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Forgotten stories from the pages of history. Join us for surprising and curious tales from the past and challenge yourself with our lateral thinking puzzles. Continue Reading >>
Forgotten stories from the pages of history. Join us for surprising and curious tales from the past and challenge yourself with our lateral thinking puzzles. << Show Less
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365-Lateral Thinking Puzzles For this final episode of the Futility Closet podcast we have eight new lateral thinking puzzles — play along with us as we try to untangle some perplexing situations using yes-or-no questions. Intro: Sears used to sell houses by mail. Many of Lewis Carroll's characters were suggested by fireplace tiles in his Oxford study. The sources for this week's puzzles are below. In some cases we've included links to further information -- these contain spoilers, so don't click until you've listened to the episode: Puzzle #1 is from Greg. Here are two links. Puzzle #2 is from listener Diccon Hyatt, who sent this link. Puzzle #3 is from listener Derek Christie, who sent this link. Puzzle #4 is from listener Reuben van Selm. Puzzle #5 is from listener Andy Brice. Puzzle #6 is from listener Anne Joroch, who sent this link. Puzzle #7 is from listener Steve Carter and his wife, Ami, inspired by an item in Jim Steinmeyer's 2006 book The Glorious Deception. Puzzle #8 is from Agnes Rogers' 1953 book How Come? A Book of Riddles, sent to us by listener Jon Jerome. You can listen using the player above, download this episode directly, or subscribe on Google Podcasts, on Apple Podcasts, or via the RSS feed at https://futilitycloset.libsyn.com/rss. Many thanks to Doug Ross for providing the music for this whole ridiculous enterprise, and for being my brother. If you have any questions or comments you can reach us at podcast@futilitycloset.com. Thanks for listening!
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365-Lateral Thinking Puzzles For this final episode of the Futility Closet podcast we have eight new lateral thinking puzzles — play along with us as we try to untangle some perplexing situations using yes-or-no questions. Intro: Sears used to sell houses by mail. Many of Lewis Carroll's characters were suggested by fireplace tiles in his Oxford study. The sources for this week's puzzles are below. In some cases we've included links to further information -- these contain spoilers, so don't click until you've listened to the episode: Puzzle #1 is from Greg. Here are two links. Puzzle #2 is from listener Diccon Hyatt, who sent this link. Puzzle #3 is from listener Derek Christie, who sent this link. Puzzle #4 is from listener Reuben van Selm. Puzzle #5 is from listener Andy Brice. Puzzle #6 is from listener Anne Joroch, who sent this link. Puzzle #7 is from listener Steve Carter and his wife, Ami, inspired by an item in Jim Steinmeyer's 2006 book The Glorious Deception. Puzzle #8 is from Agnes Rogers' 1953 book How Come? A Book of Riddles, sent to us by listener Jon Jerome. You can listen using the player above, download this episode directly, or subscribe on Google Podcasts, on Apple Podcasts, or via the RSS feed at https://futilitycloset.libsyn.com/rss. Many thanks to Doug Ross for providing the music for this whole ridiculous enterprise, and for being my brother. If you have any questions or comments you can reach us at podcast@futilitycloset.com. Thanks for listening!
364-Sidney Cotton's Aerial Reconnaissance One of the most remarkable pilots of World War II never fired a shot or dropped a bomb. With his pioneering aerial reconnaissance, Sidney Cotton made a vital contribution to Allied planning. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe his daring adventures in the war's early months. We'll also revisit our very first story and puzzle over an unknown Olympian. Intro: Hall's Law holds that a group's social class is reflected in its members' initials. In 1814 Richard Porson wrote a sonnet to nothing. Sources for our feature on Sidney Cotton: Michael Smith, The Secret Agent's Bedside Reader: A Compendium of Spy Writing, 2019. Chaz Bowyer, Air War Over Europe: 1939-1945, 2003. David Marshall and Bruce Harris, Wild About Flying!: Dreamers, Doers, and Daredevils, 2003. "Spies in the Sky: The Secret Battle for Aerial Intelligence During World War II," Contemporary Review 294:1705 (June 2012), 249. Taylor Downing, "Spying From the Sky," History Today 61:11 (November 2011), 10-16. "Sidney's Sky Spies," Air Classics 37:12 (December 2001), 30. Walter J. Boyne, "Reconnaissance on the Wing," Air Force Magazine 82 (1999), 72-78. "Parkes Display Plane's Remarkable Career," Parkes [N.S.W.] Champion Post, Nov. 1, 2015. Jessica Howard, "Daughter Tells of Spy Who Loved Her," [Hobart Town, Tas.] Mercury, July 27, 2013. "007 Cotton Inspires Bond," Gold Coast Bulletin, Sept. 27, 2008. "Aussie Maverick Who Fooled Nazis," [Surry Hills, N.S.W.] Daily Telegraph, Nov. 9, 2002. Christopher Bantick, "Aussie Spy in the Sky," [Hobart Town, Tas.] Mercury, Nov. 2, 2002. Stephen Holt, "Oh, What a Lovely War," [Brisbane, Qld.] Courier-Mail, Oct. 19, 2002. David Morris, "The Real Bond - Revealed: 007 Was Actually a Queenslander," [Brisbane, Qld.] Sunday Mail, July 15, 2001. David Wroe, "The Original Spy in the Sky," [Melbourne] Age, June 8, 2000. "He Fought the R.A.F. as Well as the Enemy," Sydney Morning Herald, April 12, 1969. "The Cheeky Missions of a Young Spy-Flier Helped to Save Thousands of Allied Lives," Sydney Morning Herald, Feb. 9, 1969. "May Be the Wreckage of French Airplane," Morristown [Tenn.] Gazette Mail, July 15, 1927. "Search for Lost Men Is to Be Discussed," New Britain [Ct.] Herald, July 14, 1927. "Plans Search By Air For Nungesser, Coli," New York Times, May 26, 1927. "Was Proserpine's Sidney Cotton the Real James Bond?" Breakfast, ABC, Sept. 19, 2021. "Guide to the Papers of Frederick Sidney Cotton," Australian War Memorial (accessed Nov. 1, 2021). John McCarthy, "Cotton, Frederick Sidney (1894–1969)," Australian Dictionary of Biography, 1993. Listener mail: Norman Fraser, "Sad Ending to Beautiful Betsy Wartime Mystery," [Brisbane] Courier-Mail, March 18, 2015. "Beautiful Betsy," Monument Australia (accessed Nov. 13, 2021). "Monto-Historical and Cultural," North Burnett, Queensland (accessed Nov. 14, 2021). "Cylinder, Iowa," Wikipedia (accessed Nov. 18, 2021). "The Skeleton in the Bale," Atlanta Constitution, Oct. 2, 1892. (Greg's blog piece is here.) This week's lateral thinking puzzle was contributed by listener S Wan. Here's a corroborating link (warning -
363-The Lambeth Poisoner In 1891, a mysterious figure appeared on the streets of London, dispensing pills to poor young women who then died in agony. Suspicion came to center on a Scottish-Canadian doctor with a dark past in North America. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe the career of the Lambeth Poisoner, whose victims remain uncounted. We'll also consider a Hungarian Jules Verne and puzzle over an ambiguous sentence. Intro: How can an investor responsibly divest herself of stock in a company that she feels has acted immorally? Lightning can vitrify sand into rootlike tubes. Sources for our feature on Thomas Neill Cream: Dean Jobb, The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer, 2021. Lee Mellor, Cold North Killers: Canadian Serial Murder, 2012. Joshua A. Perper and Stephen J. Cina, When Doctors Kill: Who, Why, and How, 2010. John H. Trestrail III, Criminal Poisoning: Investigational Guide for Law Enforcement, Toxicologists, Forensic Scientists, and Attorneys, 2007. Angus McLaren, A Prescription for Murder: The Victorian Serial Killings of Dr. Thomas Neill Cream, 1995. Paula J. Reiter, "Doctors, Detectives, and the Professional Ideal: The Trial of Thomas Neill Cream and the Mastery of Sherlock Holmes," College Literature 35:3 (Summer 2008), 57-95. Ian A. Burney, "A Poisoning of No Substance: The Trials of Medico-Legal Proof in Mid-Victorian England," Journal of British Studies 38:1 (January 1999), 59-92. Penelope Johnston, "The Murderous Ways of Dr Thomas Neill Cream," Medical Post 33:38 (Nov. 11, 1997), 47. Carolyn A. Conley, "A Prescription for Murder: The Victorian Serial Killings of Dr. Thomas Neill Cream by Angus McLaren," American Historical Review 99:3 (June 1994), 899-900. Philippa Levin, "Modern Britain -- A Prescription for Murder: The Victorian Serial Killings of Dr. Thomas Neill Cream by Angus McLaren," Canadian Journal of History 28:3 (December 1993), 595-597. E.H. Bensley, "McGill University's Most Infamous Medical Graduate," Canadian Medical Association Journal 109:10 (1973), 1024. "A Crazy Poisoner," British Medical Journal 1:3302 (April 12, 1924), 670. Michael Dirda, "A True-Crime Columnist Turns His Attention to Victorian-Era Serial Killer Thomas Neill Cream," Washington Post, Aug. 11, 2021. Evan F. Moore, "New Book Details Canadian Serial Killer’s Murderous Legacy in Chicago and Beyond," Chicago Sun-Times, Aug. 10, 2021. Rick Kogan, "Story of Serial Killer Dr. Thomas Neill Cream Takes You on a Grand, Gruesome, Historical Journey, With His Time in Chicago," Chicago Tribune, July 22, 2021. W.M. Akers, "Getting Away With Murder, Literally," New York Times, July 13, 2021. "When Canada's 'Jack the Ripper' Serial Killer Struck in Ontario," Toronto Star, May 29, 2021. Marc Horne, "Doctor Who Had a Taste for Poison," Scotland on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008. Jill Foran, "The Evil Deeds of Dr. Cream," The [Winnipeg] Beaver 86:4 (August/September 2006), 16-22. "Coincidences Point the Finger at Cream as the Ripper," [Regina, Saskatchewan] Leader-Post, May 5, 1979. "The Violent and Sadistic Dr. Cream," [Regina, Saskatchewan] Leader-Post, April 28, 1979. "Poisoner Trailed Over Three Countries," Knoxville [Tenn.] Journal, Feb. 2, 1947. Ruth Reynolds, "When Justice Triumphed," [New York] Daily News, Feb. 2, 1947. "His Last Letter," Waterloo [N.Y.] Advertiser, Dec. 9, 1892. "Cream's Joke," Arizona Republican, Nov. 30, 1892. "Execution of Neill," [Cardiff] Western Mail</
362-The Leatherman In 1856, a mysterious man appeared on the roads of Connecticut and New York, dressed in leather, speaking to no one, and always on the move. He became famous for his circuits through the area, which he followed with remarkable regularity. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe the Leatherman, whose real identity remains unknown. We'll also consider the orientation of churches and puzzle over some balky ponies. Intro: Western Poland contains a grove of 400 pine trees that appear to have been deliberately bent. In 1902 Montgomery Carmichael published the life story of an imaginary man. Image: The Leatherman, photographed on June 9, 1885, by James F. Rodgers at the Bradley Chidsey House, Branford, Ct. Sources for our feature: Dan W. DeLuca, ed., The Old Leather Man: Historical Accounts of a Connecticut and New York Legend, 2008. Robert Marchant, Westchester: History of an Iconic Suburb, 2018. Jim Reisler, Walk of Ages: Edward Payson Weston's Extraordinary 1909 Trek Across America, 2015. Kathleen L. Murray, Berlin, 2001. Clark Wissler, The Indians of Greater New York and the Lower Hudson, 1909. Dave Zucker, "Who Was Westchester’s Mysterious and Legendary Leatherman?" Westchester Magazine, March 24, 2021. Jon Campbell, "Mystery Man: Will Anyone Ever Know the Real Story Behind the Leatherman?" Village Voice, June 16, 2015. Steven R. Cooper, "Clues to the Past," Central States Archaeological Journal 58:3 (July 2011), 162-163. "Legend in Leather," Hudson Valley Magazine, March 11, 2010. Jim Fitzgerald, "Wanderer From 1800s Gets More Peaceful NY Grave," Associated Press, May 25, 2011. Dan Brechlin, "Leather Man Body May Yield Clues," [Meriden, Ct.] Record Journal, Jan. 3, 2011. "Would Leatherman Be Welcome Today?" New Haven Register, June 6, 2011. Pam McLoughlin, "Mystery Man," New Haven Register, Feb. 13, 2011. "Walker's Unusual Legend Is Told," Hartford Courant, Sept. 12, 2005. Steve Grant, "Final Journey Made to Resting Place of Legendary Wanderer," Hartford Courant, July 18, 1993. Steve Grant, "On the Road, Retracing the Leatherman's Path," Hartford Courant, June 20, 1993. Frances Phipps, "A Man Known by All, and by None," New York Times, Sept. 23, 1984. "The Leather Man," [Meriden, Ct.] Journal, July 19, 1886. "A Leather-Clad Hermit," Burlington [Vt.] Free Press, April 7, 1870. "Search For Clues Only Deepens 'Leatherman' Mystery," Morning Edition, National Public Radio, May 26, 2011. "Leatherman," Perception, WTIC-TV, Feb. 14, 1965. Listener mail: "Orientation of Churches," Wikipedia (accessed Oct. 10, 2021). Patrick Arneitz et al., "Orientation of Churches by Magnetic Compasses?" Geophysical Journal International 198:1 (2014), 1-7. "Brazil Nuts," ORAU Museum of Radiation and Radioactivity (accessed Oct. 10, 2021). "Natural Radioactivity in Food," EPA (accessed Oct. 14, 2021). "Brazil Nut," Wikipedia (accessed Oct. 16, 2021). G.V. Damiano, Hadhuch-Anti Hell-War: Monarchy's Victory; Constitution's Triumph; Tribute's Annihilation, 1922. This week's lateral thinking puzzle was contributed by listener James Venning. Here's a <a href="https://issuu.
361-A Fight Over Nutmeg In 1616, British officer Nathaniel Courthope was sent to a tiny island in the East Indies to contest a Dutch monopoly on nutmeg. He and his men would spend four years battling sickness, starvation, and enemy attacks to defend the island's bounty. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe Courthope's stand and its surprising impact in world history. We'll also meet a Serbian hermit and puzzle over an unusual business strategy. Intro: Should orangutans be regarded as human? How fast does time fly? Sources for our feature on Nathaniel Courthope: Giles Milton, Nathaniel's Nutmeg: or, The True and Incredible Adventures of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History, 2015. John Keay, The Honourable Company, 2010. Martine van Ittersum, The Dutch and English East India Companies, 2018. Sanjeev Sanyal, The Ocean of Churn: How the Indian Ocean Shaped Human History, 2016. Paul Schellinger and Robert M. Salkin, eds., International Dictionary of Historic Places, 2012. Daniel George Edward Hall, History of South East Asia, 1981. H.C. Foxcroft, Some Unpublished Letters of Gilbert Burnet, the Historian, in The Camden Miscellany, Volume XI, 1907. William Foster, ed., Letters Received by the East India Company From Its Servants in the East, Volume 4, 1900. Samuel Rawson Gardiner, History of England From the Accession of James I to the Outbreak of the Civil War, 1895. W. Noel Sainsbury, Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, East Indies, China and Japan, 1617-1621, 1870. Martine Julia van Ittersum, "Debating Natural Law in the Banda Islands: A Case Study in Anglo–Dutch Imperial Competition in the East Indies, 1609–1621," History of European Ideas 42:4 (2016), 459-501. Geraldine Barnes, "Curiosity, Wonder, and William Dampier's Painted Prince," Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 6:1 (Spring-Summer 2006), 31-50. Barbara D. Krasner, "Nutmeg Takes Manhattan," Calliope 16:6 (February 2006), 28-31. Vincent C. Loth, "Armed Incidents and Unpaid Bills: Anglo-Dutch Rivalry in the Banda Islands in the Seventeenth Century," Modern Asian Studies 29:4 (October 1995), 705-740. Boies Penrose, "Some Jacobean Links Between America and the Orient (Concluded)," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 49:1 (January 1941), 51-61. Jennifer Hunter, "Better Than the David Price Deal? Trading Nutmeg for Manhattan," Toronto Star, Aug. 8, 2015. Janet Malehorn Spencer, "Island Was Bargain for Britain," [Mattoon, Ill.] Journal Gazette, Feb. 22, 2013. Kate Humble, "The Old Spice Route to the Ends of the Earth," Independent, Feb. 12, 2011. Sebastien Berger, "The Nutmeg Islanders Are Aiming to Spice Up Their Lives," Daily Telegraph, Oct. 9, 2004. Clellie Lynch, "Blood and Spice," [Pittsfield, Mass.] Berkshire Eagle, Nov. 11, 1999. Kevin Baker, "Spice Guys," New York Times, July 11, 1999. Robert Taylor, "How the Nutmeg Mania Helped Make History," Boston Globe, May 18, 1999. Giles Milton, "Manhattan Transfer," Sydney Morning Herald, April 10, 1999. Martin Booth, "All for the Sake of a Little Nutmeg Tree," Sunday Times, Feb. 28, 1999. Charles Nicholl, "Books: Scary Tales of an Old Spice World," Independent, Feb. 20, 1999. "Mr Sainsbury's East Indian Calendar," Examiner, March 18, 1871. "Courthopp, Nathaniel," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 1885. Listener mail: "Past Divisional Champs – Little League Baseball," Little League (accessed Oct. 6, 2021). "Serbian Cave Hermit Gets Covid-19 Vaccine, Urges Others to Follow," Straits Times, Aug. 13, 2021. Matthew Taylor, "The Real Story of Body 115," Guardian, Jan. 21, 2004. Godfrey Holmes, "Kings Cross Fire Anniversary: It's Been 30 Years Since the Deadly Fireball Engulfed the Tube Station," Independent, N
360-Haggard's Dream In 1904, adventure novelist H. Rider Haggard awoke from a dream with the conviction that his daughter's dog was dying. He dismissed the impression as a nightmare, but the events that followed seemed to give it a grim significance. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe Haggard's strange experience, which briefly made headlines around the world. We'll also consider Alexa's expectations and puzzle over a college's name change. Intro: Marshall Bean got himself drafted by reversing his name. An air traveler may jump into tomorrow without passing midnight. "Bob, although he belonged to my daughter, who bought him three years ago, was a great friend of mine, but I cannot say that my soul was bound up in him," Haggard wrote. "He was a very intelligent animal, and generally accompanied me in my walks about the farm, and almost invariably came to say good morning to me." Sources for our feature on Haggard's nightmare and its sequel: H. Rider Haggard, The Days of My Life, 1923. Mrs. Henry Sidgwick, "Phantasms of the Living," Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research 86:33 (October 1922), 23-429. H. Rider Haggard, Delphi Complete Works of H. Rider Haggard, 2013. Peter Berresford Ellis, H. Rider Haggard: A Voice From the Infinite, 1978. C.L. Graves and E.V. Lucas, "Telepathy Day by Day," Bill Peschel, et al., The Early Punch Parodies of Sherlock Holmes, 2014. Harold Orel, "Hardy, Kipling, and Haggard," English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920 25:4 (1982), 232-248. "Spiritualism Among Animals" Public Opinion 39:18 (Oct. 28, 1905), 566. "Character Sketch: Commissioner H. Rider Haggard," Review of Reviews 32:187 (July 1905), 20-27. "Rider Haggard on Telepathy," Muswellbrook [N.S.W.] Chronicle, Oct. 8, 1904. "Case," Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 11:212 (October 1904), 278-290. "Mr. Rider Haggard's Dream," [Rockhampton, Qld.] Morning Bulletin, Sept. 24, 1904. "Has a Dog a Soul?" [Adelaide] Evening Journal, Sept. 21, 1904. "Spirit of the Dog," The World's News [Sydney], Sept. 10, 1904. "Thought-Telepathy: H. Rider Haggard's Dog," [Sydney] Daily Telegraph, Aug. 31, 1904. "Dog's Spirit Talks," The World's News [Sydney], Aug. 27, 1904. "Telepathy (?) Between a Human Being and a Dog," [Sydney] Daily Telegraph, Aug. 25, 1904. "Mr. Rider Haggard's Ghost Dog," Kansas City Star, Aug. 22, 1904. "The Nightmare of a Novelist," Fresno Morning Republican, Aug. 21, 1904. "Psychological Mystery," Hawaiian Star, Aug. 20, 1904. H.S., "Superstition and Psychology," Medical Press and Circular 129:7 (Aug. 17, 1904), 183-184. "Canine Telepathy," [Montreal] Gazette, Aug. 10, 1904. "Telepathy (?) Between a Human Being and a Dog," Times, Aug. 9, 1904. "Haggard and His Dog," Washington Post, Aug. 7, 1904. "Mr. Haggard's Strange Dream," New York Times, July 31, 1904. "Country Notes," Country Life 16:395 (July 30, 1904), 147-149. "Mr. Rider Haggard's Dream," Light 24:1229 (July 30, 1904), 364. "Telepathy Between Human Beings and Dogs," English Mechanic and World of Science 79:2053 (July 29, 1904), 567. John Senior, Spirituality in the Fiction of Henry Rider Haggard, dissertation, Rhodes University, 2003. Wallace Bursey, Rider Haggard: A Study in Popular Fiction, dissertation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1972. Morton N. Cohen, "Haggard, Sir (Henry) Rider," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Sept. 23, 2004
359-Stranded in Shangri-La In 1945, a U.S. Army transport plane crashed in New Guinea, leaving three survivors marooned in the island's mountainous interior. Injured, starving, and exhausted, the group seemed beyond the hope of rescue. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe the plight of the stranded survivors and the remarkable plan to save them. We'll also reflect on synthetic fingerprints and puzzle over a suspicious notebook. Intro: What's the shortest possible game of Monopoly if each player plays optimally? Omen or crated inkwell. Sources for our feature on the Gremlin Special: Mitchell Zuckoff, Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II, 2011. Randy Roughton, "Impossible Rescue," Airman, Jan. 26, 2015. John Cirafici, "Lost in Shangri-La," Air Power History 58:3 (Fall 2011), 65. Sara Hov, "Lost in Shangri-La," Army 61:8 (August 2011), 70. Harrison T. Beardsley, "Harrowing Crash in New Guinea," Aviation History 10:2 (November 1999), 46. David Grann, "Plane Crash Compounded by Cannibals," Washington Post, May 22, 2011. Mitchell Zuckoff, "Escape From the Valley of the Lost," Calgary Herald, May 8, 2011. Mitchell Zuckoff, "In 1945, a U.S. Military Plane Crashed in New Guinea," Vancouver Sun, May 7, 2011. Brian Schofield, "A Tumble in the Jungle," Sunday Times, May 1, 2011. Mitchell Zuckoff, "Return to Shangri-La," Boston Globe, April 24, 2011. "Wartime Plane Crash," Kalgoorlie [W.A.] Miner, Sept. 17, 1947. "Glider Saved Fliers, WAC in Wild Valley," [Hagerstown, Md.] Daily Mail, Aug. 14, 1945. Margaret Hastings, "Shangri-La Diary," Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, July 22, 1945. Bob Myers, "Rescued Wac Is En Route to Washington," [Binghamton, N.Y.] Press and Sun-Bulletin, July 9, 1945. "3 Crash Survivors Dramatically Rescued From New Guinea Valley by Glider Snatch Pickup," St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 30, 1945. "New Guinea's 'Hidden Valley,'" St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 28, 1945. "Survivors of Mishap in Shangri-La Valley Reach Their Rescuers," Birmingham [Ala.] News, June 20, 1945. "Two Airmen, Wac Await Rescue in Fantastic 'Hidden Valley,'" [Richmond, Va.] Times Dispatch, June 8, 1945. "Plan Rescue of Survivors of Crash in Shangri-La Dutch New Guinea," Del Rio [Texas] News Herald, June 8, 1945. Lynn Neary, "A WWII Survival Epic Unfolds Deep In 'Shangri-La,'" All Things Considered, National Public Radio, April 26, 2011. Listener mail: Sophie Weiner, "These Synthetic Fingerprint Gloves Can Unlock Your Phone," Popular Mechanics, Nov. 12, 2016. "TAPS - Make Touchscreen Gloves Using a Sticker w/ Touch ID," Kickstarter.com (accessed Sept. 23, 2021). Nanotips (last accessed Sept. 23, 2021). Jon Porter, "This Picture of Cheese Helped Send a Man to Prison for 13 Years," The Verge, May 24, 2021. Alex Mistlin, "Feeling Blue: Drug Dealer's 'Love of Stilton' Leads to His Arrest," Guardian, May 24, 2021. Rob Picheta, "Drug Dealer Jailed After Sharing a Photo of Cheese That Included His Fingerprints," CNN, May 25, 2021. Chaim Gartenberg, "WhatsApp Drug Dealer Convicted Using Fingerprints Taken From Photo," The Verge, April 16, 2018. Chris Wood, "WhatsApp Photo Drug Dealer Caught by 'Groundbreaking' Work," BBC News, April 15, 2018. CSChawaii, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBCP-yy0dn4&ab_chan
358-The Radium Girls In 1917, a New Jersey company began hiring young women to paint luminous marks on the faces of watches and clocks. As time went on, they began to exhibit alarming symptoms, and a struggle ensued to establish the cause. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll tell the story of the Radium Girls, a landmark case in labor safety. We'll also consider some resurrected yeast and puzzle over a posthumous journey. Intro: Joseph Underwood was posting phony appeals for money in 1833. The earliest known written reference to baseball appeared in England. Sources for our feature on the Radium Girls: Claudia Clark, Radium Girls : Women and Industrial Health Reform, 1910-1935, 1997. Ross M. Mullner, Deadly Glow: The Radium Dial Worker Tragedy, 1999. Robert R. Johnson, Romancing the Atom: Nuclear Infatuation From the Radium Girls to Fukushima, 2012. Dolly Setton, "The Radium Girls: The Scary but True Story of the Poison that Made People Glow in the Dark," Natural History 129:1 (December 2020/January 2021), 47-47. Robert D. LaMarsh, "The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women," Professional Safety 64:2 (February 2019), 47. Angela N.H. Creager, "Radiation, Cancer, and Mutation in the Atomic Age," Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 45:1 (February 2015), 14-48. Robert Souhami, "Claudia Clark, Radium Girls," Medical History 42:4 (1998), 529-530. Ainissa Ramirez, "A Visit With One of the Last 'Radium Girls,'" MRS Bulletin 44:11 (2019), 903-904. "Medicine: Radium Women," Time, Aug. 11, 1930. "Poison Paintbrush," Time, June 4, 1928. "Workers From Factory May Get Federal Honors," Asbury Park Press, June 27, 2021. John Williams, "Tell Us 5 Things About Your Book: Kate Moore's 'The Radium Girls,'" New York Times, April 30, 2017. Jack Brubaker, "Those 'Radium Girls' of Lancaster," [Lancaster, Pa.] Intelligencer Journal / Lancaster New Era, May 9, 2014. William Yardley, "Mae Keane, Whose Job Brought Radium to Her Lips, Dies at 107," New York Times, March 13, 2014. Fred Musante, "Residue From Industrial Past Haunts State," New York Times, June 24, 2001. Denise Grady, "A Glow in the Dark, and a Lesson in Scientific Peril," New York Times, Oct. 6, 1998. Martha Irvine, "Dark Secrets Come to Light in New History of 'Radium Girls,'" Los Angeles Times, Oct. 4, 1998. Marc Mappen, "Jerseyana," New York Times, March 10, 1991. "Radium Poisoning Finally Claims Inventor of Luminous Paint After Fight to Harness Terrific Force of Atom," Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Nov. 25, 1928. "Two of Women Radium Victims Offer Selves for Test While Alive," [Danville, Va.] Bee, May 29, 1928. "Death Agony From Radium," [Brisbane, Qld.] Daily Standard, May 15, 1928. "To Begin Two Suits Against Radium Co.," New York Times, June 24, 1925. "U.S. Starts P
357-Scenes From an Earthquake The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 is remembered for its destructive intensity and terrible death toll. But the scale of the disaster can mask some remarkable personal stories. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe the experiences of some of the survivors, which ranged from the horrific to the surreal. We'll also consider a multilingual pun and puzzle over a deadly reptile. Intro: In the 1600s, a specialized verb described the carving of each dish. The Earls of Leicester kept quiet in Parliament. An iconic image: The quake toppled a marble statue of Louis Agassiz from its perch on the second floor of Stanford's zoology building. Sources for our feature: Malcolm E. Barker, Three Fearful Days, 1998. Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts, The San Francisco Earthquake: A Minute-by-Minute Account of the 1906 Disaster, 2014. Louise Chipley Slavicek, The San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906, 2008. Richard Schwartz, Earthquake Exodus, 1906: Berkeley Responds to the San Francisco Refugees, 2005. Gordon Thomas, The San Francisco Earthquake, 1971. Edward F. Dolan, Disaster 1906: The San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, 1967. William Bronson, The Earth Shook, the Sky Burned, 1959. Charles Morris, The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire: As Told by Eyewitnesses, 1906. Alexander Olson, "Writing on Rubble: Dispatches from San Francisco, 1906," KNOW: A Journal on the Formation of Knowledge 3:1 (Spring 2019), 93-121. Susanne Leikam, "The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire," Journal of Transnational American Studies 7:1 (2016). Penny Allan and Martin Bryant, "The Critical Role of Open Space in Earthquake Recovery: A Case Study," EN: Proceedings of the 2010 NZSEE Conference, 2010. Brad T. Aagaard and Gregory C. Beroza, "The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake a Century Later: Introduction to the Special Section," Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 98:2 (2008), 817-822. Jeffrey L. Arnold, "The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake: A Centennial Contemplation," Prehospital and Disaster Medicine 21:3 (2006), 133-134. "... and Then the Fire Was Worse Than the Earthquake ...," American History 41:1 (April 2006), 34-35. Andrea Henderson, "The Human Geography of Catastrophe: Family Bonds, Community Ties, and Disaster Relief After the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire," Southern California Quarterly 88:1 (Spring 2006), 37-70. Kristin Schmachtenberg, "1906 Letter to the San Francisco Health Department," Social Education 70:3 (2006). Laverne Mau Dicker, "The San Francisco Earthquake and Fire: Photographs and Manuscripts From the California Historical Society Library," California History 59:1 (Spring 1980), 34-65. James J. Hudson, "The California National Guard: In the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906," California Historical Quarterly 55:2 (Summer 1976), 137-149. Michael Castleman and Katherine Ellison, "Grace Under Fire," Smithsonian 37:1 (April 2006), 56-60, 64-66. Jack London, "Story of an Eyewitness: The San Francisco Earthquake," Collier's Weekly (May 5, 1906), 107-13. "San Francisco and Its Catastrophe," Scientific American 94:17 (April 28, 1906), 347. Bob Norberg, "A City in Flames," [Santa Rosa, Calif.] Press Democrat, April 13, 2006. "The Ground Shook, a City Fell, and the Lessons Still Resound," New York Times, April 11, 2006. "Eyewitness to History," San Francisco Examiner, April 18, 1996. "The San Francisco Earthquake," [Beechworth, Victoria] Ovens and Murray Advertiser, June 23, 1906. "The Call-Chronicle-Examiner," [Hobart, Tasmania] Mercury, May 30, 1906. "Earthquake at San Francisco," Fitzroy City Press, May 25, 1906. "The San Franci
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