How NASA Was Born Out of Magic Loving, Orgy Having Nerds

The Cracked Podcast #126 June 6, 2016

Here are some words you usually don’t find in the same sentence: rocket science, orgies, jet propulsion, and the occult. Believe it or not, the beginning of modern rocket science wasn’t helmed by some nerds in a laboratory, but by a group of rockstar scientists who blew stuff up by day and did drugs and animal sacrifices at night. Jack Parsons was the leader, and in his short life he fought with L. Ron Hubbard over women, led a branch of an occultist religion and founded the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

Parsons is just one of the many consequential people we discuss on this week’s podcast who shaped the modern era, but had life stories that you wouldn’t believe. Jack O’Brien and Michael Swaim are joined by comedian and host of ‘Paranormal You & Me’ Ryan Singer to delve into the life and beliefs of Parsons, and discuss others such as George Washington’s femme fatale superspy and the Russian officer who prevented the end of the world.

Also make sure to buy tickets to our next LIVE podcast taping on Saturday June 11th at 7pm at the UCB Sunset Theatre in Los Angeles!

Every summer we’re treated to the same buffet of three or four science fiction movies with the same basic conceits. There’s man vs. aliens, man vs. robots, man vs. army of clones and man vs. complicated time travel rules. With virtual reality and self-driving cars fast approaching, it’s time to consider what type of sci-fi movie we want to be living in for the rest of our lives. Co-hosts Jack O’Brien and Adam Tod Brown are joined by Cracked’s Tom Reimann and Josh Sargent and comedians David Huntsberger, Adam Newman and Caitlin Gill to figure out which sci-fi trope would be the best to make a reality.

Tickets are only $5 and on sale here: https://goo.gl/EjlM4L

This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and Casper Mattresses.

Footnotes:

Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Jack Parsons: https://goo.gl/n4O06G

‘An Honest Liar’ on Netflix: https://goo.gl/pizuCp

Aleister Crowley: The Wickedest Man in the World: https://goo.gl/bFlh6F

The Man Who Only Loved Numbers: http://goo.gl/r8qMX

Cracked: 5 Backup Plans That Would Have Changed Modern History: http://goo.gl/3pkVhz

Biography of Agent 355: https://goo.gl/odCkcE

Biography of Jandamarra: http://goo.gl/X1FH6C

New Yorker: Ada Lovelace, The First Tech Visionary: http://goo.gl/LUZRkc

The New Economy: How Nils Bohlin invented the three-point safety belt: http://goo.gl/ZKuT7p

Daily Mail: When Harry Met John, Paul, George and Ringo: http://goo.gl/R2LewY

Blind Willie Johnson on Spotify: https://goo.gl/Qx1ecz

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