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Useless Information Podcast

Podcasting since 2008! - It really is all true! Quirky, bizarre, and unusual stories from the Flip Side of History.

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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UI #109 - The Case of the Phantom Vegetable Oil

In the late 1950's and early 1960's, Anthony "Tino" De Angelis ran a global salad oil empire. Find out how Tino grew his business so quickly, his shocking downfall, how JFK’s assassination ties into the story, and the way that one of the world's richest men today made a good chunk of change off of everyone else’s misfortune.  Also learn about the original name for the game Twister, a doctor or strongly discouraged excessive exercisem a glue sniffing fad, and people that consumed lemon-scented dish soap.  Retrosponsor: Title Insurance and Trust Co. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

46mins

29 Jan 2018

Rank #1

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UI #106 - Elixir of Death

When the S.E. Massengill Co. introduced its Elixir Sulfanilamide to the market in September 1937, there was no law in the United States requiring pharmaceutical companies to test their medicines for toxicity. In just the short time that this elixir produced, it took the lives of more than 100 people, many of whom were young children. Also learn about the world's most popular medicine, how the next generation of children were predicted to have teeth like Bugs Bunny, a woman who won a TV contest to get her nose fixed, and the relationship between breast size and intelligence.  Retrosponsor: Massengill Medicated Disposable Douche.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

36mins

9 Oct 2017

Rank #2

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UI #3 - Bath School Massacre

While most people know about the massacre at Columbine, few realize that the deadliest act of US school violence occurred in Bath, Michigan in 1927. Listen to this fascinating story to find out the who, what, and why... Also, learn about some famous valedictorians. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

7mins

29 Jan 2008

Rank #3

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The Prick of Death - UI Podcast #128

In 1933, a young man was walking through a busy train station in India when he was pricked in the arm by a man walking in the opposite direction. He would soon be dead and the shocking truth as to how and who murdered him was revealed. Also, learn when the sale of color televisions exceeded those of black and white, a man who invented a polarizing material, a man sentenced to prison time for writing fiction, and a mysterious body that washed up on a Chicago shore. Retrosponsor: Minit-Rub Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

31mins

16 Oct 2019

Rank #4

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UI #119 - A Punishment That Went Horribly Wrong

The parents of 21-year-old Linda Marie Ault were in a panic when their daughter didn't return home after attending a Friday night dance. They searched everywhere for her, but were unsuccessful.  When Linda returned home the next morning, her parents were furious with what she had done and came up with a punishment that they thought would teach her a valuable lesson. Everything went horribly wrong. Also, learn about the first 9-1-1 call, a dog that had been choked by a piece of fishing line, a toothless dog accused of biting a man, and a dog that had his own charge account at the local grocery store. Retrosponsor: Noxzema Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

31mins

6 Feb 2019

Rank #5

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UI #4 - Titanic - The Unsinkable Violet Jessop

The incredible true story of the unsinkable Violet Jessop and her survival of the collisions of the three sister ships - Olympic, Titanic, Britannic. The story that the movie should have been based on. Also, can you name the group that had the most #2 songs on the Billboard Pop Chart? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

7mins

31 Jan 2008

Rank #6

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UI #60 - Ivory Soap Murders

The Easter Sunday 1937 murders of Veronica Gedeon, her mom Mary, and Frank Byrnes in NYC launched an intense nationwide hunt for the killer.  There were few clues to go on, but two bars of soap provided police with the conclusive evidence that they needed.  Also learn about the first product to bear the Duncan Hines name, a phone sicko that scared parents, a death from Smokey the Bear, and women who were tricked into removing their hair.  Retrosponsor: Mother's Best Flour. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

33mins

19 Feb 2013

Rank #7

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Soul Searching - UI Podcast #129

When miner James Kidd died in 1949, no one could have imagined that it would take more than 21-years to settle his estate. That's because he had made a very unusual request in his will, one that would be nearly impossible to carry out. Also learn about the world's heaviest man, one man's amazing voyage to Mars, a will written on an eggshell, and another man who had distributed small amounts of money to 102 banks all around the world. Retrosponsor: The Spaghetti Store Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

46mins

22 Nov 2019

Rank #8

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UI #88 - The Last Man on Earth

Did you ever wonder what would happen if you ended up being the last person alive on Earth? Back in 1960, the San Francisco Chronicle decided to send their hunting and fishing columnist Bud Boyd up into the Marble Mountains of California for six weeks to find out if one could really survive. Let's just say that everything did not go as planned... Also learn about Reynold B. Johnson's first big invention, a poison ivy lawsuit, a girl who believed that she caused a boy's death, and a dangerous tricycle driver. Retrosponsor: Delrich E-Z Color Margarine. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

25mins

30 Nov 2015

Rank #9

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UI #58 - Dead Ringers

Akron, Ohio citizen Larry Bader and Omaha, Nebraska sportscaster Fritz Johnson were complete opposites of each other.  Yet, they were dead ringers for each other.  Find out what happened when one was thought to be the other.  Also learn about Robert Recorde's contribution to mathematics, a girl shot dead by a military gunner, boys that found gold in the sewer, and the guy who thought his house was stolen.  Retrosponsor: ENNDS Chlorophyll Tablets. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

25mins

24 Nov 2012

Rank #10

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UI #59 - The Sky is Falling

Alvin Rodecker and his wife chose to celebrate his 60th birthday in style.  It was to be an incredible, memorable trip to New York City.  If only he had looked up after upon leaving a ritzy restaurant...  Also learn the name of the first commercially available windshield wipers, the death of Bonzo the chimpanzee, the kidnapping of Itsy the poodle, and another poodle that took a drive in his owner's car.  Retrosponsor: Prell shampoo.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

25mins

9 Jan 2013

Rank #11

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UI #5 - The Gimli Glider

The true story of a Boeing 767 that ran out of fuel at 41,000 feet and lost total power. With no airport within gliding range, find out how these courageous pilots dealt with this frightening life or death situation. Also, do you know which celebrity Nobel Prize physicist Max Born was the grandfather of? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

7mins

1 Feb 2008

Rank #12

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UI #120 - The Coal Mountain Casanova

Back in 1952, Jesse Garrett had recently divorced and was in search of a new wife. He seemed like a catch and thousands of women contacted him to let them know that they were interested. What seemed like a good idea at the time ended up financially ruining Jesse Garrett. Also learn about the first product name to be ruled generic, a man who failed to show up as scheduled for his wedding, a woman who slept with the wrong man, and a guy who drove  motorscooter from Kentucky to Santiago, Chile to meet up with a girl. Retrosponsor: Coco-Wheats cereal Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

36mins

17 Mar 2019

Rank #13

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The Case of the Doctor-Doctor Kidnapping - UI Podcast #127

In 1933, a medical doctor and a chiropractic doctor were found severely injured a short distance from one another. The two had never met before, but their lives had somehow violently crossed on that fateful day. Also, learn about artist Bob Ross' original canvases, a milk bottle shortage, men who were in the frigid water too long, and a bookstore that gave 50,000 books away for free. Retrosponsor: Old Dutch Cleanser Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

27mins

13 Sep 2019

Rank #14

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UI #96 - The Ice Cream Wars

The everything ice cream episode! Learn about an ongoing war between ice cream vendors, which included bombings, gunfire, torching of trucks, and threats. Also, learn about a ban on using glue in ice cream, a pharmacy robbery where one of the bandits served ice cream, and a woman who set up a $20,000 ice cream trust fund. Retrosponsor: Sealtest Ice Cream Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

38mins

3 Aug 2016

Rank #15

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UI #61 - The Pleasant Hill School Bus Tragedy

Sad, yet true, story of a 1931 school bus disaster in the Pleasant Hill school district in Colorado.  Also learn about the world's second richest charity, topless male swimming, capturing an island, and the blood-sucking boarder.  Retrosponsor: Ovaltine Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

36mins

23 Mar 2013

Rank #16

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UI #97 - Silent Susan

On October 6, 1946 a young woman was arrested in Palisades Park, NJ for refusing to provide a police officer with her name. She had been cooperative in every way but refused to provide that single piece of information. Her story soon became front page news nationwide. Also learn about discontinued Monopoly game tokens, the Hear-See recording system, the introduction of the Radarange, and what was to be called the "Tape Age." Retrosponsor: The American Weekly magazine. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

31mins

12 Sep 2016

Rank #17

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UI #71 - Baltimore's Buried Treasure

You may have heard about the Californian couple that found five cans of gold coins on their property.  Two Baltimore boys made a similar discovery back in 1934, but this pot of gold proved to be anything but lucky.  Also learn about people that were paid to wake others up before alarm clocks, four daughters that could never marry, a lawsuit against Jackie Robinson, and an incident involving a minibike and a dog.  Retrosponsor: Tums Antacid Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

30mins

15 Mar 2014

Rank #18

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UI #93 - The Ugliest Thing the President Ever Saw

President Lyndon Johnson was never one to hold back his words, whether they be good or bad. Listen to this episode to learn what he felt was the ugliest thing that he had ever seen. Also, learn about the original 3 Musketeers Candy Bar, a man who turned blue, a woman offended by a new red, white, & blue girdle, and aluminum swimwear. Retrosponsor: MGM Studios/The Wizard of Oz. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

25mins

29 Apr 2016

Rank #19

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UI #62 - The Ghost of Guam

True story of a US Navy radioman who was hunted by the Japanese during World War II.  Also learn the name of Wrigley's first chewing gum, how XYZ pays his taxes, a woman that was indirectly shot by a porcupine, and a woman that mowed her lawn in a 2-piece bathing suit.  Retrosponsor: Wrigley's Spearmint Gum. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

28mins

27 Apr 2013

Rank #20