Bird-pocalypse!

PROMO - The Short Stories of Augie Peterson The topic for today’s episode was voted on by our brainiacs at patreon.com/YBOF, though I almost ignored the poll results because someone in the comments thought I couldn’t make an episode out of the other topic, so you can...

Well-traveled Bodies

In the winter of 1976, the 6 Million Dollar Man tv show was filming in a haunted house in Long Beach, CA.  When a crew member went to move a garish-looking dummy to a different spot, the dummy’s arm broke off at the elbow.  It was then that the crew member noticed the...

Heard But Not Seen

The question pops up on social media pretty regularly: if you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be.  Most people’s answers have to do with relationships or credit-ruining purchases. My advice to 7, 13, or 17 year old me would...

Earth’s Unsung-est Heroes: medical edition

When you think of world-saving heroes, obvious answers come to mind: Superman, Captain America, Randy Quaid’s character from Independence Day, the usual.  But there are real life people who have thousands, millions, and in one case a billion lives in the real world,...

Objection!

Content warning: This week’s episode references a lot of murders and crimes against the person.  A lot a lot. If that would bring you down, this would be an ideal time to go back into the vault for a second listening of an old favorite episode. On 27...

Career Critters

In 1971, scientists at the National Accelerator Laboratory (NAL) had a problem. The NAL's new Meson Laboratory was nearing completion, but the pipe work, through which subatomic particles would fly, was dirty.  It needed to be spotless to work properly. Someone had to...

We Can’t Have Nice Things: Vandalism edition

Picture this: You've got to cross the Neva River, but you don't make it to the Liteiny Bridge on time. As the drawbridge rises to the sky, so does an erect phallus that's painted on it. Plain as the nose on your face and the junk in your shorts, thanks to...

Black Sparrow and Buffalo Soldiers

Since colonial times, African-Americans have fought in America’s wars.  Every war, in fact. The first person to die in the Revolutionary war, Crispus Attucks, was black.  Black soldiers have put their lives on the line for a country that for centuries has...

Unkillable

Lachimann Garung was a member of the British-American army during WWII.  The trench he was defending came under attack by Japanese troops with grenades.  Garung caught and returned two, but the third one took off his arm. Whereas the average person would be down for...

Roses Are Red… , with Fan Theory World

Violets are blue, I don’t want our arranged marriage, so I’m having you exiled and imprisoned and yes, I’m willing to go to war over it.  The story of Blanche of Bourbon and Pedro the Cruel is hardly the stuff Hallmark cards are made of. You’d be able to guess that...

Amazing Races

LeMans, Grand Prix, Bathurst, the Indy 500, car races are big business around the world, but there was a time when people believed these new horseless carriages were a novelty item, too flimsy for such an activity.  In 1908, a race was organized to prove otherwise, in...

Physician, Test Thyself

When you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself. This philosophy is okay when it comes to loading the dishwasher, but maybe not when you’re trying find the cause of venereal disease. But no one told that to John Hunter. Medical types in the...

This Means War?

Mankind has waged war for many reasons: land, oil, a pretty face, a wooden bucket, you name it.  How did a pig put the US and UK on the brink of war in Canada?  Who declares hostility over watermelon?  And what about the Golden Stool? Admittedly, some of riots, but...

It’s A Small Plate After All

For someone in my generation or younger, it strains the imagination to think that yogurt, bagels and pizza were once weird ethnic foods.  My mother has a story about seeing her first bagel when she went off to college and there was a line in a Muppet Show episodes...

Christmas Spirit (and Monsters and Other Fun)

(No episode next week.) The other weekend, after attending a menorah lighting at a local tea house, my husband and I joined a parade of monsters talking down the sidewalk.  There were vicious satyr-like manimals with sticks in their hands and wicker baskets on their...

Meeting New Peoples

A few weeks before this recording, an American missionary in a kayak made it his goal to bring Christianity to the people of North Sentinel Island.  The people there live an anachronistic life, similar to that of other cultures in the stone age. In the few brief...

Format War Veteran

There are many important decisions that shape our lives and by which we judge other people.  Coke or Pepsi? Rolling Stones or Beatles? New York or LA? Cats or dogs? iPod or Zune? That last one was pretty easy for the vast majority of people.  The competition between...

Baptism by…

Baptism announcements in church newsletters are not usually cause for much excitement outside of the initiate’s family, certainly not a matter for the state supreme court.  Unless you’re a particular Syrian-born man who claimed that the church in Tulsa, OK where he...

Surprise Polyglot

Like all things, English has changed and developed over time. Though it began as a German language, many words are taken from Latin and French. The grammar is also from other Germanic languages, but neither is it much like that of Romance languages. Romance languages,...

Read A Rainbow

What do the missing words in the following book titles all have in common?: The ___ Mile, Where the ___ Fern Grows, The ___ Letter.  Need a clue? Here’s an easy one: Fifty Shades of ___. That’s right, all of these books these have colors in their titles, like a...

Panto to Python – a history of British Comedy

“The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created.  This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”  Thus begins Douglas Adams’ Restaurant at the End of the Universe, sequel to his culture touchstone The Hitchhiker’s Guide...

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