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Futility Closet

By Greg Ross

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Forgotten stories from the pages of history. Join us for surprising and curious tales from the past and challenge yourself with our lateral thinking puzzles.

Customer Reviews

Good content, dull hosts

Good content, and I'm a fan of the website, but Greg and his wife are not great hosts. There's something annoying about the way they comment to themselves as they read the stories, as if they hadn't heard them before. And they don't compliment each other; Greg is incredibly bored-souning, while his wife is annoyingly chipper. The show sounds very rehearsed, like an imitation of a conversation. This is not to mention Greg's tendency to pause after every three or four words, even in the middle of a phrase, like a monotone William Shatner. If it weren't for the stories themselves being original, interesting and generally not featured on the website, I wouldn't be listening. (Not to mention the music, which sounds like a funerary version of the "Seinfeld" theme)

Always interesting tidbits

Their stories often cause that “Why have I never heard of this before” feeling, which is great. It means the hosts have really done their homework to find interesting stories which have been largely neglected. I like the two hosts and their back and forth. Not super slick, but I get that kind of down-home feeling that they are really having fun doing this. Update May 2016: Still one of my favorites.

A Wonderful Assortment of Oddities

Growing up, I had a book called "The Big Book of Amazing Facts" that had a page or two on all sorts of topics, from nature, to inventions, to mysterious things. This podcast tickles that same fancy. It offers tidbits of interesting facts on an assortment of odd topics.

What it doesn't have in big-budget production values, in makes up for in the wonderful rapport between the wife-and-husband hosts.

The lateral thinking puzzles are great fun, just as entertaining when I guess them right away as when I can't figure them out at all.

If you haven't tried this one, give it a shot! It's addictively quirky.