Monthly Archives: May 2012

Nikola Tesla and the War of Currents, Part 1


In 1857 Nikola Tesla began work on direct current motor issues. In 1884, he approached Thomas Edison with ideas about alternating current, but Edison championed direct current. Their disagreement led to one of history’s most famous scientific rivalries. Advertisements

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P.T. Barnum’s Biggest Stars


P.T. Barnum worked with many performers. Perhaps the most famous was the diminutive General Tom Thumb. Barnum also promoted Swedish singer Jenny Lind, but his biggest act was Jumbo the Elephant, an African elephant he bought from the London Zoo.

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Operation Mincemeat, Part 2


Operation Mincemeat aimed to relay false information to the Nazis by dropping a corpse where they would find it, along with fake documents. The British agents gave their corpse a backstory to make it more believable. But was the story … Continue reading

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A Visit to Clybourne Park


The Pulitzer-winning play “Clybourne Park” took inspiration from Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin the Sun.” In this episode, we talk to Clybourne Park’s Tony-nominated director Pam MacKinnon about the work and historical research that went into the play.

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The Prince of Humbug: P.T. Barnum


P.T. Barnum is best known as a circus man, but he spent most of his career running a curiosity museum and staging freak shows. Barnum attracted people to his American Museum through shrewd advertising, or “humbug.” He also wasn’t afraid … Continue reading

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Operation Mincemeat, Part 1


Once the Allies invaded North Africa, the Nazis began planning. Both sides knew Sicily was the obvious choice for the next Allied invasion, so the Allies needed some subterfuge. Luckily, the British had an idea — and all they needed … Continue reading

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Freya of Arabia


After a childhood spent roaming Europe, Freya Stark began saving money to take Arabic lessons. Once fluent, she traveled into areas few outsiders had ever been, documenting her travels in best-selling books. Listen in to learn more about Freya of … Continue reading

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