Roman Mars returns for our annual dose of eponyms - words that derive from people's names. This year: explosive revelations about the origins of the word 'guy'.Read More
You've encountered technobabble when Doc Brown is shouting about flux capacitors in Back To The Future, or when Isaac Asimov writes about positronic brains. Astrophysicist Katie Mack and NASA JPL technologist Manan Arya discuss how science fact relates to science fiction.Read More
"Accent is identity. It's a way of encoding and signaling - almost completely at an unconscious level for most people - who they feel like they are, who they want to be seen as, what group they feel like they belong to."Read More
Crossword-solving is often a solitary activity - over breakfast; on the train; on the loo... But a few times a year, crossword puzzle enthusiasts gather in their hundreds to compete to be the fastest, most accurate crossword-solver.
This episode comes to you from a church basement on the Upper East Side of New York City, wherein takes place America's second largest crossword puzzle tournament: Lollapuzzoola.Read More
"It's sort of frozen body language; that's what handwriting analysis is about."
Since it caught on a couple of hundred years ago, graphology - analysing handwriting to deduce characteristics of the writer - has struggled to be taken seriously as a practice. But undoubtedly, there are things about ourselves that we can't help but reveal in our handwriting.Read More
Translation, A Love Story:
Translator listens to The Allusionist. Translator hears about the podcast The Memory Palace. Translator listens to The Memory Palace. Translator immediately becomes smitten with The Memory Palace. Translator translates The Memory Palace from English to Brazilian Portuguese, and turns it into a book - O Palácio da Memória - which will be published in Brazil two weeks hence.
But, like any love story, it's not quite that simple.Read More
It's August 2007. Lauren Marks is a 27-year-old actor and a PhD student, spending the month directing a play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She's in a bar, standing onstage, performing a karaoke duet of 'Total Eclipse of the Heart'... and then a blood vessel in her brain bursts. When she wakes up in hospital, days later, she has no internal monologue, and a vocabulary of only forty words.Read More
There’s a small matter I trip over regularly in the Allusionist:
Not the fruit.
BC and AD, Before Christ and Anno Domini ('the year of the Lord' ('the Lord' also being Christ)).
How did Jesus Christ get to be all up in our system of counting the years?Read More
As considered in episode 51, Under the Covers part II, the vocabulary for sex and associated body parts is tricky to navigate in many ways - but even more so if you are trans or gender non-binary.
Following that show, I heard from several trans and non-binary listeners, recounting their experiences of that vocabulary; so I decided to make this episode about it.Read More