Cynthia and Hatsune: Fictional women who became real

Cynthia Gaba was a celebrity in 1930s high society in New York. Hatsune Miku is a singer with a global fan base who has even gone to space. But here’s the twist: Cynthia was a mannequin and Hatsune is 100% digital!

How did two women, who are clearly not “real” in the traditional sense, become so successful and what does that say about the nature of celebrity and even of reality? What is real?

BTWs include William Gibson’s 1996 novel Idoru which predicted Hatsune Miku, men who fall in love with fictional women, Thor Ragnarok and ragging on Game of Thrones. As usual.

The moment of meta

In the moment of meta we propose the next enthusiandment: You don’t have to participate in something to be enthusiastic about it.

Links

Niels Bohr: The Man Who Played Dice With The Universe… And Won

Alex gets his hometown pride on and celebrates the life of fellow Copenhagener Niels Bohr, a man who revolutionized physics twice over. He may be the smartest person in physics… and he was definitely the nicest!

Hear about Bohr’s epic feud with Einstein (drama!) and get a very short intro to the weird and freaky world of quantum physics.

BTWs include:

  • Nerd humor
  • The world’s smartest cat
  • Dead people. So many dead people.

This episode was co-written by FDC Willard.

Moment of meta

In the moment of meta we talk about intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation and which one is better for enthusiasts.

Pics

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Josephine Baker: The Most Interesting Woman In The World

Singer, dancer, entertainer… but also civil rights activist and spy for France during WWII. Josephine Baker truly is the most interesting woman in the world.

Hear all about her amazing life, including her cheetah that would often escape its leash and (encouraged by the audience) menace the band and how she adopted 12 children of different races to form a “rainbow tribe”.

BTWs include:

  • Celebrity nicknames
  • Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction”
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

In our Moment Of Meta, Alex talks about one of the “commandments of enthusiasm” (or enthusiandments as he insists on calling them over Katie’s strong objections) namely that any topic can be fascinating when presented with enthusiasm.

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Episode 1: Harpo Marx – The Happiest Nudist in Hollywood

Harpo Marx (of the Marx Brothers) was a genius of physical comedy but, maybe more impressively, he was a nice and fun person who lived a truly happy life.

Raised in a poor Jewish family on Manhattan and thrown out of school (literally) in 2nd grade, he still ended up living an incredibly interesting life and becoming friends with people like George Gershwin, George Bernard Shaw and Salvador Dali.

Hear about his most epic pranks and about his occasional nudism. Harpo could (and would) turn any boring situation – like a game of golf – interesting by taking off his clothes.

BTWs include:

  • Some of the strangest town names in America
  • Weird vaudeville acts of the 1920s

In our moment of meta, Katie reveals how she came up with the name of the podcast – Electric Enthusiasm – and shares two important quotes about enthusiasm.

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