Summary: What if we told you Bartholomew Columbus, Jerome Bonaparte and Kermit Roosevelt were all real people? Did you know that there is a direct link between Napoleon Bonaparte and tin cans? Thomas Jefferson and barbed wire? John Travolta and Forrest Gump? Dive into the rabbit hole of history's obscure facts and unique narratives with host Albort Einstone as he connects the dots between past and present. Join us for a hearty dose of Scattered Curiosities.
When did fashion dolls morph into America’s movable men? Why do unicorns and Pegasus get confused for one another? Who, among rock stars, would make the ugliest, but most talented, baby? What Golden Raspberry Award-winning actor and former BOP Boy are we infatuated with? How is it that Weebles wobble but do not fall down? And where does Albort dream of going with the King of Horror? The long-awaited responses are revealed in this tell-all rainy-day cocktail-conversation between Mr. & Mrs. Einstone from the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Did President Franklin Delano Roosevelt have Amelia Earhart shot down over the Pacific during a “reconnaissance” mission in retaliation for her lesbian affairs with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt? Probably not, but if you nit-picked your facts, you might be able to construct a plausible explanation to support that theory; we are not the first to suggest it, by the way. Today’s narrative was built around the 1933 evening when Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt ducked out of a party at the White House to take a spontaneous flight to Baltimore. The two would forever be associated with aviation, Amelia (for obvious reasons) and Eleanor for travelling over 40,000 miles as First Lady of the United States. Despite their thirteen-year difference, the two had much more in common than air travel. Both taught, wrote books, endorsed products for sponsors, fought for civil rights and refused to take their husbands’ last names; a technicality for Eleanor who’d always been a Roosevelt but Amelia suggested her husband, George Putnam, should, perhaps, be called Mr. Earhart. Put your seat tray up and buckle-in for Amelia and Eleanor’s Excellent Adventure.
At long last, the conclusion to our series highlighting the men and women (finally) to hold the position of US Secretary of State has arrived. This installment brings us into and through the 20th Century, covering the annexation of Hawaii, the Spanish American War, the Treaty of Versailles, the concept of “Dollar Diplomacy”, the Marshall Plan, the Suez Canal Crisis, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam and the formations of the UN, NATO, VVFW, and OPEC. This pool of Secretaries includes lawyers, Ph.Ds, Generals, professors, CEOs, and Nobel Peace Prize recipients. Packed with treaty signings, party-swapping, and a whole lot of resignations, learn which Secretary of State was a thrice losing Democratic Presidential contender, which was president of the Boy Scouts of America and who among them was the son in-law of one Secretary of State and uncle to yet another Secretary of State? The time is upon us, Let’s Talk About Secs, again.
*WARNING: CONTENTS OF THIS EPISODE CONTAIN CHRISTMAS SPOILERS. NOT FOR CHILDREN* Join Albort as he explores the many incarnations of the most fantastical, generous, Coca-Cola loving character of the holiday season, Santa Claus; from Saint Nikolas of Myra to Sinterklaas of the Netherlands to Pere Noel of France to L. Frank Baum’s “Neclaus” and why the wife of the man in the “Ho-Ho-Tuxedo” doesn’t even have a first name! Learn how the Little Ice Age influenced the violins of Antonio Stradivari and the writing of Charles Dickens, which holiday song became the first to be broadcast from space, what Norwegian scientists suspect to be the cause of Rudolph’s shiny nose and how the “Father of the American Cartoon” changed American’s reception of Santa Claus, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes and Grover Cleveland.
It’s October and time for our most spooktacular episode yet. Get a lesson in the provenance of Halloween and the many names it goes by, from the Celtic festivities of Calan Gaef and Samhain to All Hallow’s Eve, Hallowmas, All Saint’s Day, Reformation Day, Founder’s Day and the Day of Seven Billion. Albort’s cauldron is brimming with vampires, witches, candy, aliens, splatstick, Jack O Lanterns, souling, full moons, black cats, Michael Landon and R.E.M.
Having already covered Presidents and Vice Presidents, we are now continuing the tradition of an annual show dedicated to the men and women who have run the United States since its inception with the elusive position of Secretary of State, a job held by a few would-be presidents: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren and James Buchanan. Some got the gig by nepotism, being a president’s military buddy, school chum or even being genuinely qualified for the job. Listen to the living textbook, Albort Einstone, as he examines Whigs becoming Republicans, extortions being paid to Barbary pirates and why obtaining Texas was such pain in the neck. Which Secretary argued Aaron Burr’s treason trial? Which argued Andrew Johnson’s impeachment trial? And who was in St. Petersburg when Napoleon invaded and then also in Paris for the “Little Emperor’s” infamous Hundred Days? Let’s Talk About Secs.
Orville Redenbacher, Mario Puzo and James Brown walk into a podcast…don’t you wish that was the set up to a fantastic joke? It’s not (sorry) but a connection between the three can be found in the year 1969; as well as Ho Chi Minh/Dwight D. Eisenhower, Judy Garland/Sharon Tate, Jack Kerouac/Joseph Kennedy, Sr. and Boris Karloff/Frank Loesser. Join Albort as he gets semi-centennially nostalgic for the Moon Landing, Munchos Potato Crisps, 12¢ stamps, Doom-Buggies, Scooby-Doo, the Dick Sargent/Dick York Bewitched switcheroo and George Lazenby’s singular portrayal of James Bond. It’s a Golden Jubilee.
Capital cities are the center of government to nations states and provinces but are not always the most prominent, popular, populous or permanent (New York City and Philadelphia are NOT capital cities…anymore). Pensacola and Saint Augustine are also former heads of state that ceded to Tallahassee when East Florida and West Florida unified. Join Albort for a brush-up lesson of US capitals and a potpourri of factoids to boot. How did Alabama become the “Yellowhammer State”? Which is the state of “Hogs and Hominy”? What capitol building showcases nineteen chandeliers from Tiffany’s of New York? And why were early Americans so passionate about naming places for Christopher Columbus?
It is time for this season’s language analyzing episode, featuring near miss accidents, poison versus venom, Judas Priest, Alzheimer’s Disease, The Pirates of Penzance, bald faced lies, Diphtheria, Contronyms, Malapropisms, Voiceless Labiodental Fricatives and Albort explaining the difference between amused/bemused, viable/feasible, ultimate/penultimate and how to pronounce Açaí. This is Unglish.
It’s the season three premiere and boy is it a scattered one, including little known factoids about some infamously ferocious historical redheads and a queen whose hair turned white overnight. Delve into the many loves of Cleopatra and Gaius Julius Caesar (along with each other), cross-dressing Romans, decisive beheadings, felinophobes, the tale of the Gordian Knot and the unlikely American success story of Adolph Hitler’s nephew. With special appearances by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven, celebrate the first episode of our third season by taking a closer look at some of yesteryear’s Distinguished Despots and Enigmatic Eminences.
It’s the Season Two Finale and Albort thinks the Renaissance names for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were not assigned properly and intends to make a case for it. Get the back story on the cold-blooded half-shelled vindicators of justice and their belletristic namesakes of antiquity Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael.
Albort reflects on his fortieth year on this our fortieth episode. Travel back to the mystical year one thousand, nine-hundred ninety-eight to decide if Albort predicted the Bird Flu virus as he reads excerpts of his recently dusted off writing assignment book borne of his ten year old, pop-culture infected mind to discover how he and the world have changed in the past thirty years.
Snowmen, Alan Alda, Candy Canes, and Cherries are just some of the many nicknames for pairs in playing cards and the first two make up four fifths of the infamous Dead Man’s Hand. Join Albort for a lesson in poker tournaments, game strategy and learn the jargon that will have you talking like a pro in no time. Discover how the World Series of Poker became a popular sport on ESPN and get to know some of the Jokers that make up the Poker Hall of Fame including Edmund Hoyle and Wild Bill Hickok.
It’s the first Tinysode of the season, a lost relic from the series premiere of the Scattered Curiosities. Get a very brief overview of the Battle of the Downs, one of Albort’s favorite paintings at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and find out what it has to do with the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten.
Take a trip down Saturday Morning Memory Lane with Albort Einstone as he recalls some favorite cereals, commercials, toys and mascots from the late 1800s to today. Learn the history behind some of the biggest companies in breakfast and how Battle Creek, Michigan became ground zero for the start of the unending mascot wars and cereal killers.