Every Little Thing

Every Little Thing

www.gimletmedia.com/elt
Who invented pants? How did ‘pink for girls’ and ‘blue for boys’ happen? What do dogs say when they bark?


A Meal You Can’t Forget: Tell Us
Oct 14 • 0 min
Maybe it’s the spaghetti you ate sitting on the kitchen floor in your first real apartment. Or the congee your best friend made you when your heart got broken. Call and tell us the story about a home-cooked meal that you can’t forget. 833 RING ELT.
What Sparked That Wildfire?
Oct 5 • 22 min
Caller Sadera has a burning question: When there’s a wildfire, how do we figure out what caused it? Fire investigator Paul Steensland tells ELT what he searches for in the burnt landscape, and the clues that can lead him to the cause.
Why Do We Cry?
Sep 28 • 23 min
Listener Lily called in about a crying shame: She thinks she cries too much. ELT investigates why we cry, and whether wet cheeks were once très chic. Ad Vingerhoets, crying researcher and clinical psychologist, and Tom Lutz, author of Crying: The Natural…
Is Your Pet a Righty or a Lefty?
Sep 21 • 24 min
Caller Juanita wants to know if her cats are southpaws. ELT calls in animal behavior researcher Deborah Wells and neuroscientist Sebastian Ocklenburg for an answer. Plus, why would slugs ditch the shell? Biologist Robert Cowie fills us in.
Frozen Food: How Long Is Too Long?
Sep 7 • 24 min
After their dad served 4-year-old fish for dinner one night, listener Max wants to know how long you can safely keep food in the freezer. Food safety expert Haley Oliver serves up the juicy details. Plus, can tiny eyes see things we can’t? Spider expert…
Cards: Solving a Shuffle Kerfuffle
Aug 31 • 26 min
Listeners Marmie and Ryan have a quarantine quibble: How many times should you shuffle a deck of playing cards? Marmie says three, while Ryan says four or more. The couple place their bets and go all-in with applied mathematician Steven Strogatz and a…
Introducing How to Save a Planet
Aug 24 • 11 min
ELT introduces How to Save a Planet, a new Gimlet Media podcast hosted by journalist Alex Blumberg and scientist and policy nerd Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson. How to Save a Planet asks the big questions: what do we need to do to solve the climate crisis,…
Why Is the Ocean Glowing?
Aug 17 • 23 min
Listener Erik saw a mysterious glow in the water during a trip to the beach, and he wants to know more. ELT talks to the “Jacques Cousteau of glow,” a scientist who has spent decades deep diving for answers. Guest: biologist and ocean researcher Edie…
Sand: What’s It Really Made Of?
Aug 10 • 20 min
Caller Hank wants to know where the sand on his central California beach came from. ELT gets the surprising scoop on how beaches are born. Guest: Kiki Patsch, California State University Channel Islands. Special thanks to Gary Griggs.
F*ck Yeah: Can Cursing Make You Stronger?
Jul 27 • 29 min
Flora is out this week force feeding her niblings flamingo facts, so we’re rerunning one of our favorite episodes. Does swearing make you more powerful? Plus, we talk to someone who turns the “mother f*ckers” into “manhole covers” for the TV versions of…
Stamps: Tiny Squares Full Of Secrets
Jul 20 • 30 min
Flora is hosting the Chapped Cheeks Book Club this week, so we’re revisiting one of our favorite episodes: How do U.S. postage stamps come to be? ELT explores the secret world of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, the group that decides what gets…
Fruit Flies: Seriously, Where Do They Come From?
Jul 13 • 25 min
Flora is away this week, so we’re revisiting one of our favorite episodes — about a summer visitor no one wants. Caller Jeremy has a problem: fruit flies have moved into his apartment, and he needs to know how they got there. ELT finds out where Jeremy’s…
Tell Us Who Should Be On a Monument
Jul 8 • 0 min
As monuments glorifying white supremacy are taken down, we want to hear from you: Who do you want to see celebrated in their place? Call the helpline and tell us who you’d like to see on a monument. 833-RING-ELT.
Behind the Pompoms: Cheerleading’s Checkered Past
Jul 6 • 41 min
Flora is away this week at a flamingo fanciers convention, so we’re revisiting one of our favorite shows — a two-part, deep dive into cheerleading. It’s not all smiles and ponytails. Guests: Cheerleading researcher and professor at the University of…
Is a Sense of Direction a Thing?
Jun 29 • 21 min
Listener Amy gets lost a lot. She wants to know if some people are naturally better at finding their way, and whether there’s hope for her. An expert locates some answers. Plus, how the best navigators in the world get around. Guests: navigation and…
Meet the DJs of the Bird World
Jun 15 • 26 min
Mockingbirds are masters at copying the songs around them. Listener Tim wonders: how do they develop their expansive playlists? Two mocker experts fill us in. Plus, listener Matt has spent decades searching for someone to validate his spoon gripe. ELT…
How Squirrels Track Their Nuts
Jun 8 • 18 min
The average tree squirrel can bury up to 10,000 nuts every fall. How do they keep tabs on that stash? Guest: animal behaviorist and pro squirrel watcher Mikel Maria Delgado exposes the secrets of squirrel pantry maintenance. Thanks to caller Cayra.
When Astronauts Come Home
Jun 1 • 28 min
This weekend, SpaceX and NASA successfully launched the first crewed spacecraft from U.S. soil in almost a decade. Preparing for a mission to space takes astronauts years, but listener Daniel wants to know — what does the other end of that journey look…
Old Life, This One’s For You
May 18 • 36 min
We’re celebrating the little things you miss from life before quarantine. Those small joys you can’t stop thinking about, in the midst of such big sadness. Thanks to listeners Ron, Sophia, Karen, Hayden, Priyanka, Melissa, Kim, Kai, Will, and everyone who…
Dream Your Way to a Better You
May 11 • 23 min
Listener Natalie had a dreamy question: can you change something in your waking life by dreaming about it? ELT talked to a lucid dream expert to find out if we can optimize our snooze time. Guest: Daniel Erlacher, sports scientist at the University of…
Inside the Jigsaw Puzzle Factory
May 4 • 24 min
In the time of “puzzle and chill,” listener Myco needs to know: how are jigsaw puzzles made? Plus, why are clouds of terrifying black birds gathering in listener Amanda’s neighborhood every evening? ELT puts the pieces together. Guests: Thomas Kaeppeler,…
Tell Us What You’re Missing Most
Apr 27 • 1 min
After weeks of social distancing, call us and tell us the thing you’re missing most and why it’s important to you. 833-RING-ELT.
Black Holes: Free Your Mind
Apr 20 • 24 min
Are black holes really holes? In honor of 420, ELT takes a trip to black hole country. Thanks to caller Kyle. Guest: Clifford Johnson, professor of physics at the University of Southern California. Happy 420, dudes.
How Did Prehistoric Parents Feed The Kids?
Apr 13 • 23 min
If a baby couldn’t nurse, what did prehistoric parents do before baby bottles? Julie Dunne, a biomolecular archaeologist and pot lady, analyzed some adorable ancient artifacts to answer the question. Plus, a big day for niblings. Thanks to callers Kate…
Essential Workers Call In
Apr 6 • 42 min
Fear, pride, relief, anger — what’s it like for the people out working so the rest of us can stay inside? Listeners who deliver packages and stock shelves tell us how their lives have changed. Thanks to Jacob, Megan, Ian, Lucy, Tamasha, Justin, Kaleb,…
ELT Wants to Hear From You
Mar 19 • 1 min
Are you manning a cash register, stocking shelves, delivering pizzas? Are you out working to make sure those of us stuck at home have what we need? We want to hear from you. Call us at 833-RING-ELT.
Is It Weird to Be Nice to Alexa?
Mar 16 • 26 min
Listener Elizabeth always says “please” and “thank you” to her Google voice assistant, and her husband says she’s weird. ELT talks to former Alexa insider Daren Gill and expert in human-robot interactions Leila Takayama to find out just how weird…
Symphony Secrets: Dirt from the Pit
Mar 9 • 28 min
Does an orchestra’s triangle player get the same pay as a violinist? Do conductors ever fall off their podiums? Which section do the other musicians love to hate? ELT dishes symphony secrets from two orchestra insiders. Guests: violinist Akiko Tarumoto…
Anesthesia and a Mysterious Chili Cheese Fry Craving
Mar 2 • 23 min
A troubling image of a flamingo family has the flam world in a frenzy. ELT’s resident flamingo expert tells us what’s really happening in that viral pic. Plus, listener Paul goes in for an appendectomy, and wakes up with a bizarre craving. What happened…
How Police Sketch Artists Read Your Mind
Feb 17 • 23 min
A police sketch artist reveals how she turns your fuzzy memory into a sharp drawing. Sketch artist Kelly Lawson from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation walks us through the process. Thanks to Gary Wells, Gil Zamora, and caller Lex.
Meet the Scrunchie Queen
Feb 10 • 23 min
Kate, a “hair is life” kind of person, asks about the invention that keeps her hair out of her face. Guests: Hair stylist and hair archaeologist Janet Stephens; Scrunchie queen Rommy Revson. Thanks to caller Kate.
Drugs on Screen: A Prop Master Tells All
Feb 3 • 26 min
Listener Emily is dying to know: what are actors actually using when they do drugs on screen? A prop czar takes ELT behind the scenes. Plus, a tribute to percussionist Emil Richards. Guest: prop master Lynda Reiss. Thanks to caller Emily.
America’s Next Top Word
Jan 20 • 28 min
We asked you, the ELT family, to share your favorite underutilized words — words that you love and want other listeners to love too. And you delivered. Now, with your help, we want to get one of those words into the dictionary. A professional word nerd…
Caveman Confidential
Jan 13 • 23 min
Did cavemen really carry clubs? Live in caves? Wear leopard-print one-shouldered dresses? Paleoanthropologists Melanie Chang and Genevieve von Petzinger help bust our biggest cavemen myths — and tell us what our ancestors were really like. Special thanks…
Travel Secrets: Airplane Seats, Cheap Gas, Dirty Toilets
Dec 23, 2019 • 27 min
We’re clearing out our inbox and answering some of your burning follow-up questions for our last episode of 2019. Guests: Captain Nick Anderson, retired Virgin-Atlantic airline pilot, Airline Pilot Guy Show; microbiologist Jenny Hayden, Cedar Crest…
Can You Learn to Taste Better?
Dec 16, 2019 • 27 min
Caller Shannon is at a loss for words when it comes to describing her favorite vegetable — corn. ELT enlists a professional food describer to help expand Shannon’s tasting vocabulary. Guest: sensory evaluator Gail Vance Civille of Sensory Spectrum.…
Ever Felt Someone’s Pain… In Your Butt?
Dec 9, 2019 • 30 min
Caller Lisa wants to know why her butt hurts whenever she sees someone else get injured. ELT finds out whether some people really can feel your pain. Guest: pain researcher Stuart Derbyshire. Thanks to queen of Chapped Cheeks Lisa, and to researchers…
Ants: Tiny Brains, Full Hearts
Nov 25, 2019 • 31 min
Wendy Zukerman, host of Science Vs, has a burning question: Do ants help each other out? ELT goes down the anthole to find the antswer. Guests: ant researchers Erik Frank at Université de Lausanne and Christina Kwapich at Arizona State University.
Twinspiracies: The Truth About Twinspeak and More
Nov 18, 2019 • 31 min
Do twins communicate in the womb? Can they read each other’s minds? ELT tackles listeners’ twin questions and investigates some burning twin-spiracies. Guest: Nancy Segal, psychology professor at California State University, Fullerton, and author of Twin…
Sinkholes: How Scared Should I Be? Plus, Amy Sedaris
Nov 4, 2019 • 26 min
ELT tackles some animal, vegetable, mineral mysteries with special guest Amy Sedaris. Plus, caller Maria is troubled by a hole in front of her condo — will she be swallowed by the earth? And the scoop on spinach tooth. Guests: Comedian and rabbit expert…
Spiders: How Many Can There Be?
Oct 28, 2019 • 27 min
A mass spider invasion at his office left accountant Steven with a burning question: How many can there be? ELT does some spider number-crunching, and meets the man who discovered one of the largest spider gatherings on record. Guests: Freddie Gowin,…
Grand Theft Water Lily
Oct 14, 2019 • 25 min
Why would a garden-gloved thief lift a water lily from a botanical garden in London? ELT gets to the root of a rare plant heist. Guests: Carlos Magdalena, botanical horticulturist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, and author of The Plant Messiah.…
Nail Polish Naming: Who Does That?
Oct 7, 2019 • 27 min
How do nail polish colors get their names? ELT digs into this FAQ, and finds out how painting our nails became a thing. Plus, an update on Jeremy’s reported fruit fly infestation. Guests: Fashion historian Suzanne Shapiro, author of Nails: The Story of…
Alien Invasion: How Little Green Men Took Over
Sep 23, 2019 • 27 min
Images of little green aliens are everywhere: Area 51, bongs, your ‘90s chain wallet. But why did we start depicting extraterrestrials that way? ELT uncovers the moment that beamed little green aliens into our homes (and hearts). Guests: sociologist of…
Limbo: The Haunting Backstory of Getting Low
Sep 16, 2019 • 28 min
Where did the limbo first get off the ground? This week, ELT reveals how it went from funerals in the Caribbean to shag-carpeted basements across American suburbia. Guests: Performer, choreographer, and documentarian Sonja Dumas; and Shane Vogel,…
Putting a Phantom Tune to Rest
Sep 9, 2019 • 17 min
Caller Austin had a fragment of a song stuck in his head, and he needed our assistance. ELT listeners help him name that tune and put this mystery to rest. Guests: Singer and songwriter Sondre Lerche. Thanks to Dave Heilman and all the listeners who tried…
How to Get Rid of an Earworm
Aug 19, 2019 • 29 min
An earworm expert explains how to unstick that song that’s stuck in your head, and why it got lodged there in the first place. Plus, your earwormholes — the songs that transport you through time and space. To hear the songs featured in this episode, head…
Fruit Flies: Seriously, Where Do They Come From?
Aug 12, 2019 • 25 min
Caller Jeremy has a problem: fruit flies have swarmed his apartment, and he needs to know where they came from. ELT finds out how Jeremy’s red-eyed roommates landed in his life. Plus, please help caller Austin name that tune. Guest: Biologist Marcus…
Don’t Underestimate the Flamingo
Jul 29, 2019 • 26 min
While they may look like dainty, dorky birds, flamingos deserve respect. Flora brings the flamingo facts, and launches ELT’s campaign to bring a flamingo mascot to professional sports. Guests: Comedian Prashanth Venkataramanujam; Producer Katherine Wells;…
TSA Treasure Chest: What Happens To Your Confiscated Stuff?
Jul 22, 2019 • 26 min
Every year the TSA confiscates millions of pounds of pocket knives, sunscreen and snow globes from airport travelers. Where does it all go? ELT investigates. Plus, tips for sneaking your weed onboard from a former TSA agent. Guests: Ex-TSA “Taylor”; TSA…
Public Toilets: To Sit or To Hover?
Jul 15, 2019 • 31 min
ELT answers an age-old question: When you have to use a public toilet, should you sit on the seat? A team of microbiologists weigh in. Plus, the rise, fall, and re-rise of cargo shorts. Guests: Microbiologist Jack Gilbert; comedian Prashanth…
Baseball and Organ Music: How’d That Happen?
Jul 8, 2019 • 31 min
When did organ music and baseball become an item? ELT talks to some pro organ players to find out how organs and ballparks got together. Plus, meet Nancy Faust — the legendary organist who brought trolling to modern baseball music. Guests: Steven Ball,…
What Lurks Under Our Cities?
Jun 24, 2019 • 26 min
ELT goes underground to meet the creatures living in our subways and sewer systems. Plus, the 411 on another underground underdog: prairie dogs. Guests: Urban evolutionary biologist and rat expert Jason Munshi-South; animal behavioral scientist Jennifer…
Tooth Worms and Tooth Pullers: Dentistry’s Rotten History
Jun 17, 2019 • 28 min
For most of human history, tooth care has been pretty bare bones. How did we go from charlatans pulling teeth in a public square, to the modern dentist’s office? ELT exposes the roots of tooth care. Plus, meet the technician who makes movie stars’ teeth…
F-ck Yeah: Can Cursing Make You Stronger?
Jun 10, 2019 • 30 min
Does swearing make you more powerful? Caller Mark’s dad thinks a well-timed “word of power” is the key to efficient yardwork. ELT asks a swearing expert about that theory. Plus, we talk to someone who turns the “mother f*ckers” into “manhole covers” for…
Pink for Girls, Blue for Boys — Why?
Jun 3, 2019 • 32 min
Through the 1800s, babies in the U.S. were dressed in gender neutral clothing — you couldn’t tell the girls from the boys based on their outfits. So why did parents start color-coding their kids in pink and blue? Plus, ELT’s long quest to get a sports…
Cockpit Confessions: The Truth About Airplane Mode (and More)
May 20, 2019 • 30 min
When you fly do you really need to put your phone in airplane mode? Should you fear the tray table? What’s happening in the cockpit while you’re fighting over the armrest? Two airline pilots answer your burning air travel questions. Guests: Pilot Sandy…
Buried Treasure: How to Make the Most of Your Booty
May 6, 2019 • 30 min
If you found millions of dollars worth of buried treasure, what would you do next? Take it to the bank? Sell it on eBay? Call 60 Minutes? ELT unearths the tale of the largest buried treasure ever found in North America. Plus, practical tips for dealing…
Behind the Pompoms: Cheerleading’s Checkered Past (Part 2)
Apr 19, 2019 • 20 min
Who decides what a cheerleader looks like? Or sounds like? In part two of a two-part episode, ELT digs into the complicated legacy of an American archetype. Guests: Natalie Adams, cheerleading researcher and professor at the University of Alabama; Sharita…
Behind the Pompoms: Cheerleading’s Checkered Past (Part 1)
Apr 15, 2019 • 29 min
How did one style of cheerleading come to dominate in so many American schools? In part one of a two-part episode, ELT flips through the history of cheerleading and meets the man who held cheerleading in the pompom of his hand. Guests: Cheerleading…
When Did Pants Become a Thing?
Apr 8, 2019 • 25 min
While there’s some evidence clothes go back 170,000 years, pants are a relatively recent addition to our wardrobes. Why were pants developed and who wore them first? ELT unravels the surprising story of pants. Guests: Artist and clothing researcher Ulrike…
Duct Tape MacGyver: The Sticky Secrets
Mar 18, 2019 • 30 min
Can duct tape really fix every little thing? ELT tests the limits — and gets to the bottom of a duct tape story that’ll blow your socks off. Plus, your most ingenious MacGyver stories. Guests: Daniel Munson, Senior Product Development Specialist at 3M;…
Forks: One Utensil’s Battle for Respect
Mar 11, 2019 • 24 min
While spoons, knives, and chopsticks have been commonplace for centuries, forks didn’t make it to most silverware drawers until the mid-1800s. What took so long? ELT investigates. Guest: Darra Goldstein, food historian, cookbook writer, and founding…
Baseball and Organ Music: How’d That Happen?
Feb 25, 2019 • 31 min
When did organ music and baseball become a thing? ELT talks to some pro organ players to find out how organs and ballparks got together. Plus, meet Nancy Faust — the legendary organist who brought trolling to modern baseball music. Guests: Steven Ball,…
Thrift Store Smell: What Is It? Plus, Your Cleanspiracies
Feb 18, 2019 • 26 min
ELT gets to the bottom of a familiar aroma — thrift store smell. Why do thrift shops all smell the same? Plus, is washing your clothes better than freezing them? ELT investigates listener cleanspiracies with expert cleaner Jolie Kerr. Guest: Jolie Kerr,…
Waterphone: The Sound That Haunts Hollywood
Feb 11, 2019 • 26 min
One eerie sound has been haunting Hollywood movies — from Poltergeist to Jurassic Park to Let the Right One In — and 14 seasons of Unsolved Mysteries. ELT tracks down the source of the scary sound. Guests: Rayme Waters, daughter of the spookiest sound in…
Stamps: Tiny Squares Full Of Secrets
Jan 28, 2019 • 32 min
How do U.S. postage stamps come to be? ELT explores the secret world of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, the group that decides what gets stuck on America’s envelopes. Plus, Bigfoot gets his due. Guests: Bill Gicker, manager of stamp development at…
Auctioneers: Why Do They Talk Like That?
Jan 21, 2019 • 23 min
Why do some auctioneers talk so fast? And what are they actually saying? ELT gets the low-down on auction talk from a professional auctioneer. Plus, pro-tips for developing your auctioneer chant. Guest: Junior Staggs, professional auctioneer. Thanks to…
🛩TSA Treasure Chest : What Happens To Your Confiscated Stuff? 💸
Jan 14, 2019 • 22 min
Every year the TSA confiscates millions of pounds of pocketknives, sunscreen and snow globes from airport travelers. Where does it all go? ELT investigates. Plus, tips for sneaking your weed onboard, from a former TSA agent. Guests: Ex-TSO “Taylor”; TSA…
Is Egg the Only Nog? Plus, Discovering the 8th Continent
Dec 17, 2018 • 21 min
How did cold uncooked eggs become a festive beverage? Plus, coquito for the nogged out. And one of the first scientists to hoist herself into the treetops describes life in the canopy. Guests: Chef and food writer J. Kenji López-Alt; Chef and Noshery.com…
Pumpkin Spice: The Science Behind the Invasion. Plus, What’s the Next Big Flavor Fad?
Dec 10, 2018 • 26 min
Why is pumpkin spice a thing? Flavor scientists explain why this particular combination is so appealing — or not. Plus, how to make a new flavor, and ELT listeners pitch their ideas for the next flavor fad. Guests: Food scientist Kantha Shelke; flavor…
Garbage: What Did We Do Before the Bag? Plus, A Trash Bag Moonshot
Dec 3, 2018 • 24 min
A Bulletin Board of Glory™ nomination from comedian Josh Gondelman takes ELT down a trashy rabbit hole, to a time before sanitation workers, when pigs roamed the streets. Plus, we meet the man who defied all odds to bring us the bag that cinches. Warning:…
Bubblegum: What’s That Flavor? Plus, What’s the Deal With Turkey Eggs?
Nov 19, 2018 • 24 min
Where does bubblegum flavor come from? A bubblegum bush? A beaver’s butt? We track down the original bubblegum flavor formula, and find out what’s in there. Plus, why turkey eggs aren’t a thing. Guests: Philadelphia events expert Scott Bruce,…
Why Goldfish Swam Into Our Living Rooms. Plus, Best Pet Vocalist
Nov 12, 2018 • 20 min
How did goldfish come to dominate our fish bowls and pet stores? We dive into the history of America’s favorite finned pet. Plus, the fanciest goldfish money can buy, and the best pet in a vocal performance. Guests: Katherine “Kasey” Grier, the pet…
Old Graves: What Would You Find In There? Plus, the Scariest Creature Under the Sea
Oct 29, 2018 • 23 min
If you dug up the graves of our founding fathers, what would you find? Tri-corner hats and puffy shirts? A grave expert fills us in on what remains. Plus, a terrifying sea creature that lurks in the waters off northern Australia. Guests: Nicholas…
Who Made ‘The Wave’ a Thing? Plus, a Mammal Mix-Up Made Right
Oct 22, 2018 • 22 min
When did “the wave” become a staple of stadium crowds? ELT talks to the professional cheerleader who first got fans out of their seats. Plus, the egg-laying mammal that is not a marsupial. We give monotremes their due. Guests: professional cheerleader…
Do You Need to Warm Up Your Car? Plus, a Teeny, Glorious Car Hack
Oct 8, 2018 • 23 min
Tucked into your car’s dashboard is a tiny arrow that points to the side of the car with the gas tank cap. Who came up with it? ELT tracks down the inventor of this tiny, brilliant car hack. Plus, do you really need to warm up your car? Guests: Automobile…
T. Rex Roar: How Is It Made? Plus, Would Dinosaurs Taste Like Chicken?
Oct 1, 2018 • 22 min
How did they make the dinosaur roars in the Jurassic Park movies? Flora talks with the sound engineers behind the bellows. Plus, ELT goes deep into the Mesozoic to find out what what dinosaurs looked (and tasted) like. Guests: Al Nelson and Pete Horner of…
Cheese: Why Do We Worship Rotten Milk? A NSFW History
Sep 24, 2018 • 22 min
When did someone first see a cheese curd and think, “Yeah, I’m going to eat that”? ELT traces the delicious and X-rated history of cheese. Plus, a professional processed cheese maker on how to make the most of the dairy aisle. Guests: cheese biochemist…
Why One Horrible Sound Haunts Reality TV. Plus, Is That Bug Threatening Me?
Sep 17, 2018 • 21 min
Who put the tension in reality TV? ELT tracks down the source of the nail biting-sound you can’t unhear. Plus, cicada killer wasps — a backyard horror story, turned intervention. Guests: sonic puppetmaster Rick Livingstone; cicada killer wasp expert Chuck…
The Cha Cha Slide: How One Uncle Changed Weddings Forever
Sep 3, 2018 • 25 min
DJ Casper tells us the origin story of the Cha Cha Slide. Plus, The Nod’s Brittany Luse is astonished by the unreleased Cha Cha Slide Pt. 1. Guests: The Nod’s host, Brittany Luse; Willie Perry Jr. (aka DJ Casper aka Mr. C the Slide Man); former gym rat…
Who Invented the Bloomin’ Onion? Plus, Biology’s Best Butt
Aug 27, 2018 • 20 min
ELT goes down under, to expose one of the most impressive butts in the animal kingdom. Plus, the multi-layered origin story of the Bloomin’ Onion. Guests: Science Vs. host, Wendy Zukerman; Wombat specialists, Alyce Swinbourne and Julie Old; ELT producer…
What Do Dogs Say When They Bark?
Aug 13, 2018 • 23 min
Is it possible to interpret what dogs are saying when they bark? We have the tools to help you do some ruff decoding. Plus, listeners share their real-life, unconventional Lassie stories. Guests: Dog bark researchers Péter Pongrácz and Kathryn Lord;…
WTF Do the ⏹ 🔼 ⏺ on My 👕 Tag Mean?
Aug 6, 2018 • 28 min
Plus, koala fingerprints, lobster pee and other hot facts. There are mysterious symbols inside your tee-shirt — do you know what they mean? ELT reveals the secrets of The DaLaundry Code. Plus, lobsters pee from their faces, and other cocktail party fodder…
How to Spot a Spy
Jul 16, 2018 • 24 min
Does that person sitting next to you on the airplane REALLY work in IT? Plus, a tribute to the bedazzled sausage of the desert southwest, and more fun with pirates. Guests: ex-CIA operative Robert Baer, gila meister Dan Beck, and lady pirate expert Laura…
The Genius of Birds: Live From the Aspen Ideas Festival
Jul 9, 2018 • 23 min
Some birds can fashion tools and create tiny works of art, so why do we always underestimate their bird brains? In this panel discussion, recorded at the 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival, Flora talks with writer Jennifer Ackerman and crow expert Alex Taylor…
Clowns and Crows: Weirder and Scarier Than You Think
Jul 2, 2018 • 22 min
ELT goes into the mind of a crow to find out if scarecrows work. Plus, a look at how clowns protect their clown IP with fact buddy Prashanth Venkat Guests: Julie “Lovely Buttons” Varholdt; crow expert Kevin McGowan. Thanks to Bruce Johnson (aka “Charlie…
ARRRRR Pirate Peg Legs Really A Thing?
Jun 25, 2018 • 22 min
Pirate historian Laura Sook Duncombe tells us about the golden age of pirates. Plus, a tunnel follow up with Dr. Mole: where do the emergency exits in underwater tunnels go? Thanks to lady pirate expert Laura Sook Duncombe and tunnel afficionado Gary…
Are Babies Born With Tails?
Jun 11, 2018 • 23 min
Plus, learn how to lie like a dad. Guests: Fake parenting expert Adam Mansbach; belly whisperer Tamara Duker Freuman; bird-watcher extraordinaire Amar Ayyash. Special thanks to Nicolas, Marisa, and everyone who called in with their Old Dad’s Tales. To…
Is There a Secret Sixth Taste?
Jun 4, 2018 • 21 min
Is there more to your taste buds than you thought? ELT tackles a fat question. Plus, a #yesflamingo campaign update. Guests: Richard Mattes, taste czar; Sarah Laskow, reporter for Atlas Obscura. Special thanks to caller Samantha. *Correction: The Vegas…
Are You Living With a Psychopath?
May 28, 2018 • 23 min
Is your roommate trying to kill you? Learn how to spot the telltale signs of a psychopath. Guests: Jon Ronson, author of The Psychopath Test; cat psychologist Eva Waiblinger. Special thanks to caller Megan. *No animals were harmed in the making of this…
Who Invented the Scratch Ticket?
May 14, 2018 • 25 min
Plus, a look at lottery history, and your strangest raffle winnings. Guests: Jonathan Cohen, lottery historian; John Koza, co-founder of Scientific Games Callers: John Henry, D., Lisa, Megan. Hear your favorite Gimlet shows LIVE at Gimletfest this June…
Why Does Popcorn Pop?
May 7, 2018 • 21 min
A kid caller pops the question: How does popcorn pop? Plus, the uncomfortable truth about baby corn.
Public Toilets: To Sit Or To Hover?
Apr 30, 2018 • 23 min
Plus, how to pee in zero-G. To find a list of our sponsors and show-related promo codes, go to gimlet.media/OurAdvertisers.
Why Are Used Car Ads So INSAAANNNE?
Apr 16, 2018 • 27 min
One man is to blame. Plus, vanity plates in the wild: IC A GR8 PL8. To find a list of our sponsors and show-related promo codes, go to gimlet.media/OurAdvertisers
Underwater Tunnels: HOW?
Apr 9, 2018 • 22 min
How they get that tunnel under there. Plus, a centuries-old scientific debate: why ice is slippery. Guests: Dr. Gary Brierley (aka Dr. Mole), tunnel engineer, Dr. Miquel Salmeron, physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Special thanks to…
Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons?
Mar 12, 2018 • 23 min
Plus, dog clothes: where did they come from? To find a list of our sponsors and show-related promo codes, go to gimlet.fm/sponsors
How to Get Paid to Clap on TV
Mar 5, 2018 • 24 min
Listener Mack asked about the unfamous people who fill empty seats at the Oscars. To find a list of our sponsors and show-related promo codes, go to gimlet.fm/sponsors
Why Does Music Give Us the Chills?
Feb 19, 2018 • 25 min
Why do we get goosebumps from music and other emotional experiences? Plus, the strangest things to give ELT listeners goosebumps. To find a list of our sponsors and show-related promo codes, go to gimlet.fm/sponsors
How Old Is Winnie the Pooh?
Feb 12, 2018 • 27 min
No, really - how old is he? To find a list of our sponsors and show-related promo codes, go to gimlet.fm/sponsors
What Would Happen to Your Body in Space?
Jan 29, 2018 • 30 min
Flora finds out what would happen if she stepped into the vacuum of outer space. Then, an (Earth) vacuum paradox to end all paradoxes: which came first, the vacuum or the carpet? To find a list of our sponsors and show-related promo codes, go to…
Are “Speed Enforced by Aircraft” Signs a Lie?
Jan 22, 2018 • 25 min
First, Flora uncovers a feud about butterflies. Then, a question from the Help Line about aircraft patrol. To find a list of our sponsors and show-related promo codes, go to gimlet.fm/sponsors.
Your Bedtime is Killing You
Dec 18, 2017 • 22 min
Flora stages a fact intervention with Prashanth.
Who is Wilhelm and Why Won’t He Stop Screaming?
Dec 11, 2017 • 25 min
The history of the world’s most iconic movie scream.
The Voices Hiding in Your Favorite Movies
Dec 4, 2017 • 30 min
Invisible actors create worlds of sound in everything you watch - from Jaws to The Wire.
How to Not Ruin Thanksgiving
Nov 20, 2017 • 32 min
Tips for being the #1 guest in the history of the universe. Plus, prunes.
Invasion of the Self-checkout Machines
Nov 13, 2017 • 26 min
Self-service began in a Piggly Wiggly 100 years ago. How’d it become a way of life?
The Case of the Missing Armadillos
Nov 6, 2017 • 26 min
Flora answers questions from the help line about an armadillo paradox and the DaVinci Code of pasta.
Bonus: Zombie Flamingo
Oct 30, 2017 • 5 min
Flora continues to champion the flamingo.
Six O’Clock Soundtrack
Oct 23, 2017 • 25 min
How TV news got a score.
Who Killed Cargo Shorts?
Oct 16, 2017 • 28 min
Flora and fact buddy Prashanth talk about spiders, which leads to a cargo short investigation. Listen to Gimlet’s newest show, Uncivil, wherever you get your podcasts: Apple Podcasts | Overcast | Pocketcasts | Stitcher
Celebrity Crush with Bill Nye
Oct 9, 2017 • 29 min
Bill Nye the Science Guy introduces us to an obscure historical figure. Plus, we revisit the eclipse.
The ELT Help Line
Sep 18, 2017 • 27 min
Flora and Katherine answer questions from listeners. ELT Help Line #: (347) 464-9626.
Chair, Misunderstood
Jul 3, 2017 • 26 min
Learning to love a viral piece of furniture. Our Sponsors: Wordpress.com | Synchrony Financial | Casper
Dewey Decimal Drama
Jun 26, 2017 • 26 min
The trouble with the library cataloging system. Plus, slug-gate. Our Sponsors: Spotify | Synchrony Financial
Don’t Underestimate the Flamingo
Jun 19, 2017 • 25 min
Flora learns facts about the flamingo that change her. #YESflamingo Listen to Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty, a hip-hop miniseries from Gimlet Media and Loud Speakers Network. Now available wherever you get your podcasts. Apple Podcasts |…
The Society on Your Face
Jun 12, 2017 • 22 min
Get to know your most intimate animal companions. They already know a lot about you. Listen to Gimlet’s newest show, The Pitch, on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen! Our Sponsors Casper – Get $50 towards any mattress purchase by visiting…
What the Government Stashes
May 29, 2017 • 27 min
Rummaging through the nation’s attic to find out what the government stores and why. Our SponsorsPostmates - The app that can deliver anything from anywhere. Get $100 in Postmates delivery credit by downloading the app and using promo code ELT. New…
This Is an Activation
May 22, 2017 • 29 min
A weird night in Dallas leads us to ask: what kinds of emergency systems are all around us? Our Sponsors eBay - Listen to their podcast, Open for Business wherever you get your podcastsEveryday Bravery by Prudential - Listen wherever you get your…
The Quest to Wipe Out a Virus
May 15, 2017 • 27 min
What does it take to eradicate a disease from the planet? Plus, the horrifying hunting habits of weasels. Our Sponsors Casper – Get $50 towards any mattress purchase by visiting casper.com/elt and using promo code “ELT” WordPress – go to wordpress.com/ELT…
The Senate Whisperer
May 1, 2017 • 25 min
How rules can keep us from descending into chaos. Our Sponsors Ebay - Listen to their podcast, Open for Business wherever you get your podcasts Everyday Bravery by Prudential - Listen wherever you get your podcasts Ziprecruiter - Post jobs for free by…
The Hide Rug of the Plant World
Apr 24, 2017 • 25 min
Producer Christine Driscoll meets an alleyway plant dealer and discovers an industry right under our noses. Our Sponsors Everyday Bravery - subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts Sonos - Sonos is a smart system of wireless speakers. To learn more go to…
Rapture Chasers
Apr 17, 2017 • 24 min
An event in August could bring millions of people to tears. Our Sponsors Ebay - Listen to their podcast, Open for Business wherever you get your podcasts Casper - Get $50 towards any mattress purchase by visiting casper.com/elt and using promo code “ELT”…
Hello, We Are Every Little Thing
Apr 11, 2017 • 1 min
Who invented pants? How did ‘pink for girls’ and ‘blue for boys’ happen? What do dogs say when they bark? If you have a question that needs answering, call the ELT Help Line at 833-RING-ELT or send an audio message to elt@gimletmedia.com.