Omnibus with Ken Jennings and John Roderick

Omnibus with Ken Jennings and John Roderick
The Port Chicago Disaster (Entry 967.AC1940)
May 24 • 64 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.
Gordon Lish (Entry 726.2C0113)
May 22 • 69 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.
Spanish Fly (Entry 1195.SS0713)
May 17 • 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.
The Moon Illusion (Entry 806.JB3126)
May 15 • 53 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.
Tylenol Murders (Entry 1354.IS2915)
May 10 • 63 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.
William Rufus King (Entry 688.LK1734)
May 8 • 56 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.
Backyard Blast Furnaces (Entry 091.EZ2220)
May 3 • 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.
The Washington Generals (Entry 1411.HE1212)
May 1 • 57 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.
Checkerboarding (Entry 210.NU2653)
Apr 26 • 46 min
In which the U.S. government pixelates the American West with land grants to railroads. Certificate #6798.
Bir Tawil (Entry 126.EZ2010)
Apr 24 • 50 min
In which Ken confesses that he might have caused a land grab in the middle of the Nubian Desert. Certificate #50204.
Hypercolor (Entry 611.GE3703)
Apr 19 • 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.
The Angels of Mons (Entry 047.PS9111)
Apr 17 • 55 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.
Canadian Floating Feet (Entry 178.RV2013)
Apr 12 • 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.
Vending Machines (Entry 1387.DE0228)
Apr 10 • 50 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.
Call Signs (Entry 176.1S1007)
Apr 5 • 40 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.
Hachiko (Entry 559.PR2006)
Apr 3 • 48 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.
(LIVE) Lake Missoula (Entry 697.GN0710)
Mar 29 • 29 min
In which a prehistoric ice dam breaks and 500 cubic miles of water reshape the Pacific Northwest. Certificate #17528
(LIVE) Tuvan Throat Singers (Entry 1351.PS13704)
Mar 27 • 39 min
In which Ken attempts to teach a new superpower—Central Asian overtone singing—to John and a live audience. Certificate #40632.
Milli Vanilli (Entry 789.JB2704)
Mar 22 • 60 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.
Mary Anning (Entry 050.PS3420)
Mar 20 • 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.
S.S. United States (Entry 1213.JB0926)
Mar 15 • 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.
Rubber Barons (Entry 1087.EZ1613)
Mar 13 • 46 min
In which Ken describes the nouveau riche of the Amazon rainforest, and John has a conspiracy theory about scarecrows. Certificate #25284.
Father Coughlin (Entry 284.MT2309)
Mar 8 • 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
The Noid (Entry 840.PR0415)
Mar 6 • 51 min
In which a claymation terrorist with inexplicable bunny ears disrupts pizza, takes hostages, and wins America’s heart. Certificate #29250
The Zuider Zee (Entry 1458.NA0104)
Mar 1 • 48 min
In which the Dutch battle their oldest enemy: the Waterwolf. Almost certainly the Omnibus’s last entry (alphabetically). Certificate #31078.
London Bridge Is Down (Entry 733.2K0934)
Feb 27 • 53 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.
Back Masking (Entry 091.EP0427)
Feb 22 • 46 min
In which John investigates whether or not segassem terces naitnoc sgnos kcor, and Ken wonders why Satan would own a toolshed. Certificate #47448
Megafauna (Entry 772.JB4015)
Feb 20 • 45 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 #30148
Oneida (Entry 866.MT2230)
Feb 15 • 45 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.
The Bellamy Salute (Entry 112.HE0616)
Feb 13 • 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.
Hat Etiquette (Entry 571.1C1104)
Feb 8 • 40 min
In which John strongly admonishes future listeners not to get sloppy with their headwear, if they have heads. Certificate #25200.
Death Discs (Entry 319.MK1610)
Feb 6 • 52 min
In which the gruesome deaths in early 1960s teen ballads are variously blamed on capitalism, Marlon Brando, chastity, and giant clams. Certificate #34312.
Mutual Assured Destruction (Entry 820.JE5022)
Feb 1 • 48 min
In which the human race barely survives the 20th century. (Well, not all of it, obviously. Picasso didn’t, for example.) Certificate #27008
Mummy Brown (Entry 817.PR0716)
Jan 30 • 45 min
In which the bodies of ancient kings are ground up to fertilize lawns, power locomotives, and paint portraits. Certificate #37891
Thomas Midgley (Entry 786.ZC0508)
Jan 25 • 48 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
Paris Syndrome (Entry 901.JS1002)
Jan 23 • 47 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
The Sentinelese (Entry 1134.LV2024)
Jan 18 • 41 min
In which John introduces us to the world’s last uncontacted tribe—but not literally, because that would be illegal. Certificate #13568
Kohoutek (Entry 692.JU0113)
Jan 16 • 41 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
Monrovia, Moravia, Moldova, Moldavia (Entry 805.GN1032)
Jan 11 • 57 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.
Heil Honey I’m Home! (Entry 577.PR1413)
Jan 9 • 41 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.
The Darien Gap (Entry 315.EZ3328)
Jan 4 • 34 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 #11458.
Secret Order of the Double Sunrise (Entry 1122.EC0105)
Jan 2 • 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.
Newton’s Cradle (Entry 835.1C1311)
Dec 28, 2017 • 44 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.
Gadsby (Entry 511.PS6928)
Dec 26, 2017 • 53 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.
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.
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.
The Rachel (Entry 1024.GN2917)
Dec 14, 2017 • 58 min
In which John opines that Jennifer Aniston’s ubiquitous 1990s-era cut was America’s “last hairstyle.” Certificate #24193.
Smell-O-Vision (Entry 1177.AM0521)
Dec 12, 2017 • 61 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.
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.
The Olympic Marathon of 1904 (Entry 865.1C0924)
Dec 7, 2017 • 60 min
In which the world’s most prestigious sporting event goes disastrously wrong, and a Cuban mailman takes a nap. Certificate #28924.
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 European Starling (Entry 431.PS8403)
Dec 7, 2017 • 44 min
In which an eccentric Shakespeare buff releases two birds in Central Park, and thereby screws up an entire continent’s ecosystem. Certificate #27603.
The Omnibus Project
Dec 5, 2017 • 11 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.