2022
Episode 432: Ledger Art (Entry 709.2P0115)
In which accounting records become the basis for an important new genre of Native American painting, and Ken gets nostalgic for his childhood dog food invoices. Certificate #25974.
Jan 27, 2022
Episode 431: Penguin Classics (Entry 915.EC1212)
In which a boring train ride from Devon leads to the creation of the modern paperback library, and John's daughter is a snob about sans serif typefaces. Certificate #41769.
Jan 25, 2022
Episode 430: Roxas v. Marcos (Entry 1086.PR1506)
In which a humble locksmith sues the dictator who stole his golden Buddha, and Ken thinks teaching multiplication to juries was a mistake. Certificate #46804.
Jan 20, 2022
Episode 429: Welsh Patagonia (Entry 1421.DE2609)
In which a small group of nationalists leave Wales for the prairies of Argentina, and John explains why he pronounces "Nazi" to rhyme with "snazzy." Certificate #53240.
Jan 18, 2022
Episode 428: The Fastest Bicyclist (Entry 445.IS0526)
In which the world land speed cycling record reaches incredible heights using the power of the slipstream, and Ken doesn't need to hear the word "torque" so much. Certificate #43944.
Jan 13, 2022
Episode 427: Damascus Steel (Entry 314.PS4503)
In which the technology used to make the world's strongest and most beautiful swords is lost to time, and John is suspicious of redheads. Certificate #26207.
Jan 11, 2022
Episode 426: Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death (Entry 853.PS13709)
In which an American heiress leverages her dollhouse enthusiasm to invent a new scientific discipline, and Ken's aunt knows more about cyanide than his uncle. Certificate #34368.
Jan 06, 2022
Episode 425: The Law of the Tongue (Entry 705.JB0712)
In which an Australian whaling village learns to hunt cooperatively with the local apex predators, and John identifies the "ferrets of the sea." Certificate #46594.
Jan 04, 2022
Episode 424: Der Grosser (Entry 551.EX1407)
In which an ultra-luxury Mercedes becomes the car of choice for rock stars and despots worldwide, and Ken wants to buy the least fascist doorbell. Certificate #49472.
Dec 30, 2021
Episode 423: The Public Universal Friend (Entry 1006.JE3122)
In which a Rhode Island Quaker emerges from a coma rebranded as a nameless, genderless prophet, and John predicts the Temptations will get boils. Certificate #29297.
Dec 28, 2021
Episode 422: The Halifax Explosion (Entry 562.JB0409)
In which a maritime comedy of errors in a Nova Scotia harbor leads to the biggest non-nuclear explosion in human history, and Ken learns why you should never buy an old yellow shirt. Certificate #21795.
Dec 23, 2021
Episode 421: The Jefferson Bible (Entry 671.LK2270)
In which the President of the United States secretly produces his own version of Jesus without any miracles or narrative incident at all, and John produces a healthy, nutritious bowl full of Kurt Cobains. Certificate #30782.
Dec 21, 2021
Episode 420: Cask 263 (Entry 191.PR2321)
In which a forgotten barrel of single malt whiskey becomes a multimillion dollar collector's item, and Ken refuses to drink beer out of a squirrel's butt. Certificate #13321.
Dec 16, 2021
Episode 419: Vortex I (Entry 1403.JM0318)
In which the governor of Oregon keeps the peace by throwing the country's only state-sponsored rock festival, and John refuses to introduce two celebrities to each other. Certificate #21362.
Dec 14, 2021
Episode 418: The Amargosa Opera House (Entry 038.JE1543)
In which a borax ghost town improbably becomes the performing arts center of Death Valley, and Ken is somewhat hazy on mules. Certificate #26351.
Dec 09, 2021
Episode 417: Single Taxers (Entry 1164.LV2716)
In which a forgotten Gilded Age celebrity suggests reinventing the tax code so that landowners pay their fair share, and John is discomfited by the city of Altoona. Certificate #41467.
Dec 07, 2021
Episode 416: Bothered About Dungeons & Dragons (Entry 145.1T0515)
In which a national hysteria erupts over the Satanists controlling your children's role-playing games, and Ken is just a big thimble. Certificate #38501.
Dec 02, 2021
Episode 415: The Phantom of New Guinea (Entry 928.IS0117)
In which a purple-clad comic strip hero becomes a warrior totem in the western highlands of Papua New Guinea, and John locates the Dominican Republic of Asia. Certificate #24126.
Nov 30, 2021
Episode 414: The Ma Bell Breakup (Entry 744.LK1214)
In which the U.S. government finally succeeds, after decades, in breaking up a massive telephone monopoly, and John is unfamiliar with a funny poem about an elephant. Certificate #22481.
Nov 25, 2021
Episode 413: The Longest Prizefight (Entry 733.HE1032)
In which a seven-hour boxing match tests the patience of New Orleans crowds and changes the rules of the sport, and Ken thinks straws should be made of cornstarch. Certificate #26215.
Nov 23, 2021
Episode 412: The Smiley Face Killer(s) (Entry 1177.JB2414)
In which investigators differ on whether binge-drinking or a homicidal conspiracy is killing American college students, and John plays Frogger to get to the East River. Certificate #23582.
Nov 18, 2021
Episode 411: The Great Bell of Dhammazedi (Entry 548.EX3925)
In which the largest bell ever cast spends four centuries in the mud at the bottom of a Burmese river, and Ken makes a terrible grandfather clock decision. Certificate #50855.
Nov 16, 2021
Episode 410: The Kalakala (Entry 681.2S1918)
In which a burned-out ferry becomes an art deco American icon of the future and then a derelict eyesore, and Ken blames Seattle for the great San Francisco fire of 1906. Certificate #19361.
Nov 11, 2021
Episode 409: The All-Americans Go to Japan (Entry 032.1K0728)
In which a Tokyo newspaperman with big dreams lures Babe Ruth onto a pre-war baseball barnstorming tour, and John regrets that fancy lounges are mostly for drinking. Certificate #36360.
Nov 09, 2021
Episode 408: Eternal September (Entry 428.1C1533)
In which the 1993 back-to-school week that never ended kills an early outpost of the internet, and Ken annoys online Winnie-the-Pooh fans. Certificate #47957.
Nov 04, 2021
Episode 407: Salmon Chaos (Entry 1098.LK0506)
In which a viral craze inspires hundreds of young Taiwanese folks to put a fish in their names, and John hits a cement wall in his attempts to mate. Certificate #50920.
Nov 02, 2021
Episode 406: Myers-Briggs (Entry 821.2T0223)
In which two pioneering women and amateur Jungians devise a way to classify sixteen different types of human personality, and Ken explains his Star Trek slash fiction. Certificate #36282.
Oct 28, 2021
Episode 405: Bloody Mose (Entry 134.EZ1106)
In which America's first city for free black people rises from the salt marshes of Spanish Florida, and John regrets quoting a Monty Python sketch. Certificate #31305.
Oct 26, 2021
Episode 404: Ramtha (Entry 1029.AC1616)
In which the discovery of quantum mechanics leads inevitably to the reappearance of a 30,000-year-old warrior god from a lost continent, and Ken proposes missionaries for silverware. Certificate #27324.
Oct 21, 2021
Episode 403: The Cahokia Mounds (Entry 173.IS2502)
In which a complex of massive earthworks in southern Illinois is assumed to have been built by Vikings, Hindus, or Welshmen, and John is fascinated by sexy voodoo. Certificate #34924.
Oct 19, 2021
Episode 402: The Cheapside Hoard (Entry 210.MT0620)
In which a mysterious treasure is founded in a central London basement, and Ken has a question about the various beads and bangles of Aerosmith. Certificate #7089.
Oct 14, 2021
Episode 401: Potsdam Giants (Entry 972.1S1704)
In which the "soldier king" of Prussia recruits and kidnaps Europe's tallest men to serve as his grenadiers, and John admires "merry" people of every height. Certificate #10109.
Oct 12, 2021
Episode 400: Merkins (Entry 777.1C1115)
In which we trace the surprisingly long and eventful history of body hair grooming, and Ken wonders if Brad Pitt will be hot forever. Certificate #33732.
Oct 07, 2021
Episode 399: Laetrile (Entry 696.MK1618)
In which apricot pits are discovered to be a cause of cyanide toxicicity rather than a cure for cancer, and John wanders Europe under the protection of a United States Senator. Certificate #527.
Oct 05, 2021
Episode 398: Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (Entry 182.PS4303)
In which erosion on North Carolina's Outer Banks prompts the government to move a twelve-story lighthouse half a mile inland, and Ken is in favor of shipwrecks when the ships are bad. Certificate #6374.
Sep 30, 2021
Episode 397: The Cotsworth Calendar (Entry 283.JB0306)
In which a gifted Yorkshire boy fails to talk the League of Nations into a thirteen-month year, and John thinks autumn gets short shrift. Certificate #25901.
Sep 28, 2021
Episode 396: The Erie War (Entry 424.PR2822)
In which America's richest men invent many, many types of securities fraud while tussling over a New York State railroad, and Ken imagines a zoo full of cows. Certificate #32641.
Sep 23, 2021
Episode 395: Kennewick Man (Entry 683.GN2304)
In which a prehistoric nomad becomes the center of a heated legal battle nine thousand years after his death, and John announces a hydroplane race. Certificate #17567.
Sep 21, 2021
Episode 394: The Town of Bent Necks (Entry 1323.SS0701)
In which two Nazi brothers divide a German town into rival athletic shoe factions, and Ken plans a hotel heist. Certificate #31961.
Sep 16, 2021
Episode 393: The Prince Philip Movement (Entry 987.PS8207)
In which one Melanesian village decides, sight unseen, to worship the Duke of Edinburgh, and the gods imprison John in a small ravine. Certificate #50227.
Sep 14, 2021
Episode 392: The Wave (Entry 1415.1K0814)
In which the invention of a Bay Area cheerleader becomes science's most exhaustively studied stadium ritual, and Ken doesn't think harbor seals come in different colors. Certificate #4418.
Sep 09, 2021
Episode 391: Middle Initials (Entry 786.LK0161)
In which twentieth-century America becomes the only time and place in history when people drop letters into their names, and John renames himself in the phone book. Certificate #21831.
Sep 07, 2021
Episode 390: The Great Diamond Hoax (Entry 548.MT1344)
In which a clever drillbit company accountant cons banking bigwigs into believing an acre of Wyoming is covered in precious gems, and Ken suggests a touching tribute to Paul Anka. Certificate #52348.
Sep 02, 2021
Episode 389: The Chicago Seekers (Entry 213.RV0103)
In which a failed Chicago flying saucer cult leads to a landmark study in social psychology, and John blames religious fervor on diet pills. Certificate #17854.
Aug 31, 2021
Episode 388: The Fresnel Lens (Entry 501.1C1312)
In which an efficient new piece of French glassware changes the history of lighthouses, and Ken learns the exact age of Discovery. Certificate #52246.
Aug 26, 2021
Episode 387: Goodnight Moon (Entry 539.PR0324)
In which a modernist Manhattan bohemian accidentally writes the great American bedtime story, and John regrets making his professor voice Austrian. Certificate #44141.
Aug 24, 2021
Episode 386: The Mpemba Effect (Entry 813.JB3829)
In which scientists from Aristotle up to modern-day Tanzania try to understand the paradoxical way water seems to freeze, and Ken thinks baseball should have cheerleaders. Certificate #25481.
Aug 19, 2021
Episode 385: The Mafeking Cadet Corps (Entry 746.IS2903)
In which a hero of the Second Boer War turns an ill-advised siege into a worldwide youth movement, and John isn't sure if one can tell time with a cannon. Certificate #31247.
Aug 17, 2021
Episode 384: The Cuyahoga River Fire(s) (Entry 309.IS4302)
In which the American government only gets serious about environmental cleanup after a river in Cleveland bursts into flame well over a dozen times, and Ken believes he could manufacture gravel. Certificate #12398.
Aug 12, 2021
Episode 383: Fiji's Declaration of Independence (Entry 467.EC0306)
In which a Pacific nation loses its founding document and has to ask nicely for a photocopy replacement, and John missed his chance at an assumed identity. Certificate #23621.
Aug 10, 2021
Episode 382: The Oosik (Entry 868.GN0223)
In which walrus genitals supply an important element to Alaskan folk art, and Ken will not inspect the underside of a wallaby. Certificate #45999.
Aug 05, 2021
Episode 381: The Next Dalai Lama (Entry 836.MT0208)
In which the uninterrupted 600-year succession of Tibetan Buddhist leadership is threatened by political oppression, and John admires a hat that looks like a banana. Certificate #32762.
Aug 03, 2021
Episode 380: The Fulda Gap (Entry 505.2K0316)
In which a series of valleys in central Germany become the focus of Cold War military strategy for generals "fighting the last war," and Ken orders a baby online. Certificate #51668.
Jul 29, 2021
Episode 379: Lieutenant Nun (Entry 718.2C1102)
In which a "Basque transvestite" leaves her San Sebastian convent in 1607 to become one of the most dangerous men in South America, and John thinks an Italian pope would be a little naughtier than a Spanish one. Certificate #11658.
Jul 27, 2021
Episode 378: Games Buddha Wouldn't Play (Entry 514.PP0203)
In which a great spiritual leader lists all the kinds of dice and pick-up sticks and toy windmills that are off-limits to the enlightened, and Ken wants to lick a tetherball pole. Certificate #25968.
Jul 22, 2021
Episode 377: Union Dixie (Entry 1368.EZ2046)
In which the same folk song is embraced by both sides of the U.S. Civil War, albeit with different lyrics, and John accuses a Supreme Court justice of having a racist ringtone. Certificate #27330.
Jul 20, 2021
Episode 376: Mulberry Mania (Entry 815.2S0523)
In which early America, hoping to keep up with the Chinese, is caught up in an obsession with white mulberry trees, and Ken marvels at the hanky-panky that must go on in every Olympic Village. Certificate #26780.
Jul 15, 2021
Episode 375: An African in Greenland (Entry 022.JB3132)
In which a young man from French Togoland survives a snake attack and embarks on a lifelong quest to see the Arctic, and John loses a large rooster. Certificate #36809.
Jul 13, 2021
Episode 374: Wuppertal Schwebebahn (Entry 1448.DE0227)
In which a German industrial town builds a unique new type of suspension railway that fails to catch on worldwide, and Ken disses the Eiffel Tower. Certificate #36460.
Jul 08, 2021
Episode 373: Goat Glands (Entry 536.AC0409)
In which a Midwestern quack becomes a radio tycoon (and almost governor of Kansas) by extolling the virtues of animal testicles, and John eats cheese out of a pocket. Certificate #42674.
Jul 06, 2021
Episode 372: Erdos-Bacon-Sabbath (Entry 423.JB3104)
In which we are introduced to the most exclusive cinema-musico-academic club on earth, and Ken volunteers to provide a guest rap. Certificate #32655.
Jul 01, 2021
Episode 371: The Zaire Space Program (Entry 1455.PS11516)
In which a maverick German engineer tries to give an African dictator his very own space program, and John reminds us that astronauts are often quite short. Certificate #48059.
Jun 29, 2021
Episode 370: The 1871 Whaling Disaster (Entry 399.1T0119)
In which a city-sized segment of the world's whaling fleet is trapped together in Arctic ice off Alaska, and Ken blames the horrors of the industrial world on whale ghosts. Certificate #31403.
Jun 24, 2021
Episode 369: James Frazier Reed (Entry 1044.EZ0510)
In which one pioneer's midlife crisis leads him to a brush with Donner Party death and then prosperity in gold rush California, and John is tempted to murder a bassist with a whip handle. Certificate #51638.
Jun 22, 2021
Episode 368: The Erika Typewriter (Entry 424.JB0412)
In which contraband East German equipment helps create an underground publishing movement in the Soviet Union, and Ken's favorite typeface is now tainted. Certificate #37914.
Jun 17, 2021
Episode 367: Four-Leaf Clovers (Entry 495.JE3623)
In which a rare recessive plant gene produces a persistent superstition and a cutthroat collectors' competition, and John will never mock Allah. Certificate #12598.
Jun 15, 2021
Episode 366: The Panorama of the Monumental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley (Entry 895.NU2406)
In which very, very large oil paintings become the 19th-century precursor of the modern movie theater, and Ken has never seen the sun rise by choice. Certificate #14751.
Jun 10, 2021
Episode 365: Left Behind (Entry 709.1T0416)
In which some controversial Bible theology sells 65 million apocalypse thriller books and even shapes American foreign policy, and John can identify sinners on a plane. Certificate #40618.
Jun 08, 2021
Episode 364: Nudie Suits (Entry 850.EX2631)
In which a Ukrainian-born tailor brings the first outrageous stage wear to the American music scene--but in country and western, not glam rock--and Ken is unsure about his sky-blue pants. Certificate #27201.
Jun 03, 2021
Episode 363: Officials General (Entry 861.MK0640)
In which English inherits some "postpositive adjectives" from the Norman Conquest that continue to confuse high-ranking federal officials to this day, and John thinks companies should have one vice president tops. Certificate #18999.
Jun 01, 2021
Episode 362: Interrobang (Entry 655.LK2040)
In which a series of typographic attempts to improve on the exclamation point and question mark are doomed to failure, and Ken is unable to justify the existence of the backslash. Certificate #22311.
May 27, 2021
Episode 361: Mister Rogers's Operas (Entry 795.RO1502)
In which America's most beloved television host and moral exemplar composes a series of now-mostly-forgotten children's operas, and John thinks Star Wars is what ends childhood. Certificate #29242.
May 25, 2021
Episode 360: Concordski (Entry 258.JE4606)
In which the Soviet Union attempts to close its "Concorde gap" with the West by developing its own terrible supersonic passenger jet, and John is okay with pilots showing off as long as they're in a bar. Certificate #36689.
May 20, 2021
Episode 359: Olestra (Entry 864.LV0723)
In which Procter & Gamble spends almost thirty years trying to bring its fat substitute to market, only to see it vanish from the public memory almost immediately, and Ken just wants to eat devil's food cake. Certificate #51232.
May 18, 2021
Episode 358: The Worst Poet in History (Entry 1445.PR2622)
In which Scottish mill-worker William McGonagall becomes notorious for his utterly sincere but terrible poetry, and John plans to instigate a sex riot. Certificate #44448.
May 13, 2021
Episode 357: The Back of a Napkin (Entry 090.LK1920)
In which we study the long history of inspirations getting jotted down on scrap paper, and Ken learns he's too lively to be a rock musician. Certificate #44181.
May 11, 2021
Episode 356: Dagen H (Entry 313.EZ2116)
In which Sweden literally changes directions overnight, and John feels that the samurai spirit is all in the details. Certificate #30932.
May 06, 2021
Episode 355: Cholitas (Entry 218.1C1110)
In which a poltitical revolution in Bolivia produces a new wave of visibility for the nation's hat-wearing indigenous women, and Ken wonders which communist dictators were cuddly. Certificate #16179.
May 04, 2021
Episode 354: Drywall (Entry 384.LV1442)
In which a new gypsum miracle product takes more than a century to replace lath-and-plaster walls in home construction, and John thinks lizards have ears. Certificate #35059.
Apr 29, 2021
Episode 353: America's Joan of Arc (Entry 040.2S1412)
In which a now-forgotten Quaker teenager becomes the most fiery and most famous woman orator of her time, and Ken has no idea if Norman Schwarzkopf is alive or dead. Certificate #44568.
Apr 27, 2021
Episode 352: The Bottle Conjuror (Entry 145.PS11983)
In which an aristocrat's private bet about gullible audiences leads to a 1749 theater riot, and John thinks Dick Cheney should have a podcast. Certificate #16793.
Apr 22, 2021
Episode 351: Mother Earth's Plantasia (Entry 810.1CH1633)
In which the Moog synthesizer and the "plant consciousness" movement of the 1970s produce a rare collector's item for lovers of weird music, and Ken refuses to buy his children reptiles. Certificate #27581.
Apr 20, 2021
Episode 350: The Tan Suit Controversy (Entry 1277.EZ3403)
In which the president wears beige to an August 2014 press conference, suddenly creating three or four new kinds of political discourse, each worse than the last. Certificate #35844.
Apr 15, 2021
Episode 349: Magic Eye (Entry 747.PR0425)
In which we trace two centuries of people being briefly interested in three-dimensional images, and John gets a bad case of "Intellivision thumb." Certificate #27012.
Apr 13, 2021
Episode 348: Rasputin (Entry 1031.MT2411)
In which a Siberian mystic gets so cozy with Russian royals that he ensures the success of the Bolshevik Revolution, and Ken wonders if he blinks the normal amount of times. Certificate #38899.
Apr 08, 2021
Episode 347: The Crash at Crush (Entry 292.ZP0110)
In which the American love affair with demolition-based entertainment is born near Waco, Texas in an explosion of iron and steam, and John believes some flight attendants are aliens. Certificate #34659.
Apr 06, 2021
Episode 346: Figwit (Entry 467.JE2402)
In which we follow the arc of nerd culture to the Council of Elrond where a certain kind of fan service is born, and Ken explains why people fight about Frodo and Jesus. Certificate #40170.
Apr 01, 2021
Episode 345: The Cadaver Synod (Entry 172.HE0927)
In which a zombie pope is forced to stand trial in 9th-century Rome, and Ken discovers a generation of people with strong opinions about the word "zoology." Certificate #28349.
Mar 30, 2021
Episode 344: Roady Bill and Tony the Pony (Entry 1077.PR0719)
In which an online covered wagon auction unearths an almost-forgotten genre of itinerant performer, and John refuses to identify the Tijuana of Europe. Certificate #46962.
Mar 25, 2021
Episode 343: The Underarm Bowling Incident (Entry 1363.JB2602)
In which an Australian cricket team creates an international controversy with an unorthodox but legal strategy, and Ken accidentally does a Boston accent. Certificate #30080.
Mar 23, 2021
Episode 342: The Lost Spitfires of Burma (Entry 736.AC0219)
In which a modern-day treasure hunter becomes convinced that a priceless trove of British fighter jets is buried at the end of an airport runway, and John becomes a realtor for Myanmar. Certificate #34112.
Mar 18, 2021
Episode 341: The Memex (Entry 774.EX3607)
In which the Internet is born in 1945 when a radar technician in a bamboo hut reads a Life magazine article about a futuristic desk, and Ken wonders if anyone smoked weed at Los Alamos. Certificate #18461.
Mar 16, 2021
Episode 340: English as She Is Spoke (Entry 414.GE1107)
In which an inept attempt at a Portuguese-English phrasebook becomes an enduring comedy classic, and John celebrates the invention of the stirrup. Certificate #29469.
Mar 11, 2021
Episode 339: Rosa Luxemburg's Body (Entry 1082.NU1911)
In which the most famous socialist rabble-rouser of her time returns from her 1919 execution (maybe) as a headless mummy, and Ken wonders if ancient Irish peasants had combination skin. Certificate #27337.
Mar 09, 2021
Episode 338: Mobile Jubilees (Entry 797.LV2512)
In which a set of rare ocean and weather conditions in Alabama can lead to periodic seafood explosions, and Ken and John agree that Muscle Shoals must be in the wrong place. Certificate #38099.
Mar 04, 2021
Episode 337: Henry Cavendish (Entry 197.JB2825)
In which the wealthiest and most socially awkward British thinker of his time revolutionizes science, mostly in secret, and John wants to harvest clones at Packers games. Certificate #47447.
Mar 02, 2021
Episode 336: The Beatles' Lord of the Rings (Entry 107.EX2512)
In which we consider an alternate timeline where the Beatles' third movie was a psychedelic Tolkien adaptation instead of a bummer documentary, and Ken sticks up for sanitation. Certificate #51290.
Feb 25, 2021
Episode 335: Sergeant Stubby (Entry 1136.PS1848)
In which a mutt from the mean streets of Connecticut becomes a decorated hero in the trenches of World War I, and John is only good at half of rugby. Certificate #26161.
Feb 23, 2021
Episode 334: Beaver Castoreum (Entry 108.EX3035)
In which the gross gunk from the back end of a rodent is discovered to be an invaluable perfume ingredient and even flavor enhancer, and Ken's Sunday school teacher does not want a high-five. Certificate #36682.
Feb 18, 2021
Episode 333: Flying Through the Gateway Arch (Entry 484.EZ4030)
In which Midwestern pilots are unable to resist the gaping maw of the St. Louis skyline, and John watches a Wim Wenders movie fourteen times without ever seeing the beginning. Certificate #30320.
Feb 16, 2021
Episode 332: The Whole Earth Catalog (Entry 1430.IS1426)
In which an acid trip and a NASA space photo inspire a new guide of counterculture "tools" for living, and Ken helps John get his Nixon back. Certificate #51410.
Feb 11, 2021
Episode 331: Lego Minifigures (Entry 711.EX0508)
In which we learn how a "system" of Scandinavian minimalism put on a happy face and became the most popular toy in the world, and John tries the art of the deal with Ken's kids. Certificate #50469.
Feb 09, 2021
Episode 330: The Universal Studios Fire (Entry 1370.PS10618)
In which a series of corporate mergers and one amusement park fire conspire to rob the world of a priceless musical heritage, and Ken regrets renting a fancy car. Certificate #43485.
Feb 04, 2021
Episode 329: The Great Tea Race (Entry 548.JM0304)
In which four clipper ships race to London in the most exciting contest of the 19th century, and John thinks race cars should deliver cocaine. Certificate #38646.
Feb 02, 2021
Episode 328: Bigfoot Hoaxers (Entry 120.2K0108)
In which southwest Washington State becomes the epicenter for lazy Sasquatch fakes, and Ken explains how the Jersey Devil probably reproduces. Certificate #17742.
Jan 28, 2021
Episode 327: Operation Ajax (Entry 869.PR2904)
In which a presidential grandchild with a reasonable CIA departmental budget is all it takes to overthrow Iran, and John reveals the only downside of firing a howitzer. Certificate #39131.
Jan 26, 2021
Episode 326: The River of Doubt (Entry 1076.PS7208)
In which Teddy Roosevelt and his son celebrate the end of his manly presidency by almost dying in South America, and Ken is tricked into discussing Mato Grosso. Certificate #27531.
Jan 21, 2021
Episode 325: Allegheny Time (Entry 032.MT2436)
In which a series of traumatic train accidents and a broke astronomer conspire to re-invent time as a flat circle, and John accidentally attends a clock unveiling. Certificate #13818.
Jan 19, 2021
Episode 324: Otokichi (Entry 879.2C1125)
In which a freak Pacific storm in 1832 makes one young castaway an unusual ambassador for the Empire of Japan, and Ken is unable to justify the Gospel of John. Certificate #37850.
Dec 31, 2020
Episode 323: Woodstock '99 (Entry 1441.IS2808)
In which a fiery apocalypse outside Rome, New York marks the cultural endpoint of the 1990s, and John spends his whole childhood reading about armaments in Janes publications. Certificate #27287.
Dec 29, 2020
Episode 322: Kon-Tiki (Entry 692.MT1424)
In which a Norwegian amateur anthropologist sails a raft from Peru to Polynesia to push a pet theory, and Ken covets ink and gold. Certificate #18688.
Dec 24, 2020
Episode 321: The War Before This One (Entry 1409.NH0109)
In which we follow the long, strange journey that finally got World War I and World War II their names, and John goes for drinks with his high school principal. Certificate #24737.
Dec 22, 2020
Episode 320: Slab City (Entry 1170.IS3501)
In which itinerant snowbirds turn an abandoned desert naval base into a trash-mountain utopia, and Ken hopes a nuke lands on his head. Certificate #33204.
Dec 17, 2020
Episode 319: Carlo Gesualdo (Entry 526.HE1304)
In which modernity discovers a late Renaissance composer with a history of ahead-of-his-time harmonies and lurid murder, and John scats like Cab Calloway after midnight. Certificate #39859.
Dec 15, 2020
Episode 318: The Guardian Angels (Entry 554.EX2320)
In which a Brooklyn-born fast food manager slaps some paramilitary berets on local kids and starts a new community policing movement, and Ken wonders how to allocate the stripes on the American flag. Certificate #25639.
Dec 10, 2020
Episode 317: B. Traven (Entry 1332.PR2502)
In which we trace at least four secret identities of the most reclusive novelist in literary history, and John gets a terrible fake ID from the fake ID store. Certificate #39453.
Dec 08, 2020
Episode 316: Dingbat Apartments (Entry 351.AC2830)
In which we learn why Los Angeles and other post-war American cities have tens of thousands of the same apartment complex, and Ken wonders where Philip Johnson's water heater is. Certificate #25380.
Dec 03, 2020
Episode 315: Ultrarunning (Entry 1357.IS4031)
In which a throwback British baronet (sort of) completes seven marathons on seven continents in seven consecutive days, and John runs like a rhinoceros. Certificate #20800.
Dec 01, 2020
Episode 314: The DeLorean Cocaine Bust (Entry 330.JB1810)
In which Detroit's first "cool" car executive almost goes to jail in an attempt to save his weird car and foundering company, and Ken says it's okay for kids to climb into refrigerators now. Certificate #36728.
Nov 26, 2020
Episode 313: Elizabeth Nietzsche (Entry 837.EX0204)
In which a Prussian schoolteacher's wife founds a failed anti-Semitic utopia in Paraguay and creates fascism's favorite philosopher, and John wants to keep Nazis off the Moon at all costs. Certificate #42582.
Nov 24, 2020
Episode 312: Cottagecore (Entry 283.ZP0206)
In which we look at the long history of romanticizing rural life, from the Enlightenment all the way up to today's Instagram lesbians, and Ken accuses Thoreau of "glamping." Certificate #45989.
Nov 19, 2020
Episode 311: The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon (Entry 088.MK1472)
In which we learn what causes the "frequency illusion" of recently learned facts immediately reappearing into view, and John has too many books on his bed for romance. Certificate #36846.
Nov 17, 2020
Episode 310: The Baader-Meinhof Gang (Entry 088.EZ2736)
In which far-left European terrorism of the 1970s produces West Germany's own Marxist-Leninist "Bonnie and Clyde," and Ken feels bad for that kissing nurse in Times Square. Certificate #26524.
Nov 12, 2020
Episode 309: The Cavendish Banana (Entry 197.JU0112)
In which we learn that the massive global banana export market is a precarious monoculture doomed to disaster because of a tiny fungus, and John thinks Sean Young might be a time traveler. Certificate #26039.
Nov 10, 2020
Episode 308: Wampum (Entry 1408.DE0206)
In which the intricate bead culture of the Eastern Woodlands tribes confuses new British and Dutch arrivals, and Ken refuses to let Thomas Jefferson make him be a farmer. Certificate #31448.
Nov 05, 2020
Episode 307: Election Ties (Entry 400.1CH2508)
In which we learn what governments do when election results come back exactly tied, and John swings a Seattle mayoral election by asking for directions. Certificate #30371.
Nov 03, 2020
Episode 306: Mensa (Entry 775.PR1320)
In which the era of intelligence testing produces an Oxford-based society for smarty-pants who, it turns out, mostly want to solve puzzles, and Ken is shamed for identifying an antelope. Certificate #43519.
Oct 29, 2020
Episode 305: C-Day (Entry 198.MT2527)
In which the U.S. military battles black marketing and currency destabilization by paying Korea- and Vietnam-era servicemembers in play money, and John learns about a 1990s fad for the first time. Certificate #46965.
Oct 27, 2020
Episode 304: The Day the Clown Cried (Entry 317.PS12605)
In which an unfinished Holocaust "dramedy" gains a reputation as the worst movie ever made even though no one has ever seen it, and Ken thinks a lot about dog poop. Certificate #46512.
Oct 22, 2020
Episode 303: Eliza (Entry 404.LK0247)
In which an MIT professor worried about a digital future accidentally creates the field of human-machine conversation, and John flirts with a 54-year-old computer program. Certificate #36441.
Oct 20, 2020
Episode 302: Cynthia Plaster Caster (Entry 949.JE4817)
In which a shy Chicago student becomes one of the most famous rock fans in America by virtue of her anatomically correct artwork, and John offers Ken an unwanted present. Certificate #30889.
Oct 15, 2020
Episode 301: Washington, CSA (Entry 1412.MT1225)
In which a doddering general saves America from an alarming alternate history in which the Confederacy takes over the nation instead of seceding, and Ken objurgates against several things (but especially slavery). Certificate #15899.
Oct 13, 2020
Episode 300: Seawise Giant (Entry 1121.AC2718)
In which an unnamed Greek shipping magnate "jumbo-izes" an oil tanker so big that it can't even navigate the English Channel, and John ponders digging a canal between Seattle and Omaha. Certificate #36640.
Oct 08, 2020
Episode 299: Aztec Death Whistles (Entry 088.PS5502)
In which thousands of Mesoamerican "toys" in museums around the world turn out to be terrifying vessels for the screams of wind and death, and Ken dreams of wearing "Bespin fatigues." Certificate #34995.
Oct 06, 2020
Episode 298: White Trains (Entry 1429.IS1305)
In which the Department of Energy decides upon a bizarre way to transport nuclear warheads, and Ken applauds the conservation of Cold War consonants. Certificate #25154.
Oct 01, 2020
Episode 297: Mary Kay Pink Cadillacs (Entry 762.2K0930)
In which a feisty Texan single mom comes up with the gimmick that puts a friendly face on the appalling direct sales industry, and John recommends kicking a bear. Certificate #29266.
Sep 29, 2020
Episode 296: Take Ivy (Entry 1274.LK1619)
In which the Platonic ideal of American "prep" fashion catches on with Japanese hipsters before it does back home, and Ken finds someone to blame for his short Uniqlo pants. Certificate #21125.
Sep 24, 2020
Episode 295: The Three Governors (Entry 1302.MK0934)
In which a 1946 election in George results in chaos, fraud, public drunkenness, and broken furniture, and John decides to become a potato-hating beekeeper in retirement. Certificate #27176.
Sep 22, 2020
Episode 294: Article the First (Entry 070.JE0705)
In which the very first amendment to the Bill of Rights, outlining the future of U.S. government, gets forgotten on its path to ratification, and Ken insults Delaware. Certificate #21125.
Sep 17, 2020
Episode 293: Generic Food (Entry 521.JB1817)
In which a hilariously minimalistic grocery ghetto blooms in no-frills Carter-era America, and John chases a memory of uniformed women plying him with cheese cubes. Certificate #34402.
Sep 15, 2020
Episode 292: Joe Meek (Entry 771.PS2509)
In which the art of music recording is revolutionized by a troubled British record producer who doesn't read or play music, and Ken can't really think of any guitar pedals. Certificate #37241.
Sep 10, 2020
Episode 291: The Garbage Barge (Entry 515.LA0345)
In which our modern recycling fervor is shaped by a mob boss who can't find a port for three thousand tons of Long Island garbage, and John has a dining room full of tin. Certificate #26561.
Sep 08, 2020
Episode 290: Change of Gauge (Entry 206.LV2733)
In which the nightmarish complexity of the world's non-standardized rail systems is marveled at, and Ken hatches a zeppelin-related plan to resurrect Dame Agatha Christie. Certificate #48966.
Sep 03, 2020
Episode 289: Dragnet (Entry 378.TI0301)
In which a single TV series builds the modern image of American police as righteous and efficient, despite much evidence to the contrary, and John uses its theme song in the bedroom. Certificate #35498.
Sep 01, 2020
Episode 288: The Duke of Anjou (Entry 386.EC0804)
In which we trace the convoluted, "kooky-wawa" genealogy that identifies the Spanish playboy banker who should be sitting the French throne, and John wants to be a ski-town sheriff. Certificate #24409.
Aug 27, 2020
Episode 287: Billboards (Entry 121.DA0403)
In which we study the history of oversized roadside advertising all the way from ancient Egypt to Blade Runner, and Ken is skeptical about yellow-and-green election posters. Certificate #50861.
Aug 25, 2020
Episode 286: German Telegrams (Entry 525.PR2606)
In which a century of German diplomacy is repeatedly hamstrung by their inept telegraphy-related decisions, and Ken has some notes about the poster for Jaws 2. Certificate #51969.
Aug 20, 2020
Episode 285: Marilyn vos Savant (Entry 1403.PR1401)
In which the dark days of the 1980s are brightened by the sudden appearance in Sunday newspaper supplements of the world's smartest person, and John tries to buy a mean t-shirt about Ken. Certificate #51993.
Aug 18, 2020
Episode 284: George Washington's Teeth (Entry 524.JB4114)
In which the we learn that that story of America's most famous false teeth is upsetting for reasons that go way beyond dental pain, and Ken calls George Washington the ultimate NIMBY. Certificate #35120.
Aug 13, 2020
Episode 283: Lilith (Entry 721.LK1420)
In which puzzled medieval rabbis decide that it's not Adam and Eve—it's Adam and Lilith and Eve and Eve, and John wonders if anyone ate beets in the Garden of Eden. Certificate #14309.
Aug 11, 2020
Episode 282: Ronco (Entry 1081.MI0303)
In which a kitchen gadgeteer harnesses the power of late-night television to create a new American art form, the infomercial--but wait, there's more! Ken thinks music shouldn't come from a scarf. Certificate #32041.
Aug 06, 2020
Episode 281: Vesna Vulovic (Entry 1404.EC0410)
In which a stubborn Yugoslavian air hostess sets a world record by surviving a six-mile fall from the sky, and John misplaces the Carpathians. Certificate #33008.
Aug 04, 2020
Episode 280: Dutch Elm Disease (Entry 388.JL0112)
In which America's forests and suburbs are ravaged by a strange invader brought by bark beetles, and Ken insists on comparing tree sap to mucus even though no one wants that. Certificate #27612.
Jul 30, 2020
Episode 279: Sister Cities (Entry 1165.AM0408)
In which post-war trauma and idealism inspire world cities to try a new kind of diplomacy, and John has big plans for Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Certificate #39656.
Jul 28, 2020
Episode 278: Project MK-Ultra (Entry 993.HB0111)
In which the CIA becomes convinced that acid-laced cocktails are the solution to all our Cold War intelligence problems, and Ken suggests a new variant of foosball. Certificate #28598.
Jul 23, 2020
Episode 277: The Tibetan Memory Trick (Entry 1306.NU0774)
In which a Victorian parlor game about poultry and tweezers blossoms into a tongue twister, a comedy act, and a broadcasting test, and John tunes a guitar because Frank Zappa isn't available. Certificate #34596.
Jul 21, 2020
Episode 276: The Phoebus Cartel (Entry 931.JN0905)
In which an evil cabal of lightbulb manufacturers realizes they can sell more product if bulbs burn out faster, and Ken decides he invented Teddy Ruxpin. Certificate #24473..
Jul 16, 2020
Episode 275: The Guru Letters (Entry 557.PR0513)
In which a Siberia-obsessed Russian mystic counts a future U.S. vice president among his acolytes, and John offers up our softest poets to the mosquitoes of Alaska. Certificate #43738.
Jul 14, 2020
Episode 274: Hanky Codes (Entry 566.EZ1321)
In which we look back at the complex and clandestine history of sexual signaling in gay culture, and Ken thinks a lot of decades have the wrong adjectives. Certificate #34366.
Jul 09, 2020
Episode 273: Fletcherizing (Entry 478.AC0754)
In which a Victorian food faddist persuades America and Europe to chew each bite of onion over seven hundred times, and John discovers what Woodrow Wilson would look like if he were an embezzler. Certificate #32596.
Jul 07, 2020
Episode 272: Deborah Sampson (Entry 1100.JG0512)
In which a patriotic young colonist serves bravely in the American Revolution without anyone realizing she's secretly a woman, and Ken accuses a lot of deadbeat dads of doing murders in Maine. Certificate #37232.
Jul 02, 2020
Episode 271: Thomas the Tank Engine (Entry 1300.TI0209)
In which children's love of model trains is reinvigorated in our era by an odd British TV property with an odd British ideology, and John thinks helicopters are probably hippies. Certificate #49600.
Jun 30, 2020
Episode 270: Sea Silk (Entry 1120.EX3816)
In which surprisingly large mussels provide the world's finest cloth to a shrinking number of old Mediterranean women, and Ken wonders what a Tibetan antelope smells like. Certificate #29379.
Jun 25, 2020
Episode 269: The 504 Sit-In (Entry 473.LK1413)
In which the Carter Administration waffles so long on a groundbreaking civil rights law that disabled protestors take over a federal building for almost a month, and John considers building a maze full of wolverines. Certificate #30708.
Jun 23, 2020
Episode 268: Le Pétomane (Entry 926.IS0324)
In which a French baker discovers an unusual muscular ability that makes him an international star, and Ken works on his Kegels mid-recording. Certificate #22584.
Jun 18, 2020
Episode 267: Pulsars, Discovery of (Entry 1008.IS4713)
In which the discoverer of neutron stars is largely ignored for her achievement, and John wonders about the precise verbiage to summon "Beetlejuice." Certificate #52246.
Jun 16, 2020
Episode 266: TV Detection Vans (Entry 1351.MT1828)
In which the BBC employs a high-tech surveillance fleet to find out if Britons are seeing Doctor Who illegally, and Ken watches Monday Night Football on Tuesday nights. Certificate #48968.
Jun 11, 2020
Episode 265: Roald Amundsen's Airship (Entry 1077.JE0113)
In which fifteen men in a dirigible, to say nothing of the dog, conquer the North Pole while arguing all the way, and John wonders if there are Italians on the Moon. Certificate #23607.
Jun 09, 2020
Episode 264: Jesse Owens, Gold Medals of (Entry 887.LV2525)
In which we examine the secondary market for Olympic medals, Nobel Prizes, game show trophies, and other awards, and Ken and John struggle to remember if Watson or Crick is the bad one. Certificate #2504.
Jun 04, 2020
Episode 263: The Hero of Camperdown (Entry 583.IS3323)
In which one press-ganged sailor's quick thinking and bravery ends an invasion of Ireland and changes the course of history, while John and Ken disagree over the meaning of Elton John lyrics. Certificate #50975.
Jun 02, 2020
Episode 262: Soapy Smith (Entry 1178.2T0313)
In which Alaska chooses to make a cheerfully lawless gold rush villain into a beloved folk hero, and Ken wonders if he's married to a dice-rolling confidence artist. Certificate #35570.
May 28, 2020
Episode 261: Chick Tracts (Entry 214.RO0116)
In which history's most widely read theologian is revealed to be an eccentric Los Angeles cartoonist and conspiracy theorist who looks like Slim Pickens, and John notices that religious pamphlets mostly appear in places where bad things happen. Certificate #31387.
May 26, 2020
Episode 260: The Joy of Cooking (Entry 676.EZ2410)
In which a Listerine label-printing company publishes what goes on to become the most popular cookbook in American history, and Ken imagines Wall Street Journal portraits of seafood. Certificate #38738.
May 21, 2020
Episode 259: Love (Entry 737.GA0514)
In which one of the great Pop Art geniuses of his century accidentally becomes a one-hit wonder with an iconic bit of typography, and John regrets never entering into an arranged marriage. Certificate #37350.
May 19, 2020
Episode 258: The International Cable Protection Committee (Entry 654.IS4316)
In which we are reminded that the modern global communication network still relies on unwiedly physical cables running along the sea-floor, tempting Russian spies and itchy whales, and Ken enjoys the word "gutta-percha." Certificate #34332.
May 14, 2020
Episode 257: Grade Inflation (Entry 542.JB0807)
In which the phenomenon of "illusory superiority" causes a gradual creep of ratings and reputations in every field, from maple syrup to dunks to dress sizes, and John is universally praised by his rideshare drivers. Certificate #45417.
May 12, 2020
Episode 256: Tanzanite (Entry 1277.IS5411)
In which a consortium of gemologists tries to persuade vacationers of the hottest new thing in jewelry, which Ken considers to be the Sammy Hagar of birthstones. Certificate #48596.
May 07, 2020
Episode 255: Etchings (Entry 428.GN3907)
In which filthy Restoration comedy, Horatio Alger, and a sensational murder trial conspire to create a very odd pick-up line, and John requires an extra syllable in "Tijuana." Certificate #2793.
May 05, 2020
Episode 254: The Wild Goose (Entry 1432.MT0823)
In which John Wayne buys a decommissioned minesweeper as his luxury yacht and it outlasts its more famous French sister ship, which is probably now full of slugs. Certificate #28232.
Apr 30, 2020
Episode 253: (LIVE) The Wreck of the Titan (Entry 1446.EZ2734)
In which a failed periscope inventor predicts the greatest disaster of his time with apparently paranormal accuracy, and special guest Aimee Mann is warned away from the supernatural in no uncertain terms. Certificate #27264.
Apr 28, 2020
Episode 252: Prairie Schooners (Entry 975.NU0703)
In which the west is won by long fleets of covered wagons "sailing" on to the Oregon Territory, and Ken thinks it was mistake to capitalize the Northwest Passage. Certificate #18089.
Apr 23, 2020
Episode 251: Ferdinandea (Entry 461.RV1620)
In which the European powers scramble to claim an infant pile of basalt in the Mediterranean, and John wonders how steampunk the Libyan submarine fleet might be. Certificate #50204.
Apr 21, 2020
Episode 250: Green Funerals (Entry 549.1S3113)
In which John describes environmentally friendly modern alternatives to burial, and refuses to apologize for leaving an urn full of ashes under his piano for a decade. Certificate #37628.
Apr 16, 2020
Episode 249: Bode's Law (Entry 138.JB2212)
In which amateur algebra experts figure out where the planets in the solar system should be, and are (briefly) proven right, and Ken gets his hair cut by a ghost. Certificate #36737.
Apr 14, 2020
Episode 248: Genoan Insurance (Entry 522.MT0634)
In which the modern insurance industry is born when medieval Italian merchants form syndicates to manage risk, and Ken manages risk by making people order pancakes. Certificate #46598.
Apr 09, 2020
Episode 247: Streaking (Entry 1234.RV1615)
In which dumb campus fads return to the American spotlight in 1973 thanks to a mild winter and legions of nude undergrads, and John gradually remembers his own complicated streaking history. Certificate #41916.
Apr 07, 2020
Episode 246: The De Havilland Beaver (Entry 328.DE0203)
In which the Great White North is serviced and explored by the greatest bush plane of all time, and Ken decides that aircraft shouldn't be named after bugs. Certificate #35435.
Apr 02, 2020
Episode 245: Mesoamerican Ball Game (Entry 778.JB3122)
In which pre-Columbian civilizations spend thousands of years banging each other up with heavy rubber balls, and John tries to replace professional sports with stick-fighting. Certificate #28586.
Mar 31, 2020
Episode 244: Naked Came the Stranger (Entry 823.MT2538)
In which a droll Long Island reporter and his newsroom buddies accidentally create one of the all-time great dirty books, and Ken is skeptical of the nudist lifestyle. Certificate #50150.
Mar 26, 2020
Episode 243: Sadie Hawkins Day (Entry 1094.GN3912)
In which a hippie-hating cartoonist accidentally creates a (slightly) gender-equalizing campus tradition, and John spends hours poring over newspaper bridge columns. Certificate #44390.
Mar 24, 2020
Episode 242: Chinook Jargon (Entry 215.1C1413)
In which a very old Native American trading pidgin becomes a regional language and 20th-century slang, and Ken goes to a movie theater that basically confessed to genocide. Certificate #5725.
Mar 19, 2020
Episode 241: Patagonian Giants (Entry 907.MT0627)
In which the world's tallest tribe, if they even exist, are enslaved by Ferdinand Magellan and downsized by subsequent visitors, and John reminds us of the importance of good posture. Certificate #33392.
Mar 17, 2020
Episode 240: Bill W. (Entry 122.NU0603)
In which one rough night for a traveling salesman in Akron, Ohio births a new spiritual approach to addiction recovery, and Ken suggests some interesting anagrams for post-human Presbyterian listeners. Certificate #19544.
Mar 12, 2020
Episode 239: Hikikomori (Entry 587.1K2225)
In which a generation of traumatized Japanese young people increasingly decide never to come out of their bedrooms, whereas John insists on dying alone. Certificate #50644.
Mar 10, 2020
Episode 238: Cow Magnets (Entry 289.JL0118)
In which we learn that ruminants are eating a lot more metal nowadays than they used to, and that Ken would like to have a gravel spoon at dinner. Certificate #28929
Mar 05, 2020
Episode 237: Longitudinal Film (Entry 734.PS9010)
In which British documentarians and Austin slackers alike use the movies to unveil the mysteries of aging and mortality, and John leaves a series of women waiting for him at train stations in Spain. Certificate #48149
Mar 03, 2020
Episode 236: Hands Across America (Entry 565.PR1121)
In which the 1980s fad for charity pop singles inspires an ambitious geographic stunt, and Ken plans a foolproof way to assassinate Jamie Farr. Certificate #26004
Feb 27, 2020
Episode 235: Operation Just Cause (Entry 869.EZ4510)
In which the bizarre 1989 American invasion of Panama kicks off our modern era of on-the-nose Pentagon naming conventions, and John is reminded of a dominatrix, as usual. Certificate #19345.
Feb 25, 2020
Episode 234: Trafalgar vs. Carmania (Entry 1325.IS2314)
In which the First World War begins in an unexpected fashion, with two ocean liners blowing holes in each other off the coast of Brazil, and Ken gets gaslit into buying a tuxedo. Certificate #32056.
Feb 20, 2020
Episode 233: The Dogon (Entry 369.DE0419)
In which an African tribe proves so eager to please that they convince generations of ethnographers that alien visitors from Sirius are real, and John gets annoyed that ancient astronauts never invented baseball. Certificate #26731.
Feb 18, 2020
Episode 232: Cincinnati Chili (Entry 223.2K0440)
In which an early fast food boom, Greek immigration, and (of course) the World's Fair conspire to trick Ohioans into redefining "chili," and John gets justifiably upset about bananas on spaghetti. Certificate #24598.
Feb 13, 2020
Episode 231: Snow Valley, Oklahoma (Entry 1182.JB2419)
In which a Vermonter with an ill-conceived dream brings skiiing very briefly to the Sooner State, and Ken attempts to secure his family some very rare Pokemon cards. Certificate #17398.
Feb 11, 2020
Episode 230: The Tootsie Pop Indian (Entry 1317.LA0312)
In which an American candy company refuses to honor a longstanding bit of playground lollipop lore, and Ken tries to calculate the homeopathic healing power of Tootsie Rolls. Certificate #33486.
Feb 06, 2020
Episode 229: Chastity Belts (Entry 209.LV2113)
In which Renaissance satirists and modern amateur historians accidentally create a physiologically impossible medieval device, and John has a theory about locksmiths and cocaine. Certificate #49406.
Feb 04, 2020
Episode 228: Coppicing (Entry 276.PS8015)
In which a forgotten medieval art of tree-harvesting is revived by the sustainability movement, and Ken blames the coming environmental catastrophe on "sugar energy." Certificate #22560.
Jan 30, 2020
Episode 227: Harry Dexter White (Entry 1428.LK0817)
In which the American architect of post-World War II global capitalism turns out to have a dark and traitorous secret, and John imagines he would be a huge hassle for his spy handlers. Certificate #25923.
Jan 28, 2020
Episode 226: The Death of Trolleys (Entry 320.GN4519)
In which we find General Motors and its corporate co-conspirators not guilty on the charge of killing American streetcar lines, and Ken gets very excited about funicular railways. Certificate #14871.
Jan 23, 2020
Episode 225: George Bush's Crack Dealer (Entry 524.JB1808)
In which the president of the United States lies to the nation about how he got three ounces of crack cocaine into the Oval Office, and John is asked to leave a crime scene. Certificate #34620.
Jan 21, 2020
Episode 224: Backgammon (Entry 090.EX2816)
In which an ancient Mesopotamian board game briefly becomes a 1970s signifier for glamour and sophistication, and Ken's life is changed by an intense childhood game of Clue. Certificate #31179.
Jan 16, 2020
Episode 223: Masquerade (Entry 763.PS10424)
In which an outsider artist hides a rabbit by a statue and thereby gets a million people to start digging up the English countryside, and John "man-solves" a Satanic temple. Certificate #14162.
Jan 14, 2020
Episode 222: The Tech Model Railroad Club (Entry 1282.1C1220)
In which a room full of MIT train nerds becomes ground zero for modern American hacker culture and computer architecture, and Ken blames Star Wars for ruining children's toys. Certificate #33564.
Jan 09, 2020
Episode 221: Byzantine Rhinokopia (Entry 170.JB4102)
In which the Byzantine throne is contested by various Machiavellian schemes willing to mutilate the noses of their political rivals, and John reveals which Marx brother he is most sexually attracted to. Certificate #34954.
Jan 07, 2020
Episode 220: Fort Knox (Entry 493.2CH0913)
In which a World War I army camp in northern Kentucky is chosen to house over $200 billion in gold bullion, and Ken proposes nationalizing America's safety deposit boxes. Certificate #2504.
Jan 02, 2020
Episode 219: Induced Demand (Entry 637.EZ1704)
In which we learn why new highway lanes, no matter how spacious, tend to fill to capacity within weeks of opening, and John takes on a hypothetical megacorporation called Goober. Certificate #38938.
Dec 31, 2019
Episode 218: The Leafblower (Entry 707.DA0414)
In which ecologically problematic outdoor power tools accidentally become an official part of the Omnibus, all because John's neighbor refuses to call "Leafbusters." Certificate #25458.
Dec 26, 2019
Episode 217: The Christmas Pickle (Entry 220.IS0108)
In which a Spokane antique store creates a fake Bavarian holiday tradition from scratch, and John's beard makes him look bigger. Certificate #31503.
Dec 24, 2019
Episode 216: The Max Headroom Intrusion (Entry 767.JB2415)
In which we examine the broadcast-jamming fad of the 1980s, including a puzzling incident involving a masked Chicago prankster, and Ken wants to be a font cop. Certificate #29692.
Dec 19, 2019
Episode 215: Interferon (Entry 652.PS10303)
In which a strange, sticky new protein is declared—on the basis of very little evidence—to be a cure-all in the war against cancer, and Ken refuses to make the necessary sacrifices to become a skateboarding star. Certificate #40478.
Dec 17, 2019
Episode 214: Ada Lovelace (Entry ADA737PR3118)
In which a 19th-century countess overcomes her father's scandalous celebrity and her mother's love of parallelograms to become the world's first computer programmer, and John comes to regret renaming Alexa. Certificate #46507.
Dec 12, 2019
Episode 213: Square Dancing (Entry 1211.JB2111)
In which we learn that America's love affair with do-si-dos is a relatively recent and artificial form of nostalgia jump-started by Henry Ford's hatred for jazz, and Ken misremembers "krumping." Certificate #42537.
Dec 10, 2019
Episode 212: The Toyota Hilux (Entry 1323.JG0119)
In which an oddly named model of Toyota pickup becomes the truck of choice for Marty McFly, Top Gear fans, polar explorers, and ISIS. Certificate #16197
Dec 05, 2019
Episode 211: The Duchess of Bedford (Entry 383.PR2301)
In which one of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting atones for her gossip scandals at court by inventing a brand new meal, and John blames museum docents for all his schedule problems. Certificate #48479.
Dec 03, 2019
Episode 210: Mother Jones (Entry 675.MK0333)
In which an Irish immigrant pretending to be an old lady becomes a star of the American labor movement, and Ken ponders the death of middle initials. Certificate #12952.
Nov 28, 2019
Episode 209: The Rite of Spring Riot (Entry 1076.EZ2613)
In which Ken blames the weirdest ballet premiere of all time on class warfare, bad hair and costuming choices, and anti-Russian xenophobia, and John renames the sport of gymnastics. Certificate #31616.
Nov 26, 2019
Episode 208: The Ambassador Bridge (Entry 039.EZ4705)
In which one canny Detroit billionaire manages to gain sole control of the linchpin of American foreign trade, and John repeatedly insists he is not giving advice to terrorists. Certificate #36634.
Nov 21, 2019
Episode 207: Grass (Entry 546.MK0639)
In which lawns are revealed to be covering three times as much of America as any other crop, and Ken explains why the tallgrass prairies of the 19th century produced no great tennis players. Certificate #31632.
Nov 19, 2019
Episode 206: Fern Fever (Entry 462.JB0816)
In which Victorian England becomes obsessed with the beautiful fronds and sexy lifestyle of ferns, and John brings the Arts and Crafts movement to the grunge era. Certificate #31358.
Nov 14, 2019
Episode 205: Porfirio Rubirosa (Entry 1087.1K1210)
In which a Dominican diplomat cozies up to one of history's worst dictators, marries the two richest women in the world, and creates our modern image of the macho "Latin lover," and Ken tries to revive some slang from 1980s sex comedies. Certificate #41003.
Nov 12, 2019
Episode 204: No-Fault Divorce (Entry 840.MK1009)
In which Ronald Reagan, of all people, introduces a new legal philosophy of marriage and divorce to America in 1970, though it takes New York forty years to catch up. Certificate #27256.
Nov 07, 2019
Episode 203: Earth-Two (Entry 391.RV2101)
In which a single 1961 comic book births a multiverse and reshapes our modern understanding of parallel dimensions in art as well as life, and John wistfully fantasizes about an honest Hitler. Certificate #46819.
Nov 05, 2019
Episode 202: Faces of Death (Entry 447.JB1616)
In which the "mondo" shock movie craze of the 1960s inspires a morbid megahit that turns out to be more hoax than documentary, and monkey brains make their big-screen debut. Certificate #41907.
Oct 31, 2019
Episode 201: Haitian Zombies (Entry 561.ZC1412)
In which the origins of America's favorite 21st-century horror trope are traced back to the miseries of Caribbean plantation slavery, which is a huge bummer, and John ponders the role of squash in the afterlife. Certificate #49964.
Oct 29, 2019
Episode 200: Government Cheese (Entry 541.1S1718)
In which an American dairy surplus and some dubious policy decisions creates a processed welfare staple of the Reagan era, and Ken reveals his favorite lunchmeat. Certificate #24553.
Oct 24, 2019
Episode 199: Johnny Appleseed (Entry 060.SS0203)
In which one of America's great folk heroes is revealed as a Swedenborgian mystic, a land baron, and⁠—to John's mind⁠—a 19th-century weed dealer. Certificate #36692.
Oct 22, 2019
Episode 198: The Gossamer Albatross (Entry 540.PS5506)
In which humankind's dream of flying with the birds leads through all manner of weird ornithopters and flying bikes to a very low-altitude crossing of the English Channel, and John aces the Pepsi Challenge on a boat. Certificate #20913.
Oct 17, 2019
Episode 197: The Texas Zombies (Entry 1292.MT2424)
In which an unscrupulous Michigan music promoter dispatches fake versions of one of the great bands of rock's British Invasion, and John wages his own copyright battle against a legendary pioneer woman. Certificate #51274.
Oct 15, 2019
Episode 196: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (Entry 1000.ES0905)
In which the chaos of Europe around 1900 produces a literary hoax that powers a century of anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories, and Ken shares his distrust of sports stadiums. Certificate #42869.
Oct 10, 2019
Episode 195: How Many Angels Can Dance on the Head of a Pin? (Entry 603.RV0511)
In which scholasticism gets roasted for its obsession with thorny, possibly pointless theological questions, and John explains the difference between escalator angels and hobo angels. Certificate #39095.
Oct 08, 2019
Episode 194: Oblique Strategies (Entry 856.RO1202)
In which music legend Brian Eno and an artist friend develop a tarot deck for beating writer's block, and Ken uses lateral thinking to determine that John and Mary were goldfish. Certificate #26638.
Oct 03, 2019
Episode 193: Fritz Stammberger (Entry 1215.NU1317)
In which a mountaineering legend disappears in Pakistan, his game show icon widow becomes convinced he's secretly a spy, and John dresses like the worst kind of CIA agent. Certificate #31997.
Oct 01, 2019
Episode 192: Ticker Tape Parades (Entry 1306.ES0609)
In which America's love for French celebrity guests and her abundance of corporate litter combine to create an iconic New York tradition, and Ken ponders what to do with a giant Styrofoam version of his head. Certificate #9509.
Sep 26, 2019
Episode 191: Icelandic Incest (Entry 615.DE2722)
In which a helpful new phone app is developed to prevent Icelanders from dating their cousins, which may tragically keep them outside of the "Goldilocks Zone" of inbreeding. Certificate #20625.
Sep 24, 2019
Episode 190: Sliced Bread (Entry 1172.MK0652)
In which the canonical greatest innovation of modern life turns out to be a result of uneven toaster technology, and John builds the worst soapbox racer of all time. Certificate #50925.
Sep 19, 2019
Episode 189: As Slow as Possible (Entry 075.2P0308)
In which a German church organ perform a John Cage composition so slowly that the concert will last 639 years, and Ken has an opinion on who the horniest characters are in Middle-earth. Certificate #24524.
Sep 17, 2019
Episode 188: Juggalos (Entry 677.IS6015)
In which a horrorcore rap-rock duo from Detroit accidentally creates a global army of misfits and outcasts, and Pearl Jam gets John thrown in jail five times. Certificate #32373.
Sep 12, 2019
Episode 187: MSG (Entry 813.LK1434)
In which a combination of Cold War paranoia and good old-fashioned racism convince America that deliciously "umami" Asian food is actually killing them, and Ken eats kelp in a kayak. Certificate #21879.
Sep 10, 2019
Episode 186: The Battle of Palmdale (Entry 104.EZ2047)
In which two overeager fighter pilots chase down a runaway drone over Southern California, accidentally lighting much of the state on fire, and John wants to be a marshal of some kind. Certificate #31303.
Sep 05, 2019
Episode 185: Alexander von Humboldt (Entry 605.CO0203)
In which an adventurous Prussian polymath single-handedly revolutionizes modern science, and even helps kick-start the liberation of South America and the environmental movement, and John and Ken ponder their own inevitable disappearance down the memory hole. Certificate #41705.
Sep 03, 2019
Episode 184: Florence Lawrence (Entry 705.MT0210)
In which a vaudeville baby whistler becomes the world's first movie star and goes on to invent the electric windshield wiper, and Ken's knowledge of Ogden Nash insults finally comes in handy. Certificate #52050.
Aug 29, 2019
Episode 183: Miss Thistlebottom's Hobgoblins (Entry 795.PS1912)
In which many of the most commonly taught grammar and usage rules in English are revealed to be arbitrary, made-up, out-of-date, or all three, and John explains why Miss Manners should be in charge of the Internet. Certificate #41607.
Aug 27, 2019
Episode 182: Biosphere 2 (Entry 124.IS6517)
In which an eccentric metallurgist with a theater troupe begins one of the strangest science experiments in history and learns that humankind might not be ready for Mars yet, and Ken watches Jeff Bezos injure a fig tree. Certificate #34308.
Aug 22, 2019
Episode 181: Lottery Winners (Entry 736.HE1305)
In which we follow the history of government games of chance from ancient China to today's bankrupt Powerball millionaires, and John grifts his elementary school out of a side of beef. Certificate #32943.
Aug 20, 2019
Episode 180: Fotomats (Entry 494.LV2342)
In which a bygone errand, developing vacation snapshots, becomes so widespread that it gets its own chain of drive-thru kiosks, and Ken's mom looks great in a red knit jumper and gold polyester turtleneck. Certificate #38597.
Aug 15, 2019
Episode 179: Gold Hats (Entry 537.PS2103)
In which four mysterious cones are unearthed from proto-Celtic Europe, perhaps holding untold secrets of the calendar and cosmos, and John is surrounded by the happy nudists of the Danube. Certificate #23490
Aug 13, 2019
Episode 178: ARkStorm (Entry 067.PS9303)
In which a periodic "atmospheric river" from the Pacific Ocean threatens to put a quarter of Californians underwater in the very near future, which scares Ken so much that he decides to drill holes in his couch. Certificate #23973.
Aug 08, 2019
Episode 177: The Monkey Selfie (Entry 803.MT2220)
In which the legal and creative rights of a crested macaque are debated on the world stage, and we learn Ken wants to look like Popeye. Certificate #2720.
Aug 06, 2019
Episode 176: The Onion Futures Act (Entry 867.NU1105)
In which two savvy farmers try to corner the market on onions by buying up the whole Midwestern supply, and John compares Gerald Ford to a Jesuit. Certificate #25671.
Aug 01, 2019
Episode 175: Bob Dylan's Christian Period (Entry 138.AC1631)
In which rock's most cryptic genius shocks the world by being "born again," releasing three uneven gospel albums and annoying a lot of concertgoers. Certificate #39323.
Jul 30, 2019
Episode 174: Canning (Entry 180.LK1219)
In which doomed Arctic explorers and a spiritualist's vacuum sealer help revolutionize the science of food storage, and John reveals that his "dueling scars" are actually from drinking cold canned pasta. Certificate #42072.
Jul 25, 2019
Episode 173: The Four-Color Map Problem (Entry 495.NU2653)
In which over a century of mathematicians are unable to solve a geometry problem straight out of a coloring book, computers provide their first ever math "proof," and Ken challenges John to map a donut. Certificate #28876.
Jul 23, 2019
Episode 172: The Church of the SubGenius (Entry 222.AC1605)
In which a fictional pipe-smoking salesman invents a new quasi-religion for ironists, Discordians, and weirdos, and Ken believes he could have prevented the Trojan War. Certificate #31147.
Jul 18, 2019
Episode 171: The Rural Purge (Entry 1091.PS6503)
In which CBS cancels a full slate of country-fried programming, reinventing TV and marginalizing rural America, and John somehow watches an awful lot of Hee Haw. Certificate #36841.
Jul 16, 2019
Episode 170: Peak Phosphorus (Entry 911.PS9703)
In which one of the key nutrients for all life on Earth washes inexorably into the ocean all day every day, which really stresses Ken out. Certificate #52178
Jul 11, 2019
Episode 169: John Dee (Entry 325.DA0202)
In which Queen Elizabeth's top astrologer dreams up the British Empire, solar power, and possibly even James Bond, and then loses his whole reputation to a charlatan with no earlobes, leading John to create a list of scientists who should have stayed in their lane. Certificate #44269
Jul 09, 2019
Episode 168: Quonset Huts (Entry 1023.PS6103)
In which the U.S. military builds hundreds of thousands of weird half-cylindrical shelters out of corrugated steel, and Ken reports on what they would look like with stained-glass windows. Certificate #35704
Jul 04, 2019
Episode 167: Droodles (Entry 382.AC0212)
In which we remember Frank Zappa's favorite 1950s fad, brought to you by the inventor of Mad Libs, and John remembers why people actually thought a Sasquatch lived on top of the Space Needle back in foggier times. Certificate #48261.
Jul 02, 2019
Episode 166: Furries (Entry 508.GN2716)
In which hundreds of thousands of people dress in big plush animal suits as a hobby, identity, or fetish, and Ken explains the secret Family Feud notebooks of his childhood. Certificate #26505
Jun 27, 2019
Episode 165: Town Line, New York (Entry 1323.2C0617)
In which a tiny village secedes from the United States to join the Confederacy and forgets to rejoin for almost a century--even though it's in upstate New York just miles from the Canadian border. Certificate #42052.
Jun 25, 2019
Episode 164: Cold Fusion (Entry 242.PR2004)
In which two of the world's smartest electrochemists get fooled by a botched experiment and the promise of fame, and John reveals that GPS mysticism is his pseudoscience. Certificate #19668.
Jun 21, 2019
Episode 163: The Kamehameha Colonists (Entry 681.IS4204)
In which over a hundred of Honolulu's elite private school students are shipped off to some of the world's most remote islands on a top-secret government mission, and Ken wonders if sea turtles can feel dread. Certificate #22194.
Jun 19, 2019
Episode 162: Maraschino Cherries (Entry 758.PR0819)
In which we learn how a historical delicacy of Croatia got bastardized into a staple of American cocktails and sundaes, and John is upset when his third grade teacher pays him in ice cream instead of cash. Certificate #28197.
Jun 13, 2019
Episode 161: Cursive (Entry 307.DA0508)
In which we trace script handwriting from ancient Egypt all the way up to the modern culture wars, and John and Ken argue over the ugliest cursive capital letter: is it J or Q? Certificate #32892.
Jun 11, 2019
Episode 160: Lilly Pulitzer (Entry 1007.LK1227)
In which the messy orange-eating of a runaway heiress creates a colorful new summer look for American women, and Ken goes way too far with his Kennedy assassination theories. Certificate #12306.
Jun 06, 2019
Episode 159: Bone Wars (Entry 141.PS14107)
In which America's two greatest dinosaur hunters ruin their lives in an unhinged battle of spite and revenge, which John finds extremely romantic. Certificate #24269.
Jun 04, 2019
Episode 158: Pattie Boyd (Entry 148.DE2402)
In which two of the greatest rock guitarists of all time pine after the same woman, each marry her in turn, and somehow stay friends. Certificate #42401.
May 30, 2019
Episode 157: The Reindeer Wizards (Entry 1049.DE1811)
In which we remember the 1950s charity drive to raise reindeer funds for a tribe of Scandinavian telepaths--a problem they really should have seen coming. Certificate #37239.
May 28, 2019
Episode 156: Trapper Keepers (Entry 1331.IS0816)
In which a re-designed school binder becomes a mandatory school accessory and one of the great marketing successes of the 1980s, and Ken spends hours looking at erasers shaped like sushi. Certificate #31310.
May 23, 2019
Episode 155: Winifred Sackville Stoner Jr. (Entry 1229.MT1125)
In which an Esperanto-loving stage mom raises America's first celebrity child prodigy, who writes one of history's most famous poems before vanishing into a cloud of bigamy and scandal. Certificate #35551.
May 21, 2019
Episode 154: Plymouth Rock (Entry 955.EX3321)
In which John visits one of the most underwhelming (and breakable) landmarks in American history, and explains why its entire history is almost certainly made up. Certificate #33004.
May 16, 2019
Episode 153: Tortilla Chips (Entry 1320.GN4226)
In which America discovers Tex-Mex food at Disneyland, leading to the invention of Doritos and "extreme" snack foods, and Ken has clam chowder in his car. Certificate #42729.
May 14, 2019
Episode 152: Private Wojtek the Bear (Entry 988.HO1308)
In which we follow an army of exiled Polish soldiers from Siberia to Iran to Scotland, and learn why they taught a Syrian brown bear to carry ammo and eat cigarettes. Certificate #41871.
May 09, 2019
Episode 151: Hotel Detectives (Entry 601.GN4321)
In which we learn about palming doorknobs, spotting bunco artists and fornicators, and other old tricks of the "hotel dick" trade, and John steals some room service pizza. Certificate #51720.
May 07, 2019
Episode 150: The Charge of the Light Brigade (Entry 208.GN5009)
In which a series of underqualified officers and vague, sweeping gestures lead to a terrible military debacle, a good sweater, and a catchy poem, and Ken expresses some skepticism about Captain von Trapp. Certificate #38694.
May 02, 2019
Episode 149: The French Revolutionary Calendar (Entry 500.EX1202)
In which the freethinkers of the Enlightenment take a stab at designing a 100% secular timekeeping system from the ground up, and John wants to be called "Goldenrod." Certificate #44270.
Apr 30, 2019