Welcome to The Unusual History of Every Thing, Season 4!
If you love weird history mixed with archaeological findings and some entertaining stories, then Melanie & Karen have a podcast for you!
New episodes air every Tuesday on all podcast outlets, with occasional hilarious accompanying video blogs on our YouTube channel! Check them out and don't forget to subscribe and leave a review!
The Unusual History of Every Thing is co-hosted, written and produced by Melanie Dellas and Karen Lacy.
Please consider donating to keep our podcast going! Click the "Donate" button below!
Season 4, Episode 12
The Unusual History of Ball Sports
For thousands of years, humans have been playing some type of sport that incorporates balls, whether it be for entertainment, religious ceremony or military training. It’s not only interesting to look at how these sports were created, but how the balls themselves were designed and improved upon over thousands of years. People were basically using whatever was available around them, so some of the histories can be rather gruesome. From animal bladders to human heads and the skulls of your enemies, balls back then were a little different than they are today.
Season 4, Episode 11
The Mythology of Mermaids: Discovering those that Dwell Under Water
Nereids, mer-people, water folk, mermaids, whatever you want to call them, all cultures around the world have within their histories some version of half-human half-fish creatures. From the German Lorelei, the Icelandic Marmenill, the Matsyanaris in India to the Babylonian fish god, the Polynesian god Vatea, or the African Yemaya, the oceans and rivers of our planet are swimming with mysterious creatures. So the next time you’re swimming in the ocean, take care! You never know who – or what – you’ll meet.
Season 4, Episode 10
The Unusual History of Ancient Drinks -- From the Archives!
This week's podcast takes you back in time to Season 3's episode on ancient drinks! Let us take you on a quick tour of ancient drinks complete with some odd history and bits of floating lamb fat! Melanie Dellas and Karen Lacy of Muse Curatorial Consulting Group also made an accompanying video where they taste test 6 ancient recipes. Don't miss it, it's kinda gross! Watch on YouTube and let us know what you think: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxryFVhJme0
Season 4, Episode 9
From Sweaty Cakes to Lizard Necks: Love Potions through Time
Love is a many splendid thing, but what do you do when the one you love doesn’t love you back? Flowers? Poetry? Obsessive social media stalking? Maybe. Or you could look at what lovers throughout history have done to win the hearts of their intended: Make a love potion. Sure most love potions are made from some strange stuff like mashed-up worms or cakes made from human sweat, but hey, what wouldn’t you do for love?
Season 4, Episode 8
How Crushed Bugs and Whale Vomit Paved the Way for Makeup Today
Give me a word, any word, and I’ll show you how the root of that word is Greek. The Greeks get credit for the origins of the word “cosmetics,” which comes from the Greek word “kosmos” and evolved into “kosmetikos,” which basically means the art of beautifying the body. So, there you go. For thousands of years, men and women have been coming up with ways to beautify the body. And in order to look young and beautiful, no ingredient was too strange to try. From various forms of poop to crushed bugs and whale vomit, makeup and beauty regimens haven’t really changed that much -- even though companies change the names on the ingredient list!
Season 4, Episode 7
Shaken, Not Stirred: Fertility & Childbirth Practices
For most of human history, childbirth has been one of the most dangerous things a woman could do. Because of this, most ancient civilizations developed ways to try and protect the mother and child. From rituals, spells and odd superstitions, they used everything they saw and could think of to induce labor, treat pains, and stop death. Fortunately we still have some of these medical manuals and can read all about drinking goose semen or being shaken to induce labor. But for all you expectant mothers out there, maybe just read them for fun. Happy Mother’s Day!
Season 4, Episode 6
The Strange and Unusual History of Taxes
Because we are in the midst of tax season, and many of us are stressed out about that and many other things, we thought we’d try to put a smile on your face. Taxes have been around for thousands of years in almost every culture, and there have been some really strange and unusual ones. So we are here today to show you how it truly could be worse because despite how taxing tax time can be, a quick look into history and its absurd taxes, may make you feel better about how things are now – unless you’re living in an area that still thinks some of these weird taxes are cool.
Season 4, Episode 5
The Unusual History of Ice Cream Scoops
We’re a little early for National Ice Cream Day, which is July 15, but let’s face it, any day is a good day for ice cream! But have you ever stopped to think about the device that delivers those perfect round scoops into our cones? Without it, we would still be using our hands to peel the ice cream off the ladles and spoons. And a man named Alfred L. Cralle is who we have to thank for it.
Season 4, Episode 4
The Unusual Histories of Unusual Inventions
The world loves and needs good inventions, I mean the wheel and the Internet are two of the best! But let’s face it, we like the strange and unusual, so we’re not going to focus on the stuff most people already know about. After hearing this week's episode of Muse Stories, I think we will all agree that robots feeding us tomatoes as we run and cars that shovel people out of our way are inventions that should probably be given another shot.
Season 4, Episode 3
Bare Feet to Boots: The Unusual History of Shoes
Shoes date back to around 8000 BC, and have been made in every shape, style and color, and with every material imaginable. They have always been an obvious form of foot protection, and have become a fashion statement, leaving cultural footprints in every society. And best of all, shoes have gathered a world of weird beliefs and strange superstitions that have transformed the way we move through our lives. So sit down, take a load off, and enjoy the uncommon history of one of our favorite common things!
Season 4, Episode 2
The Unusual History of Mirrors
Mirrors have long played a part in human history and fascination. They hold a mystical presence, connecting some with gods and others with the dead. They show us our true selves and sometimes bring out narcissism. They decorate our homes and have born witness to happiness, sadness, fear and death. From Snow White, Through the Looking Glass, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Harry Potter, mirrors have always been entertainment for our minds, doorways to our souls, and reflections of who we are.
Season 4, Episode 1
Mastication Made Popular: Gum Then and Now
To chew or not to chew? Believe it or not, that has been the question when it comes to chewing gum for centuries. Although gum has been around in one form or another for thousands of years, it didn’t begin to take on its sticky, flavorful fun until the 20th century. And while some of us love how it tastes now, long ago it was a mixture of latex, dirt and bark -– a delicacy at those secret gum chewing parties! Welcome to Season 4 of Muse Stories!