The Great Race, Grace Kelly's Tomahawk, and Dreadful Penmanship [Futility Closet #012]
The New York Times proposed an outrageous undertaking in 1908: An automobile race westward from New York to Paris, a journey of 22,000 miles across all of North America and Asia in an era when the motorcar was “the most fragile and capricious thing on earth.”
In this episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll follow the six teams who took up the challenge and attempted “the most perilous trip ever undertaken by man.” We’ll also see how a tomahawk linked Alec Guinness and Grace Kelly for 25 years and hear poet Louis Phillips lament his wife’s handwriting.
Hosted by Greg and Sharon Ross, Futility Closet is a celebration of the quirky and the curious, the thought-provoking and the simply amusing. This podcast is an audio companion to the popular website that catalogs more than 7,000 curiosities in history, language, mathematics, literature, philosophy, and art. In each episode we explore intriguing finds from our research, share listener contributions, and offer a contest in which listeners can match their wits.
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In 1928, 199 runners set out on a perilous footrace across America, from Los Angeles to Chicago and on to New York. The winner would receive $25,000 — if anyone finished at all. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll tell the story of the Bunion Derby, billed as the greatest footrace […]
In 1863 the residents of Nova Scotia discovered a legless man on the shore of St. Mary’s Bay. He spoke no English and couldn’t tell them who he was or where he’d come from. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll tell what we know about the strange man they called Jerome […]
Here are five new lateral thinking puzzles to test your wits and stump your friends — play along with us as we try to untangle some perplexing situations using yes-or-no questions. Show notes Please support us on Patreon!
Almost everyone has their smartphone in a case of one kind or another. Beyond simple protection, finding a case that can charge your phone on its own, but doesn’t feel like it’s also adding a couple pounds to the phone’s weight is the tricky part. Billed as the world’s thinnest battery case, the ThinCharge iPhone […]
You never know when new projects, ideas or opportunities can drop into your lap at a moment’s notice. That may require you to learn a new programming language like Python. Or maybe you need a primer on 3D game development. Or you might realize you could use a serious brush-up on iOS mobile creation.Point is, […]
Isn’t it about time to stretch what your Mac can do? I mean, you’ve got plenty of great programs now…but don’t you think you could use some new tools to get your creative, analytical and organizational juices really flowing? It’s spring, so we cleaned up a whole bunch of super-cool apps lying around and packaged […]