Useless Information

Useless Information
Hosted by Steve Silverman
It really is all true! Stories about stuff that you never needed to know, but your life would be incomplete without. They serve no real purpose other than to entertain. If you're the curious type and have a few minutes to spare, then spend some of it listening to this ever-growing collection of stories. Great for those that are looking for a little bit of trivia in their lives.
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UI #112 – A Journey to the Center of the Earth

John Cleves Symmes was a popular lecturer back in the 1820’s. Not only did Symmes believe that Newton got the concept of gravity totally wrong, he proposed that the Earth had a hollow interior and that one could enter this subterranean world via large holes at each of our poles. Symmes attracted a large number of supporters and his planned voyage to the North Pole was, at one point, debated and voted on by Congress. Also learn about the groundbreaking publication that Sir Edmund Halley financed, a scientist who suggested that the two moons of Mars were artificial, the relationship between gout and intelligence, and that the best cure for the hiccups may be sticking a rubber tube up your nose.  Retrosponsor: DuPont.

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UI #111 – Dick the Dog

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April 28, 2018 • Pennsylvania resident Jacob Silverman made national headlines back in 1922 for the crime of owning a dog named Dick within the commonwealth.  The law at the time required that...

| April 28, 2018

Useless Information Podcast Bonus Episode #1

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March 28, 2018 • Bonus episode that includes an interview that I did back in 2014 with Lene Bech Sillesen and a recording of the NBC live news report when Pearl Harbor was bombed.Learn more about...

| March 28, 2018

UI #110 – Wife for Sale

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February 26, 2018 • In 1948, Dorothy Lawlor decided to take an ad out in the Newsday newspaper seeking a husband in exchange for $10,000. Within twenty-four hours she became a media sensation. Did...

| February 26, 2018

UI #109 – The Case of the Phantom Vegetable Oil

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January 29, 2018 • In the late 1950's and early 1960's, Anthony "Tino" De Angelis ran a global salad oil empire. Find out how Tino grew his business so quickly, his shocking downfall, how JFK’s...

| January 29, 2018

UI #108 – The Man Who Gave Away His Birthday

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December 29, 2017 • When author Robert Louis Stevenson learned that young Vermont native Annie Ide hated her Christmas birthday, he decided to deed his own birthday to her. Listen to this episode to...

| December 29, 2017

UI #107 – The First Transatlantic Airplane Race

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November 24, 2017 •  In May of 1929, Old Orchard Beach in Maine was the site for an airplane race that pitted the smaller, more nimble American Green Flash against larger, more powerful French...

| November 24, 2017

UI #106 – Elixir of Death

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October 9, 2017 • When the S.E. Massengill Co. introduced its Elixir Sulfanilamide to the market in September 1937, there was no law in the United States requiring pharmaceutical companies to test...

| October 9, 2017

UI #105 – Le Mars Trilogy: Part 3 – Maybelle Trow Knox

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August 31, 2017 • During desperate times some people are forced to do desperate things. The trick is to not get caught. Let's just say that Maybelle Trow Knox was not very good at that last part....

| August 31, 2017

UI #104 – Le Mars Trilogy: Part 2 – Farmers in Revolt

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July 7, 2017 • The Great Depression was an awful time for farmers in Iowa.  It culminated with the near hanging of a judge in Le Mars. It just happens that the farm involved was owned by the...

| July 7, 2017

UI #103 – Le Mars Trilogy: Part 1 – T.M. Zink’s Library

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June 10, 2017 • The first of a 3-part series on Le Mars, Iowa from the 1930's. Le Mars was thrust into the national spotlight by the actions of just one man: a successful lawyer named T.M. Zink,...

| June 10, 2017

UI #102 – Dr. Mary Edwards Walker

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May 6, 2017 • Dr. Mary Edwards Walker was one of the first female doctors in the United States and is the only woman to ever receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, until the government...

| May 6, 2017

UI #101 – Where There’s a Wilby, There’s a Way

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March 27, 2017 • Between 1942 and 1943 Ralph Marshall Wilby appeared to pull off what appeared to be the perfect crime. An incredible story that has many elements of an international thriller:...

| March 27, 2017

UI #100 – A Miracle Birth in Mexico

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February 28, 2017 • On March 5, 2000, Ines Ramirez Perez went into labor but was unable to get any medical care to help with the delivery. In a panic, Ines concluded that she had no other option than...

| February 28, 2017

UI #99 – Millionaire for a Day

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November 26, 2016 • Back in 1911, Wilkes-Barre, PA resident John Jay "Butch" McDevitt won the Democratic Primary for county treasurer. The only problem was that the Democratic Committee didn't want...

| November 26, 2016

UI #98 – The Trick-or-Treat Dentist

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October 17, 2016 • The Halloween episode. Learn about a reputable California dentist named William Shyne who supposedly gave the children of his neighborhood lollipops and laxative pills for...

| October 17, 2016

UI #97 – Silent Susan

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September 12, 2016 • On October 6, 1946 a young woman was arrested in Palisades Park, NJ for refusing to provide a police officer with her name. She had been cooperative in every way but refused to...

| September 12, 2016

UI #96 – The Ice Cream Wars

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August 3, 2016 • The everything ice cream episode! Learn about an ongoing war between ice cream vendors, which included bombings, gunfire, torching of trucks, and threats. Also, learn about a ban...

| August 3, 2016

UI #95 – The Yonkers Anti-Shorts Law

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June 30, 2016 • Back in 1935, Yonkers, NY made international news for arresting five NYC women who wore shorts and bandana halters. At one point, the Yonkers' aldermen proposed the building of a...

| June 30, 2016

UI #94 – The Brassiere Brigade

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May 30, 2016 • In September of 1950, a young woman contacted Miami police to let them know that someone had stolen money from her, money that she had helped to steal from Southern Bell...

| May 30, 2016

UI #93 – The Ugliest Thing the President Ever Saw

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April 29, 2016 • President Lyndon Johnson was never one to hold back his words, whether they be good or bad. Listen to this episode to learn what he felt was the ugliest thing that he had ever...

| April 29, 2016

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