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History for the Forgetful

Leila and Tristan sat next to one another in history class. Tristan became a history teacher. Leila forgot. Everything. Join us as Leila asks Tristan questions about the past, and Tristan does his darndest to get her to remember. Anything. 

New episodes on the 1st of every month.

Email corrections and complaints to doomed.pod@gmail.com

May 1, 2017

Leila and Tristan return at long last to debate whether Franco was more of an iguana or a chicken farmer, whether or not you should punch your local fascist, and what, if anything, we can learn from the Spanish Civil War.

You can view the images referenced in the podcast here.


Mar 1, 2017

Leila asks Tristan to tell her about a civil war that raged from 1936-1939. Tristan begins his answer in 1492. This is why we can't have nice things, but can have another two-parter episode. Join us again next month for the gut-wrenching conclusion to the Spanish Civil War. 

Feb 1, 2017

The last week of January 2017 has sapped Leila of all joy, including even the joy she used to find in the company of soggy, cutthroat ne'er-do-wells. This puts Tristan (and his visceral hatred of maritime criminality) into the awkward position of being piracy's cheerleader.

Jan 1, 2017

Leila exercises her democratic right to muddle up idioms in new and spectacular ways. Tristan eulogizes the direct democracy of ancient Athens. 

Dec 2, 2016

In the autumn of 2016, a young podcast's concern with xenophobic populism lightly turns to thoughts of fascism. Tristan tries to convince Leila that she is a fascist. Leila isn't having it.

Oct 31, 2016

Leila celebrates her favourite holiday. Tristan finds the notion quite unwholesome, but brings the history nonetheless.

Oct 1, 2016

Leila appreciates one of architecture's most beautiful creations, and perhaps, sort of, maybe one of history's greatest love stories. Tristan lurks in the wings, bursting bubbles as necessary.

Sep 1, 2016

Tristan unpacks the tale of a Celtic queen's vicious war of retribution against her imperialist tormentors. Leila, to her credit, never once screams, "Freeedom!"

Aug 2, 2016

Leila steps into the same river as different and still different blather flows over her. Tristan is in his element extolling the virtues of one of history's greatest grumps. 


Jul 26, 2016

Tristan and Leila meander through Bowmarcs, bowties, and bomber jackets as they survey Canada's 20th century Prime Ministers.

Jul 5, 2016

Tristan and Leila run down the first batch of Canada's Prime Ministers, the middling and the momentous, from 1867-1936.

Jun 15, 2016

Tristan and Leila conclude Jeanne d'Arc's stunning rise and fall, and are amazed at, outraged for, and ultimately flummoxed by the girl from Domrémy.


Jun 1, 2016

Leila is excited to talk about a narrative she already has a decent handle on. Tristan is excited to discuss the convoluted factions and political machinations of the Hundred Years' War. What? It's fascinating.

May 15, 2016

Tristan and Leila grab a bag of popcorn and settle in for some lighthearted fun as prisoners of war and slaves stab each other for their amusement. 


Episode 20, in which Leila discovers:

- that to become a gladiator she'd have to change many things about her personality, but not her sex or her diet. 

- that her innate but often well-hidden bloodlust might have made her an enthusiastic arena-goer.

- that even though the very concept of gladiatorial games tramples on the essential dignity of human beings, those naval battles? Pretty badass. 


And in which Tristan:

- tries to think of a generic Roman name and comes up with "boxing glove".

- tries to remember the lanista from Gladiator's catchphrase and winds up quoting the Bible. Atta boy.


May 1, 2016


Tristan and Leila explore the horrors of the early 20th century, and meet humanity's best answer to its very worst. It's not...hilarious.

Witold Pilecki, after the escape.

Episode 19, in which Leila discovers:

- Baltic geography.

- the history of the Polish scouting movement.

- the triumphant peaks and depraved chasms of recorded human experience. This one gets a bit heavier as it goes along.

And in which Tristan:

- is present.

Witold Pilecki (1901 - 1948)

As a young cavalry officer (~1920)

With wife and son (1932)

Induction at Auschwitz (1940)

Captured by Soviets (1947)

Trial (1948)


Apr 15, 2016

Tristan and Leila sort out fact from fantasy in search of the real story of the Fountain of Youth. Tristan vents his spleen on a very stupid Floridian "archaeological" park.Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park!

Episode 18, in which Leila discovers:

- a deep and immediate bond with the Queen of Spain, immediately before her untimely death. The Queen's. Leila's fine.

- the secret recipe for long life. Now with 100% more boiled meat.

- that the real Ponce de León story bears absolutely no resemblance to the one she thinks she might have heard of.

And in which Tristan:

- thoroughly maligns a thoroughly stupid archaeological park in St. Augustine, Florida.

Apr 1, 2016

Tristan and Leila explore Islamic mysticism, or Sufism, with help from a very special guest. Let's not be coy. It's Leila's mom.

Episode 17, in which Leila discovers:

- that her word on mysticism is pretty much as good as anyone else's

- (not for the first time) that a first generation parent can tell their kids just about anything. "Why do we have to go to bed at 5pm?" "Because we're Sufis, now finish your marmalade."

- a book on a shelf, rendering her co-host utterly (but temporarily) obsolete

And in which Tristan:

- (for once) knows when to sit down, shut up and let Leila's mom do some splainin'. 

Mar 15, 2016

Leila redefines the very concept of "wonder". Tristan disputes this wholeheartedly, and offers a scenic tour of the known world's must-see attractions, circa 250 BC.

Episode 16, in which Leila and Tristan take a scenic tour of:

- the really quite shockingly old Great Pyramid

- Babylon, Nineveh, and nowhere in particular in search of the Hanging Gardens

- the often forgotten Ishtar Gate and the walls of Babylon

- the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. Not that Artemis. This one.

- the gobsmacking statue of Zeus at Olympia

- the ugly and unhinged Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

- the definitely not-bestride, briefly standing Colossus of Rhodes

- the refreshingly functional Lighthouse of Alexandria

- Leila's nonsense carnival of wonders

Mar 2, 2016

Tristan and Leila crawl out of their igloos to look down on their neighbours to the south. Why couldn't they have just asked politely for freedom? And seriously, guys? Slavery? We ask the hard-hitting questions, 240 years late. 



Feb 1, 2016

Episode 13, in which Leila discovers:

- That when your revolutionary motto is "Revive the [Chinese government], exterminate the foreigners," calling it a "rebellion" might be a biiiit rich

- That she has yet another German to add to her kick-in-the-shin-via-time-machine list

And in which Tristan:

-  Gives serious consideration to changing the name of the podcast to "the Society of Righteous and Harmonious Co-Hosts"

Jan 2, 2016


Leila tries to impersonate Joseph Stalin, and winds up doing a pretty good German vampire. Tristan warns Leila to never, ever watch the nuclear war docudrama, "Threads". We also discuss all the times we were almost vaporized without realizing it. Fun!

Episode 12, in which Leila discovers:

- That it's really German vampires who pronounce "the" as "zee", and not, as she had hoped, Joseph Stalin

- That hackneyed jokes about Soviet paranoia are a half decent way of understanding the Great Purge

And in which Tristan is forced to admit:

- That it's a lot easier to scoff at the failed Soviet science of Lysenkoism than it is to know one single thing about Gregor Mendel. He's the one who made plants have sex on...charts? 

Dec 1, 2015

Episode 11, in which Leila discovers:

- That the history was inside of her all along, as she does a bang-up job of narrating the story of Louis Riel and his various rebellia acts of resistance

- That the name Arthur was a bit dorky long before PBS ever got its aardvark paws on it

And in which Tristan reminds us:

- That while it is, of course, perfectly acceptable to jump down your friend's throat for mangling a quotation, it is considered impolite to then deliver the quote correctly yourself

Nov 1, 2015

Episode 10, in which Leila discovers:

- That it might please the eternal pessimist Lawrence Oates to know that 103 years later he is still making people very sad

- How Britain got so big while being (as she astutely and repeatedly points out) so very small

And in which Tristan realizes:

- That he will never, ever get Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett properly segregated in his mind, so why even bother?

- That reading the name "Alfred Thayer Mahan" dozens of times can still leave a person woefully unprepared to say it

Oct 1, 2015

Episode 9, in which Leila discovers:

- That almost everything she knew about Cleopatra was made up, but that there's still a pretty interesting person buried underneath

- That so long as Tristan can compare everything to the Romans, we might just make it out of Japan in one piece

And in which Tristan misspeaks:

- More times than he can bear to rehash here. Which one bothered you the most? Let us know at doomed.pod@gmail.com

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