Throughout the year, the people who appear on the Allusionist tell me a lot of interesting stuff. Not all of which is relevant to the episode they initially appeared in, so I stash it away in preparation for this moment: the annual bonus episode! Get ready for gory 19th century London slang, the rise and fall of superhero capes, the post-WW1 trend for nudism, and more.Read More
Jim Glaub and Dylan Parker didn’t think too much of it when, every year, a a few letters were delivered to their New York apartment addressed to Santa.
But then one year, 400 letters arrived. And they decided they had to answer them.Read More
This is a story of feats of speed and endurance, of record-breakers, of champions… Typing champions.Read More
Why did you change your name? And why did you choose the name you chose?
Listeners answer these two questions. Hear their stories of gender identity, family fallouts, marriages, divorces, doxxing, cults, and…just not liking your given name very much.Read More
Iceland has quite exacting laws about what its citizens can be named, and only around 4,000 names are on the officially approved list. If you want a name that deviates from that list, you have to send an application to the Icelandic Naming Committee, whose three members will decide whether or not you're allowed it. And if they say you're not...you might have to take things pretty far.
Sigurður Konráðsson, foreman of the Icelandic Naming Committee, explains the committee’s objectives. And comedian, writer and former mayor of Reykjavik Jón Gnarr describes his 25-year fight to change his name.Read More
Why would you write books or poems or plays with only one vowel? Or in palindromes? Or only using the example sentences in dictionaries? Sometimes you need to force yourself to jump a few hurdles (and perhaps the rest of the obstacle course) before your creativity will be unleashed.Read More