Today: a tale of darkness, gathering storms, and a terrifying creature that resembles a human man...Read More
Each of the 50 states in the USA has its own motto. The motto might be found on the state seal, or the state flag; more often than not, it might be in Latin, or Spanish, or Chinook; it might be a phrase or a single word. And if you think you know what yours is, check that it is not in fact an advertising slogan.Read More
It's Radiotopia's annual fundraiser this month!
If you love any of the Radiotopian shows...
If you want there to be MORE Radiotopia shows...
If you want the glow of satisfaction from funding independent audio entertainment and thus making the world sound a little nicer...
If you want one of the fundraiser-exclusive Radiotopia challenge coins...
Go to radiotopia.fm to become a recurring donor.
I'm one. I recommend it.
iTUNES • RSS • SOUNDCLOUD • MP3
If you love eponyms like Roman Mars loves eponyms, I'm afraid physician Isaac Siemens is here to deliver some bad news: medics are ditching them, in favour of terms that a) contain information about what the ailment actually is, and/or b) don't honour Nazi war criminals. Eponyms are controversial things.
- Who named it?
- A potted guide to medical eponyms.
- Dr Henry Heimlich, aged 96, saves a stranger's life with his eponymous manoeuvre.
- Read about the many different people involved in researching Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser Syndrome, and how the condition may have led to the deposal of King Otto of Greece.
- What to do if a medical condition is named after a Nazi...
- ...because there's a non-zero chance that it is.
- Was Dr Asperger a Nazi?
- Stigler's Law of Eponymy: no scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer.
- The transcript of this episode is at theallusionist.org/transcripts/name-that-disease.
- Listen to Allusionist 21: Eponyms I - The Ballad of Bic and Biro.
1. POO-POURRI is the before-you-go toilet spray that uses essential oils to prettify your pooptacular pongs. What doesn't stink: getting 20% off your next order at poopourri.com by using the discount code ‘WORDS’ at checkout.
2. SQUARESPACE allows you to build a spiffy-looking website swiftly and easily. Start your free trial today: visit squarespace.com/allusion to get 10% off your first purchase.
MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- Isaac Siemens is resident physician in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. He says, "Eat your vegetables."
- Roman Mars is the host of 99% Invisible and the founder of Radiotopia. It's his birthday today, so become a Radiotopia supporter at radiotopia.fm right now or there'll be tears before bedtime.
- Veronica Simmonds came up with the idea and helped produce this episode. She produces Sleepover for CBC Radio, and the radio show in which she braids hair, Braidio.
- This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman, with Devon Taylor. Thanks to Steve Cross and Ross MacFarlane. The music is by Martin Austwick.
The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Support the collective by becoming a donor at radiotopia.fm.
What is your beautiful brain up to as you comprehend language?Read More
If you don't have a Rosetta Stone to hand, deciphering extinct languages can be a real puzzle, even though they didn't intend to be. They didn't intend to become extinct, either, but such is the life (and death) of languages.Read More
Languages die. But if they're lucky, a thousand-odd years later, someone unearths an artefact that brings them back to life.
Laura Welcher of the Rosetta Project shows us the Rosetta Disk, a slice of electroplated nickel three inches in diameter that bears text in 1500 languages for future linguists to decipher. Ilona Regulski of the British Museum describes how its namesake, the Rosetta Stone, unlocked hieroglyphics.Read More
When you choose to spend the winter in Antarctica, you'll be prepared for it to be cold. You know that nobody will be leaving or arriving until springtime. And you're braced for months of darkness. But a few weeks after the last sunset, you might find you can't even string a sentence together.Read More
On your marks...
It's the Etymolympics, where the gymnastics should be gymnaked and the hurdles are a bloodbath.Read More
Which are you: Millennial, Generation X, Baby Boomer, Silent Generation, an impressively young-looking Arthurian Generation? Or are you an individual who refuses to be labelled? Demographer Neil Howe, author Miranda Sawyer and Megan Tan, the host of Millennial, consider whether the generational names are useful or reductive. Or both.Read More
"How are you?"
"Oh, fine - and you?"
"Yeah, not bad. Nice day today, isn't it?"
"Yes, it was a bit chilly this morning, but now the sun's come out..." [Continue until
Small talk is usually not conveying much vital information, nor is it especially interesting. But beneath that comfort blanket of tedium lies a valuable social function.Read More