John Siracusa and Merlin Mann try to figure out exactly how they got this way.

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Latest Episodes

#141: The Panopticon of Frasier

October 15th, 2020 · 83 minutes

Things kick off with a post-mortem on the recent song challenge as well as an extension of that challenge that requires input from you, the listener. Hit us up at @RecDiffs with #listen.

John goes a little meta to interrogate how Merlin's brain functions and wonders where a catch phrase actually started. Mayb…

#140: I Know What to Do in a Tree

October 1st, 2020 · 76 minutes

In follow-up, John has extensive clarifications regarding the importance of saucing the pasta in accordance with his instructions. So, of course, he also has some more instructions. Ultimately, John just wants to help you, the listener.

Moving on to kids and eating, your hosts contrast their views on how to manage a constantly moving target. M…

#139: Everything's a Competition

September 17th, 2020 · 97 minutes

John quickly puts the kibosh on Merlin's idea for a special theme episode.

John has Follow-Up on his self-imposed egg homework and invites some friends for a socially-distanced meal. Merlin's kid attends a socially-distance birthday party. What a fun time to be alive, huh?

John's usual method of remembering a song fails him, and Merlin bemo…

#138: Their Terrible Butts

September 3rd, 2020 · 87 minutes

John has Follow-Up on the name of an Australian rock, and Merlin learned New Zealand's true name from an old Split Enz song. Doesn't seem all that difficult to call things by the old name, but what do we know?

Merlin did not watch any educational YouTube videos, but John is just asking the question. A glimpse into Merlin's perilous journey into…

#137: The Fifth Flavor of Entertainment

August 20th, 2020 · 95 minutes

This week finds John perusing some of Merlin's homework. This leads to a discussion of the benefits and risks of educational tourism. Will there be any Math on this Math test?

John presents a new "Secret Brit," but it turns out that there is a Turns Out. For some reason, your hosts are really putting The British Empire on blast. Merlin is kind …

#136: The Left Side of the Diving Board

August 6th, 2020 · 80 minutes

Things kick off with John rejecting some of Merlin's canny improvements to the doc. The doc really needs some work.

It doesn't get any easier as Merlin attempts to do a normal podcast thing, but John keeps stepping on his bit. John does that. Anyway. Thank you.

John has some follow-up on his haircut situation as well as sharing some im…

#135: Clutch Foot

July 23rd, 2020 · 77 minutes

Things kick off with a huge thank you to everyone who gave Siracusa their money, followed by a survey of listener suggestions for the name of the member feed.

In follow-up, John shares some detailed updates on his chronically troubled toe. Merlin finds this content extremely challenging.

Merlin relates…

#134: Romeo Delta

July 8th, 2020 · 82 minutes

Things kick off with an announcement on a new way you can help support the program—as well as get some challenging new content. Please give Siracusa your money.

In follow-up, John has a very important haircut update. His barber was reluctant, and the experience was a little fraught. Do our ears and head rea…

#133: Shave Daddy

June 24th, 2020 · 81 minutes

Someone has tampered with Merlin's bell, and John is looking forward to his "vacation." This leads to an exploration of seemingly hippie-dippie workplace policies and how they actually get applied in practice. Especially for everyone who's not the boss.

In follow-up, John has an update on a recent addition to his home. Boy, they really wanna pu…

#132: Bigger in Three Dimensions Than I’ve Ever Been

June 10th, 2020 · 86 minutes

In America, you are not allowed to hit back.

Black Lives Matter.

(Recorded on Tuesday, June 2, 2020)