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The Bar Stool Historian Podcast

Night Wolves and Metal Noses

John Miller

nightwolves-and-metal-noses-episodecover.jpg

John, Ed, and Tim have pulled together another grab bag of historical curiosities, with a pinch of current events tossed in for good measure.

Episode highlights include:

  • The drinking (and non-drinking) habits of 2oth Century American presidents.
  • Gubernatorial assassination and general mayhem in Kentucky.
  • Shadowy pro-Russian forces in Montenegro, and the attempted coup d'etat that nobody seemed to notice.

Plus, our first nomination for a "Dexty" award, in honor of this podcast's patron saint, Lord Timothy Dexter.

Is there any kind of unifying theme for these topics? Hmm...maybe.

WHAT WE'RE DRINKING

New Glarus Fat Squirrel Ale (Wisconsin only)

Bell's Winter White "Belgian Inspired" Wheat Ale

Macallan 15-year Triple Cask Scotch Whisky

Getting Into the Colonial Spirit(s)

John Miller

Ed, John (suffering from a miserable cold), and Tim (hobbled by influenza), dive into the instructive and wildly entertaining book, Colonial Spirits: A Toast to Our Drunken History, and chat to its equally instructive and entertaining creators, author Steven Grasse and illustrator Michael Allen.

Colonial Spirits: A Toast to Our Drunken History

Other highlights include:

- A dizzying treatment of Ben Franklin's "Drinker's Dictionary."

- How to make Cock Ale in the original 18th century way. 

- Taste tests of Cranberry Shrub, Milk Punch, the Hot Flip, and Ginger Liqueur.

Plus, a reflection on the end of the Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey Circus after nearly 150 years. (And do you remember that unicorn?)

 

WHAT WE'RE DRINKING:

Old Dutch, by QC Malt

Lemon Shrub, by QC Malt

Alesmith Brewing Company's Nut Brown Ale

Brooklyn Brewery's Brooklyn Brown Ale

The Balvenie, Double Wood 12-Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Eleventh Hour Episode

John Miller

Veteran's Day Parade, 11/11/2016, New York City - Photo by Tim

Veteran's Day Parade, 11/11/2016, New York City - Photo by Tim

We pulled our microphones together at the last minute to deliver this Veteran's Day episode of The Bar Stool Historian. 

Topics include:

  • Future generals MacArthur and Patton meet on a World War I battlefield.
  • The truly nightmarish story of how hundreds of returning Civil War veterans perished in the worst maritime disaster in U.S. history.
  • A tribute to Tim's Uncle Charlie.

Get your tissues for this one.

World War I memorial at East 67th and 5th Ave, Manhattan - 11/11/2016 - Photo by John

October (no, wait...November) Surprise

John Miller

The great early 19th-century American eccentric, "Lord" Timothy Dexter strolls his demesne pondering a 108 year-old curse.

The great early 19th-century American eccentric, "Lord" Timothy Dexter strolls his demesne pondering a 108 year-old curse.

With an election just a couple days away, we're off to the races with presidential candidates of and other overachieving eccentrics.

Topics include:

  • The third party candidates of the 20th century who helped shape today's political landscape. 
  • October Surprises that jolted 19th century POTUS races.
  • The one-and-only "Lord" Timothy Dexter, the bats**t crazy Newburyport merchant who fell repeatedly ass-backwards into a fortune.

And as promised in the show...we give you Lord Dexter's grand "palace", bedecked with statues of other great men.

WHAT WE'RE READING

Check out "Lord" Timothy Dexter's completely insane autobiography (of sorts) "A Pickle for the Knowing Ones, or Plain truths in a homespun dress."

WHAT WE'RE DRINKING

Urban Legend Brewing Company's You Big Dummy Imperial Red Ale

Urban Legend Brewing Company's You Big Dummy Imperial Red Ale

Shipyard Brewing Company's Pumpkinhead Ale

Shipyard Brewing Company's Pumpkinhead Ale

Bronx Brewery's American Pale Ale

Bronx Brewery's American Pale Ale

Forty (Not "Fourty")

John Miller

John, Tim and Ed kick off Bar Stool Season 2 with a celebration of our 40th birthdays.  Join us as we explore (and in Tim’s case, severely criticize) the mystical number  40 and its special place in history. 

Topics include:

  • The most meaningful events of the last 40 years (including the true story of when Tim and John met Mikhail Gorbachev.)
  • The Lykov family, who survived 40 years in the Siberian Wilderness without seeing another human.
  • WD-40
  • Japanese fanatical holdouts, possibly wearing diapers.
  • Out of nowhere swipes at New York Comic Con.
  • Yeti!!!!

(As you'd expect, the whole number 40 theme completely breaks down in a few points in the show. Wild tangents aplenty!)

WHAT WE'RE DRINKING:

Lagavulin 16

Brooklyn Defender IPA

Sam Adams Scotch Ale

Goose Island Winter Ale



"Pretium Iustum Est!"

John Miller

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THE POUNDS, SHILLINGS, AND SIXPENCE OF THE PAST, DRAGGED KICKING AND SCREAMING INTO THE PRESENT.

Welcome to a Bar Stool Historian time travel road trip, as we visit the bucolic fictional village of Crittling Stubbs-On-Skirdenback about 600 years ago. What transpired was a full-fledged live game show where contestants guess the price of everyday medieval objects in modern-day dollars: Pretium Iustum Est! (Google-translate that title here!)

How we got here is really due to Ed having a little too much time on his hands: a couple months ago, Ed discovered a list of medieval prices compiled by a then-grad student (now professor) named Kenneth Hodges had pieced together by consulting medieval literature. These prices ranged from the cost of a ceramic cooking pot to the Transept of Gloucester Abbey in 1370, and everything else in-between.  Ed then decided to take these wildly varying prices and dates and plug them into website that compares the value of English money from the past to present day using both the Consumer Price Index and the Value of Labor. He then converted that to 2013 dollars. The result is a pretty nifty spreadsheet that you can download here.

Finally, the answer to whether or not you can afford to hire a Welsh infantryman for the day!

Ep. #4: Blame-O-Meter

John Miller

Kitchener_iblameyou-v2.jpg

SCORING BLAME-WORTHINESS THROUGHOUT HISTORY

Wild accusations and historical libel get hurled around in this installment of Bar Stool Historian!  With the help of the Blame-O-Meter, an advanced piece of technology sent from the future, we assign blame through history.  In doing so we discover:

  • How “history’s greatest monster” ruined sweaters
  • Why no one can write a proper letter.
  • Perfectionists are terrible.
  • The dark secret of Ed’s ancestry!

...and much, much more!

STUFF TO GAPE AT

Click for more info and a better look at some of the historical characters covered in this episode.

STUFF TO DRINK

Ravaged by Vikings

Ravaged by Vikings


Post-Valentine's Day Special Mini-Episode

John Miller

PUTTING 17TH CENTURY PICK-UP LINES TO THE TEST

Inspired by a post in one of our favorite sites, Ask the Past, we tapped into the treasure trove that is John Gough's 1684 book, The Academy of Complements (see below for its full, glorious title), and tried out some his suggestions for complimenting ladies on our unsuspecting spouses.

With the censor's bleep button at the ready, we recorded their actual unfiltered responses for your amusement.  We hope you appreciate this special Valentine's Day mini-episode, with the knowledge that we've been forced to sleep on the couch all week for your sake.

STUFF TO READ

Ask the Past - askthepast.blogspot.com

Advice from Old Books. (Warning: please use your best judgement in following these recommendations. Rubbing the oil from a boiled green lizard into your hair may not actually make it long and black.)

Ep. #3: "In-Bred & Bog-Buttered"

John Miller

Leopold I and Margarita Teresa. Holy Roman Emperor & Empress. Husband and Wife. First Cousins. Uncle and Niece! (Ewww...) Genetic time bomb.  

Leopold I and Margarita Teresa. Holy Roman Emperor & Empress. Husband and Wife. First Cousins. Uncle and Niece! (Ewww...) Genetic time bomb.  

Kids love their rancid butter!

Kids love their rancid butter!

Themes, schmemes! In this “news n’ reviews” episode, we’re delivering an hour-long grab bag of historical curios, grotesqueries, and dubious culinary delights....

  • Thrill to the sound of 90 year-old Confederate veterans sounding the old rebel yell.
  • Get a case of positional vertigo from tracing the zig-zagging family tree of those ever-handsome Royal Habsburgs! 
  • Let your mouth water at the idea of eating medieval butter dug up from bogs. 
  • Cry into your beer glass to the haunting melody of an ancient Greek lament.
  • Nod in silent approval of the early reviews of Bleak House by Charles Dickens (aka, Ed’s mortal enemy).

All this, plus commentary from Tim on how fears of rising China might just be a 1990s throwback, in Episode 3: In-Bred and Bog-Buttered.

THIS EPISODE'S RECOMMENDATIONS

Support the show! Follow the links to buy on Amazon!

STUFF TO WATCH

STUFF TO READ

Ep. #2: "Wouldn't It Be Lice?"

John Miller

Albrecht Durer's illustration of a syphilitic man in a 1496 broadsheet.

Albrecht Durer's illustration of a syphilitic man in a 1496 broadsheet.

Diseases that changed the course of history.

After weeks of Ebola dominating the headlines, we thought it appropriate to look at some of history's most civilization-altering diseases. John spins a yarn about how wild fornication in the streets of Naples just might have foiled a French king's plans to launch a crusade to the Holy Land in 1495. Tim tells the nightmarish tale of when the "Grandaddy of all Diseases" arrived in Europe, and explains the medicinal value of chickens. Finally, Ed recounts how Napoleon's 500,000 troops couldn't manage to conquer Russia (hint: it wasn't just the cold!), and gives a new meaning to "bad hair day."

THIS EPISODE'S RECOMMENDATIONS

Support the podcast! Follow the links to buy on Amazon.

STUFF TO READ

Brooklyn Brewery's East India Pale Ale

Brooklyn Brewery's East India Pale Ale

Midas Touch from Dogfish Head's Ancient Ales Collection

Midas Touch from Dogfish Head's Ancient Ales Collection

Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch Whisky

Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch Whisky

Ep. #1: "Hooked on a Schlieffen"

John Miller

John, Tim, and Ed travel back in time to the fateful days of 1914, with the help of Barbara Tuchman's masterful The Guns of August.  How well does this book fare a half-century after its publication? Does it retain the power to surprise (or even shock) the modern reader? What lessons can we apply to our own times? And why does the very mention of Erich Ludendorff make Tim burst out in song? For the answers to these and other burning questions, pour yourself a glass of Bell's Mars, Bringer of War and listen in!

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