Interesting If True is a variety podcast hosted by a panel of comedically-inclined friends over beers about whatever interests us each week. If you're tired of quiz shows only having real answers, or true crime shows being serious about their mysteries, this is the show for you! Listen as rotating hosts Aaron, Jenn, Jim, Shea, and Steve tell stories, investigate mysteries, take quizzes, and generally have a good time. Join us for a beer and a laugh each Friday for your very own pod-friendly Friday Afternoon Club. Visit us at www.InterestingIfTrue.com or support the show and get more content at www.Patreon.com/iit
Zap, Pow, Right In the Kisser!
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that’s cooler than your uncle.
I'm your host this week, Shea, and with me are my two favorite people, Steve and Aaron
I'm Aaron, and this week I learned that all moms are, technically, bodybuilders…
I'm Steve, and yesterday I learned about Wordle and it’s a damn good thing you can only do one puzzle a day.
HL1: Burning Ring of Fire!
Good news everybody! The leader of Turkmenistan, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov — you may remember him as the guy who was too mean to a puppy, for Putin — has urged the lawmaker to finally close the Gates of Hell now that he’s done doing donuts on Satan’s lawn.
Look at your phones now for a pic.
Gurbanguly, in 2019, shot his shot for YouTube fame by doing donuts next to the Gates in a bid to disprove rumors he was dead.
The Gates of Hell opened in 1971 during a Soviet drilling operation looking for natural gas. Uninterested in a skylight, Satan just collapsed the whole damn operation, drilling equipment and all, leaving a 230 foot wide, gaping hell-mouth that’s been burning ever since.
The Gates of Hell, or as they’re less Biblically known, the Darvaza gas crater, is a roughly 65-foot-deep crater. The collapse of the drilling equipment left all that gas they were after venting into the atmosphere. Fearing the noxious methane leak geologists at the time decided to fix the problem by adding fire. They expected it to burn out in a day or two… it’s still burning.
Of course, it smells like a burning Hell pit so living nearby is not ideal, but the pit is Turkmenistan’s largest tourist sight. The president is betting that putting out the flame and collecting the gas is worth more than the foot traffic so… we’re finally going to do something about the environmental mess that is, essentially, a man-made eternal flame-hole.
* https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019–08–07/turkmenistan-president-rally-car-hells-gate-dispel-death-rumours/11392246* https://www.sciencealert.com/turkmenistan-s-president-wants-to-close-the-gates-of-hell-which-has-been-burning-for-50-years?fbclid=IwAR3fPezAV5WAIAf38xjKTZnfQlE-QtNX-nh8VVXKFk8f9Nyp-8Xc3npDYb4
3 Centuries Later…
I’ve often said of the Catholic Church that if you put something in their complaint box today, they’ll get to it in a few short centuries…
Turns out I was right.
In 1730 the church was made aware of a grave injustice — no, not the kiddie diddling, we’ll have to wait until 2312 for them to do anything about that if this timeline holds — I’m referring to that most evil of topics, most sinful of events, Vivaldi’s “Il Farnace.”
The Opera was banned in the northern-Italian city of Ferrara in 1739 by Cardinal Tommaso Ruffo because Vivaldi, a conscripted Priest, had stopped going to Mass and was said to be in a relationship with those most vexing and depraved of creatures, a woman, called Anna Grio.
This effectively ended Vivaldi, leaving one of, if not the, most influential Baroque composers to die in exile a pauper.
Now, some 300 years later, Ferrara Archbishop Giancarlo Perego attended the opening of “Il Farnace” in Ferrara — which is as close to a mea culpa as you’re going to get from the Catholic Church.
Careers Dying Hard...
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that’s kicking 2022 off right — by taking the piss out of the ’80s!
I'm your host this week, Aaron, and with me are:
I'm Shea, and this week I learned that there are literally no rules saying your New Year’s resolution can’t be for evil.
I'm Steve, and you should rewatch Highlander too.
Round table this week starts with a very good Happy New Year to all our fantastic listeners.
It’s pretty cool that we’re still able to do this and despite changes in hosts, branding, topics — really all the things — you’re still with us. Thanks to everyone who listens, shares, and supports the show! Your support means the world to us of course, but it also allows us to donate to a good cause like WyoAIDS. If you’d like to find out how to join the ranks of our good year-having, charity-helping, supporters check out https://www.patreon.com/IIT and, for as little as a buck a show, you’ll get a patin-exclusive story each week! It’s basically twice the weekly us, and that is, apparently, something you enjoy ;)
And with 2022’s inaugural Patreon pitch out of the way, let’s have a beer!
Speaking of new things, it’s Headlines 2.0!
I wanted to restore the headline segment to talk about the nonsense, of course, there will be a bunch of that in 2022 I’m confident. But also to talk about some cool stuff. So, in keeping with the format of the show, these will be brief, fun, and hopefully, not entirely depressing.
That’s No Moon…
An international team of astronomers has released an image of what, at first glance, is a star-filled night’s sky.
It’s (not) Full of Stars
The image is actually of some 25,000 supermassive black holes! The giant star-eaters live at the center of galaxies. Now, I know what you’re thinking — how do you take a picture or something that devours light? Well… you watch the stars it eats and image the accretion disk around it with a network of 52 radio telescopes using LOWFAR (Low-Frequency Array). Then you spend years working the data out.
This is the result of many years of work on incredibly difficult data. […] We had to invent new methods to convert the radio signals into images of the sky.”Francesco de Gasperin
Lead researcher Francesco de Gasperin, Universität Hamburg, Germany.
The LOWFAR signals can be in the 3MHz range and distorted by signals up to 30MHz.
It’s similar to when you try to see the world while immersed in a swimming pool, when you look up, the waves on the water of the pool deflect the light rays and distort the view.”Reinout van Weeren
Study co-author Reinout van Weeren, of the Leiden Observatory.
The image, which is massive but still only makes up 4% of the night sky in the northern hemisphere, was created with supercomputers correcting each portion of the image, every 4 seconds, over the course of 256-hour observation.
The Pew Research Center has released new figures on American religiosity and, surprising no one I’m sure, it continues to wane.
Basically, the Trump administration and their brazen bigotries combined with god’s apparent impotence in the face of Covid have left folks questioning organized religion.
Christmas Carol War!
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that looks like Santa
I'm your host this week, Shea, and with me are:
I'm Aaron, and this week I learned that the Bible specifically forbids Christmas Trees, thanks, Joshua.
I'm Steve, and I'm recording remotely because of reasons…
This Week's Beer
Fruitcake Dunkle from Altitude
* Aaron: 5* Shea: 6?
Christmas Carol Quiz Time
* #1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Hj3U18FHgQ* #4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVzOve8T39w* #7 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is4NQkUN3AI* #8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqfIEQKnkJU* #11 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpfHSqLXePI* #12 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhTnDaEmA5k* #15 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTrWyQbhQRE* #18 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ca5wXojemRM
* Thurl Ravenscroft sang "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" . . . and was also the voice of a very popular cereal mascot for over 50 years. Disneyland fans will know him as the bust second from the left on the Haunted Mansion! Who was the mascot?* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Hj3U18FHgQ* Hint: He was great at it. * Tony the Tiger* The Roman Catholic Church condemned what 1952 song because they thought it promoted ADULTERY?* "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"* They backed off after 13-year-old singer Jimmy Boyd explained that "Santa" is really just the kid's dad.* One of the most recognizable holiday tunes, this carroll was originally sung around Thanksgiving when it was written in 1857.* Jingle Bells* We have all heard this song but we may not have heard this version. On the Heavy Metal Christmas album who is heard singing a little drummer boy?* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVzOve8T39w* Hint: he had to take time off killing hobbits to record it. * Christopher Lee * What do the songs; Winter Wonderland, The Christmas Song, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, I'll Be Home For Christmas, Let It Snow!, and Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree all have in common? * They were all written by Jewish people.* Benjamin Hanby's classic christmas song written in 1864, was inspired Clement Moore's 1823 poem "A Visit from Saint Nicholas," and was the first song to mention Santa Clause.* Up on the Housetop* Rockin Around the Christmas Tree has been covered by tons of different artists but it's original recording was from 1958 by Brenda Lee who was surprisingly young. How old was Brenda when she recorded this classic hit?* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is4NQkUN3AI* 13* According to the Guinness World Records, the first song ever played in space was what christmas song on December 16, 1965? Astronauts Walter Schirra and Tom Stafford used a harmonica and a bell — also the first instruments in space — to perform the song aboard NASA's Gemini 6A space flight. It was part of a prank — they claimed the music was coming from a strange, flying object that looked a lot like Santa Claus.* Jingle Bells* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqfIEQKnkJU* What band currently has the record for most Christmas number 1 singles?
Bright Orange Clowns
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that doesn’t clown around…
I'm your host this week, Aaron, and with me are:
I'm Shea, and this week I learned that gonorrhea would have been a good name for a diarrhea medicine.
This weeks beer:
Green Chili Ale - Soulcraft Brewing
* Style: Chile Beer* ABV:5.2%* Score: Needs more ratings* Aaron: 7* Shea: 8
Green Chile Ale captures all that you love about fresh roasted chiles. A deep, roasted aroma greets you and a wonderful chile flavor follows. Serrano chiles are added to create a bright flavor and heat. English hops provide light bitterness and floral notes that let the big chile flavor shine. The finish is crisp and slightly spicy. Many people know Colorado for it’s majestic beauty, but not many know of the deep affection for chilies. Of the most coveted are Pueblo Chiles, enjoy with breakfast, lunch, or dinner and taste the difference.Beer Advocate... or the can... can't remember... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
A Clown, a Firefighter, and a Policeman, walk into a brothel…
No, that’s not the start of a joke… but the start of a series of jokes that I cannot believe I haven’t made before.
I grew up not far from here. I’ve been to here.
So, I’m going to tell this epic Snyder style — that is, in too many, long, disjointed, nonsensical parts. And thanks to Shea, this show will also be in unsettling monochrome.
Part 1 - Ill-Fame
The year is 1855 — unless you’re a political history blogger on Medium — the place is Toronto, and the topic at hand is drinking, fighting, whoring, clowns.
But before we bring in the clowns, we need to talk about Toronto. I’ll assume most folks know it’s in southern Ontario, Canada. At least, when I talk about where I grew up most people seem to know where Toronto is, from local cowboys to colleagues in Taipei (I use it as a nearby landmark for the inevitable introduction-question “so, where are you from?”).
What you may not know is that it was settled in 1750 as Fort Rouillé, a French trading post. Established properly in 1793 it has a current population of 2.7m (6.5-ish if you count the surrounding area), sits a mighty 250 feet above sea level, is the capital of Ontario, has long been a hub of Canadian commerce, culture, and politics — and has Yonge Street.
Yonge St. is a major thoroughfare connecting Lake Ontario to Lake Simco. Which sounds impressive I suppose, Guinness Records certainly thought so, until 1999… The road is 56km, or 35mi, long but is known for being “the longest street in the world” at 1,896km (1,179mi) because it was confused with Highway 11.
And with that myth put to bed, let’s talk about Yonge Street circa 1855 and the bar our clowns are walking into.
Still a long way from being “Toronto The Good” — because of its Victorian sensibility and temperance — Toronto was then a thriving trade town with hundreds of bars and brothels, most conveniently located on Yonge Street. This is the bit that you won’t find on the board of tourism website but was the reason a bunch of ye-oldie, horny, clowns were checking it out.
S.B. Howes’ Star Troupe Menagerie and Circus had jumped in and lead Joey, the clown Meyers, just got his cut of the take.
The Elephant In the Room
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that slaps... I dunno, I work at a high school and this was some new slang I learned and am probably using incorrectly.
I'm your host this week, Shea, and with me is:
I'm Aaron, and this week I learned that the Descendants are a band. Apparently.
Round Table and Beer
The round table this week... is that we're back in the studio and can finally have another beer together.
Soulcraft Brewing: Raspberry porterSalida Colorado
* Aaron: 8* Shea: 8
I’m not sure what the impetus to do a story on female gangsters was but I found myself in an internet hole filled with awesome stories of female gangsters that made some pretty big waves in their day, I would be remiss if I didn’t bring them back into the light and entertain you all with some badass ladies.
We could start with some more contemporary women such as Griselda Blanco, recently played by Catherine Zeta-Jones in 2017’s Cocaine Grandma. Griselda has a terrifying and bloody story complete with torture and hired hits during the heyday of cocaine use in the 70/80’s. But I was feeling something a bit less bloody and a whole gang of women sounded cooler than just one angry bloodthirsty drug queen. I went back pretty far in history to find a notorious syndicate run exclusively by working-class women.
PICTURED -Top row, left to right, Alice Diamond, "Queen of Thieves"; Maggie Hughes, deputy; Laura Partrdige; bottom row, left to right, Bertha Tappenden; Madeline Partridge, Gertrude Scully.
One all-female gang ruled part of the gangland underworld for almost two centuries, the 40 Elephants. Definitive records show that the Elephants operated between 1873 and the 1950s, but there is some evidence to suggest that the gang’s origins can be placed as early as the end of the 18th century. The gang’s name is not as cryptic as it may sound: the number
is a rough estimate of its membership and the choice of animal is due to two factors: that they all lived around the Elephant and Castle pub in Southwark, and – more significantly – on leaving shops with their stolen goods under their clothes, the sheer volume of garb made them look like elephants. Only women were allowed to be members and they were almost all exclusively from a working-class background; they rejected the jobs that people like them were condemned to do and instead, similarly to the suffragette movement, they took matters into their own hands. However, instead of fighting for the right to vote, the Elephants wanted something more immediate: financial independence. They would steal clothes and jewelry, sell them on for far less than they were worth, and distribute the earnings amongst their community, providing their families with a lot more than they could otherwise hope to.
Photographs from a 1916 article in Popular Mechanics show the garments shoplifters wear to make their work easier. Via/ Internet Archive
Many a husband lounged at home while his missus was out at work, and many an old lag was propped up by a tireless shoplifting spouse. Some of these terrors were as tough as the men they worked for and protected,"Brian McDonald
Said Brian McDonald, who uncovered details of the criminals when researching for his new book, Gangs of London. Cool aside,
A Wizarding thanksgiving...
Episode 77: A Wizarding thanksgiving...Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that has so many things to be thankful for, but most of all, it's you, dear listener!
I'm your host this week, Aaron, this week I learned that Varsity Blues was the name of the movie with the whipped cream bikini lady… but let’s be honest, Captain America wore it better.
I'm Shea, and this week I learned that if you want to preserve your vaccine virginity all you need to do is not move when they stick you with the needle and it doesn’t count, it’s called vaccine soaking.
This week’s show airs just after American Thanksgiving. For those unfamiliar, it's the special time of year where we gather friends and family over for a traditional meal of tortured birds, carbs, and Covid-19. The holiday commemorates the lies we tell school children about the peaceful nature of European pilgrims and what they actually did to the Wampanoag First Nation Peoples who helped them survive a particularly cold winter that, apparently, Christian god was not up to the task of sorting out.
Still, it’s not merely a display of food wealth designed to shove Euro-centric ideals of prosperity down the throats of the non-white Americans who, then as now, provide the food, means, and often recipes we enjoy. There’s also the bit where the privileged take a moment to thank themselves.
Hopefully, this is a slightly less gross display of thanks because we are, indeed, very thankful for you, our listeners, and all your support. And I don’t just mean financial! To everyone who listens, shares, likes, and yeah, supports us, we thank you! Your generosity over the years has meant a lot to us in the studio. It’s enabled fan equipment, meet-ups, our worldly beer knowledge, and most importantly, our continued ability to donate to WyoAIDS. Recently, at DQB 2021, we were able to straight-up donate a big, novelty, check's worth of cash and it is entirely thanks to the generosity of our patrons and donors. Thank you!
On a personal note, I’d like to thank my co-hosts Jenn, Jim, Shea, and Steve for putting up with my nonsense for going on a decade — and indeed a few of you longer ;)
Speaking of Jim, I’d like to thank him for all the wonderful help over the years with everything from homework to officiating my wedding. Specifically, today I’d like to say thanks for managing our Insta and FB pages. If you’ve enjoyed the factoids, memes, and funnies we’ve been sharing, a great way to say thanks is to like and subscribe to us of course, but also to the WyoAIDS Facebook page, where every like and share makes a life-saving cause more visible. Thanks, Jim!
And now that we’ve gone around the table and said thanks, let’s go ahead and take the piss out of the holiday eh!?
I won’t dwell on the “true” meaning of Thanksgiving. Far more intelligent, insightful, and connected people than I have done far better jobs and shared the true history of the holiday, its terrible impact on the Wampanoag and other First Nations peoples, and the nearly vegan-inducing levels of Turkeycide.
If you want more info on those things there are some links in the show notes to great articles. Also, I can wholeheartedly recommend episode four of Taste The Nation: Season Two, wherein Padma Lakshmi does a fantastic job of talking with Wampanoag leaders and historians. She covers everything from the National Day of Mourning to what they ate. It’s a fantastic watch that tells the truth but doesn’t make you want to go play in-between the train tracks after.
Started listening to W4W in the tail end and naturally segued into this podcast. I learn a lot from their well researched episodes. They deserve so many more listeners. Keep it up guys! I hope everyone (Jenn especially) stays healthy and safe or recovers quickly if currently sick during this crazy time.
Awesome Second Act
I listened to WfW for years, met the hosts at a conference, and genuinely consider them the kind of people I would commit crimes if they needed something. They are not just incredibly kind-hearted and intelligent, but they know how to turn those qualities into an entertaining show. I've cried until I couldn't see straight, and almost peed myself laughing in the same episode of the old show, and that was before they knew what they had going on.
In a world full fake missile alerts over Hawaii, fake news on TV, opinions treated like truth on social media, the IIT crew seeks to inform and entertain with quirky, off the wall tales (thoroughly researched of course) to pass the corona-time with. Hey it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, so kick up your feet and give this podcast a listen or two and you might just learn something.