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



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Latest Episodes

#19: Four Toes

February 11th, 2016 · 118 minutes

This week, John and Merlin start out by talking about the value of exposing yourself to new or uncomfortable ideas (and how it can be difficult).

Following a tuneful diversion on their favorite music as kids, the boys jump into the main topic: how and when to recommend things to other people.

What's right and for whom? How do you distingu…

#18: It's Devastating

January 28th, 2016 · 112 minutes

This week, John ruthlessly critiques Merlin's Google Docs style, followed by a tentative announcement about how listeners can help support the show.

The primary topic this week is names and naming. Merlin struggles in vain to pronounce John's name to his satisfaction, John reveals his middle name, and the boys dive deep on the lore, reality, …

#17: Don’t Touch the Banana

January 14th, 2016 · 132 minutes

This week, John critiques Merlin's online editing skills, which leads to a discussion of coding conventions. Merlin, in turn, critiques John's propensity to murder a joke by telling it in weird bullets.

Next up, we learn that Merlin has (finally) watched The Game all the way through, which leads to a spoiler-heavy dive into this terrific …

#16: Ancient Bird

December 17th, 2015 · 126 minutes

This week, John and Merlin start out by exploring the challenges of sleep and AppleTV.

Next, John probes Merlin about why exactly he’s so interested in remembering and recording his whackadoodle dreams. We learn, for example, that Permiso delivers 3 to 5 surprises per day.

Finally, Merlin interrogates John about why he dislikes and avoids …

#15: Emotional Swimsuit Season

December 3rd, 2015 · 114 minutes

This week, your hosts cover TV buying decisions, the legacy of Star Wars, thoughts on holidays, and how to not end up raising Dudley Dursley.

#14: Children's Shoes

November 19th, 2015 · 113 minutes

This time out, John and Merlin start with a consideration of parenting advice and (surprise) the Star Wars prequels.

Then, the wardrobe is opened for a discussion of clothing. What your hosts choose to wear and why, and how best to telegraph the desire to be a non-combatant in the fashion race.

Merlin encourages listeners to give John _a…

#13: The Mickey Suit

November 5th, 2015 · 156 minutes

This episode, John and Merlin have a spirited debate on netspeak and emoji talk (🤕👹😭), then address the Wonderful World of Disney (World), including what makes it great and what keeps it relevant.

#12: Hobbit Tendencies

October 22nd, 2015 · 159 minutes

This week kicks off with some further discussion of salad and the video game, Destiny, and then proceeds into some talk about the current TV season and the state of late-night programming.

The centerpiece of the episode is a lot of talk about travel, focused on the myriad reasons your hosts find it so terribly difficult. Observations on helpl…

#11: Frog Board Room

October 8th, 2015 · 92 minutes

This week, the boys return for Season Two.

Things kick off with a clandestine follow-up discussion of evolution based on an unreleased episode of a different podcast. Don't ask.

The ball really gets rolling when John ruefully updates us on the stressful state of renovations to his house—and how his quest for quality collides with whatever…

#10: That Darn Cat

September 24th, 2015 · 177 minutes

This final episode of Season 1 kicks off with some fascinating FU on Clever Hans and proceeds into a listener question about John's feelings about "faith."

Finally, the boys settle into a detailed exploration of "Merlin's world of music." From AM radio (through a pillow speaker) to abortive accordion…