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Mass for Shut-ins: The Gin and Tacos Podcast

May 14, 2024

Kassia St. Clair, author of the 2017 best-seller The Secret Lives of Color and the Sunday Times Book of the Year follow-up The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History (2019) joins me to talk about her new book, Race to the Future: The Adventure that Accelerated the 20th Century. It's the story of the utterly...


Apr 12, 2024

In 1972 a middling team from the Scottish Premier League played four exhibition matches in Nigeria and distinguished itself so profoundly with its pitiful play (and boorish attitude) that its name became a synonym for stupidity. Grousing about how much your host country sucks while losing 4-1 to a team of amateurs...


Mar 23, 2024

Question Kyle and Question Jennie join me as we discuss the 18th century fad of using the emerging understanding of the phenomenon of electricity to entertain. Men who considered themselves worldly natural philosophers and amateur scientists found it relatively easy to blow the minds of party guests by demonstrating...


Dec 21, 2023

Perhaps you've heard of Operation Gladio, the infamous post-World War II NATO program to train "stay-behind" agents to fight guerilla-style against a future hypothetical Soviet invasion of Western Europe. Believe it or not, the United States Air Force, briefly in partnership with the FBI, devised exactly such a...


Nov 21, 2023

Dr. Laine Nooney (NYU) joins me to discuss the early days of personal computing - particularly how people figured out what to do with home computers after they became convinced that they needed one - in their 2023 book The Apple II Age: How the Computer Became Personal. If you were alive in the pre-internet era, this...