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We tell our children unsettling fairy tales to teach them valuable life lessons, but these Cautionary Tales are for the education of the grown ups – and they are all true. Tim Harford (Financial Times, BBC, author of “The Data Detective” and “The Undercover Economist”) brings you stories of awful human error, tragic catastrophes, daring heists and hilarious fiascos. They'll delight you, scare you, but also make you wiser. iHeartMedia is the exclusive podcast partner of Pushkin Industries.
 
Our whole lives, we are told “Cautionary Tales” to keep us safe from trouble. But how many cautionary tales do you live by? Are there other things in this world we should be aware of beyond the obvious? This is the podcast where Harper and Tony Brueski explores true cautionary tales and what happens to those who did not heed the warning and learned the hard way. Please subscribe and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts.
 
When an alien spacecraft crashes in Missouri a team of army investigators is dispatched. Among the debris they find a Martian infant and decide to raise him in their lab. Is he too strange to form a relationship with humans? Maybe, but he does have cute eye-stalks. – Stamped Caution was first published in the August 1953 issue of Galaxy magazine. (Summary by Gregg Margarite)
 
You want to have a career in music, but someone else is getting the money. AP editor in chief Jason Pettigrew engages with rockers of all kinds to learn how they navigated the treacherous waters of the music industry to end up with smooth sailing or swimming back to shore. You'll laugh, you might cry, you may end up matriculating after all.
 
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Pepsi twice ended up in court after promotions went disastrously wrong. Other big companies have fallen into the same trap - promising customers rewards so generous that to fulfil the promise might mean corporate bankruptcy. Businesses and customers alike are sometimes blinded by the big numbers in such PR stunts - but it's usually the customers, n…
 
Why were soldiers on horseback told to ride straight into a valley full of enemy cannon? The disastrous "Charge of the Light Brigade" is usually blamed on blundering generals. But the confusing orders issued on that awful day in 1854 reveal a common human trait - we often wrongly assume that everyone knows what we know and can easily comprehend our…
 
The hijackers of flight 961 wanted its pilot to fly them to Australia - and wouldn't listen to his pleas that there simply wasn't enough fuel for the mammoth trip. What would cause them to totally disregard the advice of an expert when the stakes were so very high? The Dunning Kruger effect. But being too stupid to recognise the limits of your know…
 
Family doctor Harold Shipman got away with murdering his patients for decades. He was one of the most prolific serial killers in history - but his hundreds of crimes largely went unnoticed despite a vast paper trail of death certificates he himself had signed. Why do we sometimes fail to see awful things happening right under our noses? And how can…
 
"The Pope" was a revered Dutch art expert - and yet he fell for a not very convincing forgery of a "lost" Vermeer masterpiece. The forger had duped other art connoisseurs too - including the high ranking Nazi Hermann Göring. But perhaps Han van Meegeren's biggest con was to convince the Dutch public that he was a cheeky resistance hero. We assume k…
 
This week, Andy welcomes his fiance Emily to discuss huge news: the rumor that Warner Brothers is developing an “Interstellar” sequel. Andy explains how they could make it work (and how they could ruin it). He also compares “Blade Runner 2049” to “The Last Jedi” and names his most hated Hallmark actor.…
 
Victorian nurse Florence Nightingale (played by her distant cousin Helena Bonham Carter) is a hero of modern medicine - but her greatest contribution to combating disease and death resulted from the vivid graphs she made to back her public health campaigns. Her charts convinced the great and the good that deaths due to filth and poor sanitation cou…
 
One speechmaker inspired millions with his words, the other utterly destroyed his own multi-million-dollar business with just a few phrases. Civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr (played by Jeffrey Wright of Westworld, The Hunger Games, and the James Bond films) and jewelry store owner Gerald Ratner offer starkly contrasting stories on when you s…
 
We shouldn't just gawk at the misfortune and stupidity of others - we should try to learn lessons to save us from enduring the same pain. Economist and writer Tim Harford returns with a new season of Cautionary Tales introducing us to idiotic hijackers, murderous doctors and brazen art forgers - as well as heroes such as Martin Luther King Jr and F…
 
Your identity is what makes you, you. What happens when someone steals your identity and starts to claim they are you? What kind of damage can be done? That's what we talk about today on Cautionary Tales with Harper!Cautionary Tales With Harper による
 
We're no stranger to stories about misinformation or deliberate disinformation. We live in a world where now more than ever, you have to be skeptical. That skepticism can be healthy, but it also can be used to cast more doubt and misinformation on data and statistics that are very real. Tim Harford talks to Niala Boodhoo, from the news podcast Axio…
 
Cautionary Tales' host Tim Harford has a new book - The Data Detective - setting out ten commandments for understanding the numbers, charts, graphs and statistics that bombard us every day. In this free extract, Tim explains his extra "golden" rule that allows us to observe all his other commandments - be curious. Enjoy. Cautionary Tales returns Fe…
 
Family Secrets… From selling your children to arranged marriages to going after your father with an ax! Some things just shouldn’t be talked about… but that’s what we’re discussing today on Cautionary Tales with Harper!Cautionary Tales With Harper による
 
What do you do when your loved one goes mission on a vacation? Who took them? Did they fall, victim to a tragic accident? There are countless stories of what should have been dream vacations, turning into vacation nightmares. That's what we discuss today on Cautionary Tales With Harper.Cautionary Tales With Harper による
 
Don’t Eat Tide Pods For some reason… Some people thought it would be “FUN” to ingest Tide Pods. If they only knew what would happen AFTER they took a bite! Today, what REALLY HAPPENS to your body when you eat detergent pods? That’s today on Cautionary Tales With Harper!Cautionary Tales With Harper による
 
PUFFER FISH, CHEESE MADE BY WORMS… or CHERRY PITS? Today we learn about dangerous foods! Mom always says, finish your plate! But what if your plate is filled with things like PUFFER FISH, CHEESE MADE BY WORMS… or CHERRY PITS? Dangerous foods, today on Cautionary Tales With Harper!Cautionary Tales With Harper による
 
A town with an eternal fire burning beneath it?! A city where everyone lives in the same building? A village with two million souls??? But they are ALL died? These are just some of the unusual places some call home. Today… Strange Cities on Cautionary Tales With Harper.Cautionary Tales With Harper による
 
They called the ship of dreams… BUT…. IT Wasn’t… it really Wasn’t…. On its maiden voyage, struck an iceberg killing more than 1500 people. But what went wrong besides hitting a massive ice cube in the ocean? The Sinking of The Titanic, Today on Cautionary Tales With Harper.Cautionary Tales With Harper による
 
Home, it’s a place that’s supposed to make you feels safe and secure. But what happens if you find out your home was once the scene of a horrible murder, demonic haunting, or a gangster hideout? Today, be careful of the house you call home… On Cautionary Tales With HarperCautionary Tales With Harper による
 
Bugs… Sometimes they can be cute and exciting. OTHER TIMES THEY MAY BE ON A MISSION TO ENTER YOUR BODY, THROUGH YOUR EAR TO EAT YOUR BRAIN!!!! Or are they? Brain-Eating Bugs! Today on Cautionary Tales With Harper!Cautionary Tales With Harper による
 
Friends. Some will always be by your side, but they also have their own secrets too. Some secrets may be harmless, like a secret crush. However, some go deep and much darker than that… all the way to murder. Today, Be Careful Who Your Friends Are, On Cautionary Tales With HarperCautionary Tales With Harper による
 
Ouija Boards, some of you might be scared of them. Some of you might want to interact with the dead. But what really happens when you play with an Ouija Board. Who are you really talking to? That’s today on Cautionary Tales With Harper.Cautionary Tales With Harper による
 
When you die, you die what do you want on your gravestone? Perhaps a pot of flowers, or your favorite cookie… Or something illuding to your murder or death by a demon. Be careful what you leave on your gravestone, Today on Cautionary Tales With Harper.Cautionary Tales With Harper による
 
Parents always warn children… Play with your toy’s the “right way”. What could possibly go wrong, especially if you are playing with it “THE RIGHT WAY”? A bounce house flying to the clouds. Child eating dolls? Those are just some of the dangers we discuss today on Cautionary Tales With Harper!Cautionary Tales With Harper による
 
For some reason… Some people thought it would be “FUN” to ingest Tide Pods. If they only knew what would happen AFTER they took a bite! Today, what REALLY HAPPENS to your body when you eat detergent pods? That’s today on Cautionary Tales With Harper!Cautionary Tales With Harper による
 
It’s always a good idea to have a COMPETENT adult check your Halloween candy BEFORE eating it. But what are they checking for? And, is poisoned Halloween candy really something we need to be cautious about? That’s what talk about today on Cautionary Tales With Harper.Cautionary Tales With Harper による
 
Almost all of us have done it… Thumb Sucking. While it may have started out as an innocent way to calm ourselves as infants… COULD sucking your thumb for too long lead to a life of depravity and regret that one can never escape? COULD SUCKING YOUR THUMB LITTEARLLY RUIN YOUR LIFE AND THE LIVES OF THOSE AROUND YOU? Don’t Suck You’re Thumb… Today on C…
 
It's easy to mock statistics or cast doubt on them... but we do so at our peril. Undermining our trust in facts and figures can cause great harm, and even death. We should guard against it. Tim Harford looks at how the seeds of doubt are planted in this mini-episode of Cautionary Tales to celebrate the release of his latest book. “How To Make The W…
 
We return with another episode of Ramblings. This time, we discuss a bunch of things that 'Boomers' are bad at and don't understand about the current world. Then we decided to take a journey back to school and reminisce about our school buses. And finally, we ask everyone if they wanted to kiss on the jouch.…
 
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