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The Allusionist

PRX

More Information

Location:

United States

Genres:

Podcasts

Networks:

PRX

Language:

English


Episodes

69. How the Dickens stole Christmas

12/9/2017
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Charles Dickens wrote about the plight of the impoverished and destitute members of British society. So how come his name is a synonym for rosy-cheeked, full-stomached, fattened-goose, hearty merry “God bless us every one” Christmas? Avery Trufelman and Katie Mingle of 99% Invisible report from the streets of Victorian London at the annual Dickens Christmas Fair … Continue reading 69. How the Dickens stole Christmas

Duration: 00:30:35


68. Curse Soup

11/24/2017
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Somebody has really ticked you off. You’re all steamed up inside and you want to vent that rage using words, but you don’t want to confront them directly because you’re either too polite or too cowardly. So do you: A. Subtweet them. B. With your finger, scrawl an insulting message into the dirt on their … Continue reading 68. Curse Soup

Duration: 00:17:25


67. Open Me part II

11/10/2017
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You’re holding a letter. What’s inside? A weather report from 5,000 miles away? Some devastating family history? A single word? A heartfelt dispatch from your past self that’s about to change the course of your life? Find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/open-me-2. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a … Continue reading 67. Open Me part II

Duration: 00:30:10


66. Open Me part I

10/27/2017
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From Me To You’s Alison Hitchcock and Brian Greenley didn’t know each other well. But when Brian was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, Alison offered to write him letters. 100 letters later, their lives were changed. One of the newest members of Radiotopia is Ear Hustle, a podcast made inside San Quentin by and about … Continue reading 66. Open Me part I

Duration: 00:23:37


65. Eponyms III: Who’s That Guy?

10/13/2017
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Roman Mars returns for our annual dose of eponyms – words that derive from people’s names. This year: explosive revelations about the origins of the word ‘guy’. Find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/guy. CONTENT NOTE: the episode contains a description of 17th century torture and execution. The show’s online home is http://theallusionist.org. Stay … Continue reading 65. Eponyms III: Who’s That Guy?

Duration: 00:20:30


64. Technobabble

9/30/2017
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You’ve encountered technobabble when Doc Brown is shouting about flux capacitors in Back To The Future, or when Isaac Asimov writes about positronic brains. Astrophysicist Katie Mack and NASA JPL technologist Manan Arya discuss how science fact relates to science fiction. This episode is a collaboration with Eric Molinsky of Imaginary Worlds; listen to his … Continue reading 64. Technobabble

Duration: 00:22:28


63. Evolution of Accents

9/15/2017
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“Accent is identity. It’s a way of encoding and signaling – almost completely at an unconscious level for most people – who they feel like they are, who they want to be seen as, what group they feel like they belong to.” The podcast Twenty Thousand Hertz investigates how accents have evolved in the UK … Continue reading 63. Evolution of Accents

Duration: 00:25:48


62. In Crypt, Decrypt

9/2/2017
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Crossword-solving is often a solitary activity – over breakfast; on the train; on the loo… But a few times a year, crossword puzzle enthusiasts gather in their hundreds to compete to be the fastest, most accurate crossword-solver. This episode comes to you from a church basement on the Upper East Side of New York City, … Continue reading 62. In Crypt, Decrypt

Duration: 00:41:04


61. In Your Hand

8/19/2017
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“It’s sort of frozen body language; that’s what handwriting analysis is about.” Since it caught on a couple of hundred years ago, graphology – analysing handwriting to deduce characteristics of the writer – has struggled to be taken seriously as a practice. But undoubtedly, there are things about ourselves that we can’t help but reveal … Continue reading 61. In Your Hand

Duration: 00:21:50


60. Zillions

8/5/2017
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They look like numbers. They sound like numbers. You kinda know they are numbers. But they’re not actually numbers. Linguistic anthropologist Stephen Chrisomalis explains what’s going on with indefinite hyperbolic numerals like ‘zillion’, ‘squillion’ and ‘kajillion’. For more about this episode, visit http://theallusionist.org/zillions. Come to see the live show at the London Podcast Festival in … Continue reading 60. Zillions

Duration: 00:30:41


59. One To Another

6/30/2017
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Translation, A Love Story: Translator listens to The Allusionist. Translator hears about the podcast The Memory Palace. Translator listens to The Memory Palace. Translator immediately becomes smitten with The Memory Palace. Translator translates The Memory Palace from English to Brazilian Portuguese, and turns it into a book – O Palácio da Memória – which will … Continue reading 59. One To Another

Duration: 00:20:53


58. Eclipse

6/16/2017
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It’s August 2007. Lauren Marks is a 27-year-old actor and a PhD student, spending the month directing a play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She’s in a bar, standing onstage, performing a karaoke duet of ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’…and then a blood vessel in her brain bursts. When she wakes up in hospital, days … Continue reading 58. Eclipse

Duration: 00:32:07


57. AD/BC

6/3/2017
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There’s a small matter I trip over regularly in the Allusionist: Dates. Not the fruit. Specicially, the terms BC and AD, Before Christ and Anno Domini (‘the year of the Lord’ (‘the Lord’ also being Christ)). How did Jesus Christ get to be all up in our system of counting the years? There’s more about … Continue reading 57. AD/BC

Duration: 00:19:37


56. Joins

5/19/2017
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As discussed in episode 51, Under the Covers part II, the vocabulary for sex and associated body parts is tricky to navigate in many ways – but even more so if you are trans or gender non-binary. CONTENT NOTE: this episode contains strong language and frank discussions of sex and bodies. There’s more about the … Continue reading 56. Joins

Duration: 00:27:06


55. Namaste

5/5/2017
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“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Hrishikesh Hirway of Song Exploder wants people to stop saying ‘namaste’ after a yoga session. There’s more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/namaste. Stay in touch at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and http://facebook.com/allusionistshow. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.org. … Continue reading 55. Namaste

Duration: 00:25:28


54. The Authority

4/14/2017
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“Sometimes you want to make the dictionary sexy but it’s just not a sexy thing,” says Kory Stamper, lexicographer for the Merriam-Webster dictionaries. Sorry if this is disillusioning news for you. The dictionary is not a sexy thing, but as Kory explains, it is a fascinating, complicated, exacting thing. There’s more about this episode at … Continue reading 54. The Authority

Duration: 00:21:48


53. The Away Team

3/31/2017
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“Recognizing someone’s humanity is crucial. Calling someone a migrant, calling someone an asylum seeker, calling them a refugee: these are official categories. But in many ways, depending on how they use them, they can change and become more negative.” So says propaganda and migration specialist Emma Briant, as she explains the dangers of conflating and … Continue reading 53. The Away Team

Duration: 00:25:56


14 rerun: Behave

3/17/2017
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Sometimes words can become your worst enemy. Clinical psychologist Jane Gregory tells how to defuse their power. There’s more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/behave-rerun. The main part of this episode is a rerun, but there’s new material as well – get ready for a thrill-ride into medieval accounting technology. Stay in touch at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and … Continue reading 14 rerun: Behave

Duration: 00:17:54


52. Sanctuary

3/7/2017
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The term ‘sanctuary cities’ has been in the news a lot in the past few weeks, as places in the USA declare themselves to be havens for undocumented immigrants. Though ‘sanctuary’ has a history of meaning safety for the persecuted, it has an even longer history of meaning something quite different: refuge for criminals. Rosalind … Continue reading 52. Sanctuary

Duration: 00:18:46


51. Under the Covers – part II

2/21/2017
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Does the available vocabulary for sex leave something to be desired? Namely desire? (And also the ability to use it wthout laughing/dying of embarrassment?) Aiding in the search for a better sex lexicon – sexicon – are Kaitlin Prest of fellow Radiotopia podcast The Heart, and romance novelist Mhairi McFarlane. CONTENT NOTE: this episode contains … Continue reading 51. Under the Covers – part II

Duration: 00:18:09

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