A podcast about history, science, tales and everything in between.

39: The True History’ of Flight

From ancient rockets to personal balloons

Legend tells of an early pioneer of rocketry who, in 1633, blasted off over Istanbul in celebration of the birth of the Sultan’s daughter. There are stories of an eccentric French couple flying horses and bulls into the sky to entertain the masses. There were inventors who saw the future of travel in personal balloons that allowed us to bound across the landscape as if we were an astronaut on the moon. These tales my sound absurd by they are the ‘True History’ of mankind’s obsession with flight. Join us as we discover some of history’s craziest people who put entertainment and progress ahead of their mortality!

Explore the episode

38: The Paradoxical Platypus

The history and science of this unusual mammal

We travel downunder to meet one of Australia’s most unusual creatures: Ornithorhynchus anatinus, better know as the Platypus. We explore the folklore, tell the history, look at the science of how we came to understand Ornithorhynchus anatinus. Along the way there are epic arguments and a secret WW2 mission, finally we top it off with a rap written and performed by Anton!

Explore the episode

37: Norman Castles

From motte and bailey to concentric circles

This episode Anton takes the lead as he explores the development of Norman castles in the British Isles. Whilst fortifications dotted the English landscape long before the 1066 Norman invasion nothing quite like their castles existed before. Anton and I talk about early motte and bailey fortifications that offered only rudimentary protection to vast concentric circle castles like Beaumaris in Wales that dominated the surrounding landscape. What did they symbolise? How did they change? And are they the origin of IKEA?!

Explore the episode

36: Black Pepper

King of Spices

Pepper, king of the spices. Found in every kitchen and on every restaurant table pepper is a spice that’s ‘just there’. Today we take this spice for granted but this wasn’t always the case as great European powers fought over it’s control wanting to monopolise the trade and the wealth it brought.

Explore the episode

35: Greg Wah

Science Communicator

We are honoured to be joined by Greg Wah, science communicator from Australia and co-host of the excellent Smart Enough to Know Better podcast. We discuss the size of the universe and how the JWST is going to help us look back further than ever, iconic images from Hubble, the beauty and importance of science and more.

Explore the episode

33: Warren De La Rue

The man who looked at the sun

History remembers many great men but it forgets far more. Warren De la Rue, born 1815, was an engineer and scientist who pioneered astral photography. From designing and operating the photoheliograph – the first instrument created specifically for photographing celestial bodies – to improving chemical processes to decrease exposure times De la Rue was a true innovator.

Explore the episode

32: Ghost Hunters!

We seek the truth.

We go ghost hunting in a Neolithic passage grave, taking with us an infrared robot, an EMF metre and recording equipment for EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon). Do we capture anything? Does anything capture us!?

Explore the episode

31: Interview: Tim Brown

Paranormal Intelligence Gathering Service

Halloween is drawing near and the spirits are stirring so what better time than now to chat with Tim Brown from the Paranormal Intelligence Gathering Service (PIGS).

Explore the episode

30: A London stink

Miasma and plastic pollution

This episode marks our two year anniversary and we celebrate in style! I recreate the 1858 Great Stink of London, a terrible smell caused by an overburdened sewerage system and unresponsive government. Anton then tells of modern day pollution - plastic dumped into the world’s oceans where it kills wildlife. One of the worst affected areas is the small atoll of Midway where the Albatross population is under threat.

Explore the episode

29: Perception

How do we see the world?

What is perception? How do we see the world? How do our senses trick and lie to us? Through a series of simple experiments you can try at home we look at all these questions. We then delve deeper into our perception and understanding of the world around us. Most people perceive themselves as above average, can’t take on new ideas and misremember events. Being aware of this will help us all understand the world and each other with deeper respect.

Explore the episode

28: Dr George McGavin 

We chat with the leading entomologist

We are honoured to be joined by the very charming George McGavin. One of the leading entomologists he taught at the University of Oxford before embarking on TV career that has taken him deep into the jungles of Guyana, New Guinea and more. Always lively and passionate George is full of stories of his adventures and the importance of understanding our position in, and the protection of, our fragile environment.

Explore the episode

We are The Curiosity of!?, a father and son who tell stories from history and science. We look at the quirky and unusual as well we the mundane from around the world as well as seeking out local history, events and characters.

And we don’t just research, we like to test and recreate! We’ve performed a traditional magical ritual whilst exploring the history of magic and recreated the Great London Stink to understand just how bad it was. We’ve tasted spices from around the globe to understand why nations went to war over them and recorded in megalithic passage graves to feel the power they gave to our ancestors.

Join us and rediscover your curiosity!

Your hosts are Ric, Development Director and co-founder of U&US and his son Anton!