Comedy

A podcast of fascinating facts! What do extraterrestrial radio signals and a mushroom from Texas have in common? What is a “number station“ and why is it so spine-tinglingly creepy? Join comedians Shane Rogers and Duncan MacEwan for an entertaining and hilarious deep-dive into obscure facts from science, history and pop culture. A new topic each week!

Episodes

June 23, 2022

Real-Life Mad Scientists

Little-known fact: the mad doctor from Mary Shelly's Frankenstein was based on a real-life scientist named Giovanni Aldini. And even Aldini's corpse-reanimating experiments were mild compared to some of the bizarre and horrifying travesties that have been committed in the name of scientific progress. Join the boys as they explore two-headed dogs, telekinetic pong-playing monkeys, and the history of unhinged science.

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In this episode:  

  • Vladimir Demikhov
  • Head Transplants
  • Shavka and Brodyaga
  • Jose Manuel Rodriguez Delgado
  • Shiro Ishii
  • Unit 731
  • Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night (Disease Fleas)
  • Giovanni Aldini, the OG Frankenstein
  • Galvanism
  • The Postmortem Electrocution of George Forster
  • Andrew Ure, Frankenstein Part 2
  • The Postmortem Electrocution of Matthew Clydesdale
  • Elon Musk and Neuralink
  • Pager the Mind-Pong Monkey
  • Cryonics
  • Alcor, the Life-Extension Foundation
  • M.E.A.R.T, the Semi-Living Artist

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Why so serious? Are you not entertained? If you can’t handle the truth, frankly my dear, we don’t give a damn.

 

Join Shane and Duncan as they geek out on the greatest movie quotes of all time. What's in your top five? Tell us in DISCORD ...

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Leroy Robert Ripley would transcend humble origins to become an unlikely superstar, rebranding from an awkward teenage cartoonist to the sophisticated leader of a profitable multimedia empire. In the process he would expand minds, introduce Americans to the wonders of the larger world...and also contribute to misinformation, promote stereotypes, and work hard to conceal the true secret behind his success. Join the boys this week as they tackle the complicated legacy of Ripley's Believe It or Not!

 

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In this episode:  

  • Leroy Robert Ripley
  • Santa Rosa
  • Those Teeth
  • From the San Franciso Bulletin to the New York Globe
  • Robert Leroy Ripley
  • Handball Champion
  • Rebranding/Makeover
  • Champs and Chumps
  • Believe It or Not
  • The Laconia
  • Ramble 'Round the World With Ripley
  • Ripley Meets India
  • Ripley Fetishizes China
  • The Lindbergh Controversy
  • The First Book
  • William Randolph Hearst Makes Ripley Rich
  • Curioddities
  • Norbert Pearlroth, Secret Weapon
  • The Warner Brothers Film Shorts
  • The Radio Show
  • Ripley, Casanova
  • BION Island
  • The First Museum
  • Human Exhibits, Oddities, and "High Class Freaks"
  • Freda Pushnik
  • Post-World-War Tour
  • The First TV Show
  • Death

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In the late 17th century, a satanic panic swept through the Puritan colony of Salem, Massachusetts. Neighbors turned on neighbors, families were torn apart, and when all was said and done 19 innocent men and women were dead.

And the scariest part? It could happen again.  

Join Shane and Duncan for a thorough exploration of one of the most shameful episodes in American history: the Salem Witch Trials. 

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In this episode:  

  • European Witch Trials
  • The German Trier Trials
  • King James VI
  • The Berwick Witch Trials
  • Connecticut Witch Trials
  • Arthur Miller's The Crucible
  • The Puritans
  • The Catholic Church and Indulgences
  • Salem in the 1690s
  • Abigail Williams and Elizabeth "Betty" Parris
  • Samuel Parris
  • William Griggs
  • Mary Sibley and the Witches Cake
  • Elizabeth Hubbard and the Wolf
  • The First Three Accused: Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba
  • Ann Putnam Jr.
  • The Devil's Book
  • John and Elizabeth Proctor
  • John Hathorne and Jon Corwin
  • Governor Sir William Phipps
  • Judge William Stoughton
  • The First Execution: Bridget Bishop
  • Oyer and Terminer
  • Spectral Evidence
  • Witch Tests
  • The Pressing of Giles Cory
  • The Superior Court of Judicature
  • The Panic Ends

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Everything you think you know about H.H. Holmes is probably a lie. Which is appropriate, because "Dr. Henry Howard Holmes" was more of a serial liar than a serial killer. But while the popular version of his story is more myth than reality, the truth behind the legend is equally fascinating. Join the boys as they unearth the disturbing history of Herman Webster Mudgett, aka H.H. Holmes. 

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In this episode:  

  • Herman Webster Mudgett
  • Myths vs. Reality
  • Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City vs. Adam Seltzer's The True History of the White City Devil
  • Yellow Journalism
  • The "Murder Castle"
  • The World's Columbian Exposition (Chicago World's Fair)
  • Formative Years
  • Herman Webster Mudgett, "Resurrectionist"
  • First Wife: Clara Lovering
  • First Child: Robert Lovering Mudgett
  • Second Wife: Myrta Zulique Belknap
  • Second Child: Lucy Theodate Holmes
  • Englewood, Chicago
  • The Holtons
  • Scams and Swindles (Mineral Water and Natural Gas)
  • Benjamin Pitezel
  • The Connors: Julia, Ned, and Pearl
  • The Keeley Cure
  • The Disappearance of Emeline Cigrand
  • Third Wife: Minnie Williams
  • Disappearance of Anna and Minnie
  • On the Run
  • Fourth Wife: Georiana Yoke
  • Murders of Benjam, Howard, Alice, and Nellie Pitezel
  • Apprehended
  • The Trial
  • Executed

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From the largest animal to ever inhabit the earth to the heaviest predator of all time, from Spinosaurus to Dire Wolves (they were real!), Shane and Duncan explore the biggest of the big. 

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In this episode:  

  • Modern Megafauna
  • Blue Whale: Balaenoptera Musculus
  • Megatherium (Giant Ground Sloth)
  • The Pando Aspen Colony 
  • Armillaria Ostoyae: Clone Network of Fungus Rhizomorphs
  • La Brea Tar Pits and Zed
  • The Five Major Extinction Events
  • The Square Cube Law
  • Patagotitan Mayorum
  • Brontosaurus (?)
  • Spinosaurus
  • Meganeuropsis Permiana
  • Paraceratherium
  • Dire Wolves

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Welcome to another exciting episode of "Is it a cult?" (Spoiler: yep!)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is one of the world's youngest and fastest-growing religions. It's also completely bonkers. In this week's supersized episode, Shane and Duncan marvel at the sheer awesome silliness of Mormonism and recount the unlikely story of the church's enigmatic con-artist founder, Joseph Smith.

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In this episode:  

  • Joseph Smith
  • The Angel Moroni and the Golden Plates
  • Urim and Thummim
  • The Book of Mormon (Lehi, Nephi, Laman et al) 
  • Brigham Young
  • Nauvoo
  • Exoduses from: New York, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri
  • Revelation of Polygamy
  • The Expositor and the Death of Joseph Smith
  • Salt Lake, Utah
  • The Mountain Meadows Massacre
  • Missionaries
  • The Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah
  • Warren Jeffs
  • Tithing (Sacred Taxation)
  • The Artists Formerly Known as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
  • The Endowment Ceremony
  • Covenants, Tokens, Signs and Seals
  • Veils and Secret Handshakes
  • Execution of the Penalty
  • Sacred Temple Garments (God's Armor)
  • Baptizing the Dead
  • Exaltation (Private Worlds)
  • Mormon cosmology and Kolob
  • The Oath of Vengeance
  • Mormons and LGBTQ+
  • Prop 8
  • Family Home Evening (FHE)
  • Shunning/Excommunication

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What was the sinister secret behind "Camp Century"? Did the American government really import and employ high-ranking Nazi scientists after WWII? Is there a non-pervy interpretation of the term "Rods of God"? Find out the answers to all of these questions and more in this week's classified, undercover, top-secret edition of MFFI. 

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In this episode:  

  • Project Iceworm
  • Project Sunshine
  • Project Thor
  • Operation Northwoods
  • Operation Paperclip

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Gather your supplies and settle in for a wall-crushing, bunker-busting, fire-raining episode of MFFI as the boys explore the most brutal sieges in history.

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In this episode:  

  • Complete Investment
  • Circumvallation
  • Trebuchets, Catapults, Siege Towers, Mangonels
  • The Siege of Stirling Castle
  • Alexander the Great and The Siege of Tyre
  • The Siege of Leningrad (Saint Petersburg) 
  • The Siege of Ceuta 
  • The Siege of Saguntum
  • The Siege of Tenochtitlan

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What do touchscreens, electrical outlets, color televisions, and fax machines have in common? They were all revolutionary technological breakthroughs that debuted at World’s Fairs. Also from World’s Fairs: powdered root beer, portable bathtubs, and Elektro the Smoking Robot. Hey, they can’t all be winners.

This week, join the guys for a grand tour of the most sensational hits and misses from the storied history of International Expositions. 

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In this episode:  

  • Fairs vs. Expositions
  • Prague in 1791
  • France in 1798 et al
  • The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park (https://www.royalparks.org.uk/whats-on/the-great-exhibition-virtual-tour)
  • Monkey Closets and George Jennings
  • Thomas Crapper
  • Spending a Penny
  • The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations
  • Prince Albert
  • Karl Marx, Shade Thrower
  • Schweppes 
  • The Mountain of Light
  • Cyrus McCormick's Steam-Powered Reaping Machine
  • The Fax Machine
  • Leeches and the Tempest Prognosticator
  • Charles Hobbes and the Parautoptic Lock
  • Linus Yale
  • The Bureau Internationale De Expositions
  • Specialized Expos, World Expos, Horticultural Expos, and the Milan Triennial
  • Donald Rumsfeld and the Known Unknowns
  • The Space Needle
  • The Chicago 1893 World's Columbian Exposition
  • H.H. Holmes
  • William Cody
  • Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World
  • George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. and the Ferris Wheel
  • X-Rays, Zippers, and AT&T's Picture Phone
  • RCA and Color Television
  • The Knoxville Tennessee World's Fair
  • Samuel Hurst and the Touchscreen
  • Cherry Coke
  • The Eiffel Tower
  • The Paris Colonial Exposition
  • The "Truth on the Colonies"
  • Elektro the Smoking Robot, and Sparko
  • The New York World's Fair of 1964
  • The Bell Rocket Belt
  • The Suboceanic Resort
  • It's a Small World
  • The Festival of Gas
  • Philadelphia's Centennial Exposition of 1876
  • The Statue of Liberty's Hand
  • Ethelbert Watts and the Portable Bathtub (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008XSXQIO/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_i_ADHM9NHG1NVP9Q2X13H5)
  • Expo '86
  • The Challenger Disaster and Chernobyl

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