In 1902, scam artist Cassie Chadwick convinced an Ohio lawyer that she was the illegitimate daughter of steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. She parlayed this reputation into a life of unthinkable extravagance -- until her debts came due. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe Chadwick's efforts to maintain the ruse -- and how she hoped to get away with it.
We'll also encounter a haunted tomb and puzzle over an exonerated merchant.
In 1911, the Mona Lisa disappeared from the Louvre. After an extensive investigation it made a surprising reappearance that inspired headlines around the world. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll tell the story of the painting’s abduction, which has been called the greatest art theft of the 20th century. We’ll also […]
In the 1930s, Sinto boxer Johann Trollmann was reaching the peak of his career when the Nazis declared his ethnic inferiority. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll describe Trollmann’s stand against an intolerant ideology and the price he paid for his fame. We’ll also consider a British concentration camp and puzzle […]
In 1957, 14 boys from Monterrey, Mexico, walked into Texas to take part in a game of Little League baseball. What followed surprised and inspired two nations. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll tell the story of the Monterrey Industrials and their unlikely path into baseball history. We’ll also have dinner […]
The world is holding its collective breath. As states begin cautiously reopening, no one is sure exactly what to expect. But one thing is clear: most Americans are worried about their bank accounts. By the end of March, the average American household was spending 40 percent less on their credit cards than they were one […]
Over 25 years, eBay has carved out its space as the commerce hub of choice online. With 182 million users worldwide, that works out to about 35 percent of all US mobile users who shop those eBay storefronts. But did you know there are usually around 1.3 billion — with a B — active for-sale […]
Software apps are a dime a dozen. Well, if you’re going by their actual monetary cost, maybe not really. But considering how useless some poorly conceived, poorly executed apps are at doing the job you actually downloaded them to accomplish, it isn’t a stretch to think that many apps aren’t even worth a free download. […]