They say this is for ages 8 and up, and the sound effects and voices help with that, but there really is a lot of information in this!
I’ve Got a Bone to Pick with You!
After finishing my other Audible Original for the month of July, The Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs, I thought I was pretty caught up on my dino knowledge. Turns out, nope! That didn’t even mention anything (that I remember) that was featured in this section! Maybe it was due to the fact that that one was made in England and this is an American production that focuses on the American side of things. The Grown-Up Guide seemed more focused on the actual dino part, while this was more about the people discovering them, but still! It seems like they at least deserved a mention!
Anyway, this section is about the Bone Wars, and the men who fought them. There were mainly two men, Cope and Marsh. Turns out, they were both asshats. Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh were the two men who both discovered literal tons of dinosaurs, but left an even bigger mess in order to do so. They started out as friends, but greed and pride soon ended that. Marsh was a professional paleontologist who had ties to Yale and was able to get government funding. Cope was an amatur from a wealthy family who knew his stuff. (It’s hard to tell, but I think the author was on Team Cope for the most part.) Both men made incredible discoveries that changed the public impression of dinosaurs and put America on the map in the field of paleontology. But in their rush to be the best, they made a lot of mistakes, and not all of them were caught during their lifetimes. They would discover partial skeletons and rush to name a new species, even if it had already been discovered. The whole Brontosaurus mess? These guys, Marsh to be specific. They would blow up fossils to stop the other one from getting them, and they would slam each other in scientific journals and eventually the press. Marsh would stop Cope from getting jobs, and Cope put the nail in the proverbial coffin of Marsh’s career. Some awesome discoveries came from this rush to discover more dinosaurs, though. If your favorite dinosaur is the Triceratops, Allosaurus, Diplodocus, or Stegosaurus to name a few, you have these guys to thank.
So there was a big shoe rivalry between Adidas and Puma. Had I known that? No. Do I really care? Not really. I mean, the story is interesting, but I wear shoes I got at Walmart (RIP Payless) so I’m not really a shoe connoisseur. Basically, a dude in Germany made shoes. Between WWI and WWII, his sons opened a shoe factory, with Adolf (Adi) doing the making and Rudolf doing the selling. Then WWII, and Nazis, and the brothers have a huge falling out and split, with each running his own shoe factory. The brothers spend the rest of their lives fighting and backstabbing. There are bribes and sabotages and all sorts of drama. There’s also family drama within Adidas. Fun fact: all of this family feuding helped make sports the corporate advertising event that it is today! Yay?
There’s Something About Mary(s)
This section is about Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots and their bloody and vicious feud. It would be helpful to have a bit of background knowledge for this one, or a flowchart or something. They do acknowledge that every other woman in this story is named Mary, though. This one is more well-known than the other two, at least it feels that way. It’s studied in history classes, at least. I did not know (or remember if I once did) that the two women never met, and exchanged letters and acknowledged that they were cousins. It was not as much a fight between the two women as much a fight for power and control. And it can be said that Elizabeth won the battles, but Mary eventually won the war.
“I am not throwing away my shot!”
In this rivalry, the author is on Team Burr. But if we go by this account, Hamilton was a jerkface who blocked Burr’s career many times. Burr was by no means an angel, though. One of the things I learned from this section involves a shady thing Burr did, but ended up working out. Basically, Burr wanted to get good clean drinking water for the city of New York. Burr called it the Manhattan Company, and on the surface it looked great. Everyone was on board with this, including Hamilton. Burr was sneaky, though, and stuck a clause in the paperwork saying that the company could use the money raised for other purposes. One of those purposes was to form a bank that so happened to rival Hamilton’s. So, no good water for New York for a while, but we got J.P. Morgan Chase out of it! (New York has pretty good water now, in case you haven’t tried it!)
This is still one of the free Audible Originals for the month of July, so if you haven’t picked yours yet, give it a try! (That’s also why the link is a little weird.) A sequel is coming out in August!
This fulfills the CBR11 Bingo square of “History/Schmistory”