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 1898 a Belgian ship on a scientific expedition was frozen into the sea off the coast of Antarctica. During the long polar night, its 18 men would confront fear, death, illness, and despair. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe life aboard the Belgica during its long, dark southern winter.… READ THE REST
In 1838, Frenchwoman Henriette d'Angeville set out to climb Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps, against the advice of nearly everyone she knew. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll follow d'Angeville up the mountain to fulfill what she called "a monomania of the heart." We'll also escape Australia in… READ THE REST
For more than 40 years in the early 20th century, Martin Couney ran a sideshow in which premature babies were displayed in incubators. With this odd practice he offered a valuable service in an era when many hospitals couldn't. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe Couney's unusual enterprise, which earned… READ THE REST
You may not have heard about it, but earlier this month, America took another important step toward restoring life to normalcy in our post-COVID world: Sam's Club announced samples were back. Look, it might not seem like a huge milestone, but nobody can deny that noshing on a bite of a new cold cut variety… READ THE REST
For all their everything-ness, there are still some areas where even the great and powerful Amazon isn't all that. Sure, you can find just about any physical item being sold in the depths of Amazon product pages somewhere, but when it comes to software and apps, well, that's an area where the eCommerce giant mostly steers… READ THE REST
There's only so much squinting you can do at a tiny smartphone screen before you start wondering why we ever thought it was a good idea to build devices so small in the first place. Sure, portability is a plus, but when you're trying to watch videos on your phone, that itty-bitty baby screen won't… READ THE REST