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Don't Look Now
55 minutes | Dec 6, 2022
199 - The International Space Station
The International Space Station (ISS) has been a model of international cooperation, being run by five cooperating space agencies (US, Russia, Europe, Japan, and Canada). It has been continuously manned since November 2000, having housed people for more than two decades. Listen in and learn about its history, purpose of operation, and uncertain future.
41 minutes | Nov 29, 2022
198 - The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886 as a gift to the United States from the people of France. We discuss the history of the statue, so well known bits like the statement above, and others less well known, such as the Statue being damaged by an explosion in 1916 set by German agents. Take a listen and find out the hidden history of Lady Liberty.
37 minutes | Nov 22, 2022
197 - La Filles du Roi
The Filles du Roi or Daughters of the King, was a term used to describe roughly 800 young French women who's dowries and passage to the new world was paid for by King Louis the 14th in an attempt to correct the imbalance of men in New France and help encourage the creation of families and the agricultural settlement of the territory. Between 1663 and 1673 these women braved the trip across the ocean to an unknown future for the hope of new life and possibly new love in the new world.
35 minutes | Nov 15, 2022
196 - Let it Snow
We discuss the invention of manmade snow and how its usage at ski resorts around the world has increased economic activity but also resulted in many unintended impacts.
56 minutes | Nov 8, 2022
195 - The Birth of Birth Control
We discuss two topics tied to birth control: Margaret Sanger's fight to make birth control and information about it accessible to American women and George Rosenkranz and his work to synthesize human sex hormones which led to the creation of mass produced contraceptive pills.
57 minutes | Nov 1, 2022
194 - Ghost Stories
The concept of wandering spirits seems to be ubiquitous across cultures. While most will say they don't believe in ghosts by the light of day, this stand gets a bit less firm in the middle of the night when strange things happen. Why do we tell ghost stories? They are told all around the world and continue to be told over the years so there must be a reason for their existence. Do we all just like the thrill of a scary story, or are there larger societal reasons that we cling to our ghost stories?
53 minutes | Oct 25, 2022
193 - History of the Haunted House
Haunted houses are a hallmark of the Halloween season in the United States. When did they become a thing and when did they morph into the modern high end professionally run houses of today. Buckle up and take a listen.
40 minutes | Oct 18, 2022
192 - Pepper's Ghost
Listen in and learn about Pepper's Ghost, an illumination technique developed in the the 1860s and still in use today to project ghostly images onto the stage where they can be seen to appear in apparent three dimensional reality. The technique has had a resurgence in recent decades allowing a deceased Tupac to perform at Coachella, and Michael Jackson to perform at the Billboard Music Awards.
50 minutes | Oct 11, 2022
191 - The Bootlegging Lawyer
George Remus went from celebrated defense attorney at the onset of Prohibition to one of the most notorious bootleggers in the country. After he eventually landed in jail, his wife Imogene ran off with an FBI agent and liquidated his multimillion dollar fortune. Remus subsequently shot and killed Imogene in a public rage and defended himself in court, managing to get himself considered temporarily insane. If you want drama, this story has it, so have a seat and take a listen.
31 minutes | Oct 4, 2022
190 - The Wailing of the Banshee
Now that we have reached October, it's time for some spooky season stories. Today we discuss one of the scary creatures from Irish folklore, the banshee. Rumored to wail in signal of the impending death of those who hear it, the Banshee has roots that go back to the 8th century. Are there wailing female forms haunting the Irish countryside, or are there other creatures a bit more mundane in origin that might have given birth to the legend.
49 minutes | Sep 27, 2022
189 - Radium Girls: A Not So Healthy Glow
We discuss the horrific case of the Radium Girls, young women who worked for companies in the early 20th century painting watch dials with glowing radium based paint. They were told the product was harmless and were allowed to ingest it and use it as a fashion accessory. Almost all of the women came down with serious health effects and radiation poisoning while their employers did their best to cover the issue up. The case eventually became on of the driving forces that led to the founding of OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration which is tasked with protecting American workers from workplace dangers.
45 minutes | Sep 20, 2022
188 - I've Been Working on the Railroad
New historical anthropology has unearthed a treasure trove of artifacts relating to the many Chinese workers that worked for the Central Pacific Railroad constructing the Transcontinental Railroad across the United States. Information about he workers has been sparse due to the disinterest of racist railroad managers in keeping information about Chinese works at the time on this side of the Pacific, and the Cultural Revolution in China destroying primary sources of that side of the Pacific. Come learn about how the railroad was really built and the people we owe a debt of gratitude to. (audio issue at the end of the podcast fixed thanks to JSS)
36 minutes | Sep 13, 2022
187 - Kiss Not
Imogene Rechtin started a campaign in 1910 to ban the pernicious scourge of kissing. It's probably not a great spoiler to say that she failed in her attempt, but take a listen an find out about her group, the World Health Organization (no, not that WHO), and it's attempt to rid the work of kissing.
47 minutes | Sep 6, 2022
186 - Colonel Parker
Thomas Andrew Parker, better known as Colonel Tom Parker, is famous for being Elvis Presley's controlling manager during is career. However, few knew that he was not from West Virginia as he claimed, but actually an undocumented Dutch immigrant named Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk who arrived in America under some highly sketchy circumstances. Take a listen and learn all about Colonel Tom.
28 minutes | Aug 31, 2022
185 - Courage the Cowardly Dog
Courage the Cowardly Dog was a cartoon that ran for four seasons on Cartoon Network in the late 90s and early 2000s. While the show consisted of Courage subjected to all kinds of scary situations, few people know that much of the show had basis in reality. Courage's home is a real house in New Mexico where unspeakable things have happened, and a real life serial killer roamed.
49 minutes | Aug 23, 2022
184 - Heaven's Gate
We discuss the history of the Heaven's Gate cult that burst into the national consciousness in 1997 after a mass suicide of its members in the belief that they would spiritually join an alien spaceship they were sure was hidden in the tail of the Hale-Bopp comet.
40 minutes | Aug 16, 2022
183 - The Lost City/Island/Continent of Atlantis
Plato famously mentions the lost civilization of Atlantis which was a naval power that was supposedly defeated by Athens, long before his day, which was eventually plunged into the sea by the gods as punishment for their hubris. The idea of Atlantis has stayed with popular culture for thousands of years, but is it just a made up nation for an allegory, or was it in any way based on fact? We discuss the possibilities in today's episode.
65 minutes | Aug 9, 2022
182 - Enter the Dragon
Myths of dragons and dragon-like creatures exist in cultures around the world. How do dragons differ around the world? How are they similar? What would lead just about all cultures to create myths with these creatures? Come listen and possibly find out.
33 minutes | Aug 2, 2022
181 - The Bell Witch
The Bell Witch is a long time legend of the American South. From 1817 to 1821 a supernatural entity is said to have hounded the family of John Bell, a local farmer, leading to his death. The tale became so famous that Andrew Jackson is said to have stayed in the Bell home for a night in order to investigate. Was the witch a supernatural phenomenon or the culmination of tensions and abuse in the family? Take a listen and see what you think.
43 minutes | Jul 26, 2022
180 - The Holy Grail
The Holy Grail is the name given to the cup from which Jesus drank at the last supper, mythically imbued with magical healing and restorative power. Where did this concept come from? Where does myth tell us the grail can be found? Take a listen and find out more lest you be taunted a second time.
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