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Fascinating Nouns

History Podcasts

The galaxy’s most trusted source for incredible people, places, things, and ideas

The galaxy’s most trusted source for incredible people, places, things, and ideas


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The galaxy’s most trusted source for incredible people, places, things, and ideas




*BONUS* – The Stupidest Crime in California History

In this bonus episode, Bob tells me the story of the kidnapping of Brooke Hart, which was not only dubbed the ‘Stupidest Crime in California History”, but is also credited as the last lynching in California. Bob Calhoun on Social Media YouTube Twitter Fascinating Nouns on Social Media Facebook Twitter YouTube


Ep. 183: Crime and the Evolution of San Fransisco

No one would argue that San Fransisco is a city like none other, so it should come as no surprise that its evolution is as unique as its culture. In his new book ‘The Murders That Made Us’, Bob Calhoun tells the story of San Fransisco through the lens of all the murder, mystery, and […]


*BONUS* – Authentically 90’s: Floppy Disks, Analog Video, and 99 Cent Rentals

The 90’s were Blockbuster’s heyday. Back then, flobby drives ruled, HDMI didn’t exist, and movie rentals were ninety-nine cents. There is one place on the planet where that is still the case: The Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon. Listen as Sandi Harding tells me about her room full of antique IBM computers, the analog video system […]


Ep. 182: The Last Blockbuster on the Planet

In 2011, Blockbuster went bankrupt. So how is there is a Blockbuster operating in Bend, Oregon in 2021? The answer to that is complicated, but I attempt to untangle it by talking to Sandi Harding, the current manager of the last Blockbuster on the Planet. We discuss the rise and fall of video rentals, the […]


*BONUS* – The Future of Death

The Right to Die is a controversial topic in many countries, and a company called EXIT is capitalizing on that uncertainty. Their CEO is creating a DIY death coffin that can be 3D printed in a matter of weeks. Requiring only nitrogen, it may provide an alternative for those looking to skirt the law. We […]


Ep. 181: Sex Robots, Artificial Wombs, and Lab-Grown Meat

As technology marches forward, humans are achieving things that were thought to exist only in science fiction. In her new book ‘Sex Robots and Vegan Meat’, Jenny Kleeman looks at four such innovations, and explores how they are poised to fundamentally change the pillars of humanity. We discuss these advancements, which include robotic companions, artificial […]


Ep. 180: Down On Skid Row

My first introduction to Skid Row was the catchy little number in the musical “Little Shop of Horrors”. I had no idea that is was referring to the largest recognized homeless encampment in the country, and the only such community legally defined by a court of law. The Skid Row in the movie was in […]


*BONUS* – The Original Batmobile

Due to the popularity of both the look and gadgetry of the 1966 Batmobile, it became a signature staple of the Batman mythos. Prior to the TV series, the Batmobile was hardly mentioned in the comic books, and it definitely wasn’t a sports car. Bob and I discuss how this icon version was crafted from […]


Ep. 179: The 1966 Batman Bat-show

The original Batman television show may not be treated with much respect today, but it was an absolute trailblazer in terms of getting superheroes respect in pop culture. The success of Marvel movies today owe a debt of gratitude to this much maligned series. Not only that, but this show introduced many things that we […]


Ep. 178: The Curious Life of Count Dante

Last week, I interviewed Bob Calhoun who called him self ‘Count Dante’ in the underground wrestling outfit Incredibly Strange Wrestling. This week I talk to documentary filmmaker Floyd Webb about John Keehan, the man who originated the Count Dante moniker. To most, Count Dante was a fixture of the comic book advertisements, offering ‘The World’s […]


Ep. 177: The Weird World of Incredibly Strange Wrestling

Nothing is more weird than the world of professional wrestling. So what happens when you take wrestling and add a punk rock act, a man dressed up as Bigfoot, and throw a bunch of corn tortillas into the air? You have the San Fransisco based, indie federation Incredibly Strange Wrestling. Former wrestler/announcer Count Dante AKA […]


Ep. 176: Rose Dugdale – From Debutante to Art Thief

I have always believe that art theft was a crime reserved for sophisticated criminals of the silver screen. I had no idea that art theft is a very common crime until I spoke with Anthony Amore, who is a historian an author of art theft, as well as the director of security for the Isabella […]


*Bonus* The Worst Fashion Trends in History

In this bonus episode, Catherine and I finish our conversation about the worst fashion in trends in history, including wearing overalls without a shirt, PVC clothing, and 80’s shoulder pads. Fascinating Nouns on Social Media Facebook Twitter YouTube


Ep. 175: Houseplants – A History

We humans have been trying to tame the outdoors since we were first started living in caves. For thousands of years we only used plants for cooking or medicine, but all of that changed as soon as Europeans started colonizing the world. Among other things, the first explorers brought back exotic plants that no one […]


Ep. 174: From Rocket Engineering to Neuroscience

Rocket science and brain surgery have become almost cliche’ when describing someone as being tremendously smart, but what about someone who has done both? Ben Siepser has helped put rockets into space, and is now working on devices that can read your brain. If that wasn’t impressive enough, you can find him co-hosting the science/tech […]


*Bonus* The Brilliance of Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s may be one of the most forward thinking grocery chains that ever existed. They sell more per square inch than every store in existence with the exception of Apple and Tiffany’s. They reinvented the wine market in California, perfected cheese, and invented Almond Butter. Listen as Benjamin tells me about his personal interview […]


Ep. 173: The Hidden World of the Grocery Store

I am sure that everyone reading this has spent a significant amount of their life inside a grocery store. So much so, that I bet you already take it for granted. Take a second and consider the sheer abundance that exists within the four walls of your local supermarket. How do they get a seemingly […]


Ep. 172: The Ritual of Exorcism

Archbishop Ron Feyl-Enright has been an exorcist for 40+ years. In that time, he has seen and heard some crazy stuff. Levitation, skin changing color, unearthly screams, diabolical voices are just a few of the phenomena he has encountered. Due to an increasing amount of requests for exorcisms in 1981, Archbishop Enright decided to form […]


*Bonus* Robot Rights

If it turns out that robots do become both independently intelligent and ubiquitous, they may want the same rights as humans. This is not without precedent, as certain rivers and even corporations have legal standings as people. What would this mean for robot kind? Could they be held responsible for harm dealt to a human? […]


Ep. 171: Preparing for the Robot Incursion

If science fiction has taught us anything, it’s that robots are coming for us. They will invade every part of our society, become self-aware, then enslave the human race. I call this The Robacalypse. How accurate is this bleak vision of the future? According to AI and Robotics expert David Gunkel, this is not very […]