Episode 10 Collections

Comedian Eugene Mirman searches through an encyclopedia for some collections. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

We’ve gathered amazing and surprising facts from the world of Collections. We’re not talking baseball cards and Beanie Babies—we’ve got: glucose, gamma rays, brainwaves, fake art and some very blue Russian. Our panelists:

Tim Ferriss, best-selling author and host of the Tim Ferriss Show, collects antique Japanese saddles for “special occasions.”

Anne Pasternak, director of the Brooklyn Museum, once collected a stomach full of cat food.

Eugene Mirman, comedian and voice of Gene on Bob’s Burgers, collects small failures.

Our real-time fact-checker is A.J. Jacobs, host of Twice Removed, who has some holes in his encyclopedic knowledge.

  • Hello.
    Thanks for the great show! I am a big fan of freakonomics podcast, QoD (miss you a lot, btw), and tmsidk. Keep doing your great work!

    As a citizen of Kazakhstan I’d like to comment on 2 things:
    1. Russian mat is cuss words and used in situations where English speaking people would use cuss words. It is not considered to be nice, polite and respectful to use such language in public. There is a layer of culture build completely on mat as your contestant mentioned, but it is no better and no worse than parts of English speaking culture built on offensive and inappropriate language. Mat is banned in public, official places and there where it can be heard by minors (children). Reasons of that I believe don’t need to be explained. And as I witnessed in the US, Europe and Asia the same public rules apply.

    2. Underwear scandal’s reason was not that women could not wear some kind of underwear nor it was prohibited in any way. Nobody went around checking what they were wearing. In KZ the thought is considered to be even more sick than in the US as we are much more close to Asian and Islamic cultures than Americans are. The ban was advised by ministry of health (or some health administration) according to reasons I do not understand that had something to do with the way some fabrics affect women’s health. In order to prevent presumably bad influence on health it was advised not to import, produce or sell items made from such fabrics. The demonstration mentioned sounds very much like something Pussy Riot people would do. I live in the biggest city in the country, work in the biggest university and have not heard about such demonstrations in KZ at all. That puzzles me. We do not have so much population and such new are usually widely discussed.

    Anyway thank you again for amazing shows. It is always a pleasure to listen to them.

  • Well, as a native Russian speaker I am really glad that there were no kids around when I was listening to this podcast.