Omnibus

Omnibus

www.omnibusproject.com
An encyclopedic reference of strange-but-true stories compiled as a time capsule for future generations.


244: Naked Came the Stranger (Entry 823.MT2538)
Mar 26 • 64 min
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.
243: Sadie Hawkins Day (Entry 1094.GN3912)
Mar 24 • 80 min
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.
242: Chinook Jargon (Entry 215.1C1413)
Mar 19 • 57 min
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.
241: Patagonian Giants (Entry 907.MT0627)
Mar 17 • 54 min
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.
240: Bill W. (Entry 122.NU0603)
Mar 12 • 89 min
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.
239: Hikikomori (Entry 587.1K2225)
Mar 10 • 68 min
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.
238: Cow Magnets (Entry 289.JL0118)
Mar 5 • 63 min
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
237: Longitudinal Film (Entry 734.PS9010)
Mar 3 • 79 min
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
236: Hands Across America (Entry 565.PR1121)
Feb 27 • 73 min
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
235: Operation Just Cause (Entry 869.EZ4510)
Feb 25 • 52 min
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.
234: Trafalgar vs. Carmania (Entry 1325.IS2314)
Feb 20 • 67 min
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.
233: The Dogon (Entry 369.DE0419)
Feb 18 • 58 min
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.
232: Cincinnati Chili (Entry 223.2K0440)
Feb 13 • 49 min
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.
231: Snow Valley, Oklahoma (Entry 1182.JB2419)
Feb 11 • 72 min
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.
230: The Tootsie Pop Indian (Entry 1317.LA0312)
Feb 6 • 69 min
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.
229: Chastity Belts (Entry 209.LV2113)
Feb 4 • 55 min
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.
228: Coppicing (Entry 276.PS8015)
Jan 30 • 49 min
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.
227: Harry Dexter White (Entry 1428.LK0817)
Jan 28 • 72 min
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.
226: The Death of Trolleys (Entry 320.GN4519)
Jan 23 • 61 min
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.
225: George Bush’s Crack Dealer (Entry 524.JB1808)
Jan 21 • 56 min
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.
224: Backgammon (Entry 090.EX2816)
Jan 16 • 67 min
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.
223: Masquerade (Entry 763.PS10424)
Jan 14 • 68 min
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.
222: The Tech Model Railroad Club (Entry 1282.1C1220)
Jan 9 • 61 min
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.
221: Byzantine Rhinokopia (Entry 170.JB4102)
Jan 7 • 49 min
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.
220: Fort Knox (Entry 493.2CH0913)
Jan 2 • 66 min
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.
219: Induced Demand (Entry 637.EZ1704)
Dec 31, 2019 • 66 min
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.
218: The Leafblower (Entry 707.DA0414)
Dec 26, 2019 • 53 min
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.
217: The Christmas Pickle (Entry 220.IS0108)
Dec 24, 2019 • 67 min
In which a Spokane antique store creates a fake Bavarian holiday tradition from scratch, and John's beard makes him look bigger. Certificate #31503.
216: The Max Headroom Intrusion (Entry 767.JB2415)
Dec 19, 2019 • 83 min
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.
215: Interferon (Entry 652.PS10303)
Dec 17, 2019 • 57 min
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.
214: Ada Lovelace (Entry 737.PR3118)
Dec 12, 2019 • 81 min
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.
213: Square Dancing (Entry 1211.JB2111)
Dec 10, 2019 • 55 min
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.
212: The Toyota Hilux (Entry 1323.JG0119)
Dec 5, 2019 • 62 min
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
211: The Duchess of Bedford (Entry 383.PR2301)
Dec 3, 2019 • 63 min
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.
210: Mother Jones (Entry 675.MK0333)
Nov 28, 2019 • 70 min
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.
209: The Rite of Spring Riot (Entry 1076.EZ2613)
Nov 26, 2019 • 69 min
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.
208: The Ambassador Bridge (Entry 039.EZ4705)
Nov 21, 2019 • 69 min
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.
207: Grass (Entry 546.MK0639)
Nov 19, 2019 • 46 min
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.
206: Fern Fever (Entry 462.JB0816)
Nov 14, 2019 • 57 min
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.
205: Porfirio Rubirosa (Entry 1087.1K1210)
Nov 12, 2019 • 59 min
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…
204: No-Fault Divorce (Entry 840.MK1009)
Nov 7, 2019 • 61 min
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.
203: Earth-Two (Entry 391.RV2101)
Nov 5, 2019 • 79 min
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.
202: Faces of Death (Entry 447.JB1616)
Oct 31, 2019 • 60 min
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.
201: Haitian Zombies (Entry 561.ZC1412)
Oct 29, 2019 • 57 min
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.
200: Government Cheese (Entry 541.1S1718)
Oct 24, 2019 • 63 min
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.
199: Johnny Appleseed (Entry 060.SS0203)
Oct 22, 2019 • 50 min
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.
198: The Gossamer Albatross (Entry 540.PS5506)
Oct 17, 2019 • 73 min
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.
197: The Texas Zombies (Entry 1292.MT2424)
Oct 15, 2019 • 63 min
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.
196: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (Entry 1000.ES0905)
Oct 10, 2019 • 78 min
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.
195: How Many Angels Can Dance on the Head of a Pin? (Entry 603.RV0511)
Oct 8, 2019 • 56 min
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.
194: Oblique Strategies (Entry 856.RO1202)
Oct 3, 2019 • 55 min
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.
193: Fritz Stammberger (Entry 1215.NU1317)
Oct 1, 2019 • 59 min
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.
192: Ticker Tape Parades (Entry 1306.ES0609)
Sep 26, 2019 • 64 min
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.
191: Icelandic Incest (Entry 615.DE2722)
Sep 24, 2019 • 48 min
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.
190: Sliced Bread (Entry 1172.MK0652)
Sep 19, 2019 • 59 min
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.
189: As Slow as Possible (Entry 075.2P0308)
Sep 17, 2019 • 62 min
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.
188: Juggalos (Entry 677.IS6015)
Sep 12, 2019 • 72 min
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.
187: MSG (Entry 813.LK1434)
Sep 10, 2019 • 55 min
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.
186: The Battle of Palmdale (Entry 104.EZ2047)
Sep 5, 2019 • 68 min
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.
185: Alexander von Humboldt (Entry 605.CO0203)
Sep 3, 2019 • 60 min
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…
184: Florence Lawrence (Entry 705.MT0210)
Aug 29, 2019 • 73 min
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.
183: Miss Thistlebottom’s Hobgoblins (Entry 795.PS1912)
Aug 27, 2019 • 72 min
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.
182: Biosphere 2 (Entry 124.IS6517)
Aug 22, 2019 • 76 min
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.
181: Lottery Winners (Entry 736.HE1305)
Aug 20, 2019 • 81 min
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.
180: Fotomats (Entry 494.LV2342)
Aug 15, 2019 • 55 min
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.
179: Gold Hats (Entry 537.PS2103)
Aug 13, 2019 • 48 min
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
178: ARkStorm (Entry 067.PS9303)
Aug 8, 2019 • 55 min
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.
177: The Monkey Selfie (Entry 803.MT2220)
Aug 6, 2019 • 68 min
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.
176: The Onion Futures Act (Entry 867.NU1105)
Aug 1, 2019 • 66 min
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.
175: Bob Dylan’s Christian Period (Entry 138.AC1631)
Jul 30, 2019 • 59 min
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.
174: Canning (Entry 180.LK1219)
Jul 25, 2019 • 56 min
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.
173: The Four-Color Map Problem (Entry 495.NU2653)
Jul 23, 2019 • 50 min
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.
172: The Church of the SubGenius (Entry 222.AC1605)
Jul 18, 2019 • 57 min
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.
171: The Rural Purge (Entry 1091.PS6503)
Jul 16, 2019 • 50 min
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.
170: Peak Phosphorus (Entry 911.PS9703)
Jul 11, 2019 • 55 min
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
169: John Dee (Entry 325.DA0202)
Jul 9, 2019 • 56 min
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…
168: Quonset Huts (Entry 1023.PS6103)
Jul 4, 2019 • 54 min
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
167: Droodles (Entry 382.AC0212)
Jul 2, 2019 • 67 min
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.
166: Furries (Entry 508.GN2716)
Jun 27, 2019 • 58 min
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
165: Town Line, New York (Entry 1323.2C0617)
Jun 25, 2019 • 53 min
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.
164: Cold Fusion (Entry 242.PR2004)
Jun 20, 2019 • 63 min
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.
163: The Kamehameha Colonists (Entry 681.IS4204)
Jun 18, 2019 • 52 min
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.
162: Maraschino Cherries (Entry 758.PR0819)
Jun 13, 2019 • 55 min
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.
161: Cursive (Entry 307.DA0508)
Jun 11, 2019 • 58 min
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.
160: Lilly Pulitzer (Entry 1007.LK1227)
Jun 6, 2019 • 44 min
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.
159: Bone Wars (Entry 141.PS14107)
Jun 4, 2019 • 50 min
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.
158: Pattie Boyd (Entry 148.DE2402)
May 30, 2019 • 54 min
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.
157: The Reindeer Wizards (Entry 1049.DE1811)
May 28, 2019 • 48 min
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.
156: Trapper Keepers (Entry 1331.IS0816)
May 23, 2019 • 53 min
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.
155: Winifred Sackville Stoner Jr. (Entry 1229.MT1125)
May 21, 2019 • 55 min
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.
154: Plymouth Rock (Entry 955.EX3321)
May 16, 2019 • 49 min
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.
153: Tortilla Chips (Entry 1320.GN4226)
May 14, 2019 • 53 min
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.
152: Private Wojtek the Bear (Entry 988.HO1308)
May 9, 2019 • 39 min
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.
151: Hotel Detectives (Entry 601.GN4321)
May 7, 2019 • 42 min
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.
150: The Charge of the Light Brigade (Entry 208.GN5009)
May 2, 2019 • 62 min
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.
149: The French Revolutionary Calendar (Entry 500.EX1202)
Apr 30, 2019 • 61 min
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.
148: Killer Rabbit (Entry 686.LV1106)
Apr 25, 2019 • 53 min
In which we go through the weird list of things glimpsed by noted paranormal researcher Jimmy Carter, including a hissing marsh rabbit and a UFO that the Air Force wants you to think is barium. Certificate #21432.
147: Ted Danson in Blackface (Entry 1283.JB2317)
Apr 23, 2019 • 65 min
In which one of the most beloved sitcom stars in America tries out the worst comedy idea of all time, and John has a theory about anti-Semitism in the Aliens movies. Certificate #22400.
146: Breastaurants (Entry 152.IS1321)
Apr 18, 2019 • 62 min
In which we explain the squeaky-clean tawdriness of casual dining chains that put all the servers in tank tops, and Ken wonders if you can eat hot wings ironically. Certificate #37739.
145: Mussolini’s Nose (Entry 819.PR3033)
Apr 16, 2019 • 56 min
In which a chronically ill British woman decides that God wants her to kill a fascist dictator, and Ken and John argue over whether or not an assassination plot needs a chalkboard. Certificate #16114.
144: Wide Skis (Entry 1431.LK0429)
Apr 11, 2019 • 67 min
In which, after centuries of stagnation, the sport of skiing is revolutionized in a matter of three years, and John is forced to sign a hand-written waiver. Certificate #34056.
143: Cocaine Hippos (Entry 238.JB4021)
Apr 9, 2019 • 47 min
In which the rivers of Colombia teem with African hippos due to the excesses of a long-dead drug lord, and Ken suggests introducing Welsh corgis to the Amazon rainforest. Certificate #37768.
142: The Smoot (Entry 1178.1K0626)
Apr 4, 2019 • 48 min
In which an MIT fraternity prank creates a new unit of measurement and annoys Boston police, and John wins a million dollars on an imaginary quiz show about Maine. Certificate #50326.
141: The Garden of Earthly Delights (Entry 515.SS0611)
Apr 2, 2019 • 56 min
In which a Dutch painter creates surreal hellscapes so mysterious and full of butts that no one knows what he was even thinking, and Ken explains why bagpipes are very, very erotic. Certificate #17086.
140: Breezewood, Pennsylvania (Entry 153.JG0506)
Mar 28, 2019 • 68 min
In which a funding impasse and clever fast food franchises put a one-of-a-kind stoplight right in the middle of a Pennsylvania interstate, and Ken misremembers who built the Lincoln Highway. Certificate #31424.
139: Indigo (Entry 634.GE0913)
Mar 26, 2019 • 70 min
In which Sir Isaac Newton adds an extra color to the rainbow to make his mystical, musical math come out right, and John has strong feelings about Satan's marital status. Certificate #26015.
138: Egg-Cracking Machines (Entry 398.JE1711)
Mar 21, 2019 • 57 min
In which John goes to the Caribbean, learns how cruise ships crack 20,000 eggs in a week, and begins to comparison-shop the amazing Rube Goldberg inventions involved. Certificate #27021.
137: Jeanne Calment (Entry 176.2C0416)
Mar 19, 2019 • 73 min
In which an indomitable woman from Provence defies actuaries by living to be 122 years old, shadowy Russian forces try to discredit her, and Ken predicts which Saturday Night Live cast members will be centenarians. Certificate #43762.
136: Anything Into Oil (Entry 056.EX3729)
Mar 14, 2019 • 69 min
In which one tech company's fondest dream—to turn Butterball turkey offal into light crude oil—remains tantalizingly out of reach, and John and Ken worry about whether they're recycling waxed paper correctly. Certificate #26207.
135: Tippi Hedren’s Fingernails (Entry 1311.DE2112)
Mar 12, 2019 • 65 min
In which a Hollywood ingenue survives her encounters with birds, angry lions, and creepy directors, and survives to become the godmother of one of America's great immigrant business empires. Certificate #28046.
134: The Cheesesteak War (Entry 211.PR2306)
Mar 7, 2019 • 71 min
In which a hot dog vendor and an anonymous cabbie invent one of the all-time great American foods, giving Philadelphians classic choices like "Whiz or provolone," "wit' onions or wit'out," and "xenophobia or not." Certificate #6594.
133: Geomagnetic Reversal (Entry 524.JB3709)
Mar 5, 2019 • 54 min
In which the Earth's magnetic field turns the North Pole into the South Pole every few hundred thousand years, and John and Ken discuss what effect this might have on the aurora borealis, ski-bum turtles, and North Dakota tourism. Certificate #41220.
132: Mike the Headless Chicken (Entry 787.MK0616)
Feb 28, 2019 • 67 min
In which one seemingly doomed Colorado rooster lucks into a kind of zombie Charlotte's Web scenario, and Ken and John disagree over whether a "meat puppet" is a kind of food. Certificate #21086.
131: Honest Dick (Entry 596.EX2208)
Feb 26, 2019 • 70 min
In which the most trusted man in the state of Kentucky disappears with tobacco sacks full of the state treasury, and John and Ken discover which prominent U.S. government official is almost always a Latina. Certificate #23421.
130: Freighthopping (Entry 500.AM0812)
Feb 21, 2019 • 65 min
In which the American railroad provides a semi-legal travel network for millions of migrant laborers, and John explains how a sufficiently blond mustache on a young hobo can ward off evil. Certificate #14946.
129: The Foreign Legion (Entry 490.2S1519)
Feb 19, 2019 • 66 min
In which the French army accepts thousands of rogues and ne'er-do-wells from all over the world, giving them white helmets and a whole lot of wine, and Ken suggests a new method for reheating Hot Pockets. Certificate #36749.
128: Jacqueline Cochran (Entry 238.RV1214)
Feb 14, 2019 • 70 min
In which one driven girl from the backwoods of Georgia changes the face of aviation, Ken roasts astronaut Scott Carpenter, and John skips class to judge an essay contest. Certificate #39584.
127: The Bodies of Mount Everest (Entry 138.JE1316)
Feb 12, 2019 • 58 min
In which travelers to one of the most dangerous places on earth leave so many casualties behind in the "Death Zone" that they literally become part of the map. Certificate #7505.
126: (LIVE) Yngwie Malmsteen (Entry 753.JE1022)
Feb 7, 2019 • 35 min
In which a skilled but self-absorbed Swedish musician leaves his homeland to become a guitar god, and John explains his theory about how neoclassicism ruined rock. Certificate #26394.
125: (LIVE) Extremely Overdue Library Books (Entry 445.2T0413)
Feb 5, 2019 • 42 min
In which countless scofflaws, including George Washington, rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in library fines, and Ken takes home a "spite book." Certificate #29342.
124: Flagpole Sitters (Entry 474.1S1013)
Jan 31, 2019 • 73 min
In which Syrian ascetics and American steeplejacks alike enjoy the weirdest fad of all time, and Ken angers marathon runners. Certificate #45561.
123: Samantha Smith (Entry 1178.IS1106)
Jan 29, 2019 • 69 min
In which a fifth-grader from Maine becomes a diplomatic sensation after writing a nervous letter to Moscow, and John remembers the only fan letter he ever wrote. Certificate #35519.
122: The Twins of Benin (Entry 1353.GN2524)
Jan 24, 2019 • 70 min
In which we learn that one very specific region of West Africa produces more twins than anywhere else on earth, which could be due to heredity, yams, or, in Ken's mind, a mysterious glowing meteorite. Certificate #29437.
121: The Kilogram (Entry 686.DE2513)
Jan 22, 2019 • 69 min
In which the dreams of the French Revolution are finally fulfilled by modern physicists eager to re-define science itself from scratch, which probably triggered the alien landing in May 2019. Certificate #37545.
120: Trucker Culture (Entry 1343.MT2514)
Jan 17, 2019 • 65 min
In which a gas crisis and an early social media network conspire to make long-haul truck drivers national heroes, and Ken gives a big 10-4 to a heroic trucker named "Fuzzy." Certificate #25007.
119: Vice Versa (Entry 1393.EP0423)
Jan 15, 2019 • 74 min
In which we read the Victorian novel that, a century later, would start an avalanche of body-swapping movie comedies, and John tries to debunk the blind prophet Tiresias. Certificate #30972.
118: Queen Victoria’s Grandchildren (Entry 1020.IS1418)
Jan 10, 2019 • 61 min
In which we follow up on the forty-two offspring of the "grandmother of Europe," including the one who led Germany into World War I and the one who might have been Jack the Ripper. Certificate #26374.
117: Cumberland vs. Georgia Tech (Entry 305.RM1219)
Jan 8, 2019 • 72 min
In which a revenge-crazed football coach runs up a 222-0 score against a squad of random law students and townies, and John explains why his go-to comedy move is dropping his pants. Certificate #26347.
116: Track 61 (Entry 1324.EZ0808)
Jan 3, 2019 • 61 min
In which Franklin Roosevelt builds a secret, private train station under the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and John almost defects to East Germany in a gaily colored ski jacket. Certificate #33725.
115: Snowflakes (Entry 1181.PS14716)
Jan 1, 2019 • 51 min
In which a Vermont farmer unveils to the world a natural beauty of crystalline perfection that's been hiding in plain sight, and Ken and John decide to slander Buzz Aldrin for some reason. Certificate #16919.
114: The Turboencabulator (Entry 1348.IS2811)
Dec 27, 2018 • 70 min
In which we study the spurving bearings and hydrocoptic marzlevanes of the made-up machine that brought technobabble to the masses, and John actually encourages Ken to talk about Star Trek for a change. Certificate #45305.
113: Thomas Nast (Entry 825.JB1534)
Dec 25, 2018 • 71 min
In which one Gilded Age influencer puts Santa at the North Pole because he hates slavery so much and runs New York's most powerful man out of town on a rail because he hates the Irish so much. Certificate #33423.
112: The Christmas Truce (Entry 220.LK0214)
Dec 20, 2018 • 64 min
In which peace and holiday good will break out on the western front in 1914, partly due to the work of suffragettes, and it changes the tourism industry forever. Also, Ken defends fruitcake. Certificate #31405.
111: Telling the Bees (Entry 1285.PR2413)
Dec 18, 2018 • 60 min
In which we explore one of the weirdest funeral superstitions of pagan Europe, and John explains why he likes to retell Aesop's Fables from the bad guys' point of view. Certificate #44411.
110: Patrick Nagel (Entry 823.SS0115)
Dec 13, 2018 • 70 min
In which one artist redefines eroticism for the MTV generation, and John gets stuck with a very overpriced piece of Duran Duran memorabilia. Certificate #31513.
109: Robert Smalls (Entry 1176.DE2315)
Dec 11, 2018 • 65 min
In which a South Carolina slave seizes a heavily armed Confederate ship and sails it to freedom and instant celebrity, whereas Ken doesn't even own a hatchet. Certificate #38760.
108: Marmorated Stink Bugs (Entry 761.LV1120)
Dec 6, 2018 • 62 min
In which a hard-to-kill Asian insect arrives in America and discovers a delightful new predator-free life eating our produce, hiding behind our picture frames, and making everything smell like cilantro-infused sewage. Certificate #30979.
107: Ghost Forests (Entry 527.EZ1724)
Dec 4, 2018 • 57 min
In which Ken accidentally goes on vacation to a long submerged, 2,000-year-old forest, and John explains the value he can add to a rugby game or campfire. Certificate #1751.
106: Scrappy Doo (Entry 1115.PP0302)
Nov 29, 2018 • 72 min
In which 1970s and 1980s TV is overrun by an avalanche of orphans, runaways, and other wisecracking moppets, and John reveals that Oscar the Grouch is a witch in a "fursuit." Certificate #37500.
105: The Qibla (Entry 1016.PS5517)
Nov 27, 2018 • 77 min
In which the Islamic practice of facing Mecca in prayer becomes a thorny theological and geographical question, particularly for Muslims in Alaska, French Polynesia, or low-earth orbit. Certificate #2405.
104: Pumpkin Pie (Entry 1008.JH0406)
Nov 22, 2018 • 68 min
In which we consider America's favorite gourd as a botanical mystery, a symbol of autumn, a Civil War flashpoint, an Illinois monoculture, a delivery vehicle for condensed milk, and an instrument of Starbucks-related misogyny and class warfare.…
103: Deep-Fried Turkeys (Entry 325.JN0432)
Nov 20, 2018 • 70 min
In which the Cajun cooking fad of the 1980s spawns a hazardous new holiday favorite, and Ken's wife flips us the bird. Certificate #30269.
102: The Cagot (Entry 173.2K0527)
Nov 15, 2018 • 50 min
In which a tiny French minority in the Pyrenees is shunned and hated for reasons no one can quite remember, and John pronounces the words "goose foot" more capably than Ken. Certificate #28287.
101: Jennens v. Jennens (Entry 671.NU2711)
Nov 13, 2018 • 58 min
In which the notorious "Miser of Acton" forgets to sign his will, and for over a century thousands of people—including Ken's family—become convinced they are rightful heirs to his $300 million fortune. Certificate #23502.
100: Wild Man Fischer (Entry 472.GE1612)
Nov 8, 2018 • 82 min
In which a troubled street performer becomes a beloved musician and helps found a landmark record label, Ken buys a booby-trapped painting, and John critiques the storytelling of celebrity children. Certificate #49895.
99: The Doomsday Flight (Entry 372.AM0214)
Nov 6, 2018 • 79 min
In which the U.S. government tries to ban a Rod Serling TV movie for inspiring too many mid-air extortions, all of which can be foiled by knowing the right trivia fact about Denver. Certificate #41961.
98: Albert Pierrepoint (Entry 938.ES0914)
Nov 1, 2018 • 63 min
In which a Lancashire grocer and pub landlord becomes the most skilled executioner of all time, and John explains the best part of being guillotined. Certificate #21776.
97: Bridey Murphy (Entry 818.JB1414)
Oct 30, 2018 • 71 min
In which a Colorado housewife and her tractor dealer friend jump-start the 1950s "reincarnation" fad, and Ken ponders whether or not he was "Endora" in a past life. Certificate #29314.
96: The Letter J (Entry 714.1CH0910)
Oct 25, 2018 • 45 min
In which a 16th-century jack-of-all-trades judiciously joins a jaunty new Johnny-come-lately to our jargon because he's just so jazzed about Jesus. Juxtaposed with John's jumbled jeremiads and Jennings's juvenile jokes. Certificate #23082.
95: The Ballads of Ossian (Entry 094.PR2017)
Oct 23, 2018 • 73 min
In which Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon, and Goethe go nuts about a best-selling blind Celtic bard who might not even exist, and John writes his first Tolkien fanfic. Certificate #28002
94: Brown Sound (Entry 158.MT1517)
Oct 18, 2018 • 57 min
In which military scientists, flush from their success annoying Manuel Noriega with Doors music, try to find that one elusive noise that will liquefy their enemies' bowels. Certificate #42964.
93: Second Sleep (Entry 1122.ZC0401)
Oct 16, 2018 • 71 min
In which John and Ken learn that they share a "chronotype," but disagree over whether it's natural to spend an hour or two every night sitting naked in a chair. Certificate #38846.
92: The Hollow Earth (Entry 593.JB2607)
Oct 11, 2018 • 63 min
In which we ponder two questions: are we living on the inside of a concave sphere? Or is someone else down there, possibly with skimpy outfits and pet dinosaurs? Certificate #19429.
91: Pokemon Go (Entry 958.GE0702)
Oct 9, 2018 • 79 min
In which the biggest media franchise and the biggest augmented reality game of all time cause us to consider Zionist trading cards, the allure of wooden boats, and the feng shui of construction workers. Certificate #41843.
90: Tsar Bomba (Entry 1345.MI0104)
Oct 4, 2018 • 54 min
In which the Soviet Union detonates the biggest bomb in human history, and Ken imagines Nikita Khrushchev as a pro wrestler and a Bond villain. Certificate #20568.
89: The Blue Men of the Sahara (Entry 136.PS10704)
Oct 2, 2018 • 74 min
In which we meet one of the last nomadic people on the planet and admire their dress code, and John identifies strongly with a camel that roars when loaded heavily. Certificate #42973
88: Dancing Mania (Entry 315.LA0515)
Sep 27, 2018 • 52 min
In which mass hysteria strikes the town squares of medieval Europe, John imagines the rigors of jute underwear, and Ken wonders if aliens ever start orgies. Certificate #21161.
87: Mail Trucks (Entry 749.2S1114)
Sep 25, 2018 • 54 min
In which the world's largest, boxiest truck fleet ages into its fourth decade, and John hunts for an elusive postal mascot from his childhood. Certificate #35752
86: Albanian Bunkers (Entry 029.RV0615)
Sep 20, 2018 • 67 min
In which we learn why one of Europe's most isolated countries is dotted with hundreds of thousands of domed concrete pillboxes, and also why zombie movies are thinly veiled racism. Certificate #46673
85: (LIVE) Disco Demolition Night (Entry 356.AC1919)
Sep 18, 2018 • 58 min
In which the war between album-oriented rock and its mortal enemy disco boils over into the worst baseball promotion in history, and Ken reveals what 1970s music they play in heaven. Certificate #25815.
84: Jefferson, State of (Entry 671.NU2655)
Sep 13, 2018 • 66 min
In which a huckster and meteorite-hunter, facing a business disaster, starts a still-brewing secession movement on the Oregon-California border, and also we contemplate who all the Looney Tunes characters voted for. Certificate #26085.
83: The Hilbert Hotel (Entry 587.LK0207)
Sep 11, 2018 • 67 min
In which we learn what happens when an infinite number of tour buses arrive at an infinite hotel with no vacancies, and decide whether or not this is worse than the guest services at the Eagles' Hotel California. Certificate #44261.
82: Anita Bryant (Entry 159.PR0913)
Sep 6, 2018 • 63 min
In which a minor 1950s celebrity births America's modern cultural war, and Ken gets to complain about his two least favorite things: bigotry, and orange juice. Certificate #31531
81: The Fourth Crusade (Entry 495.2T0203)
Sep 4, 2018 • 72 min
In which a medieval crusade to Jerusalem goes off the rails and ends up sacking the world's greatest Christian city instead. Certificate #11758.
80: The Anarchist Cookbook (Entry 045.RV2210)
Aug 30, 2018 • 55 min
In which an angry teenager in his local library produces a counterculture classic of booby-trap design, leading to John being suspended from junior high for anarcho-capitalism. Certificate #33047.
79: The Saint Helena Submarine Plot (Entry 1096.PS7719)
Aug 28, 2018 • 46 min
In which Napoleon Bonaparte is disrespected by John's mom, but almost rescued by an English smuggler in a steampunk submarine. Certificate #37796.
78: The Berkeley Pit (Entry 115.PS8806)
Aug 23, 2018 • 49 min
In which John welcomes the microbes from a Montana copper sludge pit who will surely inherit the earth, and Ken announces how many syllables a dog's name should have. Certificate #50365.
77: Inversion Goggles (Entry 659.IS2916)
Aug 21, 2018 • 53 min
In which we study the human brain's terrifying capacity for adaptation, via upside-down cigarette lighting, weird-smelling houses, and "stoner" voice. Certificate #37104.
76: The ‘59 Les Paul Standard (Entry 466.PS3302)
Aug 16, 2018 • 64 min
In which John explains why there are only 643 of the greatest guitar ever made, and Kirk Hammett of Metallica pays $2 million for a Fleetwood Mac hand-me-down. Certificate #30784.
75: Ea-Nasir (Entry 390.LV1913)
Aug 14, 2018 • 49 min
In which Sumeria's shiftiest businessman keeps all his hate mail around for four thousand years, and Ken gets accused of counterfeiting by a local bookstore. Certificate #27107.
74: Michael Rockefeller (Entry 1078.MI0303)
Aug 9, 2018 • 52 min
In which one of America's richest young men gets really into New Guinean tribal art, and ends up getting really into a New Guinean tribe. Certificate #7628.
73: The D-Day Crosswords (Entry 318.PR2019)
Aug 7, 2018 • 59 min
In which a British newspaper mysteriously spends June 1944 printing top-secret World War II spoilers, and Ken fails to amuse John with a lengthy anagram about a sex scandal. Certificate #29294.
72: The Barefoot Bandit (Entry 098.DE2510)
Aug 2, 2018 • 61 min
In which John runs down the history of serial burglary, beginning with gentleman jewel thieves and ending with a plane crash in the Bahamas. Certificate #39409.
71: Greek Fire (Entry 548.IS6402)
Jul 31, 2018 • 52 min
In which the Byzantines save their empire by inventing the flamethrower, John clears up a misconception re: how many roads go to Rome, and Ken clears up a misconception re: how many herbs and spices are in KFC. Certificate #10403.
70: Skyscraper Helipads (Entry 1170.IS6008)
Jul 26, 2018 • 52 min
In which John blames the boring skyline of Los Angeles on Regulation Number 10, an ill-conceived attempt at making every building in the city accessible by helicopter. Certificate #38095.
69: The Voyager Golden Records (Entry 1403.JU0113)
Jul 24, 2018 • 76 min
In which NASA gives aliens a weird gift basket (opera arias, a welcome from a Nazi war criminal, a lousy map, and absolutely no nipples!) and Ken gossips about wife-swapping astronomers. Certificate #34914.
68: The Truman Reconstruction (Entry 1343.LK1428)
Jul 19, 2018 • 55 min
In which a piano starts to fall right through the floor of a second-story dining room, and as a result, the White House gets a balcony, a bunker, and a bowling alley. Certificate #47967.
67: Watch the K Foundation Burn a Million Quid (Entry 1412.JM0503)
Jul 17, 2018 • 63 min
In which two art-world provocateurs fly to Scotland and burn through a record amount of cash in just two hours, and John sings his least favorite novelty song of the 1980s for us. (Hey!) Certificate #5888.
66: The Washing Bear (Entry 1411.LV2025)
Jul 12, 2018 • 43 min
In which John explains the secrets of raccoon hygiene, Ken mistakenly shows up with a ukulele, a straw hat, and a football pennant, and ferret lovers unsubscribe in mass numbers. Certificate #29158.
65: The Transcontinental Airway System (Entry 1327.PS4304)
Jul 10, 2018 • 42 min
In which the post office builds a path of giant yellow concrete arrows stretching across the continent, and John questions the sobriety of the pilots of Montana. Certificate #34096.
64: The Tri-State Tornado (Entry 1339.JE3023)
Jul 5, 2018 • 57 min
In which the most devastating twister in American history tears through 235 miles of the Midwest, tossing around trees, railroad tracks, and popcorn stands. Certificate #9101.
63: Christian Science Reading Rooms (Entry 220.HB0202)
Jul 3, 2018 • 71 min
In which a Boston woman falls on an icy sidewalk and discovers the secret of the universe, and listeners are encouraged to seek out the most heretical book in their local metaphysical lending library. Certificate #51449.
62: War Rugs (Entry 1411.SS0604)
Jun 28, 2018 • 59 min
In which we travel to the "graveyard of empires" to witness the birth of an exciting Soviet-era art form, and Ken learns he should have saved the satin bomber jackets of his childhood. Certificate #39950.
61: The Koryo Saram (Entry 692.JE2907)
Jun 26, 2018 • 54 min
In which tens of thousands of Koreans are forcibly relocated to the deserts of Central Asia and ordered to grow rice, and John refuses to relocate to Kotzebue or Yakutat even though he has a free plane ticket. Certificate #16823.
60: Billy the Pygmy Hippo (Entry 122.JB4024)
Jun 21, 2018 • 52 min
In which Calvin Coolidge gets a frisky gift from Liberia that ushers zoos into the modern age, and John and Ken fantasize about being president and still sleeping all day. Certificate #47159.
59: The Boysenberry (Entry 148.LV2519)
Jun 19, 2018 • 60 min
In which a California backyard botanist creates a mysterious new fruit, resulting in one of the century's biggest food fads and reinventing the American vacation. Certificate #36525.
58: Prisencolinensinainciusol (Entry 988.1C1423)
Jun 14, 2018 • 58 min
In which the world's catchiest song teaches us how English sounds to overseas ears, and Ken mispronounces the French word for "slithy." Certificate #35645.
57: The Conqueror (Entry 264.LK1255)
Jun 12, 2018 • 55 min
In which an eccentric billionaire has the terrible idea to cast John Wayne as Genghis Khan, and a "who's who" of Hollywood gets showered with both bad reviews and radioactive fallout. Certificate #17145.
56: The Bugatti Chiron (Entry 162.EC0911)
Jun 7, 2018 • 66 min
In which a Volkswagen marque invents the super-car, new acceleration and deceleration records are set, and Ken asks where John was conceived. Certificate #24968.
55: The St. Martin Fistula (Entry 1227.PR2027)
Jun 5, 2018 • 65 min
In which a French-Canadian "voyageur" suffers three indignities: being blasted with buckshot at point-blank range, becoming a full-time medical guinea pig, and having John call him the world's first "human fondue set." Certificate #42453.
54: The Preppy Handbook (Entry 981.DE2211)
May 31, 2018 • 63 min
In which John traces "preppy" fashion from Buckingham Palace to Hyannis Port to Kinko's, and Ken wonders if everyone on post-collapse Earth owns a navy blazer. Certificate #31310.
53: Duchenne Smiles (Entry 385.PR1513)
May 29, 2018 • 58 min
In which we examine how flight attendants smile, baby chimps play, botox treats mental illness, and Oscar the Grouch was a harsh wake-up call for Gen X kids. Certificate #42013.
52: The Port Chicago Disaster (Entry 967.AC1940)
May 24, 2018 • 63 min
In which a Victory ship full of ammunition ignites a three-mile fireball, which in turn ignites the biggest mutiny trial in American history. Certificate #32844.
51: Gordon Lish (Entry 726.2C0113)
May 22, 2018 • 68 min
In which Raymond Carver becomes a literary superstar largely thanks to one brilliant, heavy-handed editor, and Ken and John share a very controversial Blade Runner take. Certificate #24875.
50: Spanish Fly (Entry 1195.SS0713)
May 17, 2018 • 54 min
In which a poison made from dried beetles becomes a schoolyard legend as an alleged aphrodisiac, foreshadowing our modern age of creepy predator celebrities and erectile dysfunction infomercials. Certificate #31327.
49: The Moon Illusion (Entry 806.JB3126)
May 15, 2018 • 52 min
In which we learn why the moon looks so much larger at the horizon, whether your fingernails can out-race Portugal, and whether Ken or John has the better Axl Rose impression. Certificate #18042.
48: Tylenol Murders (Entry 1354.IS2915)
May 10, 2018 • 62 min
In which John runs down the disturbing history of product tampering, from Bromo-Seltzer to baby food, and listeners are strongly discouraged from committing murder. Certificate #27765.
47: William Rufus King (Entry 688.LK1734)
May 8, 2018 • 55 min
In which a U.S. vice-president spends his entire six-week term dying in Cuba, and Ken reads some fun, flirty letters from future president James Buchanan. Certificate #39087.
46: Backyard Blast Furnaces (Entry 091.EZ2220)
May 3, 2018 • 56 min
In which John explains why it's a bad idea to smelt iron on your deck or patio, a seemingly obvious life tip that seems to have escaped Chairman Mao. Certificate #30148.
45: The Washington Generals (Entry 1411.HE1212)
May 1, 2018 • 56 min
In which we celebrate a basketball team that never gets to celebrate, because they've lost to their rivals 17,000 times. Certificate #46102.
44: Checkerboarding (Entry 210.NU2653)
Apr 26, 2018 • 45 min
In which the U.S. government pixelates the American West with land grants to railroads. Certificate #6798.
43: Bir Tawil (Entry 126.EZ2010)
Apr 24, 2018 • 50 min
In which Ken confesses that he might have caused a land grab in the middle of the Nubian Desert. Certificate #50204.
42: Hypercolor (Entry 611.GE3703)
Apr 19, 2018 • 53 min
In which we revisit 1991's briefest, brightest fashion fad, and John ponders what to do with our nation's biggest problem: awkward middle-schoolers. Certificate #26275.
41: The Angels of Mons (Entry 047.PS9111)
Apr 17, 2018 • 54 min
In which an unsuccessful horror writer accidentally rewrites the history of the Western Front, and Ken is clearly annoyed at having to learn the history of the Western Front. Certificate #21873.
40: Canadian Floating Feet (Entry 178.RV2013)
Apr 12, 2018 • 34 min
In which sneakers keep washing onto the beaches of British Columbia with the feet of mystery people still inside, may God rest their soles. Certificate #27174.
39: Vending Machines (Entry 1387.DE0228)
Apr 10, 2018 • 49 min
In which Ken runs down the list of everything that could ever be bought by putting coins in slots, from religious awe to banned books to pancake mix. Certificate #16697.
38: Call Signs (Entry 176.1S1007)
Apr 5, 2018 • 39 min
In which we learn why US radio stations start with a K or a W, and how to get hold of Ken's dad in case of a national emergency. Certificate #28337.
37: Hachiko (Entry 559.PR2006)
Apr 3, 2018 • 47 min
In which a Scottish policeman, a Tokyo professor, and Mary Queen of Scots have very loyal dogs, but a young John Roderick does not. Certificate #24139.
36: (LIVE) Lake Missoula (Entry 697.GN0710)
Mar 29, 2018 • 28 min
In which a prehistoric ice dam breaks and 500 cubic miles of water reshape the Pacific Northwest. Certificate #17528
35: (LIVE) Tuvan Throat Singers (Entry 1351.PS13704)
Mar 27, 2018 • 39 min
In which Ken attempts to teach a new superpower—Central Asian overtone singing—to John and a live audience. Certificate #40632.
34: Milli Vanilli (Entry 789.JB2704)
Mar 22, 2018 • 59 min
In which a German record producer hires two male models to lip-sync his hits, leading to—girl, you know it's true!—one Grammy, one class-action lawsuit, and one tragic death. Certificate #35145.
33: Mary Anning (Entry 050.PS3420)
Mar 20, 2018 • 43 min
In which a working-class woman becomes one of the greatest scientists of her age, discovers dinosaur poop, and sells seashells by the seashore. Certificate #36073.
32: S.S. United States (Entry 1213.JB0926)
Mar 15, 2018 • 49 min
In which an aluminum-heavy cruise liner falls on hard times, and John and Ken can't decide if "Blue Riband" is actually French or not. Certificate #39390.
31: Rubber Barons (Entry 1087.EZ1613)
Mar 13, 2018 • 45 min
In which Ken describes the nouveau riche of the Amazon rainforest, and John has a conspiracy theory about scarecrows. Certificate #25284.
30: Father Coughlin (Entry 284.MT2309)
Mar 8, 2018 • 50 min
In which a fiery Canadian gets 30 million Depression-era listeners for his little fascist radio show, and Ken and John pledge fealty to Martian invaders. Certificate #29423
29: The Noid (Entry 840.PR0415)
Mar 6, 2018 • 51 min
In which a claymation terrorist with inexplicable bunny ears disrupts pizza, takes hostages, and wins America's heart. Certificate #29250
28: The Zuider Zee (Entry 1458.NA0104)
Mar 1, 2018 • 47 min
In which the Dutch battle their oldest enemy: the Waterwolf. Almost certainly the Omnibus's last entry (alphabetically). Certificate #31078.
27: London Bridge Is Down (Entry 733.2K0934)
Feb 27, 2018 • 52 min
In which we make plans for the longest-awaited death in human history, and wonder how many Welsh corgis it takes to pull a gun carriage. Certificate #34884.
26: Back Masking (Entry 091.EP0427)
Feb 22, 2018 • 46 min
In which John investigates whether or not segassem terces naitnoc sgnos kcor, and Ken wonders why Satan would own a toolshed. Certificate #30148.
25: Megafauna (Entry 772.JB4015)
Feb 20, 2018 • 44 min
In which we learn which Ice Age animal is named after the human nipple, and which modern animal fills John's soul with bloodlust. Certificate #47448.
24: Oneida (Entry 866.MT2230)
Feb 15, 2018 • 44 min
In which a socialist preacher invents a tricky birth control technique he calls "male continence," leading directly to the lazy Susan and the assassination of an American president. Certificate #34322.
23: The Bellamy Salute (Entry 112.HE0616)
Feb 13, 2018 • 41 min
In which Ken blames a crucial bit of fascist iconography on the most successful magazine premium in American history, and John knows the lyrics to "Alaska's Flag" but refuses to sing it. Certificate #37863.
22: Hat Etiquette (Entry 571.1C1104)
Feb 8, 2018 • 39 min
In which John strongly admonishes future listeners not to get sloppy with their headwear, if they have heads. Certificate #25200.
21: Death Discs (Entry 319.MK1610)
Feb 6, 2018 • 51 min
In which the gruesome deaths in early 1960s teen ballads are variously blamed on capitalism, Marlon Brando, chastity, and giant clams. Certificate #34312.
20: Mutual Assured Destruction (Entry 820.JE5022)
Feb 1, 2018 • 47 min
In which the human race barely survives the 20th century. (Well, not all of it, obviously. Picasso didn't, for example.) Certificate #27008
19: Mummy Brown (Entry 817.PR0716)
Jan 30, 2018 • 45 min
In which the bodies of ancient kings are ground up to fertilize lawns, power locomotives, and paint portraits. Certificate #37891
18: Thomas Midgley (Entry 786.ZC0508)
Jan 25, 2018 • 47 min
In which the world's worst chemist gives everyone lead poisoning, and then puts a hole in the ozone layer as an encore. Certificate #25185
17: Paris Syndrome (Entry 901.JS1002)
Jan 23, 2018 • 46 min
In which twenty tourists a year have a psychological breakdown because the most magical city in the world is a little disappointing. Certificate #507
16: The Sentinelese (Entry 1134.LV2024)
Jan 18, 2018 • 40 min
In which John introduces us to the world's last uncontacted tribe—but not literally, because that would be illegal. Certificate #13568
15: Kohoutek (Entry 692.JU0113)
Jan 16, 2018 • 40 min
In which a Czech astronomer is hailed as the hero of 1973, only to have his discovery flame out by not flaming out. Then he gets very seasick on a cruise. Certificate #31644
14: Monrovia, Moravia, Moldova, Moldavia (Entry 805.GN1032)
Jan 11, 2018 • 56 min
In which John shares the soothing geographic mantra that has got him where he is today: sitting in a bunker teaching 30th-century cockroach-people how to tell medieval Central European principalities apart. Certificate #18088.
13: Heil Honey I’m Home! (Entry 577.PR1413)
Jan 9, 2018 • 40 min
In which an upstart British television producer finally answers that age-old question: why don't more classic sitcoms star Adolf Hitler? Certificate #42615.
12: The Darien Gap (Entry 315.EZ3328)
Jan 4, 2018 • 33 min
In which a single highway is paved all the way from Alaska to Argentina—except for one pesky 66-mile gap right in the middle. Certificate #14458.
11: Secret Order of the Double Sunrise (Entry 1122.EC0105)
Jan 2, 2018 • 42 min
In which QANTAS begins a top-secret 33-hour nonstop flight between Australia and Ceylon at the height of World War II, right under the noses of the Empire of Japan. Certificate #12248.
10: Newton’s Cradle (Entry 835.1C1311)
Dec 28, 2017 • 43 min
In which thousands of soulless corporate executives put little steel toys on their desks but still feel dead inside, and Ken finally learns how those little drinking birds work. Certificate #31932.
9: Gadsby (Entry 511.PS6928)
Dec 26, 2017 • 52 min
In which our two hosts study a book that runs fifty thousand words without a solitary display of our writing plan's fifth symbol. Certificate #6442.
8: Water Wars (Entry 1414.PS6301)
Dec 21, 2017 • 61 min
In which Los Angeles stands revealed in all its unquenchable thirst, and is pronounced by John and Ken several times the fun, old-timey way, with a hard 'g'. Certificate #33935.
7: The Tesseract (Entry 1291.EP0318)
Dec 19, 2017 • 50 min
In which Ken and John struggle to imagine four-dimensional space with the same ease that the inventor of the pitching machine once could. Certificate #28910.
6: The Rachel (Entry 1024.GN2917)
Dec 14, 2017 • 57 min
In which John opines that Jennifer Aniston's ubiquitous 1990s-era cut was America's "last hairstyle." Certificate #24193.
5: Smell-O-Vision (Entry 1177.AM0521)
Dec 12, 2017 • 60 min
In which the aromas of tobacco, coffee, and lavender, meant to revolutionize the motion picture industry, end up nauseating audiences instead, and Ken spoils a 57-year-old surprise cameo. Certificate #18585.
3: The Olympic Marathon of 1904 (Entry 865.1C0924)
Dec 7, 2017 • 59 min
In which the world's most prestigious sporting event goes disastrously wrong, and a Cuban mailman takes a nap. Certificate #28924. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
4: The Pig War (Entry 939.MK0511)
Dec 7, 2017 • 55 min
In which the United States and Britain take up arms over one potato-hungry pig. Certificate #43259.
1: The European Starling (Entry 431.PS8403)
Dec 7, 2017 • 43 min
In which an eccentric Shakespeare buff releases two birds in Central Park, and thereby screws up an entire continent's ecosystem. Certificate #27603. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
2: Defenestration (Entry 326.2K0933)
Dec 7, 2017 • 38 min
In which throwing people out of windows is strongly endorsed by many hot-headed Czechs, but opposed in no uncertain terms by Ken's great-great-great-great-grandfather. Certificate #32146.
The Omnibus Project
Dec 5, 2017 • 10 min
Ken and John provide a time capsule of whimsical recordings for future generations, commemorating the human race's triumphant achievements and its beautiful mundanities. There's no way you want to miss out on these strange-but-true stories.
Omnibus: Trailer
Nov 28, 2017 • 2 min
Twice a week, Ken and John 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.