This Is Branchburg
This Is Branchburg
Dec 10, 2020
Episode 20: Would Anyone Like To Be My Wife?
Play • 21 min

The Branchburg Volunteer Fire Department has an announcement. It’s time for communion. And a man had a pretty amicable relationship with his old mailman.

Written and performed by Brendan O’Hare and Cory Snearowski. Sound by Alex Gilson.
Produced by Tim Heidecker and Dave Kneebone. This Is Branchburg is a production of Adult Swim and Abso Lutely Productions.

“Would Anyone Like To Be My Wife?” composed by Gabriel Gundacker.

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Radiolab Presents: More Perfect
Radiolab Presents: More Perfect
WNYC Studios
The Most Perfect Album: Episode 9
This season, More Perfect is taking its camera lens off the Supreme Court and zooming in on the words of the people: the 27 amendments that We The People have made to our Constitution. We're taking on these 27 amendments both in song and in story. This episode is best listened to alongside 27: The Most Perfect Album, an entire album (an ALBUM!) and digital experience of original music and art inspired by the 27 Amendments. Think of these episodes as the audio liner notes. In More Perfect's final episode of the season, listen to liner notes for two amendments that contemplate the still-unfinished status of our Constitution. "27" is an album that marks a particular point in our history: this moment when we have 27 Amendments to our Constitution. What will be the 28th? Maybe it will address our nation's capital. The capital has been a bit of a Constitutional anomaly for much of our nation's history — it's at the heart of the democracy, but because it's not a state, people in Washington D.C. have been disenfranchised almost by accident. The 23rd Amendment solved some of the problem — it gave D.C. the right to vote for president. But it left much of D.C.'s representation questions unanswered. D.C. still does not have voting representation in Congress. Instead, D.C. sends a "non-voting delegate" to Congress. For this liner note, More Perfect profiles that delegate, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and her unique approach to fighting for power in a virtually powerless role. The song for the 23rd Amendment is by The Mellow Tones, a group of students from D.C. high school Duke Ellington School of the Arts, along with their teacher Mark G. Meadows. The chorus, "Why won't you count on me?" reflects on the continued disenfranchisement of our nation's capital. The final amendment of the album, the 27th Amendment, put limits on Senators' ability to give themselves a pay raise, and it has arguably the most unusual path to ratification of all 27. The first draft for the amendment was written by none other than James Madison in 1789, but back then, it didn't get enough votes from the states for ratification. It wasn't until a college student named Gregory Watson awakened the dormant amendment centuries later that it was finally ratified. The 27th Amendment song is by Kevin Devine and tells Watson's story.
24 min
Futility Closet
Futility Closet
Greg Ross
333-Stranded in the Kimberley
Crossing the world in 1932, two German airmen ran out of fuel in a remote region of northwestern Australia. With no food and little water, they struggled to find their way to safety while rescuers fought to locate them. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe the airmen's ordeal, a dramatic story of perseverance and chance. We'll also survey some escalators and puzzle over a consequential crash. Intro: Winston Churchill had a confusing namesake in the United States. Shelley's friend Horace Smith wrote a competing version of "Ozymandias." Sources for our feature on the 1932 Kimberley rescue: Barbara Winter, Atlantis Is Missing: A Gripping True Story of Survival in the Australian Wilderness, 1979. Brian H. Hernan, Forgotten Flyer, 2007. Anthony Redmond, "Tracks and Shadows: Some Social Effects of the 1938 Frobenius Expedition to the North-West Kimberley," in Nicolas Peterson and Anna Kenny, eds., German Ethnography in Australia, 2017, 413-434. Frank Koehler, "Descriptions of New Species of the Diverse and Endemic Land Snail Amplirhagada Iredale, 1933 From Rainforest Patches Across the Kimberley, Western Australia (Pulmonata, Camaenidae)," Records of the Australian Museum 63:2 (2011), 163-202. Bridget Judd, "The Unexpected Rescue Mission That Inspired ABC Mini-Series Flight Into Hell -- And Other Survivalists," Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Jan. 16, 2021. Peter de Kruijff, "Survivalist Retraces Lost Aviators' Trek," Kimberley Echo, Jan. 29, 2018. Michael Atkinson, "Surviving the Kimberley," Australian Geographic, June 28, 2018. Erin Parke, "No Food, No Water, No Wi-Fi: Adventurer Tests Skills in One of Australia's Most Remote Places," ABC Premium News, Jan. 29, 2018. "Forgotten Territory," [Darwin, N.T.] Northern Territory News, Feb. 28, 2016. Graeme Westlake, "They Accepted Their Saviour's Fish and Ate It Raw," Canberra Times, May 15, 1982. "German Fliers Got Lost in Our Nor-West," [Perth] Mirror, June 2, 1956. "37 Days in a Torture Chamber," [Adelaide] News, April 21, 1954. "Air Passenger," [Grafton, N.S.W.] Examiner, July 18, 1938. "Hans Bertram," Sydney Morning Herald, July 16, 1938. "Aviation: Pilot Bertram," [Charters Towers, Qld.] Northern Miner, April 20, 1933. "Bertram Lands at Crawley," [Perth] Daily News, Sept. 24, 1932. "Bertram's Marooned 'Plane," Singleton [N.S.W.] Argus, Sept. 21, 1932. "Captain Bertram," Sydney Morning Herald, Sept. 20, 1932. "Fully Recovered," Sydney Morning Herald, Aug. 6, 1932. "The Search for the German Airmen," [Perth] Western Mail, July 21, 1932. "The German Airmen," Albany [W.A.] Advertiser, July 7, 1932. "Death Cheated," Cincinnati Enquirer, July 5, 1932. "Lost German Fliers," [Adelaide] Chronicle, June 30, 1932. "Search for Hans Bertram," [Carnarvon, W.A.] Northern Times, June 16, 1932. "Strangers on the Shore: Shipwreck Survivors and Their Contact With Aboriginal Groups in Western Australia 1628-1956," Department of Maritime Archaeology, Western Australian Maritime Museum, 1998. Listener mail: "Escalator Etiquette," Wikipedia (accessed Feb. 8, 2021). Brian Ashcraft, "It's Hard For Japan to Change Its Escalator Manners," Kotaku, June 20, 2019. Jack Malvern, "Mystery Over Tube Escalator Etiquette Cleared Up by Restored Film," Times, Oct. 21, 2009. Laura Reynolds, "11 Secrets of Harrods," Londonist (accessed Feb. 14, 2021). Adam Taylor, "A Japanese Campaign Wants to Rewrite the Global Rules of Escalator Etiquette," Washington Post, Aug. 26, 2015. Linda Poon, "Tokyo Wants People to Stand on Both Sides of the Escalator," Bloomberg City Lab, Dec. 20, 2018. Johan Gaume and Alexander M. Puzrin, "Mechanisms of Slab Avalanche Release and Impact in the Dyatlov Pass Incident in 1959," Communications Earth & Environment 2:10 (Jan. 28, 2021), 1-11. Robin George Andrews, "Has Science Solved One of History's Greatest Adventure Mysteries?", National Geographic, Jan. 28, 2021. Nature Video, "Explaining the Icy Mystery of the Dyatlov Pass Deaths" (video), Jan. 28, 2021. New Scientist, "The Dyatlov Pass incident, which saw nine Russian mountaineers die in mysterious circumstances in 1959, has been the subject of many conspiracy theories. Now researchers say an unusual avalanche was to blame," Twitter, Jan. 28, 2021. This week's lateral thinking puzzle was contributed by listener Alex Baumans. Here are two corroborating links (warning -- these spoil the puzzle). You can listen using the player above, download this episode directly, or subscribe on Google Podcasts, on Apple Podcasts, or via the RSS feed at Please consider becoming a patron of Futility Closet -- you can choose the amount you want to pledge, and we've set up some rewards to help thank you for your support. You can also make a one-time donation on the Support Us page of the Futility Closet website. Many thanks to Doug Ross for the music in this episode. If you have any questions or comments you can reach us at Thanks for listening!
33 min
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