January 25, 2016
EP. 106 — Why The English Language Is Messing With Your Head
A short list of completely ridiculous things we put up with as English speakers:
1. I before E except after C (apart from numerous exceptions that you should memorize)
2. The letters C and K making the same sound (except when they don’t)
3. The multiple pronunciations of ‘ough’ (Cough, Through, Rough, Thought, etc.)
4. Different countries putting a U in words like Favo(u)rite or Colo(u)r
What the hell is going on here? How did our language get like this? Why is this the 2nd most spoken language in the world when it makes no sense?
To get a grasp at the enormity of English, Jack O’Brien is joined on the phone by Susan Bennett, the original voice of Siri, to talk about her time recording every sound in the English language and how programmers put it all together.
Later, Jack is joined onstage at the UCB Sunset Theatre in Los Angeles by Dan O’Brien, Carmen Angelica and Alex Schmidt. They talk about the history of English, how it combines the best of French and the worst of German, the grammar’s endless nonsensical rules, and some simple things other languages do that we wish we had.
January 26, 2020
Freedom sucks…and that is why we have to defend it. Because our democracy involves doing a lot of stuff that takes energy, takes time, and lacks that Michael Bay Quality that only a surprise missile launch can provide. So on this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt and special guest Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) are exploring the ways being afraid of everything (an easy action) can stop us from being free. Discover the decades-long tradition of some Americans wanting to give up everything in exchange for not needing to think, the centuries-long tradition of people inciting fake panics, and the reasonable ways you can help change things for the better.
January 19, 2020
How’s your local shopping mall doing? Have you checked on it lately? Swing by sometime, because its department store might’ve turned into a call center or a hospital or a go-kart track. On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by the one and only Kai Ryssdal (Marketplace, Make Me Smart) for a look at surprising, strange, and shocking stories from all over the U.S. economy. Discover an international pig flu, a 26-word statement that built the modern Internet, and more amazing ways cash is ruling everything around you. By the way, if you’re an American listener, you spent the past few years funding an astonishingly huge bailout. Surprise! Listen for details!
January 12, 2020
Movies, TV, gaming: three things that are theoretically a waste of time. Oh sure, they deliver value in the art sense, and comfort in the goofing-off sense. But what if they’re more valuable than that? What if consuming shows and playing video games (accidentally) turns people into real-life heroes? On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians/writers Caitlin Gill and Alex Watt for a look at the surprising number of times that exact thing happened. They’ll explore stories of regular people who saved a life thanks to skills gained randomly from cartoons, sitcoms, ‘World Of Warcraft’, and more silly entertainment.