The Curiosity of!? Podcast

A podcast about history, science, tales and everything in between. A father and son discuss things they are curious about from science and history to monsters and games. We look at the quirky and unusual from around the world as well as seeking out local history, events and characters. We keep it friendly and embrace what we discover - the world is an amazing, curious place.

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Tuesday Mar 19, 2024

This episode we take a peek at the devil’s picture books – a name given to playing cards. We start with Chinese accounts dating back nearly 1000 years then go via beautiful Mamluk designs to Thomas de la Rue industrialising the printing process 100 years ago.
But what are playing cards without magic? We meet one of Anton’s namesakes, Anton Zamloch AKA Zamloch the Great! He put on fantastic magic shows in the late 1800s, touring America with his blend of magic, mayhem and mischief!
Show notes:

Sunday Feb 18, 2024

It’s episode 50 and we have a very special guest - the magician and playing card historian Lee Asher! Anton has been learning magic for the last 18 months and also become an avid playing card collector so Lee was the perfect guy to have on. He’s worked with some of the big names in magic and even invented his own card tricks - his knowledge and advice is invaluable. What we really enjoyed about talking with Lee was the passion and humanity he brings, he sees magic a positive force, something to share and a path to being a better person. Lee is also president of 52 Plus Joker, the world’s largest playing card collecting club, and gave us a brilliant rundown of playing card and magic history. We really enjoyed our chat and hope you will too and a massive thank you to Lee, be sure to check out his website and 52 Plus Joker!
Show notes:
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Tuesday Dec 05, 2023

We’re back! Podcasts, being an audio format, make the perfect medium for talking about sight and how eyes work.
This episode Anton and I discover how animals see. From the Cambrian Explosion and mass of new creatures that evolved to neutral implants via some unfortunate German rabbits we uncover the history and the science.
Show notes:

Sunday Sep 24, 2023

A mini bonus episode for you to let you know we are talking at Intelligent Speech 2023 this 4 November. Full details and tickets are available at - use offer code curiosity at checkout for 10% off!*
As we love you, our listeners, we’re also releasing Anton’s story set in Takarajima from our bonus Patreon treasure episode, it was inspired by real events you can learn about here:
You can get all our bonus content on our Patreon: including a discussion about how Takarajima is reinventing it’s history, life about 1700s ships, a look at AI and a video on Roman metal casting at home!
*whilst offer lasts!

Friday Jul 21, 2023

This episode we go treasure hunting, exploring three stories from around the world focussing on our obsession with greed and wealth.
We sail around the globe the wrong way telling an epic tale of survival, visit a tropical island in search of lost treasure and learn about an unusual hermit. Each story is about more than glittering gold and priceless gems, it’s a tale of the lengths man will go to in the pursuit of fame and fortune.
Anton talks about a German man desperate to discover the lost treasure of Lima on Cocos Island and I use the logs of Guernsey Great Philip Saumarez to recount the epic round world trip of the Centurion in search of Spanish gold! We also meet a hermit with a familiar name but a very unfortunate story.
Show notes:
Buy tickets for Intelligent Speech: use offer code ‘curiosity’ for 10% off.
Vote for us in the British Podcast Awards:
Support and review:

Sunday May 28, 2023

In celebration of Margaret Ann Neve’s birthday we’re re-releasing our feature about her 110 year life! It was buried at the end of episode 19 so deserves to be surfaced. Listen to how much Anton has changed in the 2 and a bit years since release then imagine what 110 years of change must have felt like for Margaret. She was the first person recorded to have lived in 3 different centuries and was born and spent most of her life here in Guernsey!

Bonus: 🥔 The Potato Boom!

Monday May 15, 2023

Monday May 15, 2023

This feature was researched and written by Anton!
Have you heard of the 1903 Potato boom? No? Neither had we until recently. Join Anton as he tells you all about Archibald Findlay and his amazing potatoes that were reaching prices of £5000 a ton - that’s half a million in today’s money. But are they all they’re cracked up to be?
For more bonus content become a Patron:
If you enjoyed the episode please subscribe, share and review!

Thursday May 04, 2023

This episode we take a break from talking history and science and interview Paul Mayze MD of Avid Games, the creators of Cards, the Universe and Everything affectionately known as CUE Cards.
CUE Cards is a great fun mobile game that’s chock-full of facts about… well everything! It’s a deck building and battling game where you can learn about everything from Chinese Folklore to the Higgs Boson and Corn Beef Sandwiches to the Macrauchenia!
As soon as Anton and I started playing we knew CUE Cards fitted our podcast and love of learning perfectly so reached out to them and they happily agreed to tell us more.
Paul talks to us about the challenges of creating and maintaining a thriving game and community, the difficulties of balancing trade and game mechanics and the joy of seeing people, particularly families, having fun together. A big thank you to Paul for taking the time to talk to us.
If you enjoy the game please enter Anton’s referral code so you and he get some goodies: W8K-40L-XVK
Shoe notes:
You can downland CUE Cards from the App Store, Google Play or visit their website:

Sunday Apr 16, 2023

The potato, it’s been with us forever, it’s so mundane and everyday it’s hardly worth thinking about, right? Wrong!
A relatively recent arrival to Europe and much of the world this not so simple vegetable has had a very big impact on the modern world. Easily outstripping the nutritional value of grains and other primary crops it can be argued the modern world - and Europe’s - would not have been possible without it.
We travel from Axomama, an Andean potato goddess, through it’s spread across Europe (correcting several incorrect anecdotes along the way) to modern day China where’s the humble potato is celebrated in song!
Show notes:

Monday Feb 27, 2023

Artificial intelligence is set to transform the world altering how we work, access content and create. Many visions of AI show it as robotic, machinelike and impersonal but is this really the case? In this first AI revolution it’s creativity and artistic disciplines that are most touched. But can a computer really be creative and what does creativity mean? Trained on our data - our images, writings, stories - they have only ever had an echo of the true experience of feeling sad or the wind in their hair.
We explore this topic, demonstrate how DALL·E works, get creeped out by Bing uncover what animals say, all using AI!
Show notes:

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