Last updated: March 5th, 2020
I listen to a lot of podcasts and learn very interesting things from them. Here’s an ongoing list of things I’ve learned from the podcasts I listen to. I’m always looking to expand the types of shows I listen to, so if you have a podcast recommendation, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ali Wong, a stand-up comedian, had to sell her shows on Groupon for half off because her tickets were not selling. However, after her Netflix special aired, tickets for Wong's next show sold for $1,000. Also, weed is not allowed in Disneyland.
Even though Latif Nasser, a Guantanamo Bay inmate, had been cleared to be released back to his home country, Morocco, his paperwork didn't get fully filed during the Obama administration. Once Trump took office, there were no more transfers permitted, so Nasser was not allowed to leave. Also, a single Guantanamo detainee costs taxpayers $13 million per year.
Art by women and men is valued differently. If a viewer thinks a painting was done by a woman, they say they like the painting less. This gender bias has real consequences for female artists - on average, artwork by women sells for 40% less than works by men. And far less work by women is displayed in major museums around the country than work by men.
In a country that is divided, Dolly Parton seems to be an icon that both conservatives and liberals can get behind. "You've got evangelical church ladies standing next to men in drag — Dolly is massive in the LGBTQ community — standing next to guys in trucker hats," Jad Abumrad, host of the show, says. "All of these different communities, on either side of the 'culture wars,' all standing together, shoulder-to-shoulder, singing the same song."
During World War II, the Red Cross had comfort stations for soldiers overseas, with free coffee and free doughnuts. Then, in 1942, the Red Cross started charging for the doughnuts. Soldiers have held a grudge ever since. The organization started charging only because the U.S. Secretary of War asked it to. British soldiers had to pay for their snacks, and the free doughnuts for Americans were causing tensions. So the Red Cross complied, after protesting to no avail. It didn't last long — for most of the last 70 years, Red Cross doughnuts have remained free — but veterans haven't forgotten.
People like Aristotle speculated eels were sexless after many failed attempts at finding their sex organs. However, it was later discovered that eels start off sexless and gain their sexual organs at a later time in life. After many years and millions of dollars on research, humans have still never witnessed wild eels mating or giving birth. How eel eggs are fertilized remains a mystery.
Christopher Columbus was doubting his claim about the people in the Caribbean islands eating humans. However, in January 14, 1493, he met a native man who was, "much uglier in the face" than the others they met. This led Columbus to an overreactive conclusion that he is a Carib that eats human flesh. Basically, because this man was so ugly (in the eyes of Columbus), Columbus was convinced he was a cannibal. When Columbus suggested taking some as slaves, Queen Isabella said it was against Catholic morals to enslave the New World natives. However, it's ok to enslave the ones who eat people. So, all the voyagers just claimed all the New World natives to be cannibals in order to enslave them.
Robots are being used more and more for religious purposes. A robot priest named Mindar is used at Kodaiji, a 400-year-old Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. It can deliver sermons and move around to talk with worshippers. The $1 million machine is an attempt to reignite people’s passion for their faith in a country where religious affiliation is on the decline.
In 1963, Sterling North released his memoir Rascal: A Memoir of a Better Era documenting his childhood and misadventures with his best friend, a baby raccoon named Rascal. In 1977 Nippon Animation adapted into a children’s anime called Araiguma Rasukaru. It was a HUGE hit with the youths (in US standards, not as big as Mickey Mouse, but more popular than Spongebob) and became so popular that Japanese families began importing baby raccoons by the thousands to keep as family pets. Japanese families realized that raccoons are not friendly pets, so they let them out in the wild. With no natural predators, raccoon populations exploded, and can now be found in 43 out of 47 of Japan’s prefectures, and have caused at least $300,000 worth of damage to crops on the island of Hokkaido alone. They wreaked havoc on Ancient Buddhist temples, which led buddhist monks to disobey one of their core philosophies- to not harm a living creature- by trapping and killing the raccoons.