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



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Latest Episodes

#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…

#9: Late Bloomer

September 10th, 2015 · 130 minutes

In this penultimate episode, John and Merlin start with a discussion of salad and some followup on Destiny (John can't even believe he forgot Xur).

This week's main topic focuses on the many aspects of being a "late bloomer." From secondary sex characteristics and serial social prickliness through figuring out how to be in a family and studyi…

#8: Devouring Essence

August 27th, 2015 · 143 minutes

This time around, John and Merlin talk about time-shifted media releases, corporate speak, and Dave the Marketing guy.

For the main topic, John educates Merlin about the first-person shooter game, "Destiny." Merlin feels overwhelmed, while John says we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

#7: 50 Shades of John

August 13th, 2015 · 132 minutes

This week, John and Merlin do some follow-up on John's picky eating and his family's failures at meal planning. Both men cop to loving soup. Also some updates on Destiny.

Then on to the big topic: how does John's mind work, and how did he get that way?

(Recorded July 17, 2015)

#6: Mud and Gaffer's Tape and Broken Lenses

July 30th, 2015 · 109 minutes

This time kicks off with Merlin's torpor, then continues with FU on miscrediting Synecdoche, NY, recommendations on the making of Fury Road, and an extended meditation on the social psychology of web commenting.

Then on to the scintillating topic of the week: food and cooking. In which we learn that your hosts and their families are both…

#5: Shiny and Chrome

July 16th, 2015 · 101 minutes

This week, the boys kick things off with some followup on Merlin's bad media viewing habits, some incomplete homework, and more on the "tells" in Total Recall.

The remainder of the episode is dedicated to a spoiler-heavy look at Mad Max: Fury Road. If you haven't seen it, treat yourself to a cinema viewing as soon as you can.

John and M…

#4: Ohio Intervention

July 2nd, 2015 · 91 minutes

This week, after John derides Merlin's terrible media viewing habits, the boys share their affection for divisive films and revisit the spectacle of "Hell in a Cell."

For this week's primary topic, John probes Merlin's spotty history with video games, then sketches out the current console landscape. Merlin is assigned preliminary homework to st…

#3: Helena Sell

June 18th, 2015 · 143 minutes

This week, John and Merlin finally set themselves to the task of beginning to argue about their differences.

After a look at their feelings about reviews (and review culture), John takes Merlin to task for his stance on the 1999 film Fight Club (and Fight Club culture). Then, things conclude with a passionate debate on the societal impact …

#2: Thrown to the Wolves of Puberty

June 11th, 2015 · 108 minutes

In this episode, John and Merlin discuss the origins of the show, including their contrasting approaches to authority, conformity, and contrariness.

Also, Merlin credits John with helping him become less horrible, and John deposes Merlin about his year in military school.