Jan 13, 2021
Play • 26 min
I've been thinking about fear, and movement, and exploration, and safety. I've been thinking about barriers, and perimeters - those we create and those that are imposed. Pushing yourself into fear on purpose gives some comfort that maybe you'll be able to navigate life when you really have no control, when your thrown into a darkness bigger and deeper than you would ever choose.
Futility Closet
Futility Closet
Greg Ross
329-The Cock Lane Ghost
In 1759, ghostly rappings started up in the house of a parish clerk in London. In the months that followed they would incite a scandal against one man, an accusation from beyond the grave. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll tell the story of the Cock Lane ghost, an enduring portrait of superstition and justice. We'll also see what you can get hit with at a sporting event and puzzle over some portentous soccer fields. Intro: In 1967 British artists Terry Atkinson and Michael Baldwin offered a map that charts its own area. In 1904 Henry Hayes suggested adding fake horses to real cars to avoid frightening real horses. Sources for our feature on the Cock Lane Ghost: Douglas Grant, The Cock Lane Ghost, 1965. Oliver Goldsmith, "The Mystery Revealed," in The Works of Oliver Goldsmith, Volume 4, 1854. James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., Volume 1, 1791. Charles MacKay, Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, 1852. Andrew Lang, Cock Lane and Common-Sense, 1894. Roger Clarke, A Natural History of Ghosts: 500 Years of Hunting for Proof, 2012. Henry Addington Bruce, Historic Ghosts and Ghost Hunters, 1908. Jennifer Bann, "Ghostly Hands and Ghostly Agency: The Changing Figure of the Nineteenth-Century Specter," Victorian Studies 51:4 (Summer 2009), 663-685, 775. Gillian Bennett, "'Alas, Poor Ghost!': Case Studies in the History of Ghosts and Visitations," in Alas Poor Ghost, 1999, 139-172. Richard Whittington-Egan, "The Accusant Ghost of Cock Lane," New Law Journal 141:6487 (Jan. 18 1991), 74. Howard Pyle, "The Cock Lane Ghost," Harper's New Monthly Magazine 87:519 (August 1893), 327-338. María Losada Friend, "Ghosts or Frauds? Oliver Goldsmith and 'The Mystery Revealed,'" Eighteenth-Century Ireland / Iris an dá chultúr 13 (1998), 159-165. H. Addington Bruce, "The Cock Lane Ghost," New York Tribune, July 14, 1907. "The Cock Lane Ghost," Warwick [Queensland] Argus, Dec. 22, 1900. "The Ghosts of London," New York Times, Sept. 10, 1900. "The Cock-Lane Ghost," [Sydney] Evening News, Aug. 25, 1894. "The Cock Lane Ghost," Maitland [N.S.W.] Weekly Mercury, March 10, 1894. "The Rochester Ghost," Alexandria [Va.] Gazette, April 27, 1850. Thomas Seccombe, "Parsons, Elizabeth [called the Cock Lane Ghost], (1749–1807)," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Sept. 23, 2004. Listener mail: "Death of Brittanie Cecil," Wikipedia (accessed Jan. 13, 2021). L. Jon Wertheim, "How She Died," Sports Illustrated, April 1, 2002. J. Winslow and A. Goldstein, "Spectator Risks at Sporting Events," Internet Journal of Law, Healthcare and Ethics 4:2 (2006). Steve Rosenbloom, "Hit by Puck, Girl Dies," Chicago Tribune, March 20, 2002. Tarik El-Bashir, "Girl Struck Puck Dies," Washington Post, March 20, 2002. Connor Read et al., "Spectator Injuries in Sports," Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 59:3 (March 2019), 520-523. Bob Shepard, "Heads Up: UAB Does First-Ever Study of Spectator Injuries at Sporting Events," University Wire, Nov. 29, 2018. "Father of Girl Killed by His Errant Golf Ball Says: 'How It Happened, I Cannot Explain'," Associated Press, Sept. 21, 2019. Pat Ralph, "What Happens After 'Fore'? Injured Fans Face Legal Hurdles in Golf-Ball Lawsuits,", Oct. 9, 2018. Marjorie Hunter, "Ford, Teeing Off Like Agnew, Hits Spectator in Head With Golf Ball," New York Times, June 25, 1974. "'First Off the Tee': White House Golf Tales," NPR, May 1, 2003. Todd S. Purdum, "Caution: Presidents at Play. Three of Them," New York Times, Feb. 16, 1995. "Ford, Bush Tee Off on Golf Spectators," Los Angeles Daily News, Feb. 16, 1995. Kevin Underhill, "Missouri Supreme Court Hears Hot-Dog-Flinging Case," Lowering the Bar, Nov. 13, 2013. Kevin Underhill, "Bad News for Dog-Flinging Mascots," Lowering the Bar, Jan. 16, 2013. Kevin Underhill, "Jury Clears Mascot in Hot-Dog-Flinging Case," Lowering the Bar, June 24, 2015. Listener Tim Ellis, his daughter, and an errant puck. This week's lateral thinking puzzle was contributed by listener Jesse Onland. Here's a corroborating link (warning -- this spoils 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!
31 min
The Fantastic History Of Food
The Fantastic History Of Food
Nick Charlie Key
21 - Crazy True Stories About Ice Cream
From it's origins in ancient China, to the accidental discovery of the first ice cream cone, we take a journey to see how ice cream has influenced cultures all around the world. World War 2 plays a surprising role in the story as some navy men valued it almost more than their own lives and safety. Listen to the episode to find out even more crazy stories from the long and interesting history of ice cream. ------------------- Please support me on Patreon: and get early access to episodes, bonus content and even free merch! Find transcripts and references on the website: ------------------- Huge thanks to for sponsoring this episode. If you love coffee this is the place for you. Shop by origin, roast level, processing method, and even by flavour notes. is a veteran-owned business, run by a great guy called Chris. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know him and his vision for the coffee market and I honestly can’t recommend them highly enough. Get FREE SHIPPING on your first order by using the offer code: "FOODHISTORY" at checkout. ------------------- Huge thanks also go to for supporting the show. Get meals designed by dietitians and hand-crafted by world-class chefs delivered to your door. Listeners of this show can get $50 off over their first two weeks. Just go to pick your meals and use code "PODCAST50" at checkout to claim this limited-time offer. -------------------
19 min
Bad Gays
Bad Gays
Hosts: Huw Lemmey & Ben Miller
Violette Morris
Violette Morris, a powerhouse athlete with 14-inch biceps, discovered a love for trousers and fast driving while piloting ambulances for the Red Cross during the First World War. But her outrageous and mannish style – she dated Josephine Baker, smoked, and cut her breasts off to better fit behind the wheel of a race car – outraged the respectable upper-middle-class world of women's athletics. And when she was cast out of respectable society, she became a Nazi spy and a sadistic torturer known as the "hyena of the Gestapo." ----more---- SOURCES: Colvin, Kelly Ricciardi. Gender and French Identity after the Second World War, 1944-1954: Engendering Frenchness. London ; New York, NY: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017. Doyle, Jack. “How a Pioneering Lesbian Became the Nazis’ ‘Hyena.’” OZY, May 25, 2015. Kessler, Martin. “Violette Morris: Pioneering Female Athlete Turned Nazi Spy.” WBUR, February 24, 2017. Mansky, Jackie, and Maya Wei-Haas. “The Rise of the Modern Sportswoman.” Smithsonian Magazine, August 18, 2016. Papirblat, Shlomo. “Sporting Champion, Feminist Icon, Nazi Spy? The Extraordinary Life of Violette Morris.” Haaretz.Com. Accessed December 21, 2020. Stryker, Susan. Transgender History. Seal Press, 2008. FemBio: Frauen.Biografieforschung. “Violette Morris.” Accessed December 21, 2020. Our intro music is Arpeggia Colorix by Yann Terrien, downloaded from WFMU's Free Music Archive and distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Our outro music is by DJ Michaeloswell Graphicsdesigner.
1 hr 6 min
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu