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.

You can support Futility Closet by taking a 5-minute survey. Your answers will help match our show with advertisers that best fit our listeners, like you, and allow us to keep making these podcasts. Listeners who complete the survey will be entered in an ongoing monthly raffle to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card. We promise not to share or sell your email address, and we won’t send you email unless you win.

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Published 8:34 am Tue, Jun 3, 2014

About the Author

Futility Closet is a collection of entertaining curiosities in history, literature, language, art, philosophy, and mathematics, designed to help you waste time as enjoyably as possible.

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