I Am Back!!

Oh, my! It has been a very long time since I last appeared/posted/lived as the Nerdstorian. A lot has changed since the last show in Spring 2013. In 2014, my former co-host, Will, and I parted ways in real life (divorced). It was for the best, and I wish him all the luck in the world. No tears, dear readers. All is well because…

There is a new partner in crime! Steve, who is a huge comedy, movie, Broadway, horror, everything nerd, joined my world in Summer of 2015. We married in April 2016 and haven’t looked back. Expect to hear his funny take on history in new podcast episodes! (See pic for the awesome nerdiness that is us!)


Uncle Fester and Stranger Things’ Dustin

I also began writing more. I had my first short story published, joined a couple of writers group, and started working on my first novel. Yea!!

So, what do I have planned for the Nerdstorian? Author interviews, guest podcasts, general history talk, etc. There is so much! I just can’t wait to get back out there with my history nerd love! Look for more in the near future!


Nerdstorian in the Atomic City

Hello, listeners. Welcome to episode 7 of the Nerdstorian. Today, we travel to a place that is special to Sarah, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, also known as the Atomic City. We look at Denise Kiernan, not Diane Kiernan (mistake at the end), her book The Girls of Atomic City, and one of its very cool women, Colleen Rowan Black, an employee with the secret project that Oak Ridge was home to. We also look at the sad and strange case of Ebb Cabe, also known as Patient HP-12, who was subjected to experiments of the atomic age. So sit back, take a listen, and travel with us east Tennessee during World War Two on the Nerdstorian.

Colleen Rowan Black

Colleen Rowan Black- picture from Denise Kiernan and Touchstone Books

Nerdstorian the Sixth: The Hemingways Go to France

Hello, podcast listeners. In this edition of the Nerdstorian, we visit Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson. We talk about her early years, her marriage to Ernest, the affair that ended it, and life after Ernest. So bob your hair and do the Charleston like Al Capone on top of a flagpole, cuz we are heading to 1920’s Paris in this episode of the Nerdstorian!

Nerdstorian the Sixth

Nerdstorian the Fifth: “Stuff You Missed” Edition

What up, nerds? Welcome back. In this just as special as other special episodes episode, Sarah and Will visit the How Stuff Works offices in Atlanta to talk with “Stuff You Missed in History Class” hosts Sarah and Deblina about history faves, podcasting, cat poodling, and the Norman invasion of 2066 (not a typo). Meanwhile, Will’s passion for gratuitous reverb is challenged by natural acoustics and poor mic placement.



“Theme for Nerdstorian”, Will Winchester

“Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)”, Boney James


Stuff You Missed in History Cast

Zombie Nerdstorian

MWAHAHAHA!! It’s Halloween, and we are in the holiday spirit! Will and I talk about zombie lore, films, comic books, and all kinds of other tangential bull. Join us for a journey through zombies’ pop culture emergence and re-emergence, and what they have to say about our society. It’s freakin’ awesome, I swear. And why would I lie? Brains!!! (Does contain mild cursing)

Zombie Nerdstorian

Will Winchester- “Theme for Nerdstorian”
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins- “I Put a Spell on You”
The Damned- “Born to Kill”
The Flaming Lips- “Convinced of the Hex”
Donovan-“Season of the Witch”
Wye Oak-“Civilian”
Sparklehorse- “Weird Sisters”

Note: If you like it, go buy it!

Nerdstorian Whocast

Welcome to our third episode of the Nerdstorian podcast. On this episode, we have a special guest, Diane Martin, of the DiHard podcast. We discuss Doctor Who, his connection to historical figures, especially Madame de Pompadour from the episode “The Girl in the Fireplace”, and general history/Whovian nerdiness. You can follow Diane on Twitter at @dihard11, her blog at http://dihard.info, and as a contributor to the Nerdist site. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to hit us up at nerdstorian@gmail.com. Also remember to follow us on Twitter: Sarah @nerdstorian, Will @wwimchester, and the podcast @nerdstoriancast.


Nerdstorian Whocast

Madame de Pompadour

So. I am about to record a fantastic episode with some amazing guest hosts this coming weekend about Madame de Pompadour aka Reinette, her place in the Doctor Whoverse, and a bit of nerding out with the history and all. I thought I would visually prepare you, loyal readers, with some pictures of a visual nature because they are best consumed visually….visual. Enjoy.




Now the Doctor and Reinette in “The Girl in the Fireplace” written by Stephen Moffit- I love this episode!


I hope you look forward to the upcoming podcast. I will.




A serious aside from the Nerdstorian

Today I thought I would be serious since it is such an important day.

11 years ago today, I was a freshman at the University of West Georgia, living at Strozier Hall. I remember it was a beautiful day, cool and sunny, like today. I was late to class and sitting at the bus stop next to my building. One of my friends leaned out of the window, yelling to get back in the building. What I saw on the television has changed my world. I will never forget this day.

I do remember that all the girls in my dorm forgot all the pettiness and group building that is so prevalent in teenage girls. For the whole day, we sat in different rooms because we all kept our doors open not caring if we were friends or not. I remember that so many people at UWG forgot the social norms and became a family as we cried together at the lives lost and/or affected, screamed at the live images that will never leave our minds, and tried frantically to call our loved ones because we needed to hear their voices because we were in fact still children. I remember missing my friends from high school and my family because I was in a new place doing new things and wanted the familiar during this tragedy. I remember worriying about my baby sister, Maggie, and how she would understand all of the horror since she was a six-year-old little girl. I remember worrying about my younger sister, Amanda, and how she,even though she was a junior in high school, was handling all of the horror without her big sister to immediately talk to. I worried about my parents, a former Navy man and Navy wife (if you are a military brat, you understand), and all they understood about this tragedy and the people they knew who would be affected because they were still in active service.

I now teach children who were born in 2000 and 2001 and that blows my mind. They don’t remember the day and have asked me what I remember and what it felt like. I try to help my students understand the importance of the event, and how they can make the world a better place.

I also know that I will not let hate for others be the emotion that rules this anniversary. I believe that today should be a reminder that people can be good and people can be bad, but that we, as humans, can do many great things that can try to change the world and make it better. Remember that my friends, especially during this election season where so many hurtful things can be said on both sides. I love you all, even if we disagree on so many things. You are all amazing and special.

Alternate History on a Rainy Day- Spoilers!

Hello, readers. It’s raining here in northwestern Georgia, and I am recovering from my wisdom teeth being removed. So since I am just sitting around, I started flipping through cable. Well, one of my favorite movies, Inglorious Basterds, just happened to be on TNT. Now some of you who know TNT would probably be wary of trying to watch a movie on that station. We all know the jokes about the amount of commercials making a two-hour movie more like 5 hours, but I love this movie so why not.

Anyway, this movie is a great example of how alternate history can be so much fun to watch. For those of you who need a refresher, Inglorious Basterds was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, came out in 2009, and offers an alternate look on how World War II could have ended. There are two storylines in this movie. One storyline follows Shosanna, a young French Jew who escapes the massacre of her family at the hands of Hans Landa, a Nazi “Jew Hunter,” who lives in Paris under a new identity as a cinema owner. She crosses paths with a German war hero, Frederick Zoller, the subject of Joseph Goebbels’ newest propaganda feature. The Nazis have chosen her cinema as the site for the big premier of the film where only the German/Nazi elite can attend. Zoller has a crush on Shosanna, who is being watched by Hans Landa, who has been put in charge of security for the event. Shosanna and her protectionist/ lover, Marcel, decided to exact revenge on the Nazis by trapping them inside during the premier and burning down the cinema. Storyline two follows a group of American Jewish soldiers called the Basterds who are led by Tennessean Aldo Raine. Their mission is to systematically hunt down and kill Nazi soldiers in France, collecting scalps along the way. Survivors of their ambushes are left with a swastika carved into their forehead so that everyone knows they were Nazis. The Basterds, mostly the German-speaking ones, join up with a German actress/ British double agent, Bridget von Hammersmark and a British solider to blow up this important film premier. They meet in a basement bar, where all hell breaks loose, as the German Basterds and the British solider are killed when their cover is blown. Aldo and the remaining Basterds are now responsible for carrying out the mission of killing the Nazi higher-ups because it is now revealed that Hitler will also be attending the premier! The two storylines intersect as Hans Landa investigates the bar shootings and the night of the premier arrives. Shosanna does not know the Basterds exist, The Basterds do not know Shosanna exists. The movie reaches its climax as both plans go into effect at the same time killing Hitler, other Nazis, and many of our heroes. Hans Landa switches sides in order to end his part in the war and Aldo Raine is ordered to bring Landa over to the Allied forces. Hans does not escape his fate with the Basterds though as they carve a swastika into his forehead. A lot happens in this movie so excuse me if it all sounds a little jumbled.

Anyway, the reason this movie is so much fun to me is it makes me wish it was real history. When I first watched this movie, I left the theater wanting the war to end earlier, for Hitler to suffer the way he did in the film, and for a group like the Basterds to really exist. Alternate history does that. It sometimes draws on what people wished had really happened in history instead of the truth. Tarantino does a great job with that. I have to say he seems to know his World War II history because the events in the movie are very believable. Hans Landa could have very well have been a  real Nazi that students read about when studying that time period. Also Tarantino’s use of real historical figures is great. They are either speaking characters or just pointed out with what looks like handwritten titles. I love this movie. Oh, and the tension at the beginning of the movie!! Geez!!!

Tarantino has another alternate history film coming out this winter, Django Unchained, which I am sure will hold up an uncomfortable mirror to the Southern U.S. as it looks at the 1860’s in a spaghetti western type flick. Cannot wait. I will definitely be talking about it on here.

Just some small thoughts:

I love Doctor Who. I am a definite Whovian. So as a Whovian and history nerd, I, of course, love episodes showing and/or dealing with historical figures. My favorite episode is where Amy and the 11th Doctor meet Vincent van Gough. It is such a wonderful episode that make me smile and cry every time I watch it. Below are the historical figures that have appeared in the show since the 1st Doctor in 1963. It shows which Doctor, the actor, and the episode. I am planning on getting more detailed on some specifics on here and maybe, just maybe the podcast.

Historical figure Actor(s) Doctor Episode/Serial(s)
Tigellinus Brian Proudfoot 1st The Romans
Lucius Caecilius Iucundus Peter Capaldi 10th The Fires of Pompeii
Poppaea Sabina Kay Patrick 1st The Romans
Nero Derek Francis 1st The Romans
Saladin Bernard Kay 1st The Crusade
Al-Adil I Roger Avon 1st The Crusade
Richard I of England Julian Glover 1st The Crusade
Joan of England, Queen of Sicily Jean Marsh 1st The Crusade
John, King of England Gerald Flood 5th The King’s Demons
Robert de Beaumont, 4th Earl of Leicester John Bay 1st The Crusade
Kublai Khan Martin Miller 1st Marco Polo
Marco Polo Mark Eden 1st Marco Polo
Gaspard de Coligny Leonard Sachs 1st The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve
Catherine de’ Medici Joan Young 1st The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve
Elizabeth I of England Vivienne Bennett 1st The Chase
Angela Pleasence 10th The Shakespeare Code
Charles IX of France Barry Justice 1st The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve
William Shakespeare[1] Hugh Walters 1st The Chase
Dean Lennox Kelly 10th The Shakespeare Code
William Kempe David Westhead 10th The Shakespeare Code
Cyrano de Bergerac David Cannon 2nd The Mind Robber
Charles II of England Paul Critoph 11th The Impossible Astronaut
Blackbeard Gerry Wain 2nd The Mind Robber
Henry Avery Hugh Bonneville 11th The Curse of the Black Spot
A Good Man Goes to War
Louis XV of France Ben Turner 10th The Girl in the Fireplace
Madame de Pompadour Jessica Atkins 10th The Girl in the Fireplace
Sophia Myles
Paul François Jean Nicolas, vicomte de Barras John Law 1st The Reign of Terror
Maximilien Robespierre Keith Anderson 1st The Reign of Terror
Napoleon I[2] Tony Wall 1st The Reign of Terror
George Stephenson Gawn Grainger 6th The Mark of the Rani
Abraham Lincoln Robert Marsden 1st The Chase
Charles Dickens Simon Callow 9th The Unquiet Dead
11th The Wedding of River Song
Queen Victoria[3] Pauline Collins 10th Tooth and Claw
Louis Pasteur unknown 7th Time and the Rani
Paul Gachet Howard Lee 11th The Pandorica Opens
Benjamin Briggs David Blake Kelly 1st The Chase
Albert Richardson Dennis Chinnery 1st The Chase
Virgil Earp Victor Carin 1st The Gunfighters
Ike Clanton William Hurndall 1st The Gunfighters
Wyatt Earp John Alderson 1st The Gunfighters
Johnny Ringo Laurence Payne 1st The Gunfighters
Big Nose Kate Sheena Marshe 1st The Gunfighters
Doc Holliday Anthony Jacobs 1st The Gunfighters
Vincent van Gogh Tony Curran 11th Vincent and the Doctor
The Pandorica Opens
Bat Masterson Richard Beale 1st The Gunfighters
Warren Earp Martyn Huntley 1st The Gunfighters
Billy Clanton David Cole 1st The Gunfighters
H. G. Wells David Chandler 6th Timelash
Winston Churchill[4] Ian McNeice 11th The Beast Below
Victory of the Daleks
The Pandorica Opens
The Wedding of River Song
Albert Einstein Tom O’Leary 7th Time and the Rani
Nickolas Grace 11th Death Is the Only Answer
Charlie Chaplin M. J. Matthews 1st The Daleks’ Master Plan
Adolf Hitler[5] Albert Welling 11th Let’s Kill Hitler
Agatha Christie Fenella Woolgar 10th The Unicorn and the Wasp
Bing Crosby Robert Jewell 1st The Daleks’ Master Plan
Richard Nixon Stuart Milligan 11th The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon
Elizabeth II Mary Reynolds 7th Silver Nemesis
Jessica Martin 10th Voyage of the Damned
Barack Obama Unknown 10th The End of Time

Some more side notes: There won’t be a new podcast for a couple of weeks due to some health things. But I have some great things planned so I am excited!

Nerdstorian the Second: The Aleppo Codex

Hello, listeners!! Here is episode two of our lovely, little podcast. In this episode, we have mystery, intrigue, murder, mysticism, and some corrections. Come join us as we take a look at the mysterious Aleppo Codex.

Podcast music credits: Will Winchester, “Nerdstorian Theme”, Beirut, “Bratislava”, Gulag Orkestar, Ba Da Bing! (2006), Gogol Bordello, “Underdog World Strike”, Gypsy Punks: Underground World Strike, Side One Dummy Records (2007), Neutral Milk Hotel, “The Fool”, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Merge Records (1998)

Nerdstorian the Second


So I am re-watching an episode from season 1 of the Tudors from Showtime. I’ll admit it is trashy, over-sexed, too many things glossed over, etc. I still love it. Makes me wonder though. Which is sexier the real Henry VIII or Jonathan Rhys-Myers? Both are still kinda scary! Anyone else notice how those Howard/ Boylen guys are so sleezy when it comes to their daughters. I know in real life they basically pimped out their daughters, but it is still a little disturbing.

Dangerous, kinda crazy

Not too bad if you don’t know the history.