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Tagged with “futility closet” (5)

  1. Podcast Episode 93: The Old Flying Days - Futility Closet

    In the early days of English aviation, journalist C.C. Turner seemed to be everywhere, witnessing bold new feats and going on some harrowing adventures of his own. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll sample Turner’s record of Edwardian aviation, including his own clumsy first attempt to fly an airplane and a record-setting balloon voyage to Sweden.

    We’ll also ponder the nuances of attempted murder and puzzle over a motel guest’s noisemaking.

    http://www.futilitycloset.com/2016/02/08/podcast-episode-93-the-old-flying-days/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  2. Podcast Episode 85: Raising Chicago - Futility Closet

    In 1868, visiting Scotsman David Macrae was astonished to see Chicago transforming itself — dozens of buildings were transplanted to the suburbs, and hotels weighing hundreds of tons were raised on jackscrews. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll follow the city’s astounding 20-year effort to rid itself of sewage and disease.

    We’ll also learn how a bear almost started World War III and puzzle over the importance of a ringing phone.

    http://www.futilitycloset.com/2015/12/14/podcast-episode-85-raising-chicago/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  3. Podcast Episode 70: Sunk by a Whale - Futility Closet

    In 1820, the Nantucket whaleship Essex was attacked and sunk by an 85-foot sperm whale in the South Pacific, a thousand miles from land. In this episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll tell the story of the attack, which left 20 men to undertake an impossible journey to South America in three small whaleboats.

    We’ll also learn about an Australian athlete who shipped himself across the world in a box in 1964 and puzzle over an international traveler’s impressive feat of navigation.

    http://www.futilitycloset.com/2015/08/24/podcast-episode-70-sunk-by-a-whale/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  4. Podcast Episode 58: English as She Is Spoke - Futility Closet

    In 1855 Pedro Carolino decided to write a Portuguese-English phrasebook despite the fact that he didn’t actually speak English. The result is one of the all-time masterpieces of unintentional comedy, a language guide full of phrases like “The ears are too length” and “He has spit in my coat.” In this episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll sample Carolino’s phrasebook, which Mark Twain called “supreme and unapproachable.”

    We’ll also hear Hamlet’s “to be or not to be” rendered in jargon and puzzle over why a man places an ad before robbing a bank.

    http://www.futilitycloset.com/2015/05/18/podcast-episode-58-english-as-she-is-spoke/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  5. Podcast Episode 83: Nuclear Close Calls - Futility Closet

    In 1983, Soviet satellites reported that the United States had launched a nuclear missile toward Moscow, and one officer had only minutes to decide whether to initiate a counterstrike. In today’s show we’ll learn about some nuclear near misses from the Cold War that came to light only decades after they occurred.

    We’ll also hear listeners’ input about crescent moons and newcomers to India, and puzzle over the fatal consequences of a man’s departure from his job.

    Sources for our feature on Stanislav Petrov and Vasili Arkhipov:

    Pavel Aksenov, “Stanislav Petrov: The Man Who May Have Saved the World,” BBC, Sept. 26, 2013.

    Lynn Berry, “Russian Who ‘Saved the World’ Recalls His Decision as 50/50,” Associated Press, Sept. 17, 2015.

    “Soviet Officer Honored for Averting Nuclear War,” Toledo Blade, May 22, 2004.

    Mark McDonald, “Cold War, Cool Head,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 26, 2004.

    Ben Hoyle, “The Russian Who Saved the World,” Southland Times, May 22, 2015, 7.

    Glen Pedersen, “Stanislav Petrov, World Hero,” Fellowship, July/August 2005, 9.

    “JFK Tried to Drive Wedge Between Cubans, Soviets,” Toledo Blade, Oct. 13, 2002.

    “Papers: Annihilation Narrowly Averted,” Lawrence [Kan.] Journal-World, Oct. 12, 2002.

    “Revealed: Soviet Sub Almost Attacked in ’62,” Peace Magazine, January-March 2003, 31.

    Listener mail:

    The Museum of London’s exhibition The Crime Museum Uncovered runs through April 10, 2016.

    Wordnik defines griffinism as “In India and the East, the state or character of a griffin or new-comer.”

    This week’s lateral thinking puzzle was contributed by listener Andrew H., who sent these corroborating links (warning — these spoil the puzzle).

    http://www.futilitycloset.com/2015/11/30/podcast-episode-83-nuclear-close-calls/

    —Huffduffed by adactio