Harbingers of Doom: Celestial Events and Superstitions

 

Aztec Sun Stone

What kind of superstitions or myths do you think of when you look up at the stars? Every culture has them; there have been stories developed all over the world to explain star constellations or natural phenomena like solar and lunar eclipses, comets, meteors and more. When the sun provides warmth to help the crops grow and night skies are used to measure the passage of time, it’s not surprising that any unexpected or unusual phenomenon is assigned meaning when the science isn’t sophisticated enough to distinguish between causation and correlation. Horrific History co-hosts, Eric Slyter and Curtis Bender, explore beliefs related to celestial events from across the globe.  Hindu serpent demons, China’s dragons (or dogs) and modern conspiracy theorists watching for alien spaceships, we have a lot of “bad omens” for your enjoyment.

 

Lunacy and humours, werewolves and witches, […]

It seems like the advice, “If ever you are invited to dinner with a cannibal, first ensure you are not on the menu,” would be foregone conclusion; in fact, unless you are particularly adventurous in your culinary tastes, you might be wise to also simply claim to be a vegetarian. However, social and dining etiquette isn’t exactly what we have for your squeamish fix today. Instead we want to share with you something we found in the NPR archives; we discovered a really great interview of author Carole Travis-Henikoff about her book Dinner with a Cannibal: The Complete History of Mankind’s Oldest Taboo. You can find it linked here.

 

If you liked our Have a Friend for Lunch: Winter Cannibalism or Mementos of You: Human Trophies episodes we think you’ll love this!

 

Now, if fiction is more to your tastes, you might find Dinner With the Cannibal Sisters more to your liking.

 

Until next week, no squeam allowed!

Slideshow photo credit: Another Pint Please… Strip Steak on Weber Summit via photopin (license)

Fukushima isn’t the only nuclear site in the news lately! The Hanford Nuclear Reservation, only a couple of hours away from Horrific History Podcast’s headquarters in Washington State, has its own set of problems! A collapsed railway tunnel and radiation leak are just the start of the problems anticipated for the future, as the crumbling infrastructure at Hanford meets steep budget cuts in the cleanup of the toxic site. You can learn more in the linked article. Hanford was pivotal in the development of the first atomic bombs, and part of the Manhattan Project covered in For a Healthy Glow: Radiation Poisoning. #NoSqueamAllowed

 

Slideshow Photo Credit: Great Beyond Day 210/365 – The Fine Print is 10 feet tall via photopin (license)

Blog Post Photo Credit: Andras, Fulop Radiation Area 9606_814 via photopin (license)

Poison, Pokers & Pee, Oh My…

The gauntlet has been thrown and the challenge issued. Co-hosts Curtis “Curlystache” Bender and Eric “Iron Fist” Slyter each receive two opportunities to stump their opponent (and you) on horrible deaths and lives of the famous people in history who met those untimely demises. From ancient Egypt and Greece to medieval England and finally ending in 16th Century Denmark, we have suicides, murders, executions and assassinations. Conspiracy theories abound, and you’ll get all the explosive details as we probe history to separate fact from fiction.

 

A sadistic ruler who had an affinity for toxins, poisons and venom; a deposed king with Arthurian expectations who suffered from rotten luck and terrible choices which would aid a posthumous propaganda campaign; and an eccentric nerd who was willing to defend mathematics at risk of life or limb or […]

How could we have missed the radioactive boar phenomenon in our episode For a Healthy Glow, about radiation poisoning? Better late than never! Of course, given the nature of the subject matter, we’ll be reporting on Fukushima for a long time to come. Remember, #NoSqueamAllowed!

Blog post photo credit (from article): Toru Hanai/Reuters

Slideshow photo credit: Cloudtail the Snow Leopard Wild boar via photopin (license)

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For a Healthy Glow

A finger, hand, limb or life…. What would you give up for the advancement of science? Would you give up as much as the Radium Martyrs of All Nations?

 

Horrific History Podcast’s co-hosts, Eric Slyter and Curtis Bender discuss radiation poisoning in history, beginning with late Renaissance alchemy research in 1603 and continuing on to address more modern history including the Manhattan Project, Kyshtym Disaster, Chernobyl, and touching on current-day Fukushima.

 

From capturing the “golden light of the sun” to “seeing one’s death” through x-ray experimentation, this episode discusses all the horrifying things that came with the development of radiation research including blindness, loss of appendages, and even slow painful demises! You’ll hear about radium condoms, miracle “cures” and other products like “liquid sunshine,” as well as the legal case of the “Radium Girls” who had been so exposed to radium over the course of their factory work that parts of them […]