June 29, 2010

Podcast: Useless Information

I'm not sure how I stumbled across this podcast (I think I was doing a search involving "UI"), but I always like to find something new for my iPod.  You might enjoy it, too.

Useless Information - Fascinating True Stories From The Flip Side Of History
Steve Silverman is a High School science teacher in New York, and designer of more than 100 inventions.  He is also the author of two books: 
  • Einstein's Refrigerator and Other Stories from the Flip Side of History  
  • Lindbergh's Artificial Heart and More Fascinating True Stories from Einstein's Refrigerator 
In his podcasts, Steve provides 15-minute discussions about similar odd, offbeat, yet true topics from history.  Here are a few sample episodes I enjoyed recently:
UI #21 - The Court Martial of Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson is best remembered for being the first African American to play for one of the Major League baseball teams, but his 1944 court martial for his refusal to "go to the back of the bus" nearly derailed his career. 
Also find out about the first UPC barcode, a trained squirrel, the world's longest beard, and twins marrying twins.  Listen to the first singing radio commercial - one that saved Wheaties from extinction.
UI #11 - The Great Toilet Paper Shortage
Learn about one of the most unusual shortages ever in US history - one that was all started by Tonight Show host Johnny Carson.  This podcast also features a discussion of the In A Gada Da Vida/Speed of Light conspiracy theory.   
[I particularly liked this one, since I worked at a grocery store during those shortages.  I remember trying to quickly refill the shelves with toilet paper, as worried shoppers emptied them even more quickly. - Joe]
Steve appears to be a one-man show here, and the production quality is just ok.  But the stories are enjoyable.  I suspect he would have been a fun teacher to have, back in the 10th grade!

My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.

No comments:

Post a Comment