Here are six 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.
In 1920, a young woman was pulled from a canal in Berlin. When her identity couldn't be established, speculation started that she was a Russian princess who had escaped the execution of the imperial family. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe the strange life of Anna Anderson and her disputed… READ THE REST
In 1912, 4-year-old Bobby Dunbar went missing during a family fishing trip in Louisiana. Eight months later, a boy matching his description appeared in Mississippi. But was it Bobby Dunbar? In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe the dispute over the boy's identity. We'll also contemplate a scholarship for idlers and… READ THE REST
Sometimes in our research we come across stories that are regarded as true but that we can't fully verify. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll share two such stories from the 1920s, about a pair of New York fruit dealers and a mythologized bank robber, and discuss the strength of the… READ THE REST
With everything going on in the world right now, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of it all. With some many forces threatening to cast a shadow over you, your family and your day-to-day life, sometimes it pays to just take a short step back from it. Rather than letting world events… READ THE REST
It's a toss-up over which harmful airborne pathogen is most disruptive for every American living on the west coast these days. As horrible as coronavirus has been, experts would probably say the recent wildfires have been what's truly been borderline apocalyptic from an air quality standpoint. In fact, global air quality trackers with IQAir said… READ THE REST
The website Autowise recently asked fans on Twitter to name their top American dream car. And as it turns out, the U.S. has more ecologically minded car owners than you might think. In fact, drivers in 20 states said the dream car they salivated over the most…was a Tesla. As that survey shows, the luxury… READ THE REST