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Mass for Shut-ins: The Gin and Tacos Podcast

Jan 7, 2022

Guest: Steve Mang, college professor and amateur ultra-long-distance runner, joins us to talk about CC Pyle's Bunion Derbies, the informal name of two LA-to-NYC footraces held in 1928 and 1929. Amateur runners, some lacking basic equipment or running experience, ran an average of 50 miles per day for at least...


Nov 15, 2021

Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin in 1928 had little immediate impact on the world because it took over 15 years to crack the secret of how to mass-produce the it. Until that happened, penicillin existed more as an idea than as a medical intervention. The code to producing it in big batches was finally cracked...


Sep 24, 2021

Will the US mint a trillion-dollar coin? Probably not, but in 2001 the tiny island nation (I know, I know) of Vanuatu created $300 million overnight by quadrupling its sovereign debt using as its stated collateral a 182-pound ruby that may or may not actually have existed.

I value your support on...


Aug 24, 2021

In 1975 a right-wing loon purchased 300 acres of swampland outside Cape Canaveral with the dream of building a theme park recreating the experience of a US Special Forces barracks in a rural Vietnamese hamlet at the height of the war. Visitors could take turns firing a machine gun at real Vietnamese refugees play-acting...


Jun 25, 2021

After a player died from being hit by a pitch in 1920, Major League Baseball banned the "spitball." But it allowed 17 players whose careers were determined to be dependent on it to continue throwing it. A century later, baseball is still dealing with what it now calls the "foreign substances" issue. 

The physics and...