Episode 002: A Bloodthirsty Banana on the Dating Game, Opening Email from Your Spinach, and Celebrating a Century Since They Disappeared.

In Episode 2 of Podenstein’s Lab, your intrepid, insipid journaleasts  bring you stories about how A 70’s Babe Dodged a Date with Death on the Dating Game; Bomb Sniffing Spinach Sending Email: and the 100th Anniversary of Finding the Cat- But Where’s the Crew? J.E., Shelby, and Mark dig these up from the digital trough, along with real headlines that are real weird. Need talk fodder to make a conversation uncomfortable? Find the words to suit your weird here, in Podenstein’s Lab.

Real Headlines from the Interwebosphere:

Name a cockroach after your ex and watch it get eaten for Valentine’s Day


Mentally deranged son kills mother, roasts chicken on her pyre in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum

Student Tries To Get In Touch With His Professor Online, Only To Learn That He’s Been Dead Two Years

And now…THE NEWS!!!

70’s Babe Dodges Date with Death on the Dating Game

-J. E. Petersen

Bomb Sniffing Spinach Can Send You Email

-Shelby Dollar



100th Anniversary of Finding the Cat- But Where’s the Crew?

-Mark L. Groves

Sure, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the first sports radio broadcast (the Ray- Dundee boxing match).  Aaand Chanel Number 5 was first released 100 years ago.  Even the first Lowe’s opened in 1921 in North Carolina.

A more macabre 100 year anniversary passed quietly on January 31st, 2021.  This marked a century since a weary, emaciated polydactic cat was found to be the only crew left on the mystery-shrouded decks of the Carroll A. Deering.

The setting:  North Carolina’s Outer Banks, off of Cape Hatteras.  This area of ocean is nicknamed the Graveyard of the Atlantic.  It’s exposed to the worst of oceanic storms- hurricanes, typhoons, nor’ easters, all the ship killers. Heavy seas and vicious winds drive ships ashore to be pounded to pieces by the surf.

Added to that, the warm waters from the Gulf come north and meet the frigid waters from the Labrador Current, which creates unpredictable currents of surprising power, and sometimes fog of surprising- and deadly- density.

But wait. North Carolina has what are called the “barrier islands”, 30 miles out from the mainland and hard to navigate. Let’s add to that Diamond Shoals, a ceaselessly-shifting maize of underwater sandbars extending eight miles out, but not very deep, from Cape Hatteras.

They all lie right in the coastal trade route.  Depending on where you seek your info, over 5000 ships had gone to Davey Jones in-sink-erator here, since records were kept starting in the early 1500’s.  Two well-known notables that sank in the vicinity- Blackbeard’s flagship “Queen Anne’s Revenge,” and the Civil War ironclad “Monitor.”   Not all wrecks came from natural-ish disaster.  Many came from u-boats and submarines during both world wars.

In other words, this is the perfect place for a ghost ship mystery.  100 years ago, on January 31st, 1921, the Carroll A. Deering was sighted stranded out on the Diamond Shoals.  Due to bad weather, it took about four days before boats could reach the ship.  Of the ten person and one animal crew, only the cat seems to have survived. Of the rest…nothing was found. Ever.

The ship had left Norfolk, Virginia, headed for Rio de Janeiro on August 22nd, 1920. The captain fell ill a few days later, and was replaced.  The ship delivered its cargo of coal, and set sail to return in December.

On January 29th, 1921, a lightship keeper aboard the Cape Lookout Lightship in North Carolina reported seeing the Carroll A. Deering. The Deering hailed the lightship, and a crewperson- no one knows who- reported that they’d lost their anchors. Captain Jacobson of the lightship tried to report it, but his radio wasn’t working.  He later testified that the Deering’s crew was suspiciously “milling around” on the fore deck of the schooner.

Two days later, the ship was spotted as having run aground.  Its sails were set…but the life boats were missing.  February 4th rescuers reached the ship- and it was abandoned.

Missing along with the crew were all the personal belongings, some key navigational equipment, papers and the anchors. The FBI got involved, but no trace of the crew or the ship logs have ever been recovered.

What happened?  Rumors and theories are rampant.

In one article I found, it describes the crew as suspect from the git-go.  The first mate was jailed in Barbados, drunk, and was heard to threaten the skipper.

The biggest part of the crew were Danish, which the new captain described as unruly in a letter he had written to his home.

The boatswain – the officer in charge of equipment and the crew- was a Finn, which at the time was a red flag, pardon the pun, as they were suspect of being Bolsheviks.

Perhaps the crew didn’t like the new captain and mutinied.  Maybe rum runners took the ship.  Or pirates raided it. Or the Bolshevik seized it for the glory of his newly communist master Russia.

The problem with any of those: why was a perfectly good ship abandoned between 1/29 and 1/31…and where the hell did they go?

Only the six-toed cat knew…and he didn’t say, because nobody likes a rat. ESPECIALLY a cat.










Episode 001: Shaggy’s Sad Ending, Mo Mummies, and Repurposing Bambi’s Booty


Woman ruled dead in 2017 fights to be declared alive

In France, if the butter and cheese don’t kill ya, being sued by an employee in court can- even if you’re still alive.

Why some people believe they can hear the dead, according to scientists

Where we find out clairaudient spiritualist mediums do it because they can. Thanks, science.


‘My son is not a ghost,’ parent files petition

About a boy who has autism, and the morons living around him spreading rumors that he’s a ghost.


The Sad Case of Casey Kasem – Mark L. Groves

If you’re not familiar with the name Casey Kasem, you’re probably at least familiar with the name “Scooby Doo.”  Casey was the original voice of Shaggy.  Plus his voice makes a cameo appearance in the original “Ghostbusters” movie, among other movies and tv shows from back when dinosaurs roamed the mall.

Casey was also very famous as the host of the American Top 40 Countdown, which he created in 1970.  See kids, we had this thing called radio, and it’s where you could listen to music for free- without the internet or a monitor screen.  Weird, I know.  There were shows that would count down the most popular songs playing in that genre- “top 40” country, r&b, and more, based on sales, or requests, or some magical mystical b.s. backed by label money.  Who knows.  But weekly, geeks like me would listen to see if our favorite songs moved up or down the charts, hear new songs, get interesting tidbits about the artists, and have halfway-decent background noise on a weekend.

I used to play Casey’s show when I first started as a disco jockey in radio back in the mid 1980’s, along with Rick Dee’s Weekly Top 40.  Sidenote- they arrived on vinyl.  Yup- 33&1/3 lp’s.  When you got to the space between the tracks, you played local commercials and imaging, while you cued up the next track- usually on a Technics SL1200 mkII turntable.

Oh yeah, we’re talking about Casey Kasem.  Back to the countdown.

Casey had a great career, and a most memorable studio meltdown which lives on in youtube glory. Plus, those old countdown shows are showing up on classic hits/oldies stations now.  I heard one while driving across Illinois and Missouri a few years ago, and dude- that was jarring.  I thought for a hot minute they’d got a Casey Kasem impersonator and were re-creating the feel, until I heard him talk about his brand new song climbing the charts- here’s “Little Red Corvette” by Prince.  Yeah, ok, they’re replaying the old countdowns.  Cool.  I time-traveled across two states with that.

Casey passed away June 15th, 2014, at the age of 82.  The end of one huge suckage, and the start of another.  But first- the background.

He was married to a woman from 1970 to 1979 and had three kids.  He got divorced, and in 1980 Married Jean Thompson. Imagine this- a lonely guy, five foot four inches tall, who marries this huge blonde who looks like Anna Nicole Smith in drag.

Casey was married to her until his death. In 1989, they bought a home in L.A., and in 2013, they put it up for sale for 43 Million Dollars.  Why do I add this Wikipedia tidbit?  Oh, that’s coming.

Kerri Kasem- Casey’s daughter from his first marriage- announced he had Parkinson’s Disease. Later, she changed it to Lewy Body Dementia,which was still pretty much Parkinson’s.  This disease left him unable to speak during his last months.  Sucks for a radio guy to not be able to speak.

After his condition deteriorated more, Jean- his wife- stopped his kids from his first marriage from being able to see him.  She says it was too hard on him…you know…seeing his children whom he loved.

 October 1st of 2013, all three first-marriage kids protested in front of his home.  20-plus people showed up for this, standing outside silently, holding placards basically saying “why won’t you let us see him?”  Jean calls the cops, and multiple squad cars- plus helicopter show up.  And then the press, because of course.

The older kids go to court to try and get custody, but are denied. Jean says she’ll let them see their dad- for one hour a month, with a security guard present, which they’ll have to pay ½ of the costs.  Oh, and no phones, cameras, anything.

Casey gets hospitalized in December. The kids see him briefly, and the next thing you know- Jean has moved him. The doctors refused to approve it, so Jean- and this is like hours after the kids had been there, rolls him out.  No one knows where, and her craziness won’t say.

Kerri gets a PI involved.  A few days later, one of Jean’s attorneys says Casey is out of the country.  It’s a lie.  Jean’s taken him to that healing oasis, America’s rejuvenation HQ.  Las Vegas, of course.

Now, this guy has a feeding tube surgically implanted, he can’t speak, he’s disoriented, and his wifey mcwifeface has hired a couple of people to be “carefigvers” at the Vdar Hotel & Spa.  Her excuse?  A family vacation to, I quote, “escape the theatrical antics of Kerri Kasem.”

Casey doesn’t see a doc for a week. Jean chartes a jet to Seattle on May 13th.  Casey arrives malnourished, because Jean was pouring Ensure into his feeding tube.  Before they left Santa Monica, he had no wounds.  Now he had a massive bedsore on his coccyx, and a UTI.  

Do they go to a hospital?  Nopeski. Jean has them ambulanced to a private residence.  HOWEVER, one of the drivers alerted adult protective services, because bedsores can be a sign of neglect.  Kerri’s PI saw that pop up on a database, and they’re off to the legal races.

May 12th, an LA court grants Kerri temporary conservatorship over her father’s medical care.  It takes another 10 or so days, but the Washington judge upholds it too.

Kerri arrives at the house, but Jean has it surrounded by leather-wearing bikers who are ordered to not let her in.  Eventually Kerri does go in.  Jean got the judge to allow that no pictures were to be taken.  But a few hours after the visit, she herself holds a press conference and plays a tape of Casey morning.  She said he was upset about the judge’s ruling.

Maybe it was the saucer-sized bedsore, the UTI with no painkillers, or the fact he was starving.  Yeah, that could be it. Not that a judge let his beloved kids in.  But who knows, right?

June 1 Kerri arrives at the house with an ambulance and medical personnel.  Casey is taken to a hospital.  Jean comes out with a video camera, and throws a pound of chuck steak at Kerri while saying something about “King David,” and repeating “To the dogs! To the dogs!”  Seriously, that is some next-level Jim Morrison on a bad trip kind of shit

By the time Casey reaches the hospital, he’s at least alert.  For two weeks extended family gather around his bed.  There are conflicting reports about his last wishes.  Jean said that Casey would have wanted to be kept alive via artificial means.

The second week, attempts to hydrate Casey are causing his lungs to fill with fluid- basically, drowning him.  Soon, he’s removed from artificial feeding and hydrating, and is given morphine to make him comfortable.  On June 15th, surrounded by his 3 oldest kids and his brother, he passes away.

Whew.  End of story.

Well…not quite. 

To make a long, horrible story short, Jean is Casey’s wife and gets control of the body.  She has it removed from the mortuary in Washington state, and sent to…we don’t know at the time.  Nobody does.

Six months later, Kerri finds out where her dad is interred.  She read it in an online article. He’s buried.  In Oslo, Norway.  Yup, the Widow Ms. Crazypants had him shipped up to Montreal, Canada, and two months later to Norway. 

She said he loved how beautiful Norway was.  He’d never been there.  She said she was thinking of moving their to be closer to her Norwegian relatives. Her actual relatives said there’s not a drop of Norwegian blood in any of them.

Kerri tried to get his body returned, but her legal attempts failed.  See, Casey didn’t get a formal autopsy.  How do you hide abuse? Hide the body.

The older kids sued Jean, and she counter-sued them, and in 2019 they dropped their lawsuits.

Oh- and the house sold.  Jean got the money.

Casey believed in reincarnation.  I hope he comes back as Jean’s nearsighted, narcoleptic heart surgeon.  If she even has one to operate on.





Rebooting Bambi’s Booty – Shelby Dollar




Mo Mummies: New Finds To Unwrap in 2021, aka- Let’s Curse This Year Too, Yeah? – J. E. Peterson





And so, we begin again!

Podenstein’s Lab returns from a self-instituted exile. Starting in 2018, we loved talking about cool, weird things. We loved interviewing people who wrote about/photographed/experienced cool, weird things. From mass-murderers in 1820’s Edinburgh, to cannibal animals, to decorated corpses, to why sex-in-space is not so hot for lift off, we ran the gamut. What fun!

We also didn’t cite a number of our sources, and as podcasts became not just entertainment sources, but income sources, we decided it was better to reboot. And that, we have done!

Now Podenstein’s Lab is a news “magazine” of the world wide weird. Your hosts each have a different flavor they seek in the macabre, and share come together to kibbitz on the kray-kray.

So please- sit back and enjoy All the News You Can Use to Freak Out Your Friends.