Felix von Luckner was a romantic hero in the Great War, a dashing nobleman who commanded an old-style sailing ship. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe Luckner's uniquely civilized approach to warfare, which won admiration even from his enemies.
We'll also puzzle over how a product intended to prevent drug abuse ends up encouraging it.
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Was an Australian butcher really a long-lost English aristocrat?
Being well known can make it harder to rest in peace.
What happens to a town founded explicitly to reject Christianity?
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Follow the desperate journey of 20 surviving seamen stranded a thousand miles from land.
Here are four new lateral thinking puzzles to test your wits! Read the rest
What happens when a Japanese fighter pilot crash-lands on a remote Hawaiian island after the attack on Pearl Harbor?
Did the spirits of dead composers contact British medium Rosemary Brown to dictate new music?
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When the largest rescue operation of the Vietnam War failed to reach downed navigator Gene Hambleton, how did his lifelong passion for golf become the key to his rescue?
That being the highly successful French play.
Can you solve "the prize puzzle of British criminal jurisprudence"?
Coincidence, correlation, or something else?
In 1910 Scotland Yard exploited a new invention, the wireless telegraph, to capture the main suspect in a gruesome murder. Read the rest
We explore an odd custom: how, in the 1700s, English landowners would pay people to live in primitive isolation on their estates.
In 1916 an American circus elephant named Mary was hanged from a railroad crane before a crowd of 3,000 onlookers. Read the rest
In 1764 a French engineer on a tiny African island claimed that he could see ships beyond the horizon. Read the rest
Pedro Carolino's Portuguese-English phrasebook includes such tortured English phrases as "The ears are too length" and "He has spit in my coat." Read the rest