Grab a brew and laugh along with Aaron, Jenn, Shea, Steve - and sometime Big Gay Jim - each week as they talk current events & religious nonsense. It's the beer guzzling humanist podcast you didn't know you were waiting for!
IIT - Episode 5: Brave Battle Bear
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Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that is the equivalent of a bathroom reader. Quick interesting facts and a whole lot of BS.
I'm your host this week, Shea, and with me are (introduce each host and their blurb)
I'm Steve, and I have news. We have a new cat. His name is Evander and he’s 5. Also, his breath smells like he has a rotting corpse stuck between his teeth. Vet visit later this week.
I'm Aaron, and this week I learned that, while dogs are great, ancient-man really missed the ball on domesticating bears.
Jenn couldn’t be here today, but thanks to the power of forethought she’ll be joining us in 3… 2… 1…
Brave Battle Bear!
What’s better than pretty much everything?
And Shea can’t guess because it’s cheating.
How about a munition-toting, cigar-smoking, beer-drinking, Nazi-fighting, grizzly bear?
In honor of the recently observed Memorial Day, I bring the story of an Allied soldier who more people need to have heard of, Wojtek the Bear. (Who is referred to as a brown bear, but that’s also a grizzly bear, and I prefer that title.)
In 1942 a group of Polish prisoners of war, which included both soldiers and civilians, had been liberated from a camp in Siberia. The early days of WWII were especially awful for the Poles as Nazi Germany was of course marching thru, but the Soviets were also willing to round them up to work labor camps.
“The Allies got together in 1942 and made a pact with Stalin in which they could release the Poles to join the Allies’ troops,” according to Aileen Orr, author of Wojtek the Bear: Polish War Hero. The soldiers (plus a few civilian refugees) were then sent on to Alexandria, Egypt where they would then travel to Europe to join the World War, already in progress.
Whilst in route through the Middle East, the newly liberated soldiers encountered a young boy who had discovered an orphaned bear cub in the mountains of Persia (now Iran). The boy wandered into the camp, hungry, carry the little bear in a sack, looking for food. It was April 8, 1942 and the group of un-homed, transplanted people were drawn to the little creature who had also lost his family and home (they did also feed the boy). The bear was tiny and malnourished, since his mother had been killed by a hunter and NOW HE WAS IN A SACK.
One of the civilian refugees in their midst, eighteen-year-old Irena (Inka) Bokiewicz was especially taken with the little furball and convinced Lieutenant Anatol Tarnowiecki to buy the young bear (rumored for a few cans of corned beef), who then spent the next three months in a Polish refugee camp established near Tehran. He was technically under Irena's care, but the soldiers were also happy to babysit, feeding him condensed milk from an old vodka bottle, and marmalade (Pattington!), bits of fruit and honey.
Fantastic Flammarion Facts
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Welcome to Interesting If True, where we take turns telling tantalizing tales. I'm your host this week, Jenn, and with me, as always, my bearded and bedraggled co hosts Aaron, Shea, and Steve,
I'm Aaron, and this week I learned that while a comatose state is one of inactivity, a comet only has a coma when it’s active!
I'm Shea, and this week I learned that mandatory temperature screenings will be required for fans attending the Foreigner reunion concert.IIT If you're hot blooded they'll check it and see.
I'm Steve and while I’ve heard that man cannot live on bread alone, now that Aaron gave me his old bread machine, I might just give it a try.
Camille Claims Comet is Coming Calamitously
I’m Jenn and I want to welcome you to a story of weird history...ree...ree...ree.
This is a timely tale. In fact Monday, day of recording, May 18th of this year, is the supposed 110th anniversary of this particular cosmic event (well, the earthly part is debatable, but I’ll get to that). Yes, if we rewind to the year 1910, we will discover that the heavenly visitor, Halley’s Comet, was making its roughly-every-76-years visit to our skies.
Now Halley’s Comet was, of course, no stranger to our ancestors. It’s considered a ‘short-period’ comet, or a comet with regular visits of 200 years or less. In fact, Halley’s is the only short period comet that is visible to the naked human eye, and the only that is possible to witness twice in a human lifetime. Since it’s last buzzing of Earth was 1986, I’m hoping I might make it a twice-r. (I was 6, and if I can keep my crappy immune system in check…)
As a quick informational aside: the comet is named for Edmond Halley, a 17th century astronomer who was the first to realize the comet appeared in regular intervals.
Of course, there’s a rich human history surrounding the appearance of comets, usually involving everyone losing their minds in terror. At least, that is, until more recent times. And by recent, I don’t exactly mean the 1910 visit. Nope, the 1910 arrival definitely had its share of comet-induced pandemonium.
Why were people in such an uproar in this relatively recent time period? Well, as we are always, continuously reminded, humans as a group just can’t seem to understand science. And in this particular case, it was pretty crappy science.
It was in early April of 1910 that French astronomer, Camille Flammarion (a Harry Potter character yet to be writ...
IIT - Episode 3: A Murdery Maybe-Mystery
Welcome to Interesting If True, a weekly comedy podcast that will hold your interest, if not water… I'm your host this week, Steve, and with me are our panel, Shea & Aaron.
I'm Shea, and this week I learned how much my wife truly loves me. I woke up last night with her pushing a pillow against my face to keep COVID-19 at bay. I'm #blessed
I’m Aaron, and this week I learned that being invisible would also make you blind because light would pass through your retina… I’ve been watching a lot of quarantine-anime…
I’ve also been boning up on true crime, so…
Wouldn't Say I've Been Missing Him...
Diving into this story, first, I need to set the stage.
The year is 1929—which started on a Tuesday, that's a true—it was the end of the Roaring Twenties. Soon Wall Street would kerplunk ushering in the Great Depression, Hooverville, and of course the Dalek occupation of the Empire State Building. Followed shortly thereafter by the invention of the color TV by H. E. Ives at Bell Telephone Laboratories, which totally wasn't playing with recovered alien technology.
Meanwhile, the American south was... sweaty and smelled of Elder berries and gin stills. Also bigotry. It smelled like bigotry.
Amid the hustle and bustle of the southland [cough], there was a man. A myth. A Legend. Ok, a legend of a ghostly man who might be a myth, but that's close to the same thing.
Connie Franklin was his name and splitting lumber was his game. Apparently.
Born in 1895—which started on a Wednesday, just FYI—he would grow up in obscurity. The first real mention of Connie was January of 1929 when the now #SourthernMath 22-year-old (by his own account) set out toward the town of St. James in Stone County, R-Kansas.
Now, the interesting thing about Connie Franklin is that he either played the harp or was brutally murdered.
Setting into town Connie found employment as a hired hand splitting wood and doing manual labor. As was his way. He soon met 16-year-old Tiller Ruminer...-ish.
There's some disagreement on her name. It could have been Tillar, Tiller, Tiler, or Tillie. Stories vary. I'm going to use Tiller because that's how she's called in the March 11 edition of the 1942 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, one of the nearest-to-contemporary sources I could find.
Connie quickly fell for Tiller. She was sixteen, had great—milk-free—legs, and was polio-free. What more could you want? The two quickly fell in love and for a while life was as less-terrible as it could be in 1929.
On the 9th of March, they eloped. Or tried to, anyway. They'd gone to see the local magistrate... or umm... lord, high hibildy-piboly maybe. He who had the most teeth and therefore wed people. But alas, he was out woo-ing Jenn's Great-Gran mother with that very same pearly white. Singular.
Just kidding Jenn, we miss you!
Anyway, Connie and Tiller, having never made it to the altar began the long, and I assume swampy, journey home.
But he would never arrive!
Local Sharif Sam Johnson investigated but found nothing. Most folks just assumed Connie got cold feet and fled Arkansas.
We need to take a moment out of this entirely reality based rom-com and introduce a woman actually named Bertha. Bertha Burns. She fancied herself a detective and, not having any of that cold-footed malarky, set out to find some of that ee-loo-seev ev-e-donce.
Fast forward a few months and she found a bloodied hat on her land. Her near-the-trail-to-the-justice-of-the-peace land even! Using the hat and the impassioned pleas of some lady who claimed to be Connie's sister she dragged the Sheriff away from whatever fried-sadness passed as a doughnut back then and presented him with a small patch of scorched earth and a heaping helping of charred bones.
IIT - Episode 2 - How To Prevent A Plague
Hey all, if you're seeing this in your show notes you're still subscribed to Waiting 4 Wrath. We're only posting a few more shows here so make sure you visit https://www.InterestingIfTrue.com and subscribe to the new show!
Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that promises not to lie to you… on purpose… unless it’s funny…
I'm your host this week, Aaron, and with me are our panel.
I'm Steve, and did you know that for its sheer ability to calm the soul, it only takes about 7 cute otter videos to equal one beer, and otter videos are acceptable at work.
I’m Shea and this week I learned that before you go out into public, ask yourself: Is it worth it? Can I work it? Can I put my thing down, flip it, and reverse it?
I'm Jenn and I learned this week that May 7th, when the patron cut of this episode drops, was the date Herman W. Mudgett was hanged in 1896 for crimes against humanity...and hospitality. You may know Herman better as the notorious American serial killer HH Holmes.
The news from the field of medicine and health care is all the rage right now, but we don’t wanna talk about Coronavirus. So I’m bringing a timely story from last year on the anniversary of a medical breakthrough.
Aaron’s got a story on medicine too.
Editors Note: When I say ‘DARPA’ at the start of the story, I definitely don’t mean ‘DARPA’, I meant the Bhopal Disaster. Because I’m bad with acronyms.
Jenn’s Pox Upon Your House
Today I have a story about EDUCATIONAL HISTORY (ree...ree...ree...ree)!!
It’s not particularly weird, but it’s time appropriate, both in an anniversary sense and it’s more current event-y than it ever should be.
Traveling back in time to May 14, 1796, in rural England, we see the incredibly influential scientist, Dr. Edward Jenner, introducing his most celebrated invention. And now since we live in the most backward of timelines it has become his most controversial. What was this history-altering, millions of lives saving, now somehow debated event? That was the day Dr. Jenner put into use his newly developed smallpox vaccine. Yep, in case you weren’t already aware Dr. Edward Jenner was the father of the innovation of medical vaccinations.
Please see his May pin-up for Sultry Georgian Era Scientists Monthly, complete with the accessory of cow illustration. (Cowpox features into the story, hold on.)
Full disclosure: despite being considered the father of immunology, he was not the first to suggest that exposure to lighter doses of the same or similar illnesses would confer at least some form of immunity. I’ll cover that soon.
Anyway, that’s right(!), I’m gonna talk about the history of vaccinations and exactly what they did for the progress of human society (spoiler alert: a lot more people survived).
First, we need to learn a bit about the disease that was the first to be inoculated against: the now naturally eradicated smallpox. I say now naturally eradicated bc first off that how’re awesome vaccinations are and secondly (and scarily) it’s considered an excellent potential bioterror weapon. (Just an FYI: in late 1975, Rahima Banu, a three-year-old girl from Bangladesh, was the last known person in the world to have naturally acquired smallpox, per the CDC. She did survive and an intensive vaccination campaign around her home prevented any other...
IIT - Episode 1 - We Erupt Onto the Scene!
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Welcome to the first episode of Interesting If True, the podcast that's interesting, if not always accurate though we do try to be. I'm your host this week, Jenn, and with me are our panel…
I'm Steve, and this past week has reinforced that I’d just about prefer to chew off my own arm than listen to another presidential press conference.
I’m Shea and this week I learned that in 20 years our world will be run by homeschooled kids taught by day drinkers. I
I’m Aaron and this week I learned that most of a project’s requirements will become apparent to you right before you hit record.
Now before I get into the first story of our inaugural episode, I want to give a brief intro of the hosts to bring you up to speed if you are just finding us from our previous iteration. I know it’s really hard to tell the difference in new voices, so maybe this will help. Plus, you’ll be in the know of the occasional inside jokes we affectionately jab at each other’s expense.
Starting with Shea, because Aaron has a complex about the double "AA"'s in his name, not his bra, causing him to be called upon first. We call Shea the Yeti because he's furry and furtively rarely spotted. Lucky for Shea, he found a mate in a real human woman, took his honeymoon to Ireland and Scotland and is completely colorblind.
Aaron is Canadian, has 7 sweettooths(teeth?) and an emergency travel pack of maple syrup, has a hard time with words and letters (both saying and spelling), and all roads lead to either Dune or Dr. Who. He started us on the podcasting path and will find any excuse for a Russian accent.
We all consider ourselves pretty skeptical towards the world and its mysteries, but Steve is the extra-pedantic Spock of the group. He has little to absolutely no time for nonsense, is the son of a Baptist preacher and Shea thinks he is older than the oldest dirt. He’s not really, but he did watch the 6 Million Dollar Man in its original run.
And I’m Jenn, a refugee from the Deep South and evangelicalism, grew up in a swamp and have a deep seated fear of space, space aliens and monkeys (weirdly, monkeys in space just makes me sad, not scared). Like the worst female stereotype I’m terrible at math and my voice is probably the easiest to pick out, unless Aaron is laughing really hard. It’s high pitched.
We all four currently live in Wyoming though none of us are from here, are varying degrees of nerdy, and like most all animals more than most all people.
So that’s us and now on to the story!
Jenn’s Recipe For Volcanic Pork
Possibly the greatest, or at least most potentially dangerous and involved, April Fool’s prank of all time.
I had a helluva time deciding on the first tale to spin,
Thanks for listening to Waiting 4 Wrath! If you'd like to help us send the show off with a beer and a bang, make sure you join us on YouTube today, April 17th, at 7 pm Mountain (that's Denver's timezone) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIWUNxXMtCQ
We'll be doing a live stream, having a beer and a laugh, and generally chatting for a bit so you should join us!
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Interesting If True, the weekly comedy podcast for beer-swilling, joke-telling, stories, quizzes, and mysteries!
Love you all!!
Keep doing the best beer/atheist podcast out there!
Still the best
Thanks for the 13th Warrior reference. You guys and a gall still rock. Get well soon Jenn. Aaron thanks for the 13th Warrior reference. Made my day.
This podcast is a keeper!
WHEN JENN IS ON YOUR SHOW IS DELIGHTFUL. WITHOUT HER YOU ACT LIKE PREPUBESCENT BOYS. I HAVE HAD IT WITH YOUR SCAT JOKES AND ANUS HUMOR. IF 11 YEAR OLD BOYS IS YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE, YOU'VE NAILED IT. YOUR THROW AWAY COMMENT IN EPISODE 277 ABOUT HOW YOU PROBABLY HAVE NO MORE WOMEN VIEWERS IS PROBABLY TRUE TOO. I'M BAILING.