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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One stormy morning in 1880, naturalist John Muir set out to explore a glacier in Alaska’s Taylor Bay, accompanied by an adventurous little dog that had joined his expedition. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll describe the harrowing predicament that the two faced on the ice, which became the basis of […]
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