Rumor Flies

We got the sauce

Rumor Flies comically addresses the origins, evolution, and veracity of your favorite rumors, myths, and misconceptions. Tune in every week for more research, stories, and unsolicited commentary! Participation encouraged. 

Rumor Flies is a member of the Dark Myths collective. Check out these amazingly talented people and their awesome shows!

 

Filtering by Category: History

202 - The Anarchist Cookbook

This episode ended up being much more personal to me than I had expected or hoped. It's strange, the man who had inspired me as a pre-teen rebel ended up becoming an inspiration for me as a twenty-something reluctant adult. Obviously, these inspirations were for far different reasons, but it's a bit interesting how the story panned out. Everyone seems to get one window for other to look into them. Gene Wilder will never be seen as a great novelist, even if he trumped Shakespeare. Daryl Hannah will never be primarily known as the founder of the Sustainable Biodiesel  Alliance, even though it may be a far nobler act than playing an android. And sadly, I doubt William Powell will ever be known as a truly caring educator, as he was during the majority of his life.

Of course, those close to him will know the true Bill Powell, unlike me or any other people that have not met this low-key author. However, just from reading his great shame, The Anarchist Cookbook, I can tell that this man has always been curious and eager to disseminate knowledge. Yea, lots of it was bullshit. Yea, the rest of it was dangerous. It made people listen, though. I could only imagine what it would take to get dozens of people writing to the director of the CIA about your little, profitable act of rebellion without getting thrown in prison immediately. This 19 year old became a lord of the underground. He was THE fucking punk. But it meant nothing to him shortly after.

We wish our little podcast could open the window from the other side of William Powell, but we can only slightly crack it. I wish he could be our mascot. A person who realizes that, rather than inciting negative emotion by flirting with violent practices, teaching someone why people become so violent may have better results. This man who fed multiple generations of rebellion actively worked to be his own cycle-breaker. And he did it in the places that needed it most. The areas that may be more prone to exploitation an indoctrination of children. He knew that a child's mind, once solidified, is incredibly difficult to reshape. So he began shaping them reasonably, and training others how to shape. 

Our thoughts go out to Ochan Powell and the rest of William's family and friends. We hope you wouldn't have hated this episode, Bill.

-Ryan

107 - Drugs: "Butt Hash"

Drugs is one of those things that people have very strong convictions about, and they rightfully should. You don’t have to look hard to find someone who wants to talk about the legalization of marijuana or how drugs are a tragic downfall of society. It’s such an encompassing word that has many different avenues to travel down that it’s almost like arguing about religion

With that in mind, we tried to strictly narrow down our field of study to hallucinogens. Outside of jenkem, which was a wild ride of stupidity, all of what we talked about were Schedule I controlled substances. We will be revisiting drugs in the next two seasons; specifically diving into uppers and downers. 

From an ethical standpoint, we really wanted to emphasize that we were basing everything we covered on scientific facts without imposing our personal opinions. I don’t feel that was relevant to the podcast and didn’t serve any benefit for any party involved.

Now for me personally, this episode was fascinating. Coming into this episode, I knew a fair amount about drugs and some specifications about their LD50. But getting the physical numbers on things like overdosing on MDMA or weed really put into perspective how specific chemicals react with our bodies and how much our bodies can take of different hallucinogens. I really enjoyed Ryan talking about the amount of THC that has been added over the years to marijuana. I was floored to learn how potent it is today compared to what people experienced when it became a mainstream drug. Once I started researching more about ecstasy, it completely shattered my previous notions about what it does to our brains and serotonin levels. Overall, it was a great learning experience.

When it came to licking toads, I wasn’t surprised to learn that people have constructed “user guides” on how to properly extract psychoactive substances. On top of that, it was no surprise that people created the abomination that is jenkem as a means to get high. I guess when you’re in a pinch to get your fix, anything is possible even if it involves your own urine and feces fermenting in an open space. 

All in all, covering this topic was fun and informative. It was a fine line for us to walk with giving out information on what can be a taboo subject at times. We hope you enjoyed the episode and look forward to jumping back into more myths about drugs in the near future. 

-Josh

106 - Death: Heads will roll with Heavy Souls

Hey everyone. 

This was an interesting episode (aren't they all though?). In basically every episode we feature someone or groups of people dying, but this one focused more on the rumors and myths many of us have heard surrounding this often terrifying and eventual reality. Like most things, we deal with it with curiosity, some reverence, and of course, humor. 

What I found fascinating about these topics in particular is many of the myths stem specifically from religion and general 19th/early 20th century mindsets. There was a lot of goings on that people weren't equipped to empirically study yet - and I do not mean that with the typical condescending tone of, "Everyone used to be dumb and didn't understand science." The fact is a lot of the tools weren't available and (this is probably the biggest cause of misinformation) our understanding of the human body was incredibly rudimentary until the later into the 20th century. Even now we still barely understand what's really happening under the hood, so it's easy to imagine why people were incredibly confused when they'd see their deceased loved ones had apparently grown more hair and longer fingernails. 

My favorite part was, without question, Ryan's reading the story of Languille. He worked it ahead of time, channeled his inner Dan Carlin (penalty shot I know), and delivered a beautiful, tragic episode in two brothers' lives. What made this moment so satisfying wasn't just the content, but how he really did display the reverence and gravitas of the situation. Radio, podcasts, any sort of audio-only format can be an incredibly powerful tool for storytelling that's also very limiting, so when you experience something truly visceral like that (Josh and I sure did), it's incredibly impressive. 

So that about wraps it up. Thank you as always for listening, and thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings. Cheers.

-Greg

 

 

105 - Brain: Nocebo and the Lying Left Brain

This one is going to be a bit behind the curtain. Sure, we've touched on science a fair bit, but we never had to describe experiments this in-depth. I was worried about not only explaining the cross-wiring of the brain (which tripped me up a few times), but also describing the elaborate techniques used in the research cited. I hope you got the gist of it.

This also marks our first time being conscientious of show length. Personally, I think the beauty of podcasts is that one can always pause and come back to it later. But, I do understand that it can be a lot to digest in one episode. We'll be addressing everything we cut later down the line because they are still interesting, and that's another episode for your listening pleasure. 
On a personal note, thank you to everyone listening. We say it a lot, but it's true every time. Nothing feels better than someone showing interested in your niche (borderline smug) passion. Ok, maybe a few other things feel better.

Lastly, our new buddies at Dark Myths have been wonderful to us, and you may see some collaboration in the future. It's crazy being brought into the podcasting community with such open arms, especially since we've only been live for just over a month. Darkmyths.org for anyone interested.

Rambling over, see you next week.

-Ryan

104 - Sports: Trippin' Pitchin' is Driving me Madden

Finding myths and tall tales in sports is not a very daunting task if you follow them closely. Most people know Babe Ruth or Michael Jordan; two great athletes who revolutionized their sport and have so many different stories about them. As a lifelong sports fan and someone who grew memorizing stats and collecting football cards, I was elated Ryan and Greg were game to record an episode revolving around sports.

The hardest part about this episode is deciding which avenue I wanted to steer us towards that would be fascinating but also add some flair for everyone to enjoy. I wanted a healthy mix of renowned sports myths, but bring to the table some lesser known stories that haven’t had a lot of light shed on them. That’s why I was drawn to the legend of Wade Boggs pounding beers and he military officer who was poisoned from a golf tee. Doc Ellis was an easy choice as well, in addition to Gaylord Perry. I felt like we had a nice cocktail of different lores that people would find interesting.

The one subject I was most apprehensive about bringing up was Rudy Ruettiger. There isn’t so much a myth about him as how big of an inspiration and legend he was to many people of that era. After the movie in 1993, his fame blew up and people found him an inspiration that gave him his big break into a successful career as a motivational speaker. My personal goal here was to get to the facts about Rudy and see what he actually did on the field as opposed to how he was portrayed on the big screen. You can see in the show notes the actual footage of him playing and how, like most things in the world, it was exaggerated and embellished for the sake of narrative.

This podcast is about finding facts and using those facts to contradict well known beliefs. While I may have my own personal feelings on each individual subject we covered, I think we did a damn good job presenting those realities for people to make their own judgments. Did Doc Ellis really throw a no-hitter on LSD? Did Boggs actually consume 107 beers? In the end, we couldn’t undeniably prove that they did but what we did do is show you how these stories become embodied into society as a “matter of fact” and present the case that sometimes the truth isn’t quite as fun as the narrative. But in the end, everyone loves a good story, right?

This is my longwinded way of saying that I hope you guys took as much out of this as we did. I learned a great deal more than I had originally anticipated, as Greg and Ryan would absolutely agree they enjoyed this despite their preconceived notions. I would invite all of you who may find the subject dull or mundane, give it a listen. You me be surprised how much you enjoy it. Much like a curse derived form the cover of a video game, stranger things have happened.

-Josh

103 - History: Everyone is Terrible and Revere was a Quitter

Dear lord this was a hard one for me. I have a degree in history and obsess over it regularly, so naturally I felt like I needed to "strut my stuff." Ryan and Josh were awesome/flexible and set me up as a host that evening because they recognized how much this subject meant to me. If you've listened you now realize how excited I get, which often leads to incessant, high-speed ramblings. 

One of the challenges of this episode for all of us was how to shorten it. We ran two hours, over double our usual target time. It taught us a lot about how to treat each subject and how many topics to pick for them. In the case of history, we learned that 5+ "myths" is just too many. With that fact in mind, we look forward to further refining our show. 

Personally, I had to deal with the fact that I'm used to writing papers and having historical debates. What does that mean? Covering. Your. Tracks. And covering your tracks takes a LOT of time and sourcing. There's this strong temptation in every debate or discussion I have to fend off opponents or critics before they even step forward, which leads to dry spells and a break in flow, even if it is sometimes (and often it isn't) effective. This show was very fun for me, but it also showed a lot of flaws in applying how I "do" history to a radio show - I REALLY look forward to working on my methods and improving them for our next show. 

Lastly: The subjects. I hope you all enjoyed what we covered. We are very proud of one potential pitfall we planned for: being too broad. We focused on a particular time and location for our first history-focused episode of Rumor Flies. The subjects were meant to be fun and generally known. Paul Revere was particularly fun to cover because of how well-known and totally inaccurate Midnight Ride reads (Yeah yeah yeah poetic license whatever WE DEMAND THE TRUTH!). 

Anywho, we hope you enjoyed the episode and this blog post. Let us know what you think and thanks for checking us out!

-Greg