Here are eight 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.
One dark night in 1804, a London excise officer mistook a bricklayer for a ghost and shot him. This raised a difficult question: Was he guilty of murder? In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll consider the case of the Hammersmith ghost, which has been called "one of the greatest curiosities in… READ THE REST
In 1901, two English academics met a succession of strange characters during a visit to Versailles. They came to believe that they had strayed somehow into the mind of Marie Antoinette in the year before her execution. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe the Moberly-Jourdain affair, a historical puzzle wrapped… READ THE REST
In the 19th century, some New England communities grew so desperate to help victims of tuberculosis that they resorted to a macabre practice: digging up dead relatives and ritually burning their organs. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll examine the causes of this bizarre belief and review some unsettling examples. We'll… READ THE REST
Photoshop has been the king of photo retouching and manipulation for decades, so it's no surprise that Adobe's most famous app is the yardstick by which all other contenders are judged. But when discussing Luminar 4, it might be more helpful to highlight what Skylum's image editor offers against what Photoshop doesn't. Against the vast… READ THE REST
One fun element of pop culture is that you never know exactly when some film, TV show, or song is going to spark an out-of-left-field craze — or exactly how deep the obsession will run. While the pandemic may be starting to recede into history, Netflix's The Queen Gambit is oddly still riding shotgun inside… READ THE REST
To say we're creeping up on umbrella weather season is an understatement. And no, we don't mean "rain and wind protection against the fierce elements-type" of umbrella season. We're talking about lazing casually, safely protected from the sun's rays, soaking in the majesty of summer. Whether you've got a comfy patio lounge arrangement, an outdoor… READ THE REST