What if all drugs were totally legal?

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In this episode we discuss the history of drug laws, why some drugs are legal and others aren’t, and what would happen if we just let everybody lose to do whatever they want.

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast continues the A Song of Ice and Fire book club

Ash-and-Iron Wife

The Boars, Gore, and Swords book club forges on with the Boiled Leather chapter order combining George R.R. Martin's A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. In this week's "Ghost of Sand Snakes Yet to Come," Ivan and Red cover the chapters "The Prophet" and "The Captain of the Guards." They discuss the religious importance of drowning, weapon-based objectophilia, and which European landmarks found their way to Dorne.

To catch up on previous television 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

The story of Donald Crowhurst, who tried to fake sailing around the world in 1968.

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In 1968 British engineer Donald Crowhurst entered a round-the-world yacht race, hoping to use the prize money to save his failing electronics business. Woefully unprepared and falling behind, he resorted to falsifying a journey around the world. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe the desperate measures that Crowhurst turned to as events spiraled out of his control.

We'll also get some updates on Japanese fire balloons and puzzle over a computer that turns on the radio.

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Belushi, Bette and Beverly Hills

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This week on HOME: Stories From L.A.: The process by which one place stops being home and another starts -- it's a mysterious thing. It happens, most often, when we're not paying attention. And sometimes, as it did for comedy writer and transplanted East Coaster Janis Hirsch, it happens in stages. First she started to feel at home in Los Angeles; but it was only later, after a series of addresses and a run-in or two with Bette Davis, that she landed in the exact place that would be, finally, her home.

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NEW: The HOME mailing list is live. Sign up now for instant-ish notifications of new episodes, behind-the-scenes information about the show and bonus content. It's free and ad-free, and we promise we'll never ever ever sell your address or otherwise use your information to annoy you.  Read the rest

Why the founder of Mother's Day came to hate the holiday

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Anna Jarvis organized the first observance of Mother's Day in 1908 and campaigned to have it adopted throughout the U.S. But she then spent the next 40 years bitterly fighting to control every aspect of the holiday. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll follow the evolution of Mother's Day and Jarvis' belligerent efforts to dictate how it should be celebrated.

We'll also meet a dog that flummoxed the Nazis and puzzle over why a man is fired for doing his job too well.

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast begins the A Feast for Crows/A Dance with Dragons combined chapter order

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Instead of individually covering the fourth and fifth books in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, the  Boars, Gore, and Swords book club is reading the Boiled Leather chapter order organized by Sean T. Collins. The new order combines the concurrently occurring events of A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons into one massive undertaking. In this week's "World of Wargcraft," Ivan and Red get into the books' respective prologues. Catch up on previous book club episodes, going over the previous novels as well as the Dunk and Egg stories.

To catch up on previous television 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

Rose, Mercedes and The Days Of The Dead

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How do you encourage a dead woman to leave your house? It helps if you have a hammer, balloons and confetti.

This week on HOME: Stories From L.A., the story of actress/writer/artist Rose Portillo, and of the Los Angeles house she was born into. It was the scene of her family's ascent, assimilation and culture clash, and of the long process, spanning life and death, of Rose coming to terms with the contentious spirit of her grandmother. 

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Was a son of the powerful Rockefeller family eaten by cannibals?

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast resumes ASOIAF book club

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Now that the sixth season of HBO's Game of Thrones has ended, Boars, Gore, and Swords returns to the book club format to finish off the last few chapters of A Storm of Swords. In this week's "Songs for the Deaf Dick," Ivan and Red cover chapters Samwell IV and Jon XI, skip the previously covered Tyrion XI, and go on to Samwell V and Jon XII. Catch up on previous book club episodes, then join the boys next week as they start on A Feast for Crows.

To catch up on previous television 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

What if school was out, forever?

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Today a future without schools. Instead of gathering students into a room and teaching them, everybody learns on their own time, on tablets and guided by artificial intelligence.

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In this episode we talk to a computer scientist who developed an artificially intelligent TA, folks who build learning apps, and critics who wonder if all the promises being made are too good to be true. What do we gain when we let students choose their own paths? What do we lose when we get rid of schools?

Illustration by Matt Lubchansky.

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During World War II, Japan floated balloons across the Pacific to drop bombs on the U.S.

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Toward the end of World War II, Japan launched a strange new attack on the United States: thousands of paper balloons that would sail 5,000 miles to drop bombs on the American mainland. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast, we'll tell the curious story of the Japanese fire balloons, the world's first intercontinental weapon.

We'll also discuss how to tell time by cannon and puzzle over how to find a lost tortoise.

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast recaps Game of Thrones S6E10, "The Winds of Winter"

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The sixth season of HBO's Game of Thrones concludes, with what many are sure to call a literally explosive trial and a named character death toll to match. Each week following the show, Boars, Gore, and Swords recaps everything that goes down in the world of Westeros. To discuss this week's "The Winds of Winter," Ivan and Red are joined by Kelly Anneken to discuss Cersei's continuing stylistic reinventions, possible GIF-based meme density, Arya pulling a Cartman, ginger pride, and the greatest ongoing debate within male culture: how many kids you could fight at once. Stick with us now that the season's over as we go into our ASOIAF book club, while alternating with episodes covering other television, movies, and various media.

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.

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A Pod To Call Your Own

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HOME is a member of the Boing Boing Podcast Network

The adventures of serial impostor Stanley Clifford Weyman

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Over the span of half a century, Brooklyn impostor Stanley Clifford Weyman impersonated everyone from a Navy admiral to a sanitation expert. When caught, he would admit his deception, serve his jail time, and then take up a new identity. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast, we'll review Weyman's surprisingly successful career and describe some of his more audacious undertakings.

We'll also puzzle over why the police would arrest an unremarkable bus passenger.

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast recaps Game of Thrones S6E09, "Battle of the Bastards"

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast recaps Game of Thrones S6E09, "Battle of the Bastards" The sixth season of HBO's Game of Thrones reaches its penultimate episode, with an awesome, climactic battle leading to the comeuppance for which we've all been waiting. Each week following the show, Boars, Gore, and Swords recaps everything that goes down in the world of Westeros. To discuss this week's "Battle of the Bastards," Ivan and Red are joined by writer Maggie Tokuda-Hall to discuss what make-up you bring to the negotiating table, the gender dynamics of war councils, how Daenerys/Yara is the new greatest ship, and Ramsay's fate still being better than he deserves.

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

What if all the active volcanoes on Earth erupted at the same time?

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In this episode, we take on a doomsday future: all the active volcanoes in the world erupt. At the same time. Kaboom. This is not good for us. What happens to humans and our planet? Who survives? How?

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We talk about the basics of a volcanic eruption, what makes something an active volcano, and all the terrible things that would happen if all 1,500 active volcanoes erupted at once.

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Trapped in a cave in 1925, Floyd Collins became one of the first media sensations of the 20th century

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In 1925, Kentucky caver Floyd Collins was exploring a new tunnel when a falling rock caught his foot, trapping him 55 feet underground. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll follow the desperate efforts to free Collins, whose plight became one of the first popular media sensations of the 20th century.

We'll also learn how Ronald Reagan invented a baseball record and puzzle over a fatal breakfast.

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