Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast recaps Game of Thrones S6E05, "The Door"

Willis with a horse.

Season six of HBO's Game of Thrones continues as we bid a tearful farewell to the kindest and purest soul given unto this series. Each week following the show, Boars, Gore, and Swords recaps everything that goes down in the world of Westeros. For this week's "The Door," Ivan and Red are joined by the hilarious Lydia Popovich to discuss the Iron Islands' applause-based political process, theatrical dingdongs, the consequences of grabbing root, and the loss of our dearest, biggest friend.

To catch up on previous seasons, the A Song of Ice And Fire books, and other TV and movies, check out the BGaS archive. You can find them on Twitter @boarsgoreswords, like their Facebook fanpage, and email them. If you want access to extra episodes and content, you can donate to the Patreon. Read the rest

Three boys with a toy cannon briefly held off U.S. Army during 1941 wargames

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During wargames in Louisiana in September 1941, the U.S. Army found itself drawn into a tense firefight with an unseen enemy across the Cane River. The attacker turned out to be three boys with a toy cannon. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll revisit the Battle of Bermuda Bridge and the Prudhomme brothers' account of their historic engagement. Read the rest

If you could choose to find out your death date, would you?

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Today we travel to a future where everybody knows exactly when they’re going to die. Read the rest

Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast recaps Game of Thrones S6E04, "Book of the Stranger"

Tormund consumes his dinner sensually.

Season six of HBO's Game of Thrones continues, with sibling reunions and fiery declarations aplenty. Each week following the show, Boars, Gore, and Swords recaps everything that goes down in the world of Westeros. For this week's "Book of the Stranger," Ivan and Red discuss Ramsay Bolton's trolling, the High Sparrow's torture by backstory, Brienne and Tormund's sexual tension, and yes, they cover the flatulence of Pycelle which they somehow missed last week.

To catch up on previous seasons, the A Song of Ice And Fire books, and other TV and movies, check out the BGaS archive. You can find them on Twitter @boarsgoreswords, like their Facebook fanpage, and email them. If you want access to extra episodes and content, or just want to show your support, you can donate to the Patreon. Read the rest

Can a castaway survive on fish, plankton, and seawater?

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In 1952, French physician Alain Bombard set out to cross the Atlantic on an inflatable raft to prove his theory that a shipwreck victim can stay alive on a diet of seawater, fish, and plankton. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll set out with Bombard on his perilous attempt to test his theory.

We'll also admire some wobbly pedestrians and puzzle over a luckless burglar.

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast recaps Game of Thrones S6E03, "Oathbreaker"

Varys fanning himself.

The sixth season of HBO's Game of Thrones soldiers on, as the consequences of last week's revival unfold and seemingly long-forgotten characters make surprise returns. Each week following the show, Boars, Gore, and Swords recaps all the action in the world of Westeros. For this week's "Oathbreaker," Ivan and Red discuss Varys's interrogation methods, the differing effects of puberty on actors, and possible ways to defeat a four hundred pound Icelandic zombie strongman. 

To catch up on previous seasons, the A Song of Ice And Fire books, and other TV and movies, check out the BGaS archive. You can find them on Twitter @boarsgoreswords, like their Facebook fanpage, and email them. If you enjoyed the show, you can get even more BGaS content by supporting them on their newly opened Patreon. Read the rest

The FBI's race against a casino bomber in 1980

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In August 1980, an extortionist planted a thousand-pound bomb in Harvey’s Wagon Wheel Casino in western Nevada. Unless the owners paid him $3 million within 24 hours, he said, the bomb would go off and destroy the casino. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe the tense drama that followed and the FBI's efforts to catch the criminal behind it.

We'll also consider some dubious lawn care shortcuts and puzzle over why a man would tear up a winning ticket.

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast recaps Game of Thrones S6E02, "Home"

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The sixth season of HBO's Game of Thrones continues, with surprising deaths and unsurprising returns from death. Each week following the show, Boars, Gore, and Swords recaps all the newest developments in the world of Westeros. To cover this week's "Home," Ivan and Red are joined by Walter Hickey, chief culture writer of FiveThirtyEight, to discuss proper dragon training technique, startling lacks of chainmail, and the poor civil infrastructure of the Iron Islands.

To catch up on previous seasons, the A Song of Ice And Fire books, and other TV and movies, check out the BGaS archive. You can find them on Twitter @boarsgoreswords, like their Facebook fanpage, and email them. If you enjoyed the show and want to support it, you can donate to their newly opened Patreon. Read the rest

The real story behind Indiana's celebrated attempt to legislate the value of Pi

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast recaps Game of Thrones S6E01, "The Red Woman"

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The sixth season premiere of HBO's Game of Thrones aired Sunday, marking a return to all the characters and subplots we loved or dreaded. Each week following the show, Boars, Gore, and Swords will recap all the newest developments in the world of Westeros. For this week's "The Red Woman," Ivan and Red are joined by guest OJ Patterson to discuss dead Jons, Brothrakis, and woke fanfiction.

To catch up on previous seasons, the A Song of Ice And Fire books, and other TV and movies, check out the BGaS archive. You can find them on Twitter @boarsgoreswords, like their Facebook fanpage, and email them. If you enjoyed the show, you can support the show on their newly opened Patreon. Read the rest

Could America Ever Become a Direct Democracy?

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Today we travel to a future where America has converted to a direct democracy. Everybody votes on everything!

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In this episode we explore the U.S. states that have direct democracy systems in place today, how to apply that model to the whole country, how to even gather all those votes, and what could go so, so very wrong with this idea.

Illustration by Matt Lubchansky.

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In 1928, 199 men set out to run 3,400 miles across the United States.

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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 the world had ever known.

We'll also learn some creepy things about spiders and puzzle over why one man needs three cars.

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Image: Flickr

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Who was the legless man discovered on a Nova Scotia beach in 1863?

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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 and the guesses that have been made about his story.

We'll also learn about explosive rats in World War II and puzzle over a computer that works better when its users sit.

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What happens when computers gain consciousness?

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Today we travel to a world we share with conscious robots.

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In this episode we talk about everything from what artificial intelligence and consciousness even mean, whether you’ll ever have a moral obligation to pay Siri, and what happens when your intelligent secretary needs a therapist.

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Do fries go with that home?

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This week on HOME: Stories From L.A.:

It looks like a Hopper painting plunked incongruously down on a busy commercial street in West Los Angeles — The Apple Pan, home to freshly-baked pies and what hamburger aficionado George Motz says may be the best burger in America. But the affection Angelenos have for The Apple Pan only starts with the food. It’s an oasis, a rock, a spot out of time, essentially unchanged since the day it opened in 1947. It may not be the kind of place where everybody knows your name, but if you’ve been going there for a long time, as it seems like most of its customers have, it is the kind of place where the countermen most likely know your order. Warmth, familiarity, stability in a rapidly-changing landscape… aren’t these some of the things that make a place a home?

With this episode HOME wraps up its second season. We'll be back in June with an all-new season; subscribe now and you won't miss a thing. 

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Five lateral thinking puzzles

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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.

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A spectacularly disaster-prone oil tanker and other curiosities

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