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Best Ed Burmila podcasts we could find (Updated October 2019)
Related podcasts: Comedy Politics History Progressive Trivia Gin Jeopardy Omnibus Taco Mass For Shutins
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An unholy amalgam of politics, historical anecdotes, cocktail recipes, performances by talented people, and interviews with people who are doing interesting things with their lives.
 
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In 1946, post-war Britain tries to solve four very different problems at once: a labor surplus of returning military, a shortage of key foods, the need to make colonies economically independent, and a dignified way to draw down the Empire. The scheme they came up with is ... incredible. That is to say, you will not find it credible. Tanzania. 3 ...…
 
Walking around the countryside ("rambling") is very important to the British, and they don't take kindly to the idea that unoccupied land is off-limits to walkers. The so-called Right to Roam, even on privately owned land, is the direct result of ... direct action. In 1932 a group of walking enthusiasts / Communists in Manchester engaged in mas ...…
 
Story: Why does the President, and only the President, require natural born citizenship in the Constitution? If you think you know why, you're likely only half-correct. It has a lot to do with the way the document's authors understood the history of politics in monarchies. Guest: Astra Taylor (@astradisastra) is a documentarian and author whose ...…
 
Flying was luxurious (and costly) before 1977. Then deregulation happened. Now flying is cheap and bad. Pioneering low-cost / no-frills airlines like People Express showed us the way. In its short life (1981-1987) People Express introduced many lamentable aspects to U.S. air travel: paying to check bags, exchanging comfort for low prices, and g ...…
 
A 90,000-seat stadium is built to host a single event, then torn down. And it was in, of all places, Toledo, Ohio. In 1919 boxing was the king of the sports and entertainment world, and a match between two household names - Jack Dempsey and the little-remembered Jess Willard - was such a big event that its promoter could afford to build a stadi ...…
 
Story: Today's new cars are crammed full of tech to compensate for unusually poor rear and blind spot visibility. They've also gotten much heavier since 2000 - and more dangerous to for pedestrians. All of these are unintended consequences of regulatory changes in the auto industry after the Firestone Tires / SUV rollover debacle of the late 90 ...…
 
After World War I, German utopian pacifist architect Herman Sörgel proposed a scheme to keep European nations busy (and not fighting wars!) for 100 years by damming the Strait of Gibraltar, the Dardanelles, and the Strait of Sicily. This would produce enormous amounts of hydroelectricity AND lower the Mediterranean Sea by over 600 feet. That wo ...…
 
Two police forces. Two sets of laws. Two postal systems. Two kinds of money. For 74 years the UK and France governed the island colony of the New Hebrides (since 1980, the independent nation of Vanuatu featured on Season 9 of Survivor) under a bizarre condominium arrangement. The islands were governed by the respective nations, with totally dif ...…
 
In a life-or-death situation, would you engage in cannibalism? What do people even taste like? In 1931, journalist and author William Seabrook wrote a book in which he answers that question for you...which is both extremely kind of him (so you don't have to find out on your own) and really gross and weird. One hint: People taste like another th ...…
 
Story: Diamond Jim Brady's Million Dollar Sauce. Famous gourmand and eccentric rich person of the Gilded Age goes to ludicrous lengths to steal the recipe for what is purported to be the world's most delicious sauce for Filet of Sole. How far would you go to satisfy a food craving? Spoiler alert - you wouldn't go as far as Diamond Jim. Guest: A ...…
 
If you've ever wondered, "Is it possible to guarantee winning the lottery by buying one ticket for every possible combination of numbers?" this is the Minicast for you. Does it work? Is it legal? Is it even POSSIBLE to do? You're about to find out. Minicasts are short (approx. 5-8 min) stories for fans of quick, to-the-point podcasts and as a n ...…
 
Guest: Dr. Daniel Immerwahr, associate professor of history at Northwestern University and author of the new "How to Hide an Empire: the history of the greater United States." We talk about the many ways in which America has maintained (and still maintains) an empire through territorial occupation, a network of military bases fanned out across ...…
 
Fish are served as fish. Chickens as chicken. Turkeys as turkey. But when it comes to other commonly consumed animals in the English-speaking world we use different words for the animal and the food. Cows, pigs, sheep, and deer become beef, pork, mutton, and venison. Why? Well, it starts with the Norman conquest of England in 1066 and has to do ...…
 
A young Long Island housewife named Penelope Ashe saw her debut novel, Naked Came the Stranger, go straight to the best-seller list despite the mystery surrounding its reclusive author, its racy content, and its little-known publisher. It pushed the limits of what "obscenity" meant in 1969. But gratuitous sex scenes aside, Penelope Ashe had an ...…
 
Guest: Dr. Rebekah Tromble (Leiden University), professor of political communication, led a team chosen by Twitter to conduct research on overall "health" of conversation on the platform. As soon as the company announced its plan to sponsor research, right-wingers flipped out and began a campaign of threats and harassment aimed largely at Rebek ...…
 
Story: Andrew Johnson gets incredibly drunk at his inauguration and makes a scene you'll have to hear about to believe. He calls out every member of the Cabinet by name (Wu-Tang style), makes up his own oath of office, and nearly drives his colleagues to weep from shame. And he owed it all to Civil War-era medicine's inability to treat serious ...…
 
Ms. Julia Chase, 53, of Hagerstown, MD took the White House public tour on April 3, 1956. She wandered away from her group and spent two hours creeping around the Executive Manson...starting fires. Five in total. You won't believe what happened next (teaser). Minicasts are short (approx. 5 min) stories for fans of quick, to-the-point podcasts a ...…
 
Story: Shakespeare Comes to America - How was a minor American industrialist, Henry Clay Folger, able to buy up so much of Shakespeare that more of Ol' William's written output is now in Washington DC than in all of England? It's a tale of an agricultural depression and the decline of the British aristocracy. You know, Downton Abbey style. The ...…
 
During the Cold War, the Pentagon tried to come up with a non-military use for nuclear warheads to justify building even more of them. Project Plowshare was one of the results. Because detonating nukes underground to help mine natural gas is...a thing that could not go obviously and terribly wrong. Yeah fracking is bad. But fracking could have ...…
 
Question Cathy joins me for an entire episode of user submitted questions about the midterm election. Topics we cover include Beto-mania, the Democrats' challenge in retaking the Senate, alternative voting methods, and the risks of political hobbyism (and the best ways to get involved if you can). Episode 012 (forthcoming) will return to the no ...…
 
Story: Ten Cent Beer Night - In 1974 the Cleveland Indians turned to the forbidden fruit of promo giveaways to cure their ailing attendance. Results are predictable, except the part where a guy was nearly killed with a gallon jug of Thunderbird. That surprised everyone. They played the Texas Rangers that night, but their real opponent was human ...…
 
Story: The Disappearing Prime Minister - Australia is a crazy place. It's huge, empty, and full of things that can kill you. And every once in a while one of their Prime Ministers will disappear without a trace. Not figuratively, either. Guests: Mike Bridavsky, owner / engineer of Russian Recording, member of Memory Map, and LIL BUB's (@IAMLILB ...…
 
The President of the United States, a man who claims to possess unimaginable wealth, somehow cannot get a suit that fits him. Why? The reasons have more to do with his personality than you might think. Minicasts are short (approx. 5 min) stories for fans of quick, to-the-point podcasts and as a nice change of pace from the longer full episodes ...…
 
The filibuster has an interesting history in the U.S. Senate, but the term itself has an even more convoluted story. It involves, separately, both pirates AND mercenaries. Minicasts are short (approx. 5 min) stories for fans of quick, to-the-point podcasts and as a nice change of pace from the longer full episodes of Mass for Shut-ins.…
 
Story: Brother, have you seen my Vermeer? The crazy secret life of stolen art masterpieces. For more information on the Isabella Stewart Gardner heist covered in this podcast, check out Master Thieves by Steven Kurkjian. Or get a quick overview here. Guests: Alyssa Bowen (@alyssaannbowen) UNC graduate student and anti-Silent Sam activist and Dr ...…
 
Most people under 50 only know Steve Allen, if at all, as the answer to the trivia question, "Who was the first host of the Tonight Show?" Those who remember his normie comedy stylings would hardly call him a genius. But I'm here to talk you through it. Mass for Shut-ins Minicasts are ~5 minute stories to tide you over between full episodes, un ...…
 
Story: THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WHALES - The true story of Abraham Gesner, the obscure Canadian geologist whose big discovery in 1846 made whaling unprofitable just as most whale species were on the brink of extinction. Guest: Dr. Ari Kohen, professor of political theory at University of Nebraska - Lincoln, curator of TrumpWatch, co-founder of the ...…
 
A brief look at the ORIGINAL Mass for Shut-ins - not this podcast, but the 1962-1992 public service broadcast on WGN-TV out of Chicago. I have discovered that the reference was not nearly as recognizable as I thought at first, so consider this an explainer if you've been curious what this seemingly random phrase means. Mass for Shut-ins Minicas ...…
 
Story: THE RED SQUARE PILOT - The true story of Mathias Rust, the German teen who took his tiny Cessna 172 and invaded the Soviet Union with it. Late Cold War hijinks. May have very slightly hastened the fall of the USSR. Guest: Dr. Lisa Wade, author of best-selling textbook "Gender" and the popular press book "American Hookup" about the sex li ...…
 
The terrifying tones of the Emergency Broadcast / Alert System are a lot more interesting than you think. And since you think they're not interesting at all, I have a very low bar to clear. Minicasts will be in the area of 5 minutes, posted between episodes and without many bells and whistles (intro, music, etc) which is time consuming for me p ...…
 
Story: THE STAMP THAT MAILED A CANAL - How a 10-centavo Nicaraguan postage stamp turned the Nicaragua Canal into the Panama Canal in 1902. The tale combines all of your favorites: Gilded Age corrupt-af US congressional politics, comic-tragic Frenchmen, the Suez Canal, and hydrological engineering! Guest: Dr. Timothy Rich, who studies the Korean ...…
 
Story: THE ROGUE TYPESETTER who terrorized Victorian London. The mystery of the Harcourt Interpolation. Easily the most exciting moment in the history of type compositing. Guest: SSgt. Katie Schmid, US Army (@SchmidCathrine), plaintiff challenging the Trump transgender military ban. Read more about Katie's story here. Topic: Duverger's Law and ...…
 
Story: DEATH BY UMBRELLA: The Georgi Markov story. A tale of intrigue and covert operations from the late Cold War that John Le Carre couldn't have scripted any better. Guest: Mike Konczal (@rortybomb), Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and contributor to Vox, The Nation, Dissent, and other fine publications. Mike and I discuss the art of pundi ...…
 
Guest: 12-time Jeopardy! Champion Seth Wilson Topic: How you, yes YOU, can boost voter turnout Story: How to have a picnic in the Korean DMZ (and why it's at the 38th Parallel) Cocktail of the Month: 24th Street Spritz Support Mass for Shut-ins via Patreon. Thanks: Seth Wilson, the bands that contribute music (Waxeater, IfIHadAHiFi, The Sump Pu ...…
 
Episode 001 Topic: A history of impeachment and why it matters now Story: US Postal Service Missile Mail Cocktail: Corpse Reviver #2 Performance: Author Andrew Bentley reads "Erosion!" Guest: Helen Clarkson, CEO of The Climate Group, joins us to discuss the future of the planet, China, and why the British refuse to put ice in their beverages.…
 
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