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In Research Of

May 25, 2020

[some explicit language in this episode]
Jeb and Blake look at the very strange coverage of Mayan Mysteries on In Search Of season 2. (Watch this ISO episode on YouTube)

The term Blake was trying to remember at the beginning of the creation story was "ethnogenesis." This is a relatively new word, coming from the mid-20th century.

We mention Star Wars and Tikal. The story from David Anderson is in this ArchyFantasies episode, about 5 mins in.

The De Landa Letras - how we came to understand the Mayan alphabet

Mural detail from the episode:

Mayan mural detail


The poet (and frequent speaker in this episode) Alurista. (Wikipedia)



Some discussion in the episode is about the wheeled caiman or crocodile toy in the museum.  This is a detailed screen-cap of that.

Mayan Crocodile Wheeled Toy

We briefly discuss the United Fruit Company. The role of fruit companies in manipulating politics and behaving badly is long, depressing, and too much to fit into this episode. But it is worth reading about.


Reenacment of an Auto-da-fe:

monks burning maya books on beach


We talk a bit about cacao and chocolate. I got curious and asked Jeb if he could help me find some somewhat authentic recipes for those audience members who want to try something close to the original drink.

First (because, duh!) some background reading on the history of cacao in Mayan culture. And some thoughts about spicy, bitter takes on the drink. The latter link includes a lengthy video on the history of chocolate by Michael Coe (who we mention in the episode).

Here are two recipes that Jeb described as "pretty ok":

First, the "if you go to all this trouble I hope it doesn't suck" version:

Second, the "you can totally knock this one out at a regular grocery store" version:

Good luck! If you try these let us know how it turns out.

Nimoy Fashion!

Nimoy Fashion - Maya edition

Fashion Forensics!  I think we've got a repeat use of the same denim shirt from the killer bees episode.  Below are some comparison shots.  Let me know if you agree or disagree. I believe in the bee episode Nimoy's unbuttoned collar is hiding the thick black buttons we see in the Mayan museum.

Nimoy Fashion Compare 1

Nimoy Fashion Compare 2


And yes, I did make a joke about "author" Jackson Curtis, as depicted in the disaster film 2012. It is a very, very, very, very silly movie but I love watching it with my kids.  So - no apologies. -B

books from movie 2012

Extremely cool video example of what LIDAR can do to reveal lost jungle ruins. (NatGeo)

Accompanying story about the LiDAR project.

Snake Kings of the Maya (PayWall)