167 | So Sue Me
Our world is full of the unexplainable and history is an open book. All of these amazing mazing tales right there on display just waiting for us to explore. Welcome to the cabinet of curiosities. Evolution is nature's way of upgrading being biological hardware so animals can continue to thrive in a changing environment when swallows in Nebraska southern nests blown off cliff faces during storms they. We started building them on highways and bridges instead. Unfortunately passing cars and trucks would flatten them before the birds had a chance to escape. Nature's answer shorter wings. The cliff swallows wings eventually shrunk by a few millimeters to make its liftoffs faster allowing it to escape imminent death from oncoming traffic. Nick African elephants have also changed but not due to cars. Poachers have decimated. The elephant populations in some areas in pursuit of their tusks tusks. Those tusks are used by the males to fight off competition when looking for a mate but because the long tusks elephants have been hunted to near extinction. Short tossed elephants have prospered. How so they're passing down their genes to their offspring many of which will grow up to not have tusks at all a tuskless? Elephant often used to be an anomaly. Now they make up almost half the elephant population in parts of Africa. Nature took away. What made them valuable to poachers? And I think think that's pretty darn cool and then there's the common duck it flies. It floats that eats bread in the park. Female ducks have evolved to prevent Let's just say persistent males from engaging in unwanted mating but the males have also evolved in unique ways one particular doc in in eighteenth century France had advanced beyond all others do become a big part of history and it was all thanks to a man named Jacques. Through focus on focus on was one of ten children born to an impoverished glove maker he had wanted to become a clockmaker but chose to pursue a life within the church instead it was only after an encounter with French surgeon Claude. Nikola the cat that he rediscovered his love of engineering and mechanics look at taught focus on about anatomy which gave the aspiring clockmaker ideas about blending the human body with the mechanical for example musicians were known to be well trained experts in the art of plane particular instruments. But what if someone could play music without ever having touched a violin or guitar before seventeen thirty seven focus on got to work assembling assembling bladders to act as lungs that blow air into a flute. While gears and levers would move the player's fingers over the holes creating the individual tones there was a modern marvel but only a precursor to his next subject. The duck focus on built an apparatus comprised of moving gears that would allow a duct to bend its head down and eats pellets. Then digest those pellets into excrement the duck could also drink water splash around with its bill and make a gurgling sound. You're probably wondering why focus on had to get involved win. The Duck didn't do anything other ducks couldn't already do. That's because his duck only looked like it was alive in fact neither the duck nor the flute player had ever live before they were automatons. When it wasn't moving the flute player looked looked like a well crafted marble statue but as soon as focus on got its gears turning the statute took on an incredibly lifelike appearance? Rumor had it that in order for for its fingers to properly cover the holes they recovered in human skin but such claims have never been confirmed to be true. The digesting duck though was even more realistic Vo Kasan modeled its movements on those of a real duck and worked tirelessly to make replicate actions like eating and digesting as accurately accurately as possible when at eight appellate the morsel would travel through the digestive system until it was expelled as feces at the other end. Just like a living creature you focus on created third automaton dubbed. The tambourine player was much like the flute player built previously but the duck seemed to be the real star Dr. The show focus on presented his creations to the French Academy of Sciences as well as to the public in seventeen thirty eight those those who witnessed their movements and heard their music were thrilled by such miraculously feats of mechanical engineering. Eventually the machines made their way to various museums but were lost over time time. The duck was presumed to have been consumed by fire at a museum in Krakow Poland in eighteen seventy nine however half a century later an employee at at the Museum of Arts and crafts in Paris discovered photographs taken sometime during the nineteen twenties or thirties of a mechanical duck. Sitting on top of a large deerfield blocks someone had written images of Okasan's duck received from Dresden on them but their origin was unknown. All we have left after the inventors three creations are set of questionable photographs as well as illustrations from the nineteenth century of the machines assembled altogether on stage. One thing is certain though focus on May have figured out how to replicate ducts movement. But he couldn't give it a real digestive system a magician in eighteen forty eighty four managed to restore the digesting duck to its former glory and discovered that the feces was not comprised of digested pellets. After all it was made of little pieces of bread read died green that were then dropped out of a separate compartment at the rear still. Despite his inability to create life from mechanical parts Jacques Jacques Duvall Croissant had managed while the world with the next best thing proving that he wasn't completely full of it even if his duck was this episode was made possible by hellofresh. hellofresh is America's number one meal. Neil Kit delivery service. That shops plans and delivers your favorite meals. So you can just cook eat and enjoy. hellofresh makes cooking delicious meals at home a reality regardless of your comfort comfort the kitchen from step by step instructions to premeasured ingredients. You'll have everything you need to get a wild worthy dinner on the table in just about thirty minutes. There's something for everyone from family recipes to Calorie Smart Vegetarian and fund menu series Like Hall of fame in Craft Burgers. You can even add extra meals to your weekly order as well as delicious sites like garlic garlic bread and cookie dough. I've had the chance to try hellofresh myself. And it's hands down my favorite meal Kit Delivery Service this week. I made their Sweden smokey pork tenderloin with apple carrots mashed potatoes and cherry sauce. It was easy to cook and so so delicious listeners. To this show can get free meals from hellofresh by going to hellofresh dot com slash curiosities nine and entering the Promo Code curiosities nine. That's hellofresh dot com slash curiosities. Nine offer code curiosities nine. We have become quite the litigious society modern in history is rife with frivolous lawsuits brought on by people who thought they could exploit a legal loophole for a buck. Take Richard Harris who in Nineteen ninety-one sued anheuser-busch for ten thousand dollars his reason for false advertising. It seems that Harris didn't appreciate how the men in beer commercials had success with beautiful women women while he floundered in the dating department while he drank he also blamed the company forgetting him sick when drinking excessively the courts had no problem ruling on such when important legal case they tossed it out almost immediately another case of false advertising hit the dock in Nineteen Ninety nine when twenty one year old John Leonard Sued Pepsi over its by Pepsi get stuff campaign Leonard like millions of others around the country had watched an ad that showed the kinds of products that could be one if an individual earned enough points by buying Pepsi products. A T shirt for example cost eighty points earned by drinking forty two liter bottles of Pepsi. However among the toys enclosed that the company was offering with something that was never meant to be purchased a Harrier jet it appeared at the end of the commercial as a gag with the cost of seven million points? Pepsi had never considered someone might actually earned that many points nor did they do the math. On how much money. Seven million points were worth but John knew he learned that points could be purchased for ten cents a piece as long as he had at least fifteen. Original points earned through Pepsi Cola so he sent in the check for just over seven hundred thousand dollars as well as his fifteen points and waited for his plane to be delivered but Pepsi refused to pay up. Leonard took them to court arguing that the company had committed fraud. A New York judge felt differently stating that. No reasonable person could have assumed that such an offer was realistic realistic. The Pentagon got involved explaining that there are thirty four million dollar fighter. Jet Planes could not be sold in flying shape to the public so John Leonard and his dreams of flying. The class were grounded for good Gerald Mayo of Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania didn't have a beef to settle with a big evil company. His complaint veered more into the ETHEREAL territory he wanted to sue. Evil Hits off in nineteen seventy one twenty two year. Old Mayo was an inmate at Pennsylvania's Silvas Western penitentiary. But it wasn't his fault. She see according to the claim he filed with the courts it was Satan who was responsible for his downfall. He alleged that Satan in had caused him misery and placed deliberate obstacles in his path to keep him down. Therefore it was the devil himself who had and I quote deprived him of of his constitutional rights but he didn't just slap a lawsuit on the Prince of evil complaints included both Satan and his minions the court could have immediately thrown the case out on the basis. That you can't sue a spiritual bean. The judge Gerald Weber took the complaint. Seriously it was literally unprecedented cemented. As no one had ever formally sued the devil before nor had Satan ever brought a case against anyone else. It was possible the judge argued that Satan could be considered a foreign prince given his title and place of residence if he did appear. He could claim sovereign immunity and therefore avoid all charges. That's still wasn't enough to get the case tossed out though surprisingly Mayo had fulfilled three of the four requirements needed in order to file a class. Action Lawsuit He was suing on behalf. A half a large enough population that individual suits would be impossible. This claims could easily be applied to all other members of the class and there were questions of law and fact that were are common to the class as a whole there. Were only two things holding Mayo Back I. The court couldn't determine whether he was an adequate representative for the class named in the complaint points then second the US marshals had no way to serve Satan with notice of the suit for those two reasons alone a claim was denied from proceeding further mm-hmm. It seemed that the devil really was in the details. Gerald Mayo just couldn't find him. I hope you've enjoyed today's guided tour of the cabinet of curiosities. Subscribe for free on Apple podcasts or learn more about the show by visiting curiosities PODCAST DOT DOT COM. The show was created by me Erin. Monkey in partnership with how stuff works. I make another award. Winning show called Lor which is a podcast asked book series and Television Show and you can learn all about it over at the world of Lor Dot Com and until next time stay curious.