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Interesting If True
32 minutes | 14 days ago
Interesting If True - Episode 51: The Science Fair!
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that sometimes teaches you things I’m your host this week, Shea, and with me is Aaron I’m Aaron, and this week I actually learned bees actually are terrible little monsters that all need to be replaced with robots. It turns out that, thanks the U.S. Military nuclear testing (like in episode 49) American honey is radiologically distinct. As in, it contains cesium. Bees are horrible little jerks! The Science Fair As an antithesis to most of our crazy stories, this week I decided to look into real science. And because I am not an engineer and my main subject of study was english I thought I would look up stuff I could easily understand, science fair projects. I was wrong. I still don’t understand most of these amazing projects. I made the mistake of looking up top science fair winners and I didn’t find fun projects measuring the amount of electricity a lemon produces. I found world changing ideas and ingenuity that far too many adults have lost sight of. Today I give you a run down of some of the top young adult science fair winners from around the globe. One of the bigger science fairs in the world was hosted by Google. Starting in 2011 the competition was open to 13- to 18-year-old students around the globe, who formulate a hypothesis, perform an experiment, and present their results. All students must have an internet connection and a free Google Account to participate, and the projects must be in English, German, Italian, Spanish, or French. The final submission must include ten sections, which are the summary, an “About Me” page, the steps of the project, and a works cited page. Entries are judged on eight core criteria, which include the student’s presentation, question, hypothesis, research, experiment, data, observations, and conclusion. Prizes are awarded to three finalists. The grand prize includes a National Geographic trip to the Galapagos Islands, and a US$50,000 scholarship; finalists will also receive a US$15,000 scholarship and assorted packages from sponsoring organizations. Holy cow, I feel like I would have worked a lot harder on my leamon project had I had these incentives. Unfortunately the last competition was held in 2018 and there has been no news about continuing the competition. I’m guessing once we are all safe from covid we will hopefully see this come back, because as you will see, there have been some incredible breakthroughs and ideas coming from these kids. Our first Project is made even cooler by it also being the first ever winner from the Google science fair. Shree Bose won Google’s first Science Fair grand prize for her novel way to treat ovarian cancer. “On a bright, sunny day years ago, a timid, little girl walked through the doors of her elementary school gym carrying a dead, shriveled spinach plant. Blotchy stained blue from repeated, inept injections with food coloring, and withered from weeks of forgotten waterings and neglect, the plant appeared to have all the classic signs of abuse from the shy, unsuspecting perpetrator who proudly held it.The girl stood happily in front of her crudely-made, handwritten project board – eagerly explaining her original idea to anyone who would listen. Her invention, blue spinach for kids, provided an alternative for children who would not eat their green vegetables. Her ingenious solution? Turn the food blue, and, of course, children would happily eat their healthy foods.The little girl explained this excitedly to the passerbys – intently recounting the difficulty of injecting the plant with the dye. Some laughed. Others simply stared. And with that unlikely start, a still-enduring scientific interest was sparked.” And thus starts the great life journey of Shree Bose, this comes right from her About me page on her science fair website. Shree became interested in cancer treatment in early high school and reached out to local professors hoping to find someone to help her on her journey. Unfortunately they all said “No,” at least that was until she got word from Dr. Alakananda Basu at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth. Shree immediately got to work studying breast cancer. She worked through the summer and was disheartened when she received no recognition at her next fair, but she did find the spark that would keep her going. “I realized that I was doing something I liked, and wasn’t in it simply to win.” Shree continued working closely with Dr. Basu and noticed that the women became resistant to a chemotherapy drug called cisplatin that is effective against ovarian cancer cells. This is a huge problem for women who have recurrent cancer. After several false starts, she found the answer in a cellular energy protein known as AMPK, or adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (way above my head right now). When AMPK was paired with cisplatin at the beginning of treatment, the combination diminished the effectiveness of cisplatin. But added later on — when the cancer cells were growing resistant — the AMPK worked to maintain the effectiveness of cisplatin. So this drug continued killing the malignant cells, at least in cell cultures. So this was an important breakthrough for chemotherapy resistance treatment and future research. This was such an exciting discovery. In 2011 she entered the first google science fair and was chosen as one of 15 finalists flown to Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA. In her words “I presented my project looking down a long conference table with 12 of the greatest minds in science. It was an exhilarating, intimidating, OMG moment for me. My introductory video malfunctioned, so I just talked and hoped I didn’t sound too crazy. When my name was announced as the winner I was handed this big Lego trophy. Time stopped. It hit me: it’s been 12 years of science fairs leading to this big trophy. Twelve years of missing class trips, not going out with my friends and rarely having any down time to relax. This moment made all of that — the hours in the lab, the failures, the rejections — worth it. This was the moment when I realized I was doing something that I loved. This was my own personal pep rally.” Since her win she is currently an MSTP student at Duke University School of Medicine and graduated from Harvard College in May 2016. In 2014, she cofounded Piper, a STEM education company creating engineering kits for children. https://sites.google.com/site/ampkandcisplatinresistance/summary https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shree_Bose https://www.nwlc.org/title-ix/shree-bose.html It’s not your average science fair when the 16-year-old winner manages to solve a global waste crisis. But such was the case at 2019’s Canada-Wide Science Fair in Ottawa, Ontario, where Daniel Burd, a high school student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute, presented his research on microorganisms that can rapidly biodegrade plastic. Daniel had a thought it seems the PhDs hadn’t explored: Plastic, one of the most indestructible of manufactured materials, eventually decomposes. It takes 1,000 years but decompose it does, which means there must be microorganisms out there to do the decomposing. Could those microorganisms be bred to do the job faster? So Daniel came up with his research; “Plastic bags, made from polyethylene, are very popular in our daily lives and have a harsh environmental impact on our ecosystems. Two microbial strains belonging to the genus Sphingomonas and Pseudomonas were isolated from a soil microbial consortium and their ability to degrade polyethylene was investigated.” The preliminary results were encouraging, so he kept at it, selecting out the most effective strains and interbreeding them. After several weeks of tweaking and optimizing temperatures, Burd achieved a 43 percent degradation of plastic in six weeks, an almost inconceivable accomplishment. With 500 billion plastic bags manufactured each year and a Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch that grows more expansive by the day, (right now its twice the size of texas) a low-cost and nontoxic method for degrading plastic is the stuff of environmentalists’ dreams and, I would hazard a guess, a pretty good start-up company as well. (There are certainly methods for decomposing plastic, but most are chemical in nature not organic, requiring high temperatures and chemical additives to cause the plasticizers to vaporize. There have been several successful bacteria-based solutions developed at the Department of Biotechnology in Tottori, Japan as well as the Department of Microbiology at the National University of Ireland, but both apply only to styrene compounds.) It goes without saying that these discoveries need to be tested to ensure, for instance, that the byproducts of organic decomposition are not carcinogenic (as in the case with mammalian metabolism of styrene and benzene). The processing of plastics by these methods would also have to be contained in highly controlled environments. So, no, we’re not talking about a magic panacea or a plastic-free paradise, but the innovative application of microorganisms to break down our most troublesome waste products is nevertheless a major scientific breakthrough. https://secure.youthscience.ca/virtualcwsf/projectdetails.php?id=1390& https://www.wired.com/2008/05/teen-decomposes/ Jack Andraka found a new cheap way to test one of the world’s most deadly cancers. Jack won the $75,000 grand prize at the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, one of the few freshman ever to do so, he’s become a North County High School celebrity to rival any soccer star or homecoming queen. A series of jokes ensue about Andraka’s mad scientist doings in the school’s imaginary “dungeon” laboratory. In reality, Andraka created his potentially revolutionary pancreatic cancer detection tool at nearby Johns Hopkins University, though he does sometimes tinker in a small basement lab at the family’s house in leafy Crownsville, Maryland, where a homemade particle accelerator crowds the foosball table. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Like many young people in this list who have taken on cancer in their science projects, Jack Andraka — a 15-year-old kid from Maryland — watched a close family member suffer from the disease, and wanted to do something to help others. His method of using thin sheets of carbon nanotubes to detect cancers in their early stages is 168 times faster, 400 times more sensitive, and 26,000 times cheaper that current cancer detection technology. Here is how it works: He took a sheet of paper lined with carbon nanotubes (which seem to be useful for just about everything) and coated it with antibodies for mesothelin — a protein present in pancreatic cancer. Jack said the solution came to him during his high school biology class. He was secretly reading an article about nanotubes while the teacher was talking about antibodies. Jack said the two ideas came together in his head, and he thought he could combine what the teacher was saying with what he knew about nanotubes to create an early detection test for Pancreatic cancer. Jack Andraka used what he found through Google searches and free online science journals to develop a plan and a budget. Jack contacted about 200 people including researches at Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health with a proposal to work in their labs. He got 199 rejections before he finally got an acceptance from Dr. Anirban Maitra, Professor of Pathology, Oncology and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Jack worked after school every day, on weekends and over holidays at Maitra’s lab until he developed his test. Why did a 15-year-old beat out billion-dollar pharmaceutical companies with his diagnostic test? Perhaps as a young person with no experience, he hadn’t yet learned what everyone else in the industry “knew couldn’t be done.” Certainly, it was in no small part because Anirban Maitra gave him a chance. Not to mention that Jack had an idea and went out and gave it a try. Maitra later told the Baltimore Sun, “what I tell my lab is, ‘think of Thomas Edison and the light bulb.’ This kid is the Edison of our times. There are going to be a lot of light bulbs coming from him.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/jack-andraka-the-teen-prodigy-of-pancreatic-cancer-135925809/ https://www.bradaronson.com/jack-andraka/ Lauren Hodge found that acidic marinades reduce cancer risk in the kitchen.When a group of physicians filed a lawsuit against some restaurant and fast food chains, claiming they didn’t warn customers about the carcinogenic effects of grilling meat, Lauren Hodge knew she had an idea. She saw that some lemon juice her mother was using to marinate chicken changed the color of the meat, and wondered if that could block the formation of these carcinogens. It did indeed — the more acidic marinades using lemon juice had the greatest effect, while olive oil seemed to actually make things worse. The research earned her a prize at the Google Science Fair, showing that some of the best ideas for science research are right under our noses. Our final science fair story is what I consider to be the greatest discovery of our times. Kaeden has finally answered the question many of us have pondered late at night. Just How Many Surfaces Does Your Cat’s Butt Hole Touch? Kaeden Griffin, a sixth grader in Tennessee, did a whole science project about cat butts. He wondered how often cat buttholes actually touch surfaces in our homes. I’ll be honest; I wondered that exact question. So I’m glad Kaeden had the good fortune of getting to the bottom of this giant mystery. According to WRAT, Kaeden used his science fair as an opportunity to figure out the butthole question. He ran an experiment by putting non-toxic lipstick on cat anuses. He then noted where the lipstick popped up around the house. That sounds like a mess, but luckily, his findings proved that cat buttholes don’t touch as much as you might fear. Kaeden learned that cats with long and medium hair didn’t make any butthole contact with hard or soft surfaces in the house. Cats with short hair also didn’t make contact with hard surfaces. But they did make smears on soft surfaces, like beds. This is good news. It means houses with cats aren’t quite as filthy as I initially thought. However, cats are a still fairly gross. They hack up hairballs, vomit in weird places, and sometimes miss the litter box. But that’s the price you pay for constant companionship and fluffy cuddles. Just be sure to watch where they shake their rears going forward. https://boingboing.net/2021/04/23/science-fair-does-your-cats-butthole-really-touch-all-the-surfaces-in-your-home.html https://wrat.com/2021/04/22/just-how-many-surfaces-does-your-cats-butt-touch-a-sixth-graders-science-fair-project-has-the-answer/ Mid-Show Bumper Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more! You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating. MMS, Nope, Not Texting… Interested in what we have to say about this story? Good news, it’s available right now to subscribers at Patreon.com/iit! This week’s story is semi-topical. Frustratingly, it’s always a bit topical but this week it’s headline topical as a Florida family—because of course it is—was arrested for selling thousands of bottles of MMS under the guise of it being a Covid cure. Which, first of all, there is no “cure” for Covid-19, so anyone trying sell you one is either a charlatan or an ex-President. Either way, don’t buy into the nonsense. So Florida man Mark Grenon, and his three sons, Jonathan, Jordan, and Joseph, were accused in federal court of selling a “miracle cure” for Covid and whatever other illness you might express a desire to cure. So… secondly, if anyone tries to sell you a “miracle cure” of any kind, it’s nonsense right out of the gate. The words “miracle”, “medical”, and “survived” are seldom seen in the same sentence and there’s a bloody good reason for it. A bloody-poop good reason! For the Florida-family, I suspect they’ll be going to jail for killing people with bleach, or perhaps threatening to do a terrorism. Prior to his arrest, Mark announced on a podcast last year that something something, “2nd Amendment” something something “halting the sale of MMS [is] ‘treason'” and that trying to stop him would be as if “they want a Waco?” which… woof. Threatening to do a Waco is not a good first foot in the door… They, like most MMS proponents, made their nonsense in a backyard shed in association with a church, because churches can do whatever they like in America. From NBC News, the church is described as “an ‘avowedly’ nonreligious church called Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, [and] the solution was marketed and sold as a cure-all for cancer, autism, diabetes and other disorders and diseases” because of course it was. But not to worry, it seems they’re not lawyering up and will defend themselves, so… lots of freeman-on-the-land nonsense I’m betting but i’m not even going to pretend to mark this for followup because screw them. But what is Miracle Mineral Solution? Basically, it’s Chlorine Dioxide, or industrial bleach. Sellers offer sodium chlorite (NaClO2), a chemical typically used in making paper or as disinfectant, with instructions to mix it with some “natural” acid like lemon or orange juice—which is how you know it’s good for you! Organic! Once mixed with a juice or vinegar acid you have chlorine dioxide, which is “toxic” and causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and life-threatening low blood pressure due to, obviously, massive dehydration. The Covid bit is somewhat new, MMS has been used for Autism and subsequently cancer for a long time. Though it was originally sold, by Jim Humble—who is anything but—to cure, from the MMS website: restore partial or full health to hundreds of thousands of people suffering from a wide range of disease, including cancer, diabetes, hepatitis A, B, C, Lyme disease, MRSA, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, malaria, autism, infections of all kinds, arthritis, high cholesterol, acid reflux, kidney or liver diseases, aches and pains, allergies, urinary tract infections, digestive problems, high blood pressure, obesity, parasites, tumors and cysts, depression, sinus problems, eye disease, ear infections, dengue fever, skin problems, dental issues, problems with prostate (high PSA), erectile dysfunction and the list goes on. And boy does it ever… They explain that MMS doesn’t cure things, it kills the pathogens and poisons that cause those diseases. Micracle Mineral Suplament, aka Micacle Mineral Solution, Master Mineral Solution, MMS, Chlorine Dioxide (CD) Protocol, and Water Purification Solution (WPS). Like most woo-woo bullshit, it has a dozen names but all refer to chlorine dioxide, an industrial bleach not made to be taken internally… But that’s the recommendation. Again from the MMS website, instructions: “Basically, after making it up, you take a few drops of it. You judge if you’re getting better by how nauseous you feel after taking it. Seriously.” Good thing the nausea is to be expected, otherwise one might worry about the effects of drinking bleach… which according to every medical or governmental group I could find, are super duper bad. From the FDA: Miracle Mineral Solution has not been approved by the FDA for any use, but these products continue to be promoted on social media as a remedy for treating autism, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and flu, among other conditions. However, the solution, when mixed, develops into a dangerous bleach which has caused serious and potentially life-threatening side effects. The Australian Department of Health says more or less the same thing, but they’re way more polite about it than I thought they’d be. But you know who isn’t? Canada. Selling MMS in Canada has been illegal for a while now Health Canada is reminding Canadians of the serious risks posed by ingesting products containing sodium chlorite and advises anyone involved in the advertising or sale of MMS or similar products that they are subject to enforcement action. We urge Canadians to report the sale of these products to Health Canada using our online complaint form. Sodium chlorite is a chemical used mainly as a textile bleaching agent and disinfectant as well as for industrial water purification. Ingesting sodium chlorite in the concentrations contained in MMS products can cause poisoning, kidney failure, harm to red blood cells, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, among other harms. This quote comes from a 2018 press release announcing the prosecution of Stanley Nowak, a BC nutter selling MMS. You notice that they talk about concentrations. The actual use of sodium chlorite is down right miniscule. It doesn’t take much to purify water or de-ink textiles. MMS proponents would have you mix a 28% solution with distilled water, add a shot of acid, then drink it all. For his part, Humble claims to have discovered MMS as a treatment for malaria in Africa. He claims to have treated 100,000 victims across Uganda, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Malawi. Fortunately, his “medical” trip was cut short by some missionaries who, from Humble: “A couple of missionaries decided I was evil and told all the missionaries in the area … so that sort of slowed things down … They quit using the MMS. People didn’t get treated.” So they deserve and award. Once floundering in Africa Humble moved back to North America and began selling MMS here. To get around the FDA and other governmental groups, he created the church I mentioned earlier, because there’s nothing that religion can’t help make less safe. Again from Humble: “Look at the Catholics. Their priests have been molesting women and children for centuries and the governments have not been able to stop it. If handled properly a church can protect us from vaccinations that we don’t want, from forced insurance, and from many things that a government might want to use to oppress us.” And so they made a church that used MMS as a sacrament… if you can manage a $500 to $800 “donation” to the church that is totally, for surezies, not a payment for MMS. “As an aside, if you peruse the Genesis II official Facebook page, you’ll find all manner of quackery, including functional medicine, anti-vaccine tirades, anti-GMO pseudoscience, anti-fluoridation fear mongering, and, of course, an ad for a “documentary” lauding the church as having found in MMS the cure to 97% of disease.” Listed as a reverend of the church, Humble and Genesis II were sued by the sate of Texas in 2017 and barred from selling MMS there. Of course, you can still book at $500 religious “seminar” that gives you the instructions and components to make your own. His colleague in setting up that church, Stanley, yep that Stanley, is still in jail as far as I can tell. So it’s dubious as all fuck and properly harmful. Just to recap, MMS should not be taken orally, or given anally, the second favorite way to deliver the “treatment” often in cases of severe autism. Unfortunately, in autism-mommy circles MMS is big, like real big. The Autism Research Institute, of course, recommends against using MMS in the strongest possible terms as its use has a long track record of killing non-verbal children. Sadly, as seen on Hemant Mehta’s Friendly Atheist blog, the MMS Genesis II Church hosted an event in a Washington state hotel last year to try to cure people’s covid. No idea how many it killed, but the promo video shows it being force fed to a lot of babies. Still available in Mexico, you can find all manner of testimonials and videos from Humble saying things like: “We gotta give him just enough [industrial bleaching agent] that he don’t get sick but he’s on the edge of getting sick! So we’ve got to keep him just on the very edge and therefore it’s pretty intense for cancer, he needs to take it 4/5 times a day, small amounts instead of a big batch.” From those, sadly, you can Google names to find no shortage of people MMS has killed. It’s killed seven people in America this year alone, kids mostly whose desperate parents made them bath in MMS, or drink it, or put it up the bum, all of which causes horrible illness, sickness, then death. Last year, following Trump’s “bleach cures covid” statments, a number of people died making home-made MMS from fish tank cleaners and similar-sounding chemicals. All in all MMS is of course a hoax and nonsense, but it’s also dangerous woo that somehow, keeps spreading. Now illegal in most places markets have sprung up to ship patients to countries where it is legal, so they can die horribly there. To end the story, the only real good news is that Humble and his terrible children are all now facing a dozen murder charges in as many countries. So fingers crossed they die in jail. For us, there’s not much to do or say except, don’t drink bleach and if you hear someone talking about MMS, inform them, and if they keep talking about it—especially for their kids—call CPS before you have to to a baby-funeral. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/florida-family-allegedly-sold-thousands-bottles-bleach-marketed-covid-cure-n1265244 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_chlorite https://jimhumble.co/faq https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/danger-dont-drink-miracle-mineral-solution-or-similar-products https://www.tga.gov.au/alert/miracle-mineral-solution-mms-0 https://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2018/68516a-eng.php https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/cancer-controversial-science-health-news-quackery/miracle-mineral-solution-nightmare https://www.theguardian.com/science/2010/sep/15/miracle-mineral-solutions-mms-bleach https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2019/08/15/miracle-mineral-solution-do-not-drink-this-fda-warns/?sh=2d6338ff73de https://www.factcheck.org/2020/02/fake-coronavirus-cures-part-1-mms-is-industrial-bleach/ https://www.autism.org/dangerous-miracle-mineral-solution/ https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/miracle-mineral-supplement-as-a-cure-all/ https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2019/04/20/a-church-that-says-drinking-bleach-is-a-miracle-cure-continues-to-do-damage/ https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/fda-warns-about-miracle-mineral-solution/ https://www.theguardian.com/science/2010/sep/15/miracle-mineral-solutions-mms-bleach https://abcnews.go.com/US/husband-fringe-churchs-miracle-cure-killed-wife/story?id=43081647 Outro I’m Shea, this week I learned that even if you’re fully vaccinated the CDC still recommends staying at home with your dog so they aren’t sad when you leave, and I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and my co-hosts. We’d like the extend a special thanks to our newest patrons: Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from! Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
47 minutes | 20 days ago
Interesting If True - Episode 50: It's A Hutt Of A Show!
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that’s very nearly halfway to syndication but not its own micronation… yet. I’m your host this week, Aaron, and with me is Shea I’m Shea, and this week I learned that not all German shepherds are dogs. It’s our 50th show so we tried to do golden anniversary stuff… but don’t worry, we’re not going to talk about the boring stuff like the Disney World opening, or NPR beginning, or the first microprocessor. Or floppy disks, Willy Wonka, or Malibu Barbie. Also the Quarter Pounder, All in the Family, and Salyut 1 launch. I thought about doing a story on the Oregon Trail but the only interesting part of that story is Johnny dying of dysentery. Instead, I present 50 years of Micronations. Popular nations like Sealandia are 50 this year, but we already talked about them so let’s talk about a few lovely new ones I’ve just discovered… First, a small and mostly unknown Micronation: Akhzvivlad… or whoever that’s pronounced. Like all good micronations, there’s a ton of backstory here but for today’s purposes, we don’t have to delve into the full backstory for the Arab-Israeli war because it is sufficient to say that the area between Israel and Lebanon, in the 1970s, was not an awesome place to settle. It was, to be blunt, a blown-up, burned-out, mess of an area. Still, it didn’t stop Iranian-born Jew Eli Avivi, whose family moved to Palestine in the 1930s… which was declared the Israeli state in 1948 after the way. In 1952, Eli settled a ruined village called Akhaziv, which I’m super sure I’m mispronouncing. Anyway, this not a great place to be, much less start building illegally constructed huts and such. Still, Eli wouldn’t be swayed. Local fisherman, who he would later live with in the area, had reportedly paid him to rebuild the area. Over the next 10 years, they would build, rebuild, and generally be unwelcome builders in the area until Club Med showed up. The area slowly became a tourist attraction until in 1970 the Israeli government wanted to bulldoze Eli’s house to make way for more modern construction. And so, Eli decided that the village of Achziv would become the tiny nation of Akhzivland. He immediately set up a museum for the area’s rich history (which goes back to the earliest written works humanity has) and a hostel… in the former home of the fisherman, Az-Zeeb, who initially asked to restore the area. Avivi founded Akhzivland and, wanting it to be a peaceful democratic nation, held an election which elected Avivi to be President of course because he voted for himself and the population at the time was… himself. “This way I can stay in Israel, but in my own country,” Avivi says. According to the constitution “The president is democratically elected by his own vote”. So Avivi was immediately arrested and detained by Israel. He was released 10 days later after a judge ruled that the charge of “Creation of a Country Without Permission” did not exist. This didn’t sit right with Avivi so he sued Israel for being a bunch of dicks about it all—and he won. The Israeli court ruled to lease Avivi an area of about 10,00m2 for 99 years. Which is great, but it didn’t make them a proper nation…. The area quickly became a tourist attraction in and of itself. The nation was described by Haaretz, a local Israeli newspaper as being a “hippy microstate.” Which was more or less correct. Avivi vowed the nation would be a peaceful one during its founding. Now with some press and popularity, the nation began seeing tourism attracting all sorts, models, writers, politicians, cultural figures, and Paul Newman. So they were pretty much set. At this point the draw of Akhzvivilad was untenable…. Even to Isreal whose tourism board officially recognized Akhzivivland officially the same year, 1971, making it 50 years old and the envy of every unofficial micronation. With that, what was Avivi to do except getting going on their own flag, pictured here in all its … having a house and a topless murmaidness. You can visit their museum and get your passport officially stamped with the Akhzviviland stamp. And things were going well for like… a month. See, Avivi vowed that Akhzviviland would be a pacifist state and therefore remained neutral on international affairs, especially the splody ones directly around them. Making it, to date, the only middle-eastern nation to have never been embroiled in a war. That said, it was all peace and cakes. Still, in 1971, six Palestinian gunmen infiltrated the tiny nation on their way to Isreal. After all, Ahkviviland didn’t exactly have a border guard. At this point, the total population was two, Avivi and his wife. So the gunmen landed on the Ahkviviland shore and proceeded to the Akhvivialnd building. Surprised by Avivi’s (unnamed in all my sources) wife startled the gunman who dropped his gun and a sack of grenades, which she quickly picked up and used to take the terrorist prisoner. Now knowing there be wars afoot Avivi alerted the IDF who captured two more in their boat and the rest in the area between Akhvivland and Israel. li Avivi died of pneumonia on May 16, 2018. The tiny nation is, however, still promoted by the Israeli board of tourism, Tripadvisor, and Microcon 2017. If You Go Akhzivland is located on Route 4, 2.5 miles (4 km) north of Nahariya on Israel’s northern coastline. Rooms are available at US$ 34 a night with camping space at US$ 18 a night. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akhzivland https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/akhzivland https://www.atlantamagazine.com/news-culture-articles/probably-didnt-know-leaders-26-micronations-just-gathered-atlanta/ https://www.goworldtravel.com/travel-israel-a-world-of-his-own-eli-avivi/ Australia’s micronation, the Principality of Hutt River. About 55km north of Western Australia’s capital city of Perth you’ll find, if you look—it’s tiny by Australian standards, the micronation of Hutt River. Despite having a population of only 23, the nation is the size of Hong Kong. The nation was founded on April 21, 1970 (ok I fudged the 50 years) by the late Leonard Casley, a wheat farmer who declared himself a king. Casely had been many things in his life like a dock worker, and, apparently, a scholar. Despite having left school at 14, he described himself as a mathematician and physicist asterisk He told people he wrote articles for NASA even… Yes, Asterisk. See he was an adherent of hermeticism, which will totally talk about in another show, which was the philosophy of Hermeticism, or Hermetism, a philosophical system that is primarily based on the purported teachings of Hermes Trismegistus (a legendary Hellenistic combination of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth). Which prescribed that god was all (yes Christian god), that there is a Prisca Theologia or unifying philosophy that explains all religions. Oh, and it favored Alchemy, Astrology, and Theurgy – or god-given magic that relies on Gietia, black magic, and reliance on evil spirits. So he’s a sane person Theirs is a story of royalty, taxes, and giant fucking snakes. Casley didn’t like Australia’s wheat production quotas. They considered the laws draconian. Casley had 4000 hectares of wheat ready to go when the law passed, limiting him to harvesting only 40 hectares worth. They banded with other local farmers but Sir Douglas Kendrew the governor didn’t care. After trying, and failing, to sue the governor for A$52 million in the hopes of forcing him to reverse the quota Casely went full freeman-on-the-land. He claimed he could succeed from Australia through the law of Unjust Enrichment, basically, he was claiming taxation without representation, except instead of taxes, for now, it was limited on production. Nevertheless, though, he claimed to continue to be a loyal subject of Queen Elizabeth II, go figure. According to Casley, the local governor had referred to Casley as “Administrator of the Hutt River Province” which he took to be a legally binding letter of approval making him a king. He began calling himself “His Majesty Prince Leonard I of Hutt” and then ate a little mouse creature before demanding someone bring him a wooky. He did this too, according to him and no one else, to leverage the British Treason Act of 1495 which provides the de facto king of a nation cannot be guilty of treason in relation to any action against the lawful king (of England). Casley continued to sell wheat in violation of the quota, believing himself to be unprosecutable as he is now a king. Western Australia did not see it that way. On 15 Feb 1977, he was successfully prosecuted for failing to comply with the quota or pay any taxes… the Australian Taxation Office was not happy about that last one. In December of the same year, the principality of Hutt declared war on Australia. Prince Leonard Casley notified authorities of the cessation of hostilities several days later. Turns out he and his kids were not up to that fight. But the prince had a plan. See, the prince argued that under the Geneva Treaty Convention of 12 Aug 1949, a government should show full respect to a nation undefeated from a state of war. And he was undefeated, having not been murdered by Australia that week. Casley then wrote to the Governor-General and asserted that: “Sovereignty is automatic to a country undefeated in a state of war … and if the state of war is not recognized by the other party, once the notice is given then these conventions apply to their relations.” Of course, that’s all real dumb nonsense. In the 1970s and 1980s, the prince became embroiled in a series of civil suits brought against him by his neighbors who were really tired of his stupid crap and the publisher of his autobiography “The Man” because he was, the man, after all. He didn’t try to claim sovereignty in the case with the publisher, because they threatened not to print his book and that was, apparently, an international threat he would take seriously. In about 2006, the Prince was again successfully prosecuted by the ATO. He sought special leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia, but his application was dismissed with the comment that his arguments were “fatuous, frivolous and vexatious”. So, he changed the name to the “Principality of Hut River” ’cause all those laws and suits didn’t mention that thing by that name… In June 2017, Prince Leonard was ordered by the Supreme Court of Western Australia to pay $2.7 million unpaid tax, and Arthur Casley (his son) was ordered to pay $242,000 unpaid tax. They did not do that. His health failing, the prince passed leadership of his nation to his youngest son Prince Graeme. In December 2019, citing declining revenue from agriculture as well as a drop in tourist numbers, the Principality issued a media release to announce that it would be closing its borders with effect from 31 January 2020. Prince Leonard would pass away on 13 February 2019, aged 93. On 3 August 2020 the Principality was formally dissolved, amidst the financial market impact of the COVID-19 pandemic along with disputes with the Australian Taxation Office demanding the Principality pay millions in unpaid taxes across its 50-year history. The Principality’s owned land will be sold off to settle the tax dispute. This last court case made the Australian government’s position absolutely clear when Justice Rene Le Miere ruled that “anyone can declare themselves a sovereign in their own home, but they cannot ignore the laws of Australia or not pay tax,” as reported by WA Today. “PHR (The Principality of Hutt River) will not be continuing in such harsh times (as many others are also facing),” Prince Casley told the Guardian Prince Graeme hoped the story of Australia’s oldest micronation would be remembered. “That’s the history, and you can’t unwrite it,” he said. “You just have to keep the archives and hope the story continues for the family.” Prince Graeme said the property would be sold as farmland, and the archives kept safe “under lock and key”. Of course, like all good micronations, he had coins, stamps, and passports made. In the end, they claimed 13,000 people has Hutt passports, which of course, they claimed as citizens. His Royal Highness Prince Graeme’s brother, Prince Richard, meanwhile, holds the posts of Minister of Postal Services and Grand Master of the Illustrious Order of Merit. A position that puts him before people like BBC’s Richard Collett, who reported on THHR in 2020. Prince Richard courts tourists from all over, insisting on stamping their passports with the Hutt seal of … being in Hutt: “We have a lot of tourists from Taiwan and Hong Kong; I think they understand what we are trying to do here.” The Capital of Hutt, if you will, is called Nain after a nearby town. It’s a shabby building that holds all official royal events, the post office, travel bureau, and all the other important stuff, like the little tourist shop. http://www.principality-hutt-river.com/ https://indianexpress.com/article/world/hutt-river-micronation-to-rejoin-australia-due-to-debt-caused-by-covid-19-6542582/ http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20200811-a-tiny-nation-in-outback-australia https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-03/hutt-river-province-dissolves-into-commonwealth/12518898 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermeticism https://micronations.wiki/wiki/Principality_of_Hutt_River https://indianexpress.com/article/world/hutt-river-micronation-to-rejoin-australia-due-to-debt-caused-by-covid-19-6542582/ https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-03/hutt-river-province-dissolves-into-commonwealth/12518898 http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20200811-a-tiny-nation-in-outback-australia Mid-Show Bumper Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more! You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating. Interested in what we have to say about this story? Good news, it’s available right now to subscribers at Patreon.com/iit! In an effort to make the number 50 this week’s story star I had to get pretty creative. I could tell you a story of the element tin, whose atomic number is 50, or I regale you with tales of the sum of two squares which for 50 is 2×5^2 but it seems all of these ideas are duds. It is hard to tease out the funny in a math equation. I finally found my answer as I was drifting off to sleep after eating too much cheese, Numerology! For you laypeople out there, and a refresher for me, numerology is a belief in the divine or mystical relationship between a number and one or more coinciding events. It is also the study of the numerical value of the letters in words, names, and ideas. It is often associated with the paranormal, alongside astrology and similar divinatory arts. Perfect! It’s right in our wheelhouse. According to WorldNumerology.com, an accredited source I assure you; “Numerology Is Based On The Personalities Of Numbers Numerology reveals a number’s inner nature and vibration, and how they correspond to your personal characteristics. You probably haven’t thought of numbers as having a personality, but as you get to know them you’ll realize most of us have preferences for one number over another. You make these choices because you feel an intuitive attraction to the nature or personality of the number. Numerology is based on the notion that everything is connected, and that everything exists in perfect synchronicity with everything else. Without that vision, Numerology, Astrology, and other Metaphysical sciences can’t exist.” Oh shit, I think they just debunked it for us, if everything isn’t connected then all these other “sciences” must not exist… Okay well the first thing you need to do to understand numerology is to suspend your disbelief just a little. There are, apparently, many different methods for not understanding numerology and all are different enough that you won’t get the same answers between them. The main way this “works” is you break down your name into letters assigned to specific numbers and then add the numbers up to find out what other number you are. Shea in the Pythagorean system would be S=1 H=8 E=5 A=1 so I’m a 15 but in, say, the Chaldean system, who were an ancient people who ruled Babylonia when Steve was a baby, S=3 H=5 E=5 A=1 giving us 14 which is close to 15 but in terms of numerology very, very different. I am already starting to see some flaws in these systems. Wikipedia lists at least 7 different methods, all of which will give different numbers. You don’t need to be a math person to explore the magic of numerology. All it takes to start uncovering the mystical properties of numbers is a loose idea of science, pen, paper, and some simple arithmetic. There are apparently a couple of different numbers you need to figure out. Your life path number is the root of your birth date, to get the root you just add up the numbers until you get a single number, so if you are me and were born July 28, 1987. You would have the number 7 for a month, 28 would be 2+8=10 then you add those two numbers 1+0=1, and 1987 would be 1+9+8+7=35 3+5=8 then add all your roots together 7+1+8=16 1+6=7 my life path number is 7 and that means a whole lot of nothing. To get your destiny number you add up the different values of your name based on your method and much the same way and you get an equally useless number. Once you have these numbers you can look at your respective methods chart and see how your life is probably not going to turn out. Super easy! Well, anyway, were not here today to divine my future and figure out my destiny instead we are going to dive into the true meaning of the number 50 Based on the significance that some of these various methods use. Numerology-thenumbersandtheirmeanings.blogspot.com gives great insight on the purpose of the number 50, personally, I thought it was a bridge from 49 to 51 but what do I know. “The purpose of the number 50 is to promote fusion between body and soul, mind and spirit. Life is continuing education for the number 50, as this energy seeks to learn their real values relating to their ultimate goals and aspirations, and learning to obey their inner feelings to “know thyself.” The happy disposition of the 50 Destiny number attracts friends and good fortune and they know how to take advantage of all the blessings — Mentally, Physically, and Spiritually.” Are numbers alive? Was the old joke about 7 eating 9 a historical account? In one method of numerology, the focus of 50 is to attain greater stability. The law of 5 is ‘freedom in action, and when coupled with the vibration of the number 0, this energy is amplified. When 0 is combined with another number, the potential of that number is magnified and amplified, because of reasons. The number 50 is masculine, introverted, and relates to the star sign Leo. The related planet is Mercury and the Tarot Card representative of the 50 / 5 vibration is the Heirophant. Oh good, we needed some more woo to woo so we can woo while we woo. “The lesson for the 50 people is that ‘one must learn that true freedom can only come from within.” Now keep in mind this is just one of the interpretations of the number 50, there are other methods that attribute much different meaning to the number 50. Chaldean Numerology is based on the principles that the Universe is built by vibrations, and that everything is vibrations that vibrate with different frequencies. Every frequency attracts its equal. Chaldean Numerology is also based on the fact that everything is destiny, and that we all have a destiny, and that our destiny is strictly unavoidable. However, our destiny is dictated by the vibrations (the numbers) of our full birth date and our legal name. We can’t change our birth date, but we can change our legal name, and by this, it’s possible to partially reprogram one’s destiny, this seems like a huge flaw in this system… The compound number of 50/5 is a number of communication, good social skills, and the ability to get along with everyone. In comparison with the compound numbers 14/5, 23/5, 32/5, and 41/5, the compound number of 50/5 is much more spontaneous. People who are represented by the compound number of 50/5, take more chances and they do less work to do for example market research. Sometimes they just do things and hope for the best. Well this description of 50 actually aligned with our show, do stuff, and hope for the best. Did you know there is also a biblical interpretation of numerology? I wish I didn’t. It’s the same as the others but different. Well, the number 50 is a number of the Holy Spirit. In 50 days after the day of Ascension, Pentecost starts. It is also called a Firstfruit fest, a day when the Holy Spirit descended to 120 righteous people, who believed and acted well. It was God’s first metaphoric harvest of righteous and good spirits among human beings. In order for people to reach salvation and to be saved, Jesus needed to put his sacrificial blood (which is symbolized by the number 30) to the temple of satisfaction (symbolized by number 20), so the sins of people were taken away and Holy Spirit (symbolized by a total of 50) became available for everyone. He needed to put his 30 in your 20 so you can be a 50! They also have angel numbers but they are just as stupid so I won’t even go into them. But I have noticed in the many interpretations there is one common theme, wide broad strokes that could apply to anyone, kind of like a horoscope. https://numerologytoolbox.com/numerology/chaldean-numerology/ https://numerology-thenumbersandtheirmeanings.blogspot.com/2011/06/number-50.html https://www.worldnumerology.com/what-is-numerology.html http://numerology.center/biblical_numbers_number_50.php https://www.allure.com/story/numerology-how-to-calculate-life-path-destiny-number#:~:text=Numerology%20is%20all%20about%20getting,your%20individual%20Life%20Path%20Number. Outro I’m Aaron, and I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and co-hosts. We’d like the extend a special thanks to our newest patrons: Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from! Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
35 minutes | a month ago
Interesting If True - Episode 49: You’re A Wizard, Scotus!
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that is made up of words. I’m your host this week, Shea, and with me is: I’m Aaron, and this week I learned superhero names and porn star names are basically the same thing: a bad description of whatever skills or oddities you’re famous for… Did I mention we’re doing a review of Justice League: Snyder Cut for patrons? No. Well we are… all 9000 sections of it. Wicked words This week when I was delving into the internet I found myself on the topic of words again. There seems to be no dearth of information on etymology and word origins and for some reason I am absolutely fascinated with it. So today I bring interesting words, and many you know, that all have roots in a person’s name. If you remember our quiz from last year and I mentioned Gerrymandering, from Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814). The shape of one of the voting districts suggested the body of a salamander, prompting a staffer at the Boston Gazette to coin the word Gerrymander. There are loads of words out there named for people, so let’s take a look at some interesting origins. The Irish invented boycotting because of the English. This all started in 1880 when Charles Stewart Parnell, whom I had never heard of but was a pretty popular Irish member of Parliament, decided that the English Government had failed them in their time of need and that they must seize control of their own destiny. This was not long after the terrible potato famine, BTW. Parnell was the son of a Protestant landowner who organised the rural masses into agitation against the ruling Landlord class, the Brits mostly, to seek the 3 Fs: Fixity of Tenure, Freedom to Sell and Fair Rent. Something that was incredibly lacking at the time and because of the terrible conditions and the rising rent many Irish were forced out of their homes onto the streets. Before this in 1870, landlords, many of them absentee, owned 80% of all the land of Ireland, while 50% of tenants occupied holdings of less than fifteen acres; more than three quarters of all holdings were annual tenancies. During this the “hero” or our story, Charles Cunningham Boycott comes to town. Boycott was an English land agent working for Lord Erne, a major landowner in the Lough Mask area of County Mayo who lived off the exorbitant rents he charged tenants. Boycott, you see, was a former army officer and had served in the British Army 39th Regiment, which brought him to Ireland. After retiring from the army he threw his lot in with Lord Erne and took pleasure in the many bloody evictions that were to come. Boycott got right to work, evicting many tenants for not paying/being able to afford rent and quickly the ire for him grew. As new Irish laws were passed in hopes of lowering rent and making it easier to exist while Irish, Boycott kept working. Soon his tale of evictions would come to a head when Boycott set about evicting 11 tenants the locals had had enough. The Mayo branch of the Irish Land League urged Boycott’s employees to withdraw their labor and began a campaign of isolation against Boycott in the local community. This campaign included shops in nearby Ballinrobe refusing to serve him, and the withdrawal of services. Boycott found himself a marked man, not fearing violence but even worse the scorn, silence, and disdain of simply everyone he encountered. Furious, he made a fatal mistake by informing the all-powerful London media of his plight. The campaign against Boycott became a huge issue in the British press after he wrote the following letter to The Times. “Sir, The following detail may be interesting to your readers as exemplifying the power of the Land League. On the 22nd September a process-server, escorted by a police force of seventeen men, retreated to my house for protection, followed by a howling mob of people, who yelled and hooted at the members of my family. “On the ensuing day, September 23rd, the people collected in crowds upon my farm, and some hundred or so came up to my house and ordered off, under threats of ulterior consequences, all my farm labourers, workmen, and stablemen, commanding them never to work for me again. “The shopkeepers have been warned to stop all supplies to my house, and I have just received a message from the postmistress to say that the telegraph messenger was stopped and threatened on the road when bringing out a message to me and that she does not think it safe to send any telegrams which may come for me in the future for fear they should be abstracted and the messenger injured. My farm is public property; the people wander over it with impunity. My crops are trampled upon, carried away in quantities, and destroyed wholesale. “The locks on my gates are smashed, the gates thrown open, the walls thrown down, and the stock driven out on the roads. I can get no workmen to do anything, and my ruin is openly avowed as the object of the Land League unless I throw up everything and leave the country. I say nothing about the danger to my own life, which is apparent to anybody who knows the country.’ – CHARLES C. BOYCOTT Exactly as you imagine the situation became a major story in the English press and funds were raised by the Daily Express, Daily Telegraph, and other papers to send farmers from the Orange North to harvest the crops. In response, a group of about 50 Ulster Loyalists volunteered to come to Boycott’s aid and bring in his crops. Newspapers sent correspondents to the West of Ireland to cover the story and the Fifty Orangemen from County Cavan had to be guarded by a regiment of the 19th Royal Hussars and more than 1,000 men of the Royal Irish Constabulary were deployed to protect the harvesters. The episode cost at least £10,000 to harvest about £500 worth of crops. Totally worth it guys! Boycott left Ireland on December 1, 1880, in disgrace, his name forever attached to a campaign to bring down tyrants. Boycotting had dramatically strengthened the power of the peasants, and by the end of 1880, there were reports of boycotting from all over Ireland. The events at Lough Mask had also increased the power of the Land League, and the popularity of Parnell as a leader. Non-violent and successful it was one of the most successful tactics ever used against the British in Ireland. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Boycott https://www.historyireland.com/18th-19th-century-history/captain-boycott-man-and-myth/ https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/irish-invented-boycott Let’s roll the times back a bit and travel south to London. “Luddite” is now a blanket term used to describe people who dislike new technology, but its origins date back to an early 19th-century labor movement that railed against the ways that mechanized manufactures and their unskilled laborers undermined the skilled craftsmen of the day. The original Luddites were British weavers and textile workers who objected to the increased use of mechanized looms and knitting frames. Most were trained artisans who had spent years learning their craft, and they feared that unskilled machine operators were robbing them of their livelihood. When the economic pressures of the Napoleonic Wars made the cheap competition of early textile factories particularly threatening to the artisans, a few desperate weavers began breaking into factories and smashing textile machines. They called themselves “Luddites” after Ned Ludd, a young apprentice who was rumored to have wrecked a textile apparatus in 1779. There’s no actual evidence that Ludd existed but what little I could find says in 1779, either after being whipped for idleness or after being taunted by local youths, he smashed two knitting frames in what was described as a “fit of passion”. This story is traceable to an article in The Nottingham Review on 20 December 1811, but there is no independent evidence of its truth. John Blackner’s book History of Nottingham, also published in 1811, provides a variant tale, of a lad called “Ludlam” who was told by his father, a framework-knitter, to “square his needles”. Ludlam took a hammer and “beat them into a heap”. News of the incident spread, and whenever frames were sabotaged, people would jokingly say “Ned Ludd did it”. Just because a person may not exist did stop him from eventually becoming the mythical leader of the movement. The protestors claimed to be following orders from “General Ludd,” and they even issued manifestoes and threatening letters under his name. The first major instances of machine breaking took place in 1811 in Nottingham, and the practice soon spread across the English countryside. Machine-breaking Luddites attacked and burned factories, and in some cases they even exchanged gunfire with company guards and soldiers. The workers hoped their raids would deter employers from installing expensive machinery, but the British government instead moved to quash the uprisings by making machine-breaking punishable by death. The unrest finally reached its peak in April 1812, when a few Luddites were gunned down during an attack on a mill near Huddersfield. The army had deployed several thousand troops to round up these dissidents in the days that followed, and dozens were hanged or transported to Australia. By 1813, the Luddite resistance had all but vanished. It wasn’t until the 20th century that their name re-entered the popular lexicon as a synonym for “technophobe.” https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/what-the-luddites-really-fought-against-264412/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ned_Ludd What kind of show would we be if we didn’t pepper in some crazy woo. A tall, striking doctor with an unusually piercing gaze sits opposite his patient, firmly pressing her knees between his own. He stares fixedly into the patient’s eyes, stroking her limbs, and then passing his hands in front of her body in a series of cryptic motions. Is this man a hypnotist or a movie villain? A healer or a charlatan? In the case of Franz Anton Mesmer, the answer to all of the above could be yes. Mesmer was an 18th century doctor who developed the theory of animal magnetism, as well as a related style of treatment that came to be known as mesmerism. His theories were debunked in his time and sound bizarre today, but some credit him with laying the foundation for the practice of modern hypnotism. He is also part of the select group of people in history to have an entire verb—mesmerized—named for him. So, what is animal magnetism? It’s the name Mesmer gave to what he believed to be an invisible natural force (Lebensmagnetismus) possessed by all living things, including humans, animals, and vegetables. He believed that the force could have physical effects, including healing. Wow, sounds technical. While studying law and medicine, Mesmer encountered astronomer Maximilian Hell and his treatment of patients using magnets to produce artificial “tides” in the body that Mesmer began referring to animal magnetism. While that may sound like some sort of sexy super power, Mesmer’s meaning was a bit more literal. His theory held that all living beings have a magnetic fluid running through their bodies, and that this fluid could be transferred between bodies and even to inanimate objects. Health was a result of the magnetic fluid being in balance, while illness was the result of blockages. Taking a page from Hell, Mesmer began working with patients by using magnets to move their fluid around and restore their health. But he eventually abandoned the magnets after deciding that an individual with particularly strong magnetism (such as himself, of course) could achieve the same effect by laying hands on or passing his hands over a patient’s body. He settled in Vienna and opened his “clinic” to many well known socialites including Mozart and Joseph Haydn. Eventually his results would be called into question, also some reports of inappropriate touching would see him fleeing to Paris in 1778. Without internet and quick reporting Mesmer was able to start up again and was inundated with as many as 200 clients a day, making it difficult to treat them individually. Fortunately, the resourceful doctor harnessed his supposed ability to transfer animal magnetism to inanimate objects and built a helpful contraption, which he called the baquet. The apparatus consisted of a large wooden tub filled with iron filings, glass bottles, and water, magnetized by Mesmer himself. Iron rods protruded from the top, which patients would press to the ailing parts of their bodies. The room was richly appointed and dimly lit, the air filled with incense and weird melodies from an instrument called a glass harmonica. The afflicted sat in a circle around the baquet, hands linked, receiving a healing dose of Mesmer vibes. Mesmer, meanwhile, prowled the room outfitted in an aristocratic wizard getup, complete with a lavender robe and a magnetized metal wand. Patients (most often women) were frequently seized by violent convulsions and fits of weeping or laughter, necessitating their removal to a separate crisis room. Mesmer disappeared for long periods of time to attend to the women, which led to some raised eyebrows. Eventually rumors and doubts began circulating about Mesmer’s Paris operation as well. In 1784, King Louis XVI—worried because his wife, Marie Antoinette, was among Mesmer’s clientele—ordered a commission to examine his methods. The group, which included chemist Antoine Lavoisier and visiting American diplomat Benjamin Franklin, was actually less concerned with whether Mesmer’s methods worked than with whether he had discovered a new type of physical fluid. After an inquiry into the practices of Mesmer protégé Charles d’Eslon, it was determined that no such fluid existed. Soon afterward, Mesmer left the city. He wandered around Europe, then lived for years as a relative exile in Switzerland before dying in Austria in 1815. Mesmer did manage to stumble on something still relevant in modern psychological practice. For it wasn’t the righting of a fluid imbalance or Mesmer’s superior magnetism that relieved people of their suffering; it was his ability to induce a suggestive mental state through which ailments, often of a psychological nature, could be alleviated. This technique—stripped of the mysticism and pageantry—remains the basis of hypnosis, which, while still controversial, has become recognized as a valid therapeutic technique. Today his history is lost to most but his name will live on whether we know it or not, I just hope you were mesmerized. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-0-387-70967-3_22 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Mesmer John Duns Scotus was a renaissance man centuries before the Renaissance even took place. His exact birthdate is unknown, but he became a Franciscan priest in March of 1291, when he was probably in his twenties. He later went on to become a master philosopher, linguist, theologian, and metaphysical thinker. Scotus’ life’s work was all about the study of this world and the next. After reading theology and philosophy at Oxford, Scotus went on to teach at the University of Paris. He was later expelled from the country after siding with the pope during a dispute between the Catholic Church and the King of France. He was eventually permitted to return, and continued to teach in France until he was granted the title of Doctor of Theology and made a Franciscan Master, after which he moved to a Franciscan school in Cologne, where he would spend the rest of his days. During his studies and teachings, Scotus devised a convoluted philosophical explanation for the existence of a metaphysical God, as opposed to a material “Man in the Sky.” Perhaps more famously, he also envisioned a defense of the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary herself. Due to the intricacy and complexity of his theories, Scotus was given the terrific papal title, “Doctor Subtilis,” or “The Subtle Doctor.” His teachings came to be known as “Scotism,” while his most devoted students and followers were known as “Dunsmen.” For some reason, Scotus was also a proponent of the use of pointy hats. It has been said that he was inspired by the use of such hats by wizards, and also conversely that it was Scotus’ love of the headgear that inspired the popular image of wizards wearing conical caps. Whichever version is true, they were both meant to denote wise men. In fact, Scotus believed the pointed shape of the hat would, in some metaphysical way, act as a reverse funnel for knowledge, with wisdom flowing into the pointed tip, and spreading into the brain below. These hats became popular among the Dunsmen, and were soon viewed not just as a symbol of Scotism, but as a signifier of high intelligence. All was well in the world until the mid 16th century when church scholars began to turn on him. Apparently his theories on god and the divine were viewed as overly complex, convoluted, and in conflict with the more humanistic views emerging with Renaissance thought. The remaining Dunsmen, who continued to devote themselves to Scotist thought, began to be thought of as hopelessly behind the times, or just plain stupid. Thus the Dunsmen, or Duns, came to be associated with idiocy, and their pointy hats became symbols of this ignominious new reputation. The heyday of the dunce cap (or the low point of disruptive children) seems to have been the Victorian era, when use of the dunce cap as a disciplinary symbol took off in Europe and America. The classic image is of a sullen child in a basic cone hat adorned with the word “dunce” or simply a large letter “D,” who is sent to a stool in a corner of the classroom. It was as much a punishment as a warning to other children thinking of potentially acting out. Great teaching technique, guys! While the use of the pointed cap may have eventually fallen out of favor, the practice of putting kids in a “dunce’s corner” continued well into the 2000s in some parts of England. In a 2010 Telegraph article, it was reported that putting kids in the dunce’s corner had at last been forbidden in a number of areas. The dunce cap may have gone out of style as a popular form of punishment, but as an icon it lives on. These days, calling someone a dunce continues to be an effective, if slightly archaic, insult. But there may be hope for the hat yet. Today John Dun Scotus is thought to be one of the great thinkers of the Middle Ages. He was even beatified in 1993 by Pope John Paul II, in recognition for his contributions to religious theory. Perhaps there is still room for the cap to be viewed as the symbol of learning it once was. Or it may just be used for wizards. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/duns-scotus/ https://slate.com/human-interest/2015/10/john-duns-scotus-and-the-dunce-cap-a-brief-history-of-a-pointy-hat-that-was-once-a-symbol-of-respected-scholars.html Mid-Show Bumper Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more! You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating. Interested in what we have to say about this story? Good news, it’s available right now to subscribers at Patreon.com/iit! Spacebombs, the Flame Thrower! After all, the real money is in merchandising! Spaceballs and other Star- stuff aside, what’s the fastest thing in space? Soon it will be the Polar Solar Probe. As it falls further into the Sun’s gravity well it’s expected to reach some 700,000mps. Which is about 5 times as fast as the manhole cover Dr. Robert R. Brownlee shot into space in the late 50’s. Nuclear stuff was all the rage in the 50’s, it was pop culture gravy, fashionable make-up, and totally how we were going to beat the Soviets and prove radioactive Jesus’ superiority for good. Fortunately, by that time, the writing was kind of on the wall regarding the health effects of radiation exposure. And so, starting in 1962, the US would conduct all nuclear tests underground. Of course, they had no idea what that would do. “What if we cracked the Earth in twain?” one scientist said, and “What if we make a volcano?” said another before the nuttiest of them finally got to the real questions like “What if we blast a tunnel into Hell?” and “won’t someone please think of the children?”. The possibilities were endless, we had to know! In preparation, Dr. Alvin Graves, Division Leader of the Test Division at Los Alamos—or Project Y (yep, the Manhattan Project one) asked Dr. Brownlee to figure out how to blow stuff up under ground without killing everyone or clearing a path for the Great Old Ones’ return. Operation Plumbbob was not as much fun as it sounded. In total they detonated 29 nuclear explosions—two of which, Dr. Brownlee’s, we’re concerned with. His first test, called Pascal A, was exactly what you’d expect. Sure, he did a bunch of science words I don’t know, and probably, like, some math, but ultimately there was very little information to go on so… they just kind of dug a 450 ft deep (150m) hole and put a bomb in it. To quote Dr. Brownlee: In 1956 we were severely limited in computing capabilities-compared to nowadays they were laughable, and miniscule, and arguably nonexistent. I had the equations of state of four materials. They were air and water, aluminum and uranium. As it happens, there is a lot of aluminum in NTS soil, so I called that “earth”. I called that of uranium “fire”, and the others were air and water, so with earth, air, fire and water, how could I fail? Sadly, he did not become the Avatar. But, indeed, it is hard to fail at blowing up a hole when you have as free access as anyone has ever had to an ok-to-splode nuclear stockpile. Dr. Brownlee would describe the explosion as, essentially, the world’s largest roman candle. Sadly, no imagery exists. Having successfully completed an underground test without killing Earth, they continued with their investigation of how to prevent radioactive leakage. So, they put a lid on it. Again from Dr. Brownlee: I was allowed considerable freedom to choose other parameters as I wished. For example, what might the efficacy of plugs of various masses be, and where might they be placed for optimum results? And so we get to what every headline for this story calls a manhole cover. I’m going to go ahead and dispel this notion… a manhole cover is a, roughly, 250lb, cast iron disk meant to withstand cars driving over it while still allowing potentially explosive poo-gas to escape. According to wikipedia results may vary by region—I guess reinforced glass and plastic are popular in some areas. This cap was 4-inches of steel, weighing some 2,000 pounds (or 900kg) and was welded to the bomb-hole. To measure… stuff—because remember kids, the difference between fucking-off and science is recording measurements of stuff—the DOE used a high speed camera with a millisecond frame rate to capture the cover’s assent. As an aside, when I first read this detail I thought I had found the BS linch-pen of this story. Surely, 1000 frame-per-second cameras hadn’t been invented yet, right? Turns out high speed cameras date back to 1878 when Eadweard muybridge filmed a racehorse in as high as speed as was then possible to see if, at any point, all its feet were off the ground at the same time. There was some bullet photography and so on, then in the 1930’s Eastman Kodak made a 16mm camera that ran film at 1000 frames/s. Our nukes used a similar camera. Interestingly, at the time, the leader was The Japanese Institute of Aeronautical Research which made a 60k fps camera in 1931. By comparison in 2018 the INRS team at Universite De Recherche, created T-CUP to photograph femtosecond-range experiments like those dealing with light/matter interactions. It reports to capture 10 trillion fps. Anyway, back to nuking a metal disk into space. On August 27, 1957, Pascal-B was detonated, equivalent to 300 tons of TNT. Relatively small bomb honestly. The shockwave was expected to take 31 milliseconds to reach the lid, but it never did—because physics is trippy. Dr. Brownlee mentioned the distance of the cap to the bomb, turns out even on a 500ft nuke-track that matters. The bombs were “plugged” with 2 tons of concrete. The plug in a gun is pushed out of the barrel by gas expansion, so too was the cap. Except here the gas was not the result of a violently exothermic reaction, like igniting gunpowder (well, ok yeah I guess it was but work with me here). The concrete was immediately superheated and vaporized… and it had to go somewhere. Dr. Brownlee would describe the cap taking off “going like a bat!” which I guess was ye-oldie for hella fast. Despite the camera’s speed it only caught the cap in a single frame—and even that was a half-in, half-out kinda deal. Without two frames it’s hard to measure an object’s speed. Instead Dr. Brownlee did his best to work out how fast it would be going to get that far in the frame from time of detonation. The results involved some guesswork to be sure but the result was described by Dr. Bownlee to to Bill Ogle, deputy division leader, by his own recollection: Ogle: “What time does the shock arrive at the top of the pipe?” RRB: “Thirty one milliseconds.” Ogle: “And what happens?” RRB: “The shock reflects back down the hole, but the pressures and temperatures are such that the welded cap is bound to come off the hole.” Ogle: “How fast does it go?” RRB: “My calculations are irrelevant on this point. They are only valid in speaking of the shock reflection.” Ogle: “How fast did it go?” RRB: “Those numbers are meaningless. I have only a vacuum above the cap. No air, no gravity, no real material strengths in the iron cap. Effectively the cap is just loose, traveling through meaningless space.” Ogle: And how fast is it going?” This last question was more of a shout. Bill liked to have a direct answer to each one of his questions. RRB: “Six times the escape velocity from the earth.” Apparently Bill was delighted with measuring something in escape velocities and told everyone who would listen how escape-y it was. For those keeping track, that would be about 125,000 mph. Apparently, one needs to maintain an approximate 28,00mph to maintain low Earth orbit (LEO). So crazy town fast. New Horizons does about 36,373mph for comparison. The “manhole cover” was never found and was presumed to have been shot into space. … you know… maybe. Here’s the thing about all this. Now that we have computers to do the math and way, way more experience with aerodynamics, nuclear bombs, material properties, and, you know space—it seems pretty unlikely that this is touring the solar system. Bill’s explanation was a crowd pleaser and he loved to please crowds. So as is the way, the rumor, lie, whatever you want to call it from Bill made its way around the world before Dr. Brownlee could even form a rebuttal. As usual, the facts never can catch up with the legend, so I am occasionally credited with launching a “man-hole cover” into space, and I am also vilified for being so stupid as not to understand masses and aerodynamics, etc, etc, and border on being a criminal for making such a claim. To that point, I’ll simply quote him again: we were able to achieve complete containment for almost every test, and for all but a handful of those that had containment “failures”, nothing was detected off site. So I would judge our containment efforts to be quite successful. Dude’s no dummy. So what happened? Far more likely that speeding to the stars is the notion that it burned up or was otherwise destroyed. One theory that allows it to keep going, and going, and going… is that the force of the explosion, plus the heat and resistance of atmospheric friction would have caused the cap to further dome in on itself creating a bullet shape as the center continues to be propelled and the malleable edges fall behind it. This is actually the process used by a class of military weapon called an Explosively Formed Penetrator. In this theory, morphing into a more aerodynamic shape allows it to maintain momentum and reach space. That said… prolly not. If Dr. Brownlee’s calculations were even close to correct, and I mean we can safely give a wide-ass margin of error, the cap would have suffered the same fate as a meteor entering the atmosphere. You know, iron stuff burning up into nothingness. Some back-of-the-napkin math puts 60 km/s around half million atmospheres of drag that would result in adiabatic heating in excess of the iron cap’s enthalpy threshold. Which is to say it would build up and store heat rapidly until it reached the maximum storable heat and vaporized (well, Ionized). I tried to do the math on the heat generated at those speeds by a minimally domed plate with an assumed Air Drag Coefficient in the 1.9 to 2.1 range but every calculator I could just shit the bed when I entered the Pascal-B cap information. One told me the parameters entered fell outside reality, so… yeah. For another point of comparison, the fastest conventional vehicle I could find was DARPA’s Falcon HTV-2, which reached speeds of Mach 20, or a mere 13,000mph, at which point it started burning up and the onboard computer noped the fuck out and “commanded flight termination” by putting the Falcon in a controlled roll and pitchover maneuver to descend directly into the Pacific Ocean. So… yeah. At those speeds it reached 3,500 degrees and flew for nine firey minutes. The space shuttle re-enters at about mach 25… but then, it’s also trying to slow down. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLJg03WSYBQ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhole_cover https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_photography https://interestingengineering.com/the-worlds-fastest-10-trillion-fps-camera-is-here-and-it-can-freeze-time https://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/Brownlee.html https://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/Plumbob.html#PascalA https://io9.gizmodo.com/no-a-nuclear-explosion-did-not-launch-a-manhole-cover-1715340946 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Explosively_formed_penetrator https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Y https://io9.gizmodo.com/no-a-nuclear-explosion-did-not-launch-a-manhole-cover-1715340946 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Plumbbob https://plane-encyclopedia.com/cold-war/operation-plumbbob-pascal-b-cap/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hABwCY6g2U https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DARPA_Falcon_Project Outro Thanks for listening, I’m Shea, and this week I learned that the longest drum solo was 10 hours and 27 minutes and was performed by a child sitting behind a very patient man on Delta flight 693 from LA to Tokyo. Before we go, I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and my co-host, Aaron. Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from! Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
34 minutes | a month ago
Interesting If True - Episode 48: Moist Moons Over MyHammy
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that’s made of Nazi-fighting gravitational moon-ice… ice baby… music joke! I’m your host this week, Aaron, and with me are: I’m Shea, and this week I learned that Republicans came down harder on Joe Biden for having a minor Major problem than they did for Matt Gaetz for having a major minor problem. So, you know how everything is actually made of ice because Newton was wrong about gravity and the size of Hitler’s dick? Yeah, neither do these people but here we go… Cosmic Ice Ice Baby It seems that whenever someone decides that the Earth isn’t round, or the sky is actually ethereal firmament, or that we did not, in fact, evolve from filthy monkey-men, ice plays a crucial role. It walls us off from the capital “T” truth, it’s unknowable, or you know, it was the wrath of god or some nonsense. Today we’re borrowing mostly from column B, but there will be some filthy monkey-men later in the show because most of what we’re going to talk about were accepted out of a need to venerate stupid assholes for not being them ivory-tower thinky people. Thinky people who would have argued, wrongly of course, that the universe isn’t made of magic, Cosmic, ice. As Dr. Christina Wessely of the Institute of History at the University of Vienna explains: “The Cosmic Ice Theory portrayed the world in a simple and vivid manner, in the form of a story. Astronomical and geological processes were paired up with spectacular stories in the vein of fantasy-laden adventure novels. And while this theory was easy to follow, conventional academic sciences seemed only to offer numbers and abstract equations, appearing incomprehensible and out of touch. As a result, the Cosmic Ice Theory seemed less esoteric to the man on the street than the conventional sciences.” A problem that we still face, both in terms of people thinking the sun is made of ice—there are still a few Comic Icers out there—and in nearly every other facet of the sciences that requires more than a third-grade education and a bottle of mountain dew to explain. So “what is the Cosmic Ice Theory,” you ask? For that, we’ll need to travel back to a simpler, stupider, time. Specifically, 1894—which started on Monday for Greg and Saturday for Julian, saw William Kennedy Dickson patent the motion picture, Coca-Cola was first bottled, and… Rudolf Hess was born… frustratingly, we’ll come back to him. In the summer of 1894 Austrian Hanns Hörbiger, we’ll say “discovered” the theory of Welteislehre, or Cosmic Ice. Apparently, it was also called Glacial Cosmology or Glazial-Kosmogronie. Hanns was an inventor and engineer who didn’t have any time for those “ivy leaguers” with their telescopes or math. No, he had visions to explain the universe. Check-make atheists. By his own account, Hörbiger was observing the Moon when he suddenly had his first “recognition” upon realizing that it was so bright and rough on its surface that must be made of ice. Because truthiness is all about what you can see and never about what you “prove”. Shortly thereafter he had the second of his recognitions, or visions as they’re commonly called. He had a dream-vision in which he flew through space and watched a silvery pendulum swing, getting longer and longer, until it broke. Upon awakening, he “knew that Newton had been wrong and that the sun’s gravitational pull ceases to exist at three times the distance of Neptune,” because… dreams I guess. Hörbiger, date unknown It was following this revelation that he contacted his friend Philipp Faith in 1898. Fauth, a schoolteacher, helped him publish the Glzial-Kosmogonio (Glacial Cosmology) in 1912. The 790-page tome, filled with photographs and diagrams, would become the foundation for Welteislehre, or “WEL” as it would become commonly known. But what did it all mean? WEL begins at the dawn of creation when a supergiant star pulled a dead, water star into itself. Where did these come from? Go fuck yourself. The impact caused the smaller star to explode for some reason, sending water crystals out into the universe. The loose-y space water then formed ice blocks, because sure, and those were eventually pushed together by space-hydrogen to form “the Milky-Way and other solar systems” which… ugh… that’s the least problematic statement we’re going to hear. Of course, our solar system had many more planets then than now. Because of ice. As the great ether began to coalesce into planetoids the outer planets were hit by more ice and therefore became larger than the inner planets. These ice particles are, naturally, visible to the eye in the form of stars, meteors, and so on. The cosmic ice also dictates many weather patterns. For example, when the aforementioned meteors fall to Earth and break upon entry, that’s where hail and blizzards come from. And when ice blocks collide with the Sun we observe sunspots and the ice itself, is vaporized… into “fine ice”, which then covers the innermost planets in clouds and … ice. If you’re wondering why the sun doesn’t make water out of ice, as is heat’s traditional role, it’s because ice isn’t made up of other stuff. Ice is, you see, a “base element” in the universe. All the while celestial hydrogen slowly pushes us, and the other planets, around and—eventually—into the sun. Which will… freeze…burn…freeze us… Along with the many other worlds the Sol system used to sport, Earth had a contingent of moons of which our current moon is simply the last-man-standing. The other moons all began as free-floating planets in orbits of their own until Earth “captured” them one by one. And yes, there is the implication of actively capturing them in there… Eventually, the many ice-moons of Earth fell into our atmosphere, disintegrating… umm… into the ice that would now identify as rock strata. Each geological event that can be identified in the strata of geological formations is actually the record of an ice-moon impacting earth. Dead dinos? Ice moon did it. The Great Flood, you guessed it, melted ice moon yo. The last moon or “Tertiary” moon was the “Cenozoic Moon” whose impact caused the, you guessed it, Cenozoic era commonly believed by fake news knowers of things to have followed the K-T extinction event. The fall of the Cenozoic moon, according to WER, was recorded in myths and legends like dragons, battles of gods in the sky, the Devil, Germanic Götterdämmerung (twilight of the gods), and the Book of Revelation. After the last moon fell, Earth captured the currently visible moon in an event that, according to Horbiger’s English follower Hans Schindler Bellamy, caused the Biblical Flood. See, the fifth moons’ fall added water to Earth but also, as it fell, pulled on Earth’s equator with the gravitational force of ice causing a “girdle tide” at the equator which, once freed of moon-ice-gravity the tide sloshed back down causing the flood. Of this Bellamy offers books like Moon, Myths, and Man, In the Beginning God, and of course The Book of Revelation is History as evidence. Two fantastic reads I can’t wait for the PiaT guys to get to. The fall of the previous moon, believers argue, explains the great flood but also the loss of Atlantis. As you can imagine, Horbiger was not welcomed into the halls of academia for his brilliant insight. In fact, he was pretty widely shat upon for it all. Around this time the world was distracted from his, and really all other, nonsense by World War One, during which time Hans… did… I have no idea. Once Diana defeated Ares in single combat, ending the war, the world went back to its musings and Hans doubled down. His views weren’t accepted by the smarties, but Hans and his followers knew that their facts didn’t matter in the face of overwhelming public opinion. Hans founded social groups in Austria and Germany who in turn produced pamphlets, books, and movies on the subject, even a newsletter called “The Key to World Events“. They held public lectures and star-studded (well for the time) events more akin to today’s Revivals than scientific symposiums. And it worked. It didn’t take long for followers to heckle astronomers’ meetings with “Out with astronomical orthodoxy! Give us Hörbiger!” For his critics, Hörbiger had simple replies. When challenged mathematically Hörbiger famously replied “Calculation can only lead you astray” which I’m sure we’ve all heard in passing at some point. Thanks for that Hans. When astronomers like Willy Ley offered visual evidence, like pictures from a telescope, Hörbiger simply said they were faked by “reactionaries” essentially being the first to the “Fake News” line. Eventually, to rocket expert Ley, he would say that “either you believe in me and learn, or will be treated as the enemy,” a mindset that would mesh well with World War Two era German ideals. In his defense, Hörbiger had the good sense to die in 1931. Unfortunately, his theory would not die with him. Now, Europe isn’t doing so hot and Germany’s National Socialist Party is gaining ground. Among them was Houston Stewart Chamberlain, a leading theorist in the formation of the Nazi party, who was also a staunch advocate for WEL. His followers would reorganize WEL from the Greco-Roman Glazial-Kosmogonie to the now common Germanic Welteishehre officially and began marketing it as an answer to “Jewish Science.” Einstein had published his Theory of Relativity and this didn’t sit well with German sensibilities. Naturally, the Cosmic Ice theory became the “German Antithesis” to “Jewish” physics. Supporters commonly used rhetoric like “our Nordic ancestors grew strong in ice and snow; belief in the Cosmic Ice is consequently the natural heritage of Nordic Man.” Along with this idea of “Pure Science” was an idea that idiots are good for a nation. A theory still practiced by the right today. Remember Hess and Himmler? Well, here’s a quote: “Just as it needed a child of Austrian culture – Hitler! – to put the Jewish politicians in their place, so it needed an Austrian to cleanse the world of Jewish science. The Führer, by his very life, has proved how much a so-called ‘amateur’ can be superior to self-styled professionals; it needed another ‘amateur’ to give us a complete understanding of the Universe.” So, you know, a scientific outside to drain the swamp-flasks I guess. In truth, the idea of brilliant idiots and accomplished amateurs was a favorite of the Nazis. And why wouldn’t it be? If you need to convince ignorant, credulous, masses that they’re special what better way than the stand-up say things like “I love the poorly educated” … oh, wait, that was the Orange Buffoon. Still, as Dr. Wessely explains: “The Cosmic Ice Theory clearly illustrates how the boundaries between science and pseudoscience can become blurred. It exemplifies that the history of modern science is inextricably intertwined with fantastic imaginations and spectacular mistakes.” Now it’s World War II and Hemmler, Hess, Hitler… all the “H” people you don’t want to deal with basically, are very fond of the Cosmic Ice theory and push it into mainstream German life. Hitler, so fond of the ice, is known to have suggested that with only time the World Ice Theory would one day replace Christianity. So… you know… they were real into it. And why wouldn’t they be? It proposed Arian supremacy—explaining that the last great moon-fall killed the Hyperborean race making way for Arians—it put idiots in positions of unassailable power, and it fed into Hitler’s other pseudoscientific and occult ideals. Himmler, Hess, and Hitler were, apparently, known to have grand discussions on the Fuhrer’s opinions of how it might explain the fall of the “World Empire of Atlantis, which fell victim to the catastrophe of the moons falling to Earth.” Hitler believed the ice theory could be productive when it came to geological and meteorological phenomena. Even spurring his building of the great observatory in Linz, Austria, representing “the three great cosmological conceptions of history—those of Ptolemy, Copernicus, and Hörbiger.” Eventually, the Cosmic Ice theory would explain Revelation as well, though it didn’t account for the fall of Nazi Germany. Hörbiger’s theory was that, eventually, space-Hydrogen would push Earth and the Sol system into the Sun (the universes only true star according to Hörbiger), this time burning it to nothingness, before the Sun and all other matter back toward the supermassive ice-star at the center of the Milky Way (except nope). And, of course, Hörbiger’s theories still live on today in the vestiges alt-right thinkers and of course flat-Earthers and other noble amateur scientists unburdened by the weight of facts, evidence, or the knowledge that it’s bad to be a fucking Nazi… https://www.fwf.ac.at/en/research-in-practice/project-presentations-archive/2008/science-gone-wrong-welteislehre https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welteislehre https://io9.gizmodo.com/the-nazis-believed-in-a-universe-full-of-ice-just-to-sp-1637990824 https://www.laphamsquarterly.org/roundtable/song-ice-and-fire https://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/the-weird-ice-world-cosmology-passionately-believed-by-hitler-and-other-top-nazis https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Hanns_Hörbiger https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-2-pro-nazi-nobelists-attacked-einstein-s-jewish-science-excerpt1/ https://www.laphamsquarterly.org/roundtable/song-ice-and-fire Mid-Show Bumper Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more! You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating. Tank Woman Interested in what we have to say about this story? Good news, it’s available right now to subscribers at Patreon.com/iit! This week when I was searching for baloney science stories I instead fell down a rabbit hole of women empowerment, you can blame it on a story in the news blaming the Suez Canal blockage on the first Female Egyptian Captain who was hundreds of miles away in Alexandria at the time. Marwa Elselehdar has faced many challenges in an industry historically dominated by men. At present, women only account for 2% of the world’s seafarers, according to the International Maritime Organisation. Capt Elselehdar says she’s always loved the sea and was inspired to join the merchant navy after her brother enrolled at the AASTMT. Though the academy only accepted men at the time, she applied anyway and was granted permission to join after a legal review by Egypt’s then-President Hosni Mubarak. During her studies, she says she faced sexism at every turn. “Onboard, they were all older men with different mentalities, so it was difficult not to be able to find like-minded people to communicate with,” she says. “It was challenging to go through this alone and be able to overcome it without affecting my mental health.” “People in our society still don’t accept the idea of girls working in the sea away from their families for a long time,” she adds. “But when you do what you love, it is not necessary for you to seek the approval of everyone.” After graduating, Capt Elselehdar rose to the rank of the first mate and captained the Aida IV when it became the first vessel to navigate the newly-expanded Suez Canal in 2015. At the time, she was the youngest and first female Egyptian captain to cross the waterway. From Capt Elselehdar “I felt that I might be targeted maybe because I’m a successful female in this field or because I’m Egyptian, but I’m not sure.” Well screw the haters this woman is a badass and it got me looking up other women badasses. Well, I think I found an amazing woman to introduce you to today. Tank Woman, not tank girl, she is no child after killing loads of nazis. What follows is the best tale of vengeance I have heard in a while. Mariya Oktyabrskaya was born on the Crimean Peninsula to a poor Ukrainian family which raised 10 children. Before the war, she worked in a cannery and was at one point a telephone operator. She met her husband, Ilya, the future Red Army officer, in 1925. The two married that same year. Mariya became very interested in her husband’s line of work and joined the Military Wives Council and acquired training as an army nurse. Soon after, she learned how to use weapons and drive, which was very uncommon for women at the time. I am assuming they had some pretty interesting dates. When asked about her unusual interest, she reportedly replied: “Marry a serviceman, and you serve in the army: an officer’s wife is not only a proud woman but also a responsible title.” As the war closed in on the Soviet Union in 1941, she was evacuated to Siberia, where she spent the next two years. It took a long time for the news of her husband’s death to reach her, but as soon as she got the letter, she knew what to do. Oktaybrskaya was so enraged by the death of her beloved husband that she wrote a letter to Stalin directly. This is step one of her ultimate plan of vengeance. The letter read as follows; “My husband was killed in action defending the motherland. I want revenge on the fascist dogs for his death and for the death of Soviet people tortured by the fascist barbarians. For this purpose, I’ve deposited all my personal savings–50,000 rubles–to the National Bank in order to build a tank. I kindly ask to name the tank ‘Fighting Girlfriend’ and to send me to the front line as a driver of the said tank.” Stalin quickly agreed. The State Defense Committee advised him that the move could have a positive effect as a morale booster on both the desperate population and the troops. It wasn’t uncommon for citizens to donate money for war production in the Soviet Union, but usually, those making the donations were men. Mariya got her tank, a T-34, and took part in a five-month tank training program immediately after the donation. These five month’s training was unusual for tank crews at the time, usually, tank crews were rushed straight to the front line with minimal training. After she completed her training, she was posted to the 26th Guards Tank Brigade in September 1943 as a driver and mechanic. She named her tank ‘fighting girlfriend’ and emblazoned these words on the turret of the T-34. She was immediately ridiculed by her comrades for being a girl and doing guy stuff, like war, but this attitude quickly changed when Mariya began killing nazis. On October 21, 1943, Mariya got the chance to release some of her seething anger in a positive way, well positive for the Red Army. Most of the city of Smolensk had been taken back from the Germans about a month earlier, but there was still some resistance. The Red Army wanted the remaining Nazis outta there, and Mariya was all too happy to oblige. Mariya and her Fighting Girlfriend busted out, killing German soldiers and destroying anti-tank guns and machine-gun nests. But there’s a reason tanks are generally considered to be death traps—they’re big targets. Sure enough, Fighting Girlfriend took a hit. Mariya was ordered to stay inside the tank, but she was just so mad at everything in the damn world that she climbed out of the tank, fixed it, got back in, and kept killing. Having disobeyed orders, killed a bunch of people, and put herself in grave danger, Mariya had finally won the respect of her male comrades. Her new nickname: “Mother.” More importantly, Mariya made sergeant. A similar situation happened a month later when Fighting Girlfriend was raining fire around the town of Novoye Selo in the region of Vitebsk. Her track was hit and the tank was immobilized. Mariya rushed out and, with the help of another crew member, managed to put the T-34 back in running condition. We get a glimpse of Mariya’s feelings in a letter penned to her sister: “I’ve had my baptism by fire. I beat the bastards. Sometimes I’m so angry I can’t even breathe.” But just two months later, her courageous tactic would prove to be the last. As the tank once again suffered damage after destroying entrenched positions and an enemy self-propelled gun, Mariya tried to pull the trick once again. She managed to fix the damaged track but was hit in the head by shell fragments and lost consciousness during her return. Mariya was transferred to a military field hospital near Kiev, where she spent two months in a coma before passing away on March 15, 1944. The following August, Mariya was posthumously made a Hero of the Soviet Union in recognition of her bravery in the battles around Vitebsk. The Hero of the Soviet Union was the highest distinction in the Soviet Union, awarded personally or collectively for heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society. Out of the 12,777 recipients, only 95 were women. Mariya was laid to rest in one of the nation’s most sacred cemeteries, the Heroes Remembrance Gardens. Maybe not the fairy tale ending you were hoping for but that’s not what Mariya wanted when she signed up to be on the front line. This incredibly determined woman had no desire for the easy life when her husband passed, she wanted to burn hot and bright and take out as many damn nazis as possible. She even managed to advance feminism but I think she was too busy killing nazis to care. There are many more badass women from WWII so you can expect some more stories in the future. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-56615521 https://www.rejectedprincesses.com/princesses/mariya-oktyabrskaya https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Mariya_Oktyabrskaya https://www.rbth.com/history/328548-soviet-women-who-contributed-victory Outro I’m Aaron, and I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and co-hosts. Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from! Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
38 minutes | a month ago
Interesting If True - Episode 47: A Stickier Situation
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that gets stuck in your head and hopefully not an orifice. I’m your host this week, Shea, and with me is… I’m Aaron, and this week I got new networking equipment which is cool. Also, “my wifi is down” is officially the new “I was stuck in traffic.” I’m sure you have all heard by now about the Ever Given super freighter being stuck sideways into the Suez canal. In case you haven’t, on March 23 shipping traffic through Egypt’s Suez Canal was grounded to a halt after a large vessel called the “Ever Given” got stuck in the passageway. You have probably seen the memes all over the internet or have heard jokes about how one backhoe worked tirelessly alone to help extricate the ship from the shore. Luckily the ship was finally flushed this past Monday. Either way, it really got me thinking of being stuck, stuck on what to write, stuck in my house, stuck in the arm with my last covid shot. So today I bring you stories of stuck, fastened fascinations, and cemented comedies. So glue yourself to your seat and let’s have some fun. Stone Vagina Our story starts in the quaint German town of Tübingen, home to a research university and plenty of campus “art.” The art in question is from a Peruvian artist Fernando de la Jara, Pi-Chacán is a 32-ton sculpture made out of red Veronese marble meant to signify “the gateway to the world”. The sculpture’s name is from the native Peruvian Quechuan language. According to de la Jara, the word chacán means “place where the action of water has tunneled through a large rock or a mountain”, or alternatively “lovemaking”. Pi is both a Greek character and a mathematical symbol, π, that looks similar to a door or a vulva. Now, why vulva? Well, I probably should have mentioned but the statue is of a huge stone vagina. By itself, it is a very interesting piece but it wasn’t until June of 2014 when an American student (why did it have to be us) studying abroad in Germany came across the striking anatomical depiction and decided to pose for pictures with it along with some friends. Like many exchange students, stupid decisions were made and the best angle for the shot was determined to be inside the genitalia, a sentence I have never before written. The student quickly realized that without the soft cartilage bones babies have he would have trouble extricating himself from the stone canal and thus was hopelessly stuck. 22 firefighters came to help remove the boy. It must have been a slow day, and it was reported that firefighters turned midwives were able to remove the student “by hand and without the application of tools.” A c-section would have been hell by the sounds of it. The mayor of Tübingen told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that he struggled to imagine how the accident could have happened, “even when considering the most extreme adolescent fantasies. To reward such a masterly achievement with the use of 22 firefighters almost pains my soul.” The last laugh was had by the artist, De la Jara. He said he was working to create a sculpture even a blind person could appreciate by using different textures and appealing to the tactile senses. “It’s not only visual,” he said. “It’s not only with the eyes.” Basically, de la Jara intended for people to check out the sculpture up close. “The principal part of the work isn’t outside.” So the American might not have been totally off-base, a small consolation for the sheer scale of his embarrassment. “It’s participatory art,” de la Jara said. “It should be entered.” It’s just that, since the sculpture was installed in 2001, no one’s actually gotten stuck. “I believe [he got caught] because he had a lack of coordination” de la Jara said. “Or maybe it was a lack of sensibility.” “It might also be a little bit the fault of the work,” he added. De la Jara quipped that it was almost as if the sculpture had taken revenge on the kid. “Instead of jumping in, if he had gone in carefully, he wouldn’t have had a problem.” https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/pi-chacan https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/23/us-student-rescued-giant-vagina-sculpture-germany Escape hole An easier way to get stuck somewhere is to commit a crime in front of a cop, then you can be stuck in a cell. This became too much for Rafael Valadao, an inmate at a jail in Ceres in the central Brazilian state of Goias. Raf and his three cellmates devised an escape plan that would surely get them unstuck from this situation, or so they thought. The plan was simple, break through the holding cell wall with a stolen length of pipe, then go over a 16.4-foot perimeter wall and one electrified fence, home-free. The plan worked for the first cellmate, who after smashing through the wall quickly slipped through the hole and never looked back, But now it was our friend Raf’s turn, Raf was a bigger guy clocking in around 230lbs and he was anxious to go next, after shimmying himself through the wall to his stomach it became apparent that he couldn’t fit. Incapable of moving in or out, the police caught him in the act. The act of screaming for his life too, apparently. According to Brazilian newspaper Jornal Populacional, after badly injuring himself trying to pass through the hole repeatedly, the prisoner realized it was an impossible proposition. That’s when he began to scream and cry for help. At that moment, the guards came in and discovered the surrealistic scene. They even took photos of him as they waited for the fire department. The fire department used a hammer and drill to free the felon. A police spokesman said: “He seemed to have underestimated the size of his stomach.” Le Toilet https://gizmodo.com/dumb-prisoner-gets-stuck-in-his-own-wall-hole-during-st-5966806#:~:text=Four%20inmates%20tried%20to%20escape,pipe%20from%20the%20prison’s%20shower.&text=According%20to%20Brazilian%20newspaper%20Jornal,it%20was%20an%20impossible%20proposition. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/overweight-prisoner-gets-stuck-in-wall-1474073 It’s stories like this that highlight how I’m not a good friend, and even if I was skinny I wouldn’t help you with this problem, Aaron. Cato Berntsen Larsen decided he would be the super friend when his buddy accidentally dropped his phone into a toilet while trying to pee and text at the same time at Hillside River Park in Drammen, Norway. Mr. Berntsen Larsen said he had volunteered to enter the tank, which is not connected to the sewer and which is only emptied once a season. “My friend said I was thinner and could fetch it. I did not take time to think, and jumped down legs first.” Cato immediately regretted his decision “I was apparently thin enough to get down, but not thin enough to come up again. “It was damn disgusting – the worst ever experience. There were animals down there too. I was bit several times. “The sh*t was up to my thighs. I was sick. Then I started panicking because I hate confined spaces and couldn’t move.” The 20-year-old became sick as he stood thigh-deep in its contents, and had to spend an hour completely enclosed in the small area. “I panicked because I hate confined spaces,” he told Norwegian newspaper VG. “It was damn disgusting – the worst I have experienced. There were animals down there too.” To make matters worse, Cato quickly threw up after entering the tank, which was standing room only. Firefighters were forced to destroy the toilet, which is now out of service. Cato sustained injuries to his upper arms and said he believed he had been bitten several times. He was treated at a hospital and given antibiotics and is now forever unclean. He did retrieve the phone – but it was smashed in the fall. I’m trying not to judge people on looks but if this crawled out of my toilet I would probably have a heart attack and die. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37196629 https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1677733/tattooed-goon-gets-trapped-inside-toilet-thigh-deep-in-faeces-after-climbing-in-to-retrieve-pals-phone-in-hilarious-echoes-of-trainspotting-scene/ Only Have Eyes For Glue Now, this is a friend I can stand with. One Florida woman’s eye was glued shut after a friend accidentally passed her super glue instead of eye drops. Katherine Gaydos told WPBF-TV she asked her friend to get her a bottle of eye drops after she felt something blow into her eye. “Something blew into my eye and I screamed for someone else to get eye drops out of my purse and they brought Super Glue.” “As soon as I felt it in my eye I felt it burn and I closed my eye and screamed ‘Call 911.’” Gaydos went to her doctor, who was able to pry her eye open after applying anesthetic to her eyelids. She will have to come back Friday to get the glue removed. “He said I should get my sight back, and not have permanent damage,” Gaydos said. While Gaydos’ injury could make almost anyone cringe, experts say people mistake eye drops and Super Glue all too often. Dr. Pankaj Gupta, assistant professor of ophthalmology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, said he has seen multiple cases where people accidentally glued their eyes shut but that there are simple treatments to help them. “The first thing I think everyone needs to know is don’t panic,” Gupta told ABC News. The eye cells will slough off and eventually loosen the grip of superglue, he explained. “There is not a single thing that is permanent that will not slough off on its own,” he added. “In time it will go away.” Gupta said if someone gets glue in their eye they should see an eye care doctor immediately, but not panic about permanently losing their eyesight. https://abcnews.go.com/Health/woman-mistakes-super-glue-eye-drops-ends-stuck/story?id=34344088 https://www.boston25news.com/news/woman-mistakes-super-glue-for-eye-drops-glues-eye-shut/8630051/ Windows Getting stuck with a bad date sucks but getting stuck while on a date sucks more, at least it did for Liam Smyth’s date, she wished to remain anonymous and you’ll soon see why. A few years ago, Liam, a grad student at the Britain’s University of Bristol, had a nice dinner with a woman he met on Tinder. The night was still young, so he invited her over to his house to drink wine and watch a documentary about Scientology, hot date if you ask me. At some point, the woman asked to use his bathroom. When she returned, Smyth said, she had “a panicked look in her eye.” Dates always go best when someone has a panicked look in their eyes. Smyth said the woman told him: “I went for a poo in your toilet, and it would not flush.” He then claims the woman confessed to reaching into the toilet bowl, wrapping the dookie in tissue paper, and throwing it out of the window. Wanting to be a gentleman, Smyth suggested going outside together, bagging up the offending poo, throwing it away, and then pretending “the whole sorry affair had never happened,” he recalled, (it must have been a really good date). Unfortunately, the story gets crappier. Smyth’s bathroom window doesn’t open to the garden, but into an 18-inch gap that is separated from the outside world by another non-opening double glazed window. “It was into this twilight zone that my date had thrown her poo,” he wrote. According to Smyth, when he went to get a hammer to smash the window, his date decided to climb in headfirst to retrieve the poop herself ― which she was able to do successfully. That’s when they realized she was stuck upside-down. “I grabbed her waist and I pulled. But she was stuck. Stuck fast,” Smyth wrote on his GoFundMe page. “Try as we might, we could not remove her from the window. She was stuck fast, upside down in the gap.” At that point, he called for help and an emergency crew drove up within minutes. About 15 minutes later, the woman was free. Although the woman was rescued unharmed, Mr. Smith said his bathroom window was destroyed. “I’m not complaining, they did what they had to do,” he said. “Problem is, I’ve been quoted north of £300 to replace the window and as a postgraduate student, that is a significant chunk of my monthly budget.” Mr. Smith originally set a crowdfunding target of £200 but has already raised more than £1,200. He said he and his date had decided to split the extra cash between two charities, one supporting firefighters and another that builds and maintains flushing toilets in developing countries. Unsurprisingly, the woman does not want to be named but Mr. Smith said he had seen her since and “who knows what the future holds”. “We had a lovely night on the second date but it’s too early to say if she’s the one. But we got on very very well and she’s a lovely girl,” he said. “And we’ve already got the most difficult stuff out of the way first.” https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-bristol-41167296 Washing machine Hide and Go Seek was a great game to play when we were kids, it’s even fun now! As we get older and bigger we start to run into some physics problems that often need professional intervention. Well, that’s what happened when Australian police got a call to help a man stuck inside of a washing machine. Bankstown Fire and Rescue were called out to the home in Lakemba a few years ago to find the man had been trapped in the front loader for at least three hours. The 22-year-old man was struck in the machine up to his waist and apparently, this wasn’t the first time the washing machine had caught him. His parents first called paramedics, who sought help from NSW Fire and Rescue. “This job was interesting as the crew had not performed a washing machine rescue before,” the Bankstown crew posted on their Facebook page. Under the direction of station officer David Cross, the D Platoon crew implemented a plan to extract the patient by disassembling the washing machine, the post said. They had to dissect the machine carefully and stabilize the washing drum while the outer mounts of the appliance were removed. Once the exterior had been removed, firefighters cut away the stainless steel drum to free the man. The rescue took just over an hour and the patient was taken to hospital as a precaution, maybe do a mental health check too. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-25618683 https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2015/08/18/stuck-in-a-washing-machin_n_8007210.html The Tables Have Turned… We started this story with people stuck in strange places but I want to end with strange things stuck in people. Many people around the globe have felt that moment of panic when we accidentally lose something in an orifice. I know when I was young and dumb I stuck a metal BB up my nose, much to my mother’s chagrin, and had to take a quick trip to the ER to have it fished out. I’d like to believe that I am done sticking things in orifices but who knows what the future may hold. Thanks to the internet and the record-keeping talents of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission we have a comprehensive list of everything stuck in Americans this past year. This is a great list broken down into orifices so we know exactly where the strange item was plucked from. I have cherry-picked a few good items from the lists and here they are. From your Ear: 2 wireless earbuds—I thought they belonged there Pearl Microchip Decorative seashell Slime—I need more information on this one?? Christmas ornament From the Nose: “Bug tried to remove with a bobby pin, bobby pin now stuck” Small heart sticker Sunflower seed Christmas ornament From the Throat: Tropical breeze detergent pod—I thought we were over this stupid fad Capsule that expands into a foam dinosaur—to be honest, I have always wondered what they tasted like too Cleaning solution, razor blade covered in toilet paper, broken plastic soap dish- this guy was hungry Drill bit Christmas ornament From the Penis: Crayons Coaxial Cable Screwdriver Bobby Pin, “unable To Achieve Erection & Thought It Would Help”- I’m Sure… From the Vagina: Toothbrush—she had great dental hygiene “Was being arrested by the police so she took her cell phone and hid it from them – stuck it in her vagina” Toy action figure “Jumped Off Couch Landed On Spoon” From the Rectum: “Patient states he states slipped in the shower and landed on a metal-air freshener can and it went into rectum”- seems reasonable Toothbrush Toothbrush holder—not sure if this was the same person Coat hanger, “patient unsure how it got there” “Accidentally got a dildo lodged in rectum & cut the end of the dildo off”—lots of sex toys in butts this year Christmas ornament- because why not, we stick it in most of the other holes. In Your Butt https://www.stayathomemum.com.au/fun-stuff/weird-things-people-have-stuck-up-their-butt/ Your Body https://www.radio.com/alt923/blogs/cane/the-yearly-list-of-things-we-got-stuck-in-our-bodies Mid-Show Bumper Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more! You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating. Interested in what we have to say about this story? Good news, it’s available right now to subscribers at Patreon.com/iit! The Bitter Lake Nation The recent blockage of the Suez Canal may have cost the world something like 10 billion dollars a day in global shipments but it was far from the longest shut down in the canal. This is the eight-year story of a utopian, communist, floating, micro-nation. Oh yeah, it’s micronation time! First, a brief geography and history lesson. In case you’ve been living under a rock, there’s been some trouble at the Suez Canal. A big-ass freight liner, the 400-meter MS Ever Given, got all confused, sailed in circles until it drew a dick with its GPS, then jammed itself sideways in a narrow part of the canal blocking other ships for a week until it could be unstuck and moved into the Bitter Lake. Bitter Lake is a heavily salinated (about two times that of the ocean) lake roughly a quarter of the way through the canal. Satellite image by CNES The Suez canal itself is a shortcut from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean, without which one would have to sail all the way around the horn of Africa to get from, say, Spain to India. And extra 10,000 kilometers. (8 vs. 18k) Entering the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and Ethiopia one sails up the Red Sea until you reach the Gulf of Suez located between Egypt and Israel. then you enter the Suez Canal and very, very carefully boat your boat to Port Said north of Ciro. Once you’re out the other side it’s a quick left to Alexandria, a right to Jerusalem, or straight on ahead to Greece, Italy, and if you keep going to Spain, then the North Atlantic. This is why it was such a big deal when, on June 5th of 1967, the canal was shut down because Israel preemptively bombed Egyptian airfields starting the “Setback” or as it’s more commonly known the Six-Day War. A Google Map View of The Great Bitter lake The war itself might be a story at some point but for now, it’s sufficient to say that following World War II things in the area were… not great. The Israeli offensive, which also included a push into the Gaza Strip, won Israel the Sinai. Egypt and her allies pushed back and with Jordan agreed to a ceasefire on the 8th of June, Syria on the 9th, and Israel on the 11th. Still, the war had killed some 20 thousand Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian troops (Israel having lost about a thousand), and displayed 300,000 Palestinians, give or take 20k. It was a shit-show for sure and obviously had wide-reaching effects on the area that can still be felt. But for our purposes, all we really need to know is that the Six-Day War blocked off the canal. Egypt had barricaded it with wreckage and sea mines to cripple Israel’s economy. They also trapped 14 cargo ships in the Bitter Lake until relations between the warring nations improved enough to re-open the canal… eight years later. So, now we have the Great Bitter Lake cut off from both ends and 14 ships—British, French, American, German, Swedish, Bulgarian, Polish, and Czechoslovakian—huddled in the middle trying desperately to stay out of the crossfire. And then, quiet… and waiting. So. Much. Waiting. The ships were described in an NYT article at the time as “clustered in the middle of the lake like a wagon train awaiting an Indian attack.” This formed the parameter of the micronation when a memo came from the Israeli side saying that any lifeboat seen outside the parameter would be fired upon. Fortunately, the Red Cross had negotiated with Israel and Egypt to allow all but a skeleton crew to go to Athens and fly out. The rest of them… tucked in. From Captain Miroslaw Proskurnicki of the Polish ship Jakarta: “We were in a very comfortable prison. The first month was like a holiday. The second month was very hard. By the end of the third month, it was terrible.” Eventually, the ships got tried of puttering about doing… ship… stuff… and banded together, figuratively and literally, on the deck of the UK’s MS Melampus to create the “Great Bitter Lake Association,” now known as the Yellow Fleet—so-called for the yellow sand that constantly built up in the boats. The crew met regularly to maintain the association and share resources among the trapped ships. The ships divided up national tasks. The Polish freighter served as the post office—Egypt and Israel wouldn’t let the ships leave, but they did allow home countries to send supplies. The Swedish Killara had a pool that, in the scorching summer heat (up to 50c), I’m sure was delightful. Seriously though, apparently it was regularly hot enough to cook steaks on exposed metal surfaces. The British ship MS Port Invercargill, was the longest ship, so that’s where they played soccer. The German ship, Nordwind held church services. Captain Paul Wall told the Los Angeles Times in 1969 “We call it church, but actually it is more of a beer party.” Because the Germans received free beer from breweries back home, because of course, they did. “In three days we tried Norwegian beer, Czechoslovak beer and wine and Bulgarian beer and vodka,” Captain Zdzislaw Stasick told The New York Times in 1974. British captain of the Invercargill, Arthur Kensett, said: “One wonders what future archaeologists in a few thousand years’ time will think of this.” Many ships carried tons of food products, so to quote John McPherson of the Melampus “there was plenty to eat […] there was thousands of tons of tea.” They were told the cargo was a total loss so they were given permission to open the cargo and have at. One of the ships had thousands of tons of frozen shrimp from Vietnam, another veg from Australia, and of course, most had booze from basically every coastal country between them. I guess the shrimp did eventually go bad so they had to toss containers of it… sad. Lots of ye-oldie footage of BBQs from the Al Jazeera archives. So that’s nice. Fun fact, the postage stamps were hand-crafted on the ships and because the Egyptian Postal Authority recognized them, so did the rest of the world. The ships were eventually set into three postage groups, kinda like zip codes and post came and went regularly. The stamps are now keenly sought after by philatelists (collectors, though the term philatelists are specific to those who study stamps rather than collectors). G.B.L.A. Stamp featuring a dude playing soccer and the Olympic rings Of course, you mix free beer with nothing to do at your lake-front… and back… and both sides, villa and what you get is… a series of great ideas. For the shipmen, and single lady, there was little to do but clean and eat. So they started having bingo nights, dance parties, movie nights on the Polish freighter Djakarta, and of course, the Great Bitter Lake Association Olympic games. Held 10 days before the 1968 Mexico City Olympic games the GBLA Olympics featured all the usual events: diving, sprinting, high jump (Al Jazeera has footage of this one and), weight lifting, archery, water polo, sailing, swimming, and so on. The Polish crew minted medals of lead and painted them for the winners of each event. The Swedes won the high jump, the Poles rowing, and the French won sailing—their only gold. The English won soccer and German Franz Klofik won the fishing contest… not sure what they were pulling out of that water, but he was the best. And, of course, the Germans won weightlifting, because of course, they did. German weightlifter picking up a heavy thing The bestest medal went to the bestest competitor ever. Yes he is. Bullbul, the football-playing dog from Sindh (largest province in Pakistan) won’t the… best… being a dog stuck on a floating micronation medal. All in all, this was one of the most successful micronations I’ve read about. They had stamps that the international community recognized, proper international sporting events, their own internal (trade-based, and apparently, beer-based) economy. All in all, things went about as well as they can for 14 ships stuck in an unofficial no-man’s land. The ships would eventually be given permission to move out of the canal some six years after the Six-Day War. Unfortunately, by that time all the ships had serious mechanical issues… also the canal was still full of mines, some 750,000 of them. It took two more years to clear the wreckage and explosives and only the two German ships could leave under their own power. Because zee Germans understand mechanical efficiency. Upon leaving they went directly to deliver their cargo of minerals and steal, winning them the world record for the longest sea shipping voyage: 8 years, 3 months, and 5 days. They interview the German engineer who is as German about it as one could possibly be. Hats off. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIoxV0C4NHQ I’ve linked the Al Jazeera feature I mentioned earlier in the show notes. You should have a look. They interview a handful of Great Bitter Lake citizens and play footage from the time. It’s a good product and you get to watch a legit yee-oldie German strong-man, mustache, and striped sarong, win the lifting gold. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_Fleet#cite_note-TIME_p.-1 http://content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,841641-1,00.html https://www.vice.com/en/article/88azwa/ever-given-dick-ship-suez-canal-free https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/great-bitter-lake-association/ https://cathsenker.co.uk/the-great-bitter-lake-olympics-september-1968/ https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/643213/history-by-mail-subscription-service?utm_content=infinitescroll1 (they got the Olympics wrong, the article says Tokyo, the 1968 games were in Mexico City) https://www.vice.com/en/article/jgqwn8/suez-canal-ms-ever-given-evergreen-dick-ship https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/great-bitter-lake-association/ (the episode is specifically about the GBLA stamps) Outro I’m Shea, and before we go, this week I learned that there is not one canary on Canary island, the same goes for the Virgin Islands, not on canary. I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and my co-host Aaron. We’d like the extend a special thanks to our newest patrons: Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from! Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
27 minutes | 2 months ago
Interesting If True - Episode 46: Wetter Water Wonderland
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that’s wetter than an otter’s pocket, because today’s show is about making water wetter! Oh yeah! I’m your host this week, Aaron, and with me are: I’m Shea, and this week I learned that eggs are the most popular form of children to eat. Snake oil or cure all, you won’t be the judge… because it’s nonsense 100% of the time. Before I dive in, I want to take a moment and say that almost every source I’ve found refers to alkaline water as snake oil. And while I understand the sentiment I can’t help but point out that snake oil wasn’t “snake oil” until charlatans replaced the minimal effects of elixirs make with the Chinese Water Snake with… you know, whatever they have around. Whereas alkaline water has literally never, ever, been good for you. Alkaline stuff has become incredibly popular. Beverage Marketing Corporation, a research and consulting group who does exactly what the name suggests, found that in 2014 alkaline water was a 40mil a year proposition. Four years later, it was closer to 700mil. Anyone with half a brain cell should be able to suss out why alkaline diets, especially alkaline water, won’t ever help you but indeed can harm you—and if you’re particularly unlucky, kill you horribly. To understand alkaline water we first need to understand acids, those are the things below 7 on the pH scale, and bases or alkaloids, those above 7 on the same scale, with 7 itself being neutral. Your body is naturally slightly alkaline, with blood for example typically being at 7.40. Meanwhile stomach acid can be between 1.5 and 3.5, coffee is typically in the 4.2 to 5.3 range. On the base side of things you’ll find you blood, most cleaning products, baking soda and even more so in baked-baking soda (as one might make to create authentic ramen noodles), and on the extreme end potassium and cesium. So, what could possibly say “healthy” more than upping those alkalinity points with alkaline water and diet until you gain the awesome power of raw cesium?! That’s right, nothing. So drink up because as totally reputable site n-o-v-a.com says alkaline water: 1. Restores Ph balance in the body (I guess everyone pre-bottled hippy-water was just walking around acid-melting everything like a Xenomorph with hemophilia), Increases Energy levels, [it’s] extra hydrating than other water (grammar theirs), and it can help reduce signs of aging. So pretty woo, but not as woo-woo and the woos can do. For the real lowdown on alkaline water I had to do some Googling and surprise, surprise, I quickly found out all the alkaline secrets Big Water Cycle doesn’t want you to know about. For example, it cures cancer when consumed with Chemo! The cancer claims are almost entirely based on the idea that cancer cells create an ever-so-slightly more acidic environment to thrive, and therefore alkalizing that environment will kill the cancerous cells. Which is true… in a laboratory setting. Of course, in a lab cells are actually kind of difficult to keep alive anyway and by the same logic a handgun will also eliminate cancer by making its petri dish inhospitable. Alkalizing your body is an entirely different hill to climb. Unfortunately for the basic woos, (hehe, see what I did there) everything in nature goes against the idea that you should alkalinize yourself. Even the CO2 in our lungs and blood is acidic. So, Alkalinzing yourself isn’t going to be easy. Which is where Real Water and its competitors will help you out. With water ranging from 5 to 9 on the pH scale, they’ve got the water that’s for you, not mater which side of the 7 your woo falls. From ScienceBasedMedicine by way of Flying Crane Acupuncture, Kangan water (another brand name) is recommended for: cancer, auto-immune disorders, chemical sensitivities, GERD, allergies, candida, Lyme Disease, Biofilms, protozoan FL1953, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, insomnia, leaky gut syndrome, migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, psoriasis, sinusitis, and all people on the standard American diet. Because American’s eat garbage. And not even super-garbage like Kangan is selling. According to Mark Crislip on SBM, FL1953 is a non-identifier. He did some looking and surprise, nothing worth noting in any journals but he did find a reference to Protomyxzoa rheumatica, which I’m positive I miss-pronounced but it also doesn’t matter because that’s not a thing. The only person who thinks it is, is Dr. Stephen Fry MD, who hasn’t published any findings of course, but he’s pretty sure this protozoa that somehow becomes a worm which causes a fungal super-infection is actually the cause of Fibro, MS, ALS, etc., and, of course, doesn’t like alkalinity. The images of the bug, which were widely called “a red blood cell” or “an artifact” are no longer available from FloridaDetox.com for what I’m guessing are truth reasons. That said, they can still cure your Lyme Disease with… stuuuff… honestly, judging by the wall of nonsense on their site it might just be easier to have Eli fuck it away. Still, the cancer is a fungus and HIV/AIDS is a toxin crowd aren’t giving up just because their thing is demonstrably nonsense. No, that would be conceding to big Germ Theory and we can’t have that. To that end, companies like Kangan, Real Water, and others have been making not just bottled water but also machines that, somehow, use electrolysis and salt to make alkaline or acidic water to your specifications. Of course, none of this works because separating pH neutral water into H and O2 with low voltage electric currents creates… all the bits you need for water. So unless your goal is flammable gasses this doesn’t work. The woo-plan is to split the water into H and O2 such that we’re left with more OH ions which are basic. Unfortunately, you’re also left with extra Hydrogen ions which are both acidic and prone to recombining with OH to make water. So electrolysis doesn’t make alkaline water which is why most of it has baking soda in it. Yep. Your body is very good at regulating its own pH and altering that through diet is almost impossible. It should be obvious, but let’s walk through this. The more alkaline waters offered can be upwards of 9.3 pH, which has gotta be less than great to drink, but whatever. After leaving the bottle the water is introduced directly to your stomach acid which immediately neutralizes the water. The end. Right? No. Like any solution if you mix enough of a reagent into it, you can change its pH and there are people dedicated enough to do so. Mixing baked-backing soda into water, for example—which, by the way, you should absolutely never do because it will likely chemical burn the hell out of you—you could push through the stomach acid limitation, through the kidneys and liver limitations, and slowly begin to alkalinize your body. I have to reiterate that this would take a huge amount of effort because you will have to push through chemical burns, massive digestive issues, abdominal pain, and then a growing list of symptoms associated with what your doing to yourself, otherwise known as Alkalosis. Alkalosis is usually caused by CO2 build up directly in the blood stream. Doing it orally is something of a feat. Still, here’s what you’re dealing with and it isn’t even a little bit the cure for cancer. You’re looking at muscular weakness then pain followed by sever cramps coupled with muscle spasms (as in, eventually, the spin breaking kind). It will cause transport proteins in your blood to ionize into anions causing free calcium to bind more strongly to albumin, which causing tetany seizures. Then it gets into your central nervous system and causes strokes or Rett syndrome before eventually melting your lungs, brain, and ability to be not dead. But don’t take my word for it… A 2016 systematic review of the evidence for an alkaline diet for the prevention or treatment of cancer concluded: Despite the promotion of the alkaline diet and alkaline water by the media and salespeople, there is almost no actual research to either support or disprove these ideas. This systematic review of the literature revealed a lack of evidence for or against diet acid load and/or alkaline water for the initiation or treatment of cancer. Promotion of alkaline diet and alkaline water to the public for cancer prevention or treatment is not justified. And, you remember me mentioning that if your blood alkalizes it can create free calcium, which is absolutely a bad thing, but when filtered through ignorance it sounds a lot like something that could be good for bone health. To that… A 2011 systematic review of alkaline diet for preventing osteoporosis found: A causal association between dietary acid load and osteoporotic bone disease is not supported by evidence and there is no evidence that an alkaline diet is protective of bone health. Now, if all of this science is a bit science-y for you, we can bring it back down to Earth. From the FDA: “We are advising consumers, restaurants and retailers to not consume, cook with, sell or serve “Real Water” alkaline water until more information is known about the cause of the illnesses. We are working to determine how the alkaline water may be related to the illnesses. Although the investigation is ongoing, epidemiologic information currently indicates that this alkaline water product may be the cause of the illnesses. We will provide additional updates as more information becomes available.” What is the illness they’re talking about? Well that’s five kids in Nevada who have recently been sent to the ICU—their parents were admitted with varying degrees of illness. The illness is defined by the FDA as “non-viral hepatitis” traced back to consuming Vegas-based Real Water Alkaline water. For their part Real Water rep Jones says: “Real Water is asking that all retailers pull the product from the shelf, effective immediately, and hold it in the back rooms or return it to the distributors. Any customer who has purchased Real Water from a retailer is asked to return the product.” So, you know, Alkaline water may claim to cure cancer but it definitely does is give you all the symptoms of hepatitis. So, to summarize, a simple bottle of Alkaline Water will not alkalinize your body, and even if it could the effects would be anything but healthy and desirable. Best case you get sick, worst case you wind up on live transplant lists like the five kids I just mentioned. Just say “no” to water-woo! https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/down-the-virtual-rabbit-hole/ https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/alkaline-water-surges-despite-lack-of-evidence/ https://www.aicr.org/wp-content/cache/powered-cache/www.aicr.org/resources/blog/another-cancer-and-diet-claim-the-alkaline-diet/index.html https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21529374 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27297008/ https://ktla.com/news/nationworld/fda-warns-not-to-drink-real-water-brand-alkaline-water-after-5-kids-hospitalized-with-liver-illness/ https://www.fda.gov/news-events/fda-brief/fda-brief-fda-investigates-source-non-viral-hepatitis-cases-possibly-linked-bottled-alkaline-water https://quackwatch.org/related/DSH/coral2/ http://www.chem1.com/CQ/ Mid-Show Bumper Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more! You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating. Interested in what we have to say about this story? Good news, it’s available right now to subscribers at Patreon.com/iit! Now that you know about how to make water more watery, let’s take a quiz! It’s time for Shea to lose a quiz, after all, turnabout is fair play eh. Let’s take the zanny water quiz! Much like Shea’s impossible to win greasy spoon slang, I’m going to give you a term and very little to go on then ask you to tell me what it all means. For example, if I ask what “alkaline water” is you should now be able to tell me that it’s a bunch of nonsense woo-woo BS suggesting that basic water will make you healthier. Q: What is “Activated Water”? A: This is a bit of a generic term but it typically refers to water that has been imbued with special properties with magnets, electricity, vibrations, or hoping at it real hard. Q: What is “Willard’s Water”? A: It’s about as healthy as his “water” for sure. Willard’s Water, available now for $15.99/8oz bottle, was created 40 years ago by Dr. Willard when he mixed water he was studying with another undefined thing he was studying and the result is… waterier. This new, better, water has a “catalyst that alters the structure of water [that] significantly increases the body’s ability to fully absorb essential vitamins and nutrients.” or so says the website without working images. Q: What is “Aetheric Energy Water”? A: Well naturally it’s “Aetherically Charged” – hopefully not with real ether – the same … stuff … used in “anti-aging cream”, and “Aetheric gold” … end of explanation. From the site “tetrahedronal mathematic-based technology: …The virtual laser imposes coherence (structure) on the vacuum medium around and through a given volume water and rotates energy out of vacuum into the fundamental water molecules.” Which yes, those are all words, except no, they’re not. This is Structured Water nonsense. The idea is that Structure-Altered Waters (SAWs) are happier, healthier water molecules and all you need to prove that is that when water’s structure is crystalline, ie: a snow flake, it makes people happy, and when it’s a gross little tap water blog, it makes people sad. Also, wtf. Q: What is a “Vortex Water Revitalizer”? A: It’s a faucet pipe with a curly-Q in it, or a main water pipe extension that has a curly divider in it that will force your water into “into a double helix DNA type cycloid, curved spiral flow-form, which creates a powerful vortex induced implosion in the water” which is somehow good for you because your body won’t need to digest water anymore, it just goes right into your you, it has 25% more oxygen, and it eliminates bacteria, so that’s nice. Q: What is “Angel Fire Water”? A: It’s water that has been put through a “12 step process to bring you our super oxygenated, structured, alkaline water.” Apparently, they “add pure oxygen and lock it into the molecular structure of water” by way of a “bio-electric impedance analyzer” that makes their water improve “cellular hydration” in just 22 minutes. Of course, if you actually added another Oxygen to H2O you’d get H2O2, or Hydrogen peroxide, which you very much should not drink. Q: What is “AquaLiv”? A: This “structured alkaline water” is a “homeopathic health supplement […] saturated with ‘Life-Force Energy'” duh. Q: What does the “Aqalpulse 3000” do? A: This Texas-based water woo device uses electrical “impulse technology” to “solve hard water problems”. This is another anti-/de-scaling solution because scaling in your tea-pot is evidence of upper 4th dimensional lizard people diluting mono-atomic gold in your Earl Grey. Moreover, they claim that “iron particles are set in motion at high speed, which breaks down the lime.” Which is… wut? Q: What does the Bernardini “Research Institute” make for your water? A: The “Energy Mug” which can, apparently, transform bad right-spinning water into healthier “left-spin water” and no, the company is not based in Australia. They’re based in the 90’s where you can still get a Geo-Cities site covered in nonsensical gifs. The mug sells for $60USD and has the power of eight different background colors and five fonts on the same page! Q: What if you want your water filtered through a vintner? Then you’ll need a “BevWizard Wine Enhancer” which does what? A: Yep, it’s a magnetic wine stopper that apparently causes tannins to coagulate… because of how ferris and blood-like they are I guess. Q: What does the “Catalytic 1000 Salt-Free Water Softener” do? A: Well naturally it turns “calcium bicarbonate” in calcite by “Utilizing household water pressure as its energy source, the CATALYTIC 1000 converts hardness producing calcium bicarbonate into Calcite – an internationally recognized, environment friendly, sequestering (water softening) agent. The Calcite seeds attract calcium and magnesium, preventing these hardness minerals from forming scale and producing other hardness related problems.” Which is an interesting claim given that “Calcium bicarbonate” isn’t a thing and calcite (calcium carbonate) doesn’t soften water so much as it is a major cause of scales so… nope, eh. Q: What is “Deuterium” and why is it good for water? A: It’s “CELLFOOD’s Di-base, Di-pole Deuterium Sulfate” of course which “provides an incredible oxygen source and delivery stateroom to the body at the cellular level” which is impressive especially when you realize it “has the unique ability to dissociate the water molecule into nascent hydrogen and nascent oxygen” which cool, unless you’re a smoker… Q: What makes “Ejax Wetter Water” even wetter than water? A: Of course it’s the “sacrificial magnesium electrode [that] yields colloidal material that is claimed to control scale, remove chlorine, and ‘produce smaller drops of water'”. Best of all, for farmers, golf course owners, etc., Ejax Wetter Water “neutralizes sodium” and reduced irrigation needs by up to 50% while saving 30% on the electricity needed to pump it! Q: What is so essential about “Essential Energy Lifeforce Water”? A: The water, when combined with the power of the “Energizing Mug” reverses the “spin” of water molecules to “override negative vibrational memories that may be left by low energy substances, while simultaneously increasing the life-enhancing potential of your water.” Best of all thanks to the “Water Doctor” we now know how to reformat homeopathic dino poo water. So that’s nice. Q: What does “H4O Hydrogen-Bonded Water” do for you? A: Fucking nothing because you can’t make H4O… but according to a Japanese site it’s “low ORP” “miracle water” that can “relieve your pain and suffering for it prevents the damaging effects of free oxygen radicals” and naturally, “because of it’s purity, it boasts a pH level of 7.7” which is… lolz. Q: What does “Magnation Water Technologies” do? A: This agricultural product is some kind of … thing … the pics make it look like another double helix pipe in which “water molecule clusters made up of water and salts are simultaneously busted apart, polarized and held in suspension as smaller, fully energized, lighter, and more bioavailable units with better electrons. This creates a softer, more permeable and productive water while also preventing mineral scale buildup.The effect of Magnation’s magnetic systems makes matter lighter and smaller on subatomic isotopic levels.” Q: What does “Miracle 6” do? A: Naturally it’s a computer program from prophecyandpreparedness.com that clusters water and transmits prayers to God. Talk about SaaS! Outro I’m Aaron, and I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and my co-hosts. Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from! Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
37 minutes | 2 months ago
Interesting If True - Episode 45: We're A Bunch Of Jerks!
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that’s much, much better than most things now associated with the number 45… I’m your host this week, Shea, and with me are: I’m Aaron, and this week I learned that one day all of us will buy a food with an expiration date longer than our own… The Jerk Off! Inspired as a nickname for the soda clerk who operated soda fountains as late as the 1950s, the “Soda Jerk” title was inspired by the jerking action a server used to swing the soda fountain handle back and forth when adding soda water to a fountain beverage. They prepared milkshakes and other treats using drink mixers that feature spindles and agitators to fold air in for smooth and fluffy results served in tall glasses. Soda Jerks were charged not only with preparing delicious treats for customers, but with entertaining them as well. Their responsibilities were many—breaking and draining eggs with one hand, carving chicken, remembering orders, pulling the correct spigots and spindles on the drugstore soda fountain. But most of all, the NY Times reported, “the prime requisite of their station is the ability to bandy words.” Soda jerks became known across the country for this kind of esoteric slang. They were often virtuosic wordsmiths, with a gift for puns and riffs. And, at a time when the United States was nuts for all things ice-cream, they were at once “consummate showmen, innovators, and freelance linguists of the drugstore stage,” writes Michael Karl Witzel in The American Drive-In. “America’s soda jerk became the pop culture star of the Gilded Age.” The colorful jargon of the Soda Jerk was verbal shorthand for calling out orders as part of putting on a show for customers. The order consisted of the method of preparation, the number and size of the order, the basic soda fountain item, and any special instructions, such as “Shake One in the Hay and Spit on It” (a strawberry shake with raspberries on top). Soda fountains had handbooks of recipes they had to memorize, but hundreds of variations were created on the fly by the creative Soda Jerks. By the 1950’s capitalism all but killed the old time soda fountains, the increase in technology and the wish to expedite helped push the jerks out the door. By then diners were the new big hang out, the good ol greasy spoon of yore to the place of soda fountains but they kept some of the language and peppered in some of their own. Similar to visiting a foreign country where English is not spoken, diner lingo is virtually unknown outside the United States. The light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek and even sometimes risqué phrases could be heard in wide use in busy diners during the 1920’s continuing on well into the 1970’s. Diner lingo was never intended for use in speeding up the order-to-table process. Rather, it was a spontaneously developed mnemonic means of making orders easier to hear and remember above the conversational din of the busy diner. It also provided patrons and employees with a free form of entertainment. Today we are going to test your soda jerking skills in our first ever JERK OFF!! Today’s quiz will be the interesting slang used by jerks and slop slingers back in the 50’s and we will compete to see who will be the Jerk of the year. I am going to start with an easy one, and actually the slang that got me started down this rabbit hole. Used both in Soda fountains and then eventually in diners what does “to 86” something mean? Remove an item from an order or from the menu; throw an item away (plenty of theories on the origins of this one, including: a reference to Article 86 of the New York State Liquor Code, which defines the circumstances under which a patron should be refused alcohol; a reference to coffins, usually eight feet long and buried six feet under; from Chumley’s Bar and Restaurant in New York City, where trash was thrown out the back door at 86 Bedford Street; from Delmonico’s Restaurant in NYC, where item #86 on their menu, the house steak, was often unavailable due to its popularity. One of the most popular drinks of the time was a “black cow” what was in it? It was a fancy root beer float with the addition of chocolate syrup mixed with the soda Soda fountains invented the Sundae which was most popular on Sunday’s, why? The church, so for some reason or another soda was considered too frilly and thus was banned from being sold on Sundays. Thought the bubbly water was banned the sweet treat was not. No soda fountain creation was complete without a maiden’s delight, what is it? A cherry… These Soda Jerks weren’t nearly as politically correct as you may have thought. Axle grease, skid grease, and cow paste were all the same ingredient used in most diner dishes. Butter, heart clogging butter Another easy one Baby juice, moo juice, cow juice, or Sweet Alice was also known as what? Super easy, Milk. Canned cow on the other hand was evaporated milk. Belch water or balloon water was a necessary ingredient in many concoctions. Also called On the house, it was just simple water. Heavy on the hail and it was ice water. A simple breakfast of Battle Creek in a bowl could be procured at many diners across the country. bowl of corn flakes cereal (the Kellogg Company based in Battle Creek, Michigan) Also called Elephant Dandruff A very popular slang that I know I have heard in the movies is Adam & Eve on a raft but what does it mean? Two poached eggs on toast, also could be called chicks on a raft Then what would Adam and Eve on a log be? Two poached eggs with sausage, if you just wanted a plate of sausage no eggs you could have a plate o’ dicks. And if we were to wreck Adam and Eve, Adam & Eve on a raft and wreck ‘em, we would have what? Two scrambled eggs on toast. Eve with a lid on is actually apple pie (referring to the biblical Eve’s tempting of Adam with an apple, the “lid” is the pie crust) and Eve with a moldy lid added a slice of cheese to the top. Not all slang was food related much like 86ing something, now if I were to draw your attention to an 87 ½, what might you see? A cute girl or more specifically a girl at table with legs conspicuously crossed, or you could mention to your coworker to “check the ice” also slang for “check out the girl who just walked in.” On occasion, the code had a simple, practical purpose. That might be in protecting the privacy of the customer: The name of an order spiked with the laxative magnesium citrate would include Mary Garden “because it makes you sing.” Mary Garden was a famous opera singer of the time. If a customer left without paying, whether by accident or otherwise, it was often easier to shout “95!” than to explain what had happened. “99!” denoted the presence of the big boss or an inspector (soda fountains were notoriously unhygienic and tended not to use soap when washing dishes). To “burn one” is to put a burger on the grill but what if you burned one then take it through the garden and pin a rose on it Add onion, lettuce, and tomato Then what would you add if you “drug it through Wisconsin? Add cheese, you might also say add wax though that was always american cheese. Egg creams used to creep me out just on principle but they don’t actually have eggs in them, what was in a traditional egg cream? Chocolate soda with a splash of milk Bullets/whistle-berries or Saturday nights were a popular side dish, especially in Blazing Saddles. Beans, could also be called million on a platter If I ordered a tube steak with a hemorrhage and mississippi mud what would I have ordered? Hotdog with ketchup and mustard. You could also paint it red and yellow, Hounds on an island is a bit different but still has hotdogs involved, that’s franks and beans. Bloodhound in the hay is a hot dog with sauerkraut. Now don’t get confused with dog soup, that’s just water. Noah’s boy on bread is a standard lunch fair for many Americans, though Jews and Muslims beware. Ham sandwich, Ham was of course one of Noah’s sons. Now what is “Noah’s boy with Murphy carrying a wreath?” ham and potatoes with cabbage, duh! Murphy was potatoes, Happy St. Pats today. If the Gentleman will take a chance, what did he order? My wife’s favorite breakfast too BTW. A basic hash, it was also called Sweep the kitchen/sweepings/clean up the kitchen, sounds appetizing. If you only wanted a side you could order a mystery in the ally A favorite of mine, what is nervous pudding? Jello! A Mormon trying to lose weight’s favorite hot drink is a “Why Bother” Decaf Coffee with no fat creamer Shingle with a shimmy and a shake was not a popular dance move, but was, what everyday breakfast food? Buttered toast with jam A Mouse trap with a splash of red noise is a favorite of many a toddler and myself. Grilled cheese with tomato soup I don’t know what your plans for dinner are tonight but I’m going with A yellow blanket on a dead cow, frog fries then stretch one and paint it red and Twist It, Choke It, and Make It Cackle. For those too slow to keep up, that’s a cheese burger with fries and a cherry coke followed by Chocolate malted milk. https://www.connecticutmag.com/food-drink/diner-lingo-how-to-talk-like-a-short-order-cook/article_6dce37f0-3a7d-11e7-b0df-4f4d5326a3d1.html https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/31493/understanding-diner-lingo-55-phrases-get-you-started https://hamiltonbeach.com/soda-jerks-a-lingo-all-their-own Mid-Show Bumper Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more! You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating. In Soviet Patron Segment, Food Eats You! Interested in what we have to say about this story? Good news, it’s available right now to subscribers at Patreon.com/iit! Wow Shea, I had no idea shit on a shingle was actually a yee-oldie thatchers technique! That’s so interesting… if it’s true. Pretty sure it’s not. These things are though. In keeping with Shea’s quiz about eating out, I’ve prepared a quiz for you about eating out… Question 1: Cunnalingus is… Named after that freaky-deaky Roman emperor, The key to a happy marriage, Derived from the latin words cunnus and lingere, Illegal in 14 states (Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Virginia – so all the worst ones basically). Yep, the lain for vulva was cunnus and “to lick” was lingere. Put’em together and what’da got? Well.. B, probably, which is the other answer I would have accepted. Remember kids, reciprocity is the foundation of civilization. Question 2: Which of the following are not acceptable oral sex barriors capable of prevent the spread of STDs and STIs? Ultra-thin, flavored, glow-in-the-dark, condoms, A carefully placed, or split open for space, latex or nitrile glove, A minty-fresh, Christian-themed (little crucifix pattern is the “how” on that), dental dam, A carefully placed amount of plastic kitchen wrap. Yes, while googling Dental Dams I did find a seller of Christian themed, mint flavored, dental dams for the safety-first clitorally-concerned cloisteress. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that nun’s outfit definitely wasn’t designed at the Vatican… Enter “glory” at checkout? The answer is A for the penis-havers and C — or a less creepy variant thereof — for the vagina-havers. While a latex or nitrile glove is a bio-impermeable layer, that’s only true if you don’t accidentally poke holes in it while cutting it, or rub holes in it… rubbing. As for cling wrap, some could work but there’s not enough good, positive, research to suggest it’s a good idea. Moreover, many microwavable cling wraps have micro pores to allow steam to pass through them, which you can totally tongue-punch an STD or STI though… Question 3: In Watchmen, one of Zach Snyder’s good movies (I mean, this airs after the release of the Snider Cut, but come on… what could he possibly add, remove, or drug us with to make that movie suck less?) OG Silk Spectre gives her daughter a “Tijuana Bible,” a tiny adult comic book. Not your most commonly known about or distributed comic, but like Marvel they left their mark on the English speaking world at least. What phrase did the Tijuana Bible make famous: Wetter than an otter’s pocket, Blow Job, Pun Tang, Tossing Salad, Thanks to Urban Dictionary for the joke in this round! Yeah, I’ve never heard that either… The answer is B, Blow Job. There are a few casual records of “blow” getting used as a term for filatio, and many more in the diaries of the wild-wests working women describing it as a laborious “job.” However, the term first appears in its entirety in a ‘Tijuana Bible’, a crudely drawn and in this case, eight-page, pornographic comic. They often featured a well known or notorious person at the time, in this case the alleged Communist spy Alger Hiss and the McCarthyite informer Whitaker Chambers. c.1948 ‘Chambers & Hiss in Betrayed’ [comic strip] in B. Adelman Tijuana Bibles (1997): Alger […] you give such good blow jobs! Question 4: The ancient gods were busy bees for sure. While Zues was shagging everything in sight and Yahweh giving happily married women surprise-babies, the rest of the gods, well in Egypt anyway, doing everything but: “Blowing” life back into their hacked-up partners, Perfecting the art of phillating one’s own divinity, “Seeding” life to the stars, Tugging one out to make mud babies at the Nile. That’s right, it’s a star chart kind of moment. Apparently, the Egyptian gods Geb, god of the earth, and his grand kinds were all fans of a little holy autofellatio. I’ve included a papyrus from the British Museum in the show notes… not the show because like last week, I’m not clear on how iTunes handles giant, red, wangs. The red, by the way, was added in photoshop to make their not at all subtitle cocks easier to see. According to ledgent, the god Osiris was hacked up all murder style and his sister-wife Isis had to put him back together. Unfortunately, his wang was the one peace she “couldn’t find” so she fashioned him a new one out of the clay of the Nile and then used it to blow life back into him like a cheap inflatable pool toy for risque tupperware parties. As for the mud babies, this is apparently Isis and Osiris’ origin stories. Thir father, Ra took his human form Atum, and rubbed out two pools of his own filth, which somehow sprang to life then married each other. So… yeah. Question 5: Like many professions doctors can glean knowledge from their customers which they may not have intended to share. In our case, it’s always and forever the button you clicked but swear you didn’t. Trust us, you did. And for Dentists it’s: If you’ve been aggressively playing a skin flute recently, If you spit or swallow, If your tongue has been working out enough to keep Question 1’s marriage happy, If you have recently had a salad, that you tossed, without tongs. And of course, it’s A! The other three are made up, though I gotta think that if you get a gum infections and they culture the bacteria only to find a ton of butt stuff that’s a dead give away. As for the blow job evidence, it’s called Fellatio-associated erythema of the soft palate. Which is a very doctor way of saying that you’ve recently been sucking dick aggressively enough to visibly bruise your soft palate. The bruise is called a petechiae. Apparently the don’t last long so it’s not a good test of if someone has ever sucked a dick but it seems like around the week, maybe two, time frame is well within reason. That or you have fundamentally failed to understand how popsicles work. Check the show notes for a screen grab from Dr. Huzefa Kapadia’s TikTok video describing the condition. It’s been viewed some 33 million times and the comments from other dentists are just a delight. For example: I used to get these high school girls that would come in Monday morning to get their teeth cleaned, and I’d ask them how their weekend was. And they’d go, “Oh, it was fine, I didn’t really do too much.” And you’re looking in their mouth and you’re thinking, Mhmm, you did a lot more than ‘not too much.’ Yeah, those were the best. Again, for those T.I. enthusiasts out there, the effects are short lived and can be caused by carrots, snickers, dicks, popsicles, or misunderstanding the length of your soup spoon. This is an interest and true fact, but not a means by which you can really tell much about much. Question 6: According to most of the stats I glossed over for this quiz, some 80% of women will acquiesce to the men in their lives and temporarily damaged their soft palate for us. On the other had, a mere 40% of men are willing to return the favor despite socially prevalent sayings like “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” Hopefully, our numbers begin to rise and, demographically, as men age apparently they do. So, which of the following are good avoid for making sure your lady is happy: Remember to find the clit… then remember it’s not an elevator button, old-timey radio, silly-puddy, or in need of a good oral vacuuming, It’s a marathon, not a race—seriously, 2 minutes and a fine “how do ya do” is not going to do the trick, at least aim for a fraction of the time she spends doing the same “job” “Like that” means “keep doing that” not “that plus faster” or “that plus harder” you’re not trying to level up your limit break bar here, Just fucking pay attention and listen to her! Seriously, A, B, and C, while not necessarily bad advice all came from a fucking Buzzfeed quiz. Don’t get sexual advice click bate! Bonus Question: When looking into sexual health information, there’s a lot of misinformation. Like a lot a lot. Moreso even when you look for women’s sexual health information. So, to clear up at least one amazingly frustrating item, Pregnancy Crisis Centers are: A place to get sound medical advice if you are, or think you may be, pregnant, A good source of moral support for making difficult reproductive choices, Essentially diet coke Planned Parenthoods whose services are free, Unregulated, religiously motivated, bullshit factories owned and operated by medically uninformed religious zealots whose only goal is to guilt or otherwise persuade pregnant women not to get perfectly safe and legal abortive services because they only care that you have the baby, not that you’re able to provide for it or yourself later designed from the ground up to imitate and thereby leach credibility from Planned Parenthood or other actual medical offices. No one gets to answer this one. This is my point. The answer is D, 100% of the time. Pregnancy Crisis Centres are just another outlet for religiously motivated sociocultural shame and that’s bullshit. And with that I’ll congratulate ____ and remind everyone to visit https://gettested.cdc.gov to find a nearby, confidential, and often free, testing clinic for STI/Ds. And if you want to help support free, rapid HIV/AIDS testing, available contraceptives, and support for those living with HIV/AIDS in Wyoming, visit WyoAIDS.org to like, share, and donate! … And for you regular listeners wondering what ___ won and why it means they should get tested, visit Patreon.com/iit or make a donation to WyoAIDS and send us the email recipe and we’ll reply with the patron cut of the last five shows! Outro I’m Shea, and this week I learned that charcuterie boards are just expensive lunchables. Before we go I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and my co-hosts. Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from! Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
33 minutes | 2 months ago
Interesting If True - Episode 43: Give 'Em The Goat!
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that’s gone to the dogs… or, other animals really, some goats and a pig for sure. I’m your host this week, Aaron, and with me are: Shea! I’m Shea, and this week I learned that during cold winter months, alligators will fall asleep with their snouts sticking through the ice to get fresh air. It is at this point you can safely draw dicks on their noses. It’s a critter show I’m Aaron, and this week I learned that teaching a dog to play fetch is easy, but teaching a pig to play Fortnight pays your rent! Things have been a little more hectic than usual in interesting land so I thought we could all use a feel-good show. And like all writers with too little time, alcohol, and faith in humanity, I’ve turned to animals. A pig and a couple of jackasses to be specific. Sadly, this week’s show is exactly one jackass short, so in Steve’s stead I give you the fantastic tail of Canadian war-donkey, Sergeant Bill, Bill -y Goat that is. Our story begins in August of 1914—which started on a Thursday for Greg and a Wednesday for Julian, saw Charlie Chaplin’s film debut in Making a Living, and that curfluffle in Europe was picking up steam—which brings us to Broadview, a small town in Saskatchewan with a goat. On August 23rd the soldiers of the freshly formed 5th Western Cavalry Expeditionary Force had stopped in Broadview to pick up some recruits who, while queuing for the train, spotted a little girl with a goat. And wanting it for a good luck charm, and also because it was 1914 and you could just take stuff from people, they took the goat from young Daisy Curwain to make it their mascot. Sources all agree that Daisy agreed the soldiers could have it, but there’s never any mention of payment or how a group of soldiers from 1914 demanding a little girl give her pet to the war effort might have influenced her willingness to part with Billy. Frankly, I find all of this suspect… pretty sure some dudes stole a goat. Still, Private Bill was now properly conscripted. He lived and trained with the 5th in Canada and their base in England. Unfortunately, the 5th would soon be deployed to the front and no mascots were allowed in the trenches. As you can imagine this didn’t sit well with the boys of the 5th who, like many other regiments in both world wars, found a creative way to endanger the life of their dear animal companion. According to Sergeant Harold Baldwin, author of Holding the Line “We could not part with Billy; the boys argued that we could easily get another colonel, but it was too far to the Rocky Mountains to get another goat. The difficulty was solved by buying a huge crate of oranges from a woman who was doing brisk trade with the boys. The oranges sold like hot cakes and in a jiffy the orange box was converted into a crate and Billy [was] shanghaied into the crate and smuggled aboard the train.” So there ya go, now you’re a goat and, just like a naive young aristocrat from Themiscara, you’re lost in a whirlwind of action, intrigue, and warm beer. The soldiers beer rations–and often their paperwork–were his favorite foods. Bill would go on to have a distinguished career … for a goat. More seriously, at Ypres, Bill was found in a shell crater standing guard over a wounded Prussian soldier–despite having his own shrapnel wounds. Later, in the Second Battle of Ypres Private Bill stood his ground with the brave Canadian soldiers, now famous for not retreating from Germany’s first major deployment of poison gas. Despite what should have been a goat-ending toxic cloud. For his steadfast valor at Ypres Bill was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in February of 1915 at Neuve Chapelle. In December of 1915 Sergeant Bill and the 5th took Hill 63 where, sadly, he was reported to have got trench foot… or trench hoof, I guess. Either way, that probably wasn’t ideal. Later, while taking Hill 70 in April of 1917 he would be shell-shocked during the battle for Vimy Ridge. He was wounded twice at Festubert, where he became a proper hero by saving the lives of three soldiers. That’s a great goat! Apparently, goats have pretty sensitive ears, particularly where air pressure is concerned. Or at least that’s what modern knowers of goat stuff attribute his uncanny ability to detect incoming artillery to. While under fire Sergeant Bill heard an incoming shell and saved three soldiers standing where the shell would land by head butting them into their trenches… I mean… he was a goat, not a lot of tools in that box, but he used them well. He is also credited with capturing three enemy soldiers by cornering them in a trench and… iono, aggressively goating at them until reinforcements arrived. Ken Bell, who is the exhibits, research and development coordinator at the Broadview Historical Museum where Bill’s body is currently on display said “My assumption is that the [Canadian] soldiers must have come along later, or else no one would have been able to tell the story,” It wasn’t all glory for Sgt. Bill. “He was courtmartialed twice,” said Bell. The first time he ate a bunch of important documents, among them were secret plans at the battalion’s personnel roll. His second Court Marhsal worthy offense was “Apparently at [another] point they weren’t feeding him quite right and one particular sergeant had done something Bill didn’t like and made the sad mistake of turning his back on Bill.” So, Bell continues, Sgt. Bill “gave it to him” with his horns, which were inscribed with the word “5th”, because Bill was a badass. “The men dearly loved that goat,” said ken Bell By war’s end he was a decorated hero, having been awarded the 1914/15 Star, the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal. He even marched with the 5th to Berlin and in the Victory Europe parade in which he wore his embroidered blue plush coat, complete with medals and sergeant’s stripes. On April 24th of 1919 Bill’s until was demobilized and he returned home to Saskatchewan and eventually, the care of Miss Curwain, now in Winnipeg. Bill would live his remaining years comfortably and following his death he was displayed in the Saskatchewan Legislative Building before finally being returned to the Broadview Museum, where he stands to this day. image – http://roadstothegreatwar-ww1.blogspot.com/2015/03/remembering-veteran-sgt-bill-goat-5th.html https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1686686/ https://www.storey.com/article/sue-weaver-animals-who-served-for-our/ https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/goat-sergeant-bill-first-world-war-broadview-sask-1.4252129 https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/classroom/tales-of-animals-in-war/2013/goat Up Next, When Pigs Fli…ght Simulators. Play them. Transition! Pigs, it turns out, are pretty good at video games. I mean, not monkey-good, that requires thumbs, but insofar as you can expect an animal to tongue a joystick, pigs are where it’s at. Researches from Purdue University in Indiana, the only thing in Indiana worth knowing about, have shown that pigs are capable of using their snout to operate a joystick, to move a cursor, to solve a problem, to get a treat. I know, it seems like a lot of steps but as Rebecca E. Nordquist of ScienceAlert says: This is a complex task. The animals need to understand the link between moving around a joystick and what’s happening on a computer screen, and then link what’s happening on the screen to getting a reward. Which isn’t nothing. I know humans who can’t manage that. Seriously, I’ve worked in IT my entire life. There are times when I would have killed to be helping a literal pig. While this makes for great joke fodder, there is some serious science behind it. The study is part of a growing area of research into animal welfare, specifically, fair animal cognition. The study, linked here, by Candace C. Croney and Sarah T. Boysen of the Department of Comparative Pathobiology and Animal Science, Center for Animal Welfare Science, at Purdue, called “Acquisition of Joystick-Operated Video Task by Pigs (Sus scrofa)”, tracked the ability of two Panepinto micro pigs and two Yorkshire pigs to complete joystick-operated video-game tasks to gain a reward. The pigs were required to move the computer’s cursor such that it made contact with a three-, two-, or one-walled target that the game randomly generated. Think of it as solitaire pong without-a-ball or randomly generated breakout. Basically, early Atari games. Atari for pigs is a different kind of animal :D The pigs were trained to touch a fake joystick with their snout on command, a process that took about two weeks. From there, the real joystick was used. The apparatus, if you look at your phones, is basically an Atari joystick next to a bowl into which a dog food pellet is vended when the computer accepts the pig has completed the level. Which is all very silly. There are a few reasons this matters. Some practical, some slightly more heady. First, we know that pigs are smart critters. They’re dog-level capable of training and commands, and apparently are renowned for their spatial reasoning. Who knew? What they’re not so great at, apparently, are mirrors and unlike sheep and cows, pigs seem all but incapable of recognizing their piggy friends in photographs. So an interesting mix of spatial reasoning and image processing abilities going into a video game trial. Now, before we put any porky quarters into the machine, we need to talk about the European Union’s farming practices. By in large, they’re better than ours, let’s just get that out of the way. More to the point, they’re becoming more automated, mechanized, and in many areas, more humane, spacious, and social. All of which is good. Automation creates ease of life for farmer and animal alike, while improved living conditions are great for animals and the humans who want to feel less guilty for devouring them. EU farms are increasingly using automated feeders. Combined with free-range practices this often means the pigs need to active the feeders themselves so we need to know what level of mechanization they’re capable of interacting with as well as at what level of complexity the animals begin to suffer stress. The other consideration is ethical. The concept of “intrinsic value” or, what is the value in and of itself and outside of its ability to be bacon, does a pig have? Often this answer comes arbitrarily measured in intelligence or morphologic proximity to humans. Basically, if it looks too much like us, or is smart enough to make us uncomfortable when we murder it for its flesh, we won’t eat it. See great apes, dolphins, dogs, parrots, etc. And yes, I know you can get a heaping helping of any of those critters somewhere, but commonly it’s taboo to consider something capable of communicating with sign language or morse code food. Still, chickens are pretty smart (as, terrifyingly, are most birds) and are by far the most kept animal globally, still, we eat the fuck out of chickens. In the end, if we can better understand the cognitive functions of the animal we farm we might also be more empathetic and practical in our stewardship of them. So… lets teach animals to play fortnight seems like a great second step. Piggy gets a high score and a dog kibble! https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.631755/full#h3 https://www.sciencealert.com/pigs-can-play-video-games-on-a-computer-using-their-snout-to-move-a-joystick Our final story is, as promised, the other half of this goat sammich, Nan! So, goat-y McFlatbread, Nan, was the mascot of the Canadian 21st Battalion. Like other war-goats the plan was to leave Nan with the Quartermaster upon deployment, but as the soldiers loaded into transport, Nan just jumped into the back of a wagon and no one noticed until it was way too late. Nan marched with the 21st though nearly all of their missions until, during the march to the Somme, the unit’s transport officer got a bur up his ass about the ass eating all the rations and sold her to a passerby for 20 francs. News of the transaction went… poorly. The officer was quickly shown the error of his ways and was dispatched to find the woman and annul the transaction. Nan saw action in many of the same battles as Bill. And she was the first Allied goat to cross the Rhine. Nan’s closest brush with death was after the war however. Upon returning to Southampton, England the Board of Agriculture insisted that, as a foreign animal, Nan would need to be slaughtered or deported. The first option wasn’t much of an option as the boys of the 21st weren’t about to let her become curry. After three weeks guarded in quarantine she boarded the ship Carolina with her friends and set off to retire in Canada. Nan spent the rest of the summer of 1915 on the grounds of Mowat Hospital before being moved to the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario (nice place btw) where she lived in the stables, fat and happy for the rest of her life. Today Nan is remembered in a section of the military museum at The Armouries in Kingston. https://www.storey.com/article/sue-weaver-animals-who-served-for-our/ Mid-Show Bumper Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more! You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating. Crazy Creatures Interested in what we have to say about this story? Good news, it’s available right now to subscribers at Patreon.com/iit! Today I focused on crazy creatures from around the animal kingdom. These aren’t one off hero animals or anything these are entire species that have cool tricks and awesome biological features. Though these aren’t one off hero animals that doesn’t mean they aren’t built like heroes. So move over mighty mouse we have a new super rodent. Dubbed Thor’s hero shrew after the brawny god of strength in Norse mythology, Scutisorex thori is one of the most bizarre animals on Earth thanks to its super tough, interlocking spine. Found recently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the shrew is only the second hero shrew known to science. The first, S. somereni, was found in the DRC in 1910, baffling scientists with a spine never before seen in any mammal. Most mammals, including us, have about five vertebrae at the base of their backbones, with a few bony projections sticking out on each vertebra, explained Stanley. But the first known hero shrew, S. somereni, has 10 to 11 vertebrae with many more bony projections that lock together, giving it unparalleled power in the animal kingdom. In fact a “fun” party trick locals used to do with the hero shrew was: “Whenever [the Mangbetu] have a chance, they take great delight in showing to the easily fascinated crowd its extraordinary resistance to weight and pressure. After the usual hubbub of various invocations, a full-grown man weighing some 160 pounds steps barefooted upon the shrew. Steadily trying to balance himself upon one leg, he continues to vociferate several minutes. The poor creature seems certainly to be doomed. But as soon as his tormentor jumps off, the shrew, after a few shivering movements, tries to escape, none the worse for this mad experience and apparently in no need of the wild applause and exhortations from the throng.” The anecdote is not surprising considering the hero shrew’s reputation among the local Mangbetu people. The Mangbetu wear parts of the hero shrew as talismans, believing the animal’s resilience renders them invisible to spears and bullets—hence its name, hero shrew. Left is a non hero giant shrew where on the right in the Thor’s hero’s spine! Scientists are still not completely sure why these shrews evolved in this way but one theory is; in the DRC, insects live under the parts of palm trees where leaves have broken off, leaving a hardened base that looks like a scar. It’s possible that shrews may use their powerful backbones to pry the leaf bases from the trunk and get to the tasty grubs underneath. However no one has seen the shrew actually do this. https://www.sciencenews.org/article/hero-shrew-sturdy-spine-mammal Nature is a brutal place, so while nesting, chinstrap and Adélie penguins are reluctant to leave their eggs unguarded in the nest—even to relieve themselves. But one also does not wish to sully the nest with feces. So instead, a brooding penguin will hunker down, point its rear end away from the nest, lift its tail, and let fly a projectile of poo—thereby ensuring both the safety of the eggs and the cleanliness of the nest. This weird behavior caused some other weird behavior when two intrepid physicists became fascinated by this and were inspired to calculate the answer to a burning question: just how much pressure can those penguins generate to propel their feces away from the edge of their nests? The team of scientists who first addressed the penguin poo puzzle published their results in 2003, in the journal Polar Biology; that pioneering study won the authors an Ig Nobel Prize in 2005 for fluid dynamics. Yes, you heard that right they won an Ig Nobel prize, to celebrate ten unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research, its stated aim being to “honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think.” When a new team of researchers revisited the question in 2020, they expanded on the earlier results by recalculating internal pressures inside the penguin’s gut and rectum, correcting for viscosity of the poo, and factoring in air resistance along an arcing trajectory. They then discovered that the forces at work were even more extreme than previously suggested. Pressure is measured in units called kilopascals (kPa), where 1 kPa is 1,000 newtons per square meter. In the new study, the scientists calculated that the pressure generated in the rectums of pooping penguins was as much as 28.2 kPa — about 1.4 times the estimate in the 2003 study. “I was surprised by the extremely strong penguin’s rectal pressure,” said lead study author Hiroyuki Tajima, an assistant professor in the Department of Natural Science at Kochi University in Japan. Though Humboldt penguins stand only 28 inches tall, the scientists discovered that the birds can generate enough poo-propelling energy to send fecal “bombs” flying at speeds of nearly 5 mph, landing up to 53 inches away. This achievement would be comparable to an adult human shooting their feces to a distance of more than 10 feet, to practice I have marked a line outside my bathroom door, my wife isn’t impressed, yet… While blasting poop jets helps penguins keep their nests tidy, their high-pressure pooping poses an occupational hazard for penguin caregivers in zoos and aquariums, the study authors reported. Their findings therefore have a practical side: helping wildlife experts who care for penguins to establish a foolproof “safety zone,” so they can keep well out of range during the birds’ explosive bathroom breaks. Another cool penguin fact: nearly three percent of the ice in Antarctic glaciers is penguin urine. https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/07/poopy-projectiles-penguins-can-fling-their-feces-over-four-feet-study-finds/ Flying salt shakers of death, though not their scientific name, this nom de plume makes some entomologists quake in their boots. Imagine emerging into the sun after 17 long years spent lying underground, only for your butt to fall off. This fate regularly befalls America’s cicadas. These bugs spend their youth underground, feeding on roots. After 13 or 17 years of this, they synchronously erupt from the soil in plagues of biblical proportions for a few weeks of annoying song and sex. But on their way out, some of them encounter the spores of a fungus called Massospora. A week after these encounters, the hard panels of the cicadas’ abdomens falls off, revealing a strange white “plug.” That’s the fungus, which has grown throughout the insect, consumed its organs, and converted the rear third of its body into a mass of spores. The infected insects go about their business as if nothing unusual has happened. And as they fly around, the spores rain down from their exposed backsides, landing on other cicadas and saturating the soil. “We call them flying saltshakers of death,” says Matt Kasson, who studies fungi at West Virginia University. Massospora and its butt-eating powers were first discovered in the 19th century, but Kasson and his colleagues have only just shown that it has another secret: It doses its victims with mind-altering drugs. Perhaps that’s why “the cicadas walk around as if nothing’s wrong even though a third of their body has fallen off,” Kasson says. Greg Boyce, a member of Kasson’s team, looked at all the chemicals found in the white fungal plugs of the various cicadas. And to his shock, he found that the banger-wings were loaded with psilocybin—the potent hallucinogen found in magic mushrooms. “At first, I thought: There’s absolutely no way,” he says. “It seemed impossible.” After all, no one has ever detected psilocybin in anything other than mushrooms, and those fungi have been evolving separately from Massospora for around 900 million years. The surprises didn’t stop there. “I remember looking over at Greg one night and he had a strange look on his face,” Kasson recalls. “He said, ‘Have you ever heard of cathinone?’” Kasson hadn’t, but a quick search revealed that it’s an amphetamine. It had never been found in a fungus before. Indeed, it was known only from the khat plant that has long been chewed by people from the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. But apparently, cathinone is also produced by Massaspora as it infects periodical cicadas. The team took great pains to check that Massospora really does contain these unexpected drugs. They showed that the substances are found only in the infected cicadas and not in the uninfected ones. They found that the fungus has the right genes for making these chemicals, and contains the precursor substances that you’d expect. Infected cicadas behave strangely. Despite their horrific injuries, males become hyperactive and hypersexual. They frantically try to mate with anything they can find, including with other males. They’ll even mimic the wing-flicking signals of females to lure males toward them. None of this does them any good—their genitals have either been devoured by the fungus or have fallen off with the rest of their butts. Instead, this behavior only benefits the fungus, allowing its spores to find new hosts. Kasson suspects that cathinone and psilocybin are responsible for at least some of these behaviors. “If I had a limb amputated, I probably wouldn’t have a lot of pep in my step,” he said. “But these cicadas do. Something is giving them a bit more energy. The amphetamine could explain that.” https://www.sciencenews.org/article/massospora-fungi-cicadas-psilocybin-amphetamine-nonstop-mating https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200727145424.htm Gathering dust in police files is a dossier containing the fingerprints of the most unlikely criminal gang – half a dozen chimpanzees and a pair of orangutans. Their prints were taken during police raids at the Ape House at London Zoo and at Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire. The operation, by fingerprint experts from Hertfordshire police, took place in 1975 at a time when there was growing concern over unsolved crimes. They weren’t found to be guilty of any criminal activity, funnily enough. All of this isn’t as absurd as it may sound, though. Steve Haylock, of the City of London police fingerprint bureau, explained the thought process. According to him, the operation took place partly because the police tend to refer to smudged or unclear fingerprints as ‘monkey prints.’ “If you passed a chimpanzee print to a fingerprint office and said it came from the scene of a crime,” Haylock said, “they would not know it was not human.” In the event, the chimpanzees sat happily enough as their fingerprints were taken; and were not found to have committed any of the crimes that were baffling police at the time (again, unsurprisingly). They thought about also printing the gorillas of the zoo but quickly changed their minds when brought face to face with them. If that was the end of the story, it would have been a fascinating little case study in and of itself, but there’s more to it. Maciej Henneberg, a biological anthropologist and forensic scientist at the University of Adelaide, said that the marsupials had fingerprints which were so close to those of people that they could easily be mistaken by police. Back in 1996 while handling koalas in Urimbirra wildlife park, near Adelaide, Mr Henneberg noticed their fingers carried ridged patterns of loops, whorls and arches like those on a human hand. “It appears that no one has bothered to study them in detail,” he said. “Although it is extremely unlikely that koala prints would be found at the scene of a crime, police should at least be aware of the possibility.” Left Koala Right Human The loops, the whirls, the fact that the patterns are completely unique to each individual koala… it’s uncanny. The reason why koalas have such prints is still a bit of a mystery to scientists (most tree-dwelling mammals don’t), but they’re here, they’re real, and they’re very, very human. Some have gone so far as to say that, even after closely inspecting them under a microscope, investigators wouldn’t be able to tell human prints from a koala’s. Koala prints, they say, seem to have evolved independently, and much more recently than those of primates, as their closest relatives (kangaroos, wombats and such) don’t have them. So drop bears could easily become the next master thieves and they have the added bonus of looking cute but being terrifying and chlamydia ridden. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/koalas-make-monkey-out-police-1313275.html https://www.livescience.com/14007-koalas-human-fingerprints.html Outro I’m Aaron, and I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and my co-hosts. Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from! Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
42 minutes | 3 months ago
Interesting If True - Episode 40: Doctor Yeti, That's Who!
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that believes laughter is the best medicine… if these are the only other options. I’m your host this week, Aaron, and with me are: I’m Shea, and this week I learned that if you take the thread out of a sewing machine it becomes a stabbing machine. And it’s time for another… Tawdry Tales of Terrible Triage, The Twofer! When last we spoke of yee-oldie medicine it was pre-plague, when we could still get together. Now, having quarantined for what feels like forever, we might have some idea of the kind of desperation that drives someone to wear pigeons in the hope that they’re healing power will at least get you to a Chipoltey and back in one piece. Sadly, no such luck. If Covid doesn’t get you one of its mutant spawn might! But enough about Jubilee, it’s round two for medieval (-ish) medical nonsense—and this time, it’s personal! We’re gonna find out if Shea knows enough about yee-oldie doctor’n to be proclaimed If True Studio’s new resident on call. If you were a dirty, dirty villager in the before-times, you were probably worried about Yee-Oldie European Super-death. Or as you lay people may know it, Yersinia pestis—and boy-howdy was it a pest. By the end of the second plague it had killed nearly a third of Europe. And yeah, I said “second.” Turns out that It’s had three noteworthy runs. The first known as the Plague of Justinian, affected the Sassanid empire (that’s Neo-Persian, or the last Persian imperial dynasty) and their, apparently, enemies the Byzantines. The initial outbreak killed an estimated 25 million and over the course of two more centuries of recurrences, another 25. The second was the Black Death which ran wild through Europe on flee-covered rats, rather than the noxious odors they attributed it to but refused to really do anything about until August of 1858… And the third was in China. It had moved around the Southwest for some time before infecting Guangzhou (aka Canton), a water source for nearby Hong Kong. It killed 20,000 people becoming known as the 1894 Hong Kong plague. From there it spread to ports around the world as a proper pandemic infecting people globally with icky Black Death, but also a ton of anti-Chinese and anti-Asian bigotry including the Geary Act. Closing on that nightmare (… in 19-fucking-43) and given what you’ve learned about the plague, if you wanted to avoid the Black Death’s fated grasp, where was the best place to keep your farts? Yep, that’s right, a mason jar. Physicians, using the world as loosely as it’s ever been used, would tell people to trap their terrible tushy turbulence. The goal here wasn’t to stave off the lingering effects of an all boiled-cabbage and sadness diet but to build up one’s stockpiles of PPE. That’s right, in the event of a Black Death incursion these life-saving jars of your own literal farts were to be used as a breathing apparatus, not unlike airplane masks or cartoonishly holding an upside down canoe on the ocean floor. Because… “it’s sterile to your own body” or something I’m sure. I did have to do a little Googly-Googly on this because… ya know… but it turns out, from reputable sources, that it was basically one of many smell-based Hail Mary’s. Later called the “therapeutic stink” the idea was that if you had a face full of this, or roses if you were a money-having person, you could avoid the stink of death. David Havilland, author of Why You Should Store Your Farts in a Jar & Other Oddball or Gross Maladies, Afflictions, Remedies and Cures, first explained to AOL News in 2011. “It was believed that the plague was caused by deadly vapors in the air so many doctors thought it could, in turn, be cured by bodily vapors. They figured an equally foul vapor, like a fart, could combat the disease, so they suggested patients store their farts in a jar. This way, when the plague appeared in their neighborhood, they could open the jar and inhale the fumes to ward off the bad vapors that came with the disease. It made sense to them.” Basically, you wouldn’t get plague from the miasma if you diluted the infected air you breath with something equally… potent. Are you nice and warmed up now? Your medieval medical spidey-sense tingles eh? Good, because it’s time for a balding, old, white man to have his say up in this medical show! I give you Bald’s Leechbook! The yee-oldie text is right aligned and appears to be some form of elvish—it also has a lot of elf-stuff in it actually. The book takes its name from a random phrase at the end of the second book which reads Bald habet hunc librum Cild quem conscrilbere iussit, which according wikipedia and my amazing linguistic skills translates to “Bald owns this book which he ordered Cild to compile.” Unfortunately, that’s a lie, because Bald is probably dead and the book now resides at the British Library in London. So there Bald, ya jerk. The book is interesting as Bald lists recipes for his curatives and, like our last foray into medieval medicine, has been translated by the lovely folks at the British Library. And with that, let’s dive into our quiz! If you needed to cure your “wark” you would, apparently, crush together some beetroot and honey, then smear the juice all over the patient’s head, then have the patient lay face-down in a sunny area until the mixture melts and runs down the person’s face. If that didn’t take, you should repeat but this time add the additional curative elements of laurel oil and vinegar. What, prey tell, was bald seeking to cure? That’s right, headaches! Bonus round: what if the headache is the cause of a head injury? What then should the doctor apply to the patients head? Yep, you’ll want to muddle some betony leaves (mint) and rub that jazz right into the open wound. If they’re still not better treatment can be augmented by jambing some cress up their nose. Cress being the short, leafy, herb visual similar to bean sprouts. We all know that honey is actually antimicrobial because it contains a small amount of peroxide. But like all good first steps, but must be modified by combination with ash of burnt periwinkle flowers before treatment of what? You guessed it, cataracts, or as it was known then “mistiness of the eyes.” Bonus round: Bumblebee honey and periwinkle ash might be the common curative but it wasn’t the most preferred. Perhaps due to expense but we don’t really know, what else would yee-oldie people take to cure their misty eyes? Naturally, the answer is “raw hare’s gall (liver secretions)” to applied to the face. Of course, periwinkle may also be difficult to come by so Bald lists an appropriate substitute in the form of “the fatty parts of all river fishes melted in the sun.” Regardless of ingredients, the mixture was to be painted onto the face with a feather. I took to the source material (xxxviii, 152, ch, ii) for information not given in the listicle and found that it was to be applied morning, noon, after dinner, and before bed until your eyes had healthful, dried, crust on them. Then it was time to, finally, rinse your eyes clean for which you would need a recently pregnant madan… willing to rub her nips into your eye-crust while you ring out her teats like an old bar towel, power milk-washing your eyes. Yep. He also suggests rubbing coriander into the boobies and/or your eyes before hand for… science. Having cured our eyes of mistiness, we much now turn our attention to the maiden whose teats we just juiced. Surely, her eyes doth be swollen and to return them to luster we will need what, to apply directly to them? Crab eye stalks of course. One is to catch a live crab, snip off it’s eyes, return it to the water live, then prepare its eyes in a mortar and pestle until the result can be rubbed directly into your boob-maiden’s eyes. Then, everyone is happy. Garlic, onion, and goose fat all go well together if you’re making a Mirepoix but why stop with soup? When mixed and cooked down the concoction was used to alleviate what condition? An earache of course! The good-poix was drizzled liberally into the ear canal to cure earaches. And while this may sound more flavorful than helpful, it was a damn sight better than the other options. Without goose fat you’re left to substitute ingredients from other salves like drippings from crushed ant eggs or the mushed up gall (again, liver gunk) of a bull, a buck, anda boar. All of which was then poured into the ear for the sake of curing the earache and not at all causing just, a ton, of infection. If blood runneth from your nose “too much” because it was, after all, yee-oldie times and a little bit of blood leaking out of you is totally standard, what might be applied to stop the flow of Satan’s face-juice? That’s right, betony (a purple flower) and a honey rue. To be stuffed up the nose to stop the bleeding. Should bleeding continue and again need to be stanched, it is best to “put waybroad into the ear” of your patient. That’s a common green leafy plant by the way. If again, this time “poke into the ear a whole ear of bere or barley; so he be unaware of” the nosebleed. Because if there’s one thing that’ll distract you from a nosebleed it’s some weirdo shoving a bunch of barley into your ear. Bonus fact: he says this is good for horses too (Book I, Ch, viii, 55). When dealing with “neck sickness” which included sore throats, swelling, quinsy, tonsillitis, and whatever else might discomfort you between your jaw and collarbone. For this he suggested, you guessed it, a honey based salve. Of course, this isn’t the only ingredient so… what do you mix with honey for troubles of the neck? Yep, “a white thost,” dried and crushed. What is a white thost you might ask? Well it’s not a thick white girl, it’s album graecum, better known as dehydrated dog or hyena crap. You know how sometimes you’ll see all-white dog crap? That happens because of oxygen exposure and is exactly the thing we’re looking for to cure you of neck. There are some considerations though, for example, per Bald the dog it comes from “must gnaw a bone ere he dropped the thost,” otherwise your neck will just keep on necking. So you need to find a white dog poo left by a dog who didn’t mind chewing his treat right next to where he dropped yours. For our final treatment, Bald recommends: “take cropleek and garlic, of both equal quantities, pound them well together, take wine and bullocks’ gall, of both equal quantities, mix with the leek, put this then into a brazen vessel, let it stand nine days in the brass vessel, wring out through a cloth and clear it well, put it into a horn, and about night time apply it with a feather” What do you suppose he was looking to treat? Of course infections of the eye. What else would it be? Bald’s prescription has garnered some recent attention though. At what I can only assume was the request of the manuscript marketing team the passage was translated by Dr. Christine Lee so that researchers at the Nottingham University Centre for Biomolecular Sciences could give it the old college try. In the end they set up three batches and tested them on cultures of three commonly found and hard to treat bacteria, staphylococcus aureus, staphylococcus epidermidis, and Pseudomonas aerguinosa in both synthetic wounds and infected wounds on mice. Skipping ahead a bit, one their own the ingredients did nothing of note, but when combined as described the mixture was startlingly effective: only about one in a thousand bacteria survived application. For reference, Vancomycin, today’s go to for MRSA has approximately the same level of antibacterial activity. Next scientists diluted the salve to test effective concentrations and hopefully uncover its mechanism of action. And, interestingly, they found that even when too diluted to kill bacteria directly the mixture still interfered with bacterial cell-cell communication, aka, quorum sensing. Quorum sensing is critical to biofilm generation. A biofilm is more or less what it sounds like, it’s a film of bacteria generated biological matter that makes a bubble around an infection. Inside the bubble the bacteria are able to form large colonies while the film itself is impervious to antimicrobials, antibiotics, and many detergents.Given that, something that blocks the formation of this film could be invaluable in treating antibiotic resistant infections. Dr Freya Harrison, who led the work in the laboratory at Nottingham, commented that they were surprised by the efficacy and: “hopeful that Bald’s eyesalve might show some antibiotic activity, because each of the ingredients has been shown by other researchers to have some effect on bacteria in the lab – copper and bile salts can kill bacteria, and the garlic family of plants make chemicals that interfere with the bacteria’s ability to damage infected tissues. But we were absolutely blown away by just how effective the combination of ingredients was.” Continuing their work the scientists are hopeful that this could lead to breakthroughs in treating things like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). IF you want to know more about the project check out the show notes, I’ve included a cool video from the project and some cool links to read. If you’re really interested, the entire Leechbook is also linked. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo4K51bQVs0&feature=emb_title https://historycollection.com/medieval-medical-practices-sure-turn-stomach/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bald%27s_Leechbook https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/93132/fart-jars-17th-century-europe https://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/science/2015/04/a-medieval-medical-marvel.html https://blogs.bl.uk/digitisedmanuscripts/2016/01/balds-leechbook-now-online.html https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/79338/20-anglo-saxon-remedies-balds-leechbook https://scitechdaily.com/medieval-medicine-remedy-found-in-9th-century-balds-leechbook-could-provide-new-treatment-for-modern-day-infections/ https://themedicinemaker.com/manufacture/old-time-medicine https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-69273-8 https://www.bl.uk/the-middle-ages/articles/medicine-diagnosis-and-treatment-in-the-middle-ages# Mid-Show Bumper Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more! You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating. Fancy Facts Interested in what we have to say about this story? Good news, it’s available right now to subscribers at Patreon.com/iit! Let’s face it: we could all use a little more fun in our lives. It’s easy to get bogged down in the boring, the banal, the overly-familiar. Fun facts are like an instant antidote for the day-to-day doldrums. Nothing stokes your fire like curiosity! And that’s not all: research shows that learning new things provides a positive boost to your brain, and can even increase your overall happiness and well-being. Like any other muscle, your brain responds to training. If you want abs, start doing crunches. If you want a healthy, happy brain, make sure you’re learning. So if fun facts are what you’re looking for, you came to the right place. I’ve collected some of the most outrageous, most mind-blowing, and fun facts I’ve learned researching for the show. There are 5 countries in the world that don’t have airports. You heard correctly, countries without airports! Vatican City The smallest country in the world is Vatican City, a city-state with a area of just 44 hectares or .17 sq miles,, and a population of around 840 people. Entirely surrounded by the capital city of Rome, Italy, Vatican City has no airports or highways. Vatican City has one heliport used by the Pope and visiting heads of state. Monaco Monaco is a city-state situated in the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by France and along one side by the Mediterranean sea. Monaco is the second-smallest country in the world with a geographic area of just 2.02 kilometers (0.78 square miles), and a population of 36,371. The closest airport to Monaco is the Côte d’Azur Airport in Nice, France. Monaco has one heliport located in the district of Fontvieille. San Marino San Marino is a landlocked micro state surrounded on all sides by Italy. San Marino is about 24 square miles and has an estimated population of over 30,000. The closest airport is the Federico Fellini International Airport in Rimini, Italy. San Marino does have one private airstrip in Torraccia and an international heliport located in Borgo Maggiore. Liechtenstein Liechtenstein is a landlocked country found between Switzerland and Austria. Its geographic area is 62 square miles, and it has an estimated population of 35,000. The closest major airport to Lichtenstein is the Zürich Airport in Switzerland which is 130 kilometers (80 miles) away. The nearest public airport is St. Gallen Airport, also in Switzerland, which is 50 kilometers (30 miles) away. Liechtenstein does have one heliport located in Balzers. Andorra Landlocked between Spain and France, Andorra is the largest country on the list that lacks an airport. Andorra is about 468 square kilometers (181 square miles) in size and has a population of 85,000 as of 2012. The closest major airports are Barcelona–El Prat in Spain and Toulouse in France. The airports in Toulouse and Barcelona are both a three hours’ drive from Andorra. The closest public airport is Perpignan – Rivesaltes Airport, which is 160 km (99 mi) away which offers flights within France and to Great Britain. Andorra does have three heliports in La Massana, Arinsal, and Escaldes-Engordany. On December 1, 2014, NASA retired a historic piece of equipment at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It wasn’t a rocket, or even a deep space nine-iron—it was the original countdown clock, an analog display the size of a titan’s wristwatch that stood across the river from the rocket launch site and stoically ticked off the seconds until blastoff. Countdown clocks allow technicians and astronauts to synchronize their moves throughout a rocket launch sequence, from T-minus 43 hours all the way until the final ignition. But their appeal goes way beyond practicality. The clock also serves as the visual version of a whistling teakettle, allowing spectators to ramp up their excitement as launch time draws nearer. When those last few seconds tick away before a launch, it’s dramatic, emotional—even cinematic. Which makes sense considering the rocket-launch countdown clock wasn’t invented by meticulous engineers, but dreamed up by a filmmaker: science fiction pioneer Fritz Lang. Lang, well known for his film classic “Metropolis.” Lang and his advisors came up with a number of spacefaring features that, years later, showed up on actual launchpads. The astronauts lock into footstraps to keep from floating around, and the rocket itself has multiple stages and engines that it jettisons one at a time, foreshadowing modern designs. Another prescient decision came together in editing. The launch itself is a tense moment, worthy of a dramatic buildup. Lang was anti-sound, and refused to add any effects, so loudly revving up the blasters was out of the picture. Instead, he decided to use a less obvious suspense technique: intertitles. As the astronauts lie in their bunks, eyes wide and jaws tense, the screen cuts to an announcement: “Noch 10 Sekunden-!”—10 seconds remaining! The mission leader grips the firing lever—”Noch 6 Sekunden!” The numbers get bigger, filling the screen: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, JETZT! Now! The lever lowers, and the rocket blasts out of the water. Nearly a hundred years later, it still gets the heart pumping. https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/nasa-stole-the-rocket-countdown-from-a-1929-fritz-lang-film-1d569cc0-50ff-4045-b0c9-1f0d72a193db The term “the whole 9 yards” came from WWII fighter pilots in the South Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got “the whole 9 yards.” Michelangelo wrote a poem about how much he hated painting the Sistine Chapel One translation of the poem is: I’ve already grown a goiter from this torture, hunched up here like a cat in Lombardy (or anywhere else where the stagnant water’s poison). My stomach’s squashed under my chin, my beard’s pointing at heaven, my brain’s crushed in a casket, my breast twists like a harpy’s. My brush, above me all the time, dribbles paint so my face makes a fine floor for droppings! My haunches are grinding into my guts, my poor ass strains to work as a counterweight, every gesture I make is blind and aimless. My skin hangs loose below me, my spine’s all knotted from folding over itself. I’m bent taut as a Syrian bow. Because I’m stuck like this, my thoughts are crazy, perfidious tripe: anyone shoots badly through a crooked blowpipe. My painting is dead. Defend it for me, Giovanni, protect my honor. I am not in the right place—I am not a painter. “Michaelangelo: To Giovanni Da Pistoia When the Author Was Painting the Vault of the Sistine Chapel (by Michaelangelo Buonarroti)” from Zeppo’s First Wife. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57328/michaelangelo-to-giovanni-da-pistoia-when-the-author-was-painting-the-vault-of-the-sistine-chapel Poverty is universal, jobs are scarce, large families are crammed into mud-brick homes and meals often are constituted of little more than the subsistence crops residents grow — mainly corn and beans. But every once in a while an amazing thing happens, something that makes the residents of La Unión feel pretty special. The skies, rain fish. It happens every year — at least once and often more, residents say — during the late spring and early summer. And only under specific conditions: a torrential downpour, thunder and lightning, conditions so intense that nobody dares to go outside. Once the storm clears, the villagers grab buckets and baskets and head down the road to a sunken pasture where the ground will be covered in hundreds of small, silver-colored fish. The lluvia de peces (lit. ‘rain of fish’), also known as aguacero de pescado (lit. ‘downpour of fish’), is a phenomenon that has been occurring yearly for more than a century in Yoro, Honduras, Most locals believe there is a religious reason rather than a scientific one behind this incident taking place in this small town. As per a theory, there was a Catholic priest who lived in Yoro from 1856 to 1864. When he saw people starving there, he offered prayers to God to provide sustenance to them, and at the end of his prayer session, this miracle happened. So as per this story, after the priest ended his prayer, a storm came, and fish started falling from the sky. And since that time, this animal rain has been happening every year in this small town. The explanation generally offered for the rain of fish is meteorological, often speculated to be strong winds or waterspouts, as is commonly proposed when attempting to explain similar occurrences of raining animals. The nearest marine source for the fish is the Atlantic Ocean, about 120 miles away, though this explanation might be seen as unlikely due to the improbability of waterspouts collecting fish in the open sea every year in May or June and transporting them directly to Yoro. Alternatively, the fish may have originated in fresh water and moved from a nearby river into a subterranean water current or cave system in response to seasonal changes. Subsequent heavy rains wash the fish up out of this habitat and the water recedes to leave the fish stranded. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lluvia_de_Peces The U.S. Supreme Court has always been known as the “Highest Court of the Land,” but there’s one more court that sits even above the Supreme Court, literally—a basketball court. Aptly named “The Highest Court in the Land”, the U.S Supreme Court’s basketball court sits on the fifth floor of the United States Supreme Court Building, which is much higher than the actual courtroom, which is located on the fourth floor. The court was once a spare room to house journals, but sometime in the 1940s, it was converted into a workout area for courthouse workers. Wooden backboards and baskets were installed later, which led to the court’s current use as a basketball court used by clerks, off-duty police officers, and other supreme court employees. A few notable names that have played in the smaller-than-regulation-sized court aren’t NBA stars, but Supreme Court Justices, such as Byron White and Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. Sandra Day O’Connor also used the gym, but for women-only yoga classes, not b-ball. While not all employees are spry enough for basketball, many of them do use the full service gym and weight room, adjacent to the basketball court on the fourth floor. A few of the current justices themselves are known to lift weights during the day, as well! I’d like to imagine RBG dunking on Scalia at one point during their terms together. https://www.si.com/nba/2018/07/25/supreme-court-building-basketball-court Drivers of London’s famous black cabs have long been held to high standards. Those hoping to get behind the wheel of one of the most iconic taxis in the world have to pass a notoriously difficult test called “The Knowledge.” The Knowledge is a series of tests which must be passed by all black cab drivers before they can get a licence to work in the capital. Black cabbies must study some 320 routes and 25,000 streets and get to know them all by heart. They also memorise roughly 20,000 landmarks and places of public interest, from tourist destinations to museums, parks, churches, theatres and schools. The process typically takes between two and four years to complete and has been described as like having an atlas of London implanted into your brain. Black cabbie hopefuls must then pass a written test and a series of oral exams before they can get their licence. Unlike minicab drivers, black cabbies are not allowed to use satnavs or GPS to find their way around. Instead, they must know their way through the sprawling metropolis of 9million people completely by memory. The time and dedication needed to achieve this has made many black taxi drivers angry with what they see as a lack of regulation for their competitors. https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/taxis-and-private-hire/licensing/learn-the-knowledge-of-london Once upon a time, the main danger associated with bicycling had nothing to do with being hit by a car. Instead, some late-19th-century doctors warned that — especially for women — using the newfangled contraption could lead to a terrifying medical condition: bicycle face. “Over-exertion, the upright position on the wheel, and the unconscious effort to maintain one’s balance tend to produce a wearied and exhausted ‘bicycle face,'” noted the Literary Digest in 1895. It went on to describe the condition: “usually flushed, but sometimes pale, often with lips more or less drawn, and the beginning of dark shadows under the eyes, and always with an expression of weariness.” Elsewhere, others said the condition was “characterized by a hard, clenched jaw and bulging eyes.” In 1890s Europe and America, bicycles were seen by many as an instrument of feminism: they gave women a measure of increased mobility, began to redefine Victorian ideas about femininity, and were eagerly taken up by many women active in the suffrage movement. Bikes helped stoke dress reform movements, which aimed to reduce Victorian restrictions on clothes and undergarments so women could wear clothes that allowed them to engage in physical activities As Munsey’s Magazine put it 1896: “To men, the bicycle in the beginning was merely a new toy, another machine added to the long list of devices they knew in their work and play. To women, it was a steed upon which they rode into a new world.” All this triggered a backlash from many (male) doctors and onlookers, who cited all sorts of reasons to dissuade women from riding bikes. In general, they argued, bicycling was an excessively taxing activity, unsuitable for women. It would lead to not only bicycle face, but also exhaustion, insomnia, heart palpitations, headaches, and depression. The women who did ride faced a huge list of rules. Among the New York World’s 41 rules for female cyclists printed in 1895 were “Don’t refuse assistance up a hill” and “Don’t emulate your brother’s attitude if he rides parallel toward the ground.” Toward the end of the 1890s, though, many doctors began to publicly question the idea of bicycle face, noting that people concentrate when riding or driving any sort of vehicle without it causing lasting facial damage. https://www.entandaudiologynews.com/features/history-of-ent/post/beware-of-bicycle-face Outro I’m Aaron, and I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and my co-hosts. Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from! Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
32 minutes | 3 months ago
Interesting If True - Episode 39: Bad Spellers Unite!
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast of dubious facts. I’m your host this week, Shea, and with me is Aaron I’m Aaron, and this week I learned that Chewbacca is science-fiction’s most famous nudist. Seriously, the only thing stopping you from seeing his little Ewok is that he’s basically a space alpaca. Origins of some words I can’t spell So the other day I was reading a comic book, as I do, and I saw for the first time the word milquetoast spelled out, M I L Q U E toast for the uninitiated. I immediately looked it up and was surprised to find out the origin. This was my inspiration for tonight’s story, the origins of words I can’t spell! Etymology – the study of word origins – is a fantastically interesting discipline that yields some incredible facts about where the hugely diverse array of words that make up the English language come from. The language is a quirky and nuanced one. It offers an enormous vocabulary and boasts status as a lingua franca, a language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different. Our language is a melting pot, because of this we get some really interesting word origins. I’ll start with Milquetoast since I don’t want to leave you in suspense for much longer. The term meaning lacking character and often is used to describe a weak or feeble person is a newer word first appearing in the New York World newspaper in 1924 in a comic strip called “The Timid Soul.” The comic featured the character Casper Milquetoast described by the author, H. T. Webster, as “the man who speaks softly and gets hit with a big stick”. The character’s name is a deliberate misspelling of the name of a bland and fairly inoffensive food, milk toast. Milk toast, light and easy to digest, is an appropriate food for someone with a weak or “nervous” stomach. Because of the popularity of Webster’s character, the term milquetoast came into general usage in American English to mean “weak and ineffectual” or “plain and unadventurous”. When the term is used to describe a person, it typically indicates someone of an unusually meek, bland, soft or submissive nature, who is easily overlooked, written off, and who may also appear overly sensitive, timid, indecisive or cowardly. Milquetoast appears in most American English dictionaries, but is not in many other English dictionaries. https://hairygreeneyeball.blogspot.com/2008/12/timid-soul.html This word I have been spelling wrong for the entirety of 2020, “quarantine” has its origins in the devastating plague, the Black Death, which swept across Europe in the 14th century, wiping out around 30% of Europe’s population. It comes from the Venetian dialect form of the Italian words “quaranta giorni”, or “forty days”, in reference to the fact that, in an effort to halt the spread of the plague, ships were put into isolation on nearby islands for a forty-day period before those on board were allowed ashore. Originally – attested by a document from 1377 – this period was thirty days and was known as a “trentine”, but this was extended to forty days to allow more time for symptoms to develop. This practice was first implemented by the Venetians controlling the movement of ships into the city of Dubrovnik, which is now part of Croatia but was then under Venetian sovereignty. We now use the word “quarantine” to refer to the practice of restricting the movements, for a period of time, of people or animals who seem healthy, but who might have been exposed to a harmful disease that could spread to others. When someone “goes berserk”, they go into a frenzy, run amok, perhaps even destroying things. Picture someone going berserk and it’s not difficult to imagine the ancient Norse warriors to whom the word “berserker” originally referred. The word “berserk” conjured up the fury of these men and the untamed ferocity with which they fought, and it’s thought that the word came from two other Old Norse words, “bjorn”, meaning “bear” and “serkr”, meaning “coat”. An alternative explanation, now widely discredited, says that rather than “bjorn”, the first part of the word comes from “berr” meaning “bare” – that is, not wearing armour. Viking warriors looked to the god Odin to give them aggression and courage in battle, but the berserkers took this a step further. According to the sources they could rout an outnumbering force, and when they attacked they howled like mad dogs or wolves. It was said that neither iron nor fire could injure them, and they didn’t know pain. After a battle they were as weak as infants, totally spent both physically and psychologically. Some have said that the “berserkers” were so uncontrollably ferocious due to being in an almost trance-like state, either by working themselves up into a frenzy before battle, or by ingesting hallucinogenic drugs. So, next time you use the expression “going berserk” to describe someone acting irrationally, remember those battle-crazed Vikings and be glad that you’re not on the receiving end of the wrath of a real “berserker”! https://www.historyextra.com/period/viking/the-truth-about-viking-berserkers/ In keeping with the Viking theme I started, let’s get awkward! Awkward arrived into English by Norse influences. It is built of two parts: awk- and -ward. Awk comes from Old Norse afugr which means “turned the wrong way.” This comes from the Proto-Germanic afug-, which comes from the Proto-Indo-European apu-ko. These are all related to the early root apo-, which we see in apology, aposiopesis, apotheosis. This is where it gets weird. The -ward suffix comes from the Old English -weard, which means “turned toward.” -Weard stems from the Proto-Germanic warth. Taking a step even deeper is the Proto-Indo-European wert. The root meaning here is “to turn or wind” or “turned towards.” So awkward is etymologically autological. It literally means “turned towards being turned away from.” Gerrymandering is the rigging of elections by changing the boundary lines to give one party an advantage through the distribution of voters. The rigging of elections is as old as democracy but the act only gained its name in the 19th century. The governor of Massachusetts in 1812 was Elbridge Gerry, representing the Democratic-Republican party, in opposition to the Federalist party. Seeking to gain the upper hand in the Senate race of that year a bill was passed changing the districts by which voters were grouped. This explains the Gerry portion of the word, but the -mander? The shape of the districts after the passage of the bill was said to resemble a salamander or, as someone suggested, a Gerrymander. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/where-did-term-gerrymander-come-180964118/ Very few words in the English language contain the consonant cluster –rtg-, and in only one of those words (and its derivatives) is the t silent: mortgage. How did that silent “t” get in there? Let’s start at the end of the word. Gage is a Middle English word meaning “pledge,” and especially a pledge to do battle. In tales of knights and chivalry, we often find it used in conjunction with a gauntlet, or armored glove, being thrown down as a pledge to fight someone. In fact, gage is sometimes used to mean both the glove and the pledge that the glove represents. Considering a mortgage as a type of pledge makes perfect sense — you’re pledging to pay back your loan over time. But what kind of a gage is a mortgage? Any guesses? The mort-, believe it or not, comes from the Latin mortuus, “dead” — the same root that gives us the words mortuary, mortal, and post mortem. Etymologically then, a mortgage is a “dead pledge” — not because you’ll be paying on it until you die, but because the pledge “dies” either when a payment is not met or all payments are made. It still feels a bit like death when I make that payment thought. A sycophant is an “insincere flatterer, ” a kiss ass if you will. Its original meaning from greek comes from sukon, a fig, and phainein, to show. Literally a fig shower. One theory has it that it relates to a period when the exportation of figs from ancient Athens was prohibited by law, something we know about from the writings of Plutarch. So the word could refer to somebody who informed on those who broke the law in this way, like a fig tattle tale. But there’s no evidence and modern scholars dismiss it. A better explanation is that giving someone the fig is an ancient expression for the obscene gesture of putting the thumb between two fingers. (The word for fig in Greek, Italian, English and other languages has long been a low slang term for the female genitals, from a supposed resemblance.) It could be that the Greek word referred to the action of an informer figuratively (so to speak) giving the fig to the criminals he informed against. When sycophant first appeared in English in the sixteenth century it had this original meaning of an informer, but quickly moved through a sense of someone who bears tales to a person of higher status to its modern sense. Smart alecks are people who are obnoxiously conceited and think they’re pretty clever. I thought the term was simply generic and that Alec wasn’t actually a real person. But research done by Professor Gerald Cohen in 1985 for “Studies of Slang Part 1,” as well as research by other historians, has shown—based on considerable newspaper article evidence—that “Aleck” was probably a real person, namely Aleck Hoag. Hoag was a pimp and a thief in New York City in the 1840s. He would rob his wife Melinda’s “customers” while she distracted them. At first, the scheme worked like this: Melinda led a victim into a dark alley, where she picked his pockets. Then she embraced the victim and held her hand out behind him, where Hoag was hiding to grab the stolen goods. Inevitably, some of these men would go to the police to report the thefts. To protect himself and his wife from arrest, Hoag enlisted a couple of police officers by promising to split the stolen goods with them. But Hoag’s downfall came when he ran into some financial difficulties and couldn’t give the officers their fair share. Initially, he got away with this by operating a “panel game” con. Melinda would bring the men back to her apartment—and then Quote: “Melinda would make her victim lay his clothes, as he took them off, upon a chair at the head of the bed near the secret panel, and then take him to her arms and closely draw the curtains of the bed. As soon as everything was right and the dupe not likely to heed outside noises, Melinda would give a cough, and the faithful Alec would slyly enter, rifle the pockets of every farthing or valuable thing, and finally disappear as mysteriously as he entered.” Sometime after that, Alec would bang on the door, and Melinda would make out that he was her husband who had returned early from some trip. The victims then would hastily grab their clothes and escape through the window. The police soon discovered Hoag was cheating them out of their share by this new tactic and arrested Hoag and Melinda. Hoag promptly escaped from prison, with the help of his brother, but was eventually recaptured. Alec Hoag was then given the nickname “Smart Alec” by the police for being too smart for his own good. The thought is that the police then used this term when dealing with other criminals who seemed a little too smart for their own good, often thinking of ways around giving police their payoffs: “Don’t be a Smart Alec.” This term, as an expression, then took about 20 years to germinate and eventually found its way into print in 1865, and popular culture shortly thereafter. https://factrepublic.com/facts/18945/ Silhouettes were once a highly fashionable form of art which displayed their subjects in outline with no other features. Portraits of this type have the benefit of being cheap and quick to make compared to painted portraits. During the Seven Years War the state of French finances became perilous, this was around the 1750’s. The finance minister of the time was Etienne de Silhouette who, to save the French economy was forced to put in place harsh measures to raise funds. The nobility and clergy who were normally not called on to pay taxes but Silhouette levied taxes on various luxuries which hit the wealthy. Because of this he was ridiculed and forced from his position. His name became attached to anything seen as cheap. When profile portraits became popular they were sneered at as cheap (or to use the French “à la Silhouette”) and the name stuck. To talk Bunkum is to talk nonsense, and perhaps fittingly is derived from the US House of Representatives. In 1820 an important debate was held on whether the state of Missouri would be admitted to the union a slave-holding or free entity. Slavery had long been a contentious issue and fierce arguments were expected on both sides. When Felix Walker, representative of Buncombe County, began to speak his colleagues were bemused to find his speech did not seem to address the matter at hand, but some local affair. When asked what he was doing he replied “I was not speaking to the House but to Buncombe.” From then on, speaking to Buncombe meant to speak irrelevantly. Mid-Show Bumper Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more! You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating. Regarding My Immortal… Interested in what we have to say about this story? Good news, it’s available right now to subscribers at Patreon.com/iit! No… not the Norwegian black metal band… or terrible emo goth-vampire, Harry Potter-Twilight crossover fanfic. God damn that was hot garbage… but also, not at all hot. We’re going to talk about actual immortality. Unfortunately, it’s not the cool Highlander kind, or even the lame Ghost In The Shell version. This is “Biological Immortality” which is, apparently, something that happens on Earth in real reality. And I don’t mean in some heady, theoretical, feel-good “the kids are our future” or the internet is forever so “some part of you lives on through your podcast” bs. There are, on Earth, creatures who can actually, properly, live forever… so long as nothing eats them I guess. Sometimes referred to as bio-indefinite mortality is, basically, living without terminal aging. There are a number of uni- and multicellular life forms that manage this, but we’ll talk about the big ones because it’s hard to make a single celled organism funny. That said, there is an interesting note worth mentioning, biologically immortal is also a term applied to cells which lack or disobey the Hayflick limit (aka, Hayflick phenomenon), which describes the number of times a normal human cell population will divide before cell division stops. Hayflick described the cellular life cycles in phases: 1, the start of the experiment; 2, the time during which cells proliferate; and 3, which he called senescence, wherein cell replication dramatically slows or stops entirely. Senescence—the process of biological aging and thereby deterioration until death, or more commonly, dying of old age—is what we’re talking about avoiding today. Most creatures, including us, age and with that aging we lose our youthful spark. Until, robbed of vitality and unable to fend for ourselves we languishing in our own misery, tired and spent, husks of our former selves waiting for death’s sweet release to emancipate us from a dodgy retirement home’s Den of ever-looping WW2 documentaries… Oof, you know what, I’m hearing it out loud now and… it’s been a long ass week ya’ll. Annnnnyway. The point here is that most of the time nature’s course steers us toward the ruin of old age and the inevitable. So I won’t be talking about whales, sea turtles, or parrots, long lived though they may be, a life span of 2 to 5 hundred years is impressive, but still JV league when compared to Hydra. Well, inevitable for us, but evitable for creatures like Hydra. Ugh, so many clarifications this week. Not Hydra like the greek myth or Marvel’s re-historic, hooded, cabal-founding reptoids. Hydra are agenus of the Cnidaria phylum. For all the other art majors out there that’s the kingdom Animalia containing over 11,000 species of aquatic animals. Remember Finding Nemo? Yeah, these are all the squiggly things on the ocean floor. These Hydra look like wee-tiny cartoon cactuses. In a four-year study, 3 cohorts of Hydra showed no increased mortality with age. This is called the “late-life mortality plateau” which describes a still-disputed theory that as age increases, hazard rates increase at a decreasing rate than than increasing exponentially as Gompertz law suggests. Gompertz was, it seems, a buzz kill. So, simplistically, the older you get more stable your biological condition becomes and, at a certain point of maturity, you reach a plateau wherein your risk of death … plateasus, just like the gains you’ve probably stopped seeing from those New Year’s resolutions. Along the same lines as the Hydra is the Polycelis felina, a freshwater flatworm, which can reproduce asexually. If you’ve ever heard that urban legend about cutting a worm in half and now you have two worms instead of a dead mess—that’s this worm. Essentially, so long as resources hold out, it can divide and/or self replicat forever. It can seemingly self-replicate without any shortening of it’s telomere length. Telomeres are the protein structures found at the ends of each Chromosome, think of them like aglets on shoelaces. They protect the genome from becoming frayed or interchromosomal fusion and play a vital role in keeping you, you. Unfortunately, as cells reproduce telomeres shorten which is expressed in a number of ways but most notability and germain to this show is age. As creatures get bigger, biological immortality becomes more and more rare, but we do have creatures like lobsters. As cells divide the aforementioned telomeres become shorter and shorter until the cell can no longer divide—also known as cell death. Lobsters produce a nearly infinite supply of telomerase, an enzyme that regenerates telomeres. Nearly all creatures have this enzyme, but most, including humans, only produce it during the embryonic life stage. So, while not truly immortal by today’s definition they could be, at least, forever young and growing. Perhaps you’ve heard that lobsters don’t get older, they just get bigger. That’s largely a myth but this is what it’s based on. While impressive, all these creatures pale in comparison to the life cycle of Turritopsis Dohrnii, or a very small jellyfish. This jellyfish (and perhaps more that are yet unknown) has a unique lifecycle. Unlike our other long-lived contenders the jellyfish doesn’t worry about fighting cellular entropy. It just pulls a Phoenix. Beginning is life as an egg that grows into a larval state called a planula. From there it sticks to something, rocks, boats, whatever, and grows into a gross colony of polyps—like the mother gum in Adventure Time. Eventually, a few polyps break off or develop “feet” and jump off, becoming ephyrae or young jellyfish. Then they grow into a medusae, or adult jellyfish and go about their life. Once at this, for most creatures, very final stage of development the jellyfish can go about its jelly business, which includes matting. However, if something happens to the jellyfish (that isn’t immediately fatal that is) it can revert into a pre-polyp, lump-of-cells, state and begin its life cycle all over. Once it returns to the polyp stage it will again turn into a colony that produces potentially hundreds of genetically identical … family? Now, it’s not all good news. First, we can’t and probably wouldn’t want to, go this route ourselves. Though there is some interest in understanding how the jellyfishes cells can, in the process of regrowing, switch from being muscle cells to brain cells, or whatever, because this means switching on and off genes. And, if we could, for example, figure out how to switch off run-away mitosis… well that’s good for cancer sufferers. Meanwhile, because of this one-becomes-many phoenix-like life cycle the tiny jellyfish have spread far and wide, often becoming a detrimental invasive species. Our last brief mention, really a runner up award because we honestly just don’t know, is the Pando. Located in nearby Utah on the Fishlake National Forest, Pando weighs in at nearly 13 million pounds, spreads over 106 acres of land, and is made up of over 40,000 trees. Pando is an aspen colony, not forest, as it shares a common root structure. Considered by some to be the world’s largest single organism it is most often referred to as a colony. Dating is difficult but most estimates put it cerca Vandal Savage, or approximately 80,000 years old. While that doesn’t make it immortal, but extraordinarily long lived, there seems to be no reason why it couldn’t continue on as it has for another 80k or more, which, in my book, makes you immortal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayflick_limit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_immortality https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late-life_mortality_deceleration https://www.science.org.au/curious/earth-environment/animals-can-live-forever https://www.rd.com/list/animals-that-live-forever/ https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2009/01/immortal-jellyfish-swarm-oceans-animals/ https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/fishlake/home/?cid=STELPRDB5393641 Outro I’m Shea, and this week I learned that when you die your voice is added to the chorus of children yelling “Aye, Aye Captain” in the Spongebob intro. Before we go I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and my co-host Aaron. Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from! Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
19 minutes | 4 months ago
Interesting If True - Episode 38: That One Time In Scotland
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that makes you hungry. I’m your host this week, Shea, and with me is: I’m Aaron, and this week I learned that if everyone who smelled it is dead, ‘twas Poseidon who dealt it. More on the depth’s smelly gasses in the patron segment. That one time in Scotland The pandemic and the incompetency of our last administration has made it harder and harder to make ends meet. Our unemployment rate is higher than ever before and access to good healthy foods is near impossible without being loaded. I decided to look back through history and find a story of perseverance, a story of people, who, when the chips were down picked themselves off and made a new life for them and their family. This story comes from Scotland back in the 1700’s when life wasn’t nearly as fun and easy as it is now, this story recounts the life, love, and eventual destruction of one Sawney Bean. Alexander “Sawney” Bean was born the son of a poor farmer in the late 17th century. Growing up a poor farmer Sawney felt like his talents were being wasted. His talents, by the way, were being incredibly lazy. So he ran away from home and took to the streets to see if he could make some easy money. During this time he fell in love with a woman named Agnes Douglas who was into the same things as him, being lazy, it was kismet! Not long after their marriage Swaney and Agnes were run from town, though exact reasons why are unclear, though one source claims Agnes was accused of witchcraft. Now on their own, destitute and alone their luck was about to change. While searching for a place to stay the couple found a great abandoned cave off the coast of South Ayrshire, kind of South West of Glasgow. The cave stretched about a mile into the earth and had a single entrance that disappeared with high tide, a perfect place to build a new family. Lacking a trade, it was Sawney’s plan to support his new wife on the proceeds of robbery. It proved a simple enough matter to ambush travellers on the lonely narrow roads that connected the villages of the area. You remember Sawney was quite lazy, this seemed like the easiest method for making money. They fed themselves by living off the land. Lest images of wheat, turnips, fish and rabbits come to mind. Disabuse yourself of that notion. Old tales claim the means by which the Bean’s sustained themselves was by robbing any man, woman or child unlucky enough to cross their paths. Swaney soon worried he could be identified by his victims and made the decision, not to stop, but to kill his victims. A lot harder to finger someone when you’re dead. After the bodies were looted and carefully searched Swaney had another brilliant idea, why let this meat go to waste… Once dead, the Beans removed the corpses to their lair and chopped them up. They satiated their immediate hunger before prudently pickling some leftovers for when times were lean. The years passed and the family grew. The eight sons and six daughters needed feeding so they continued in their barbarous practices, hunting in a pack to ensure that their quarry could not escape. One estimate puts the amount that the family killed at around 1,000 souls. The high protein diet seemed to have been effective as Mrs Bean started to produce little baby Beans. Fourteen little Beanie babies in total, each with a very unhealthy appetite for human flesh. As the Beanie babies grew up and in turn, through incest, produced Beanie babies of their own, their cooking pots increased in size dramatically. Over two decades, generations of Beanie babies grew up in Bennane Cave, refining their skills of murder and cannibal cuisine including, the now lost art of salting and pickling the flesh, they prepared for leaner times. When their rations would eventually spoil, we all forget stuff in the back of the fridge, they would toss the meat into the sea leading to curiously preserved but decaying body parts discovered washed up on the surrounding beaches. The local authorities had by now established what must have been, and what must still be to this date, the longest missing persons list ever produced. Although mass searches of the area were carried in order to locate either the missing people or their murderers, nobody ever thought to search the depths of Bennane Cave. As the years went by the family grew older and thanks to their high protein diet, bigger. And as the family grew so did their appetite. As many as half a dozen victims would be ambushed and killed at a time in military style operations by the Sawney Bean army. The bodies were taken back to the cave to be carefully prepared for the larder by the women folk. I’m serious about the military operations, the family posted lookouts to signal when travelers approached and the family waited in ambush. No one survived a Bean attack as the family would leave guards to kill anyone who escaped. The Bean’s kept their bellies full while stories of vicious beasts and hungry ghosts swirled around the village. Local innkeepers became suspects as they were usually the last people to have seen the missing person in question. Many innkeepers grew fearful of being wrongly accused and several of them abandoned their inns for other occupations entirely. The Bean’s kept eating. Even in the best-planned operations however, things sometimes go wrong. It happened one evening for the Sawney Bean army, when they attacked a man and his wife as they were returning home from a nearby fair. One group pulled the woman from her horse and had her stripped and disemboweled before the other group had a chance to wrestle the man to the ground. Realising the fate that was about to fall him he fought desperately to escape, driving his horse into and over his attackers. As he fought for his life, a group of twenty or so people also returning from the fair happened upon the scene. After a brief and violent exchange the Sawney Bean army found itself, for the first time ever, at a numerical disadvantage and promptly retreated back to the cave to consider this situation. As they retreated they left behind the mutilated body of a woman as evidence, a score of witnesses and one very angry husband. The man was taken before the Chief Magistrate of Glasgow, who after hearing the tale and putting this together with his longest missing persons list ever and the many reports of the mysterious pickled body parts, decided to take the matter straight to the top. King James I promptly arrived in Ayrshire with a small army of four hundred men and a pack of tracker dogs, and together with a band of local volunteers, launched one of the biggest manhunts the country had ever seen. Like before, the search extended through the Ayrshire countryside and coastline and like before, nothing was discovered. That was however, until the dogs picked up the scent of decaying human flesh whilst passing a partly waterlogged cave. The manhunt was closing in! By torchlight the troops entered Bennane cave and with swords drawn, they proceeded down the mile-long twisting passage to the inner depths of the Sawney Bean family lair. Nothing could have prepared them for the sight they witnessed that day. The damp walls of the cave were strewn with row upon row of human limbs and body parts, like meat hanging in a butchers shop. Other areas of the cave stored bundles of clothing, piles of watches and rings and heaps of discarded bones from previous feasts. After a brief fight, the entire Sawney Bean family, all forty-eight of them, were arrested and marched off to Edinburgh by the King himself. Their crimes were considered so heinous that the normal justice system, for which Scotland is so renowned, was abandoned and the entire family were sentenced to death. The following day the twenty-seven men of the family met a fate similar to that of many of their victims, by having their legs and arms cut off and being left to slowly bleed to death, watched by their women. The twenty-one women were burned like witches in huge fires. It was said that Sawney’s last words were “It isn’t over, it will never be over.” Though I’m pretty sure his exact words were “Look at all the wasted meat.” And so the ballad of Sawney Bean records their end: They’ve hung them high in Edinburgh toon An likewise a their kin An the wind blaws cauld on a their banes An tae hell they a hae gaen.* And thus ends the ballad of Sawney Bean… If it was real that is. There is speculation on whether the Bean’s existed or maybe it was a product of anti-Scot propaganda Though the story has been told for hundreds of years and written up in major publications and studies but unfortunately factual documentation is lacking to validate the events. Though, interesting and true, the clan’s gruesome crimes are what inspired Wes Craven to create “The Hills Have Eyes,” the director reportedly saw this barbaric punishment by supposedly civilised people as the most intriguing aspect of the story, seeing them as matching the clan’s own savagery in their desire for justice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1ZLuexo5Ow https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-21506077 https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/sawney-bean-and-his-family-gruesome-scottish-cannibals-549079 https://everything2.com/title/The+Ballad+of+Sawney+Bean https://allthatsinteresting.com/sawney-bean Go ye not by Gallowa’ Come bide a while, my frein I’ll tell ye o’ the dangers there Beware o’ Sawney Bean. There’s nae body kens that he bides there For his face is seldom seen But tae meet his eye is tae meet your fate At the hands o’ Sawney Bean. For Sawney he has taen a wife And he’s hungry bairns tae wean And he’s raised them up on the flesh o’ men In the cave o’ Sawney Bean. And Sawney has been well endowed Wi daughters young and lean And they a hae taen their faither’s seed In the cave o’ Sawney Bean. An Sawney’s sons are young an strong And their blades are sharp and keen Tae spill the blood o travellers Wha meet wi Sawney Bean. So if you ride frae there tae here Be ye wary in between Lest they catch your horse and spill your blood In the cave o’ Sawney Bean They’ll hing ye ap an cut yer throat An they’ll pick yer carcass clean An they’ll yase yer banes tae quiet the weans In the cave o’ Sawney Bean. But fear ye not, oor Captain rides On an errand o’ the Queen And he carries the writ of fire and sword For the head o’ Sawney Bean. They’ve hung them high in Edinburgh toon An likewise a’ their kin An the wind blaws cauld on a’ their banes An tae hell they a’ hae gaen. Text by John Nicholson of Kirkcudbright, 1843. The Ballad of Sawney Bean. Mid-Show Bumper Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more! You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating. Everything Wants To Kill You -or- The Silent but Deadly Eruption! Interested in what we have to say about this story? Good news, it’s available right now to subscribers at Patreon.com/iit! Welp, thanks for that great news Shea. To help lift patron spirits I’m doing a science story. A sciencey, science story about how literally everything wants to kill you—and can—because nature is a WMD and we’ve been pissing in her Cheerios at an industrial scale for hundreds of years. If, like me, you’re not a geologist—because I assume this is at least a footnote in their textbooks—you probably didn’t know that lakes can explode. Spontaneously, even. For your consideration, I give you the Limnic Eruption. This wonderful horror of the natural world comes to us from the water-salable nature of carbon dioxide—yep, that lovely lethal gas we all enjoy in our drinks. See, any body of water is capable of holding a great deal of CO2. They’re especially good at holding CO2 if they’re in the Oku volcanic field and large enough to have upper and lower thermal layers like lake Moroun or lake Nyos in Cameroon. Both of which, well, exploded. The events, which I’ll come to, are known as Limnic eruptions, or more commonly “Lake Turnover”. Basically… like, Art School basically, the idea is that sources of underground CO2, like volcanic activity, leech the gas up into a lake cool and heavy enough to hold the gas in suspension. The thermal layers act to keep the gas building up in the lower layer under the massive pressure of the top layer as liquids hold more gas in suspension when colder, under pressure (Henery’s law), or both. Eventually, enough CO2 builds up in the water that the lake—much like a shaken up can of beer—explodes releasing tonnes of undetectable, lethal, gas in a tidal-wave of silent death. Such was the case for Lake Monoun in West Province, Cameroon, in the Oku Volcanic Field. On August 15th, 1984, the just … exploded. Several people reported hearing a loud noice around 10:30pm local time. Most of the deaths are assumed to have happened between 3am and down, when the CO2 would have settled in the area. Among the 37 dead were 12 passengers in the back of a truck whose engine died, starved for air, and the drivers when they got out to look under the hood. So yeah, it’ll stop combustion engines too so here’s to hoping the air purifier is running on solar. The area around the lake was later found to be, basically, flattened outward as if by an explosion… because that’s what happened. The trigger is unknown, but rain, earthquake, strong wind… something reduces the pressure on the lake such that it was no longer able to keep the gas in suspension and bubbles formed, creating buoyancy, which also creates bubbles, ultimately leading to the sudden rise of a column of water and gas displacing enough of the lake to create a tsunami that leveled all the plant life in the area. Most of the water would rush back into the lake bed, but the tonnes of gas are left above ground. As CO2 is heavier than air, it forms an invisible river of gas displacing the oxygen in its path. The boundary between breathable air and lethal gas is sharp, according to measurements done on Mammoth Mountain—where three skiers died in a CO2 flash flood—a single step’s height would have been enough. The “main event” of limnic explosions is the Lake Nyos disaster. Nyos, also in Cameroon’s Oku Volcanic region, exploded on August 21st, two years later, in 1986. The explosion released 1 to 3 hundred thousand tons of CO2 in an instant. There were more than gallons of gas per gallon of water in the lake. Now loosed upon the area the cloud-wave left the lake at approximately 100kph (or 62mph) settling into nearby villages in a 25 kilometer radius of the lake. Most sources discount a volcanic eruption or earthquake as there were no reports of noticeable seismic activity. The articles I read all seem to favor the mudslide theory—that a mass of mud and water was enough to disrupt the delicate surface pressures containing the supersaturated water. Whatever the cause, a wave of gas washed over the nearby town of Nyos. Of its 800 residents only six survived. Once settled the gas would kill a total of 1,746 people, more than 3,500 livestock, and pretty much any other creature that breathes, down to insects, in the area. One survivor, Joseph Nkwain, tells of coming in and out of consciousness over the course of the day. Fading in and out as he found his family and neighbors dead until he was able to mount a motor bike and leave Nyos behind. In the wake of the disaster the government has installed pumps in the so-called “killer lakes” to prevent CO2 build up. They look like pretty mid-lake fountains. If not for this story I would probably just assume it’s a water feature. By pumping water from the bottom of the lake they’re allowing gasses to escape and forcing a kind of artificial lake turnover thereby preventing a bubble of supersaturated water from forming. Nearby, on the border of Rwanda is Lake Kivu. It too is building up CO2 for the Oku Volcanic range but worryingly, it is also building up critical levels of methane! So, in addition to having tonnes of deadly CO2, it also has tonnes of flammable, explosive, and terribly stinky, methane. Rather than turn it into stink lake by venting the methane in the same way they’re venting CO2 from lake Kivu, the Rwandan government built a power plant. Basically, the stuck a pipe in the lake and, like a straw in champagne… I guess, is the analogy I’m going with here… the gasses bubble up in the pipe where they can be processed. The CO2 is dealt with and the methane is piped to three large turbines. The state-owned Kibuye Power plant already produces 3.6MW of electricity—about 4% of the countries total—from the gasses harvested from the lake… in 2010. The last numbers I found show it happily making 25MW with a final output of 100MW. The project is especially important because the locals know they’re on the clock. “Our grandfathers knew there was gas in this lake but now have we proved that it can be exploited,” said Alexis Kabuto, the Rwandan engineer who runs the $20m Kibuye project. “It’s a cheap, clean resource that could last us 100 years.” What he means by that is the lake has a history of exploding. Scientists had previously found evidence of a near-thousand-year cyclical extinction event around the lake. Before the observance of the Mohoun and Nyos lake limnic eruptions there was no evidence to suggest a cause for the events. Now, those studying the lakes are fairly confident that the lake has been building up gasses and erupting on an old, faithful, schedule for millennia. So, listener, if you happen to live near a large body of water, take heart and sleep well, safe in the knowledge that it probably won’t just blow up and drown you a tsunami of silent, odorless, tasteless, super-death. Also you should probably test your smoke and various gas alarms. Go on. Do it. Do it before nature gets you. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limnic_eruption https://www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/volcano-hazards/volcanic-gases https://www.nationalgeographic.org/media/lake-turnover/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20958652/ https://www.livescience.com/40451-volcanic-co2-levels-are-staggering.html http://www.slate.com/blogs/atlas_obscura/2013/07/26/lake_nyos_killed_1746_when_it_released_a_huge_pocket_of_co2.html https://mhalb.pagesperso-orange.fr/nyos/2004EO300001_papier%20EOS%20Nyos.pdf http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/silent-deadly https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/aug/16/rwanda-gas-lake-kivu Outro I’m Shea, and this week I learned that if you drink orange juice and vodka from a guy named Phil’s skull you can drink a phillips head screwdriver. Before we go I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and my co-host Aaron. Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from! Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
28 minutes | 4 months ago
Interesting If True - Episode 37: A Titanic Tragedy!
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that promises 2021 will be a better year… and if you believe that, we’re also the podcast that would love to sell you some swamp land in the sahara… I’m your host this week, Aaron, and with here, the only place you’ll find this particular cryptid, Shea the Yeti—and his little fluff too! I’m Shea, and this week I learned that this is the first time a sitting president has been banned from Twitter going back to 1812. I’m Jenn and this week I learned that Dire wolves aren’t actually wolves at all. They are actually more closely related to jackals, and broke off from the lineage with wolves millions of years ago. So, something…something…you REALLY no nothing Jon Snow. Rough Seas Ahead… Despite my plucky intro 2021 has already told 2020 to hold its beer so we may as well sit back and watch as Rome burns—or to make it relevant to today’s story, play on as the ship sinks… Lots of ships have sunk, but few as impressively as the Doña Paz. You may have heard the story of the Doña Paz wreck as it was the most deadly wreck of a ship not at war. That record, in the 20th century anyway, goes to the Spanish Castillo de Olite which sank on the 7th of March, 1939, taking 1,476 of her 2,112 sailors to Davy Jones’ Locker. Still, the Doña Paz would have beat that handily. For you history buffs Wikipedia lists the Battle of Tsushima as the 20th centuries deadliest nautical event. In the Russo-Japanese War between 1904-1905 two-thirds of Russia’s fleet was lost along with 4,380 sailors. 5,917 more were captured. So that’s all… horrible. Still, the Doña Paz… just barely wins this entirely dreadful race as well. Also known as “Asia’s Titanic” the Doña Paz took four thousand, three hundred, and thirty-six down with her—nearly 3 times as many as the Titanic. So, what happened? First, the Doña Paz was launched on April 25th, 1963 from Hiroshima, Japan, as the Himeyuri Maru. Which had a passenger capacity of 608. In October of 1975 it was purchased by Suplicio Lines and renamed the Don Suuplicio. Following a fire it was restored and renamed Doña Paz. It made a ferry circuit of Manila → Tacloban → Catbalogan → Manila twice a week. On December 20th, 1987, the Doña Paz left Leyte island for the capital, Manila. Officially, the Doña Paz could carry 1,518 passengers and it’s sixty six crew members. However, most sources I found noted that this official passenger manifest—listing 1,493 people—didn’t include the nearly 1000 children under four on board, nore did it list the battalion of soldiers they picked up at the last minute because “why the hell not.” So the Doña Paz set off on the last leg of its journey with an estimated 4,386 passengers. Which is, by my math, way, way, too many. Apparently, people were packed into the vessel’s three levels so tightly that it was standing-room-only on basically every flat surface except the bridge. One survivor, Luthgardo Niedo, a military officer said “it was so crowded, the Doña Paz tilted to one side” reasoning it was only slight overcrowding for Christmas. Now, I mention the bridge because, like the Titanic we know and love to make movies about, there was negligence afoot in the form of a f*cking rager. The Captain and some of the crew, along with a number of the military men, were rocking out on the bridge. This left the job of… steering the ship… to the much less experienced… whoever drew the short straw. Luthgardo recounts meeting another soldier at the side of the vessel… the bathrooms being full of people as well. While they warmed the water the soldier told him “I heard some music and laughter. […] The captain of the ship was at the party,” the other soldier being there to break the seal. Fortunately for Luthgardo, he was sober and taking his time, which positioned him to see the MT Vector—an oil tanker caring more than 8,000 barrels of gasoline and kerosene—coming right for them. At half past 11, the MT Vector rammed the left side of the Doña Paz, destroying the main switchboard,engine room, and causing a fiery explosion. The MT Vector, for it’s part, wasn’t exactly running smoothly. It was overloaded as well, so much so, that it took two crew members to steer and was therefore moving in a wobbly, zig-zag motion that likely would have confused the hell out of the folks steering the Doña Paz. The Board of Marine Inquiry also noted that a number of the MT Vector’s crew were asleep at the time—including the lookout. Still, the awake crew weren’t handling things much better. It turns out that the MT Vector’s chief engineer wasn’t exactly Jordy LaForge, in fact, he wasn’t even a licensed engineer. So the ship was overloaded, under-staffed, and—by the way—of questionable sea-worthiness as the Vector was sailing without a certificate of inspection. Still, even if the Vector’s lookout was looking for stuff, they wouldn’t have been able to turn fast enough to avoid the collision due to being so overloaded and they wouldn’t have been able to warn the Doña Paz, because the Doña Paz had no radio! So, the ships collide, explode, and start to sink—a process that would take the Doña Paz only two hours. Survivors of the blast are left to face a wildfire or shark-infested waters. Those who can choose the water but few make it. The gasoline spread quickly, consuming more than a kilometer in flames in the four hours it took the Vector to sink. Worse still, the Doña Paz’s life jackets—far too few in number anyway—were reportedly locked away by the crew. Witnessing the explosion, a few locals and the captain of the MS Don Claudio, set out to rescue survivors… an hour later. No reason given for that, just “after an hour” in the middle of that bit of the story. Adding to the tragedy, it took eight hours for the Philippine maritime authorities to find out about the wreck, and then another eight hours to launch a rescue. The books and documentary, which is available on YouTube and linked in the show notes, talk about the timing but most stories leave it out either because they were so late as to be irrelevant to the story, or because of what I’m sure is a deep societal, political, scar. I don’t know the lore or feelings of the locals, but I know when authorities are late to places of extreme unrest here, the discourse can get pretty… heated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=163&v=WAY5XjCLN5w&feature=emb_title In the end Sulpicio Shipping Lines denied that the ferry was overcrowded and said that survivors were not credible eyewitnesses able to judge the number of people on a ship. The Board of Marine Inquiry found the Vector to be at fault. After intense pressure Sulpicio “compensated” only the victims from the official manifest and a mere 4k USD at that. That said, there is something of an update. In 2017 the families of those who were lost, given some form of compensation, though I can’t find what. This came after a 1999 ruling in the Supreme Court of the Philippines which found the families of unlisted victims were due indemnity as well. Leaders from around the world reached out in solidarity with the Philippines as reports around the world called it, rightfully so, the worst peace-time maritime disaster of the 20th century. More recently the wreck of both ships was surveyed by the Research Vessel Petrel. Working with the National Museum of the Philippines they examined the site and created a brief underwater view of the wreck. It’s like the ones you see on National Geographic of the Titanic and is, as far as I saw, free of the more gruesome details. So, there you go, the story of the worst shipwreck to date. And if that left you a little less than giddy, Patrons are due for an uplifting second half as Shea explains how to survive the apocalypse in style. https://www.esquiremag.ph/long-reads/features/dona-paz-a1729-20181220-lfrm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Doña_Paz https://www.maritimecyprus.com/2020/12/18/flashback-in-maritime-history-philippine-ferry-mv-dona-paz-collision-sinking-and-death-toll-of-4386-people-20-dec-1987-3/ https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/asias-titanic-thousands-died-thirty-years-ago https://www.geekwire.com/2019/paul-allens-research-vessel-surveys-wreckage-asias-titanic-1987-ferry-sinking-killed-4300/ Mid-Show Bumper Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more! You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating. Cookies for the end of the World Interested in what we have to say about this story? Good news, it’s available right now to subscribers at Patreon.com/iit! Since 2008, the Svaldbard Global Seed Vault in Norway has served as one of the last lines of defense against the annihilation of plant life on Earth. The secure facility, built into the side of a mountain, holds over one million seed samples, offering hope that if all other existence of a crop is wiped out, a final backup will still be available. This is great if you want fruits and vegetables or whatever, but what if you want more? Well good news, the Svalbard Global Seed Bank got a new neighbour back in 2017. Instead of storing seeds, this vast library has been built to ensure the survival of the world’s most important books, documents, and data. Known as the Arctic World Archive, this new facility has been built into the same frozen mountain as the original seed vault, and is open to governments and research facilities from around the world as a place for storing their records. Companies and private individuals can also pay for the privilege of having their information locked underground for at least the next millennium, deep inside an abandoned mine that’s been frozen in Arctic permafrost. What’s really interesting is that they store all the data in an analogue format on film, the security experts say it’s far safer than keeping it online, where it’s vulnerable to cyber attacks and hacking, and the permafrost conditions will ensure a constant temperature for centuries to come. According to the company, it has run experiments to show that even if outside temperatures rise dramatically – in the event of nuclear war, for example – the film will survive for at least 500 years. But they suspect it would still be possible to read the etchings 1,000 years from now, and are now running experiments to prove it. So, worst case scenario and everything goes to pot we can make our way up to the arctic, fight a few polar bears and access to fruits, veggies, and entertainment. Doesn’t sound so bad, but a few luxuries would make the end of the world a little better. Good thing Oreo thought to plan ahead. Announced this past October, the Global Oreo Vault is—in the words of Oreo—it is significantly smaller than its seed counterpart. The cookie brand says this Oreo-focused facility holds just “the Oreo recipe and a large stockpile of cookies.” But if all hell does break loose on our planet, know that you’ll always find the world’s best-selling cookies at the coordinates 78° 08’ 58.1” N, 16° 01’ 59.7” E. Whether you’ll be able to find some milk, well, that’s a different situation entirely. Now, how did the doomsday campaign come to be? Oreo’s senior director Justin Parnell said the brand had sent its agency partners an open brief in the fall to “spread some playfulness” and provide “a little relief from all the worry and division in the world right now.” But what specifically sparked the vault concept was a tweet from a fan on Oct. 3, asking who would save Oreos if Asteroid 2018 VP1 made contact. (The asteroid, discovered in 2018, had a 0.41% chance of impacting Earth on 2 November 2020) “[The tweet] sparked the question: ‘What lengths would we go to save Oreo cookies from a catastrophic event?’” Frank Cartagena, chief creative officer at The Community, New York, said. “Even though the threat was minimal, we knew we didn’t want to live in a world without Oreo cookies. Or worse, a world where just oatmeal raisin cookies survived. So, despite having no time, we set off to build a miniature version of the global seed vault just down the road from the original.” Oreo replied to the fan’s tweet with “Hold my milk,” and 21 days later, the brand and its agency partners revealed the finished product. Oreo promoted the stunt with a coordinated campaign, releasing 40 pieces of social content over five days that led up to the release of a short mockumentary. Filmed in Oslo, it follows the journey of astronomers and project managers—portrayed by actors—constructing the vault. The vault is a silly idea—backed by an even sillier set of videos on YouTube featuring actors portraying Oreo executives—but despite the tongue-in-cheek tone to the advertising side of the project, the brand apparently really did go the extra mile to assure their cookies are safe inside. “As an added precaution, the Oreo packs are wrapped in mylar, which can withstand temperatures from -80 degrees to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and is impervious to chemical reactions, moisture and air, keeping the cookies fresh and protected for years to come,” Oreo announced. Fans responded by sliding into Oreo’s Twitter DMs to ask to work vault security, floating conspiracy theories about the vault’s passcode and asking where they could find their own cookie packs wrapped in mylar, which was reserved for influencers. Brands including Sour Patch Kids and Burger King also got in on doomsday vault discourse. Parnell said the main reason why the campaign was successful was that it tapped into a cultural conversation happening in real time. “We not only jumped into the social conversation around Asteroid 2018 VP1, but surprised fans by showing up in a uniquely-Oreo way, with a playfully unexpected, over-the-top solution to the pending threat.” https://www.businessinsider.com/oreo-asteroid-proof-doomsday-vault-in-norway-photos-2020-10 https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/oreo-constructs-vault-to-protect-cookies-from-asteroid Outro I’m Aaron, and I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and my co-hosts. We’d like the extend a special thanks to our newest patrons: LonelyWyoming From Patreon with Love Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from! Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
28 minutes | 4 months ago
Interesting If True - Episode 36: Bits, Bobbles, & Beers!
Welcome to Interesting If True, the only podcast that made it through 2020. I’m your host this week, Shea, and with me is the ever present Aaron! I’m Aaron, and this week I learned that operating a pyramid scheme makes you a terrible business person… unless your business is ye-olde Egyption real estate development. This week’s show is made up of mini-stories. We had a lot of bits and bobbles—and beers—laying around so we thought we’d paste them up into a variety show of sorts. Let us know what you think of the “new headlines” ;) Ridiculous Reports Today is going to be a bit different. I have been saving stories for the past year that are just too short for a full episIde, so to clear out my story folder here are some awesome quick interesting but Trues… France in the 1500’s probably wasn’t the most fun place in the 16th century but if you were a king you could get some pretty good entertainment on Knave-flix. King Louis the 12th and Francis the first had good taste and employed the great jester, Nicolas Ferrial. Nicolas Ferrial, also known as Le Févrial or Triboulet, was one of the most celebrated jesters in history. He had all of the qualities necessary in a good court jester, most importantly, the gift of quick wit. This wit not only made him successful but it also nearly resulted in his doom. Fortunately, that very same wit ultimately saved his life. His ability to get himself in trouble was legendary. Once a nobleman was upset about being made the butt of Triboulet’s jokes and threatened to kill the jester. Triboulet ran to the king, telling him that the man was planning on hanging him. The king attempted to calm the jester, saying, “Don’t worry! If he hangs you I’ll have him beheaded fifteen minutes later.” Triboulet retorted, “Well, would it be possible to behead him 15 minutes before?” This would not be the joke that made him most famous though, Triboulet’s sense of frivolity got out of control, and he slapped the king on the royal bum. The monarch lost his temper and threatened to execute Triboulet. A bit later, the monarch calmed down a little and promised to forgive Triboulet if he could think of an apology more insulting than the offending deed. A few seconds later, Triboulet responded: “I’m so sorry, your majesty, that I didn’t recognize you! I mistook you for the Queen!” Ultimately, Triboulet’s joking went too far. He offended Francis I to the degree that the king ordered the execution of the jester. Out of recognition of the jester’s years of faithful service, however, the king granted Triboulet the right to choose the way he would die. Triboulet lost no time in responding. “Good sire, for Saint Nitouche’s and Saint Pansard’s sake, patrons of insanity, I choose to die from old age.” Francis I found his response so hilarious that he commuted the death sentence and, instead, banished the jester from the realm. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triboulet There are all sorts of literary friendships in history. J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady and Allen Ginsberg. The Algonquin Round Table. But they usually restricted themselves to literary pursuits. Not so with J.M. Barrie’s crew, which was packed with famous names and almost no athletic ability. Why does athleticism come into this? Well Barrie drafted his crew, specifically, to play cricket. J.M. Barrie loved cricket. He loved it so much he formed a cricket club in 1887. But he didn’t pick his team based on athletic ability, no. That would be silly. Instead, he invited people based on a more eccentric set of criteria: With regard to the married men, it was because I liked their wives, with the regard to the single men, it was for the oddity of their personal appearance. He got what he asked for, naturalist Joseph Thomson wore pajamas as a substitute for cricket whites. Also joining the team were Rudyard Kipling, H. G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, P. G. Wodehouse, G. K. Chesterton, Jerome K. Jerome, and A. A. Milne. The name of the club was the “Allahakbarries,” which is a culturally insensitive pun. And a mistake, since the two explorers who came up with it thought the name meant “Heaven help us,” which was something the team would need to say a lot. That’s not what “Allah Akbar” actually means, but, hey, they did manage to get Barrie’s name in there. “Allah Akbar” actually translates as “God is most great.” Let me paint you a picture of what the other teams were up against: Right before the first game, Barrie discovered his teammates trying to decide which side of the bat to use to hit the ball. One French player thought that when the umpire called “over,” the game was literally finished. Barrie described a player as “Breaks everything except the ball.” Barrie had to write the team a book of advice which included asking them not practice before matches since it would only give their opponents confidence and “Should you hit the ball, run at once. Do not stop to cheer.” Poor Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was the only one on the team who was actually a good player, and was described by Barrie as “A grand bowler. Knows a batsman’s weakness by the colour of the mud on his shoes.” Barrie himself had just the right attitude about the game. He was relentlessly positive about the team and their opponents. He dedicated his book on the team with “To Our Dear Enemy Mary de Navarro,” an American actress who had bowled him out. He was also aware of his own shortcomings as a bowler, repeatedly writing about how slow he was. Eventually he fell back on an excuse that so many of us have used: the more accomplished a man was at writing, the worse he played. Sadly, the end of the team was not as joyful as its inception or career: World War I finished the team. Barrie saw it coming, writing in his diary: “The Last Cricket Match. One or two days before war declared – my anxiety and premonition – boys gaily playing cricket at Auch, seen from my window. I know they’re to suffer. I see them dropping out one by one, fewer and fewer” https://www.abebooks.com/books/rarebooks/barrie-cricket-team-allahakbarries/peter-pan.shtml In the information age, pranksters are a dime a dozen. With the medium of the internet and platforms like YouTube, it’s hard to go a week without hearing about or seeing a prank video. However, back in the pre-internet days, a prankster – let alone a good one – was hard to find. That is, unless you know Horace de Vere Cole. Horace de Vere Cole was an Irishman born in County Cork, Ireland in 1881. He came from a well-to-do family and attended the prestigious Eton College and eventually Cambridge, though he never graduated from the latter. He served in the army during the Second Boer war, during which he was wounded. Despite this respectable résumé, Cole had a penchant for pranks. In early 1905, during his second year At Trinity College, Cole and his friend Adrian Stephen (Virginia Woolf’s brother) heard that Sayyid Ali bin Hamud Al-Busaid, eighth Sultan of Zanzibar, was visiting England. Originally, the two lads wanted to arrange for a fake state visit of the Sultan to Cambridge, although they realized his picture had recently been printed in the press, so there was a risk their fake Sultan would get caught out. So they decided that Cole would impersonate the Sultan’s uncle, and sent a telegram to the Mayor of Cambridge asking him to arrange a suitable reception for the Sultan’s uncle and a tour of Cambridge and the Trinity College. The two students borrowed some robes and turbans from the theatrical costume designer Willy Clarkson, applied some fake tan and took the train to Cambridge from London. When they stepped off the train they were greeted by a luxury carriage which took them to the guildhall where they met the Mayor and Town Clerk. They were then taken on a tour of the town by the two, including a tour of the college they were studying at, being seen by some of their friends who didn’t even recognize them! After an hour they demanded to be returned to the station, although they couldn’t travel back to London as that would mean breaking the College’s 10 PM campus curfew. So when they got to the station they ran out a side exit, took a cab home, and got back into their normal clothes! The next day, Cole gave an interview to the Daily Mail detailing the prank which went viral. The Mayor was so livid he wanted the two students imprisoned, but the public had loved Cole’s prank and it would have badly damaged the Mayor’s rep so he decided not to. Cole’s pranks were legendary and included many more great pranks. Cole once bought eight strategically-placed tickets to a play he thought to be pretentious and gave the tickets to eight different bald men. Before they went in, Cole painted a big black letter on each of their heads so when the lights shone on the audience they spelled out the word “B-O-L-L-O-C-K-S!” He also once hosted a dinner party where all the guests discovered during the party that they all had the word “bottom” in their surnames. Another popular prank of Cole’s that he did repeatedly was to walk around with a cow’s udder poking out the fly of his trousers. Whenever he felt he’d caused enough uproar he would pull out a pair of scissors and chop the appendage off! On April Fools’ Day, 1919, Cole was honeymooning in Venice with his first wife. He dropped loads of horse manure onto the historic San Marco Piazza. Venice has no horses in it and can only be reached by boat. Though his most famous prank had to be The Dreadnought Hoax. In the early 1900s, Britain’s navy was one of the most powerful fighting forces on the planet and a key part of their Empire. However, despite their stiff-upper-lip attitudes, the officers of the Navy did enjoy playing pranks on each other. The officers of the HMS Hawke and the HMS Dreadnought were locked in a prank war, and one of the Hawke’s officers came to his trusty friend Horace de Vere Cole for a little help taking their rivals down a notch or two. This was to be Cole’s magnum opus. Cole enlisted the help of five friends including two cousins of Navy Commander Willie Fisher; Adrian Stephen and his sister Virginia Woolf (then Virginia Stephen), as well as three other friends. Cole started by getting a telegram sent to the “C-in-C, Home Fleet” stating that “Prince Makalen of Abyssinia and suite arrive 4:20 today at Weymouth. He wishes to see Dreadnought. Kindly arrange to meet them on arrival.” The five of them put on robes and turbans supplied from his old friend Willy Clarkson, as well as fake beards and fake tan so that they resembled members of the Abyssinian royal family. Adrian Stephen took on the role of acting as the group’s “interpreter.” Cole and his entourage went to Paddington Station in London and Cole claimed he was “Herbert Cholmondeley” of the Foreign Office and demanded a special train to Weymouth. As they stepped off the train in Weymouth, they saw that the navy had given them a full military honor guard, and played the national anthem of Zanzibar as well as waving the Zanzibari flag as they couldn’t find the Abyssinian flag. The group was given a tour and inspected the fleet, gibbering words of Latin and Greek which Adrian Stephen would then “interpret,” using Adrian to try and bestow fake military honors on the officers. The officer giving the group the tour was none other than Commander Willie Fisher himself – Adrian and Virginia’s cousin, and not even he recognized the two! The group posed for a photo with Commanding Officers of the Royal Navy and the Dreadnought, which Cole sent to the Daily Mail the next day. Once again, the story went viral and the Navy became the butt of public ridicule. The Navy demanded the group be arrested, however they had broken no laws in their prank, so they all got away with it. https://www.thevintagenews.com/2019/04/20/horace-de-vere-cole/ https://sniggle.net/cole.php Mid-Show Bumper Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more! You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating. It’s Florida Time! Interested in what we have to say about this story? Good news, it’s available right now to subscribers at Patreon.com/iit! When Shea said he was cleaning out the fun-but-too-small-for-a-real-show folder I knew exactly what Patrons were going to hear about: extreme sports, Florida, and missing limbs. So first off, an extreme sport that I would absolutely crush if only I get them to do it in my laundry room instead of the top of a mountain, Extreme Ironing! That’s right, because the 80’s I guess Tony Hiam, a Settle resident—that’s in Yorkshire Dales National Park in England—was inspired by his brother who, being a crazy person, apparently ironed his clothes in his tent while camping. Or at least that’s the story the lame-stream wiki-media wants you to believe. If you want the real truth according to the people fighting about it, Extreme Ironing was created by Phil Shaw in his backyard in Leicester, England in 1997. The story goes he came home one day to a full load of chores to do but wanted to spend the evening rock climbing… so he packed his iron, board, and laundry and climbed a mountain then did his chores at its peak. For their part the EIB, or Extreme Ironing Bureau, the sports governing body, supports Shaw’s claim. The EIB is also responsible for promoting the sport it describes as “the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt.” In 1999 Shaw, who plays by the name “Steam” joined the international circuit competing in America, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. While in not-Stralia Zealand, Shaw met up with the German team to found the EIB as well as the GEIB because the Germans are super special and need their own thing. For a short while there was a spin-off “speed round” of sorts wherein competitors would try to complete the most ironing of an item of clothing while bungee jumping but that was quickly ruled real, real stupid. International attention was finally gained in 2003 when the BBC4 aired the documentary Extreme Ironing: Pressing for Victory — I see what they did there. The program followed the British as they won Bronze and Gold medals at the 1st Extreme Ironing World Championships in Germany. Following the press a breakout group called Urban Housework tried to start an extreme vacuuming league but no one was interested. The sport has seen sustained support since with events, media publications, and inclusion in things like EastEnders and Netlflix’s Dino Girl Gauko (S01E06). Some brief highlights of the sport include: 2003 award to the South African team for ironing while suspended over Wolfberg Cracks—a massive gorge. 72 divers set a world record for underwater synchronous ironing in 2008. In 2009 128 divers and 6 free divers tried to break the record, which they did with 86 concurrent ironers, they also raised 15K for Lifeboats. And most recently in 2018 Roland Piccoli free-dive-ironed a T-shirt at 42m depth making him the world’s deepest free-diving Ironer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_ironing Continuing our coverage of super important sports the Curling world was rocked in September when AI equipped Curly, the curling robot, beat Olympic players in three of four matches. Once he was acclimated for that rink’s ice, his throw precision was nearly 3 times that of a human. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02723-5 “But I was promised Florida and severed limbs!” you might be saying. Ok, fine, let’s get to Florida. Vernon, Florida to be specific. Nestled in Washington county, Vernon has a population of 687 according to the 2010 census. 2018 estimates added… 3 people. The town has no real draws, nothing is made here worth mentioning, and its historical landmarks are all based on proximity to something that matters or the deaths of native Americans. What it is known for is a documentary film called… Vernon. The documentary dives into the only interesting thing about Vernon—how it came to be known as “nub city” in the 1950’s and 60’s. The movie apparently angered the residents of Vernon and surrounding cities who felt that it painted them in a negative light… also it exposed their racket which made Errol Morris, the film maker, persona non grata in the city. He was eventually run out of town. You can now find the real, nubby, truth as they see it in the Vernon Historical Society Museum’s section on insurance fraud. See, the people of the Nub City had things figured out in a way only Florida man can. The cost of living was low, the people were… presumably… high, and everyone was related. Or at least that’s how it seems because somehow, the people of Vernon in the 50’s and 60’s, accounted for nearly ⅔’s of all missing-limb insurance claims. Remember that at the time the population was about 500. The plan was, basically, go out into the swamp and shoot yourself in the knee or elbow such that your limb came off then apply for insurance benefits and share them with the city. Then, when that money ran out, someone else in Vernon would also “mysteriously” lose a limb restarting the cash influx into the town. As of the 2000 census, there were the aforementioned ~700 people, made up by 206 families, with an average household income of 20k USD. At the time between 10 and 20% of the city had lost at least one, if not more, limbs. For the documentary, it’s won a number of awards and is currently sitting at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. You can find it on Netflix. https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/vernon-florida https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernon,_Florida_(film) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083281/ Outro I’m Shea, and this week I learned that keeping tropical fish at home can have a calming effect on the brain due to all the indoor fins. Before we go, I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and my co-host Aaron. Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from! Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
38 minutes | 4 months ago
Interesting If True - Episode 35: 2020 Toaster Shakings
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that’s very pleased indeed to welcome you into 2021. I’m your host this week, Aaron, and with me are the ghosts of 2020-podcastings past. Unfortunately, 2020, like a gross rash, just keeps coming back and our year-end plan found itself in the dumpster-fire burning alongside all our other hopes, dreams, and aspirations for the year. So send Shea and Jenn—who we thought were getting better, and Jim—who, insofar as I know, is getting better… all your funniest “get well soon”’s. Preferably in the form of 5-star reviews wherever you get your podcasts. And since I recorded this intro a daring 24 hours before air-date, Steve’s probably fallen down and broken his tilapia or something, so him too. Seriously, the iTunes be barron. But still, we won’t let 2020 win dammit! So, befitting a scrambled dash to save a failed recording at the end of a failure of a year, I give you all the content that failed to become a podcast with this Best of 2020 Bloopers episode! Let’s Do Shots! KFC has a new shot that’s coming to bars near-ish you! There’s been a growing trend for stock-tails, using broth in cocktails, over the last couple of years. “Bartenders are stirring and shaking animal stock and bone broth into cocktails served warm and chilled to add a new savory element to seasonal drinking,” according to a feature from Liquor.com on the trendy drink. KFC cooked up three varieties of this new kind of drink: the Gravy Mary, Southern Twist and Fingerlickin’ Sour, with the tagline “Gravy so good you can drink it.” “Our fans repeatedly express their love for our gravy, which always sparks ideas within the team. We know our gravy is good enough to drink – so with ‘stock-tails’ being a real hit at the moment, what better ingredient to take them to the next level?” Marion Racine, marketing manager at KFC UK & Ireland, told The Independent. Ingredients: 20ml KFC Gravy 50ml vodka (optional) 90ml tomato juice 1 tsp horseradish cream 20ml worcester sauce 15ml lemon juice Hot sauce Paprika, celery salt, pepper Highball glass Ice Celery KFC Popcorn Chicken Method: Put paprika, celery salt horseradish, hot sauce & Worcester sauce in a cocktail mixer. Add vodka (optional), lemon juice, tomato juice & KFC Gravy. Throw cocktail between two mixers. Pour over ice into a highball. Garnish with celery & KFC popcorn chicken. Recipes for the other two cocktails can be found on Youtube. So yeah. Basically, this is why America is the way it is… Mid-Show Bumper Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more! You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating. Snake wine Weird drinks aren’t cleverly named are they? Pinyin is a Vietnamese alcoholic beverage produced by infusing whole snakes in rice wine or grain alcohol. The drink was first recorded to have been consumed in China during the Western Zhou dynasty (ca. 1040–770 BC) and is considered an important curative. The snakes, preferably venomous ones, are not usually preserved for their meat but to have their “essence” and snake venom dissolved in the liquor. Luckily bottles don’t bite, so the snake venom poses no real threat to the drinker. It is denatured by the ethanol and is thereby inactive and just to be safe it would be denatured by stomach acid also. Which is why being poisoned and being envenomed are different things. You can get this, typically, one of two ways. Steeped, which is to say that a snake, perhaps snakes, are put in the bottle and left for a long while. Often including medial herbs. Or you can get it mixed, which is literally a shot of a given booze, which a juiced snake – as in literally putting a snake in a juicer. Snake wine is widely believed to improve health and virility. There are similar drinks made with geckos or sea horses rather than snakes. Due to its high alcohol percentage its traditionally drunk in shot glasses. Braver drinkers may eat certain parts of the snake, such as the gallbladder, eyeballs and the stomach – because hey, why not. Before I got though, this one while cringe worthy on the surface isn’t so odd. You can get scorpion shots in Vegas after all… Outro I’m Aaron, and I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and my co-hosts. Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from! Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
69 minutes | 5 months ago
Interesting If True - Episode 34: Happy Holiday Hoedown
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that fits perfectly in your stocking, right next to that moldy orange. I’m your host this week, Aaron, and with me are Shea, I’m Shea, and this week I learned that the moral of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is that no one likes you unless you’re useful. I’m Steve, and I’m back baby! Stuffed To The Stockings I spent this last weekend making a few hundred cookies—also, team, I hope you like cookies cause that’s what you’re getting—and while Googling cookie recipes I also found… this stuff. So, for a very 2020-appropriate holiday special, I bring you the worst things people might try to feed you on the longest night of the year… Of course there are the staples like Fruitcake, which I think, might actually include staples. This dense, flavorless, unforgiving calorie-brick only rears its ugly head on the holiday’s, a time when you’re supposed to show people that… you know… you like them. Still, the world is full of poor, missguided souls who think their friends and family actually want a savory cake so densely filled with canned fruit-cocktail rejects, ex-grapes, and bad liquor that they bend light and reason into their gravity well of terribleness. The fruitcake tradition goes back to ancient Rome when people would make oat and barley cakes, just to make sure it was extra terrible I guess, and mix in pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins. Though, they could be forgiven because literally anything except dying of yee-oldie rot was the best thing in the world. Foruntantly, as a people we’ve… mostly figured out how to stop making everything a test of one’s mettle. Unless you live in Australia that is, because in the land of literally-everything-is-trying-to-kill-you of course they consider fruitcake a year-round treat. I guess it is better than dying of dropbear STDs. In Ireland the fruitcake will actually try to kill you. Apparently, it’s traditional to bake barmbrack on Hallowe’en with coins, rings, and other small choking hazards. Ah shelf stable, open-air, bread. What could be better? Booze. It would seem that most fruitcake recipes and variations work in a great deal of alcohol. Usually the “fruit” is soaked for weeks before being used but in variations like those in the Anglophone Caribbean booze is an important ingredient because you’re trying to make, essentially, a very drunken English Christmas pudding log. Some recipes call for so much alcohol, and for the cake to be wrapped in an alcohol soaked cloth, that they’ll last more or less forever. For example, the Ford family in Tecumseh, Michigan considers the fruitcake their great, great, I-lost-count, great grandpa made in 1878 an family heirloom. They even got Jay Leno to eat a bit on air and he didn’t die, so that’s nice. The oldest consumable fruitcake on record is the 109-year-old cake discovered in 2017 by the Antarctic Heritage Trust. And now that we’ve go to the obligatory “fruitcakes are terrible” story out of the way, let’s put something inside a seal. Yep, as in a water-puppy. This is Kiviak—or as it’s more commonly known, Satan’s Turkduken—is a traditional dish from Greenland. Apparently, Inuits needed a source of vitamins, minerals, and stank during the deep winter months so they did the only logical thing, they hollowed out a seal—their phrase, not mine—and filled up the seal-sack with four or five hundred dead Auk birds, beaks, feathers, feet and all. Auk birds are those tink, penguin-crossed-with-a-house-sparrow looking birds. They’re related to puffins and weigh in at 5 to 6 ounces, so you can fit a lot of them inside 500 pounds of dead seal. Once stuffed the seal-ducken is left to ferment under a rock for around three months. Once fermented in the melting seal fat the birds can be eaten raw… according to the worst sentence I’ve ever read on a foodie travel blog, which continues, with a yet worse sentence “the most popular way to consume Kiviak is to bite off the head of the auk and suck out the juices” which are not raspberry flavored. No, those are the liquified entrails of a bird. Local fans of the “delicacy” say the bird meat flavor is heightened by fermentation and takes on flavors of stinky cheeses and liquorice. Traditionally this dish is now served on Christmas, at weddings, and sometimes, at funerals. According to legend an old man made and ate some Kiviak and, I guess because he put it under the wrong rock, it killed him. Then, unbenounced to his family, but nounced to us, the Kiviak had gone bad but was assumed to be ok and served at his funeral… where many, many people ate it and became gravely ill themselves. So… merry Christmas I guess. Unless you’re a seal. Of course, three months, a hollowed out seal, and four hundred tiny birds might be more doing than you want to put into a quarantine-Christmas dinner. If you’d rather spend all your time with your cat than kitchen, might I suggest ordering a lovely Christmas Dinner Pizza from Mayfair Pizza, or in less London-y locations… Papa Johns. That’s right, your favorite Trump supporting, working exploiting, cardboard cheese serving, pizza dump pulled another wondrous item out of their oven of horrors and declared it Christmas dinner. Because the best way to make sure Tiny Tim keeps all his frivolous requests to himself is to give him a second slice of this atrocity. This circular hellscape of toppings includes turkey balls with all the bite-sized trimmings—including non-Newtonian cranberry cubes—carrots, broccoli, brussel sprouts, “honey” glazed parsnips, and all the roasted, undefined “meat” you can cover in the pies red wine gravy sauce. Because fuck you, that’s why. Dumbed the “Festive Feast” pizza, this monstrosity goes on sale in December so that you can spend the holidays hating yourself as fully as someone who orders it deserves. Papa John’s, for their part, wants to assure everyone that they’re an equal opportunity holliday food-Grench. So if undisclosed animal products aren’t your thing you can order a vegan version of this pizza complete with plant-based fake-cheese substitute “Sheese” which now boasts the ability to melt. If you are in the greater London area and this abortion of a food substance sounds good you can visit the aforementioned Mayfaire Pizza location and their much less discusting sounding Holiday Pizza. Pro-tip though, make sure you put the pizza out before eating as, for some reason, this pie is served flambe. But enough of that vegan crap, let’s talk about our meat! Big ol’ servings of meat for your mouth. Massive, erect, towers of meat. Next to those big, brown, meatballs. You know, the kind that barely fit into your mouth. And those long, juicy sausages. So tender. I mean, you gotta tenderize. Get in there and really beat your meat into submission before you feed it to others. You know, real Norman Rockwell, Americana, heteronormative stuff. What? I mean, meat towers! It seems that America was enthralled with how big and imposing its meat was. If you wanted to put the commies in their place, you had to have some heavy, swinging, meat. Like, three or four pounds at least. Which is asking a lot if your meat tower has crabs. Crabs, shrimp, and the like were popular in the 1950’s. Bon Appetit’s recipe used pine sprigs, ham, mayo, and green olives to reach nearly two feet of towering seabug saltiness. Well, I say seabug, because shrimp, but if you live inland they might just be Mudbugs. Or as 1962’s Art of French Cooking says is the definitive Christmas tower of Holiday power—you gotta get yourself some “Crayfish Bush.” And no, that’s not a channel on PronHub… This meat tower is basically the same as the shrimp tower but with Crayfish instead. Which, in the picture, makes you look like a fancy-pants lobster engineer but in reality makes you a gross dirt person. Ok, maybe that’s a little far, but I’ve eaten crayfish in nearly every style you can think of and let’s just say there’s a reason that’s all past-tense. They’re gross. Imagine the bland, whitefish, mush of a lobster mixed with gritty overtones of literal mud and rot, all wrapped up in a mini-me lobster that makes everything more work for less reward and you’ll have it. If you’ve got more than a shrimp to work with [cough] you might want to go with a Holiday Meat Tree, yee-oldie recipe included in the show notes. These fine American cold cuts are layered, like the stories from that drunk Uncle you don’t have to deal with this year #ThanksCovid, over a tree made out of a loaf of unsliced Wonderbread. The bread is used as a base for rolls of “assorted cold sliced meats” and lettuce leaves can be toothpicked to. It’s… soggy! And who wants a moist, floppy, meat tower anyway? Best we move on to other, fishier, meat sculptures. Because why should the guys… at the deli… have all the fun eh? If you’re looking to get your tuna tossed this holiday season there’s no better way than a Tuna Tinsel Tree. This disgusting delight comes to us from the talented team at Chicken of the Sea who really should spend less time asking if they can make a recipe, and more time wondering if they should. From Better Homes and Gardens, 1968 “Oh God Why” feature (and no longer on their website, I looked) comes this… mound of pink, fishy, mayo-dripping, canned meat. Better Homes really had their finger on the button of American sensibilities when they published the … blueprints, for this one. First, you open a dozen or so cans of tuna. Then you mix it with mayo, relish, and the existential dread of knowing you’ll die alone because this is what you think humans eat, until your bowl of fish holds stiff peaks. Then, you dump it out on a plate, use your hands to crudely form it into a cone, stick a bunch of loose leaf parsley to it and call it a tree. Yum. Unfortunately, if you’re a good Bible-reading Christian, you know you shouldn’t have trees in your home (Jeremiah 10: 1-5), but fear not, Hellmann’s is here to save the day with their terrifying recipe for a Frosty Slaw Man. This hellspawn is a semi-round ball of the aforementioned ingredients with the delightful addition of grated cabbage and a bell pepper cap hat. And if that doesn’t leave your orafi dripping may we just need to dig a little deeper into that holiday clam. So let’s make some Oyster casserole. Because nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a gritty, brined, beige, plate of damp mush. This self-proclaimed and proud “stinky” treat is made with “fresh jarred” oysters, four cups of saltine cracker crumbs, butter, half & half, the remaining oyster liqueur—or, what it actually is, salty oyster preservation liquid—the tiniest conceivable amount of worcestershire sauce, more salt or some reason, and pepper. As for directions… dump the listed ingredients into a pan, mix well, bake, then kill yourself. Of course, not everyone wants a plate of fish-mush. Some people prefer giggle-fish. Luckily, I’ve come prepared with the Vegetable and Tuna Gelatin cake. Yep. This “modern” delight comes to us from the 1960’s and all the enthusiasm the invention of jello could muster. This pink, glistening, bunt-mare is made with unflavored gelatin, condensed tomato soup, cream cheese, mayo, relish, and canned tuna. Directions include making gelatine, then mixing it with everything else I listed until smooth and letting it set in a pre-formed pan until the elder gods smite you. Served with embedded olives, because of course, and a center of oily, tomato and basil, this horror will wiggle and giggle it’s way right into your trash can’s heart. Now, I know what you’re all thinking, “those sound like great foods to alienate my family on the holidays, but what can I serve them to wash it up with?” The answer may surprise you… in fact, I really hope it does. Marks & Spencer, who I thought was just a retail store for people with more money than taste, proved that the only thing they really care about is the “without taste” part when they released their new holiday beverage, brussel sprout soda. Mixed with the flavor enhancing power of apple, pear, and depression, this fine opaque, puss-green, drink will set you back five bucks a bottle and is the perfect holiday treat to serve guests you don’t want to deal with next year. And finally, how about some desert? I know a few of these are technically, or traditionally, considered desert but mashed meat products and gravity warping bread don’t count in my book. No, ‘round here we let people eat cake. Like dry Bean and Pea cake. This delicacy was served in the 18th and 19th centuries on January 5th usually, which is apparently an important festive day… you know… back in the day. Also known as a Twelfth Cake the cake itself isn’t really described. It’s just, you know, a cake. What’s unique is that the baker will add a dry bean and pea to the batter. When eaten the lucky people who don’t choke to death on raw rock-food are declared the King and Queen of the night and everyone has to play their games and follow their rules, one of which is, I hope, no more adding choking hazards to the desert. Before I go, if you, like me, find yourself wanting a holiday midnight snack, you should hit up Tesco for a Turkey & Stuffing Weirdough. According to the package these are “flavored mini doughnuts” flavored with the finest artificial thanksgiving tastes. These onion-ring looking snacks are shelf stable, crunchy, and come in neon packaging which I’m sure doesn’t at all taste better than the product. But if you need a festive midnight snack and your shoe hasn’t come out of the microwave yet, these just might be your go to! In closing I should tell the tale of at least one modern traditional holiday food, Wisconsin’s own “cannibal sandwich” which, would be wayyyy better if it were what it sounds like it is. Wisconsin residents are being urged to stop being so damn gross by health officials warning of Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter and Listeria, and a lot more in their Christmas treat of choice. The sandwich, also known as the Tiger Meat sandwich, is made with two slices of generic white bread and a filling of raw hamburger meat. The end. It seems that the people of Wisconsin are willing to do anything to avoid continuing to live in Wisconsin, including participating in one of some eight raw meat-related outbreaks the state has hosted since 1986. “Time for our annual reminder that there’s one #holiday tradition you need to pass on: raw meat sandwiches, sometimes called Tiger Meat or Cannibal Sandwiches,” the state health department wrote on Facebook. Raw burger is, of course, full of harmful bacteria because that’s what happens when you put stuff in a grinder and mix its germy outside with its otherwise clean inside. Which is why beef tartar, for example, is made from high quality slabs of beef, washed, seasoned, and chopped right before serving. So there ya go everyone. Regardless of your holiday preferences I hope you’re having the thing you like the most, with the people you like the most—if only on Zoom. Thanks for joining us on this tasty holiday special and if you’ve had or are intentionally making any of these fine treats I’d love to hear what they’re like… and why… https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-7723623/Papa-Johns-launch-CHRISTMAS-dinner-pizza-trimmings-traditional-festive-roast.html https://metro.co.uk/2015/11/19/8-of-the-worst-christmas-themed-foods-in-existance-5512294/ https://www.huffpost.com/entry/retro-holiday-foods_n_58580910e4b0b3ddfd8d9d11 https://www.amusingfoodie.com/2011/12/simple-oyster-casserole.html https://metro.co.uk/2014/12/12/back-by-popular-demand-the-papa-johns-christmas-dinner-pizza-4984433/?ito=cbshare https://www.metv.com/stories/disgusting-vintage-christmas-food https://frydae.com/tuna-tomato-aspic-april-fools/ https://littlethings.com/lifestyle/bizarre-christmas-foods-history/2559501-1 https://littlethings.com/lifestyle/social-distancing-bundle-stack https://6abc.com/wisconsin-raw-meat-sandwich-health-warning-against-beef-cannibal-tiger/8897921/ Mid-Show Bumper Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more! You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating. WWSQ-World Wide Santa Quiz Interested in what we have to say about this story? Good news, it’s available right now to subscribers at Patreon.com/iit! Santa Claus has become the dominant international figure of the holiday season. He might well be deemed the headline act, but the character arose from a synthesis of historic, folk and religious traditions stretching back hundreds of years. There’s a mind-boggling number of variations on the character throughout history and barely any country opted for the same iteration or set of customs. In the UK, US and Canada, “Santa Claus” or “Father Christmas” travels around the world sporting a red suit on his sleigh, pulled by 8 reindeer. He comes down the chimney the night before Christmas (between 24 and 25 December), leaving presents for children under the Christmas tree! Children often leave Christmas stockings by the fireplace that Santa can fill with small gifts and sweets. Some families will leave a snack for him for his travels. In the UK, it’s common to leave a mince pie (a traditional festive pastry) and a glass of whisky / sherry for Santa, and a carrot for the reindeer! Today we take a look at different Santa traditions from around the world and test Aaron and Steve’s knowledge of the Jolly Red Elf. So sit back and relax with that mug of nog and see what you know. This country has a relatively similar Santa with a few different customs but what really sets him apart is his sidekick, translated to, “Father Whipper” a kind of anti-santa. Like a mobster doing their boss’s dirty work, Father Whipper sets out into the cold, cold December night to deal with the kids who have been naughty. They’re more likely to deck the halls with Holly’s bowels than boughs of holly. Children are given a choice: presents or a sound beating with a bag of ashes (as one tale goes). If you’ve given too much lip to your folks over the year or don’t say your prayers, it’s possible an evisceration is all you’ve got to look forward to. As coercion tactics go, it’s better than the carrot and stick method, this one basically terrifies you into being good. What country does this creeper originate? Hint: This Santa leaves gifts in your shoes while you are at Christmas eve mass. Answer: France, Père Fouettard is the characters name So how does a creepy figure with a creepier name – Father Whipper? – fit into the St. Nicholas tradition? There are several origin stories that have become popularised. Most are medieval in origin. The first, which started to be told around 1150, involves an evil butcher who kidnapped three lost children, murdered them by slitting their throats, carved the meat up and put it in a salting tub. Alas, St. Nicholas turned up at the door and the butcher attempted to ingratiate himself to his saintly visitor by offering him his best meat. Instead, Saint Nicholas resurrected the boys from the dead and sends them back to their parents. Seeing an opportunity for the butcher to repent his sins, the butcher became Father Whipper, a sort of eternal servant, who basically acts as the bad cop to Saint Nicholas’s good cop. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C3%A8re_Fouettard In Spain, good children are not only visited by one, but three jolly figures who give presents on El Dia De Reyes on January 6. In the days leading up to El Dia de Reyes, children in Spain, Mexico, and other Hispanic countries will write letters to their favorite mago — Melchor, Gaspar, or Balthazar — asking for gifts. That night, children leave out sweets for them and hay for the camels they ride on, and place their shoes where they will be spotted. The next day, the offerings will be replaced by presents. Who are the three men? Hint: They gave out the first Christmas presents ever. Answer: The three wise men, or the Magi. Just like Santa Claus, los reyes magos bring coal for those on the naughty list! Joulupukki has been nicknamed the Finnish Santa. Before globalism naturally combined traditional Scandinavian customs with modern-day Santa Claus, Joulupukki was a malevolent spirit associated with the Norse god Odin who knocked on doors and demanded gifts and leftovers from the Yuletide feasts. Nowadays, he still goes around to each house, but will instead inquire, “Onko täällä kilttejä lapsia?” (“Are there any well-behaved children here?”) and hand out presents. He drives a sleigh pulled by reindeer that does not actually fly. What kind of animal is Joulupukki? Hint: Though not a human, like Santa, Joulupukki also has a beard. Answer: A Goat, The Yule Goat Modern decorative representations of the Yule goat are usually made out of straw, like the famous Gävlebocken in Gavle, Sweden, which has been set on fire 26 times out of 47 years, and has become a somewhat macabre pyrotechnic tradition. The Yule Lads are mischievous Icelandic elves — who instead of making toys in Santa’s workshop — play tricks on children. Some of the lads include: Stekkjarstaur, in english, Sheep-Cote Clod, who likes to harass sheep, but is impaired by his stiff peg-legs. Askasleikir, Bowl-Licker who Hides under beds waiting for someone to put down their bowl which he then steals. Why a bowl under the bed? I don’t know. My personal favorite Bjúgnakrækir, Sausage-Swiper, this guy hides in the rafters and snatches sausages. During the nights leading up to Christmas, Icelandic children place their shoes by the windowsill in the hopes that one of the Yule Lads will leave them small gifts or candies. Misbehaved children will instead receive rotten potatoes in their shoes. How many Yule lads are there? Hint: It’s a prime number… I guess Answer: There are 13 Yule Lads The Yule Lads mom is named Grýla and she is an ogress that comes out with her sons in search of naughty children to boil in her cauldron. Long before the man in the red suit was bringing toys to children on Christmas, La Befana — a good-natured witch who flies around on a broomstick — was doing the same for good children in. She has been a part of folklore since the 8th century. According to the story, the three wise men came upon La Befana’s house on Christmas Eve when they were journeying to see baby Jesus. She gave the wise men shelter and they asked her to join them to visit the Christ child. She declined, but then later changed her mind and tried to catch up with the magi. However, she never found her way to Bethlehem, and now every night on the Eve of the Epiphany on January 5, she flies over the land and gives toys and candy to good children, while leaving coal for the naughty ones. Where does La Befana deliver gifts to? Hint: You’ll often find witches on brooms in these traditional Christmas markets. Answer: Italy As Befana enters houses through the chimney she wears a distinctive dark shawl caked with layers of chimney soot. It’s also said that she sweeps the floor of a home before she departs, a symbolic gesture for clearing out the old just as the new year is dawning. Inquisitive children beware: if you’re intent on getting a glimpse of her, Befana is rumored to give you a sharp thump with her broom! The Kallikantzaros are evil goblins that come up from the Earth’s core, and their job is sawing at the World Tree to terrorize homes during the 12 days of Christmas. No two regions of this country describe these goblins the same way. Sometimes they’re small, sometimes they’re large; but they’re typically black and hairy and have features of animals. On Christmas, they come up to the Earth’s surface and cause mischief during the night throughout the Yuletide. They disappear on January 6, heading back to their home. What country do they torment? Hint: They are slippery little buggers. Answer: Greece They come out of hiding at night, to enter houses; anyway they can, through windows, down chimneys, through keyholes, and any cracks that they may find, in walls and around doors. Once inside they cause havoc. It is said that if you leave a colander on your doorstep, at night, the Kallikantzaroi, who can only count to two, and consider the number three holy, and will kill themselves, before pronouncing it, will spend all night, counting the holes. They only ever reach the number two, and start again, so as not to utter the word; three! At sunrise, they disappear. We all know Santa’s sleigh is pulled by eight flying reindeer (and that’s a pretty insane aspect of Santa, if you stop and think about it). But these reindeer come from the Germanic conflation of Odin of the Norse gods with the historical St. Nicholas, encouraged by early Christians trying to convert the heathens. The winter solstice was a magic time for the Germanic peoples called Yule, in which Odin led “The Wild Hunt”: Kids would leave out food for Odin’s flying, eight-legged horse Sleipnir, and Odin would put candy and treats in place of the food. After that, Saint Nicholas was supposed to have had a flying horse when he delivered gifts, and at some point the eight legs of Sleipnir inspired Santa’s eight flying reindeer, which were first mentioned in what poem? Hint: An 1822 that I know you have read out loud at least once. Answer: Clement Moore’s 1822 poem A Visit From Saint Nicholas — better known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: “Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!” Santa gets billions of letters every year from children all over the world, but if you thought most of them were coming from the United States, you would be wrong. The country sending the most paper mail to Santa every holiday season, according to statistical data, is what country? Hint: I have never been there. Answer: France That’s right, French boys and girls are sending a staggering 1.7 million letters to Jolly Old Saint Nick, compared to 1.35 million from Canada and just over a million letters from the United States. Mexico and Latin America didn’t even make the list, which may be because of the Mexican custom of kids putting their letters to Santa in helium balloons and releasing them into the air. The figure of Santa Claus is based on St. Nicholas, a real person. Born around the year 270, St. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra which is now in what country? Hint:I haven’t been here either. Answer: Turkey. In the mid 1800s, poet Thomas Nash wrote a poem that famously placed Santa’s home in the North Pole, even though the original saint lived in Turkey. Nash most likely chose the North Pole because, at the time, there were several scientific explorations to the North Pole, a region that was seen as a type of fantasy land, mysterious and just out of reach. Santa may be one of the most recognized characters in the world, but he didn’t start out that way. Santa, then Nicholas’ parents died when he was a teenager. They left him a lot of money which made him a rich young man. Nicholas went to live with his uncle who was a priest. While living with his Uncle he met townsfolk whose needs were great and realized his wealth could be better spent on others. Originally Santa didn’t deliver toys and candies to children, instead his first delivery was what? Hint: His first delivery was to a young poor girl looking to marry. Answer: Gold. Nicholas heard about a man who had lost all his money. He had three daughters who were old enough to get married. But in those days young women had to have money in order to get married. This money was a “dowry” and it was used to help the new family get started. If you didn’t have dowry money, you didn’t get married. This family was so poor they had nothing left to eat. The daughters were going to be sold as slaves because they couldn’t live at home any longer. They were very sad. They wouldn’t be able to have families of their own. And they would have to be slaves—no longer able to decide where they would live or what they would do.The night before the oldest daughter was to be sold, she washed her stockings and put them in front of the fire to dry. Then all of them went to sleep—the father and the three daughters. In the morning the daughter saw a lump in her stocking. Reaching in, she found a small, heavy bag. It had gold inside! Enough to provide food for the family and money for her dowry. Oh, how happy they were! Outro I’m Aaron, and I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and my co-hosts. Whatever you do or don’t celebrate we hope it’s going as well as 2020 will let it. Stay safe out there and have a Happy Holidays! Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from! Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
21 minutes | 5 months ago
Interesting If True - Episode 33: Sniffing For Diplomacy
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that makes you think… things like “wow, I wish an actual 10-year-old had been running the country for the last four years…” I’m your host this week, Aaron, and with me are… sound effects. The other hosts all send their best wishes… and past selves… to you this week. While I’m happy to say that everyone is feeling much better than they were for our last archive show we’re not entirely back up to full production-speed just yet. I’m sure we’ll be back with new and amazing weirdness next week, but until then, let’s roll that beautiful, remastered (shameless, I know), archive audio. Jenn, take it away: International Diplomacy and Goodwill: the little girl edition http://www.samanthasmith.info/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samantha_Smith https://www.avclub.com/in-1982-a-10-year-old-american-wrote-to-the-head-of-th-1830869949 I’m dipping my toes back into tales from history this week. Not a ‘weird history’ one, sad to say, but one that I’ve always liked and not everyone may be familiar with. Today I’m going to be discussing the story of Samantha Smith, often referred to as ‘America’s Youngest Ambassador’. I picked this story to share today because international tensions are again on the rise, with diplomacy) at least on the American end, is currently at a depressingly loooow point. This is a reminder that small things and normal people can sometimes make great things happen. (Unless Trump is re-elected and then we’re all doomed.) The setting of the story is the tense later-Cold War days of the early 80s. Samantha herself was born June 29th, 1972, in Maine, and was a general contemporary of Steve. Being a school child during this time of heightened nuclear war fears, obviously, she was curious about why there were talks of war and made-for-TV movies about society’s annihilation (seriously, Amazon Prime carries ‘Testament’ and I’m really glad I didn’t see that as a kid). From her own words: “Actually, the whole thing started when I asked my mother if there was going to be a war. There was always something on television about missiles and nuclear bombs. Once I watched a science show on public television and the scientists said that a nuclear war would wreck the Earth and destroy the atmosphere. Nobody would win a nuclear war. I remembered that I woke up one morning and wondered if this was going to be the last day of the Earth. I asked my mother who would start a war and why. She showed me a news magazine with a story about America and Russia, one that had a picture of the new Russian leader, Yuri Andropov, on the cover. We read it together. It seemed that the people in both Russia and America were worried that the other country would start a nuclear war. It all seemed so dumb to me. I had learned about the awful things that had happened during World War II, so I thought that nobody would ever want to have another war. I told Mom that she should write to Mr. Andropov to find out who was causing all the trouble. She said, “Why don’t you write to him?” So I did.” And yes she did. In 1982 at the age of 10 she wrote a letter to the newly elected, heavily titled General Secretary of the Central Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Yuri Andropov. Now, Samantha was nothing if not precocious. She had previously written a letter to Queen Elizabeth at the age of 5 to tell her how much she admired her (and probably to get tips on how to become a future world leader, as the kid had moxy), so her next focus turned, of course, to the Iron Curtain. The refreshingly direct letter: Dear Mr. Andropov, My name is Samantha Smith. I am ten years old. Congratulations on your new job. I have been worrying about Russia and the United States getting into a nuclear war. Are you going to vote to have a war or not? If you aren’t please tell me how you are going to help to not have a war. This question you do not have to answer, but I would like to know why you want to conquer the world or at least our country. God made the world for us to share and take care of. Not to fight over or have one group of people own it all. Please let’s do what he wanted and have everybody be happy too. Samantha Smith Surprisingly (or not, since I’m telling a story about it), the letter drew the attention of Russian officials and, once it was published in the Russian newspaper Pravda, everyday citizens. Samantha was pleased it was published but was not about to let Andropov off the hook and penned another letter to the Soviet Union’s Ambassador to the United States demanding to know if he planned to answer her directly. Called out by a pre-teen girl, Yuri sent back a lengthy and charming letter in April of 1983. Some excerpts: Dear Samantha, I received your letter, which is like many others that have reached me recently from your country and from other countries around the world. It seems to me—I can tell by your letter—that you are a courageous and honest girl, resembling Becky, the friend of Tom Sawyer in the famous book of your compatriot Mark Twain. This book is well known and loved in our country by all boys and girls. You write that you are anxious about whether there will be a nuclear war between our two countries. And you ask are we doing anything so that war will not break out. Your question is the most important of those that every thinking man can pose. I will reply to you seriously and honestly. Yes, Samantha, we in the Soviet Union are trying to do everything so that there will not be war on Earth. This is what every Soviet man wants. This is what the great founder of our state, Vladimir Lenin, taught us. Soviet people well know what a terrible thing war is. Forty-two years ago, Nazi Germany which strove for supremacy over the whole world, attacked our country, burned and destroyed many thousands of our towns and villages, killed millions of Soviet men, women and children. In that war, which ended with our victory, we were in alliance with the United States: together we fought for the liberation of many people from the Nazi invaders. I hope that you know about this from your history lessons in school. And today we want very much to live in peace, to trade and cooperate with all our neighbors on this earth—with those far away and those nearby. And certainly with such a great country as the United States of America. In America and in our country there are nuclear weapons—terrible weapons that can kill millions of people in an instant. But we do not want them to be ever used. That’s precisely why the Soviet Union solemnly declared throughout the entire world that never—never—will it use nuclear weapons first against any country. In general we propose to discontinue further production of them and to proceed to the abolition of all the stockpiles on earth. It seems to me that this is a sufficient answer to your second question: “Why do you want to wage war against the whole world or at least the United States?” We want nothing of the kind. No one in our country—neither workers, peasants, writers nor doctors, neither grown-ups nor children, nor members of the government—want either a big or “little” war. We want peace—there is something that we are occupied with: growing wheat, building and inventing, writing books and flying into space. We want peace for ourselves and for all peoples of the planet. For our children and for you, Samantha. I invite you, if your parents will let you, to come to our country, the best time being this summer. You will find out about our country, meet with your contemporaries, visit an international children’s camp—”Artek”—on the sea. And see for yourself: in the Soviet Union, everyone is for peace and friendship among peoples. Thank you for your letter. I wish you all the best in your young life. Samantha took him up on his offer and that July she and her parents visited Russia and the Artek camp. From her website: Smith family’s tour was broadcast on the two available Soviet channels, and the Soviets were glued to the TV screens following the girl’s every move. For many in the Soviet Union Samantha and her family put a human face on the U.S. On the other side of the ocean, Americans got a rare glimpse of the Soviet Union. The goodwill tour of the USSR helped humanize both sides to the other. It also led to Samantha having multiple media appearance like the Tonight Show, a subsequent goodwill tour of Japan, an autobiographical book Journey to the Soviet Union and, incongruously, a recurring role on Charles in Charge (fuck off, Scott Baio). While in Japan she attended the Children’s International Symposium in Kobe where she suggested to the leaders of the US and Russia they exchange granddaughters for two weeks every year. Her rationale being each “wouldn’t want to send a bomb to a country his granddaughter would be visiting”. Sadly, Samantha and Yuri Andropov were destined to never meet. At some point during their correspondence, Andropov became gravely ill and recused himself from the public eye. The two did speak on the phone. He died in early 1984 of renal failure after only 15 months in office. The wheels of global change were beginning to turn, however, and his successor, Konstantin Chernenko, lasted only 13 months, and under his successor, Mikhail Gorbachev, the next casualty would be the Soviet Union itself. Tragically, despite all early indications, Samantha was not destined to become our supreme leader and usher in an era of world peace. On August 25th, 1985, at the age of 13, Samantha was in a plane crash with her father while returning home to Maine. All 8 occupants aboard were killed. She was eulogized in Moscow, with a personal message of condolence from Gorbachev, “Everyone in the Soviet Union who has known Samantha Smith will forever remember the image of the American girl who, like millions of Soviet young men and women, dreamt about peace, and about friendship between the peoples of the United States and the Soviet Union.” President Reagan sent a letter of condolence to her mother: “Perhaps you can take some measure of comfort in the knowledge that millions of Americans, indeed millions of people, share the burdens of your grief. They also will cherish and remember Samantha, her smile, her idealism and unaffected sweetness of spirit.” Patron Sniffer Dog sniffs out prehistoric 250,000-year-old wooly rhino bone http://video.foxnews.com/v/6022952528001 Dinosaurs have gone to the dogs! Or another pithy intro about dogs and bones and such. I dunno. Enjoy this beagle. Apparently woolly rhinos are a thing… or were, about 250,000 years ago. Our story follows four-year-old Crystal, a beagle who has been trained to sniff out fossils and the remains of prehistoric creatures by her paleontologist owner Jamie Jordan. “Beagles are well known for their sense of smell, and if they can be trained to sniff out drugs, weapons, and bombs. why not try fossils?” he said. Jordan, who runs a museum and educational center Fossils Galore and totally isn’t trying to fund his research sniffing out the aforementioned drugs and bombs and shit. He’s having the pooch sniff out bones from the Ice Age, which apparently, “have a very organic, very pungent and clay-like smell” which is not what I’d expect from a quarter-million-year-old rhino with wet fur. Crystal’s biggest find came in 2016 when she sniffed out the wooly rhino leg bone, which was not connected to a wooly rhino shin bone. The rhino has been dubbed “Stompy” because everyone in this story has a cute name. The dog gets a treat whenever she makes a discovery. Sadly, it’s not the bone she found, which feels a bit shitty, but until bone sniffing dogs unionize what are ya gonna do? “If they’re on the surface she’ll sniff it out and howl to alert us, but if the bone is underground Crystal will just dig down,” Jordan told SWNS, inadvertently admitting to forcing his four-legged companion to do the manual labor too – and she has to use the wee-tiny brushes. Those are hard for dogs to hold. Jordan was inspired by the pioneering Victorian paleontologist Mary Anning, who hunted for fossils with her dog Tray on a stretch of the U.K.’s southern coastline dubbed the “Jurassic Coast” – which was a lot more fun until the wooly Britains got out of their cages and gave everyone spotted dick. Anning’s remarkable life is depicted in the upcoming movie “Ammonite” which stars Kate Winslet as the fossil hunter fated to seek revenge on the fossils who killed her parents… I think. Woolly rhinos first appeared about 350,000 years ago and existed until about 10,000 years ago when they just gave up and quit, according to the International Rhino Foundation. “Their fossils are fairly common and have been discovered throughout Europe and Asia,” it explains, on its website. “Well-preserved remains have been discovered frozen in ice and buried in oil-saturated soils.” But how do dogs sniff out fossils? Well, according to the Institute for Creation Research they can’t. See, you can’t smell something that’s been decomposing over millions of years because it would just smell like more rock. They invite you to test this by smelling rocks and, as you’ll surely notice, rocks smell the same. So there ya go. But what about the wooly rhino? Well, you can smell something that’s died within the last say… 6000 or so years – or the age we all know the Earth actually is. Therefore, dogs prove creationism, no questions please, end sentence. On the other hand, if we talk to people who have read more than one book… https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/12/121210-archaeology-dogs-australia-conservation-canines/ Australian dog trainer Gary Jackson of Multinational K9 has trained a black lab mix named Migaloo as the world’s first “archaeology dog,” able to locate bones that are hundreds of years old. See, they got permission from the Aboriginal tribal elders to use some ancestral bones from the South Australian Museum’s collection. What they saw was that the dog was able to find a buried bone from about ten feet (three meters) away, even if it’s as small as a fingernail. As a test, Migaloo was invited to search an ancient Aboriginal burial ground in South Australia. She immediately turned up a 600-year-old grave. It should be noted that they knew more or less where it was, but the dog and owner didn’t, hence the “test.” To the concerns about the dog digging up the bones, handler Jackson says “No, Migaloo only digs if I don’t reward her right away. And she has no interest in the bones other than finding them. She just wants the ball!” Outro I’m Aaron, and I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and my co-hosts… Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
40 minutes | 5 months ago
Interesting If True - Episode 32: The G Is For "Germs"
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that harnesses the power of the atom to blast the sweet sound of our sultry voices into your ear-holes! I’m your host this week, Aaron, and with me is Shea: I’m Shea, and this week I learned that crabs and lobsters are the same thing, one is just folded hamburger style while the other is folded hot dog style. Solving Problems & Adding Value This week’s story is a bit of an odd duck. First I have to introduce an entire world of nonsense. Namely that 5G wireless signals can infect you with Covid-19. Yes, those words in that order. Because solving a problem is adding value—even if the problem is made up and the solutions don’t matter. People who don’t understand how radio waves work have been flipping out about all the G’s since telecoms started using that branding. Indeed 5G conspiracies abound because the internet has given the stupid a voice and the credulous something to do in lockdown. Of course there are plenty of 3, 4, and 5G conspiracies that don’t involve impossibly stupid… also normal impossible… contagion-generation radio waves. But where’s the fun in that? How stupid is thinking 5G can give you Covid? Real stupid. Like, overlapping with Flat Earthers and Anti-vaxxers stupid. More on that infectious venn diagram later. And in case you’re tempted to remind me that ignorance is curable and these people aren’t “stupid” or “dangerously gullable” for holding outlandishly impossible beliefes, I’ll preimptively remind you that this isn’t Be Reasonable. So to break this conspiracy theory down we’re going to have to establish two branches. One where the radio waves 5G gives off spontaneously-generate the Sars-Cov-2 virus in your body a la a Star Trek replicator (but also not at all like that), and another where Covid-19 is a hoax and those feeling its effects are actually succumbing to radiation poisoning from 5G towers and base stations capable of broadcasting it. Either way, it’s about population control man… like… because of Monsanto—who also figures into this conspiracy theory… somehow. You can Google that one on your own. Spoiler alert: it’s because Qanon is all conspiracy theories. The latter is what we’ll focus on because… radiation doesn’t spontaneously create complex viral diseases… because that’s real dumb. Proponents of this also think all the other G’s give you cancer or the gay, even LTE will cause chronic health problems. So turn that off too and enjoy your new Apple iBrick I guess. Or as Keri Hilson (is this a famous person? Who knows, I’m not clicking on them) tweets: Still not convinced, well here’s Tiffani Cyr with a for real truth bomb: Sadly, if you want citations for those claims your gonna have to go fuck yourself. Where did this theory come from and is it true? Well I’m not doing that search but NBC2 News did, so here’s that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kT7DNPN_34 Well said Amanda Skrzypchak, well said. Of course, just because radio waves can’t poof virus’ into you, doesn’t mean that the government can’t use radio waves to poof virus’ into you. As English twitter account owner Jewel will explain. Because we’re an audio medium I’ll just put up screen captures of two design elements that are from Covid-Devil… https://twitter.com/Jewelinniger/status/1246680102991204352?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1246680102991204352%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fembedly.forbes.com%2Fwidgets%2Fmedia.html%3Ftype%3Dtext2Fhtmlkey%3D3ce26dc7e3454db5820ba084d28b4935schema%3Dtwitterurl%3Dhttps3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Fatedee007%2Fstatus%2F1246680102991204352image%3Dhttps3A%2F%2Fi.embed.ly%2F1%2Fimage3Furl3Dhttps253A252F252Fpbs.twimg.com252Fext_tw_video_thumb252F1246678999482478599252Fpu252Fimg252FvEqSoVOmRpWcCIe2.jpg26key3D3ce26dc7e3454db5820ba084d28b4935 So… yeah. If not for the hologram being the Margate Lighthouse and the covid icon being the Rotunda at the Tate Britain, we’d really be in trouble. As fears of 5G have spread so too have reactions to them. The UK has had a rash of people setting 5G cellular towns on fire. Yep. And a few stateside too. So much so that UK political leaders, the NHS, and telecoms like O2 have all had to publicly address the idea that 5G will give you Covid. So what does cause Covid-19? That’s SARS-CoV-2. What does 5G radiation cause? 4K YouTube videos mostly. And just to be clear, the two are not related. 5G comes to us from the power of science, engineering, and human achievement. Covid-19 comes to us from nature being terrifying. The end. Well… “the end” unless you want to make a buck. Back in the capitalist utopia of Amazon.com the 5G protection racket is going strong. See, radiation is bad for you because it gives you covid, cancer, mutant children, and no super powers. The fear is that 5G radio waves can have the same deleterious effects on your DNA as X-rays, gamma rays, or ultraviolet rays. All of the latter are ionizing radiation, or radiation that is energetic enough to damage DNA. Which is why we don’t use ionizing radiation in networking… just… putting that out there. We use non-ionizing radiation, or radiofrequency waves. The same idea as AM/FM radio, Wi-Fi, and Satellite-delivered Sports-ball. As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states on its website: “Non-ionizing radiation is not strong enough to directly affect the structure of atoms or damage DNA.” That said, don’t go trying to get familiar with a giant radio tower; non-ionizing radiation might not strip atoms from your DNA but a powerful enough source will excite them. And excited atoms generate heat, which causes burns. So wear your SPF one million and don’t microwave yourself. Alternatively, you could ignore reality and buy a Faraday Cage for your electronics. That’s right, because physics is real when you want it to be Faraday Cages still work and you can buy one made specifically to fit your router. Sometimes I wish this show was life so I can hear all the science nerds, engineers, and geeks collectively facepalm… On the face of it… if you believe 5G causes Covid-19 that is… this makes total sense. Buy a purpose built—genuine, well come to knock offs—Faraday box for your router today. Once installed it will do what Faraday cages do, block electromagnetic radiation like scary, scary 5G. And also your Wi-Fi. Now, you do have to make sure you buy a “real” Faraday Cage. There are plenty of unscrupulous hawksters out there selling those grey wire-mesh office organizers as Faraday protection boxes, and those just won’t do. No, you’re spending at least $75 USD on this… Before we dive into the products and their glorious reviews, I want to say that some of these Faraday router boxes were designed to be… Faraday router boxes. The idea being that one might only block a percentage of RF, thereby weakening your Wi-Fi such that you can connect in your living room but the sign is too weak for your neighbor to do the same. The router box that you’ll see in most article’s accompanying header images is one such router box. The Faraday Defense Router Shield will block 95% of EMF RF Waves, is made in the USA, and will only set you back $150. And, if you buy it from our link in the show notes, Amazon will donate to WyoAIDS, so that’s nice. Faraday Defense is careful to say this blocks most, but not all, signals as evidenced by the aesthetically pleasing holes in the aluminium shield. But if you read the very tiny product description I bet you’ll notice the same keywording I did: Operating safely throughout your day is important. Router Shield was designed with aesthetics and performance in mind. Now you can easily place your router into the Router Shield while balancing the ability to reduce harmful EMF RF waves by 95% and still being able to connect and operate seamlessly with your devices. Faraday Defense is gonna defend you from the “harmful” EMF RF of your Wi-Fi router. But “if it’s so great, why does it only have two and a half stars?” you might ask, for that we’ll have to go to CK from Dec 3rd of 2020: If that’s a bit much for you, we can drop down to the 70 to 100 dollar range with JJ CARE’s line of EMF WiFi Router Shields which also block up to, you guessed it, 95% of harmful radiation. Of course there were people who bought them for their intended purpose. Those reviews were also terrible because if you use a measure of “can I connect to my wifi?” it would seem to block the evils of 5G. On the other hand, if you use a RF meter to measure signal strength, the drop is negligible, if enough to cause sufficient packet loss that your wifi now sucks. Of course, as fun to poke at the folks who don’t know what a Faraday Cage is or does, there are also plenty of stories, testimonials, and reviews in support of their use as a safety device. This was from a product adorned with a festive red bow called the “Large WiFi Router Guard (Blocks About 90% of WiFi Router EMF While You can Still use The Router) Blocks 5G!”, $89.25 + 9.99 shipping… not even Prime. This is where I’ll note that all the boxes I saw, even the ones that went to some length to explain they were for signal testing or other practical uses, added some variant of “Blocks 5G” to their product name, description, and typically, promotional text. And they didn’t do that because they think 5G is dangerous, they did it because conspiracists do and their money is green. If a router box is too rich for your wallet or too ugly for your living room you’ll be glad to know that the scientists and researchers at prestigious laboratories around the world like GOOP have been hard at work creating friendlier, easier to use, and cheaper… ok, not GOOP on that last one, RF shields. Hedron Life Source is has created a 5G EMF Protection and Energy Field Enhancement Device, their name, that for only 39.99—on Prime though—will not only protect you from scary words like radiation it will also eliminate “brain fog and more clarity, increased energy, increased focus and concentration, improved digestion and a lot more” by, apparently, aligning your chakras, so… that’s nice. Best of all, it’s so guaranteed to work they have a no-returns policy! And if that review doesn’t convenience you… you’re literate. Despite its obvious advantages a quick review of Kristi’s reviews on Amazon finds that she had to buy a EMF Root Charkra crystal pendant less than a week later, but that one… that was the thing! While 5G causing Covid-19 was the big news early on the current leader in Covid conspiracies is that Bill Gates did it. Or is doing it. Or… whatever, he wants to chip you is the point of it all. While this is also immediately dismissed as absurd according to recent PEW Research data between May and September of 2020 American’s faith in, and willingness to take, a Covid vaccine dropped by 20-ish percent across nearly every demographic, including those with postgraduate degrees (84% down to 63%). So while the idea that 5G will give you Covid-19 is obviously dismissable out-of-hand, so is the idea that Bill Gates is going to use the vaccine to chip you with nanobots. Still, these stories permeate the news, either as dire warnings of impending doom from OVN and Info Wars, to silly looks at the crazies as seen on The Daily Show, CNN, and Interesting If True. The downside is that despite being obvious nonsense the cloud of doom and gloom reporting surrounding the Covid vaccin is driving up vaccine hesitancy, or as it’s colloquially known, being a dumbass. So, have a laugh and when it becomes available, get vaccinated I want to go have a beer again dammit! https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2020/04/09/5g-networks-and-covid-19-coronavirus-here-are-the-latest-conspiracy-theories/?sh=321ba4af6d41 https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/4/24/21231085/coronavirus-5g-conspiracy-theory-covid-facebook-youtube https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2020/09/17/u-s-public-now-divided-over-whether-to-get-covid-19-vaccine/ https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/infrastructure/a34874489/faraday-cage-5g-shield-conspiracy-theory/?fbclid=IwAR1Hfw-pBh2nVy1wADm89g_kEImK_BmHDdNcBKhHToZHksfXVCSSevn2Txc https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/4/24/21231085/coronavirus-5g-conspiracy-theory-covid-facebook-youtube Mid-Show Bumper Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more! You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating. Better Christmas Ideas Interested in what we have to say about this story? Good news, it’s available right now to subscribers at Patreon.com/iit! Thanks for the infomercial Aaron, I think it’s my turn to sell some useless garbage. For all the ingenuity that exists in everyday inventions, there are some products that boast a distinct lack of purpose. They are clearly not going to change the world or improve anything. In fact, you could argue that they were built merely as conversation starters. All of these products are, or have been available for public consumption, though I have no idea who would want to buy any of this. For people with indoor genitals… Gender is an important topic of conversation in the world right now, and apparently it concerns alcohol. A brewery in the Czech Republic is offering “Beer for Her,” which comes in a pretty pink bottle and resembles a wedding decoration. The beer is called Aurosa, and the website explains that its “adapted to the elegance of women.” It’s true that beer is typically associated with men and wine is associated with women, but anyone who’s been to a bar knows it’s absolutely not a rule. There are plenty of women who prefer beer and men who prefer wine. Aren’t stereotypical and meaningless gender distinctions getting old yet? What’s wrong with downing a coors? So far, internet reviews of Beer for Her are less than favorable, so we’ll see how long it lasts. https://premiumlifestylebeer.com/collections/aurosa-beerforher For those who love cozy… When the weather is chilly, sleeping bags are very comfortable. For any camping trip, they’re a necessity. But once it’s time to get up and resume daily activities, people don’t usually keep wearing their sleeping bag. Except, that’s the whole idea behind Selk’bag. This is a walking sleeping bag created by Rodrigo Alonso from Chile. Basically, his idea was for everyone to remain comfy and warm while camping. There are plenty of varieties available on the website, and they all emphasize mobility. Instead of sitting around the fire wrapped in your old-school sleeping bag (and not being able to move your arms because you’re freezing), you can pop on one of these and act normally. There’s definitely a market for this product because a common camping complaint is getting cold and not feeling like doing anything. Of course, this is what clothes were invented for. There are so many clothes specially designed for the outdoors that it feels weird to voluntarily wear your bedding, then again the 2020 work from home climate could have changed that. https://www.selkbagusa.com/ For the person that has everything… There are various handbag hangers that are very practical in office settings, but a cup holder that clips to a desk? Is there a really great reason the cup can’t be placed … on the desk? If it’s clipped to the desk, wouldn’t it get in the way? Like when you go to sit down, you might accidentally bump it and then hot coffee would go flying. Also, wouldn’t the cup holder clutter the area? This item has been manufactured by numerous companies — so there must be some kind of demand. It just seems pointless since it clips onto a device that already functions as a storage area for the cup. https://www.businessinsider.com/best-cheap-desk-cup-holder-vector-2016-5 For the person who has a dog but hates it…. It may be the greatest innovation in dog poop, since, well, it just may be the greatest innovation in dog poop ever. Whether or not you have a dog, no one wants dog poop in their yard. Why don’t people pick up their pet’s waste? It’s bad for the environment, it looks disgusting, smells worse, gets on your shoes, and more. All legitimate grievances. Most people use regular plastic poop bags to get the job done, but if that’s too much of a hassle, try the PooTrap. It’s exactly what it sounds like — a device that fits onto a dog’s backside to catch its poop. You know, like a baby diaper. Apart from the fact that dogs wouldn’t be enthused about wearing such an awkward contraption, the PooTrap just looks ridiculous. What’s wrong with plastic bags? They’re so easy to use. They’re cheap. They work perfectly. Even though dogs can’t talk, they’d definitely vote against this one. http://www.pootrap.com/us/shop/catalog/ Hey, maybe you are okay with cleaning up after your pet but you have a huge aversion to looking at their butt hole. Good thing someone somewhere created the Rear Gear. A Portland, Oregon company is now selling tags that you hang on your dog or cat’s tail to cover up their rear. They’re called, what else, Rear Gear, and their sales slogan is “No more Mr. Brown Eye. “The company says with these tags, you can pretend your dog is not a living, pooping animal. “Rear Gear is a fun and enchanting way of covering your pet’s rear while boosting their confidence,” the product description states. Rear Gear comes in various designs, including cupcakes, disco balls, and bio-hazard symbols that cost $6 each. https://www.shopyourway.com/rear-gear-butt-covers-for-your-cat-and-dog/21810460 For the new parent without great reflexes… Changing A Baby Girl Is Not All Glitz And Glory,Changing A Baby Boy Is Even A Bigger Horror Story.You Hold His Feet With One Hand And Change The Diaper With The Other,The Whole Time Praying, Please Don’t Pee On me.Introducing The Pee-Pee Teepee Which You Simply Place On His Wee-Wee.This Cone Shaped, Cloth Product Makes Diaper Changes Dry And Easy. This is just a glorified cloth cone that you set over top of your new baby’s penis. I feel like if the baby does pee it’s just going to get all over them and cause more of a clean up. Also a cheaper version could just be one of those cheap party hats. https://www.motherhood.com/products/peepee-teepee-006-94664-044-001 For the alcoholic nine to fiver… The idea of a wine glass necklace is good in theory because it obviously frees up your hands. But imagine actually walking around a party with a wine-filled wine glass around your neck. Better not bump into anything or hug anyone or lean over or turn around quickly — broken glass and spilled wine everywhere. Also, many people actually prefer having something to hold at parties. It saves awkwardness and makes you look busy. And it’s usually not a problem to carry a glass in one hand and use your free hand for other things, like eating or greeting. When you need to set the glass down, that’s what tables are for. If all the table space is taken, consider investing in some cup holder clips. https://www.amazon.com/Oenophilia-102421-Glass-Holder-Necklace/dp/B004D5MZE2 For the forgetful drinker… Ever enjoy a nice backyard BBQ and think to yourself, where did I put my beer? This solves all your problems. You can hook your beer up to this paging device, set it down, and then spend the rest of the afternoon in search of the teeny remote to make the entire contraption work. Genius! The story of how this device was created is almost as good as the product itself. “It began with a Memorial Day party when two friends set their beers down by the BBQ for a spirited game of Cornhole, a beanbag tossing game that builds quite a thirst. Parched, our heroes returned to the grill only to be confronted with 7 open beers. Tragically, they did not know which beer was their own. In a life changing moment of inspiration, one of these men said, “If only beers came with alarms so we could beep em and find em, like when you lose your car in a parking lot”. This ingenious thought was greeted with hilarious laughter. Once the laughing died down the two men realized this was a gift that needed to be shared with the rest of the world.” http://beerpager.weebly.com/ For the newly weds or oldly weds or just people sleeping in the same bed… It’s called the “Better Marriage Blanket” and that’s only because calling it “The Fart Trapping Blanket” seems well… too obvious. The “silent and deadly” problem slices through any couple’s happiness in the bedroom. But there’s a solution — for $120 plus shipping and handling. On the surface, guests visiting the bedroom will see a blanket that resembles an average comforter. But underneath the sheets, the Better Marriage Blanket fights off farts via activated-carbon fabric, a material “used by the military to protect against chemical weapons.” With a little help from commando culture, going commando is no longer an issue. Unfortunately I don’t think this life changing blanket is still in production, but you can try to call the number from the infomercial on youtube. https://www.facebook.com/bettermarriageblanket/ For the person staying safe this year… Our final invention was first brought to market in the late 80’s as an easy way to cut your own hair at home. I know at least some of our listeners, like me, were made to sit in a chair as this sci-fi taser apparatus was rubbed against our heads. The Flowbee was marketed as the first vacuum haircut. Um, a vacuum haircut?! Oh yes, this is exactly what the Flowbee promises. “This revolutionary home haircutting system cuts your hair evenly into the recessed blades and trims it precisely. The results are a refreshing vacuum haircut,” Flowbee.com says. Can someone remind us what’s wrong with a simple snip, snip with some scissors? Though, as 2020 come to an end I find myself longing for a Flowbee haircut, right now my hair is the longest I have ever been and my wife thinks I look like a member of a metal country band… Also last week Flowbee made the news again for the first time in many years when George Clooney revealed that he has been cutting his own hair with his trusty Flowbee for the past 22 years. After the news came out, popularity of the trimmer shot through the roof and internet traffic crashed the Flowbee site. https://flowbee.com/ Well I hope you have some more holiday gift ideas for your friends or enemies. I know I’m asking Santa for a Flowbee, and a better marriage… blanket… yeah. Outro Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from! Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
38 minutes | 5 months ago
Interesting If True - Episode 31 - Depressing Food & Worse Beer!
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that can feed a family a family of four for the low price of only 19 cents. I’m your host this week, Shea, and with me is… Aaron! I’m Aaron, and this week I learned that while decaf coffee, zero calorie soda, and lite beer are popular, no one wants a flat beer… Depressed depression https://soyummy.com/great-depression-food/ In October 1929, the U.S. stock market crashed and launched the country into the worst economic downturn in its history as of yet… For an entire decade, spending and investment was at an all-time low, which meant unemployment was high and the majority of American families were surviving on next to nothing. It was during this period in time that bare-bones recipes were created. We probably wouldn’t eat most of them today — however, it was these meals that kept America going. These aren’t the most appetizing of meals, but even so, many of them have been handed down through generations and are still made by those who know of the hardships their parents and grandparents faced throughout the ’30s. The American diet was affected by economic changes. Apart from trying to be more frugal with their spending, the refrigerator was becoming more popular in American homes, impacting the food they consumed. Across the country, people were looking for ways to cut corners and save money. How would that affect their diet? Several rather revolting creations came into the forefront when the Bureau of Home Economics encouraged substituting. They suggested bland food as a motivation for people to find work so they could afford spices. Leftovers became typical meals thanks to the refrigerator, so citizens learned to cook things that lasted like casseroles. Americans at the time didn’t have a concept of hunger. It wasn’t until the Great Depression that America became nationally conscious of the issue. Soon the attitudes and behaviors of people began to change. Now tuck your napkin into your collar, because it’s time to dive into the strangest meals to come out of the Depression era. Our first recipe of the day comes from an unlikely source. You would think the food at the White House would be better than the rest of the country, you’d be quite mistaken. Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady at the time, is well known for her work in feminism as well as her support of the movement surrounding home economics. She wasn’t all words and no action either. She served the same bland food in the White House that the rest of America was eating. In fact, FDR’s White House gained a reputation among world leaders for serving food that was, by their standards, absolutely horrible. This is because Eleanor Roosevelt took it upon herself to simplify the fare served to the First Family and dignitaries. This was more about image than about cutting domestic costs: Americans wouldn’t want to hear about the elaborate meals served in the White House when they themselves were struggling to find enough to eat every day. Eleanor’s most famous recipe was prune pudding, the cheap ingredient was quickly bought up by the common people and whipped into this presidential “delight.” Prunes were easy to store, widely available, and much less expensive than other fruits, while providing needed nutrients to the Depression-era diet: the fruit is packed with fiber and supplies almost one-third of your daily needs for Vitamin K. The recipe, as follows, Let prunes stand in water. Boil them. Chop them. Put them back in water and let them simmer. Add sugar and cinnamon and a cornstarch slurry for thickening purposes. Allow to cool fully. Serve in small containers. According to an adventurous eater who tried the recipe, what they created was jam… it was just a normal prune jam and it took weeks for them to finish because their family wouldn’t touch the stuff. Glowing review! Aaron had wonderful apple pies as a dessert for his wedding you weren’t invited to, but what if he couldn’t get apples? During the depression many would substitute crackers for apples and make a mock apple pie. Ritz crackers hit the shelves during the great depression in 1934 and printed on the back of the box was a recipe for mock apple pie. During a time when apples were hard to get and often more expensive, innovative cooks would turn to this simple, magical recipe to make a passable apple pie, sans apples. Bakers who have made mock apple pie swear by the all-carb, mock-fruit pastry, with a broken cracker filling (made with no less than 36 crackers) that is infused with a syrup of lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, and cream of tartar, then laid out in a pie crust. (The syrup is made separately before it is poured over the crackers). RITZ MOCK APPLE PIE Makes 10 servings 2 cups sugar 2 teaspoons cream of tartar 1 3/4 cups water Pastry for 2-crust 9-inch pie 36 Ritz Crackers, coarsely broken (about 1 3/4 cups) Zest and 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, cut into small pieces 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon Mix sugar and cream of tartar in medium saucepan. Gradually stir in water. Bring to boil on high heat; simmer on low 15 minutes. Stir in zest and juice; cool 30 minutes. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out half of pastry on lightly floured surface to 11-inch circle; place in 9-inch pie plate. Place cracker crumbs in crust. Pour sugar syrup over crumbs; top with butter and cinnamon. Roll out remaining pastry to 10-inch circle; place over pie. Seal and flute edge. Cut several slits in top crust to permit steam to escape. Place on parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Note: To prevent crust from over-browning, cover edge with foil near end of baking time, if necessary. — Ritz Crackers/Nabisco/Kraft Foods (c) 2009, Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio). According to brave taste testers you wouldn’t immediately know there were no apples in the bake, the pie actually tastes like real apples with a bright tang of sour and nice mellow cinnamon. It turns out the cream of tartar is a magical ingredient, the real chemistry — or alchemy —happens because of the cream of tartar, which is also known as potassium bitartrate. We already use cream of tartar to stabilize egg whites used in making meringue. In analyzing the culinary magic that is mock apple pie, Gizmodo says it is the cream of tartar, which tastes tart and fruity itself, which tricks our tongues and minds into thinking that we’re enjoying apples. Yesterdish further explains that cream of tartar breaks down sucrose into fructose and glucose, so when it cools, the pastry has the texture of pecan pie and the look, and taste, of apple pie. This one I might actually try. https://christinas-created-creations.blogspot.com/2009/03/vinegar-cobbler-depression-era-recipe.html If that doesn’t get your taste buds tingling then this sure will… Vinegar Cobbler. So first off, when I normally research recipes I absolutely abhore the stupid preamble most bakers seem to think they need before they actually tell me the recipe. It doesn’t matter what recipe I’m looking for online, they always start with some drivel about why they made this or what feelings the food brought for the bakers great aunt, I don’t care, just give me ingredients please! But for vinegar cobbler there was no such preamble on any of the recipe pages, this can only mean one thing! This pie brings no good memories to anyone, ever. So here is how you make it… Start with your favorite pie crust recipe and then hold onto your hats for the filling… 1/2 cup white vinegar 1 1/2 cups water 2 1/2 cups sugar, mix then bake. Super easy basic pie that will have your taste buds tingling because of the amount of vinegar. This recipe didn’t die with the Great Depression, unfortunately. Chef Chris Shepherd, who won the James Beard Award, decided to serve Vinegar Cobbler at his restaurant in Houston. Those who have tasted it described it as a salt and vinegar chip custard that makes your mouth tingle. How many listeners out there have had chipped beef on toast? I had an ex who made the stuff for breakfast a few times a month and I grew to love it, somehow. This is also known as sh*t on a shingle, SOS, same old stuff and many more great appetizing names, which sums up the thoughts of those that had to eat it. In a nutshell, it’s dried beef that’s re-hydrated a bit in a sauce made with flour and butter, and then served on toast. All you need is some milk, butter, flour, dried beef, and some pepper and parsley. It was like a cheap ass version of biscuits and gravy but with cheap meat and a cheap slice of bread. The picture of this food is a bit less than appetizing but I assure you, after a heavy night of drinking this simple meal can make you feel a lot better, just be careful of your sodium levels after. Not an actual picture of the dish, I just assume it would look like this… Here is one you might like to try, spaghetti and carrot casserole. Most people like spaghetti and carrots are pretty good too, this seems like it would be hard to mess up. This dish was even promoted by various government agencies like the Bureau of Home Economics, you know home ec, and even touted by First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, as an economic dish. Oh crap, if this is another Roosevelt recipe I may have spoken too soon. According to culinary historians Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe, coauthors of A Square Meal, Depression-era spaghetti was boiled for a good 25 minutes — you know, to make it nice and mushy. As were the boiled carrots, for that matter. “Then you make white sauce, which was the sauce which is poured over everything for budget meals during the Great Depression. It’s a mixture of milk, flour, salt and either butter or margarine, with maybe a little bit of pepper…You mix all these ingredients into a tray and bake it, and you have a kind of like thick, mushy, bland casserole.” “Bland is really the operative word here,” Coe continued. “It does not have much flavor, and it wasn’t really supposed to have much flavor. What it was was a vehicle for nutrition and nutrients, but it wasn’t supposed to make you excited about food.” Yummy! Pre cooked pie After baking and chilling Let’s do another dessert, they seem to be the least stomach churning. Maybe something with a little less flavor, how about a water pie? Yep you heard right, water pie, that’s a good cheap ingredient. According to recipe bloggers “Water Pie is one of those magical recipes that came out of the depression era where cooks with little to nothing figured out how to make delicious dishes for those they love.” Water Pie is an innovative dessert recipe that originated during the Great Depression. Water Pie relies on just a handful of humble ingredients—not including milk or eggs, items that were carefully rationed during the depression era—to yield an impressive treat. Astonishingly enough, the star ingredient of this depression-era dessert is, in fact, water. That’s right, just plain old water from the tap will do fine. Beyond that, you only need a few pantry basics to complete the pie. Water, vanilla, flour, sugar, and butter come together in a deep-dish pie shell to form a decadent, creamless custard of sorts. It is said to have a creamy buttery taste, similar to a warm vanilla cookie once it’s chilled and sliced. You start with your basic pie crust and then you’ll pour your water on into it. From there, you’ll drizzle vanilla extract evenly over top of the water, followed by a mixture of flour and sugar. The final touch is five tablespoons of butter placed on top of the water filling. All that’s left to do from here is bake, chill, and serve. This one I have actually thought about trying based on its lack of ingredients and my love of sweets. Before I reveal the best and greatest meal of the Great Depression I think I need to make you aware of the absolute worst meal of the Great depression, peanut butter stuffed onions. If that didn’t turn your stomach you have no taste. Created by the Bureau of Home Economics, this dish was well-known only for it’s bizarre taste. Baked onions were “improved” with scoops of peanut butter as filling, resulting in a disgusting and much disliked period food. Operating between 1923 and 1962, the bureau supported homemakers through the Great Depression and World War II. They were in charge of disseminating “practical applications of research knowledge” from the USDA, in layman’s terms, they created healthy nutrient rich recipes using cheap ingredients. A big thing to remember is just because the meals were healthy did not mean they were tasty, carrot spaghetti came from these folks too. Well the Peanut Butter Onion was packed with vitamins and minerals, onions are known for being high in vitamin C, a nutrient involved in regulating immune health, collagen production, tissue repair, and iron absorption, while peanut butter is high in protein and sugar, A perfect mix for a high energy meal. To prepare this gross meal you only need to hollow out a white onion and fill with a mixture of peanut butter and stale bread crumbs and then bake until gross and brown, I mean golden brown. Our final meal for tonight I can guarantee most of you have had, and probably enjoyed, Kraft mac and cheese. Kraft Macaroni & Cheese has been around since 1937, but the company didn’t invent the dish — Smithsonian.com reports that the earliest known recipe dates back to 1769 — but Kraft did patent the processed cheese that would ultimately change the game for the company during the Great Depression. The idea to box the pasta with the processed cheese as an easy dinner (with an incredibly long shelf life and no refrigeration required) came about when Kraft learned of a salesman selling pasta with a packet of Kraft cheese attached with a rubber band. Kraft began marketing the product as Kraft Dinner, with the box promising to feed a family of four for the low price of only 19 cents. Because of its affordability, combined with its ability to feed a family, the product flew off shelves and sold 8 million boxes in the first year. World War II kept the popularity of the product going, due to the food rationing that was in effect. Two boxes of Kraft Dinner could be purchased for one rationing coupon, and scratched an itch as a substitute for unobtainable meat and dairy. Because of this, 80 million boxes were sold in 1943. Mid-Show Bumper Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more! You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating. Spacing Out Your Buzz Interested in what we have to say about this story? Good news, it’s available right now to subscribers at Patreon.com/iit! Well, that was… depress…ing. Ha! But let’s move from the yee-oldie money-troubles to new fangled micro-gravity micro-breweries! Space, the final frontier. These are the stories of the Starship… station… Mir and ISS. Their continuing mission to explore strange new foods, to seek out new microbial life and new booze, to boldly pass out where no one has passed out before… I should say, right at the onset, that I intended to make this story about space food but it’s all kind of boring. I’ll toss out some of the more interesting bits then we can move onto the main course–booze! I think most people are familiar with Tang, a disgusting orange watery Kool-Aid fail, and freeze drying–the process sublimating moisture out of food at very low temperatures. In a nutshell, most of the food provided by NASA to astronauts today is little more than lightweight MREs. Which is good for morale, I assume, given that the other options were… not great. Yuri Gagarin, the first person in space, took some… “food” with him: two servings of pureed and undisclosed “meat” in what are essentially toothpaste tubes. But don’t worry, he also had a tube of chocolate sauce he could squirt onto his runny meat. Yum. The Mercury astronauts had it good by Russian cosmonaut standards. They got freeze-dried and powdered food packages and compressed cubes of nutrients. Everything the body needs to stay alive and appease The Jetson’s… just don’t eat anything Rosey the Robot gives you, I’m pretty sure she’s with Skynet… The availability of water stores, eventually even hot-on-demand water, would mean that austronoughts could connect their MRE-like packages to water dispensers and rehydrate their food cubes. Because yes, the poor Mercury crews ate their powdered food … powdered. These days MREs and other considerations make space-food less terrible but Japan’s sounds the best. Rather than microwave hamburgers or raw pizza made from pre-cooked ingredients, Japan sends sushi, ramen, yokan and rice dishes. Because when you’ve got hot water and uncooked rice, you can do a hell of a lot more than canned borsch. Anyway, enough of that. Let’s move on to space booze! So, officially, alcohol is basically banned in space. Apparently there’s some nerd reason for it, something about alcohol breaking the air, water, etc. recyclers and killing everyone. But that’s stupid so we’re going to ignore it. Early cosmonauts brought the first alcoholic drink to space 1984. On his way to Salyut 7 (a low-Earth orbiting space station used from 1982 to 1991) Igor (or is it eye-gor?) Volk did what, apparently, all good cosmonauts did and following his official weigh-in, immediately fasted and took diuretics to lose some additional weight. How much weight? Approximately the weight of one bottle of cognac, which he hid inside his spacesuit. Space contraband! According to cosmonaut Alexander Poleshchuk, it was common to hide cognac, vodka, and other high abv alcohols in the lining of their space suits, inside hollowed out books, or behind the rocket’s interior panelling a la Firefly. Once in space it was the practice for them to drink, but never offer any to the Americans NASA set up, because screw them. Eventually, cosmonauts were allowed cognac, vodka, and “ginseng liquor” on the MIR space station for “health reasons” which I assume is code for “if I can’t have a drink I’mma kill one of these freaking Amaracuskies!” It wasn’t all fun and games though, according to Georgy Grechko drinking in micro-gravity took real effort. In microgravity the smell of wine causes an immediate gag reflex. They tried to find wine that worked in space through tests on the vomit comet… but it didn’t go well. Of wine, it should be mentioned that there is, or was anyway, Moooooooooooooon-wine. On July 20th, 1969, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin drank a wee-bit of wine when he, apparently, took communion on the Moon inside the Lunar Module Eagle out of a chalice that they somehow found reason to bring to the fucking moon. It wasn’t broadcast because of protests against what was seen as a breach of separation of church and state… ah for the good old days eh. So booze has found its way into space, both intentionally and illegally. Making booze in space is an entirely different story. Making hard alcohol for example is, at this point in history, impossible. First the water consumption would be life threatening, but also because distillation requires that alcohol vapor rise and condense along a still’s pipes but in microgravity there’s no “up” for the steam to rise to. Without further ado, let’s talk about space beer! Then graduate student Kirsten Sterrett at the nearby University of Colorado wrote her thesis on fermentation in space with support from US “beer” behemoth Coors. I guess they provided the rice and unfiltered rocky mountain spring diphtheria. She sent up the kit needed to make like, one can of beer in a purpose built carboy that looks like a space-made AeroPress. NASA called it a “Fluid Processing Apparatus” which is… accurate, I guess. So… yeah sugar and yeast work in space… I mean… inside a controlled environment in space. No word yet on space-exposed, Fantastic 4, super yeast yet. In addition to the trouble of getting beer to space, or making it there, drinking beer in space is a real problem. Because there’s no up “obviously the foam isn’t going to come to a head”, says Jonathan Clark, a former flight surgeon and now the space medicine liaison for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute in Houston, Texas, US. If you look at your phone you’ll see a beer bubble as it happens in space. It’s… weird. Not to be snubbed, Dutch researchers have suggested a flexible membrane inside a keg that would allow gas and liquid to be mixed and separated as needed to dispense beer. Space-keg! It was not approved for use. The other problem of space-beer is that, with no where for the gas to escape to, you’ll drink all the carbonation in the solution. Which any freshmen doing their first keg stand will tell you is a real problem. Additionally, with no up, the gas doesn’t collect or disperse from your stomach causing nightmarish beer-burps. So terrible in fact NASA gave them the name “wet burps.” “That’s one of the reasons why we don’t have carbonated beverages on the space menu,” NASA spokesperson William Jeffs told New Scientist. Apparently MIR used to stock Pepsi, but that also causes Rick-like wet burps getting all over everyone. All that said, beer uhhh, finds a way. There have been a handful of trial-and-error style attempts to make low carbonation beer. Most are successful because making flat beer is super easy. Unfortunately, it tastes like ass. In 2014 Eugene, Or, based brewery Ninkasi started the Ninkasi Space Program… which was basically just a marketing campaign, but they did buy a truck-trailer sized rocket. Unfortunately, the first launch landed some 9 miles from the desired location causing the rocket and yeast to be lost in the Nevada desert for 27 days, very much killing the yeast. For their second flight they had some help from Denver-based UP Aerospace, because rocket science is, you know, rocket science. The second flight reached 77.3 miles above Earth with six vials of yeast onboard. Having recovered the yeast which spent about four minutes in microgravity, they brewed Ground Control* and Imperial Stout with hazelnuts, star anise, cocoa nibs, and Apollo, Bravo, and Comet hops and, of course, the space yeast those other ingredients completely mask. There are actually a lot of brewers and sciencers trying to make “the first space beer” and a big portion of that is how you define having made space beer. Surely the crew who did Kirsten’s science made beer in space. Coors, Ninkasi, 4 Pines Beer in Australia, Sapporo, and Bell’s Brewery have shot elements of their beers into space. InBev, parent company of Anheuser-Busch announced their intent to make the first brewery on Mars at SXSW. They’ve also sent barley seeds into space, both to test space-based germination, but also to use the grown barley in their beers. The goal is to “compare malt to controls produced on the ground to identify morphological and genetic alterations caused by microgravity.” Unfortunately, Mars’s soil contains high levels of perchlorates which cause thyroid problems in humans. So there’s that to figure out. Sadly, because shooting stuff into space is a real chore Sapporo’s Space Barley beer is $110 a six pack because getting the ingredients to space costs around 10k per pound. I mentioned 4 Pines, they’re partnering with Saber Astronautics to make the first commercially available, fully space-brewed, beer. The beer is called Vostok, after Yuri’s 1961 space ship. They’re currently working on solving the “how do you drink in space without a straw” problem and the solution is… if you look at for you phones… weird. The basic ideal is that, through a series of springs, tubes, and nozzles, create a beer bottle that allows you to drink more or less normally in microgravity. Check out the YouTube video if you want to see it in action. So far they’ve spent $250,000 of Indiegogo money and expect the final product to be a million dollar beer… literally. Closing things out, a quote from James Watt, co-founder of the Scottish “punk” beer company BrewDog, about space-Budweiser: “It’s not so bad if it means it leaves this planet.” https://www.discoverspace.org/exhibit/space-food/ https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/stem-on-station/ditl_eating https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_food https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_and_spaceflight https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12388-beer-in-space-a-short-but-frothy-history/ https://www.nasa.gov/aeroresearch/resources/artifact-opportunities/space-food/ https://www.wired.com/2015/03/ground-control-space-beer/#:~:text=Ground%20Control%20is%20an%20Imperial,And%2C%20yes%2C%20space%20yeast. https://www.craftbeer.com/news/beer-release/ninkasi-ground-control-space-traveled-yeast https://nsp.ninkasibrewing.com/the-beer.html https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/solar-system/a30141192/budweiser-space-beer-brewing/ https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/solar-system/a30141192/budweiser-space-beer-brewing/ https://www.forbes.com/sites/eustaciahuen/2018/04/30/beer-2/?sh=64d7075678a2 https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-to-make-beer-in-space-180968404/ *1: Ground Control Stats: Style: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout Brewed with Oregon Hazelnuts, Star Anise, Cocoa Nibs, and Ale Yeast Sent Into Space Available: November 2017 ABV: 10% IBU: 50 OG: 1100 Malt: 2-Row Pale, Black, Chocolate, Munich, Crystal, Honey, Special Roast, Peated Hops: Apollo, Bravo, Comet Packaging: 22oz. Bottles, Draft Distribution: Alaska; Alberta; Arizona; California; Colorado; Idaho; Maryland; Nevada; New York; Oregon; Utah; Washington; Virginia; Vancouver, British Columbia; and select retailers across the country. Outro I’m Shea, and this week I learned the term domestic housewife implies that there are feral housewives. I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and my co-hosts. Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from!= Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
24 minutes | 6 months ago
Interesting If True - Episode 30 - This One's A Turkey!
Welcome to Interesting If True, the show that’s finally angered someone with the power to strike us down… I’m your host… ish, this week Aaron and with me is the turkey I’m prepping for Thanksgiving. The rest of the hosts are all off in the world in varying degrees of unwell. And yes, there’s some ‘rona, but also some not ‘rona. So if you’re thankful for the laughs this show provides stop by facebook.com/interestiniftrue and wish Jenn, Jim, or Shea well, I’m sure they’d appreciate it. Jokes and plees for sympathy likes aside, being sick sucks but as far as we know everyone is doing well and will be back to regale you with strange and silly stories shortly. And with that, let’s go to the archive, Jenn; You can never be too rich or too thin, right? So, since many of us who briefly cared no longer do, let’s talk about diets and how silly and useless they are. Also some crazy and potentially dangerous a few in years past were. Weird diets are by no means ONLY a thing of the past of course. I’m not talking about the vegan lifestyle, gluten-free (whether needed or not) or the no processed/no sugar thing. Just a few current ones by people we’ve heard of: There’s the Master Cleanse (which is a diet consisting entirely of tea, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper) used by Beyonce, Demi Moore and singer Ashanti (to name a few). Trump-buddy and Mr. Super Bowl Tom Brady created his own diet the TB12 (1 guess what the TB stands for) that peddles baseless and weird claims such as “the “right foods” are “alkalizing” and “anti-inflammatory.” Alkaline foods lower his pH level, he writes, which can help with a range of ailments, from boosting low energy to preventing bone fractures.” Which is…not true. (It’s not technically an unhealthy diet, he’s just making up shit about what it does.) Finally, the really adorable and charming actor from Parks & Rec who was swallowed whole somewhere in another Galaxy by this new White Man(™) conservative evangelical, Chris Pratt touts the benefits of the Daniel Fast, a biblical based ‘wellness based’ program. To keep it simple, it’s a 21 day restrictive fast and 40 days overall, was developed by mega-church pastor Rick Warren, and involves lots and lots of prayer. Ok, so now that we’ve discussed that weird diets are obviously a thing of the present, let’s discuss some of those of the past that crank up the weirdness to 11 and a half: In the 1920’s cigarette brand Lucky Strikes created one of the most famous early advertising taglines: “Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet.” “Light a Lucky Strike when you are tempted to eat between meals. They satisfy the craving for sweets and rich pastries. That’s why thousands now reducing (dieting) smoke them constantly.” – Lucky Strike ad, 1928 And don’t think this was only focused on the ladies and a slim figure only. Nope, it also promised to keep men strong, fit and athletic! Please note health promise at the bottom the advert So moving forward just slightly in time but probably not really in healthiness, let’s discuss the diet craze of the 40’s-early 70s: SPEED! And boy was it prevalent. If the name Susanna McBee doesn’t ring a bell, she was an undercover journalist who helped bring to public attention to just how many mama’s had little helpers. She published a piece in 1969 that detailed exactly how easy it was to keep an amphetamine addiction going strong. From Smithsonian Magazine online: “Susanna McBee walked into the office of a doctor she’d never met before, submitted to a three-minute physical, and walked out with hundreds of colorful amphetamine pills. Then she went to another—and another—and another. At every doctor’s office, she was prescribed diet pills containing the potent stimulant, sometimes handed to her by doctors before she’d even spoken a word.” A quick bit of history: Benzadrine, one of the most popular brands, had been used since the 30s for assorted issues just as sinus congestion (No joke, it was a cotton ball soaked in the drug and inhaled through an inhaler. You didn’t need a prescription to get a Benzedrine inhaler, and some patients soon realized that they enjoyed the inhaler’s stimulant effects more than a clear nose. They started prying open the inhaler, taking out the cotton, and either eating or injecting the drug.) and nerves, alertness and PTSD for World War II soldiers. Of course PTSD had yet to be coined as a term yet, instead it was referred to as “combat fatigue”. The US of course weren’t the only country to hype up their soldiers and then assign goofy euphemisms. Germany gave their troops meth and called it an “alertness aid”. Japanese kamikaze pilots also juiced themselves up before their final mission. So anyway, an unexpected side effect turned out to be a substantial decrease in appetite. So after the war ended and the men came home, their women took up the Benzadrine banner and wives had never been slimmer and kitchens had never been cleaner. Smith, Kline & French, the company who produced Benzadrine, hired scientist Charles Ivy to determine the effects for this as a potential diet aid. Considering how Ivy was the scientist who introduced and headed the program to keep the troops supplied with the pick me ups, unsurprisingly he concluded that amphetamine was 100% safe for weight loss. SKF went on to diversify its amphetamine business, peddling the drugs for both weight loss and depression for decades. Finally, my own personal favorite of the ye olde timey weight loss plans! It’s something of a buddy system, so that’s always more encouraging. It starts with a pill…containing a tapeworm egg! Once it hatches the idea is that it eats part of whatever the person ingests, helping you to both lose weight and not worry about pesky calorie counting. We have the Victorians to thank for this particular parasitic plan. They of the whale bone corsets and the ideal “perfect 16in waist”. Seeing as that is physically impossible without fashionable torture devices, it’s not surprising they turned to… let’s say unconventional methods. This particular stradegy still exists today, at least as an IDEA. There are many legends of early Hollywood starlets using this method to keep the pesky pounds off (side note: I remember an episode of the old E channels show Hollywood Babylon discussing an early actress who, while taking a bath, was shocked to notice the worms slithering out of her into the water), but for the most part they are unable to verified or outright exaggerations. There are also persistent rumors today of Mexican clinics who, for a couple of thousand dollars, will give you a “full tapeworm treatment”. These claims are dubious at best, plus a visit to few countries with loosey-goosey water purifications and food safety laws would do pretty much the same thing. So it turns out the tapeworm trend may have been more urban legend than actuality. And of course, the creepy little critter isn’t in your tummy just taking a few bites of your meals, it is actually absorbing necessary nutrients and other things that you actually need. To finish this up with some fun facts, as infestations by tapeworms are actually a real thing, here are some historical methods that were used to cleanse the host. (Effectiveness not guaranteed.)Per Snopes: “Tapeworms are hard to get rid of. They had the person starve himself for days. Then they set a bowl of hot milk in front of the person. He had to keep his mouth open. After a while the tapeworm began to come up his throat ’cause he smelled the milk. They kept moving the bowl further away until the tapeworm was completely out. Other versions of how to draw out a tapeworm include placing milk, cookies, and a hammer near the afflicted person’s anus for a few nights and letting the tapeworm gorge himself into complacency on the treats. Once this has been accomplished, the cookie is withheld. When the worm comes all the way out to demand, “Where’s my cookie?,” whoever is stuck with worm-watching duty that night bashes it with the hammer. An alternative vermifuge calls for 29 steaks and a hammer: The patient eats a steak for 29 days in row, then fasts on the 30th day. The worm becomes closely acquainted with the hammer when it emerges to demand its T-bone.” Mid-Show Bumper Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more! You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating. Enter Patreon Story Title Here Interested in what we have to say about this story? Good news, it’s available right now to subscribers at Patreon.com/iit! This wasn’t just live-to-tape, it was wiki-to-tape! Check out the details here if you’re interested https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emu_War Outro I’m Aaron, and I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and my co-hosts… turkey. Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from! Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
34 minutes | 6 months ago
Interesting If True - Episode 28 - Good King Shea
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that is better than yours. I’m your host this week, Shea, and with me this week, as always, the ever amicable Aaron I’m Aaron, and this week I learned that I’m a king in my own mind… and that might just be enough… The Orange Oligarchs Ostracism We have been living in an Orwellian horror but it seems there is a light at the end of the tunnel, though who really knows. This past year has revealed that real-life rulers were sometimes more akin to villains in storybooks: orange oligarchs, crazed witches, sleazy morons, and murderous families. Whether these rulers were born that way or the job drove them to do dastardly deeds, a number of monarchs throughout history exhibited signs that something wasn’t quite right. For some, it was just a strange quirk here or there. For others, a debilitating problem that left them unfit to rule their own lands. No one can deny that, despite the perks, being a ruler is complicated. Access to massive riches can corrupt you. You must make decisions that determine the well-being of entire populations. All the while, there are people out there who probably want nothing more than to see you dead. This could lead anyone to develop warped priorities. SO today I will learn you about some of the strangest rulers and royals throughout history, what made them that way, and how it might have affected the country they ruled. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Elagabalus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elagabalus Elagabalus, who took the throne in 218 AD, was a lesser-known Roman Emperor whose behavior rivals that of the most vicious, cruel, and self-indulgent rulers of all time. A devotee of the Syrian god he was named for, Elagabalus brought the deity’s cult to Rome and tried to make it the main religion of the empire. He wasn’t above physical aggression, either; Emperor Elagabalus stories have him harming unsuspecting guests while they dined and even depict him as making human sacrifices. But he got the most attention for his private life. Elagabalus had multiple wives as well as a husband, and some reports suggest he was transsexual and enjoyed dressing up in traditional female garb. If that wasn’t intriguing enough, consider this: Elagabalus was only 14 when he became emperor, but the good times didn’t last. At the age of 18, the young emperor was slain by his own soldiers. Elagabalus has a laundry list of weird behavior such as; He chained naked women to chariots, like horses, and whipped them as they pulled him around. He released poisonous snakes into the audience of the gladiator games and watched as crowds panicked and died from poisonous bites. He tied dinner guests to a water wheel to watch them slowly drown. He tossed gold and silver from the balcony of a tower and reveled in commoners fighting and dying over the money. He let loose lions and leopards during a feast.(This was his idea of a prank because all the animals were rendered harmless but this was unknown to the guests) He filled positions in the government based on the sizes of the men’s penises. When his chief adviser warned him that he should live a moderate life to prevent revolt over the effects of his taxation, he stabbed the adviser to death. My favorite contribution of his maybe the whoopie cushion, not officially attributed to him. He loved pranks so instead of seating his guests on cushions, according to Historia Augusta, “some of his humbler friends he would seat on air-pillows instead of on cushions and let out the air while they were dining.” The cushions deflated, and the flabbergasted guests would slide under the table without anything to support them. Who wouldn’t have wanted to off this guy after all these hyjinx… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_Prince_Sado http://www.historynaked.com/prince-sado-korea-coffin-king/ Born in 1735, Prince Sado’s, crown prince of Korea, brutal treatment at the hands of his father, King Yongjo, led to a life of perversion, violence, and despair. Sado suffered from delusions and nightmares from the age of 10, and things got worse as he grew up. His constant quest to impress his father drove him to madness, especially considering his father may have been equally crazy and hell-bent on torturing his son. After the birth of his second son Sado’s grip on reality was starting to slip, historians believe that an attack of measles may have been the cause. Sado believed he could see the god of thunder, and had an irrational fear of the sky. Sado was convinced he would be blamed by his father for any thunderstorm that hit the country.He was obsessed with Taiost magic, in particular the book known as the Jade Spine Scriptures.He would take hours to dress and choose clothes. Entire outfits were burned as a spirit offering. His clothes became associated with the weather, and would please or displease the sky gods on criteria only he could understand. Despite this Yeongjo began sending Sado in his place for more and more official duties, especially the ones Yeongjo did not want to do. This included supervising the torture of imperial prisoners, which did not improve Sado’s mental state. By this time his sanity was at an all time low. If there was any sort of stressful event or tragedy, it was expected that Sado would deal by killing a string of servants. Sado is reported as saying, “It relieves my pent up anger to kill people or animals when I’m depressed or on edge.” That’s what we need in a leader! It has been recorded that Yeongjo asked Sado why he was committing the crimes he had, to which Sado replied along the lines of, “Because I’m in pain! You are my father but do not love me.” He also began drinking heavily, which was a serious breach of Korean society. By 1762, everyone in the palace- family or servant- was in danger. The body totals are unknown, but reports are that multiple bodies had to be carried away from the palace he was in every day. Sado didn’t even seem to know he was killing people as he was in a semi-lucid state most of the time. Sado turned his dangerous attentions to his younger sister, and repeatedly tried to seduce then rape her. Something had to be done. On July 4, 1762, Sado was summoned before Yeongjo. The crown prince was stripped of his title and was ordered to get into a rice box, which was a large heavy wooden chest. The lid was shut, and Sado was left to swelter in the searing July heat. Sado lasted for eight days in the chest, with no food or water and died screaming for mercy. It’s easy to get rid of a crazy despot just follow these steps One – cut a hole in a box Two – put your Dick Prince in that box Three – Never open the box https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Alexandra_of_Bavaria https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20190516-the-princess-who-thought-she-was-made-of-glass Women can be just as strange as men, luckily this next royal never harmed those around her, physically at least. Princess Alexandra of Bavaria had some weird quarks and may have been the first documented sufferer of “The Glass Delusion.” Alexandra never married, and instead was appointed abbess of the Royal Chapter for Ladies of Saint Anne in Munich and Würzburg; this was a religious community specifically for noble ladies. Alexandra suffered from a number of psychological eccentricities, including a fixation with cleanliness as well as wearing only white clothes. In her early twenties, she notably developed a delusion that as a child she had swallowed a grand piano made of glass, which remained inside her. She was convinced that any sudden movement would shatter the instrument. She was said to walk sideways through doorways and corridors to avoid breaking. Although the princess’s delusion has become a part of her quirky reputation, scholars speculate she suffered from something Robert Burton calls “The Glass Delusion” in his psychological study, The Anatomy of Melancholy in 1612. The Glass Delusion is thought to be a form of melancholy in which the sufferer believes they are made of glass. Another notable victim is King Charles VI of France who did not think he’d swallowed any fragile instruments, but rather believed his body to be especially breakable. Alexandra devoted much of her life to literature and passed away un-shattered at the ripe old age of living in the 1800’s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_VII_of_Denmark https://www.factinate.com/people/44-unhinged-facts-about-king-christian-vii-of-denmark-the-mad-dane/ In 1766, Christian VII of Denmark became king at age 16, and seemed to never act a day older for the rest of his life.Though King Christian VII of Denmark technically held absolute power over the Scandinavian nation, by the end of his life his disturbing mental issues—not to mention a particularly awkward cuckold situation—made him ruler only in name. By the time the young prince reached his teens it became apparent that he was mentally ill, possibly with “schizophrenia as argued in doctor Viggo Christiansen’s book Christian VII’s mental illness (1906).” According to his doctors, his frequent masturbation bordered on unhealthy. He played pranks on his grandmother, putting pins in her throne and throwing things at her. He ran wild through the streets with his friend and his mistress, destroying shops and patronizing brothels. He built his own torture rack and had himself tied to it and flogged. When visiting dignitaries would visit and bow to the young king, he would leapfrog over them. Described by modern scholars as a bully, he would slap those he disagreed with across the face. As he regressed further and further, his doctor, Johann Friedrich Struenseé, saw a chance to swoop in and gain power. Struenseé had himself appointed to Christian’s cabinet and seduced Christian’s wife. Struenseé maintained his spot as de facto ruler until Christian’s equally manipulative stepmother persuaded a very weak-minded Christian to have Struenseé and the Queen arrested for their affair. From that point on Christan was nothing more than a puppet to his stepmother. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Zhengde https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhengde_Emperor https://www.chinafetching.com/zhengde-emperor-zhu-houzhao Zhu Houzhao was made Emperor of China when he was the ripe old age of fourteen. He was an excellent study of Confucian literature, and most of the ministers thought he would grow into a fine and benevolent emperor. Boy, were they wrong! Despite all his good Confucian teaching, and all the best intentions of all his advisers and ministers, The Zhengde Emperor had very little interest in actually ruling. What he was interested in, however, was women. At one time, his personal harem was so large that many of the women starved to death from lack of supplies. And, what began as a zoo outside the Forbidden City was converted to house women for the Emperor’s own amusement. And as if all of that didn’t sate his ridiculous appetite, he frequented brothels in the city as well. Now how does one rule a country when they are busy with pleasure all the time? How about hiring a bunch of eunuchs to do it for you. So that’s what he did, after taking power he immediately handed over control of his government to a group of eunuchs, so he could devote himself to pleasure-seeking. Oh, but that’s not all. Oh, no! Not only was the young Emperor obsessed with women, he was also frankly a little thick and irresponsible. He took up the luxurious lifestyle he thought he deserved. Often, he’d be out hunting tigers for weeks at a time, and one time he was so badly mauled that he couldn’t appear in court for a month. Beyond that, one time, he thought it a good idea to store gunpowder in his palace during the lantern festival. What you would expect to happen most definitely did. He caught his palace on fire, and burned it to the ground. He would leave the Forbidden City for months at a time, living outside of it, refusing to come in for court meetings. He paid very little attention to court matters, wouldn’t see any of his ministers, and ignored all their petitions. He just wasn’t about that politician’s life, man. In time, the Emperor became notorious across the empire for his childish behavior. There are accounts of him setting up a fake commercial district outside of his palace, sort of like a living museum, and ordered his entire palace to staff it. They were forced to dress up as merchants and commoners, just so the Emperor himself could play at being a commoner and wander around, shopping, with tons of money… like the commoners did, right? Anyone who didn’t comply would be punished and swiftly fired from their position in court. In an appropriate end to Zhengde’s life, he died from an illness he caught after his pleasure boat capsized. https://www.neuschwanstein.de/englisch/ludwig/biography.htm https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2011/06/the-125th-anniversary-of-the-death-of-king-ludwig-ii/100085/ What kind of list would this be without talking about my favorite crazy king, King Ludwig the 2nd of Bavaria. King Ludwig II’s most lasting contribution to world history might be the construction of Neuschwanstein, the German castle that inspired Walt Disney’s design for both Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty’s signature castles. This is also evidence of one of his most famous quirks, but definitely not his only one. Ludwig was born in 1845, and spent his childhood dressing up, play acting, and isolating himself from the rest of the world. He became king at 18, without any training or experience, and shied away from the job for the rest of his life. Ludwig retreated to his lavish castles and fully invested himself in his fantasy world, hiring set designers instead of architects to create his castles. He imagined himself as Parzival, a medieval figure associated with the Holy Grail. When banks threatened to seize Ludwig’s property, the government declared him insane and deposed him. The day after he was imprisoned, he was found dead under mysterious circumstances, along with the psychiatrist who declared him mad. https://allthatsinteresting.com/insane-rulers#10 https://www.tudorsociety.com/madness-juana-castile/ Juana la Loca, as she became known, was Queen of Castile. Joanna of Castile was the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, famous in America as the Spanish royals who sent Christopher Columbus on his western voyage. Joanna married Philip I of Burgundy, son of the Holy Roman Emperor. She was very devoted to her husband, and gave him six children, all of whom went on to be emperors or queens. Despite this being an arranged marriage, Joanna fell deeply in love with Philip (he was named Philip the Handsome, after all) and didn’t take his sudden death well. Joanna earned her title “Juana La Loca” for her obsession with her husband. After his sudden death in 1506, she refused to be separated from Philip’s dead, embalmed body. She kept it in her room and even traveled with it. Her son, Charles, eventually took power from her and confined her to a nunnery for the rest of her life. There, she became convinced that the nuns were trying to kill her. “It seems to me that the best and most suitable thing for you to do is to make sure that no person speaks with Her Majesty, for no good could come from it,” Charles wrote to his poor mother’s caretakers. I hope our listeners learned something, especially what pitfalls to avoid once you become a monarch. I learned that I’m super excited to see what the history books will write about the reign of our current administration and if we will be able to compete with the kings of yore. Mid-Show Bumper Thanks for listening to Interesting If True, if you like what you heard and think your friends might too, share us on the socials, leave us a good review wherever you’re listening, or subscribe at Patreon.com/iit where, for as little as a dollar a show, you’ll get a patron-exclusive story each week, episodes of our sister show 4 More Beers, outtakes and more! You can contact us, find out more, and see what else we do at InterestingIfTrue.com Thanks to the patron support of listeners like you Interesting If True is a proud supporter of Wyoming AIDS Assistance, a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides support to Wyomingites living with HIV/AIDS. Find out more at WyoAIDS.org and thank you for listening, sharing, and donating. Prince of Patrons, Paddy Interested in what we have to say about this story? Good news, it’s available right now to subscribers at Patreon.com/iit! Welp, now I know a ton of weird stuff about poorly named Kings. Thanks Shea! To keep this royal mess of a show going I’d like to talk about an entirely different set of royals… the self-made kind! Now, before I begin I want to say that this was initially going to be two shorter tales until I fell down a rodent hole of unusual size. So, this is the first installment of my new series on micronations. Stay tuned for some truly weird stuff! I mean like, wow. Anyway. They say a man’s home is his castle. I guess “they’re” a little sexist, but also, what happens when a home isn’t up to the task? Well, then it’s time to declare something your castle, or fiefdom I guess, depending on how hands-on a roll you want to play in the upkeep of your new domain… You can take the direct approach like Prince Paddy Roy Bates who, together with his wife Princess Joan, founded their own fledgling nation on September second of 1967. Formerly a major of the King’s Royal Army, having served at the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy and with the Eighth Army in North Africa, Paddy was no ones chump. So when his favorite pirate radio station, Wonderful Radio London, went off-air he knew he had to rise up as a leader of men so no longer would he or his people be without free jams! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonderful_Radio_London And so Ol’ Roy set out to take Fort Roughs… the derelict WW2 off-coast platform in the North Sea just far enough off the coast of Suffolk as to be in international waters. Paddy easily defeated the local population of… Jack Moore and his daughter Jane, the previous squatters who, until recently, were pirate radio… pirates. The original builders of the platform having long left that area of space for parts unknown… or, you know, home because the War ended and there weren’t any more German U-boats to look for. Having run off the all-too-happy-to-leave pirate broadcasters Paddy declared himself not King but Prince, because of humbleness reasons, his wife Princess, and their son “His Royal Highness Prince Michael” who was thereafter referred to as Prince Regent. And thus began the glorious reign of the Lord, Lady, and the young-master, Bates. Unfortunately, heavy is the burden of the crown and Bates, despite having the equipment, never got around to reestablishing a radio station. Still, for years there was great peace and prosperity throughout the land, all acre of it… until zee Germans arrived! Alexander Achenbach, whose name I swear to someone’s god I haven’t made up, declared himself the Prime Minister of Sealand after Prince Bates refused to turn it into a casino. He then hired a rag tag team of Dutch and German mercenaries to storm Sealand while its regents were on a diplomatic mission to England securing… groceries and the contents of their P.O. Box. And so, in the early morning hours heavily armed mercenaries Red Dawn’ed Sealand on jet skis, speedboats, and helicopters. They quickly took the platform and a hostage, the young Prince. But, as Eli said, there are none who know the land better than the prince! Michael somehow escaped his captors and, using caches of weapons stored throughout Sealand, retook his nation for her people. And now we have an international incident… kinda. See, Achenback lead the charge himself and because of his previous dealings with Prince Bates he held a novelty Sealandian passport… so Bates charged him with treason against the mer-lion crown and held for about $35K. And here’s where it gets weird. See, Sealand was beyond 30-nautical-miles, or 6 clicks, off shore and therefore in international waters. So Germany’s attempts to work with the UK to get their citizens back was met with a stiff upper lip and little else. Without other options, Germany sent an official diplomat to negotiate for Achenbach’s release. And that’s the sticky wicket as the Brits say. See, sending an official diplomate was to Bates–and a number of official international bodies–a de facto recognition of Sealand’s sovereignty. Of the states… statehood, Bates stated: “We have never asked for recognition, and we’ve never felt the need to ask for recognition. You don’t have to have recognition to be a state, you just have to fulfill the criteria of the Montevideo Convention which is population, territory, government and the capacity to enter into negotiation with other states. We can and we have done all these things. We’ve had the German ambassador visit at one point to discuss something: that was de facto recognition. We’ve had communication with the president of France many years ago, but we have never asked for recognition and we don’t feel we need it. After weeks of negotiations Achenbach was released for… free. He would go on to establish a government in exile known as the Sealandic Rebel Government. F*cking splitter. And so life was returned to normalcy in Sealand… or so they thought. Over the years Prince Bates had established a number of Sealandic hallmarks of nationhood. They had a flag, coin money that he minted from… either bits of Sealand or Esty. Not sure. They had a national anthem… instrumental. And they had the aforementioned passports, of which Bates had sold some 150,000 world wide. Sadly the passports had to be recalled in 1997 because the terrorist government in exile, lead by outlaw minister Achenbach, were using Sealand passports to launder drug money from Russia and Iraq. Based in Madrid the group had fake Sealandic license plates, diplomatic immunity, and international relationships with citizens in Hong Kong and rebel leaders in the middle east. Despite the setback of accidentally facilitating an international drug cartel Sealands contributions to the international community would continue to grow. Most in sport. Sealand didn’t have the population to support its own soccer, rugby, football, fencing, ultimate Frisbee, table tennis, or Kung-foo teams. But it gladly allowed athletes who, for whatever reason, couldn’t compete for their own nations to carry the banner of Sealand. The Sealand National Football Association, for example, is a member of the Bouvelle Federation-Board, a football sanctioning group for non-recognized member states of FIFA. In 2004 they played Finland’s football team to a 2-2 draw. In 2004 Darren Blackburn of Oakville, Ontario (nice place btw) ran marathons under the Sealand flag. In 2007 Michal Martelle took Sealand to the Kung Fu World Cup in Quebec City winning two silver medals. In 2008 Sealand hosted a RedBull skateboarding event. And in 2013 mountaineer Kenton Cool placed Sealands flat at the summit of Mount Everest. Eventually the Prince would grow tried of his duties and tried… and failed… to sell Sealand to the Pirate Bay. Eventually time would catch up with the crown, as it will for us all, and Prince Paddy Bates was forced to retire to England where he would eventually die of Alzheimer’s in 2012. The beloved monarch’s passing drew attention and condolences from citizens, friends, family, and even other world leaders like Her Majesty, Queen Anastasia Sophia Maria Helena von Rubenroth Elphberg of Ruritania. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Bates_(Sealand) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principality_of_Sealand#cite_note-Essex-17 https://sealandgov.org/shop/ https://reason.com/2012/10/15/the-world-mourns-prince-paddy-roy-bates/ Outro I’m Shea, and I’d like to thank all our listeners, supporters, and my co-host Aaron Before we go, this week I learned that having a big nose is not an excuse for not wearing a mask, I still wear underwear. We will talk at you next week. Find out more about the show, social links, and contact information at InterestingIfTrue.com. Music for this episode was created by Wayne Jones and was used with permission. The opinions, views, and nonsense expressed in this show are those of the hosts only and do not represent any other people, organizations, or lifeforms. All rights reserved, Interesting If True 2020. Join The Discussion To contact the show, get more content, or interact with other listeners, visit our web, Twitter, or Facebook pages. Of course, we’d love a 5-Star review wherever you get your podcasts from! Website: https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interestingiftrue Twitter: https://twitter.com/interestingif Donate to WyoAIDS.org Voicemail: (513) 760–0463
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