Ridiculous History

by HowStuffWorks

Ridiculous History
  • Language: eng
  • Episodes: 44
  • Last: 15 Mar 2018
Did San Diego fall victim to a real-life weather manipulating supervillain? What on Earth are Soviet bone records? Each week, longtime friends and veteran podcasters Ben Bowlin and Noel Brown dive into some of the weirdest stories from across the span of human civilization in Ridiculous History, a podcast by HowStuffWorks.

Episodes (44)

  • Arsenic: The Assassin's Dream Weapon
    Arsenic: The Assassin's Dream Weapon
    Play
    Published: 15 Mar 2018 Duration: 40:28
    For centuries people from all walks of life sought to eliminate friends, strangers and enemies using the devious, subtle poison known as arsenic. Arsenic poisoning became such a well-known method of murder that people in Britain began calli... Read more →
    For centuries people from all walks of life sought to eliminate friends, strangers and enemies using the devious, subtle poison known as arsenic. Arsenic poisoning became such a well-known method of murder that people in Britain began calli... Read more →

  • The Killer Marketing Campaign Behind Guy Fawkes
    The Killer Marketing Campaign Behind Guy Fawkes
    Play
    Published: 13 Mar 2018 Duration: 47:54
    Nowadays people across the planet are familiar with the story of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. People even celebrate the anniversary of the event, often interpreting it as a protest against overarching government authority. However, th... Read more →
    Nowadays people across the planet are familiar with the story of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. People even celebrate the anniversary of the event, often interpreting it as a protest against overarching government authority. However, th... Read more →

  • When Ancient India Beat Machiavelli to the Punch
    When Ancient India Beat Machiavelli to the Punch
    Play
    Published: 8 Mar 2018 Duration: 31:24
    Commonly regarded as one of humanity's premiere works on the art of pursuing and securing power, Niccolò Machiavelli's book ''The Prince'' has become so popular that the name of its author is synonymous with unethical behavior in the modern... Read more →
    Commonly regarded as one of humanity's premiere works on the art of pursuing and securing power, Niccolò Machiavelli's book ''The Prince'' has become so popular that the name of its author is synonymous with unethical behavior in the modern... Read more →

  • The Rise of Harvey Wiley's Poison Squad
    The Rise of Harvey Wiley's Poison Squad
    Play
    Published: 6 Mar 2018 Duration: 36:49
    Nowadays U.S. grocery shoppers can be reasonably certain that the foods they purchase are safe (if not healthy). But this wasn't always the case. In fact, if it wasn't for one extremely driven, imperfect man on a mission to clean up America... Read more →
    Nowadays U.S. grocery shoppers can be reasonably certain that the foods they purchase are safe (if not healthy). But this wasn't always the case. In fact, if it wasn't for one extremely driven, imperfect man on a mission to clean up America... Read more →

  • Step Aside, James Bond: The Strange Stories of Espionage Animals
    Step Aside, James Bond: The Strange Stories of Espionage Animals
    Play
    Published: 1 Mar 2018 Duration: 56:39
    It's no secret that espionage and spycraft are common tools in the murky realm of geopolitics -- but not every spy is some sort of James Bond type character in a bespoke suit with a penchant for martinis. In fact, some spies aren't even hum... Read more →
    It's no secret that espionage and spycraft are common tools in the murky realm of geopolitics -- but not every spy is some sort of James Bond type character in a bespoke suit with a penchant for martinis. In fact, some spies aren't even hum... Read more →

  • How MLK influenced Star Trek
    How MLK influenced Star Trek
    Play
    Published: 27 Feb 2018 Duration: 32:59
    Star Trek is one of the world's most well-known sci-fi franchises, spanning decades in film, TV, books, games and more. While it's had its fair share of lighthearted moments (hello, Tribbles!), its vision of a more equal, peaceful human civ... Read more →
    Star Trek is one of the world's most well-known sci-fi franchises, spanning decades in film, TV, books, games and more. While it's had its fair share of lighthearted moments (hello, Tribbles!), its vision of a more equal, peaceful human civ... Read more →

  • What was the 'Great Stink' of London?
    What was the 'Great Stink' of London?
    Play
    Published: 22 Feb 2018 Duration: 42:04
    Every city has its drawbacks -- parking, for example, or crime, or the price of a decent pizza slice -- but in the 1800s London faced a particularly unusual and disgusting problem: the city literally stank. And this wasn't an occasional whi... Read more →
    Every city has its drawbacks -- parking, for example, or crime, or the price of a decent pizza slice -- but in the 1800s London faced a particularly unusual and disgusting problem: the city literally stank. And this wasn't an occasional whi... Read more →

  • How Farmers Built A Barbed Wire Phone Network
    How Farmers Built A Barbed Wire Phone Network
    Play
    Published: 21 Feb 2018 Duration: 35:14
    Nowadays smartphones are an ubiquitous part of many civilizations, but not so long ago telephones of any sort were a rare commodity -- and the infrastructure was enormously expensive. When telephones hit the mass market, companies focused o... Read more →
    Nowadays smartphones are an ubiquitous part of many civilizations, but not so long ago telephones of any sort were a rare commodity -- and the infrastructure was enormously expensive. When telephones hit the mass market, companies focused o... Read more →

  • The Strange Story of Canadian Margarine Bootleggers
    The Strange Story of Canadian Margarine Bootleggers
    Play
    Published: 15 Feb 2018 Duration: 42:31
    Today, most grocery stores carry a variety of margarine and butter brands -- but this wasn't always the case. In fact, both Canada and the United States once had bizarre laws banning the production or importation of margarine. So what launc... Read more →
    Today, most grocery stores carry a variety of margarine and butter brands -- but this wasn't always the case. In fact, both Canada and the United States once had bizarre laws banning the production or importation of margarine. So what launc... Read more →

  • When People Waged War Over Eggs
    When People Waged War Over Eggs
    Play
    Published: 13 Feb 2018 Duration: 41:23
    How much would you pay for an egg? Would you kill for one? Join the guys as they explore the strange story of the Gold Rush, the Common Murre and Farallon Island -- the site of California's Egg War
    How much would you pay for an egg? Would you kill for one? Join the guys as they explore the strange story of the Gold Rush, the Common Murre and Farallon Island -- the site of California's Egg War

  • The Wild West Was Actually Pretty Chill
    The Wild West Was Actually Pretty Chill
    Play
    Published: 8 Feb 2018 Duration: 35:19
    If you're like most people, the phrase ''Wild West'' conjures images of brutal gunfights in dusty, tumbleweed-ridden streets, visions of criminals slinking into the shadows of dimly-lit saloons and the vast stretch of lawless, unforgiving f... Read more →
    If you're like most people, the phrase ''Wild West'' conjures images of brutal gunfights in dusty, tumbleweed-ridden streets, visions of criminals slinking into the shadows of dimly-lit saloons and the vast stretch of lawless, unforgiving f... Read more →

  • How A Grudge Match Launched the Ford GT40
    How A Grudge Match Launched the Ford GT40
    Play
    Published: 6 Feb 2018 Duration: 49:18
    Today the Ford GT40 is one of the world's most iconic vehicles -- but this award winning automotive beast is, it turns out, the result of a serious grudge match. Join the guys as they delve into the strange, spiteful history of the Ford GT4... Read more →
    Today the Ford GT40 is one of the world's most iconic vehicles -- but this award winning automotive beast is, it turns out, the result of a serious grudge match. Join the guys as they delve into the strange, spiteful history of the Ford GT4... Read more →

  • Vitamin Donuts Were A Real Thing
    Vitamin Donuts Were A Real Thing
    Play
    Published: 1 Feb 2018 Duration: 32:56
    Donuts: they're sweet, delectable and dangerous. Nowadays they're best known as a sugary snack or a nice accompaniment to a cup of coffee, but this wasn't always the case. In fact, for a few years manufacturers tried to sell them as -- beli... Read more →
    Donuts: they're sweet, delectable and dangerous. Nowadays they're best known as a sugary snack or a nice accompaniment to a cup of coffee, but this wasn't always the case. In fact, for a few years manufacturers tried to sell them as -- beli... Read more →

  • The Rotten, Sausagey Secret Origin of Botox
    The Rotten, Sausagey Secret Origin of Botox
    Play
    Published: 30 Jan 2018 Duration: 33:30
    Today botox is one of the world's most well-known wrinkle treatments, as well as a go-to joke in the realm of pop culture. But where did this treatment come from, and what on Earth does it have to do with sausage? Join Ben and Noel as they ... Read more →
    Today botox is one of the world's most well-known wrinkle treatments, as well as a go-to joke in the realm of pop culture. But where did this treatment come from, and what on Earth does it have to do with sausage? Join Ben and Noel as they ... Read more →

  • The Weird World of Meat Jell-O (Gelatin Origin Story)
    The Weird World of Meat Jell-O (Gelatin Origin Story)
    Play
    Published: 25 Jan 2018 Duration: 38:38
    Today Jell-O and other gelatin foodstuffs are generally relegated to world of desserts, but this wasn't always the case. In fact, gelatin took a long, strange path from ancient history to modern-day grocery shelves -- and got pretty gross a... Read more →
    Today Jell-O and other gelatin foodstuffs are generally relegated to world of desserts, but this wasn't always the case. In fact, gelatin took a long, strange path from ancient history to modern-day grocery shelves -- and got pretty gross a... Read more →

  • London Made a Train for the Dead
    London Made a Train for the Dead
    Play
    Published: 23 Jan 2018 Duration: 34:43
    When London was in the grips of a cholera epidemic, the already-overfilled cemetaries couldn't handle the extra bodies. So when there's literally no room in the soil for another dead body, what's a city to do? To the creators of the London ... Read more →
    When London was in the grips of a cholera epidemic, the already-overfilled cemetaries couldn't handle the extra bodies. So when there's literally no room in the soil for another dead body, what's a city to do? To the creators of the London ... Read more →

  • Roald Dahl: Children's Author and Secret Agent
    Roald Dahl: Children's Author and Secret Agent
    Play
    Published: 18 Jan 2018 Duration: 40:13
    Today author Roald Dahl is best-known for his prolific writing career -- but, as it turns out, he lived an entirely different life before he ever put pen to paper to create children's stories. Learn more about Roald Dahl's earlier life as a... Read more →
    Today author Roald Dahl is best-known for his prolific writing career -- but, as it turns out, he lived an entirely different life before he ever put pen to paper to create children's stories. Learn more about Roald Dahl's earlier life as a... Read more →

  • When did ALL-CAPS type become YELLING?
    When did ALL-CAPS type become YELLING?
    Play
    Published: 16 Jan 2018 Duration: 38:01
    You've seen them before, whether in a forwarded spam email, a strangely passionate Facebook post or a weirdly emphatic comment on your favorite website: THE DREADED ALL-CAPS TYPER. But where does this practice come from? How did everyone ag... Read more →
    You've seen them before, whether in a forwarded spam email, a strangely passionate Facebook post or a weirdly emphatic comment on your favorite website: THE DREADED ALL-CAPS TYPER. But where does this practice come from? How did everyone ag... Read more →

  • Why does the Guinness Beer Company Track World Records?
    Why does the Guinness Beer Company Track World Records?
    Play
    Published: 11 Jan 2018 Duration: 32:34
    Odds are you've heard about the Guinness Book of World Records, the famous, often inaccurate compilation of various impressive, important, and ridiculous feats from people across the planet. But how did it come about? How on earth did a bre... Read more →
    Odds are you've heard about the Guinness Book of World Records, the famous, often inaccurate compilation of various impressive, important, and ridiculous feats from people across the planet. But how did it come about? How on earth did a bre... Read more →

  • Digging Up James K Polk (For the Third Time)
    Digging Up James K Polk (For the Third Time)
    Play
    Published: 9 Jan 2018 Duration: 36:39
    The average American may not hear much about James K Polk in school today, but during his time in office the 11th U.S. President was responsible for a number of tremendously significant policy movements. Today he and his wife are interred i... Read more →
    The average American may not hear much about James K Polk in school today, but during his time in office the 11th U.S. President was responsible for a number of tremendously significant policy movements. Today he and his wife are interred i... Read more →