Ridiculous History

Ridiculous History

By iHeartPodcasts

History is beautiful, brutal and, often, ridiculous. Join Ben Bowlin and Noel Brown as they dive into some of the weirdest stories from across the span of human civilization in Ridiculous History, a podcast by iHeartRadio.

Episodes

The Olympics Used to Have an... Extraordinarily Weird Art Competition

Everyone's heard of the Olympics. This global competition brings athletes from around the world together to compete in various sports -- but, not too long ago, one man led the charge to bring artists, sculptors, musicians and more into the fray, with medal-worthy competitions of their own. In today's episode, the guys explore how this became part of the Olympics... and why the organization eventually revoked every single medal they awarded, striking these artists' work from the record.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
01/12/22·40m 29s

A Circus, or a Cult? The Strange Story of Shen Yun

If you live near any large city outside of mainland China, you may have seen advertisements for the world-famous Shen Yun Performing Arts Company, a US-based non-profit known for its elaborate shows in over 130 locations across the planet. But you might not know the full story of this company's origin. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max explore the strange origin of Shen Yun -- along with that of the religious movement, Falun Gong.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29/11/22·36m 16s

How A Massive Turkey Screw-up Created TV Dinners

Hey, it's us, your pals Ben, Noel and Max from Ridiculous History. We figured the holidays can be stressful for everyone, and we're pretty sure you've heard the history of Thanksgiving countless times. So instead of telling you that story, we decided to celebrate by exploring the weird history of TV dinners and microwave meals -- none of which would exist if the food company Swanson hadn't accidentally found itself with 260 tons of leftover turkeys after Thanksgiving in 1953. So tune in; we hope it gives you a chuckle.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
24/11/22·53m 26s

J. Paul Getty, Part Two: A Kidnapping Discount

For members of the mob, the plot to kidnap J. Paul Getty's grandson was a home run -- after all, what's a few million to a literal billionaire? Yet, as it turns out... the mob didn't know who they were messing with. In the second part of this two-part series, Ben, Noel and Max explore a series of terrifying events that led to one of most ridiculous examples of miserliness in human history.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
22/11/22·33m 1s

J. Paul Getty, Part One: Money Doesn't Make You Happy

It's often said that money doesn't buy happiness -- and, in the tragic case of the Getty family, it seems that saying holds true. In part one of this two-part series, Ben, Noel and Max explore Getty's origin story, his infamously... let's say... 'thrifty' nature, and how he earned a reputation of one of the coldest businessmen in modern history.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
17/11/22·35m 32s

Introducing: Jordan Klepper Fingers The Conspiracy

On his adventures into MAGA country, Jordan Klepper encounters some of the more imaginative, conspiratorial minds America has to offer. In “Jordan Klepper Fingers the Conspiracy,” a new, six-episode limited podcast series, Jordan steps off the trail to dig deep into some of the wildest theories he’s heard, and trace their origins with journalists, experts, and anyone who might have a lead on when JFK Jr. is coming back. The podcast offers an opportunity to better understand some of the most extravagant stories Americans tell themselves. Listen to Jordan Klepper Fingers The Conspiracy on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-klepper-30873042/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
16/11/22·1m 49s

Have you heard of Andorra?

While it may be unfamiliar to many folks outside the region, the 6th-smallest country in Europe has a fascinating history all its own. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max dive into the strange origin story of Andorra, from its ancient past to the modern day.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
15/11/22·31m 1s

Introducing: Stealing Superman

Hi, Ridiculous History fans! We're excited to share the latest iHeart Original podcast, Stealing Superman. Since you love our show, we think you'll be intrigued by this story about priceless comics stolen from Nicolas Cage (yes, that Nicolas Cage!). Check out the trailer and decide if Stealing Superman is your next podcast obsession! About Stealing Superman: It was the most unlikely art heist of all time. Join the country’s only art detective and a vigilante comic book dealer as they investigate the mysterious theft of the most important comic in the world ... a comic stolen from Nicolas Cage. Listen to Stealing Superman on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/11/22·2m 49s

How Smart Was Alex the Grey Parrot?

Picked at random from a pet store, a humble grey parrot named Alex went on to fundamentally alter the way humans think about animal cognition. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max explore how animal psychologist Irene Pepperberg and her parrot pal Alex spent three decades proving it's actually pretty impressive to be 'bird brained.'See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/11/22·40m 32s

Surprising Former Careers, Part 2: Truman Can't Sell Hats

Years before he became a world-famous actor, Christopher Lee did wetwork with elite special forces during World War II. Before entering public office, Harry Truman almost ruined his life by starting a haberdashery. In part two of this continuing series, Ben, Noel and Max explore the ins and outs of more surprising former careers.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
08/11/22·40m 43s

The Ancient -- and Surprisingly Divisive! -- Story of Ketchup

Ketchup is in almost 97% of US homes today -- and, while this statistic may sound surprising, it turns out there's a long story behind this humble condiment. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max trace the origin of ketchup from its ancient predecessors in Southern China and the Mediterranean to the introduction of the tomato all the way to the modern day. Tune in for the first episode in our continuing series on the history of condiments (and tell us which condiments you'd like us to explore next).See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
03/11/22·56m 24s

The Bizarrely Xenophobic Origins of Scotch Tape

There's no two ways about it: tape is a pretty handy, amazing thing -- and one we often take for granted. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max dive deep into the origin story of Scotch tape, uncovering the weird prejudice behind the name, as well as the journey of the young man who changed the world with his... well, let's call it stick-to-it-iveness. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
01/11/22·49m 20s

Introducing: OBSESSIONS: Wild Chocolate

Forget Willy Wonka and those heart-shaped Valentine’s boxes. OBSESSIONS: Wild Chocolate. is a totally different beast. Join host Rowan Jacobson as he elbows his way through the rain forest, crash lands into cocaine flyaways, and avoids a few too many anaconda, tagging along with modern-day Lara Crofts as they try to get their hands on some of the world’s most ancient– and expensive– cacao. Listen to OBSESSIONS: Wild Chocolate on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. https://www.iheart.com/podcast/1119-obsessions-wild-chocolate-103468390/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
31/10/22·2m 33s

Lost Media, Part Two: We Didn't Start The Fire

Silent films took the world by storm, but the material they were manufactured from was notoriously -- cartoonishly -- flammable. Soon multiple studio buildings were burning to the ground. There wasn't always a spark involved, either: sometimes this stuff just spontaneously combusted. In part two of this two-part series, Ben, Noel and Max explore how silent films became so endangered in the modern day. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27/10/22·30m 18s

Lost Media, Part One: What Happened to All Those Silent Films?

For a relatively brief period of time, silent films rocked the world of entertainment. However, these nitrate- and acetate-based films proved both fragile -- and downright dangerous. In the first part of this two-part series, Ben, Noel and Max dive into the strange story of how so many silent films ended up lost forever.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
26/10/22·38m 17s

A Ridiculous History of Hot Tubs

While hot tubs may not always have the... best reputation in some circles, there's no denying people across the world love a good, hot soak after a long day. And we've loved this since antiquity, all the way back to the first time humans found natural hot springs. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max dive into the strange origin of hot tubs, from millennia past all the way to the modern day. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
20/10/22·45m 5s

Eugene V Debs, Part Two: A Prisoner Runs For President

As a known agitator, Eugene V. Debs soon caught the attention of the US power structure -- and his outspoken nature led to him to court. In part two of this two-part series, Ben, Noel and Max explore how the Espionage Act resulted in Eugene's incarceration... and how he ran for the office of President while literally imprisoned. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
18/10/22·1h 3m

Eugene V Debs, Part One: Railroad Workers Fight The Power

You may not have heard of Eugene V. Debs before this podcast -- but in his day this political activist was one of the most prominent (and at-times controversial) figures in the United States. In part one of this two-part series, Ben, Noel and Max explore Gene's origin story, from his early career in the railroad industry to his growing status as a trade unionist and agitator of the status quo.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
13/10/22·34m 49s

The Michelin Man was an Unhinged Lunatic

Virtually every foodie is aware of the Michelin Guide -- the last word in high-end restaurant ratings -- but originally came about as a way to sell more cars (and, ultimately, tires). In today's episode with research associate Geoff Bartlett, Ben, Noel and Max dive deep into the origins of the Michelin guide, as well as Michelin's iconic mascot Bibendum, the Michelin Man. Spoiler: the Michelin Man was originally the absolute worst mascot for anything related to driving. Tune in to learn why.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/10/22·52m 5s

Introducing: Mobituaries

Mo Rocca’s long love of obituaries returns for a third season. Mo looks to celebrate the dearly departed people (and things) of the past who have long intrigued him— this season explores the most intriguing history from TV’s most beloved dog to the woman of a thousand voices. Hear fresh takes on these famous legacies and why they deserve a moment in the spotlight. Listen to new episodes starting Wednesday, on the iHeartRadio App or wherever you get your podcasts. https://www.iheart.com/podcast/274-mobituaries-with-mo-rocca-30398541/See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07/10/22·2m 20s

The Yukio Mishima Story, Part Two: Mishima's End

In his heyday, Japanese author Yukio Mishima was one of the most well-known writers in the world. But where did he come from -- and what on Earth led to his strange demise? In part two of this two-part episode, Ben, Noel and Max welcome research associate Zach Williams in his first on-air appearance. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
06/10/22·50m 3s

The Yukio Mishima Story, Part One: Confessions of a Mask

In his heyday, Japanese author Yukio Mishima was one of the most well-known writers in the world. But where did he come from -- and what on Earth led to his strange demise? In part one of this two-part episode, Ben, Noel and Max welcome research associate Zach Williams in his first on-air appearance. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05/10/22·46m 4s

Wait, How Do I Know It's Funny? A Rollicking History of Laugh Tracks

We've all heard them. You're watching or hearing a show, a character says something, and -- boom! -- an invisible choir of audience members loses their minds in riotous laughter, awws, or applause. But how did where does this come from? In today's episode, we're learning how this came to be, and how it eventually became its own worst enemy. Ben here: I'd like to give a special thanks to Max for some stellar sound design. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29/09/22·47m 38s

Who, exactly, were the Luddites?

Today you'll hear people described as 'Luddites' if they don't care for -- or don't understand -- some newer piece of technology, but where did this phrase come from? In today's episode, Ben, Noel and guest producer Tari trace the term back to its surprising origin story ... a violent labor uprising that, these days, remains largely forgotten.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27/09/22·42m 43s

Instant Noodles Changed The World, Part Two: Going Global

As Momofuku Ando's instant noodles take Japan by storm, he sets his sights on the global horizon. In part two of this two-part series, Ben, Noel and Max explore the expansion of instant noodles into the United States, the rest of the planet -- and, eventually, space.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
22/09/22·33m 30s

Instant Noodles Changed The World, Part One: An Origin Story

Today, instant noodles are ubiquitous. You can find them in almost every grocery store, in any number of flavors sold by any number of brands -- but where did they come from? In part one of this two-part series, Ben, Noel and Max dive into the story of Momofuku Ando, and how a sudden realization in post-WWII Japan inspired an idea that would go on to change the world.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
20/09/22·31m 15s

The Accidental Invention of Holding Music

We've all been there -- you're calling a bank, a loan company, you name it, and boom: you're put on hold. But where does that music come from? In today's episode, Ben and Noel dive into the strange origin story of telephone holding music. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
15/09/22·31m 2s

Inventors Killed By Their Own Inventions: Flyin' or Dyin', Part Two

How far would you go to fly? It's a question many inventors have asked themselves over the ages and, tragically, for every successful breakthrough it seems there were also dozens of failures, flops and -- sometimes -- fatal crashes. In part two of Flyin' or Dyin', Ben, Noel and Max explore modern inventors who died as a result of their flying contraptions. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
13/09/22·39m 56s

Inventors Killed By Their Own Inventions: Flyin' or Dyin', Part One

Humans can swim, though not as well as a fish. Humans can run, though not as swift as a cheetah. From ancient civilization to the modern day, no human being can fly unaided. In this first of a long-running series, Ben, Noel and Max explore inventors across history who died while trying to fly. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
08/09/22·31m 30s

Wilhelm Reich and Orgone, Part 2: Willy vs. The Feds

If Reich's concept of orgone was simple pseudoscience, why did the US government ban -- and burn -- his books? In part two of this two-part episode on Wilhelm Reich and orgonomic vibes, Ben, Noel and Max explore Reich's activities in the US, as well as the oft-ignored legacy of Reich's studies in the modern day.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07/09/22·50m 31s

Introducing: Sisters of the Underground

Sisters of the Underground is an 8-episode scripted series by Executive Producers Eva Longoria and Dania Ramirez. It follows the true story of three courageous women, known as the Mirabal sisters, who changed the world. Their lifelong activism in the Dominican Republic and state-orchestrated assassination ignited outrage that led to the downfall of one of the most brutal and enduring dictators of the 20th Century, Rafael Trujillo (aka El Jefe). This series takes us back to a period when the Mirabal Sisters inspired an entire nation to emancipate themselves from a tyrannical regime that lasted for more than 30 years. While the martyrdom of the Mirabal Sisters is the stuff of legend in the DR, Sisters of the Underground brings these hidden figures to life for a global audience in a vivid, immersive, audio drama.   Listen here and subscribe to Sisters of the Underground on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
03/09/22·1m 57s

Wilhelm Reich and Orgone, Part 1: Sexy Psychoanalysis

Born in 1897, Wilhelm Reich was an Austrian doctor of medicine and a psychoanalyst, as well as -- for a time -- a follower of Sigmund Freud. Today, he's most often associated with his life's work: the study of a strange, pervasive energy he called "orgone." In part one of this two-part series, Ben, Noel and Max explore Reich's origin story, from his early days to the experiences that persuaded him sexual vibes could, literally, save the world.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
01/09/22·47m 51s

The History of Pringles: Once You Pop...

Pretty much everyone recognizes Pringles -- these tasty, not-quite potato chips come in tons of at-times bizarre flavors, all neatly packed in a nifty tube. But where did Pringles come from? In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Matt dive deep into the hidden history of this snack, the astonishing science behind it and the incredibly weird funeral demands of the Pringles creator.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
30/08/22·55m 34s

Lincoln Loved Cats, and Other Presidential Pets

Are you a cat person, a dog person, or somewhere in between? It turns out that famous trash-talking wrestler -- and former President -- Abraham Lincoln was also a huge fan of cats. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max dive into the lives of Presidential pets, from eagles to goats, dogs and more. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
25/08/22·45m 12s

CLASSIC - Presidents Love Their Ridiculous Pets

In today's episode, we venture into the podcast vault to talk about some snuggly friends, many of the ridiculous variety. It's no secret that, until very recently, US Presidents were known as huge fans of pets -- and they didn't limit themselves to cats and dogs! Join Ben and Noel as they explore some of the strangest pets in presidential history, from warhorses and cows to bears, raccoons and much, much more.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
23/08/22·32m 27s

What Happened to Ronald McDonald? Part Two: Supersizing A Mystery

In a world where the iconic McDonald's arches became as recognizable as the Pope or Mickey Mouse, Ronald McDonald himself became synonymous with not just fast food -- but the United States, western imperialism and capitalism overall. In the second part of this episode, Ben, Max and returning special guest, the (ostensibly) reformed Jonathan Strickland, aka the Quizster, take a case-by-case look at the alleged causes of Ronald's demise, from anti-obesity activists to changing cultural tastes, a real-life clown terror craze, and more.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
18/08/22·59m 35s

What Happened to Ronald McDonald? Part One: Everybody Loves A Clown

Today, billions of people across the world recognize McDonald's — it's one of the planet's most well-known brands. Yet, in recent years, McDonald's has also become home to an enduring mystery: What exactly happened to Ronald McDonald? In part one of this two-part series, Ben and Max welcome special guest Jonathan Strickland for an in-depth exploration of Ronald's meteoric rise and fall.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
16/08/22·55m 50s

The 1904 St. Louis Marathon Was Absolutely Bonkers

It's no secret that the Olympics have evolved over time, and met with their fair share of controversy over the years -- but the 1904 Olympic marathon remains a tale of ridiculousness for the ages. In today's episode, Ben and Max dive into a madcap series of bizarre events, brazen cheating, and more in the humid heart of brutal St. Louis weather. Taking a cue from their pals at Ridiculous Crime, the guys want you to know everyone in this episode makes it out... OK. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/08/22·59m 24s

Andrew Jackson Beat the Snot Out of His Would-be Assassin

Known as Old Hickory to his fans, and King Andrew to his critics, Andrew Jackson was an outspoken, deeply divisive figure. When he was attacked by an assassin while leaving a funeral, the killer's gun miraculously misfired not once, but twice, and despite his old age Jackson retaliated by absolutely wailing on the guy, beating within an inch of his life. And, as it turns out, Andrew Jackson isn't the only president to survive an assassination attempt. Tune for more as Ben and Max explore the strange stories of Jackson, Taft and Roosevelt.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
09/08/22·57m 44s

CLASSIC: When (and why) did the US start calling its citizens consumers?

Today, the terms "citizen" and "consumer" are often used interchangeably by authors, journalists and politicians. To some experts, this shift has disturbing implications. But how important is a word? How did this switch occur, and why? In today's classic episode, Ben and Noel explore the implications of this strange, often unexamined, evolution.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
04/08/22·42m 17s

A Ridiculous History of Reality TV, Part Two: Reality Goes Global

As reality TV continued to grow across networks and genres, it also spread across the planet. In the second part of this two-part series, special guest Anna Hossnieh joins Ben, Noel and Max to break down the evolution of massive hits like The Bachelor, The Real Housewives empire, and more.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
02/08/22·40m 52s

A Ridiculous History of Reality TV, Part One: An Origin Story

However you define it, reality TV is a giant in the world of entertainment. From soap operas to game shows and the hazards of dating, it seems almost any genre can find a home in reality television. But how did we get here? How did this global phenomenon begin? In part one of this two-part series, special guest Anna Hossnieh joins Ben, Noel and Max to explore the evolution of unscripted programming -- and what it teaches us about humanity. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28/07/22·41m 35s

Surprising Former Careers of the Famous

Did you know Abraham Lincoln was an infamous, trash-talking wrestler? Ronald Reagan spent his younger years saving people from drowning (and throwing rocks at them) as a lifeguard. And before Norma Jean became the iconic Marilyn Monroe, she built drones during World War II. In today's episode, the guys explore the little-known, surprising careers of some of America's most notable historical figures.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
26/07/22·48m 13s

A Humorous History of Genetics

What makes you... well, you? It's a question humanity has wrestled with since the dawn of recorded history all the way to the modern day. In today's special episode in partnership with 23andMe, Ben, Noel and Max dive into the history of genetic research from its ancient predecessors to great breakthroughs of the recent past, as well as learning a bit about their own genetic history along the way.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
21/07/22·49m 32s

Tsutomu Yamaguchi: The World's Only (Recognized) Double Atomic Bomb Victim

On August 6th, 1945, Mitsubishi engineer Tsutomu Yamaguchi was finally heading home from a three month assignment in Hiroshima... until the United States dropped an atomic bomb over the city. Miraculously, he survived the bombing and made his way home to Nagasaki -- where he once again witnessed, and survived, an atomic bomb. Tune in to learn more about Tsutomu Yamaguchi's harrowing journey, as well as his life after surviving not one, but two separate atomic bombs.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
19/07/22·36m 51s

Gods of Deception, Part II: Art, History, Fiction and War

As Ben and Noel continue their conversation with novelist and art historian David Adams Cleveland, the group finds themselves going far beyond the world of Alger Hiss. In the second part of this two-part series, the guys learn more about David's award-winning work as an art historian, the ways in which history, research and fiction converge -- and a little about the oft-ignored effects of history on geopolitics.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
14/07/22·30m 8s

Gods of Deception, Part I: Alger Hiss in the Halls of Power

Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Alger Hiss was a mover and shaker in the political sphere. Highly educated and deeply connected, Hiss worked as a lawyer involved in everything from the Justice Department to the United Nations. Until, that is, he was accused of being a spy -- a prime character in a vast conspiracy stretching from DC to the Soviet Union. In the first part of this two-part series, Ben and Noel join special guest, novelist and art historian David Adams Cleveland, to learn more about how these events informed David's newest novel, God of Deception.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12/07/22·31m 59s

Operation LAC: That Time Uncle Sam Sprayed Poison Across St. Louis

As the US government became increasingly concerned about the possibility of large-scale biological weapons, they decided something must be done: they needed to test— in secret. In today’s episode, the guys explore how the US Army conspired to spray an entire impoverished part of St. Louis with potentially dangerous chemicals… basically, to see what happened.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07/07/22·39m 41s

CLASSIC - Does the US Confederacy Still Exist in Americana, Brazil?

The guys took a day off to celebrate the 4th of July -- and what better time to share a classic episode about another (very strange) form of patriotism? At the close the US Civil War, tens of thousands of former Confederate families fled the US for a small city in Brazil, where they sought to continue living as they had in the days before the war. Tune in to learn more about the strange history of Americana, Brazil.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05/07/22·34m 56s

Millerism, Part II: The Great Disappointment (and the Aftermath)

As the alleged End of the World drew ever closer, William Miller and the Millerism movement became a pop culture phenomenon. Thousands of people quit their jobs, sold their possessions, and prepared to ascend into the afterlife. Yet when the predicted day came -- and passed -- without the return of Jesus Christ, many of these believers were at a loss. What should they do now? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
30/06/22·41m 51s

CLASSIC - Did a Real-Life Rainmaker Almost Drown San Diego?

In today's episode we are revisiting a classic. Charles Mallory Hatfield considered himself a real-life rainmaker (or, as he preferred to describe himself, a 'moisture accelerator') and, when San Diego faced one of its most damaging droughts, Hatfield cracked a deal: He'd bring the water back to San Diego. City officials were skeptical, but desperate -- and, as ridiculous as it might sound -- they got more than they bargained for.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28/06/22·29m 2s

Millerism: America’s First End Times Gospel

You might not have heard of William Miller, but in his time he was a pretty big deal. In the first part of this two-part series, Ben, Noel and Max dive into the origin of William Miller and Millerism, his spiritual movement predicated on the idea that, with some tricky math, you could indeed predict the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
23/06/22·46m 38s

Ben Franklin Faked a Rival's Death to Promote His Almanac

Benjamin Franklin was many things: an inventor, a Founding Father, a publisher... and, it turns out, a massive troll. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max dive into a strange story of absolute pettiness and out-the-box PR stunts. You see, when Ben Franklin wanted to up the sales of his almanac, he decided to predict the death of his longtime publishing rival, Titan Leeds. One problem: when the prediction didn't come to pass, Titan, who was very much alive, responded in kind. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
21/06/22·32m 58s

Why was Phrenology a Thing? Part II: A Pseudoscience (Sort of) Informs the Modern Day

While the credibility of phrenology inevitably deteriorated over time, it was neither a completely original concept, nor, in some respects, a completely useless one. In the second part of this two-part series, Ben, Noel and Max explore the ancient precedents of judging inner qualities based on outer appearance, as well as what modern scientists have to say about how phrenology, as imperfect as it was, helped establish some concepts that stay with the world of research today.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
16/06/22·53m 33s

Why was Phrenology a Thing? Part I: The Rise of Dr. Finger

Once upon a time, a young man named Franz Joseph Gall thought "That's weird... all my school chums with big eyes are good at memorizing things." Years later, he took this idea and ran with it, assuring people that bumps on their skulls held profound insights about both their flaws and their talents. Nowadays everyone agrees phrenology is bunk -- but in its heyday, folks across the US and Europe were convinced this quackery was the bleeding edge of scientific innovation. In part one of this two-part episode, Ben, Noel and Max dive into the origins of cranioscopy and phrenology. (We also fell in love with a side character named Dr. Finger.)See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
14/06/22·45m 21s

Nancy Wake, the White Mouse of the French Resistance

Although Nancy Wake began her career as a journalist, her first-hand experience with Nazis compelled her to a new calling: the French Resistance. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max explore the larger-than-life triumphs of the freedom fighter the Gestapo would come to call "the White Mouse," from her early days to her heroic (though, at times, murderous) work to save innocent lives during World War II.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
09/06/22·43m 49s

The US Boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics, and Puerto Rican Boxers Went Anyway

In a response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the US, along with more than 60 other countries, boycotted the Olympics. Yet three Puerto Rican boxers refused to allow politics to stand in their way of their athletic ambitions. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max welcome Bijan Stephen and Layne Gerbig, the creators of the Eclipsed podcast, to learn what led them to create this show -- and what the 1980 Olympics can teach us about the larger context of history.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07/06/22·41m 40s

Disco Demolition Night: How Disco Died at a White Sox Game

Cast your memory back to 1979. Tensions across the US are high, on multiple levels. Disco dominates the music scene, and, oh boy, rock fans are mad about it. Things come to a head at Comiskey Park, where White Sox owner Bill Veeck and a young anti-disco DJ named Steve Dahl decide to promote a doubleheader baseball event with a particular theme -- bring a disco record, and you get to watch it get blown up between games. Spoiler alert: things went wrong, almost immediately.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
02/06/22·50m 27s

Bolivia Fought -- And Lost -- A War For Bird Poop

Most people associate think of bird poop as an annoyance -- it can gunk up sidewalks and windshields, and, occasionally, even splat on an unlucky person walking by. But in the late 1800s, guano was a hugely important resource. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max take a closer look at the 'white gold' of guano... and how it led to one of 19th-century South America's deadliest wars.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
31/05/22·30m 13s

Why You Can't Say "MacBeth" in a Theater

As one of history's most well-known, highly-regarded writers, it's no secret that Shakespeare's life and work is full of strange stories -- but did you know one of his most famous plays is considered cursed? In today's episode, the guys are joined by special guest, award-winning playwright Will McFadden, as he breaks down to supposed origin of the curse, along with multiple disasters attributed to it. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
26/05/22·53m 51s

Operation Mincemeat: Britain's Ghoulish Plan to Fool the Nazis

As World War II raged on in 1943, both Allied and Axis forces knew they were riddled with spies. In a dizzying cavalcade of undercover, double, and even triple agents, both sides of the war sought to deceive their opponents -- and ethical concerns increasingly took a back seat in these pursuits. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max dive into the story of Operation Mincemeat, a macabre (and, ultimately, successful) plan to plant fake intel on a corpse. Inspired by Netflix's new film, Operation Mincemeat, the guys explore the facts behind the latest adaptation.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
24/05/22·44m 28s

Paradise Lost: Crime in Miami Trailer

Paradise Lost: Crime in Miami is a conversation between friends, both South Florida natives, about the notorious true crime cases that have occurred in their home state. Each episode cohosts Kareem Tabsch and Joey Daoud narrate the facts of the case, with details, anecdotes, and general color offered by an interview guest with a connection to the crime - journalists who covered it, the investigators who solved it, survivors or the perpetrators. In each episode, we share the story of true crimes committed right under the Florida sun, from the outrageous to the utterly bizarre. Listen here or on the iHeartRadio App. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
23/05/22·1m 52s

Who the heck was Joseph Warren?

When it's time to study the American Revolution in grade school, US kids tend to learn the same few names -- Betsy Ross, George Washington, Benjamin Banneker, Jefferson, Revere and so on. But, were it not for a single gunshot, physician and revolutionary Joseph Warren just may have become one of the first presidents. Tune in to learn more.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
19/05/22·41m 47s

Chocolate Syrup: From Medicine to Dessert

Most people nowadays associate chocolate syrup with ice cream -- but back in the day, it was considered a legitimate medicine. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max explore the origins of chocolate from ancient Mesoamerica to the modern day. Ben and Max also try to save their pal Noel from the unpleasant experience of 'Beverly.'See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
17/05/22·42m 53s

Historical Hypocrisy: The Confederacy's Weird Stance on "Individual Rights"

While the Confederacy often portrayed itself as a champion of certain individual rights-- not applied to enslaved people, of course-- it didn't always practice what it preached. In today's episode, the guys explore how factions of the Confederate government used the chaos of war to confiscate all sorts of property and then, through a web of corruption, made themselves wealthy in the process.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12/05/22·39m 52s

Juana Maria: The Real-life Story Behind "Island of the Blue Dolphins"

No one knew the real name of the woman living alone on San Nicolas Island, but when she returned to civilization after decades in solitude, she was a hit with the locals at the nearby mission. Known for her exuberance and friendliness, the religious authorities and townsfolk alike loved the woman they christened Juana Maria, but they knew next to nothing about her life -- because she spoke a language no one, from the missionaries to the native communities, could understand. Tune in to learn more.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/05/22·31m 19s

Introducing: Wheel Woman

This is the true story of Georgia Durante, an All-American beauty, once named “Kodak Girl” as the most photographed model in the world, who moves to New York and becomes a Mob wife and getaway driver for the Gambino crime family.Then, as a means to save her daughter and escape her abusive marriage and criminal ties, she moves to Los Angeles with $7 in her pocket, reinventing herself as Hollywood’s first female stunt driver. It’s a story that’s as wildly entertaining as it is powerful and poignant, addressing contemporary issues through the incredible experiences of a beautiful, smart, tough, dynamic, badass woman. Listen here or on the iHeartRadio app.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05/05/22·1m 58s

Curling: The Most Ridiculous Sport?

The time has come! In this special episode, the one and only Super Producer Max Williams takes point on the research into one of his long-standing fascinations: the curious sport of curling. As Max schools the guys on everything from the basic rules to the surprisingly long history of this unique sport, they -- and you -- walk away with a deeper understanding of "The Spirit of Curling."See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05/05/22·43m 32s

Nobuo Fujita Bombed Brookings, Oregon -- and Then Became a Town Hero

War is a brutal business, and it often leaves scars that last for generations. Two decades after he bombed Brookings, Oregon during World War II, former Imperial Japanese Navy pilot Nobuo Fujita returned to Brookings to give an official apology -- and the town essentially adopted him. Fujita would go on to visit Brookings multiple times, sponsoring student trips to Japan, and gifting the city his samurai sword, which had been in his family for more than 400 years.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
03/05/22·27m 39s

A Teetotaling Preacher Basically Invented Modern Tourism

When's the last time you had a vacation, just for fun? Regardless of where you went, you probably want to tip your hat to Thomas Cook. As a traveling Baptist preacher, Thomas Cook walked thousands of miles on foot warning people about the danger of alcohol -- it was a rough, demanding life, and people often ignored his message. But he was nothing if not a forward thinker. In today's episode, the guys explore how one man's determination to -- originally, at least -- spread the good word of Temperance led to the birth of the modern tourist industry.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28/04/22·32m 37s

Ira Aldridge: Actor, Activist and Record-breaker

As an African-American actor in the 1800s, Ira Aldridge had the odds stacked against him. Yet despite systemic racism, as well as negative attitudes about Americans in general, Aldridge went on to become the darling of the London stage. In today's episode, the guys explore how Ira Aldridge used his tremendous fame as a way to advocate for equality, abolition and more -- and broke numerous records along the way.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
26/04/22·47m 18s

Lithuanian Book Smugglers Vs. The Russian Empire

When people think of rebellion, they often think of guerilla warfare, rousing speeches and protests. But what about books? When the Russian Empire sought to "Russify" much of what is now Lithuania, the Tsar's forces waged a war against culture, forcing children to learn a Cyrillic alphabet -- and even banning the pre-existing Lithuanian alphabet from printing presses. Native Lithuanians from all walks of life responded by becoming knygnešiaĩ, or book carriers. Tune in to learn how this vast smuggling ring preserved the Lithuanian alphabet, and eventually won the war for a country's hearts and minds.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
21/04/22·43m 17s

The Yule Lads Terrified Children Across Iceland

Many countries have their own, distinct Christmas traditions, but Iceland's Yule Lads are especially disturbing. Born of a monsterous giantess, these thirteen creatures each specialize in certain types of harassment or theft, leaving gifts for good children, and rotten potatoes for the rest. In today's episode, the guys explore the origin of this strange story -- and how, once upon a time, it was actually outlawed.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
19/04/22·33m 36s

The Infamous Aurora UFO Incident of 1897

In April of 1897, something crashed from the sky, destroying a local windmill. As rumors and speculation grew, strange reports emerged -- could there have been a pilot? What was this craft, exactly, and why were some observers convinced it was from beyond this world? Tune in to learn more.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
14/04/22·34m 40s

How The Evil May Day of 1517 Became the Perfect Propaganda Opportunity

London of the 1500s was a bustling center of commerce, finance and industry -- and it attracted a fair number of foreign-born professionals, who sought their fortune in the metropolis. However, as epidemics and economic downturns made life worse and worse for the average person, the native-born working class began to blame foreigners, whom they called 'strangers,' for their woes. In today's episode, the guys follow the escalating, xenophobic tensions that led to citywide riots -- and how the Crown leveraged this to further solidify state power.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12/04/22·46m 45s

Day Drinkers (Sort of) Helped Stop Cholera in London

Dr. Jon Snow -- no relation to the guy from A Song of Ice and Fire -- was in a pickle. Cholera was ravaging London, particularly in the Soho area, and no one knew how to stop it from spreading like poisonous wildfire. As the crisis raged on, Snow was able to use his medical knowledge and amateur detective skills to figure out where the contagion was coming from. His big breakthrough? Folks at the local brewery, who were known for day drinking, seemed to avoid the infection almost entirely. Tune in to learn how beer (kind of) saved London.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07/04/22·38m 27s

The Much-Maligned Reign of Swedish Queen Maria Eleonora

We often assume wealth can solve everything, but unfortunately that's not the case -- and there are few better examples of this than the life of Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg, German princess and Queen of Sweden. In today's episode, the gang explores the Queen's turbulent struggles in the realms of geopolitics, parenting, the patriarchy and romance. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05/04/22·41m 16s

Weird Ways People Used to Communicate, Part II: Smoke Signals and Bottled Messages

People these days are, for better or worse, increasingly accustomed to living in an area of constant communication. But how did people communicate over long distances before the rise of things like telegraphs, telephones and the internet? In the second part of this week's special two-part episode, guests Bill Whorley and Mark Kendall, the creators of the hit new podcast Ridiculous News, join the guys to talk about some of the weirdest ways people used to communicate in days of yore.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
31/03/22·35m 19s

Weird Ways People Used to Communicate, Part I: Only a Pigeon Away

People these days are, for better or worse, increasingly accustomed to living in an area of constant communication. But how did people communicate over long distances before the rise of things like telegraphs, telephones and the internet? In this week's special two-part episode, guests Mark Kendall and Bill Whorley, the creators of the hit new podcast Ridiculous News, join the guys to talk about some of the weirdest ways people used to communicate in days of yore.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29/03/22·30m 25s

That Time A Dead Guy Won an Olympic Medal

In his heyday, the story goes, Arrhichion of Phigalia was a renowned pankration champion, a brutal sport of the ancient Olympics. But he was getting on in years, and his days at the top seem numbered. In today's episode, the guys explore the strange series of circumstances that led to Arrhichion's final, fatal match -- and how, after death, he was declared victorious one last time. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
24/03/22·28m 38s

Julia Barnett Rice Waged an Elitist War on Noise

If you, like the majority of humans alive today, live in a city, you're more than familiar with noise -- sirens, construction, traffic and more. In today's episode, the guys explore how one woman's mission to silence the tugboats near her opulent Manhattan mansion led to a nation-wide, classist campaign against noise. Co-starring Ben's nemesis, the local leafblower (who somehow always knows when we're recording). Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
23/03/22·42m 26s

Ridiculous History Presents: A History of "Adult" Toys, Part 2

While it's a taboo subject in the modern day, it turns out people have been improvising ways to pleasure themselves since, well, the dawn of history. In the second part of this week's two-part takeover episode, Ben and Noel join Eli and Diana Banks, real-life spouses and creators of the hit podcast Ridiculous Romance, to discuss the strange, ridiculous (and at-times disturbing) history of sex toys across the planet. Heads-up, this one gets a little raunchy. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
17/03/22·1h 3m

Introducing: Ridiculous News

Ridiculous News - not your average news show. We cover stuff you didn’t realize was news, from the wild and funny to the deep and hidden to the absolutely ridiculous. Hosted by Bill Worley and Mark Kendall Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
16/03/22·1m 45s

Ridiculous History Presents: A History of "Adult" Toys, Part 1

While it's a taboo subject in the modern day, it turns out people have been improvising ways to pleasure themselves since, well, the dawn of history. In this week's two-part takeover episode, Ben and Noel join Eli and Diana Banks, real-life spouses and creators of the hit podcast Ridiculous Romance, to discuss the strange, ridiculous (and at-times disturbing) history of sex toys across the planet. Heads-up, this one gets a little raunchy. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
15/03/22·56m 35s

The Cobra Effect, Part 2: Four Pests and a Disastrous Success

The Cobra Effect - a particularly extreme form of unintended consequences - isn't limited to India and Vietnam. In China, the technically successful Four Pests eradication campaign led to tremendous ecological disaster, as the mass murder of sparrows led to a plague of ravenous locusts. In part two of this week's two part episode, Ben, Noel and Max explore what went wrong, how it affected later generations, and what the Cobra Effect can teach us about unforeseen consequences. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/03/22·41m 16s

The Cobra Effect, Part 1: Snakes, Rats, and Unintended Consequences

Back in the days of the British Raj, colonial leaders had a problem: Delhi was overrun with snakes. And not just any snakes -- cobras. These dangerous death noodles slithered through every nook and cranny in town. The solution? Put a bounty on cobras, and allow any citizen to receive payment for every cobra skin they bring in. While this seemed like a good idea at first, it quickly led to even more snakes pouring into town. So what happened? In part one of this week's two-part episode, Ben and Noel explore the strange series of missteps so ridiculous that it inspired a new, powerful concept: The Cobra Effect. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
08/03/22·41m 44s

British Suffragettes Knew Jūjitsu

As activists in the UK fought for the right to vote (and divorce, and inherit land), they ran into increasingly brutal actions on the part of police -- they were beaten, arrested, imprisoned, and even force fed when attempting hunger strikes. The police seemed confident that this abuse would silence the protestors... but that was before they were aware of Jūjitsu expert and dojo owner Edith Garrud. Edith didn't just conduct self-defense training for locals -- when she saw the increasing trend of violence against her fellow protestors, she trained an elite fighting force that went toe-to-toe with law enforcement, more than once, for the cause. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
04/03/22·52m 8s

Introducing: Inventing Anna

Hi, Ridiculous History fans! iHeartPodcasts and Shondaland are excited to announce Inventing Anna. The companion podcast of a Netflix series that will delve deeper into the story of Anna Sorokin - the fake heiress who stole the hearts – and money – of New York’s social elite. A story that will keep you guessing but don't just take our word for it. Check out the trailer to decide for yourself! About Inventing Anna: Based on the Netflix show, Inventing Anna, the companion podcast will delve deeper into the story of Anna Sorokin - the fake heiress who stole the hearts – and money – of New York’s social elite. Featuring conversations with creator Shonda Rhimes and the real-life people who inspired this iconic story.    Listen and subscribe to Inventing Anna on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
02/03/22·2m 8s

A Tale of Two Hansons: Busting Myths About the 'First' US President

It's no secret that people in the US often tend to mythologize the Founding Fathers -- so it shouldn't come as a surprise that people also, often, claim George Washington wasn't actually the first US president. What gives? Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
02/03/22·39m 7s

Did Soldiers in World War I Really Team Up to Fight Wolves?

World War I was a bloody, terrifying conflict for everyone involved -- and not just humans. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max accidentally run into deep emotions, going one hundred percent Team Wolf as they explore the ecological consequences of massive human conflict. Ben remains resentful regarding the hot tub situation. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
25/02/22·43m 22s

Introducing: Big Brother

Hi, Ridiculous History fans! The newest iHeart Original podcast, Big Brother: North Korea’s Forgotten Prince! It dives into the plot to assassinate the current dictator’s older brother and is hosted by actor Eden Lee. A shocking thriller and mystery that will keep you guessing but don't just take our word for it. Check out the trailer to decide for yourself! About Big Brother: North Korea went to extreme lengths to eliminate Kim Jong Un’s older brother, culminating in the most audacious political assassination of the 21st century.   Listen and subscribe to Big Brother on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
24/02/22·2m 53s

Slum Tourists: When Wealthy People Toured Chinatown ‘For Fun’

It’s true — back in the day, wealthy residents of cities from London to Chicago would pay for tours of disadvantaged communities, the same way that you might take your friends to a zoo today. The communities responded, staging events meant to give the upper class an ersatz sense of authenticity. Spoiler, it was terrible. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
23/02/22·44m 58s

That Time Victorians Treated Seaweed like Pokemon

Europe's Victorian Era was, in many ways, a study in contradiction. While society in general championed independent scientific research, institutions of the day rejected women as members. Seaweed collections became a way for these scientists to circumvent the dumb ideas of their day. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
18/02/22·51m 11s

Valentine's Day Is So Much Weirder Than We Thought

Valentine's Day is a pretty normal holiday in the US and several other countries, and other parts of the world have similar holidays, focused on appreciating our loved ones. But as Ben, Noel and Max learn in today's special episode, a lot of the history behind Valentine's Day is just... incredibly weird. The boys join forces with returning special guests Eli and Diana Banks, the creators of the hit podcast Ridiculous Romance, to dive into some of the most bizarre -- dare we say ridiculous -- aspects of Valentine's Day throughout history. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
15/02/22·1h 16m

Weirdest Celebrity Busts, Part II: Mr. David Lee Roth and a Drunken John Wayne

What can Mr. David Lee Roth's run-ins with the law teach us about wholesomeness? Why did John Wayne have public, drunken beef with Harvard? In part two of this week's special two-part series, guests Zaron Burnett and Elizabeth Dutton, the creators and hosts of Ridiculous Crime, join the guys to explore some of history's strangest celebrity busts. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/02/22·1h 1m

Weirdest Celebrity Busts, Part I: Nixon Smuggled Weed, Arbuckle Was Innocent

Did Richard Nixon smuggle weed? What can the Fatty Arbuckle scandal tell us about American society? In this week's special two-part series, guests Zaron Burnett and Elizabeth Dutton, the creators and hosts of Ridiculous Crime, join the guys to explore some of history's strangest celebrity busts. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
09/02/22·1h 12m

CLASSIC: X-Rays, Songs and Soviets: The Stilyagi Story

Caught between the conflicting ideologies of the Cold War, Soviet teens were banned from collecting Western music -- smuggled records could be both rare and expensive. The solution? Discarded X-rays, also known as 'bone recordings'. Join the guys as they explore the strange story of the Stilyagi in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
03/02/22·35m 28s

Tossed Popcorn, Part 2: Chaplin was a Jerk, Brando was Insane

Don’t let the charming slapstick fool you — Charlie Chaplin was a monster to his lovers, coworkers and family. His former collaborator, Marlon Brando was even weirder and could be just as cruel. In the second part of this two-part episode, the hosts of Tossed Popcorn return to explore more bizarre stories behind the scenes of cinema. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
02/02/22·1h 7m

Tossed Popcorn, Part 1: The Wizard of Oz and the Titanic

It's no secret that Hollywood has been home to numerous lurid, disturbing -- and, sometimes, ridiculous -- tales over the decades. In the first part of this two-part series, the guys are joined with Lianna and Sienna, the creators of Tossed Popcorn, for an exploration of bizarre behind-the-scenes stories from some of film's most iconic movies, celebrities and eras. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28/01/22·59m 0s

Peter Freuchen: Explorer, Raconteur, Movie Star and War Hero

You may not have heard of Peter Freuchen, but in his day he was one of the world's most well-known polar explorers. He also wrote prolifically about his adventures, including his numerous brushes with death. And that's just the beginning of his story -- he later went to Hollywood, fought against the Nazis in Europe, had some brushes with celebrity scandal and more. Tune in to learn more about the amazing (and occasionally gruesome) adventures of Peter Freuchen. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
25/01/22·49m 54s

Did Honduras and El Salvador Really Go to War over Soccer?

If you read the international headlines in 1969, you'd think the Central American countries of Honduras and El Salvador loved football (soccer, for the US folks in the crowd) so much that they actually went to war over it. But does this story actually hold up? That's the question for today's episode, as the guys dive into the true events leading to the infamous, short-lived 'Football War.' Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
20/01/22·42m 31s

The US Literally Had Nazi Summer Camps

For many adults, the idea of 'summer camp' conjures up fond, nostalgic memories of childhood. And most folks see these outfits as great opportunities for children to learn, play and connect with their peers. Yet as the Nazi party rose to power in Germany, multiple communities in the US created their own kinds of summer camp -- camps dedicated entirely to indoctrinating children with Nazi propaganda, all under the guise of popularizing 'German virtues.' Tune in to learn more.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
19/01/22·41m 2s

The Emperor of the United States

When San Franciscan businessman Joshua Norton lost his fortune in a Peruvian rice deal gone sour, he temporarily disappeared from the public eye. Not long after, he reemerged as Norton I, the self-proclaimed Emperor of the United States (and, later, Protector of Mexico). In today's episode, Ben and Noel explore the life and times of Norton, and the surprising legacy he left behind. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
13/01/22·51m 55s

The Trans-Saharan Ostrich Expedition of 1911

Most people haven't met an ostrich in person, but everyone knows what they are: the large, flightless birds have been around since before the rise of humanity, and throughout history people have admired their long, luxurious feathers. Back in the day, any self-respecting socialite absolutely had to have ostrich feathers festooning their hats, creating an international trade market that led a small army of South Africans to launch a harrowing, dangerous heist to steal the legendary Barbary ostrich. Tune in to learn more about one of the strangest heists in history. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12/01/22·50m 52s

That Time Everyone Tried To Outlaw War

War is ugly, horrific and, according to some, a necessary part of human civilization. Yet in the 1920s, world powers recovering from World War I sought to make the planet a safer (or, at least, less unsafe) place. Their solution? The Paris Peace Pact, which aimed to, through an international agreement, outlaw war. Spoiler: it didn't work. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07/01/22·46m 29s

CLASSIC: Who Solves Murders in Antarctica?

Antarctica is home to one of the most brutal climates on the planet, and the few humans living on this continent face profound isolation and cramped quarters. Often, tension rises as the months between supply runs pile up -- so what happens when something goes wrong? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
04/01/22·31m 24s

The Lil Ice Age Was Way Less Cute Than It Sounds

You've probably heard of the Ice Ages -- long periods of reduction in Earth's temperature, triggering massive expansion of glaciers and so on -- but you may not have heard of the "Little Ice Age," a time of regional cooling that, from the 14th to the 19th centuries, dramatically affected weather and society across Europe and abroad. Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
30/12/21·36m 39s

Nub City: Florida's Infamous Amputation Scam

As towns go, Vernon, Florida is pretty tiny -- it has a small population, has struggled with economic depression, and doesn't get a ton of tourists. But that all changed several decades ago, when Vernon became a subject of national interest as insurance investigators discovered a grisly scam. You may not have heard of Vernon, but you may know it by its other, unofficial name: Nub City. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28/12/21·44m 25s

London's Tiger King, Part Two: Charles Jamrach Becomes a Problematic Hero

By 1857, London's exotic animal trade was in full swing. Animals arrived at the city from across the world (often not surviving the journey), and Charles Jamrach was one of the most prominent animal dealers on the planet. At the height of his fame, he gained public attention by saving a child from a tiger. One problem: it was Jamrach's fault the tiger was in London in the first place. Learn more about London's exotic animal trade in part two of this two-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
23/12/21·31m 56s

London's Tiger King, Part One: When Exotic Animal's Were The Hottest Flex

Walking through London today, you'll doubtlessly hear cacophonous traffic, sirens, construction, countless languages -- all the noises familiar to big cities... but, not too long ago, it would also have been normal to hear the roars of large animals in certain neighborhoods. In the first part of this two-part series, the guys explore the factors that led London to become a world-class hub for the exotic animal trade, often to the detriment of the animals (and the occasional spectator). Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
21/12/21·33m 20s

The Atlantropa Project, Part Two: What Happened to the Supercontinent?

While the idea of draining (most of) the Mediterranean sounds... ambitious, to say the least, Herman Sörgel's vision met with a surprising amount of popular support. In the second part of this two-part episode, the gang explores the dark side of Atlantropa, from its roots in colonialism to the potentially disastrous ecological and social consequences involved. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
16/12/21·29m 35s

The Atlantropa Project, Part One: Saving Europe via Supercontinent

Like everyone in post-World War I Europe, Herman Sörgel was horrified by the devastation of a continent-wide conflict. He saw raging poverty, crippling unemployment, overpopulation and burgeoning geopolitical tensions, all of which led him to believe new conflicts were on the horizon. His solution? To drain the Mediterranean and create a new supercontinent. Tune in to learn more in the first part of this two-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
14/12/21·29m 44s

People Used Bed Bugs as Medicine for Thousands of Years

When you think of bed bugs, you probably think of dirty mattresses, irritating rashes and bites, and the dubious joy of calling an exterminator. However, in millennia past, people were convinced bed bugs, properly prepared, could cure everything from cataracts to the common cold. Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/12/21·34m 30s

The US Literally Threw Pianos From Planes During World War II

As musical instruments go, pianos are pretty amazing -- they're also not particularly easy to move. Clunkiness aside, pianos provide endless hours of entertainment, lightening the mood in even the darkest of times. In today's episode, Ben and Noel explore how the US government and the Steinway company sought to boost wartime morale by literally dropping pianos into the front lines (along with, thankfully, instructions on how to tune them). Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07/12/21·29m 47s

The Sinister Side of Little Orphan Annie, Part Two: Drink Your Ovaltine

Once the Little Orphan Annie comic strip was adapted to a radio program, it wasn't just a hit show -- it was a marketing coup for the good folks at Ovaltine. The company underwrote the program, riddled it with advertising, and worked like mad to convince every child in the US that they must drink as much Ovaltine as possible. Tune in and learn more in the second part of this two-part series. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
02/12/21·36m 51s

The Sinister Side of Little Orphan Annie, Part One: Parents Were Terrified

These days, most folks think of Little Orphan Annie as a folksy, wholesome slice of nostalgia -- but during its heyday as a radio program, parents across the US became increasingly concerned. The show, they thought, had a deep, dangerous hold on the minds of children. In the first part of this two-part series, Ben and Noel dive into the surprising controversy surrounding Little Orphan Annie. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
01/12/21·41m 30s

CLASSIC: How White America Tried To Destroy Chinese Restaurants

Today Chinese restaurants serve some of the most popular cuisine in the United States, with more than 41,000 restaurants scattered around the country. Yet in the 1900s these restaurants were so controversial that labor unions, hate groups and even politicians joined forces in an attempt to wipe the businesses out. Tune in to hear the whole story (which, luckily, has a delicious and happy ending). Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
25/11/21·36m 19s

Russia’s Real-life Ice Queen, Part 2: Weird, Brutal Flexes

As rulers go, Anna of Russia was considered pretty bad news. In the second part of this two-part series, the guys explore how Anna (aka Anna the Terrible)'s traumatic life experience may have contributed to her later, profoundly cruel punishments -- things like forcing a disgraced prince to behave like a chicken, or die in the halls of a real-life 'ice palace.' Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
24/11/21·32m 47s

Russia’s Real-life Ice Queen, Part 1: The Tsar is a Jerk

“Despite being born into royalty, Anna Ioannovna didn’t have the easiest life. Her uncle publicly ridiculed her marriage, and the cruelty she experienced growing up may have had lasting emotional damage, leading her to eventually build an actual ice palace.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
18/11/21·25m 41s

That Time a Baboon Worked for the Railroad

When a horrific accident left railroad signalman James Wide without the use of his legs, he was desperate to maintain his livelihood -- an effort that may well have been futile were it not for a chance encounter with a highly intelligent baboon named Jack. Jack began by assisting James with simple tasks, and gradually became competent enough do James Wide's job for him. In today's episode, the guys explore the strange circumstances that led to Signalman Jack becoming an actual railroad employee. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
16/11/21·33m 1s

Austin and the Texas Archives War

After its formation in 1836, the new Republic of Texas had some problems -- multiple people wanted the capital in different places. The Republic's archives were seen as a stamp of legitimacy to any city's claim, and by 1842, this led to what what we now call the Texas Archives War. Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/11/21·37m 49s

King for a Week: The Strange Story of Otto I

For most people, the old saying "it's good to be king" is just a cool phrase -- but for magician and noted spinner of tall tales Otto Witte, this sounded like an idea to take literally. In today's episode, the guys explore how one man (maybe) managed to con the entire nation of Albania into believing he was their king... and got away with it for a week. If, in fact, it actually happened. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/11/21·38m 11s

The Bloody Tale of the Sausage War

The Battle of Varolampi Pond has another, less formal name: the Sausage War. Don't let the funny moniker fool you -- the 1939 conflict between Finland and Russia remains one of the most brutal moments of the Winter War. Tune in to learn how horrific conditions and the threat of starvation led the outnumbered Finnish forces to a temporary victory against the massive Red Army. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
04/11/21·40m 30s

Modern Thanksgiving, Part Two: Sarah Josepha Hale Finally Gets Her Wish

As the Civil War broke out, Sarah Josepha Hale found politicians were, understandably, more occupied with country-wide chaos than the creation of a national, unified Thanksgiving. After the close of the war, Thanksgiving became, to Northern politicians, a way to bring the once-divided population together -- and, still, some Southerners disagreed. Tune in to learn more in part two of this two-part series. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
02/11/21·38m 13s

Modern Thanksgiving, Part One: A Culture War

Today Thanksgiving is considered a largely innocuous holiday, centered on food and family. In the US, people across the country get together on the same Thursday in November every year, breaking bread, practicing thankfulness -- and, sometimes, suffering through awkward conversations with family. But this wasn't always the case. In part one of this two-part series, Ben and Noel explore how the modern Thanksgiving came to be, and why some in the south genuinely believed it was a foray in a larger culture war. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28/10/21·33m 46s

Introducing: Haileywood

Hi, Ridiculous History fans! We're excited for the launch of iHeartradio newest original podcast, Haileywood, hosted by journalist and podcasting veteran Dana Schwartz. It's a brand new show from iHeartRadio and we think you'll enjoy it too. Don't just take our word for it, though. Check out the trailer and decide for yourself! About the podcast: Onscreen, Bruce Willis dodged bullets and explosions in Die Hard and countless action films, making him the biggest movie star of the ‘90s. Offscreen, he dodged the tabloid press and became so determined to live a private life he moved to one of the smallest towns in Idaho. But he didn’t just want to live in Hailey — he wanted to transform it. Soon, this sleepy old mining town was home to a culture clash between Hollywood spectacle and small-town values, with real-life secret rooms, car chases, and betrayal worthy of a Willis thriller. Welcome to Haileywood. Host Dana Schwartz will be your guide. Listen and subscribe to Haileywood on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
27/10/21·2m 43s

How Haunted Houses Became A Thing

Haunted houses are a big deal in the United States -- like Spirit stores, they seem to spring up every October -- but whence did they originate? When did people start paying to be scared? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27/10/21·46m 24s

New England versus Vampires, Part Two: Desperation and Desecration

In part two of this two-part series, Ben is joined once again with guest host Alex Williams to explore the harrowing tale of the New England Vampire Panic, tracing how increasingly desperate communities resorted to ritualistic desecration of graves to combat the horrors of what some believed to be a supernatural affliction. (And how the rest of the world branded it a 'vampire panic' when the locals probably didn't use that word.) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
21/10/21·35m 17s

New England versus Vampires, Part One: The Brutal, Terrifying Life of Early Colonists

While historians continue to explore the details of the infamous Salem witch trials, another, earlier panic swept through New England -- something modern historians often refer to as the "Vampire Panic." In part one of this two-part series, Ben is joined again with guest host Alex Williams, creator of the Ephemeral podcast, to explore the brutal realities of daily life in New England, and how the everpresent threat of disease led some communities to take increasingly desperate (and gruesome) actions to save themselves. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
20/10/21·37m 21s

Ada Lovelace, Part Two: The Analytical Engine

After marrying and having three children, Ada dove back into the world of poetical science, continuing her correspondence with Charles Babbage as he tried to garner support for his ambitious, expensive analytical engine. In the second part of this two-part series, the guys explore how Ada's work -- and prescience -- created a profound legacy that remains with us in the modern day. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
15/10/21·39m 22s

Ada Lovelace, Part One: How Lord Byron’s Daughter Became a Tech Visionary

Today Ada Lovelace is hailed as one of the most important figures in the early history of computing -- but, during her childhood, her mother was worried she might take after her father, the famous poet (and infamous philanderer) Lord Byron. Learn more about Ada's childhood in part one of this two-part series. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12/10/21·34m 26s

The King of Scotland Got Real Weird with Language Experiments

Scottish King James IV was, by all accounts, a learned man. As a polyglot, he was especially interested in the origin of language -- so much so, in fact, that he allegedly conducted an experiment that would scandalize modern scientists: James had two children spirited off to the remote island of Inchkeith, where they were raised without language by a mute caretaker. While historians still debate whether this actually occurred, James wasn't the first guy to try it out. He, like his predecessors, wanted to see whether the kids would speak a 'natural' or 'original' language on their own. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07/10/21·50m 1s

The Rum Riot of Portland, Maine

On June 2nd, 1855, the good people of Portland Maine had reached a breaking point. The Mayor, an infamous hardline teetotaler, had just been caught approving the purchase of alcohol after making it illegal throughout town. In today's episode, the guys explore what led to the riot, what happened after, and how this strange episode in Portland influence the later Prohibition movement. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05/10/21·42m 22s

The Love of Candy Almost Drove a Cactus Extinct

You might not associate cacti with candy -- on the surface, they seem to have very little in common, mainly because candy is sold in stores around the world, and cacti have a well-deserved, literally prickly reputation. Yet not too long ago the US was in the midst of a genuine cactus candy craze, one that almost drove the poor barrel cactus to extinction. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
30/09/21·32m 54s

The Australian Prison Break of 1876, Part 2

In the second part of this two-part series, the guys return to the astonishing story of the Catalpa, exploring how the men prepared for and committed the actual jailbreak -- and how they got away. Listen in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28/09/21·31m 34s

The Australian Prison Break of 1876 Part 1

It sounds like something straight out of a heist film: a motley crew bands together in an international conspiracy to rescue six Irishmen from a jail in western Australia -- via whaling ship. Tune in to learn more about the most infamous prison break in Australian history. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
23/09/21·31m 49s

37 Days of Peril, with Alex Williams

Imagine you live in 1870, traipsing the wild frontier of North America with little more than an opera glass, a few friends and an arguably ill-informed sense of adventure. What happens when you get lost? This is the story of Truman Everts, a hapless tax assessor who found himself at the mercy of the wilderness, hopelessly lost for a full 37 days before, miraculously, returning to civilization. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max hold off on their heist phase to welcome Max's brother, returning guest and creator of Ephemeral, Alex Williams, for a discussion of his latest episode, "37 Days of Peril." Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
21/09/21·57m 43s

Robert Smalls Stole A Confederate Ship and Sailed to Freedom, Part Two: From Slavery to Congress

In the second part of this series, the guys continue the story of Robert Smalls, from his daring Confederate steamer heist to his later, life-long activism and Congressional career. Listen in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
16/09/21·26m 39s

Robert Smalls Stole A Confederate Ship and Sailed to Freedom, Part One: Planning the Heist

Born into slavery, Robert Smalls dreamed of freedom for not just himself and his family, but all oppressed people. As the US became consumed in the Civil War, he hatched a daredevil plan to make this dream a reality -- by stealing a Confederate ship and sailing straight past the southern authorities all the way to the Union. In part one of this episode, the guys explore the origin of Robert Smalls, the genesis of his plan, and the moment he knew there was no turning back. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
14/09/21·25m 12s

Sky Pilot: The Man Who Brought Religion to Lumberjacks

Life was tough for lumberjacks in the 1800s. Stuck in the middle of nowhere, often in brutal living conditions, the men of Minnesota's logging camps often had little relief from the dangerous, daily grind of logging season. Frank Higgins spent decades traveling to these isolated camps, bringing sermons, hymns and inspiration. In today's episode, the guys dive into the story of the world's first sky pilot. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
09/09/21·48m 14s

CLASSIC: Butter: Protestantism's Secret Ingredient?

The Protestant Reformation remains one of the most significant cultural events in the Western world. Martin Luther's 95 Theses addressed numerous concerns with the Catholic church, including corruption and the practice of granting dispensations -- allowing people to, essentially, pay their way out of sin. So what was it about butter that spurred Martin Luther into action? The story might surprise you. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07/09/21·35m 13s

Ridiculous Live: The Humor and the Heavy

Recently, Ben and Noel traveled to Podcast Movement to explore a fascinating, at-times difficult subject: How do you explore a heavy story in an approachable way, while still being honest, accurate and human? They're joined once again with Eli and Diana Banks, the hosts of Ridiculous Romance, as well as their favorite moderator and longtime friend, Lauren Vogelbaum. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
02/09/21·57m 15s

Flu Julia: The Con Artist Nurse That Made Bank Off Of Misery

During the flu pandemic of 1918, Julia Lyons saw opportunity amid chaos. Posing a visiting nurse in Chicago, she successfully swindled numerous desperate people through a variety of cons, always seeming to escape the long arm of the law. In today's episode, the guys explore the ins and outs of Julia's criminal career -- including how it compares to the current pandemic. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
31/08/21·44m 1s

Introducing: Newton's Law

Hi, Ridiculous History fans! We know you love exciting history podcasts and we're happy to introduce you to Newton's Law. This podcast is part history, part true crime, and explores the fascinating law career of Issac Newton. We think you'll love it, but check out the trailer and decide for yourself! About Newton's Law: Isaac Newton built a reputation as the smartest man in Europe. But this action-packed series exposes the little-known story of his stint as England’s most ruthless lawman and the Moriarty-like kingpin who kept evading him. Listen and subscribe to Newton's Law today on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
29/08/21·2m 15s

History's Dumbest Criminals, Part 2

In the second part of this series, the guys are joined once again by Pod Yourself A Gun's Vince Mancini and Matt Lieb to explore the startling story behind the infamous 1976 Chowchilla kidnapping, where a trio of young men planned to get rich by kidnapping a school bus full of children (spoiler: it didn't work out). Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27/08/21·1h 2m

History's Dumbest Criminals, Part 1

Mobsters are often romanticized in film and fiction -- but that doesn't mean they're always geniuses. In the first part of this series, Ben and Noel are joined by Matt Lieb and Vince Mancini, the hosts of Pod Yourself A Gun, to explore some of history's dumbest mobsters. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
24/08/21·1h 2m

That Time People Were Terrified of Libraries

Today, libraries across the US and the rest of the world are seen as centers of free learning, presenting enormous opportunities for children and adults alike. However, not too long ago, people in the US and the UK were absolutely terrified by the idea that libraries were dens of disease. In today's episode, the guys explore how fears of tuberculosis, scarlet fever and more led to public hysteria over sharing books -- and how this panic put the concept of libraries as we know them in serious danger. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
19/08/21·38m 6s

Ostracism: How Ancient Greeks Handled Uncool Politicians

What if you could put troublesome citizens into time out for a decade? That's what ancient Athenians did through the practice of ostracism. This vote, which wasn't the same thing as a trial, resulted in a surprisingly progressive ten-year exile for the ostracized. In today's episode, the guys take a closer look at the system, and wonder whether something like it could work in the modern day. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
17/08/21·36m 42s

Introducing: Long Shot

Hi, Ridiculous History fans! Since you love our podcast community, we think you'll also like the new iHeartMedia podcast Long Shot: The 250-Year Journey to the COVID-19 Vaccines. Check out the trailer to decide for yourself! About: Driven by a pandemic unprecedented in our lifetimes —a virus that has killed our neighbors, our friends, our families—we are witnesses to the massive international effort to create COVID-19 vaccines and get shots in arms. The vaccines were developed in record time, but they evolved from centuries of experimentation and science. “LONG SHOT: THE 250-YEAR JOURNEY TO THE COVID-19 VACCINES” travels back in time to the long-forgotten first inoculators and connects them to the research, methods, and people behind today's vaccines. Listen and subscribe to Long Shot on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
15/08/21·2m 27s

Military Cats, Part 2: Simon Saves the British

When 17-year old British seaman George Hickenbottom saw an undernourished, ailing stray wandering the dockyards of Hong Kong, his heart melted. He smuggled the cat about the HMS Amethyst and named him Simon. Simon soon won over the captain and crew, partially due to his winning personality, but mainly due to his astonishing prowess as a rat-catcher. And when disaster struck the Amethyst, the gravely-wounded Simon soldiered on, protecting food stores as the crew struggled to escape enemy forces. Learn more about Simon's adventures at sea in the second part of this two-part series on military cats. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12/08/21·30m 43s

Military Cats, Part 1: Spies and Mascots

When you think of military animals, you might imagine horses, dogs and elephants — but what about cats? As it turns out, humanity’s feline friends have walked side by side with soldiers since the days of ancient empires. In part one of this special two-part episode, the guys explore some of history’s most memorable military cats. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/08/21·39m 47s

That Time People Rioted Over a Hot Air Balloon

These days hot air balloons are often thought of as anachronistic novelties -- but in the early days of aeronautics, they were considered fascinating, dangerous and deadly. In today's episode, the guys explore a strange story about a genuine riot during the dawn of ballooning, when an angry crowd protested the balloon they came to see... by literally tearing the balloon apart. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05/08/21·34m 0s

An Alabama Town Built a Statue Honoring the Insect that Almost Destroyed It

Enterprise, Alabama is home to a fascinating statue honoring the boll weevil, a tiny creature that once wreaked havoc across cotton country. So what inspired the good people of Enterprise to erect a statue honoring the insect that almost destroyed their town? Learn more in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
03/08/21·34m 54s

A Prince and His Poodle: The Supernatural Adventures of Rupert and Boy

When the Earl of Rundel learned his acquaintance Prince Rupert was languishing in an Austrian prison during the Thirty Years' War, he gifted the prince a rare white hunting poodle as a companion. Rupert named his new pooch "Boy" and the two became inseparable. Boy accompanied Rupert into multiple conflicts and became a mascot of sorts -- and, in an odd twist, people across England started to believe Boy was no ordinary dog. Instead, they argued, both Boy and Rupert had occult, supernatural powers. In today's episode, the guys explore the story of a Prince, his pooch, and the effectiveness of propaganda. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29/07/21·42m 39s

How One Guy Made Europe Fall In Love With Potatoes

Today, the humble potato can be found in restaurants and dinner tables across the world -- but this wasn't always the case. In today's episode, Ben and Noel dive into the story of one spud-loving, potato-proselytizing man named Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, and his ambitious life's mission to get an entire continent onboard with the idea of an obscure, Peruvian tuber that would go on to fundamentally change the world. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27/07/21·1h 2m

Introducing: Psychoactive

Introducing Psychoactive - a brand-new podcast exploring our strange obsession with drugs - hosted by Ethan Nadelmann founder of the Drug Policy Alliance. Check out episode 1 and get ready to binge! About episode 1: The pioneering physician explains why there are no good or bad drugs, just good or bad relationships with drugs. There’s no one who has shaped my own thinking about drugs so much as Andrew Weil. Andy is famous as the force behind integrative medicine – the synthesis of traditional and alternative medicine – but he first became known to me and many others for his writing on drugs and consciousness, with books like The Natural Mind, From Chocolate to Morphine and The Marriage of the Sun and the Moon. Our conversation covers an incredible diversity of drugs and topics: the wonders of the cannabis plant, the implications of psychedelics going mainstream, the potential of placebo medicine in better understanding chronic pain, the value of kava in treating anxiety, the psychoactive pleasures of eating a ripe mango, even the ways in which cannabis and dogs have evolved similarly in their relationships to human beings. There are, Andy explains, infinite ways of altering consciousness. Psychoactive drugs can show us possibilities, but how we foster those possibilities is up to us. Listen to this episode and let me know what you think. Our number is 1-833-779-2460. Our email is psychoactive@protozoa.com. Or tweet at me, @ethannadelmann. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
25/07/21·52m 59s

Weird Courtship Rituals, Part Two

What exactly is Bhutanese "Night Hunting," and how does it work? How do some rural Cambodian communities navigate the tricky world of dating while living in communal homes? It's often said the course of true love never did run smooth -- and it sure takes some odd turns on the path from courtship to marriage. In the second part of this special two-part series, Ben and Noel welcome special guests Eli and Diana banks, the hosts of Ridiculous Romance, to explore some of history's strangest courtship rituals. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
22/07/21·51m 58s

Weird Courtship Rituals, Part One

Would you whisper sweet nothings to your sweeheart through a six-foot tube with your Puritan grandmother in the room? Would you force feed your children to make them more attractive for a potential groom? It's often said the course of true love never did run smooth -- and it sure takes some odd turns on the path from courtship to marriage. In part one of this special two-part series, Ben and Noel welcome special guests Eli and Diana banks, the hosts of Ridiculous Romance, to explore some of history's strangest courtship rituals. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
20/07/21·1h 0m

A Brief History of Underwear

Underwear! Whether we're talking boxers, briefs, loincloths, brassieres or even lingerie, undergarments have a storied history in cultures across the planet. It's a tale touching on everything from shifting attitudes about morality to scientific innovations, fashion and more. In today's episode, Ben and Noel take a closer look at the ancient origins of underwear, tracing its evolution to the modern day. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
15/07/21·1h 2m

One Guy Was Certain Telepathic Snails Would Replace Telegraphs

Since before the dawn of recorded history, human beings have been obsessed with talking to each other. This primal impulse inspired French occultist Jacques-Toussaint Benoît to propose a new, global communication system in the mid-1800s, a system he was certain would replace the telegraph: collections of snails. Benoît was certain snails, after mating, remained in constant, non-physical contact, meaning pushing one would affect the other, regardless of their physical locations. So, did it work? Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
13/07/21·30m 13s

The Duke of Portland Hated People and Loved Tunnels

We've all had those days where we just need a little solitude, a quiet place away from the clamor and chatter of other people. However, William John Cavensidh-Scott-Bentinck, the 5th Duke of Portland, took this to an extreme. He spent the majority of his life minimizing the chance that he might have to run into other people, and eventually honeycombed his estate with an elaborate network of tunnels, including a secret passage to the nearby train station. Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
08/07/21·43m 51s

Where do Lemonade Stands Come From?

Today, most Americans think of lemonade stands with nostalgia. In decades past, this could be an enterprising kid's first brush with the world of business as they set out to make a fortune, one cup at a time. But where did these stands come from, and how did they become so ingrained in American cultural identity? Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07/07/21·41m 18s

Painless Parker and the Dental Circus

Edgar Parker, later better known as "Painless Parker," wasn't your ordinary dentist. When his first practice was struggling in 1892, he began to think outside of the figurative box, combining dentistry, showbiz and public spectacle in a way that'd never been done before, including making dentistry part of an actual traveling circus. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
01/07/21·48m 23s

The Rise and Fall of Curative Plane Flights

In the early 1920s, the still-new technology of powered aircraft amazed folks across the planet. People weren't quite sure what this technology could do, so when a plane flight appeared to restore Henry A. Renz, Jr's voice, experts and the public alike wondered whether plane flights might have medical benefits. In today's episode, the guys explore how this came about -- and whether any of these 'cures' were effective.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29/06/21·46m 51s

That Time People Paid Rent With Eels

Nowadays, most people pay rent with the currency of their given nation — but for a time in England, your rent might have been paid with eels (yes, literal eels). In today’s episode, Ben, Max and returning guest host Matt Frederick explore the strange story of the Medieval eel economy, from the financial constraints that inspired it, to the religious beliefs that sustained it, to explain exactly how owning thousands of eels became a massive economic flex. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28/06/21·48m 4s

That Time People Paid Rent With Eels

Nowadays, most people pay rent with the currency of their given nation — but for a time in England, your rent might have been paid with eels (yes, literal eels). In today’s episode, Ben, Max and returning guest host Matt Frederick explore the strange story of the Medieval eel economy, from the financial constraints that inspired it, to the religious beliefs that sustained it, to explain exactly how owning thousands of eels became a massive economic flex. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
26/06/21·54m 0s

The Miracle of the Gulls: A Cricket War

In 1848, times were dire for the Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake Valley. Massive swarms of crickets laid waste to everything in their path, destroying crops and endangering the community's chances of survival. The threat of starvation loomed. According to the legend the community was saved by the miraculous arrival of gulls with a craving for crickets -- but how much of this story is fact, and how much fiction? Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
22/06/21·38m 44s

A History of Pregnancy Cravings, Part 2: Stereotypes, Superstitions and Science

In earlier centuries, when science and spirituality were considered one and the same, the world was full of advice and warnings surrounding pregnancy cravings. In the second part of this two-part series, Ben and Noel explore how humans perceived these cravings: as superstition, stereotype and, eventually, science. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
17/06/21·43m 39s

A History of Pregnancy Cravings, Part 1: Pickles and Ice Cream

Pregnancy is amazing — and scary, and beautiful, and a thousand other things. The modern world has stereotypes and tropes aplenty about pregnancy, especially including the phenomena known as pregnancy cravings. But how far back does this go? In the first part of this series, Ben and Noel explore the history of cravings, along with beliefs about how too much — or too little — of a given food was believed to affect children later in life. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
15/06/21·41m 12s

The Carrington Event, Part II: Attack of the Sun!

Less than 18 hours after Richard Carrington noticed something screwy on the sun’s surface, chaos erupted. Telegraph operators found their machines literally aflame. The Northern Lights were visible from Cuba. People and plants across the globe became convinced it was daytime. Centuries later, Ben and Noel explore the consequences of the Carrington event and — perhaps most importantly — what this may mean for the future. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/06/21·22m 58s

The Carrington Event, Part I: The Sun is Acting Strange

When amateur astronomer Richard Carrington gazed through his telescope on the morning of September 1st, 1859, he noticed something weird about the surface of the sun -- it seemed to have clusters of dark spots. Later historians would recognize this as the earliest observation of a solar flare -- and a little less than 18 hours later, the associated coronal mass ejection would wreak havoc on Earth, setting telegraphs aflame, lighting up the night sky and causing many to wonder whether it was the end of the world. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
08/06/21·25m 55s

Loveday: Henry VI's Well-intentioned, Terrible Attempt at Making Peace

In an effort to prevent further conflicts in what would become known as the Wars of the Roses, King Henry VI called the warring parties to London, with a weird pitch -- they would resolve their disputes through diplomacy, culminating in a parade where these sworn enemies would have to literally walk around town holding hands. Tune in to see how it all played out. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
03/06/21·50m 30s

Classic: Why do British lawyers wear wigs?

In today’s Classic episode, the guys travel back to their early days.For centuries some lawyers and judges in the U.K. have worn distinctive wigs during court proceedings. But why? Join Ben and Noel as they explore the strange history of the peruke. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
01/06/21·33m 11s

That Time Al Capone Ran A Soup Kitchen

Al Capone is rightly remembered as of the most notorious gangsters in US history -- but for a time residents of Chicago also thought of him as a benefactor. As people struggled to survive the Great Depression, Capone, in an apparent act of benevolence, founded a free, no-questions-asked soup kitchen to feed the hungry. In today's episode, Ben and Noel explore how the kitchen came to be, how it functioned -- and what Capone's true motivations might have been. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27/05/21·33m 33s

Introducing Episode 1 of Ridiculous Romance

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26/05/21·39m 1s

The Phantom Barber of Pascagoula

For a brief period in 1942, the town of Pascagoula, Mississippi was terrorized by a strange criminal -- he would sneak into people's houses as they slept and cut off locks of their hair. In today's episode, Ben and Noel explore this bizarre series of events (which may remain unsolved in the modern day). Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
26/05/21·39m 45s

Joseph Bonaparte, Cryptid Hunter

Napoleon’s lesser-known, older brother Joseph was, at times, the polar opposite of his conqueror sibling. Yet by merely being related to Napoleon, Joseph often found himself embroiled in geopolitical intrigue. In this episode, Ben and Noel explore Joseph’s rollercoaster of a life — along with his later obsession: Hunting down the infamous Jersey Devil. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
20/05/21·54m 4s

The Mystery of the Devonshire Colic

For centuries, people around the world were baffled by a bizarre serious of symptoms that seemed to wax and wane in certain regions over time. Various researchers proposed any number of explanations for these regional afflictions, everything from the actions of an angry god to, true story, cider. Eventually, scientists found the answer: lead. Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
18/05/21·45m 53s

The Troubling, Hidden History of Turpentine

Today turpentine is a substance with any number of industrial uses -- but most people don't know much about it, and even fewer people know its history in the early days of the US. In today's episode, Ben welcomes returning guest Yves Jeffcoat as they dive into the largely forgotten story of turpentine camps, from how they began to how they ended and, perhaps most importantly, how the effects of this industry have reprecussions in the modern day. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
13/05/21·1h 0m

Introducing: Ephemeral Season 2

Hey, Ridiculous History fans! We know you already love great podcasts, so here's another we think you'll enjoy - Ephemeral season 2. Check out the trailer and see for yourself. About Ephemeral: The best source on our cultural identity is not the official, historical record — ask any anthropologist, it’s the town dump. Ephemera — those things that were just barely saved, and in some cases not saved at all — emanate with secrets we can only glimpse and mysteries we can never completely answer. The stories may be unfamiliar, but the themes are universal; this is a looking glass, a window into our own fragile, material existence that begs the question, “How will I be remembered?” Listen to Ephemeral season 2 on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
12/05/21·2m 31s

A Race Across the World: From New York to Paris in 1908

In February of 1908, racing teams from multiple nations assembled for an unusual and ambitious race -- they planned to drive from Times Square across the planet to France. These were the early days of the automobile, and success was anything but guaranteed. In today's special 3D episode, Ben and Noel trace the highs (and, mostly, lows) of the men who vied for what they saw as the ultimate prize: A 1,400-pound trophy and lifelong bragging rights. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/05/21·1h 3m

The Age of the Crakow, Part 2: A Fashion Arms Race, But For Your Feet

In the second part of this episode, Ben and special guest Matt Frederick continue exploring the bizarre heyday of the poulaine. Tune in to learn more about the fickle, sometimes ridiculous, cycles of fashionable footware throughout history. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
06/05/21·31m 58s

The Age of the Crakow, Part 1: Medieval Europe Went Nuts For Pointy Shoes

It appears many eras in history have their own version of sneakerheads. In 15th-century Europe, nobles and commoners alike went absolutely nuts for a type of pointy shoe called the Crakow -- and people desperately wanted the longest, pointiest shoes possible. In this episode, Ben and special guest Matt Frederick, co-creator of Stuff They Don't Want You To Know, explore the origin of the Crakow (and how, eventually, governments made laws dictating how long a given person's pointy shoes could be). Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
04/05/21·33m 38s

How Pie in the Face Became a Comedy Classic, Part 2: The Fall (of the Pie)

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29/04/21·29m 29s

How Pie in the Face Became a Comedy Classic, Part 1: Rise of the Pie

Today the old pie-in-the-face gag is a well-worn comedy trope — but how did it become so famous? In part one of this two-part series, Ben and Noel explore the surprising history of pies, cinema and comedy. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27/04/21·24m 58s

The Great Panjandrum: A Hilariously Terrible Idea

As the British military brainstormed ways to break the German-built Atlantic Wall during World War II, desperation drove them to unorthodox ideas -- one of those, the Great Panjandrum, was a literal rocket-powered, rolling bomb. Tune in to learn how the Panjandrum came to be, what went wrong with it, and how amazing it is that no one actually died during testing. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
22/04/21·28m 42s

Dr. T. W. Stallings: One Man's Corvid-Hating Quest to Make Oklahoma Literally Eat Crow

Times were tough during the Great Depression. Economic unrest, massive migration and falling crops left many people struggling to survive -- even the simple task of finding food from one day to the next became increasingly challenging. Amid this chaos Dr. T. W. Stallings saw an opportunity: If he could convince the good people of Oklahoma to start eating crows the way they ate other birds like ducks or chickens, he could save some lives (and, perhaps more importantly, finally have his revenge on crows). Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
20/04/21·42m 14s

Pineapples In Europe, Part 2: People Literally Rented Pineapples to Impress their Friends

As the pineapple craze swept through Europe's upper class, aristocrats worked tirelessly to grow their own pineapples. This was no small feat, since pineapples aren't suited to the European climate. Still, some clever inventors and gardeners figured it out -- and, along the way, non-aristocrats also got into the trend. Since most people couldn't afford a pineapple, they did the next best thing and rented them as a display of status for dinner parties and important gatherings. Tune in to learn more in the second part of this two-part series. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
15/04/21·52m 9s

Pineapples In Europe, Part 1: A Weird, Cartoonishly Expensive Flex

Today, pineapples are a common (and delicious) produce item found in grocery stores and markets across the world -- but not too many centuries ago, a single pineapple could cost the equivalent of over $8,000. In the first part of this two-part episode, the guys delve into the bizarre story of Europe's pineapple mania, attempting to discover just what made this fruit so insanely popular... and why they're so insanely cheap today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
14/04/21·46m 14s

The Mysterious Dark Day That Terrified New England

As New Englanders woke on the morning of May 19th, 1780, they realized something was... off. The sunrise looked oddly colored and dim. As the day wore on, the sky grew increasingly dark. Soon, it appeared midnight had come early. Animals and humans alike panicked -- cows ran to their stalls, people flocked to churches and taverns, many certain the end of the world was upon them. Eventually, things returned to normal, but in the centuries that followed numerous researchers attempted to figure out exactly what happened. Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
08/04/21·33m 45s

The Windham Frog Fight of 1754

As the French and Indian War escalated, the residents of Windham, Connecticut lived in constant fear of possible attacks, crop-ruining weather, disease and more. One late night in the summer of 1754, a loud, continual noise roused the entire town as people feared they may be under siege. It wasn't until near dawn that the noises died down, and a small scouting party discovered the culprits of the cacophony -- a massive population of desperate bullfrogs, screaming at each other for territory in the last dregs of a nearby dried-out pond. Although the townsfolk became the laughingstock of the area after the story came out, they leaned into the image -- and you can see traces of the story in the modern day. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
06/04/21·42m 11s

Introducing: Operation Midnight Climax Episode 1: Mayhem and Murder

In the 1950s, the CIA conducted highly controversial research on mind-altering drugs to prepare for brain warfare with global superpowers. But after a checkered past, George White’s off-the-books Operation Midnight Climax took whatever flimsy rulebook the CIA had and threw it out the window. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
02/04/21·33m 42s

Ancient Mesopotamian Societies Sacrificed Substitute Kings to Eclipses

Thousands of years before the current day, ancient civilizations accurately predicted both lunar and solar eclipses. They often believed these events were spiritual omens. When an eclipse came at an inauspicious time, multiple priestly classes scrambled to find a substitute king. In the interest of preserving society, these substitute kings would reign during an eclipse, only to be swiftly murdered afterward. Ben defends early humans, asking what we sacrifice today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
02/04/21·35m 26s

The Mad Gasser of Mattoon, Part 2

As the small town of Mattoon captured national attention during the reign of the Mad Gasser, the investigation took a turn. Authorities were baffled by the deluge of reports -- and their inability to find any physical evidence other than a soiled rag at a doorstep. As researchers and historians looked back on the events, they became increasingly convinced the was a different culprit behind the panic... and though the story was a gas, they were certain there had never been a real Mad Gasser in the first place. Learn more in the second part of this two part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
30/03/21·45m 58s

The Mad Gasser of Mattoon, Part 1

As wartime fears peaked across the US during World War II, people throughout the nation were overwhelmed with fears of invading Nazis, secret biological weapons and more. For the residents of Mattoon, Illinois, these fears took a brief back seat to a new neighborhood menace -- a Mad Gasser who would sneak beside people's windows and pipe in a paralytic gas for reasons no one could understand. But who was this Mad Gasser? What on earth did this criminal want? Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
25/03/21·26m 55s

A Currency for Colonies: The Strange Story of "Leprosy Money"

For thousands of years people across the planet lived in fear of leprosy (now known as ‘Hansen's Disease). In many cases, people infected with the disease, or even just suspected of having it, were carted off to isolated colonies where they would be doomed to live the rest of their lives without any access to the outside world. These colonies became their own active communities -- there were blacksmiths, traders, cooks, merchants and more. And this meant the residents of these communities needed some sort of currency. However, they weren't allowed to use 'outside' cash for fear of contaminating it. This led to the rise of something known as "Leprosy Money." Tune in to learn how we got here, and what happened to this currency in the modern day. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
23/03/21·37m 5s

Wyoming Tales, Part 2: Absaroka, the State That Almost Was

Back in the 1930s, the residents of Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota felt the federal government— and the state legislatures— ignored them. They felt unheard, unheeded and, most importantly, moved to find solutions of their own. In this episode, Ben and Noel return to the story of Absaroka to ask: Was this meant to be the 49th state, or was it a publicity stunt? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
19/03/21·45m 3s

Wyoming Tales, Part 1: Walking in the Shoes of Big Nose George

George Parrott was a career outlaw -- a known thief, murderer and would-be train robber. When justice finally caught up with him and his game, he was destined for the hangman's noose. Yet George's demise was only the beginning of a bizarre posthumous tale. Tune in to learn why it's technically possible, even today, to walk in Big Nose George's shoes (and not, perhaps, in the way you might assume). Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
17/03/21·39m 15s

The Rise and Fall of the Flea Circus, Part 2

In the second part of this two-part episode, Ben, Noel and special guest Gabe Luzier drill down into the nuts and bolts of flea circuses -- how did they actually work? Is it true that some flea circuses did not, in fact, have fleas? Is there any way to see a real flea circus in the modern day? Tune in to learn more about one of history's strangest novelty performances. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/03/21·45m 14s

The Rise and Fall of the Flea Circus, Part 1

Fleas -- they're one of the only animals Ben actually doesn't like! Yet, once upon a time, these bloodsucking nuisances were star performers in novelty acts across Europe and, later, North America. But what were they, exactly? Can you really train fleas to do tricks and play instruments? Who even came up with this weird idea? In this episode, the guys welcome special guest and researcher extraordinaire Gabe Luzier to dive into the origin of that bizarre novelty time largely forgot: the flea circus. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
09/03/21·31m 38s

History's Most Ridiculous (and Deadly) Beauty Trends

It's a Ridiculous History takeover! In honor of International Women's Day, join the hosts of the podcast Stuff Mom Never Told You for this very special episode diving into the depths of history's most ridiculous beauty and fashion trends. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
08/03/21·56m 36s

Billy Cottrell, the Tyrant Mayor of Cedar Key, Florida

The politically-connected, cartoonishly belligerent Billy Cottrell was a terrible Mayor, hated and feared by the locals of Cedar Key, Florida -- and no one was sure what to do. At least, that is, until the Federal government got word of the situation. Tune in to learn how the US President eventually pled with Congress to allow for military intervention. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
04/03/21·45m 4s

The US and the UK Almost Went to War over a Pig

In 1859, a dispute between neighbors in the San Juan Islands of the Pacific Northwest led to the untimely death of a local (and very unlucky) pig. What could have been an easily resolved situation quickly ignited simmering tensions between the US and the UK, both of whom claimed the islands as their own territory. In the days and weeks after, soldiers from both nations traveled to the area... each waiting for the other side to make the first move in what almost became a full-on war. Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
02/03/21·51m 44s

Introducing: Black Cowboys

Zaron Burnett’s dad didn’t want slavery to be his son’s only image of Black people in American history. So every night, he filled Zaron’s dreams with these incredible stories of Black cowboys. Despite what Hollywood taught us, one-in-four cowboys were Black. Their stories tell a bigger, braver, more honest history of America.  Find Black Cowboys on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
26/02/21·1m 2s

The 1973 Michigan Pizza Funeral

Illario 'Mario' Fabbrini was true American success story: An immigrant who built his own pizza empire just as this iconic food was becoming a normalized, nation-wide delicacy. When the business was brought low by allegations of tainted mushrooms, he did something few people would have been brave enough to consider -- he made the disposal of these so-called 'tainted' pizzas a public event, holding a mass burial for an estimated 30,000 frozen pizzas. The funeral was attended by numerous notable individuals, including the Governor of Michigan. Tune in to learn more about the inspiring, bittersweet story of one man in love with pizza, and how he learned to say goodbye. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
25/02/21·35m 44s

Elagabalus The Raunchy, Racy High Priest Who Became a Roman Emperor

Born Varius Avitus Bassianus, the emperor now known as Elagabalus scandalized ancient Rome with his constant displays of extravagance, his numerous sexual escapades -- and his insistence that all people worship the sun god Elagabal (represented by a mysterious black stone he brought to town). Tune in to learn how everyday Romans reacted to this larger-than-life character, and how his over-the-top behaviors eventually led to his downfall. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
23/02/21·53m 4s

John Wilkins Started a 17th-century Astronaut Program, Part 2: Wilkins (Tries to) Start a Space Program

As John Wilkins began to put more serious thought into the idea of sending people to the moon, he reached out to fellow intellectuals in hopes of exploring the problem. So: How did they go about planning this ambitious endeavor, and how far did they get? Tune in to learn more in the second chapter of this two-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
19/02/21·24m 50s

John Wilkins Started a 17th-century Astronaut Program, Part 1: Why not aim for the Moon?

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17/02/21·34m 42s

Turtle Soup, Part 2: Rise of the Mock Turtle

In the second part of this series, the guys dive deeper into the story of turtle soup -- and how it soon gave rise to the more affordable, equally delicious 'mock turtle' soup. But what exactly is a mock turtle? Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12/02/21·24m 4s

Turtle Soup, Part 1: A Delicacy of Yesteryear

Today it's uncommon to see turtle soup on most restaurant menus-- but, not too long ago, this was considered a top-notch delicacy, praised for its flavor, enjoyed by world leaders, and widely praised for its deep, unique flavor. In the first part of this series, the guys explore the heyday of turtle soup... and how it eventually led to the rise of mock turtle soup. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
09/02/21·37m 42s

Stab Yourself to Health and Happiness: The Bizarre Rise of the Lebensweker

When a bug bit German inventor Carl Baunscheidt, he was struck with an epiphany of sorts -- could 'venting' the human body through the creation of artificial pores (today known as puncture wounds) allow a person to rid themselves of various diseases and medical infections? Tune in to learn more about the runaway success of Carl's handy, weirdly popular Lebensweker, or Life Awakener. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
04/02/21·46m 33s

The Hatpin Peril

Nowadays, hatpins are a somewhat archaic fashion accessory--but at the turn of the century, they were often used as weapons to deter ne'er-do-wells and scoundrels. Tune in to learn how hatpins became a symbol of women's rights (and an international controversy). Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
03/02/21·45m 36s

Historical Costuming in the Time of Covid with Dr. Christine Millar of Sewstine, Part I

Dr. Christine Millar of "Sewstine" joins us to discuss her relationship with historical costuming, a well deserved respite from her work as a doctor during COVID-19. Christine's website: https://sewstine.com Her YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClE05Q8Hh939-3BY8p9MPoQ Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
02/02/21·36m 21s

It's a Cat's World, Part 2: The Rise of the Cat Show

In the second part of this series, the guys explore the story of Harrison Weir, "The Father of the Cat Fancy." Learn how Weir led the charge to save the reputation of felines in Europe and abroad through the creation of high-class cat shows--and how these otherwise wholesome displays of quality cats became increasingly classist. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29/01/21·27m 30s

It's a Cat's World, Part 1: The Sacred and the Suspicious

Whether you love them or hate them, there's no denying that cats hold a unique position in human society. They're (in)famous for making their own way -- "I tolerate you," the cat seems to say to its owner, "but I do not need you." While modern civilization is pretty pro-cat, this wasn't always the case. In the first part of this series, the guys explore the waxing and waning reputation of felines throughout history, from ancient Egypt to the Middle Ages and beyond. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
26/01/21·33m 54s

Dan Sickles, American Scoundrel, Part 2: The Civil War

After literally getting away with murder, Dan Sickles joined the military, later leveraging the dubious events of his military career to reinvent himself as a war hero. Not everyone was convinced he was quite the paragon he purported to be. Learn more in the second part of this two-part series. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
22/01/21·28m 45s

Dan Sickles, American Scoundrel, Part 1: How to Get Away with Murder

Daniel Sickles was a real pill. For a time, the wealthy New Yorker was famous for his philandering -- and then he became famous for not only murdering a man in broad daylight... but getting away with it by pleading temporary insanity. Learn more about this American scoundrel in part one of this two-part series. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
20/01/21·33m 23s

That Time New York Banned Spitting

As tuberculosis spread throughout the US, New York City banned spitting. Learn how the Ladies’ Health Protective Association saved the Big Apple from a pandemic--and paved the way for the vote. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
14/01/21·52m 26s

Introducing a New Season of Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin

Hey, Ridiculous History fans! In case you haven’t heard, we recently launched a new season of Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin. Since you love [receiving show], we think you’ll like this one too. This season of Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin kicks off with Kristen Bell. Check it out!  If you enjoyed this podcast, be sure to listen and subscribe to Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
13/01/21·38m 51s

Admiral Byrd and the Polar Dairy

In 1933, on his second expedition to Antarctica, Richard E. Byrd took the unusual, highly-publicized step of bringing some non-human crew along: Klondike Gay Nira, Deerfoot Guernsey Maid and Foremost Southern Girl. These three cows--four, if you count the one born in the course of the journey--were darlings of the US press both during and after the journey. But why did Byrd bring them to Antarctica in the first place? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12/01/21·32m 31s

Weird 21st Century Predictions from Ages Past, Part 2: Your Personal Plane, A World Without Disaster and Retiring on the Moon

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07/01/21·50m 21s

Weird 21st Century Predictions from Ages Past, Part 1: Tesla, Square Tomatoes and Pseudosteak

It's the first Ridiculous History episode of the New Year! Ben, Noel and Casey are ringing it in with some predictions--not their own predictions, mind you. Instead the guys are diving into the predictions of luminaries from ages past, exploring how much (or how little) these historical figures got right about the 21st century. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05/01/21·37m 41s

The Old Rituals of New Years, Part 2: Neuroscience, Resolutions and the Rick Steves Fan Club

What a year, right? If you're listening to today's episode, you have (almost) officially survived. I'm ringing in 2021 with Noel, Casey and the rest of our Ridiculous Historians in this, the second part of our exploration into the very old roots of very New Years. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
31/12/20·30m 17s

The Old Rituals of New Years, Part 1: Slap the King and Dye those Eggs

As 2020 (finally) draws to a close, people across the planet will celebrate the arrival of 2021 in any number of ways, including traditional foods, religious rites and more. But where do these rituals come from? Join Ben and Noel as they explore the long history of ringing in the New Year in the first part of this special two-part series. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
30/12/20·42m 11s

Holiday Classic: When the Puritans Canceled Christmas

Nowadays Christmas is a globally-recognized holiday celebrated by millions of people, but in the past this wasn't the case. In fact, some groups of Christians detested the holiday, going so far as to ban it completely. So what led Puritans to ban one of the most prominent celebrations in the Christian faith? Join Ben and Noel as they take a closer look at the strange story of Puritans and Christmas in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
24/12/20·28m 51s

Holiday Classic: The Strange History of Antarctic Fruitcake

Nowadays fruitcake is considered a stereotypical, often comical holiday punchline, but even in the modern day people across the planet can agree on at least one fruitcake fact: Those things are pretty darn durable! So how long could a fruitcake really last before it becomes inedible? Join Ben and Noel as they travel to Antarctica to find out in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
22/12/20·29m 24s

Goodyear and the Mystery of the Ghost Blimp

In 1942, a U.S. Navy airship flew out over the Pacific to search for Japanese submarines. It lost radio contact and, hours later, slowly crashed in the San Franciscan suburbs. Inside the gondola, everything seemed to be in order -- the parachutes were there, the instrumentation was functioning... but two-person crew was missing. To this day, no one knows exactly what happened aboard the L-8 Ghost Blimp. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
18/12/20·39m 4s

Benito Mussolini was Super into Wearable Milk

Today Benito Mussolini is probably best known as the founder of Italy's National Fascist Party, but he was also very, very into milk. So much so, in fact, that he funneled tons of funding into a strange new process: the creation of wearable milk. Lanital, as it was known, was wool-like in appearance, and, for a time, quite successful! So where are all our milk skirts and milk trousers now? Listen in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
15/12/20·41m 13s

Snowmen as Protest: The Miracle of 1511

During the brutal winter of 1511, residents of Brussels built more than one hundred snowmen... and these sculptures weren't the type of snow sculpture you see in the modern day. Instead, the city was filled with satirical, often lewd displays critiquing the city's rulers, its poor and its working class alike. Tune in to learn more about that time snowmen became something like a citywide protest and widespread insult comedy. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/12/20·29m 52s

Introducing: 'Uprising: A Guide From Portland'

Background and breakdown on 100 days of Portland insurrection, going in to the background, history of the current protests breaking down the struggles, successes and infrastructure that has made the uprising in Portland possible.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
09/12/20·2m 19s

Why are Chimney Sweeps good luck at weddings?

It seems odd, at first - the idea that a random chimney cleaner might pass by a wedding, then be brought into the party, shake sooty hands with the couple, and bless random people on the street. Yet the profession of cleaning chimneys carries generations of tradition, superstition and belief. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
09/12/20·39m 15s

People Have Been Convinced Robots Will Take Their Jobs For Centuries

Nowadays automation is affecting almost every industry on the planet, and numerous experts are raising alarms: AI, robotics and automation, they say, may well spell doom for millions of jobs held by humans. This is a valid concern... but by no means a new one. Join Ben and Noel as they dive into humanity's strange, inspiring, disturbing and, of course, ridiculous relationship with robots. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
04/12/20·43m 54s

That Time the US was Terrified of Tomatoes

Nowadays the tomato is an ubiquitous foodstuff in households across the planet - but in the US, this humble staple was once considered downright poisonous... and, later, it was touted as a miracle cure. In today's episode, Ben and Noel explore the origin of the tomato, its rocky rise to modern fame, and how a few small historical misunderstandings may have led people to believe this beautiful fruit was a symbol of everything from lycanthropy to witchcraft. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
02/12/20·39m 46s

How the Pandemic Helped (and Hurt) the Struggle for Women's Rights

The 1918 epidemic played a massive, sometimes unacknowledged role in the struggle for women's rights. Tune in and learn more in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
26/11/20·29m 7s

How a German Prince Built his own Artificial Volcano

Like many nobles of his day, Leopold III Friedrich Franz traveled widely in his youth, taking in the ancient wonders of Europe. A stunning experience witnessing an eruption at Mount Vesuvius transformed the young prince's life. As he headed home to Germany, he vowed he would create a volcano of his own -- and, weirdly enough, he did just that. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
24/11/20·36m 23s

The Weird Origin of Pink Lemonade, Part 2: The Rise of Clown Pants

As historians dove into the evolution of pink lemonade, one theory about its origin seemed particularly compelling (if gross): Pink lemonade, they argued, owes its existence to a circus, a washtub, and an unscrupulous carnie in a hurry. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
19/11/20·27m 28s

The Weird Origin of Pink Lemonade, Part 1: A Humble Citrus

Nowadays, lemonade is a pretty popular drink -- and its counterpart, pink lemonade, occupies a space all its own. But where did this drink come from? Join the guys as they explore the surprisingly ancient origins of lemonade, as well as the dubious series of events that may have led to what we call pink lemonade today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
18/11/20·26m 56s

An Elephant in the Vatican, Part 2: An Elephant in the Reformation

As Pope Leo X's favorite pal, Hanno enjoyed a unique position in the Vatican -- he was the star of multiple gatherings and celebrations (which didn't always go as planned). Eventually, Hanno became a talking point for the Protestant Reformation. Join the guys as they explore the fate of Hanno and the gold enema that brought him to an untimely end in the second part of this two-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
13/11/20·41m 56s

An Elephant in the Vatican, Part 1: The Discovery of Hanno

In February of 1962, HVAC workers discovered the remains of an elephant beneath the Cortile del Belvedere -- and a mystery was ahoof. The story begins in 1513, when Portugese king Manuel I sought to give Pope Leo X an extraordinary gift: Hanno, an elephant from distant shores. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/11/20·30m 43s

S T O V E G O B L I N

Today's setting: Zaragoza, Spain. The time: September of 1934. The problem? A stove goblin. At least, that's what the hapless Palazón thought as they tried to solve the mystery of a strange, disembodied voice that appeared to mischievously trash talk people from somewhere near the stove of their apartment. The case garnered attention from the police and other investigators, and ultimately disappeared. And, even today, the official explanation leaves a lot to be desired. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05/11/20·29m 54s

The US Didn't Always Have Secret Ballots

Nowadays, voters in the US consider secret ballots a fundamental part of any election. Yet -- perhaps surprisingly -- this wasn't always the case. The road to secret ballots was long and fraught with absolutely ridiculous, and, at times, dangerous shenanigans. Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
03/11/20·48m 55s

The Case of the Greenbrier Ghost, Part 2: The Court

When the defense called Mary Jane Heaster to the stand, they likely meant to discredit her. However, she maintained that her daughter, Elva, had visited her -- from beyond the grave -- with proof that she was murdered. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29/10/20·38m 29s

Ridiculous History Presents: Criminalia

If you like Ridiculous History, check out this iHeartRadio & Shondaland Audio podcast – Criminalia. On Criminalia, hosts Holly Frey and Maria Trimarchi explroe the intersection of history and true crime. This season is all about lady poisoners. During the time that Chicago’s most visible criminal element was organized crime, Tillie Klimek was quietly becoming the city’s most prolific female serial killer. She allegedly killed between six and 20 people, all through arsenic poisoning.We hoped you liked this episode of Criminalia. If you want to hear more, listen to Criminalia every Tuesday on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28/10/20·38m 41s

The Case of the Greenbrier Ghost, Part 1: An 'Everlasting Faint'

When Elva Zona Heaster passed away, the town doctor attributed the death to a heart attack. Elva's mother disagreed. Convinced that her daughter visited her from beyond the grave, Mary Jane Heaster brought the case into court - and the jury would consider the second-hand testimony of a ghost. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28/10/20·37m 49s

The Hand of Glory, Part 2: Recipes, Necropants and Toes

Like any recipe, instructions for creating a Hand of Glory often varied - which one was considered legitimate? Also, the guys explore the odd, morbid magical item known as 'necropants,' and discuss the specifics of drinking beverages containing a severed human toe. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
22/10/20·17m 59s

The Hand of Glory, Part 1: A Thief's Theme

If you were an enterprising thief in the days of yore, there were few legendary tools as valuable as the grisly Hand of Glory -- the severed hand of a criminal, magically treated to create a macabre, powerful talisman. Join the guys as they delve into the dubious origins of this strange creation in the first part of this two-part series. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
20/10/20·32m 31s

Brooms and Witchcraft, Part 2: Inquisitions and Iniquity

Could the stereotype of witches on broomsticks actually be a drug reference? Join Ben, Noel and Casey as they continue digging through the history and folklore of witchcraft -- and how it affected pop culture in the modern day -- in the conclusion of this 2-part series. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
15/10/20·28m 14s

Brooms and Witchcraft, Part 1: A Killer in the Rye?

Most people are familiar with the stereotypical image of a witch: a haggard, often older individual with a peaked hat, black robes, a demonic familiar and, oddly enough, a penchant for cruising around on broomsticks. But where did that last, weirdly specific, trope of flying on a broomstick actually come from? Join the guys as they explore the bizarre (and racy) theories behind the story in part one of this two-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
14/10/20·28m 56s

The Beast of Gévaudan, Part 2: The Birth of a Grisly Legend

As the investigation into the Beast became a national obsession, the French monarchy stepped in, offering rewards (and threats) in their attempt to capture the murderous creature. In part two of this episode, Ben, Noel and Casey explore the end of the tale (tail? Nevermind.) and the mystery of the case that remains unsolved in the modern day. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
09/10/20·23m 37s

The Beast of Gévaudan, Part 1: Murders In France

For three years, a monster terrified the backwater region of Gévaudan. From 1764 - 1767, people found the mutilated corpses, one by one, across the countryside. The press of the time, unable to cover political stories, brought the story of The Beast to France at large. A legend was born. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07/10/20·33m 28s

The BBC Convinced People Spaghetti Grows on Trees

On the first of April in 1957, cameraman Charles de Jaeger's childhood dream came true: Panorama, Britain's most popular news program, aired a segment describing the traditional method of harvesting spaghetti from trees. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
02/10/20·45m 42s

The US Waged War on Pinball for Decades

Today, pinball is seen as a sort of retro novelty -- it's enjoyable, kitschy and wholesome. Yet for decades, political officials in cities across the United States worried pinball might lead to the downfall of the nation's children, become a driving force for organized crime, and dissolve the moral fabric of the US. So what led to this odd war on pinball -- and why aren't people worried about these games in the modern day? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29/09/20·46m 43s

The Misadventures of Wade Boggs, Part 2

Wade Boggs is a legendary, larger-than-life figure in the world of sports -- but one of his strangest achievements has nothing to do with baseball. Join the guys and special guest, Matthew Waxman, the creator of Trickeration, as they delve into the legend of Wade's 107 beer airplane flight... and walk through some very boozy math to discover whether the legend is true. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
25/09/20·33m 43s

The Misadventures of Wade Boggs, Part 1

Wade Boggs has always been regarded as a legend, both on and off the ballfield. However, some of his strangest experiences have very little to do with baseball. Join Ben, Noel, and special guest Matthew Waxman, the creator of Trickeration, as they explore the bizarre story of the Wade Boggs sex scandal. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
22/09/20·48m 32s

The Tragic Tale of the 'Turnspit Dog'

Before the rise of household automation, British elites struggled to find the perfect method for cooking meat. They preferred it roasted, slowly, turning continually on a spit to evenly distribute heat. Yet this backbreaking labor proved too difficult for even the most spry peasant child, and so they turned to an innovative (if cruel) alternative: Breeding dogs specifically to turn meat spits. These 'Turnspit Dogs' occupied one of the lowest rungs in the hierarchy of any noble kitchen, living brutal lives of endless toil on what were essentially hamster wheels. Listen in to learn the tragic tale of the 'Turnspit Dog.' Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
17/09/20·36m 42s

Knocker-Uppers: The Human Alarm Clocks of the Industrial Age

When adapting to life as factory employees, members of the British and Irish public confronted a new, unexpected obstacle -- how do you make sure you wake up in time for your shift? While predecessors of the alarm clock existed, they were unreliable (and incredibly expensive). And so enterprising people across the land started their own wake-up service, becoming the human alarm clocks affectionately known as 'Knocker-Uppers.' Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
15/09/20·32m 10s

That Time New York City Rioted Over Shakespeare

Don't let reality television and wrestling fool you -- celebrity rivalries are a tale as old as entertainment itself. In 1849, the rivalry between two Shakespearean actors culminated in a massive riot that would leave more than 20 people dead in the street. Listen in to learn more about the infamous Shakespeare riot... as well as the sociocultural tensions that actually drove the fray. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/09/20·49m 57s

Babies in Incubators were Once a Sideshow Attraction

Nowadays, incubators are a common sight in hospitals across the US -- but, once upon a time, this life-saving technology was treated like a sideshow attraction. Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to 'Infantoriums' to marvel at how incubators were able to keep babies born prematurely both healthy and safe. And, the publicity generated by these side shows may be, in part, the reason this technology is in hospitals today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
08/09/20·41m 45s

The Rise of the US Camel Corps

In the years leading to the US Civil War, Uncle Sam searched for some way to safely traverse the desert. Horses, mules and humans alike often died of thirst in the unforgiving climate. Jefferson Davis, the the Secretary of War, proposed the military consider an ancient solution: Camels. Tune in to learn more about the rise (and fall) of the US Camel Corps. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
03/09/20·43m 10s

The United Kingdom Has A Weird Thing With Swans

In the days before London found itself riddled with Rolodexes and Lamborghinis, the Crown controlled a now-obscure status symbol: the swan. Every single unmarked swan was the property of the Crown -- and woe betide those who touched a swan without express permission. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
02/09/20·42m 15s

Introducing: 'Criminalia'

Humans have always committed crimes. What can we learn from the criminals and crimes of the past, and have humans gotten better or worse over time? Criminalia is brought to you by Shondaland Audio and iHeartRadio and new episodes release every Tuesday. Listen on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
28/08/20·2m 1s

The Nazi Super Horse Program, Part 2: A Horse-filled Heist

As the tide of war turns toward the inevitable defeat of the Nazis, the staff of the secret horse farm fear the oncoming, starving Russian forces will consume their prized Lippizaner horses. In desperation, the farm turns to an unlikely source for help -- the US Army. Tune in as Ben and Noel explore the strange story of the Nazi super horse program. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27/08/20·28m 10s

The Nazi Super Horse Program, Part 1: Equine Eugenics

Adolf Hitler was inarguably a terrible person. He was also weirdly focused on resurrecting Germany's horse industry. Tune in as Ben and Noel explore the strange story of the Nazi super horse program. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
25/08/20·30m 36s

Railroad Tycoons Decided What Time It Is Now

Nowadays the world is divided into a series of 'time zones.' Yet before the 1880s, towns across the United States ran on a sort of local time -- when you left one town, you often traveled slowly enough to adjust, without much hassle, to the new time in the next community. So, where did this concept of standardized time come from? Spoiler alert: Desperate railroad companies. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
21/08/20·37m 19s

Why do people 'christen' ships with champagne?

We've all heard about the practice of smashing a champagne bottle against the hull of a ship before launching it -- but where does this practice come from? Join the guys as they delve into the surprisingly ancient practice of commemorating ship launches, from ancient Babylon to the modern day. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
19/08/20·40m 10s

The Hidden History of Jewish Pirates, Part 2: Famous Privateers

During the age of European expansion, members of the Jewish diaspora traveled to Caribbean and the continents of North and South America, often escaping the intense persecution of the Inquisition. Some became merchants, others explorers -- and some became pirates. Join Ben and Noel as they explore the little-known stories of specific Jewish pirates and privateers that changed the course of history as we know it in the second part of this two-part series. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
14/08/20·40m 0s

The Hidden History of Jewish Pirates, Part 1: Escaping Europe

During the age of European expansion, members of the Jewish diaspora traveled to Caribbean and the continents of North and South America, often escaping the intense persecution of the Inquisition. Some became merchants, others explorers -- and some became pirates. Join Ben and Noel as they explore the little-known stories of these pirates and privateers, and why Jamaica became known as a haven for those fleeing European persecution. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/08/20·21m 0s

Ridiculous "Remedies" of the Spanish Flu: The Rise of the Lemon

Have you ever used a home remedy when under the weather? Some, like honey and lemon (and whiskey) for a sore throat, remain common today. In 2020, other treatments people once swore by seem -- I hesitate to say it -- ridiculous. In the early 20th century, people were desperate to find a cure or treatment for the flu. They tried any number of things that may seem bizarre today, and part of that panic led to the lemon becoming a household staple across the United States. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07/08/20·43m 46s

That Time Rebellious Freemasons Starting Kissing Porcelain Pug Butts

We've all heard about Freemasons -- but what about the Order of the Pug? Join the guys as they explore the strange series of events that led German Masons to create their own secret society, embodied by a porcelain sculpture of a pug. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
04/08/20·45m 58s

Clever Hans, Part 2: The Rise and Fall of Hans

Unconvinced by claims of this horse's mathematical acumen, psychologist Oskar Pfungst conducted a series of experiments to determine whether Clever Hans was actually solving problems. Pfungst discovered there were serious issues with Hans's 'performance' ... but he also, in a roundabout way, ended up proving Hans was, in some ways, more clever than the average person. Ben also pitches a stunning conclusion to a (fake) movie about Hans's life post-fame. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
30/07/20·26m 35s

Clever Hans, Part 1: The Equine Mathematician

Back in the early 20th century, retired teacher Wilhelm von Osten had a dream -- to exhibit the gifts of his brilliant horse, Clever Hans, to the world. Wilhelm believed Hans was capable of solving pretty advanced math problems, working out the sums in his head and communicating them to humans through a system of hooftaps. And Clever Hans took the German public by storm -- what could this mean? If animals like Hans were this intelligent, could they also have a consciousness or a soul? Some people were over the moon about Hans... and others remained unconvinced. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28/07/20·30m 56s

Henry VIII and That English Sweat, Part 2: A Disease and a King

While history often only remembers Henry VIII as a real pill, he was also a profound hypochondriac -- and, rightly terrified of contracting the English Sweats, Henry hightailed it to a series of safehouses as he sought to isolate himself from any possible infection. Join the guys as they continue exploring the long-term consequences of the mysterious English Sweats. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
23/07/20·25m 25s

Henry VIII and That English Sweat, Part 1: A Pandemic

Beginning in 1485, a mysterious disease swept in waves across England. No one was sure how it spread, no treatment existed, and the disease took the name of its most memorable symptom. The English sweating sickness seemed to have a taste for the wealthy, and the bulk of fatalities were English. The last widespread outbreak of sweating sickness was reported in 1551 -- after that, the disease vanished. Along the way, it made a king of Henry VIII. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
22/07/20·33m 15s

The Hobo King: Leon Ray Livingston, Chapter Two

As the Great Depression devastates the nation, roughly 2 million people find themselves out of home and hope, migrating toward distant promises of jobs, distant family members -- some distant idea of a better life. The concept of the 'hobo' becomes a mainstream concern. Leon Ray Livingston warns about living a life "on the road." Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
17/07/20·38m 35s

The Hobo King: Leon Ray Livingston, Chapter One

Born in San Francisco, an 11-year-old ran away from home, living and writing about his travels. Hailed as a self-coronated 'Hobo King,' Livingston made his own mythology, creating tropes that survive in the modern day. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
15/07/20·33m 12s

The Vikings Made a Fortune in the 'Unicorn' Trade

Nowadays, experts and equestrians alike largely agree: unicorns are creatures of myth. But, not too long ago, the wealthiest people in Europe would pay top dollar for everything from powdered 'unicorn' dust, to fragments or full specimens of 'unicorn' horn, convinced these supernatural relics had curative powers, capable of saving them from poison. So what was really going on here? Join the guys as they delve into the strange story of the unicorn trade, bust some Viking myths and shoutout the excellent, underrated film The Last Unicorn (Ben here: I swear it still holds up). Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
09/07/20·45m 25s

Did People Really Throw Tar And Feathers On Each Other?

It's true -- people used to throw tar on other people, then shake feathers on them as a specific form of legally-sanctioned punishment. Where did the concept of tarring and feathering a person actually come from, and how did it spread throughout the world? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07/07/20·38m 43s

Kate Warne, the Pinkerton Detective Who Saved Abe Lincoln, Part 2: To Rescue A President

While Kate Warne had numerous adventures (and brilliantly solved multiple high-profile cases), her most well-known work with pinkerton involved none other than Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. In the conclusion of special two-part series, the guys continue exploring Kate Warne's adventures with Jo Piazza, the award-winning author, journalist, and host of the new podcast, Fierce. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
02/07/20·39m 33s

Kate Warne, the Pinkerton Detective Who Saved Abe Lincoln, Part 1: The Origin Story

Kate Warne wasn't just the first female private investigator in the US -- she was also one of the best Pinkerton detectives in the history of the agency. In this special two-part series, the guys join forces with award-winning author and journalist, Jo Piazza, the host of Fierce, to learn more about the mysterious origins of the one and only Kate Warne. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
01/07/20·34m 19s

What is Fudge, Part 2: The Rebellion

The students of Vassar thrived despite a system of Victorian -- near Orwellian -- control. In a time when these college students were not allowed to have agency over their own diet, they rebelled, popularizing the confection known as fudge today. Other students at elite institutions joined in, and soon contemporaneous newspapers noted fudge as both a desert and a rebellion against prevailing social norms. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
25/06/20·25m 22s

What is Fudge, Part 1: The Science, The Curious Name

Nowadays, most people in the global West associate fudge with the idea of a homemade, homely confection. Yet once upon a time, this dangerously delightful, sugar-laden snack was the domain of the elite. Learn more about the origin of fudge here -- and tune in for part two of our series: Fudge As Rebellion. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
23/06/20·26m 8s

The North Pole, Part 2: The Chase To The North

The Mercator Projection continues to inform explorers, many of whom send their own appropriative versions of the Mythical North. Join Ben, Casey and Noel as they ask: Who actually discovered the North Pole? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
19/06/20·43m 54s

The North Pole, Part 1: Maps and Legends

In 1569, Gerardus Mercator creates the first world map. It's the predecessor of the cartoonishly inaccurate Mercator projection, and this math guides people toward what they believe to be the North Pole. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
17/06/20·29m 48s

The Mysterious Origin of (and Disturbing Problems with) the "Wolf Whistle"

It's one of those iconic 'you know it when you hear it' sounds - the two-note whistle made famous in old Tex Avery cartoons and multiple films of yesteryear. But what is the wolf whistle? Where did it actually come from, and how did it go from being such a popular trope to something (thankfully) so rare in the modern day? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12/06/20·35m 42s

World War I and the Rise of the Peat Moss Bandage

War often drives innovation — often out of desperation. In World War I, doctors were overwhelmed and dangerously short on supplies, especially bandages. With no end in sight for the cotton shortage, ingenious doctors found an unlikely (and superior) alternative: peat moss. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/06/20·35m 4s

Flashback: Unforeseen Consequences Throughout History: Part 2

How did air conditioning fundamentally change the course of U.S. politics? What does the Y.M.C.A. have to do with cigarettes? Join Ben and Casey as they welcome special guest, Sean Braswell, to learn more about the strange stories of everything from air conditioning to kudzu in part two of this two-part series. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05/06/20·28m 28s

Flashback: Unforeseen Consequences Throughout History: Part 1

How did air conditioning fundamentally change the course of U.S. politics? What does the Y.M.C.A. have to do with cigarettes? Join Ben and Casey as they welcome special guest, Sean Braswell, to learn more about the strange stories of everything from air conditioning to kudzu in part one of this two-part series. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
03/06/20·39m 21s

Louis Wain, the Godfather of Cat Memes: Part 2

Before the days of WiFi, Reddit, nyan cat and grumpy cat alike, one man set the art world on fire with his increasingly bizarre paintings and sketches of cats. Join Ben, Noel and Casey as they welcome special guest Gabe Luzier on air (finally!) to explore the strange story of Louis Wain in the conclusion of this special two-part series. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29/05/20·44m 9s

Louis Wain, the Godfather of Cat Memes: Part 1

If you're listening to this podcast, you definitely know about cat memes. At this point, they're almost like an internet currency all their own. But far before the days of WiFi, Reddit, nyan cat and grumpy cat alike, one man set the art world on fire with his increasingly bizarre paintings and sketches of cats. Join Ben, Noel and Casey as they welcome special guest Gabe Luzier on air (finally!) to explore the strange story of Louis Wain. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27/05/20·31m 28s

Feedsack Fashion: How Thrifty Inventiveness Transformed America

In the early 20th century, rural US residents were all-too-accustomed to scraping by, often by any means necessary. Families without the means to buy what they wanted invented ingenious ways of recycling or reusing as much as they possibly could -- you mended the tools you could not replace, you worked with what little food you had -- and, in this spirit, you made the clothes you couldn't afford to buy. Thus was the feedsack dress born. Bags of livestock feed and flour sacks were reused to create everything from undergarments to dresses and bedsheets. Join the guys as they explore how this reinventive strategy of using commercial packaging for clothing was first mocked, then lionized, then emulated by the nation overall. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
22/05/20·36m 39s

Emperor Tiberius Was Debauched, Deranged and Probably Not Fun At Parties

When Emperor Tiberius first ascended to the throne in AD 14, he seemed to be a principled reformer set on cleaning up the empire -- checking excesses and abuses, erasing loopholes and banning astrologers. However, the death of his son seemed to push him into a severely unbalanced mental state. His paranoia and cruelty were extreme (even for an Emperor) and, eventually, he found he preferred to eschew politics altogether, reigning as Emperor in name alone from the isolated island of Capri, where he reputedly engaged in all manner of depraved, hedonistic sexual acts before returning, years later, to terrorize Rome. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
20/05/20·43m 19s

The Return of Historical Flexes, Part 2: Flexcessiveness

History is riddled with bizarre stories of flexes — things people of the past thought were somehow impressive at time. The Ridiculous Historians are fascinated by these strange stories, as are their friends at The Daily Zeitgeist. Join Ben and Noel as they welcome returning guests Jack O'Brien and Miles Gray, hosts of The Daily Zeitgeist, to explore more of history's weirdest flexes, from Henry Ford's weird town in Brazil to Stalin's forced drinking parties. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
14/05/20·27m 41s

The Return of Historical Flexes, Part 1: 2 Flex 2 Furious

History is riddled with bizarre stories of flexes — things people of the past thought were somehow impressive at time. The Ridiculous Historians are fascinated by these strange stories, as are their friends at The Daily Zeitgeist. Join Ben and Noel as they welcome returning guests Jack O'Brien and Miles Gray, hosts of The Daily Zeitgeist, to explore more of history's weirdest flexes, from predecessors of photoshop to one of the world's bloodiest revenge stories and more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12/05/20·41m 56s

The Authors Of Curious George Were On The Run From Nazis

Today, Curious George is a world-famous star of children's books -- but back in the day, his name was Fifi, and his creators, the Rey couple, were desperate to flee France as Nazi forces pushed ever closer to Paris. Tune in to learn how Curious George saved his own creators not once, not twice, but three separate times. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
08/05/20·29m 5s

Introducing: Flashback an iHeartRadio and Ozy Original Podcast

Our first season connects the dots on 10 incredible tales of unintended consequences that changed history, from Henry Ford’s role in the Oklahoma City bombing to the home appliance that changed the landscape of American politics. Subscribe wherever you get your podcast! megaphone.link/flashbackhuc Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
06/05/20·3m 44s

People Used To Straight Up Drink Gold

For millennia various luminaries have claimed precious metals have special curative powers -- and, back in the day, people used to actually drink it. They were convinced the ingestion of gold would prevent them from aging, wrinkling and growing frail. So how did this would-be beauty secret actually affect people's bodies? Tune in to learn more about drinking gold. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05/05/20·31m 21s

New Zealand's Tragic (And Pretty Hilarious) Exploding Pants Epidemic

For a brief span of time, farmers in New Zealand were baffled by a bizarre phenomenon -- their pants were smoldering, catching fire, and sometimes exploding, seemingly at random. So what exactly happened? Join the guys as they delve (and solve) the mystery of New Zealand's exploding pants. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
01/05/20·30m 11s

That Time Trainwrecks Became a Spectator Sport

Nowadays, most people use the term 'trainwreck' to describe a situation gone catastrophically wrong, but back in the glory days of the railroad, trainwrecks -- actual trainwrecks -- became PR stunts and spectator sports. Tune in to learn more about the Crash at Crush.   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28/04/20·33m 38s

Introducing: News O’Clock

Hayes Brown and Casey Rackham will be bringing the world outside your apartment straight to your ears. Top headlines, television, books, the election, music, pop culture, the coronavirus, it’s all here. News O'Clock is now available. Listen here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
24/04/20·2m 34s

Miguel de Cervantes and the Case of the Fake Don Quixote

Nowadays, "The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha" has no shortage of accolades. You'll hear it called the first modern novel, one of the greatest works in the Spanish canon and so on -- and it's always been a blockbuster, even when the first part of the novel initially published back in 1605. The 1605 volume ends with a tease of a sequel, one that Cervantes would later publish in 1615. But there's a twist -- in 1614, someone else published a sequel of their own. Cervantes was livid, broke, and thirsting for revenge. Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
23/04/20·35m 51s

The CIA Paid War Spies with Stuff From the Sears Catalog

When CIA agent Jon Wiant began growing a spy operation in Vietnam, he ran into a pickle: the locals he wanted to hire lived in rural areas along the boarder with Laos, and they existed primarily in a barter economy -- they wanted some sort of payment, but they didn't want currency. What's a spymaster to do? Listen in to learn how Jon Wiant used the famous Sears catalog to create a barter system of his own. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
21/04/20·28m 4s

The Bottle Jumping Hoax (And Riot)

In 1749 London, a mob of people gathered outside The Theatre Royal -- the city was abuzz with excitement over a recent advertisement promising an amazing performance: a magician was planning to perform a number of extraordinary feats -- he would name strangers, play music on walking sticks and more. Most impressively, he would, through the use of magic, climb into a normal-sized wine bottle. One problem: This was the result of a secret, cynical bet. And when the magician didn't deliver (or even show up), a riot ensued. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
17/04/20·32m 30s

The Bizarrely Disturbing History of People Jumping Out of Cake

It's an old trope, and a familiar one: Four and twenty blackbirds flying from a pie, a scantily-clad woman emerging from a giant cake. Nowadays it's often thought of as a trope in folklore -- but where did it come from? Join Ben, Noel and Casey as they explore the weird, ridiculous history of living things jumping from baked goods. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
15/04/20·45m 18s

HL Hunley: The Mysterious Demise of a Civil War Submarine, with Rachel Lance

On the evening of February 17th, 1864, the HL Hunley became the first submarine in history to successfully sink an enemy ship. Immediately after this attack, the HL Hunley disappeared. More than a century passed. Join the gang with Rachel Lance, author of In The Waves, as they dive into the mystery of the Hunley. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/04/20·43m 16s

Dromomania: The Wanderlust Disease

In the 1890s, France found itself in the groups of a bizarre, troubling epidemic -- scores of men were, apparently, wandering off in a trance-like state, only to come to their senses days or weeks later, sometimes miles from home, or even in a different country. Physicians called it dromomania, or 'pathological tourism.' But what was the root cause of this seemingly contagious disorder? Join the guys as they dive into the mystery of seemingly inescapable wanderlust. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
08/04/20·35m 4s

Key West, Florida Declared a One-Minute War on the United States

It's true -- once upon a time the isolated town of Key West, Florida not only seceded from the Union, but declared war on the United States (for about sixty seconds). Tune in to learn more about the short-lived Conch Republic. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
03/04/20·45m 26s

That Time the US Literally Banned Sliced Bread

You've probably heard the old saying "the best thing since sliced bread" -- and back in the day, people in the US were genuinely over the moon about presliced bread, thanks to the work of Otto Rohwedder and his automatic bread slicer. Yet during World War II, panic over the country's food supply led to a brief ban on presliced bread... and that's when things got ugly. Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
01/04/20·51m 13s

Two Green Children Mystified Woolpit, England

Imagine you're working in a field in the tiny community of 12th-century Woolpit, England, and encounter two green-skinned children with no knowledge of your language, a strangely specific diet, and a mystifying origin story. What would you do? Join the guys as they explore the strange story of the mysterious 'Green Children' of Woolpit, England, separating fact from folklore in an attempt to discern the truth at the heart of the myth. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27/03/20·47m 20s

Pepsi Briefly Became the Sixth Largest Navy in the World

At multiple, pivotal moments in the Cold War, Pepsi and Coke waged Cola wars all their own. The guys team up for the first episode of Ridiculous History: Quarantine. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
25/03/20·53m 15s

The Ponzi Scheme with Chelsea Ursin

Nowadays most people are familiar with the term 'Ponzi scheme' -- but where does it come from? How did the scheme work, and why is it called a Ponzi scheme today? Chelsea Ursin, Boston native and creator of Dear Young Rocker, joins the guys to explore the fascinating, ridiculous story behind the Ponzi scheme. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
20/03/20·49m 36s

The History of MREs with Jacqueline Raposo

It's often said that an army marches on its stomach, and for thousands of years the world's militaries tried to feed their forces on the march (often with mixed success). Join the guys and Jacqueline Raposo, creator of Service: Veteran Stories of Hunger and War, as they explore the strange story of army food, from its ancient origins to the modern day. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
17/03/20·51m 55s

Donald Crowhurst Faked a Race Around the World

Sailing around the world is a dangerous proposition, even in the modern day — now imagine doing it by yourself in the 1960s! That's what underdog Donald Crowhurst claimed to do... except he made the whole thing up. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
13/03/20·35m 15s

Calvin Coolidge Skipped Town and Went Fishing for Three Months (While He was President)

Widely known as a taciturn man who liked public gatherings even less than he liked people, Calvin Coolidge was often ridiculed by the press -- reporters regularly followed his movements in hopes of gathering new, ridiculous anecdotes about him. So it's no surprise that about 30 reporters followed him when he headed off for a fishing-themed vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota... but what happens when the President decides his three-week vacation will last for three months? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/03/20·36m 27s

The Presidential Dinner That Scandalized America

Breaking bread with your fellow humans has long been acknowledged as fantastic, wholesome way to bond with people outside of social conventions, economic status and so on -- but when Teddy Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to dinner at the White House, people across the the United States lost their collective minds. The idea that the activist and the president would dine together drove racists mad, and some activists in Booker's community accused him of being a sell-out. Tune in to learn how two guys grabbing some nosh scandalized America at the time -- but eventually pushed the nation in a better direction. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05/03/20·31m 4s

Was the Lone Ranger Inspired by a Black U.S. Marshall?

Bass Reeves was a larger than life figure -- a man who escaped slavery, taught himself multiple Native American languages, and eventually became one of the most well-known deputy US Marshalls in the entirety of the United States. Join the guys as they explore the thrilling story of Bass Reeves -- along with the speculation that he may have been the real life inspiration for the Lone Ranger. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
04/03/20·41m 33s

Night Soil Men Were the Unsung Heroes of Urban Sanitation

While city life has its charms, it's not without its problems -- and some of those problems are real stinkers. In the days before widespread sewage systems, urban centers across the world struggled to solve one filthy dilemma: what do you do with all the poop? Between all the waste matter from horses, livestock, or, of course, humans, many cities were in a crisis mode as streets, latrines and even docks became unusable. The solution? The unsung heroes of early city life known as the night soil men. Join Ben and his returning guest Jonathan Strickland as they explore the strange, oddly inspiring story of the night soil men (and invent the phrase 'poop heist'). Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27/02/20·49m 4s

Introducing Rivals

Starting February 26th, join Steven Hyden and Jordan Runtagh as they explore the most notorious feuds in the music business. The first two episodes of Rivals are now available. Listen here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
26/02/20·1m 24s

The Tiny Spanish Town That Went To War With France For 100 Years

Located two hours' drive inland along a winding potholed road from Almeria on Spain's southeastern Mediterranean coast, the small town of Lijar, Spain is notoriously difficult to find. Yet the town's tiny population sought to make an international impact in 1883 when they officially declared war on France for offending the Spanish king (France either didn't notice or didn't care). Join Ben and his surprise guest as they explore the strange story of Lijar's century long, bloodless, ridiculous war with France. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
26/02/20·33m 59s

The Great Diamond Hoax - Part 2

The California Gold Rush of the mid-1800s did more than just move hundreds of thousands of people across the continent -- it also convinced these people that they, too, could strike it rich. This optimism attracted con artists and scamsters like moths to the proverbial flame. Philip Arnold and John Slack were no different -- but when these two men started the diamond hoax, they had no idea just how far it would go. Tune in for part one of this special two-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
20/02/20·21m 25s

The Great Diamond Hoax - Part 1

The California Gold Rush of the mid-1800s did more than just move hundreds of thousands of people across the continent -- it also convinced these people that they, too, could strike it rich. This optimism attracted con artists and scamsters like moths to the proverbial flame. Philip Arnold and John Slack were no different -- but when these two men started the diamond hoax, they had no idea just how far it would go. Tune in for part one of this special two-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
19/02/20·34m 39s

Introducing Citizen Critic

Starting February 10th, join musician Scott Janovitz and scientist Greg Conley as they critique the critics of some favorite and iconic movies, music, television, and more. In a world where everyone’s a critic, two heroes will rise, and criticize them. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
17/02/20·3m 9s

'Mad' Jack Churchill: The Bagpipe Playing Soldier Who Hunted Nazis with a Longbow - Part 2

It sounds like something straight out of a Tarantino film -- a bloodthirsty, eccentric soldier welding a longbow and claymore against Nazis, then celebrating his exploits by wailing on some bagpipes. Oddly enough, this is a true story: John 'Mad Jack' Churchill was a real-life World War II soldier known for his love of anachronistic weapons and his near-suicidal attitude on the battlefield. Join the guys as they explore the strange story of Mad Jack in part two of this two-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
13/02/20·34m 0s

'Mad' Jack Churchill: The Bagpipe Playing Soldier Who Hunted Nazis with a Longbow - Part 1

It sounds like something straight out of a Tarantino film -- a bloodthirsty, eccentric soldier welding a longbow and claymore against Nazis, then celebrating his exploits by wailing on some bagpipes. Oddly enough, this is a true story: John 'Mad Jack' Churchill was a real-life World War II soldier known for his love of anachronistic weapons and his near-suicidal attitude on the battlefield. Join the guys as they explore the strange story of Mad Jack in part one of this two-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/02/20·28m 9s

Erasto Mpemba: The High School Student Who Disproved Thermodynamics

Let's say you put two containers of water in a freezer. Water in one container is at room temperature, while water in the other container is hot. Which one will freeze first? Many people would understandably assume the cooler water would be the first to freeze -- and that assumption, oddly, would prove to be incorrect. Join the guys as they delve into the story and struggle of young Erasto Mpemba, the student for whom the Mpemba effect is named, exploring his initial experiments all the way to the ongoing controversy over this strange phenomenon. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
06/02/20·33m 28s

The Straw Hat Riots of 1922

The world of fashion has historically been a landmine of strange, seemingly arbitrary rules, from when to wear white around labor day to what constitutes appropriate dress for a given event. However, in the early 20th century, one particular rule about when to wear a straw or a felt hat came to a violent head in the United States, plunging the Big Apple into chaos. Join the guys as they explore the bizarre tale of the Straw Hat Riots of 1922. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05/02/20·40m 10s

The Legend of Tarrare, the Insatiable Glutton Who Ate a Quarter of a Cow Daily

What's the craziest thing you've ever eaten? Odds are you have nothing on the legendary Tarrare, the infamous Frenchman famous for eating everything from whole baskets of apples to rocks and — brace yourself — actual garbage. Join the guys as they dive into Tarrare's strange career, wondering how he was able to accomplish these dubious, troubling gastronomic feats. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
31/01/20·41m 33s

Why Genghis Khan's Great-Great Granddaughter Was Just as Badass

Khutulun was the warrior daughter of Kaidu, and the great-great granddaughter of Genghis Khan. While she was fearless in battle and an accomplished hand-to-hand fighter, tradition dictated that she be married off to cement political alliances. One problem: Khutulun didn't consider herself the marrying type. She agreed in principle to the marry someone, with one crucial caveat -- to win her hand in matrimony, her future husband would have to best her in the wrestling ring. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29/01/20·35m 34s

That Time Ernest Hemingway's Younger Brother Started His Own Country

Most people have heard of Ernest Hemingway, but what about his younger brother, Leicester? 16 years Ernest's junior, Leicester seemed set to live in his older brother's shadow -- until, that is, he came up with a plan to get in the headlines all on his own. Writing novels was all well and good, thought Leicester, but why don't I start my own country? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
24/01/20·46m 28s

The Ersatz Wild West Shootouts of Palisade, Nevada

During the glory days of the railroad era, the public was gripped by mythic, larger-than-life tales of the Wild West -- people reveled in visions of train robberies, shootouts and attacks by vicious ne'er-do-wells. When one train conductor told a resident of Palisade, Nevada that his passengers were bummed to learn the real west wasn't all that wild, the members of the small town joined forces and began staging their own, entirely fake, train robberies and bandit attacks. What started as a prank became an institution, and over the next few years Palisade would become home to hundreds of theatrical train robberies. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
22/01/20·34m 54s

The Great Goldfish Gulping Craze That (For Some Reason) Swept America

It's no secret that kids do all sorts of dumb things -- but have you ever swallowed a live goldfish? If so, you're not alone. In fact, it wasn't so long ago that hundreds of college students across the United States began gulping live goldfish by the dozens. Tune in to learn why. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
16/01/20·38m 29s

Pneumatic Tubes: The 'Futuristic' Transport System That's Over 150-Years-Old

Did you ever use on of those neat little pneumatic tubes at the drive-through of your local bank? If so, you may be surprised to learn just how far the roots of this technology date back. Join the guys as they explore the bizarre evolution of pneumatic tubes, from transporting parcels to packages, cats and even, once upon a time, people. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
15/01/20·40m 20s

Violet Jessop, the Unsinkable Stewardess Who Survived Three Famous Shipwrecks

Have you ever been on a cruise ship? Have your ship ever sank? This happened not once, not twice, but three times to cabin attendant Violet Jessop. Tune in to learn more about how the resourceful (and lucky) Ms. Jessop lived through three shipwrecks — including the sinking of the Titanic. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
09/01/20·34m 54s

Introducing 9 Days in July

9 Days in July is a new podcast documentary series that explores each of the nine days of the Apollo 11 Mission--day by day--using never-before-heard audio from inside the spacecraft and from the consoles of Mission Control. Join host Brandon Fibbs and stow-away on this first-of-its-kind podcast journey into the stars. Episode One premieres December 12th, with new episodes every Thursday through February 6th. Listen to the first episode here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
08/01/20·1m 11s

Abandoned Ship: What Really Happened Aboard the "Mary Celeste"?

Once upon a time the Mary Celeste was just a ship like any other, ferrying goods to and fro across the oceans -- at least, that is, until December 1872, when the Canadian brigantine Dei Gratia found the Mary Celeste adrift and abandoned. The ship showed no signs of a struggle. The cargo was intact. The lifeboat was missing, but the occupants of the Mary Celeste were never seen again. Learn how this story became one of the most enduring (and misunderstood) mysteries in maritime history. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07/01/20·41m 22s

That Time America Fell In Love With Competitive Walking

While people often call baseball the "national pastime" of the United States, there was once another contender for this crown -- the sport known as pedestrianism, or competitive walking. It was exactly what it sounds like -- groups of people walking, often in a circle, while spectators gambled on the results. And, for a time, this sport captured the entire nation's attention. Join the guys as they take a stroll (get it?) down the historic lane of one of the country's strangest sports.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
02/01/20·39m 0s

The Weird Stories Behind Your Favorite Christmas Carols

Christmas carols have a storied, strange history. Join the guys on the last day of 2019 as they crack open the eggnog and dive into the ridiculous histories of some of the season's most popular Christmas songs, from the story of 'Hopalong boots' to the weird tradition of wassailing. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
31/12/19·34m 49s

The Time Salvador Dali Partnered with Walt Disney - Part 2

Salvador Dali and Walt Disney weren't just two of the greatest artistic innovators of their time — they were also close friends with a bromance for the ages. Learn more about Dali and Disney's friendship (and how they almost made one of the weirdest cartoons of all time) in part 2 of this 2-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
26/12/19·24m 36s

The Time Salvador Dali Partnered with Walt Disney - Part 1

Salvador Dali and Walt Disney weren't just two of the greatest artistic innovators of their time — they were also close friends with a bromance for the ages. Learn more about Dali and Disney's friendship (and how they almost made one of the weirdest cartoons of all time) in part 1 of this 2-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
24/12/19·29m 27s

Colonel Blood and the Theft of the Crown Jewels

The grifter, adventurer, thief and (probable) spy known as Thomas Blood spent much of his life as a widely-known rogue and all-around scoundrel -- but when and he his followers attempted to steal the Crown Jewels of England from the Tower of London in 1671, he became a legend. Join the guys as they explore the strange story of this historical heist. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
19/12/19·47m 6s

The Starving Time: When Jamestown Colonists Turned Cannibal, Part 2

While children are often taught a sanitized version of early American history, the reality of life in a European colony was brutal -- and, at times, fatal. During the winter of 1609 to 1610, the colonists of Jamestown struggled to survive siege, starvation and fractured leadership. As their stores of food ran low, the increasingly desperate colonists began to eat horses, pets, vermin, shoe leather and, eventually, one another. At least, that's the rumor. Join the guys as they separate the fact from fiction in the second part of this two-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
17/12/19·21m 48s

The Starving Time: When Jamestown Colonists Turned Cannibal, Part 1

While children are often taught a sanitized version of early American history, the reality of life in a European colony was brutal -- and, at times, fatal. During the winter of 1609 to 1610, the colonists of Jamestown struggled to survive siege, starvation and fractured leadership. As their stores of food ran low, the increasingly desperate colonists began to eat horses, pets, vermin, shoe leather and, eventually, one another. At least, that's the rumor. Join the guys as they separate the fact from fiction in the first part of this two-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12/12/19·26m 5s

The Strange Tradition that Forced Everyone in New York to Move House on the Same Day

It's no secret that moving can be a hassle -- the packing, preparation, time and money spent relocating from one home to another can be a huge pain. Now imagine if everyone in your town had to move on the same day. For decades this was the case in New York City, where all residents (for some reason) had to move on May 1st. Join the guys as they delve into the strange tradition that forced every resident of New York City to move on the same chaotic day. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/12/19·39m 10s

French Waiters Once Had to Strike for Their Right to Wear Mustaches

If you're going for controversial facial hair, there's not much that can top the hirsute hot take known as the mustache. While most people can generally do whatever they want with their facial today, this wasn't always the case. In fact, at the dawn of the 20th century, restaurant staff in France actually went on strike for their right to, among other things, rock a mustache. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05/12/19·38m 22s

Disorganized Crime Trailer

Host Rainbow Valentine discovers her artist mom and 'businessman' dad were deeply involved in the illegal drug trade and unknowingly spent her childhood among a massive pot distribution operation. As she talks with her father in intimate interviews, Rainbow Valentine uncovers a history of her childhood that causes her to reassess everything — and gives us a unique personal window into the infamous counter-culture of Marin County in the 70s and 80s -- from Ken Kesey's acid tests and the birth of the Grateful Dead to a drug culture that hardened and became more dangerous in response to the War On Drugs. Disorganized Crime is now available wherever you get your podcasts. Listen here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
04/12/19·2m 57s

The Honey Trap: Sex in Espionage Throughout History

Sure, love at first sight may be a real thing -- but, occasionally, there's an ulterior motive involved. Join the guys as they explore the bizarre practice known as the Honey Trap, and why spies throughout history have used this technique to extract secrets, kidnap and even assassinate targets.Note: This episode contains mature content, and may not be suitable for all ages. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
03/12/19·29m 42s

The Weird, Weird History of Shipping: Part 2

How far did the components of your phone travel to land in the palm of your hand? Nowadays, even the most mundane items can come from half a world away. This wasn't always the case -- join the guys as they explore the weird, weird world of shipping in this special two-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28/11/19·21m 21s

The Weird, Weird History of Shipping: Part 1

How far did the components of your phone travel to land in the palm of your hand? Nowadays, even the most mundane items can come from half a world away. This wasn't always the case -- join the guys as they explore the weird, weird world of shipping in this special two-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
26/11/19·30m 51s

Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Who Called Out the Hypocrisy of Slavery, Part 2

As Benjamin Lay continued his one-man protest against the hypocrisy of slavery in the Quaker community, he inspired some folks and frustrated others (primarily the elders of his community) with his increasingly over-the-top tactics. After being kicked out of one community after another, he eventually became a hermit of sorts -- though, even then, his story wasn't done. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
21/11/19·33m 9s

Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Who Called Out the Hypocrisy of Slavery, Part 1

Nowadays, people often look back on U.S. Quakers as staunch abolitionists, but this wasn't always the case. In fact, when the Quakers first arrived on the continent they, like many other colonists, owned slaves. It was up to Benjamin Lay to bravely call out their hypocrisy, pointing to the discrepancy between their religious views and their earthly practices. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
19/11/19·32m 18s

How Bertha Heyman Conned Her Way Into Show Business

Bertha Heyman was a notorious con artist with a robust rap sheet and a penchant for bilking well-to-do, otherwise shrewd men. Listen in to learn how Bertha's life of crime led her, oddly enough, into showbiz. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
14/11/19·42m 39s

That Time Germany Got Obsessed With Polar Bear Photos

When French photo collector Jean-Marie Donat stumbled upon his first vintage picture of a German dressed as a polar bear, he initially thought it was just an odd historical anomaly -- at least, that is, until he found a second one. And then a third. And on, and on. Eventually Donat realized he'd stumbled across a bizarre photo trend: For decades Germany was obsessed photographs of people dressed as polar bears. So how did this trend get started, and why did it disappear? Listen in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12/11/19·42m 57s

Rose Mackenberg: Houdini's Ghostbuster

While the papers of the time relegated Rose Mackenberg to a sidekick role as the "girl detective" working with famed skeptic and escape artist Harry Houdini, this spiritualist-turned-spook-spy spent decades busting con artists purporting to be mediums. And, after Houdini's death in 1926, Rose Mackenberg continued her mission, exposing fraudulent ghost racketeers -- a genuine, real-life ghostbuster. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07/11/19·39m 43s

Science and Spiritualism: Why were ghost stories so popular in the 1800s?

Nowadays western historians tend to regard the scientific progress of the 19th century as a linear, indelible line from one breakthrough to the next. Yet these astonishing innovations in science occurred in step with a resurrection of paranormal belief. Why were ghost stories so prolific in this age? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05/11/19·43m 0s

John of Bohemia, the Blind King Who Charged Into Battle

We recount the epic tale of John of Bohemia, a 14th-century king who charged into the Battle of Crécy at age 50 - despite having been blind for the past ten years. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
01/11/19·31m 9s

Kakigōri: The Story of Japan's Famous Shaved Ice

While this Japanese delicacy isn't the world's only icy dessert, it's certainly one of the most unique -- that iconic, delicate texture sets it apart. Kakigōri tastes like a treat fit for aristocrats and royalty, and that's no surprise: Back in the 11th century, that's exactly what Kakigōri was. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
30/10/19·31m 12s

John Edmonstone: The Man Who Trained Darwin

Born into slavery in the 1700s, John Edmonstone gained his freedom in 1817 and moved to Edinburgh, where he stuffed birds for the Natural Museum and taught taxidermy to a young Charles Darwin. Tune in to learn more about the life and times of the man who not only taught Charles Darwin, but inspired him to explore the planet and, eventually, produce groundbreaking science that would forever change the way we think of the natural world. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
25/10/19·32m 22s

The Death of Luxury Air Travel

Flying in an airplane is an enormous privilege, but nowadays it's often seen as an inconvenience more than anything else -- the crowding, the lines, the security check and so on can certainly take the magic out of a journey. Yet this wasn't always the case -- in decades past, air travel was the last word in mobile luxury. So what changed? Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
22/10/19·41m 26s

Introducing History VS.

In the podcast History Vs., we’ll explore how larger-than-life historical figures faced off against their greatest foes. In this inaugural season, we’re looking at Theodore Roosevelt’s incredible life using a convention that he, as a boxer, would have appreciated. Each episode, we’ll analyze how Roosevelt took on a particular challenge, from his debilitating childhood asthma and conflict within his family to conquering the hours of the day and preserving the world for the next generation. History VS. is now available. Listen here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
21/10/19·2m 5s

The Bizarre Capitulation of Stettin

When French General Antoine Lasalle first arrived at the Prussian-held city of Stettin in 1806, his odds of successfully capturing the community seemed laughably low -- Prussian Lieutenant General Friedrich Romberg had over 5,000 heavily-armed troops at his command, while Lasalle had less than 800 French soldiers. So how exactly did Lasalle convinced Romberg to not only surrender, but also cede his troops, arms and the fortress of Stettin overnight? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
17/10/19·23m 7s

John Wilkes Booth's Brother Saved Abraham Lincoln's Son

Sometime in 1864 or 1865, Robert Lincoln, son of President Abraham Lincoln, had a close call with death in a subway station when he was saved at the last minute by an honest-to-God celebrity -- Edwin Booth, one of the most famous actors of the day. Neither man knew their fates would intersect in a much more tragic fashion shortly thereafter, when Edwin's brother, actor John Wilkes Booth, would assassinate Robert's father Abraham. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
16/10/19·27m 5s

John Clem: The 12-year Old Civil War Hero

Although most soldiers in the U.S. Civil War were between 18 and 39, an estimated 20% of the soldiers were underage -- and thousands of those children were under the age of 15. John Lincoln Clem was one of the most extreme examples of this phenomenon, and remains one of the most well-known today. He joined up with the Union when he was only eleven years old, surviving multiple conflicts and living to the ripe old age of 85. But how did he feel about the practice of allowing children into battle? The answer might surprise you. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/10/19·30m 24s

Christopher Columbus Was Such A Jerk That Even Spain Turned Against Him

For decades in the West, Christopher Columbus was often inaccurately portrayed as a pioneering explorer, his life, times and crimes sanitized in the public record. Schoolchildren learned rhymes about this individual, and in the US he was given an official holiday. However, the activities of the real Christopher Columbus fall far short of the image children were taught growing up. In fact, Columbus was such a dirtbag that, eventually, even the Spanish Crown turned against him. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
08/10/19·38m 31s

The Kaiser’s Plan to Invade the United States

Kaiser Wilhelm II was nothing if not ambitious, and he had grand geopolitical plans to increase German influence across the planet. In his mind, there was one big roadblock in the way — the pesky United States. Join the guys as they explore the bizarre German plans to invade the U.S. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
03/10/19·33m 22s

How Uncle Tom's Cabin Became One of the Most Popular Books in China

Published in 1852, Uncle Tom's Cabin quickly reached international acclaim, becoming the best-selling novel of the 19th century, and the second-best selling book after the Bible. While this antislavery narrative profoundly affected American attitudes about slavery, the story also had a global reach -- in fact, a Chinese translation of Uncle Tom's Cabin became one of the hottest books of the late Qing Dynasty. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
01/10/19·38m 56s

Introducing Worst Year Ever

2020 isn't going to be fun for anybody, left, right, or center. What many call the Most Important Election of Our Lifetime is going to be exhausting, ugly, angry, and probably at least a little racist. Listen as Robert, Katy, and Cody try to keep level heads covering the election while traveling the country, from the Iowa Caucus to gun shows and anti-vaccine conventions, finding out what Real America really wants and thinks during the, “Worst Year Ever.” The first two episodes are now available. Listen here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
27/09/19·8m 39s

Tom Watson Gordy: How One Uncle’s Adventures Inspired Jimmy Carter to Join the Navy

Former President Jimmy Carter has dedicated his life to public service, but even now few people know what exactly inspired him. Join Ben, Noel and special guest Ryan as they explore the astonishing adventures of Carter’s Uncle Tom Gordy — and how one man’s letter home set Carter on a path that would eventually lead to the presidency. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27/09/19·47m 52s

Teddy Bears, Rhinos, Safari and Everywhere Else: A Conversation with Daniel Scheffler

Although he was wildly popular during his final Presidential term (the world-famous Teddy Bear was even inspired by him), Theodore Roosevelt declined to run for the office again in 1908. Immediately after the inauguration of President Howard Taft in 1909, Roosevelt set out on his dream trip -- a safari across the African continent. Join the guys and special guest Daniel Scheffler, the host of Everywhere, as they explore the complicated, paradoxical relationship Roosevelt had with conservation and hunting, along with how a Teddy Bear inspired Daniel to travel to over 120 countries.You can listen to Everywhere wherever podcasts are available. Listen here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
24/09/19·39m 48s

The Gaspee Affair: Rhode Island’s Revolutionary “Tea Party”

Most US residents are familiar with the famous Boston Tea Party - but it was far from the only conflict of this type. Join the guys as they explore Rhode Island’s Gaspee Affair, and why it’s sometimes called Rhode Island’s Boston Tea Party. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
19/09/19·23m 58s

Otto Rahn, The Nazi Occultist Who Hated Nazis and Inspired Indiana Jones

Otto Rahn was a German writer obsessed with finding the Holy Grail -- and, despite being opposed to the Nazi party, as well as openly gay, Otto was financed by one of his biggest fans: Henrich Himmler, the infamous head of the SS. Himmler was convinced Rahn was on to something, pouring money into Rahn's expeditions to find the Grail. So what happened next? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
17/09/19·27m 48s

4 Times Women in the US Were Actually Arrested for Wearing Pants

Today we take a look at a practice that many of us do every day without a second thought - namely, wear pants. However, for women throughout history, wearing pants has not always been such a trivial matter. Join Ben and special guest Christopher Hassiotis as they examine four times that women in the United States were arrested simply for wearing pants. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
13/09/19·49m 32s

Sir Francis Drake and the Great Iowa Swindle

When Oscar Hartzell's mother met Milo and Sudie, she fell for a story too good to be true: She, as an heir to the fortune of Sir Francis Drake, was eligible to receive a large part of his treasure -- all she had to do was help pay for court costs in the UK. Yet when Oscar finally figured out the con, he joined forces with the fraudsters, eventually becoming the head of one of the largest scams of the age. Join Ben and special guest Christopher Hassiotis as they explore the bizarre rise (and fall) of Oscar Hartzell. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/09/19·38m 16s

Around the World in a Model T: The Story of Aloha Wanderwell

Nowadays her name may be unfamiliar, but in the 1920s Aloha Wanderwell was an international celebrity, traveling hundreds of thousands of miles across the globe and filming her adventures. Tune in to learn more about the life and times of the explorer often called "the Amelia Earhart of the Automobile". Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05/09/19·27m 49s

Why George Washington is Huge in Barbados

Before he became one of the leaders of the Revolutionary War, George Washington was just another young man with big dreams and no small amount of wanderlust. It’s no surprise, then, that he jumped at the chance to travel to Barbados with his elder half-brother. Join the guys as they sit down with special guest and research associate Ryan Beresch to learn more about Washington’s seven weeks in Barbados -- and how it fundamentally altered the course of his life. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
03/09/19·48m 49s

John Willis Menard: The First African American Elected To US Congress

A statesman, editor, publisher, poet, activist and more, John Willis Menard was a true Renaissance man, and he dedicated his life to public service. Listen in to learn more about the life and times of John Willis Menard. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
30/08/19·26m 18s

The Bloody Revenge of Saint Olga of Kiev

When the rebellious Drevlian tribe killed Princess Olga of Kiev's husband, Igor, she set forth on one of history's bloodiest revenge's schemes, instigating not one but multiple unsaintly, violent massacres. Join the guys as they explore Olga's brutal rise to power -- and how she ultimately became a saint. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27/08/19·36m 52s

The Super Fight: When Muhammad Ali and Rocky Marciano Had A Fight That Never Happened

Radio executive Murray Woroner had a dream -- a fantasy radio boxing tournament matching 16 fighters from different eras. In a move that pushed the boundaries of 1960s technology, his team programmed a computer with that boxers' strengths, weaknesses and various fight scenarios that might occur. This ultimately led to one of the strangest bouts in boxing history: The Super Fight between Ali and Mariano, a match that occurred on film, but never happened in real life. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
23/08/19·34m 27s

Shame and Fish: The Embarrassing and Tragic Story of François Vatel

In this episode, Ben and Noel dive into the story of François Vatel, a majordomo who was tasked with organizing an extravagant royal banquet in 1671. With 2,000 attendees expected, among them many high-ranking French dignitaries, the pressure was high. Tune in to find out the ridiculous and tragic story of what happened next. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
20/08/19·34m 19s

Creature Feature: Go Home Nature, You're Drunk

Join the guys as they make a return appearance on Creature Feature, the podcast that takes a critter’s eye view to explore how animal behavior parallels the behavior of humans. In this episode, Katie Goldin and the guys explore some of the strangest quirks of animal anatomy... and they learn some things simply can't be unseen. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
15/08/19·1h 32m

Hunting Fireflies for Fun (and Profit)

From the 1960s well into the 1990s, thousands of children in the United States were actually paid to hunt fireflies. Join the guys as they explore the strange story of Sigma and firefly hunting — and get surprised by an unexpected guest. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
14/08/19·37m 14s

The Listener Mail Extravaganza

The guys often end the show by asking you and your fellow listeners for your own takes on everything from strange town names, crackpot military experiments and more. In today’s episode, Ben and Noel explore some of their favorite listener feedback and — for some reason — decide to check out their worst reviews online. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
09/08/19·34m 34s

That Time Ancient Monks Waged War Over A Copyright

The first modern copyright law was the Statute of St. Anne, passed in Great Britain in 1710. However, copyright disputes themselves are much older -- and in at least once case, an argument over copyright led to thousands of deaths. Listen in to learn the strange story of how Saint Columba and Saint Finian went into open battle over copyright. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
06/08/19·26m 15s

Ye Xian: The Story of China's Cinderella

We've all heard the story of Cinderella -- it's one of the world's most popular fairy tales! However, this story exists in multiple versions across the world. Join the guys as they explore the ancient tale of Ye Xian -- the Chinese Cinderella. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
01/08/19·27m 0s

The Portuguese Bank Note Crisis: How One Lucky Forger Almost Destroyed A Nation's Economy

Artur Virgilio Alves dos Reis had a gift. He wasn't the smartest kid growing up, nor was he the most athletic -- he was, however, one of Europe's most talented forgers. After a string of various cons, he decided to go big. How big, you ask? Tune in to learn how one lucky conman almost single-handedly brought down the entire Portuguese economy. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
30/07/19·34m 48s

Cow Shoe Camouflage: How Prohibition-era Moonshiners Outsmarted the Feds

During the Prohibition Era, moonshiners and federal agents continually tried to outsmart one another — and one of the moonshiners’ most creative inventions? The bizarre footwear known as Cow Shoes. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
25/07/19·30m 7s

Castle Itter: When Germans and Americans Joined Forces in World War II

With one notable exception, American and German forces were bitterly opposed to one another during World War II -- that exception? The Battle of Castle Itter. Tune in to learn more about the strange sequence of events that led both the US and the Germany army to team up for a rescue mission. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
23/07/19·24m 21s

A Grave Mistake: The Story of Patton's "Abandoned Rear"

When George S. Patton decided to found a tank training school in the tiny French village of Bourg, the mayor approached him in tears. "An American soldier has died here," said the mayor, "and I would like to lead you to his grave." Patton followed the lachrymose politician to the grave site -- but he wasn't prepared for what he would find. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
18/07/19·24m 48s

Did the US Mafia actually start in New Orleans?

When we think of the mob today, most Americans think of New York City -- and why not? After all, films, books and TV shows often depict New York as the heart of mob country. Yet, as the guys discover in today's episode, the story of the Italian-American mafia has a surprisingly different (and often forgotten) origin point. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
16/07/19·27m 16s

Introducing Ephemeral

Lost materials, dropped threads, forgotten stories. Ephemera in the way that it’s intertwined in our lives. All those things, tangible and intangible, that you wish you could take just one more look at before they vanish into the past. All episodes of Ephemeral are now available. Listen here and learn more at www.ephemeral.show Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
15/07/19·8m 7s

Meet Albert Cashier, the Trans Man Who Fought for the Union in the Civil War

Born as 'Jennie Hodgers' with a female sex assignment on December 25th, 1843, Albert Cashier emigrated to the United States lived as a man from his early teens on through the rest of his life. Despite the massive prejudices of the time, he managed to find support in his local communities, his friends and his fellow soldiers from the 95th Illinois Infantry both during and after the war, when the US government temporarily tried to revoke his pension. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/07/19·27m 29s

Operation Northwoods: How the US Planned to Attack Itself and Start a War with Cuba

It's no secret that the US and Cuba have a long history of tense relations, often teetering on the brink of war. But just how far would Uncle Sam go to begin a genuine war with Cuba? The answer can be found in the declassified proposals for Operation Northwoods, a secret plan to wage false flag attacks on US citizens, soldiers, planes and ships, all with the goal of blaming these attacks on Cuba.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
09/07/19·41m 12s

That Time Irish Separatists Invaded Canada

It’s true! Once upon a time, Irish separatists based in the United States thought invading Canada was the best way to reunify Ireland. Join the gang as they explore the rise of the Fenians (and, along the way, why Canada is more than capable of defending itself). Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
04/07/19·27m 43s

The Night Witches: How an All-female Soviet Bomb Squad Terrorized Nazi Germany

The 588th Night Bomber Regiment didn't have the best equipment, and they didn't have the best planes. What this all-female bomber regiment did have, however, was unstoppable ambition, brilliant strategies and dozens of fearless pilots. Listen in to learn more about the rise of the terrifying force the German soldiers called die Nachthexen -- the Night Witches. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
02/07/19·30m 11s

Bug Wars: When We Tried to Turn Insects into Soldiers

Let's be honest: Bugs aren't everyone's cup of tea, but they're fascinating, crucial parts of the ecosystem. They're also, according to a few eggheads, the perfect weapons of war. Join the guys as they explore the bizarre experiments governments conducted in the field of entomological warfare. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27/06/19·30m 9s

Yasuke, the African Samurai

Japanese Daimyo Oda Nobunaga was fascinated by the mysterious, towering slave of a visiting Jesuit missionary, and soon this man, Yasuke, joined Nobunaga's court, eventually becoming a full-on samurai. Join the guys as they explore the strange life of the African-born samurai, Yasuke. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
25/06/19·28m 25s

The Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm I Tried To Make An Army of Super Tall Soldiers

Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm was fascinated by all things military, but the crown jewel of his army was a group known as the Potsdam Giants -- men recruited on the basis of their height alone. If these tall boys, teens and men didn't want to sign up for the Giants, the King had no problem kidnapping them. Listen in to learn more about the strange story of the Potsdam Giants. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
20/06/19·32m 15s

Playboy, Progressive Politics and Stand-up: The Dick Gregory Story with Wayne Federman

In this episode, Wayne Federman joins the guys to explore the rise of legendary comedian Dick Gregory, who began life as a boundary-breaking stand-up comic. Tune in as the gang explore's Gregory's evolution, his association with Hugh Hefner, and his later calling as a full-time civil rights activist Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
18/06/19·49m 31s

Introducing Food 360 with Marc Murphy

Want to know more about what’s on your plate? Chef Marc Murphy’s Food 360 takes a comprehensive look at the way we eat, exploring food history, science, culture, and more with help from an impressive roster of experts, restauranteurs, and fellow celebrity chefs. Food 360 is now available! You can listen here.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
15/06/19·1m 28s

I Modi: The Scandalous Erotic Blockbuster Banned By The Vatican

Nowadays it's no secret that some Papal administrations from centuries past were a bit more scandalous than others, but when master engraver Marcantonio Raimondi created prints of explicit art located within the papal palace, the church was scandalized. Learn more about the bizarre tale of "The Sixteen Pleasures".  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
13/06/19·33m 54s

Patriots, Prisoners and Plants: The World of Political Body Doubles

Has anyone ever told you you resemble a celebrity? Have you ever thought of making this resemblance your job? In today’s episode, the guys explore real-life stories of body doubles, from World War II to surprisingly recent events. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/06/19·49m 2s

Fort Blunder: The US Fort Mistakenly Built in Canada

After the War of 1812, the US decided to shore up security at Lake Champlain by constructing a fort on Island Point. However, due to a surveying error, the US ended up building this fort in Canada, rather than the states. Listen in to learn more about the ridiculous story of Fort Montgomery, and why some people prefer to call it Fort Blunder. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
06/06/19·33m 12s
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