Omnibus

Omnibus

Twice a week, Ken Jennings and John Roderick add a new entry to the OMNIBUS, an encyclopedic reference work of strange-but-true stories that they are compiling as a time capsule for future generations.

Episodes

May 18, 2021 66 min

In which Procter & Gamble spends almost thirty years trying to bring its fat substitute to market, only to see it vanish from the public memory almost immediately, and Ken just wants to eat devil's food cake. Certificate #51232.

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In which Scottish mill-worker William McGonagall becomes notorious for his utterly sincere but terrible poetry, and John plans to instigate a sex riot. Certificate #44448.

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In which we study the long history of inspirations getting jotted down on scrap paper, and Ken learns he's too lively to be a rock musician. Certificate #44181.

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In which Sweden literally changes directions overnight, and John feels that the samurai spirit is all in the details. Certificate #30932.

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In which a poltitical revolution in Bolivia produces a new wave of visibility for the nation's hat-wearing indigenous women, and Ken wonders which communist dictators were cuddly. Certificate #16179.

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In which a new gypsum miracle product takes more than a century to replace lath-and-plaster walls in home construction, and John thinks lizards have ears. Certificate #35059.

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In which a now-forgotten Quaker teenager becomes the most fiery and most famous woman orator of her time, and Ken has no idea if Norman Schwarzkopf is alive or dead. Certificate #44568.

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In which an aristocrat's private bet about gullible audiences leads to a 1749 theater riot, and John thinks Dick Cheney should have a podcast. Certificate #16793.

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In which the Moog synthesizer and the "plant consciousness" movement of the 1970s produce a rare collector's item for lovers of weird music, and Ken refuses to buy his children reptiles. Certificate #27581.

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In which the president wears beige to an August 2014 press conference, suddenly creating three or four new kinds of political discourse, each worse than the last. Certificate #35844.

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In which we trace two centuries of people being briefly interested in three-dimensional images, and John gets a bad case of "Intellivision thumb." Certificate #27012.

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In which a Siberian mystic gets so cozy with Russian royals that he ensures the success of the Bolshevik Revolution, and Ken wonders if he blinks the normal amount of times. Certificate #38899.

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In which the American love affair with demolition-based entertainment is born near Waco, Texas in an explosion of iron and steam, and John believes some flight attendants are aliens. Certificate #34659.

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In which we follow the arc of nerd culture to the Council of Elrond where a certain kind of fan service is born, and Ken explains why people fight about Frodo and Jesus. Certificate #40170.

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In which a zombie pope is forced to stand trial in 9th-century Rome, and Ken discovers a generation of people with strong opinions about the word "zoology." Certificate #28349.

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In which an online covered wagon auction unearths an almost-forgotten genre of itinerant performer, and John refuses to identify the Tijuana of Europe. Certificate #46962.

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In which an Australian cricket team creates an international controversy with an unorthodox but legal strategy, and Ken accidentally does a Boston accent. Certificate #30080.

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In which a modern-day treasure hunter becomes convinced that a priceless trove of British fighter jets is buried at the end of an airport runway, and John becomes a realtor for Myanmar. Certificate #34112.

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In which the Internet is born in 1945 when a radar technician in a bamboo hut reads a Life magazine article about a futuristic desk, and Ken wonders if anyone smoked weed at Los Alamos. Certificate #18461.

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In which an inept attempt at a Portuguese-English phrasebook becomes an enduring comedy classic, and John celebrates the invention of the stirrup. Certificate #29469.

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Ken Jennings

Ken Jennings

John Roderick

John Roderick

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