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



Support this show

Join for $5/month Join for $50/year
Get an ad-free version of the show, plus a monthly extended episode.

Latest Episodes

#53: Birds All Day Long

June 1st, 2017 · 111 minutes

This week kicks off with some follow-up on John’s bird-enemy and why a person would ever eat popcorn with a spoon.

A (spoiler-free) check-in with The Leftovers Season 3 leads to a further discussion of trailers, recaps, and…spoilers. Your hosts address their approaches to “His ‘n Hers” media consumption, and the joys of watching closely.

#52: This Bird Can’t Get Laid

May 18th, 2017 · 97 minutes

Follow-up kicks off with Merlin’s iMac repair and why it’s fun to buy things with your phone. Strategies for tricking kids into watching media are explored, and John talks about why he’s still a TiVo man. Engadget hangs John’s Mac.

Merlin bemoans point-of-sale systems, and John provides important corrections from his wife on that weird metal …

#51: Pull Here, Dummy

May 3rd, 2017 · 119 minutes

This week, John and Merlin fret about their kids’ health and inherited emotional baggage. Merlin fails at becoming Sisyphus, while John is pessimistic about keeping anything in pairs.

John shares his recent experience at a concert by his celebrity crushes, Aimee Mann and Jonathan Coulton. Jonathan gets dressy, and Aimee receives an important me…

#50: Barrel Week

April 19th, 2017 · 123 minutes

This week, Merlin helps a friend and John disallows an awkward neologism. John wonders who refills the store-smell machine.

John surprises Merlin by (finally) watching the film, Les Misérables, and shares his impressions. What works, what doesn’t, and why does the sewer need to be so sewery?

In a surprisingly robust main topic, John recall…

#49: Celebrity Outreach Program

April 5th, 2017 · 111 minutes

This week kicks off with John analyzing Merlin’s various mouth noises, self-styled music cues, and personal sound effects. Both hosts get songs stuck in their heads. John lays a trap for Merlin, and Merlin shares an important new dream with the Ancient Bird.

At length, your hosts get a little meta, with follow-up on things Merlin still hasn’t w…

#48: Slim Pickings in the Terrarium

March 23rd, 2017 · 151 minutes

This week kicks off with John talking about the new Zelda game alongside thoughts on what it takes to keep a franchise great.

In follow-up, John addresses online angst and agita about the recent discussion of Arrival.

Next up, Merlin gets his time in the barrel as John disabuses him of his self-styled situation as "the dumb one." Merlin …

#47: Now I Dream in French

March 7th, 2017 · 124 minutes

Merlin admits to almost watching something on TV and encourages John to talk him out of buying a new laptop. John has concerns about dander diamonds, and Merlin briefs John on the mechanics of modern version control.

This week’s first topic is self-driving cars and how soon they’re likely to be ready, as they say, for prime time. John canni…

#46: Some Form of Ballast

February 23rd, 2017 · 110 minutes

This week, things open with a shockingly thorough discussion of chickens that somehow pivots to Costco caskets, TV buying decisions, Merlin's increasingly strange pronunciations, and John’s reluctant agreement to become a cron job.

Follow-up covers John finding those charts about global living conditions and Merlin finally figuring out how to …

#45: The Blood is Normal, Right?

February 8th, 2017 · 111 minutes

This week starts off ignominiously, with John and Merlin both not remembering several things. Merlin proposes The File Card Effect, and John knows not to be too smart when searching Google. John celebrates the proper use of Title Case, while Merlin frets over wearing his memories down to a nub.

Mini-topic this week is Merlin’s latest fraught…

#44: Assistant Manager Material

January 26th, 2017 · 131 minutes

This week, it doesn't take long to get deep in the stack on texting people in the same room, John's take on pound-sign hashtags, and the location of Merlin's missing meat.

The mini-topic this week is tattoos. Specifically, why Merlin has developed such strong feelings about tattoos, plus John's vision of a world free of theoretical tattoo …