The Allusionist

142. Zero



Did any number cause as much trouble as zero? It stranded ships; it scrambles the brains of mathematicians, calendar users and computers; it even got itself banned in Florence. Math(s) communicator and drag queen Kyne explains the Terminator of numbers. Find out more about this episode at And submit requests for words you'd like me to investigate in the next episode at Until 4 October 2021, you can stream the London Podfest performance of the new Allusionist stage show, full of eponyms, music and planets. Link is at Sign up to be a patron at and as well as supporting the show, you get behind the scenes glimpses, and discounted tickets for the Allusionist stage show. The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram.  The Allusionist's online home is Sta