At Vernacular, we believe in living well. Aristotle called this eudaimonia. We generally translate this into the vernacular as "human flourishing"--that is, how to live our lives well and to the fullest. Our podcast explores this idea, but not in the ways you might think. It's not just a philosophy podcast. Nor is it simply a lifestyle podcast. It's a little bit of both, but not really either. It's music reviews and movie previews, sports forecasts and food recipes, philosophizing on the nature of knowledge and prognosticating on the future of science. Most of the time we interview interesting guests and contributors. And we always try hard to keep it fun. The only stuffiness is from our studio closet, which has no ventilation and gets pretty warm when we're recording. But that's for us to worry about.
Zac and Sally met in 2009 at a Labor Day cookout but soon after went their separate ways despite Zac's attempts at flirting through Facebook. Three years later they reconnected, and 8 months after that decided to get married, quickly heading off to England for graduate school--Zac in international relations and Sally in bioethics and medical law. They are now based in Austin, TX, where Zac works in a cubicle and Sally is a criminally underpaid mom to two beautiful girls. When not chasing either of their daughters around a living room, Zac & Sally can be found editing episodes of Vernacular from their bedroom closet-turned-studio. They also enjoy watching The Office, writing about baseball (Zac), and discussing life's biggest questions.
Our contributors are guests who we bring onto our podcast frequently. These folks use their ingenuity to help us break down important news, big concepts, and interesting events. They're also fun people, so sometimes we bring them on just to hang out with us.
THE WHIZ KID
Will Brian currently teaches mathematics at Baylor University, and lives in Waco, TX with his very forbearing wife and his two beautiful kids. After a childhood filled with scientific inquiry (sometimes resulting in small explosions), and a lifelong obsessions with how things work, Will went on to obtain his D.Phil. in mathematics from the University of Oxford in 2013. Will aspires to multiple categories of geekdom, including but not limited to math geek, physics geek, space geek, and all-around science geek.
Elena Forsythe is a former nomad turned suburbanite who works in an office by day. She prefers to hide behind a baby or guitar at parties, unless you start talking about bands or movies, which brings us to the reason she’s a contributor. Even though her conversations are often dominated by films and music, Elena is also fascinated by the seemingly mundane (but secretly exciting) subject of financial management and business development. She has a side job doing financial coaching and investment advising.
Joshua de Gastyne is currently studying medicine at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. After studying neuroscience at Emory, Joshua worked in philanthropy consulting and wrote regularly for blogs like Humane Pursuits, The Statesman, and The Federalist. Nowadays, he runs a podcast called The Ultimate Doctor, which interviews people on the cutting edge of medicine.
Margaret Perry is the General Manager of Water & Wall Restaurant in Arlington, VA. A native of Napa, California, Margaret's love affair with wine, food, and hospitality began at a young age, thanks to the rich food culture of Northern California. But it was only after working for 7 years in higher education focused non-profits that she decided to turn that love into her career. Before joining the restaurant industry full time, she was the Director of Development for the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies, the Program Director for the Tocqueville Forum at Georgetown University, and the Director of Lectures at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Her writings have appeared in First Things and St. Austin Review. She blogs (sporadically) at Ten Thousand Places. And her writings on Children's Literature can be found at CIC Kids.
Miriel Thomas Reneau is a wife, mother, and PhD student living in southern Minnesota. She spends her working hours studying American politics, with a specific focus on the federal judiciary. In her other working hours, she plays peekaboo and reads a lot of Sandra Boynton books. Miriel loves cooking, reading, Gilmore Girls, family walks, and a good margarita.
THE ECONOMIST/SPORTS GUY
Ishan Nath is an economics PhD student at the University of Chicago. His academic interests focus primarily on economic growth, development, and climate change adaptation. When he isn’t thinking about economics, Ishan is either playing basketball, watching basketball (or other sports), obsessing over Chicago and Stanford sports teams, or hanging out with his awesome wife, Julia, and their two beautiful (guinea pig) babies.
Kevin Beauchemin was on track to become a computer scientist before a life changing encounter with classical philosophy halfway through his undergraduate studies. He holds a Master of Public Policy in International and Global Affairs from Harvard University and attempts to leverage classical philosophical thought to enrich the contemporary dialogue. Still fascinated by computing, he frequently engages in some pretty bad programming with catastrophic results for his own laptop. When he isn't faking a knowledge of Greek or breaking computers, you can find him working on his bowling game for competitions on the PBA Regional Tour.