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August 2014
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Syndication


 
Welcome to the Useless Information Podcast Blog!


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on the Useless Information web site!

When the Citicorp Tower in New York City opened in 1977, no one could have ever imagined that it was a fatally flawed building.  A phone call from a college student in New Jersey to the building's structural engineer may have saved tens of thousands of lives.  This story includes an interview with Lee DeCarolis, the student who made that call.  Also learn about a man that desired a woman that could cook applesauce, a couple that had six sets of twins, and a teacher that dared to go tieless.  Retrosponsor: Drene Shampoo.

Direct download: citicorp_revisited.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:42 PM

Should parents be held responsible for the crimes that their children commit?  Listen to this story from 1947 detailing just what happened when New York City tried to do just that.  Also learn about the countries that drink the most coffee, a ring-turning fad, sun lamp parties, and tattooed panyhose.  Retrosponsor: Fram Oil Filters

Direct download: arrest_the_parents.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:31 PM

Back in 1920, Newark, NJ was host to one of the most bizarre funerals ever.  An estimated 10,000 people lined the streets to witness the funeral procession of Jimmie the singing canary.  Also learn the name of the dog on Cracker Jack packaging, a snake that milked a cow, a raccoon that saved its owners' lives, and how a pack of dogs interfered with a sheep study.  Retrosponsor: Hartz Mountain Pet Products.

Direct download: canary_funeral.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:28 PM

Fun story from 1923.  Newspapers around the United States reported daily on the health of the Fever Girl - a woman with the highest temperature ever recorded to that date.  Would she live or die?  Listen to this episode to find out all of the details.  Also learn about the current high-fever record holder plus three tidbits about teachers. Retrosponsor: Velveeta.

Direct download: fever_girl.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:43 AM

You may have heard about the Californian couple that found five cans of gold coins on their property.  Two Baltimore boys made a similar discovery back in 1934, but this pot of gold proved to be anything but lucky.  Also learn about people that were paid to wake others up before alarm clocks, four daughters that could never marry, a lawsuit against Jackie Robinson, and an incident involving a minibike and a dog.  Retrosponsor: Tums Antacid

Direct download: baltimore_buried_treasure.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:19 PM

Have you ever just had enough of your job and wanted to walk away from it?  Bus driver William Cimillo found himself in this position back in 1947 and his unique solution made him an instant celebrity.  Also learn how many men have ever walked on the moon and three different stories related to tsunamis.  Retrosponsor: Rio Grande Cracked Gasoline

Direct download: busmans_holiday.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:59 AM

Joseph Ellsworth Holmes was a career criminal serving a twenty year sentence for being the "dinner-time burglar".  His great escape in 1951 elevated him to celebrity status overnight.  Also learn about the origin of Pepsodent toothpaste, a man who waited 36 years to be reunited with his wife, a dying Navy officer's wish fulfilled after eighteen years, and a pastor that earned his medical degree after 45 years of part time study.  Retrosponsor: Pepsodent Toothpaste

Direct download: tunnel_joe.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:26 PM

A long-forgotten front page story from January of 1945 that involved the US military, the White House, a Hollywood actress, and one big dog.  Also learn the full name of FDR's famous Scottie Fala, a man who really was sucked out of his boots by a jet engine, a family that opted to do some gold mining in their home, and a woman who survived a half-mile fall without a parachute.  Retrosponsor: Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup

Direct download: blaze_incident.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:38 PM

Alexander Ector Orr Munsell was an incredibly wealthy man during the Great Depression.  He seemed to have it all, until he suddenly gave it all away to live among the poor in a flophouse.  Find out why he chose to do so and what happened after that.  Also learn about Pantone colors, and three people who used the wrong ingredients while cooking, resulting in the deaths of their loved ones.  Retrosponsor: Horlick's Malted Milk.  

Direct download: mr_moneybags.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:05 AM

It's absolutely true: When the United States started Parcel Post service in 1913, both babies and small children were mailed. Listen to this story to learn why it was done and how it came to an end.  Also hear about the first unsigned band to appear on Saturday Night Live, a new father that couldn't find the hospital door, a bizarre case of supposed illegal search and seizure, as well as  the mother-in-law that didn't know how to drive.  Retrosponsor: Penn-Daw Motor Hotel.

Direct download: parcel_post_babies.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:49 PM