Staff Picks: “Futility Closet” podcast
This summer I have spent hours in the car but the podcast “Futility Closet” has made the time fly by. Thirty-minute episodes feature short, often amazing stories from history you’ve often never heard of but you won’t soon forget. Recorded by husband and wife team Greg and Sharon Ross, each podcast features a true story, mail they receive from around the world, and a lateral thinking puzzle. Aside from a few gruesome murder cases, this is a podcast for the whole family. Some of my favorite episodes are “Escape from Libby Prison,” about an infamous Civil War jail; “Japanese Fire Balloons,” a World War II balloon attack on the West Coast; “Life in a Cupboard,” about people who lived in unbelievably small spaces for years; “Starving for Science” about heroic Russian botanists who starved to death protecting tons of food; and “Eighteen Holes in Vietnam,” about how golf saved an air force pilot shot down over enemy territory. This podcast will leave you hungry for history. I listen on the free app Podcast Go. It’s also available on iTunes and elsewhere.