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Mass for Shut-ins: The Gin and Tacos Podcast

News • Comedy

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.

Popular episodes

Minicast D8: The Cantaloupe that Changed the World

Nov 15 • 11:44

Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin in 1928 had little immediate impact on the world because it took over 15 years to crack the secret of how to mass-produce the it. Until that happened, penicillin existed more as an idea than as a medical intervention. The code to producing it in big batches was finally cracked in, of all places, Peoria, Illinois thanks to the tim...

Minicast D7: The Giant Ruby Affair

Sep 24 • 11:47

Minicast D6: New Vietnam Theme Park

Aug 24 • 06:46

In 1975 a right-wing loon purchased 300 acres of swampland outside Cape Canaveral with the dream of building a theme park recreating the experience of a US Special Forces barracks in a rural Vietnamese hamlet at the height of the war. Visitors could take turns firing a machine gun at real Vietnamese refugees play-acting as Viet Cong, while replica thatched huts dispensed s...

Minicast D5: The Grandfathered Spitballers

Jun 25 • 10:34

After a player died from being hit by a pitch in 1920, Major League Baseball banned the "spitball." But it allowed 17 players whose careers were determined to be dependent on it to continue throwing it. A century later, baseball is still dealing with what it now calls the "foreign substances" issue. ...

Minicast D4: John Brisker, NBA Star Turned Ugandan Mercenary

Jun 18 • 11:57

In the late Sixties through the Seventies, John Brisker was widely known as the meanest, toughest man in professional basketball. After winning ABA titles in Pittsburgh and punching his way through a few tumultuous seasons with the Supersonics of the NBA, John Brisker visited Africa, came back to the US, told his friends he was off to Africa again, and disappeared without ...

032 - Jen Howard (Clutter)

May 28 • 42:27

Guest: Jen Howard (@JenHoward) author of Clutter: an Untidy History on Belt Publishing. Her book looks at the social, economic, and political causes of our addiction to Stuff, and our talk ranges from Marie Kondo to the Container Store to the Montgomery Ward Outlet. Why do we have all this crap and what is the right thing to do about it? It's not as simple as "throw everyt...

Minicast D3: Free Cars

Apr 30 • 11:33

What if I told you that right now you can get a new car very nearly for free? Sounds like a scam, right? Well thanks to Hydrogen Fuel Cells, the Technology of the Future of 2002, you can. With some caveats....

Minicast D2: Agatha Christie Disappears! Sort of!

Mar 24 • 10:59

Agatha Christie's two most popular characters - Poirot and Marple - can only exist and make sense in a universe in which the police simply cannot solve crimes. If they could, why would they need a weird Belgian private detective or a random old lady to do it for them?...

031 - The 1976 Swine Flu Vaccine Fiasco (David Parsons of Nostalgia Trap)

Mar 2 • 01:19:36

Guest: David Parsons (@davidlparsons) from the excellent history podcast Nostalgia Trap joins me to discuss Gerald Ford's disastrous rollout of a nationwide vaccination program in 1976 to combat a swine flu pandemic that didn't materialize. Vaccine recipients developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which is sometimes fatal, at a rate 8.8 times higher than the unvaccinated, maki...

Minicast D1: The Poet Laureate of Kiribati

Feb 3 • 12:17

In 1996 a loutish young Briton got drunk and, on a lark, asked a tiny island nation if he could be their poet laureate. Mind you, the nation has no poet laureate and doesn't really do European-style poetry at all. That's ok, he doesn't know how to write poetry anyway....

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