Endless Thread

Endless Thread

www.wbur.org/endlessthread
The front page of the Internet—also known as Reddit—is making noise. Hosts Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson dig into the site’s vast and curious ecosystem of online communities, collaborating with Reddit’s 330 million users and over 140 thous


Geedis
Aug 22 • 43 min
What is Geedis? This is the question that thousands of internet sleuths have been trying to answer for more than two years. The Endless Thread team joins the quest…and makes a discovery.
Snacktime: Into The Woods
Aug 16 • 13 min
This Snacktime episode takes us to the woods, with revenge-filled confessions and mysterious sounds…
Gone Wild Audio
Aug 8 • 41 min
Audio erotica is blowing up right now, from Silicon Valley-backed startups to the rise of ASMR — not to mention a huge growth in podcasts. But the hub for audio erotica can be found on Reddit in a community of more than 300,000 devoted fans and amateur…
Snacktime: LSD And Hot Sauce
Aug 1 • 13 min
Ben and Josh trade favorite Reddit stories about an Englishman whose bad LSD trip leads to a months-long French charade and a job seeker whose interview tactics leave him spitting fire…but not in a good way.
The Amber Room
Jul 25 • 30 min
Once considered “the eighth wonder of the world,” the Amber Room was a treasure of kings and architectural marvel before being stolen by Nazis and lost to history. So…what happened? It all depends on who you ask.
Bonus: Dad Bods And Guppies
Jul 22 • 12 min
Remember in January when we talked about New Year’s resolutions in our ‘Get Motivated’ episode? Well, 2019 is half over, so Ben and Amory give an update on their progress.
Snacktime: Sharks And Aliens
Jul 18 • 16 min
SNACK ATTACK! I mean… SHARK ATTACK! I mean, BOTH. Another snack-sized episode for you, complete with shark attacks, the story of a chilling shipwreck, and whatever the heck is happening in Area 51. Boston-area listeners, join the Endless Thread team on…
Pile Of Crockery
Jul 11 • 32 min
The thrilling conclusion to an internet mystery surrounding a massive pile of dishware in the middle of the woods.
We Want Plates!
Jun 27 • 41 min
A Redditor stumbles upon a huge pile of plates in the backwoods of Pennsylvania. Reddit sleuths across the globe try to figure out where the plates are located and how they got there. Endless Thread embarks on an epic journey to Pennsylvania to get to the…
Endless Thread Presents: Pride Stories From ‘Kind World’
Jun 24 • 14 min
In honor of Pride month, the Endless Thread team shares a pair of stories from another WBUR podcast — Kind World. Co-hosts Yasmin Amer and Andrea Asuaje tell stories about the profound impact an act of kindness can have on us. Enjoy, and happy Pride to…
Snacktime: In A Pickle
Jun 20 • 7 min
Snacktime returns with the story of a Redditor who got into quite the sticky situation. All he needed to get unstuck was a captive Reddit audience…and a jar of pickles.
Shipwrecked
Jun 13 • 36 min
When someone close to you dies, it can be a struggle to feel normal again – and to have people TREAT you normally again. When T.J.’s long-time partner died suddenly in 2017, she found a sense of normalcy and healing from strangers in the r/Widowers…
Infectious, Pt. 5: Talk To Me
May 30 • 42 min
At the end of the day, our species only survives if we can communicate. In our fifth and final episode of “Infectious,” we hear from those whose lives have been irrevocably altered by vaccines and learn about a radically simple solution to the current…
Infectious, Pt. 4: Anatomy Of An Outbreak
May 23 • 44 min
Even considering the winding road of scientific advancement and the new expressway that is the internet, what the heck happened in Clark County? With reporting from the ground in Washington and Oregon, we take the fourth episode of our vaccine series to…
Infectious, Pt. 3: Going Viral
May 16 • 46 min
You can’t tell the story of today’s anti-vaccine — or “vaccine hesitant”— movement without telling a story of technology and social media. Part 3 of our “Infectious” series looks at the spread of anti-vaccine messaging online and how the Internet and…
Infectious, Pt. 2: The Flintstone Dilemma
May 2 • 38 min
There was a time when the measles were common enough to be a source of comedy on TV shows like “The Flintstones.” So how did we go from joking about the measles to reports on the news about a growing international measles emergency? In the second episode…
Infectious, Pt. 1: Scabs, Pus, And Puritans
May 2 • 37 min
The problem with being healthy is that you completely forget what it feels like to be sick. In 2019, many people assume that the history of vaccination is recent history — maybe a few centuries of innovation starting in the late 1700s. The truth is much…
‘Endless Thread’ Presents: ‘Infectious’
Apr 26 • 2 min
“Endless Thread” presents “Infectious: The Strange Past and Surprising Present of Vaccines – and Anti-Vaxxers.”
Bonus: Jon Favreau, Live At CitySpace
Apr 26 • 42 min
T-minus one week until Endless Thread returns with new episodes! In the meantime, let’s talk politics — because Ben recently interviewed Jon Favreau, co-host of “Pod Save America” and former speechwriter for President Barack Obama, live onstage at WBUR’s…
Bonus: Endless Thrones
Apr 12 • 21 min
In advance of the season 8 premiere of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” we talk to one of the head moderators of r/gameofthrones and to a couple of in-house GOT nerds to hear some of their fan theories and predictions for the show’s final season.
Encore: Pitch Perfect
Mar 29 • 20 min
In celebration of the start of the MLB season, we revisit our baseball-themed episode from last year, featuring everything from Snoop Dogg… to a very unlucky mourning dove.
Remix: Four Love Stories From The Wild World Of Reddit
Feb 13 • 58 min
In honor of Valentine’s Day, we took our favorite love stories from previous episodes and created one epic love-centric monster mix. xoxo
Encore: And… It’s Good!
Feb 1 • 36 min
Hey football fans, ever heard of the Chicago Bears Principle? How about Winter Magic? Or the UFL? In this Super Bowl-themed episode, Redditors educate us on the stats, the halftime history books, and tackle football on wheels.
Bonus: Harvard Astronomer On Why Aliens Aren’t Just Science Fiction
Jan 29 • 23 min
Superstar astronomer Avi Loeb discusses mysteries surrounding the interstellar space object known as ‘Oumuamua, why it could be a probe sent by an alien civilization, and how the scientific community should be more willing to acknowledge and embrace…
Stuck Between The Rock and Deep Space
Jan 24 • 38 min
News of a mysterious interstellar object flying through our solar system inspired Redditors to collaboratively pen a perfectly cheesy sci-fi action movie. And now, we bring that movie to life as an audio drama. Presenting… “Stuck Between The Rock and Deep…
Coming Soon… Our Sci-Fi Radio Drama
Jan 22 • 2 min
This Friday, Endless Thread releases one of its wackiest, most ambitious episodes yet: a sci-fi radio drama based on a movie script, based on a Reddit thread about a mysterious interstellar object. Hold on to your butts…
Cupcake
Jan 17 • 31 min
Chris and Kim have been married for 13 years and things have been going really, really well. So well, in fact, that they wondered… what’s next? Their answer: consensual non-monogamy. They think of their additional sexual partners as “cupcakes,” sweet…
Bonus: R. Kelly Vs. The Savages
Jan 16 • 31 min
The release of Lifetime’s 6-part documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly” has sparked new conversations about the R&B singer — at the water cooler, on social media, and of course, on Reddit. This episode comes to us from WBUR’s “Edge of Fame” podcast, who…
Get Motivated
Jan 10 • 31 min
Jared Wells was ready to accept death just one year ago. But a year in the gym with a bodybuilding legend has totally changed his perspective on life… and his body, of course. Plus, Ben and Amory share their 2019 resolutions and recruit Redditors to help…
Encore: Something Wicked
Jan 3 • 27 min
“Our landlord isn’t letting me talk to you, but it’s important we do.” This text was written on one of several creepy post-it notes that mysteriously appeared in Redditor u/RBradbury1920’s apartment. Who wrote them? Why? And how were they getting there?…
Encore: That Old Chestnut
Dec 27, 2018 • 32 min
One of the nuttiest stories of near extinction and resurrection ever seen in the United States. It involves genetic engineering, warring factions of tree enthusiasts, and a mysterious, destructive power that started at the Bronx Zoo.
Humans Being Bros
Dec 20, 2018 • 24 min
A Santa who went above and beyond. Emotionally-exhausted parents who received a well-timed helping hand. A surprising invention that warms the heart… and body. We celebrate the season of giving by highlighting some of the kindness shared on Reddit —…
All You Can Eat
Dec 13, 2018 • 27 min
Chicken patrol. Tiny plates. Purses lined with plastic bags. We peek behind the curtain of the strange world of all-you-can-eat buffets, from the strategies buffet owners use to protect their profits, to the hungry customers who try to game the system.
The Deadly Double
Dec 7, 2018 • 35 min
A Redditor finds a mysterious dice game in his grandparents’ basement. It reads “The Deadly Double: A Game to Play at Your Own Risk.” The Endless Thread team helps him investigate the game and finds surprising connections to Pearl Harbor, the FBI and The…
Grateful Doe
Nov 29, 2018 • 26 min
An unidentified man died in a car crash in 1995 with Grateful Dead ticket stubs in his pocket. Twenty years later, Reddit sleuths helped solve the case of the “Grateful Doe.”
Encore: The GOAT
Nov 21, 2018 • 29 min
The Italian cyclist Gino Bartali could rightfully be called “the GOAT” — the Greatest of All Time — for his athletic achievements alone. But in this episode, we tip our hats to him as a humanitarian. During World War II, Bartali was living a double life.…
Dear Anon
Nov 15, 2018 • 30 min
What do Bill Gates, finding your soul mate, and charting a new life path have in common? Reddit Gifts! The world’s largest anonymous gift exchange has led to some unexpected outcomes.
Brain Melt
Nov 8, 2018 • 25 min
Redditor Stephanie Graham started feeling a bit off in the third trimester of her pregnancy. Then, things got weird. Really weird.
The Greatest Squirt Gun Ever Built
Nov 1, 2018 • 27 min
One of the bestselling toys of all-time, the Super Soaker, was invented by a rocket scientist nicknamed “The Professor.” This is the story of the man, the legend: Lonnie Johnson.
Bonus: Magic Mushrooms With Michael Pollan
Oct 29, 2018 • 12 min
Author Michael Pollan talks about all things magic mushrooms, including their potential for upending the brain’s hierarchy and helping people cope with death.
Screamtime: Zombie Fungus
Oct 25, 2018 • 29 min
Imagine a fungus that could infiltrate your whole body, turn you into a puppet, and grow right out of the top of your head. Actually, you don’t have to imagine it — IT’S REAL. It’s called Cordyceps, and fortunately, it only has this effect on insects… for…
Screamtime: Roof Man
Oct 18, 2018 • 20 min
Paranormal activity has haunted Darcy throughout her life. But it wasn’t until a nighttime ritual with her daughter turned spooky that she wondered what else might be at play.
Bonus: Australian Scientist Offers First-Hand Account Of Steve Irwin’s Tragic Death
Oct 16, 2018 • 6 min
Australian scientist Jamie Seymour was friends with the famous “Crocodile Hunter,” Steve Irwin. He was even there when Irwin was fatally stung by a stingray in 2006. Jamie sat down with Ben to reflect on that experience and Irwin’s legacy.
Screamtime: Doom Jelly
Oct 11, 2018 • 35 min
Imagine sitting in a hospital room for 24 consecutive hours in the most agonizing pain you can possibly imagine. You feel a sense of impending doom. You have a feeling this won’t end well. Then, the pain subsides and you walk away. Jamie Seymour has had…
Screamtime: Haunted House, Holy Water
Oct 4, 2018 • 24 min
When Alex was in high school, he and his best friend used to break into abandoned houses. Alex was a tough guy, giving people hell. Until one night, in one of those abandoned houses… hell gave him something back.
Turning Hate Into Humor
Sep 27, 2018 • 35 min
An elite unit of trolls is engaged in an existential battle against hate speech on the internet. This is their story.
Snacktime: ‘Last Seen’ Edition
Sep 24, 2018 • 14 min
We’re popping into your feed to share a project we think you’ll love. It’s a new podcast called “Last Seen,” about the largest unsolved art heist in history — the theft of 13 irreplaceable pieces of art from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
The Great Mattress Conspiracy
Sep 20, 2018 • 36 min
Why are there so many Mattress Firm stores? How did they end up catty-corner across intersections and in the same shopping centers? Are the mattresses full of money? Reddit users start to dig deeper into these Mattress Firm conspiracy theories, and we…
Rome, Sweet Rome
Sep 13, 2018 • 27 min
Could a unit of Marines destroy the entire Roman Empire if they traveled back in time? That is the question that inspired the now-legendary Reddit thread that turned James Erwin from an anonymous commenter into a Hollywood screenwriter. His…
Tim From Texas
Sep 6, 2018 • 29 min
Tim Rose was driving home in February 2015 when he got into a car accident. He was mostly fine, though he went to the hospital just to be safe. That’s where things took a turn. He turned to Reddit for help and his life hasn’t been the same since.
The Cursed Manuscript
Aug 30, 2018 • 32 min
A 17th century monk using a nom de plume pens what could have been the blockbuster of its time: a teenage boy embarking on an epic voyage to the Americas. But, due to a series of bizarre circumstances, it was never published… until now.
Buck It
Aug 23, 2018 • 28 min
A Reddit comment about a chance encounter on a train inspires Ben to get hypnotized and Amory to face her fears in front of an audience at an open mic.
Test Of Time
Aug 16, 2018 • 29 min
Did you ever receive a love note in elementary school? What happened to the person who wrote it to you? Or what about that person you went to a music festival with in your early 20s? In this episode, we feature two extraordinary stories about…
The Original Most Interesting Man In The World
Aug 9, 2018 • 28 min
King David Kalākaua was the last king of Hawaii. But he was much more than that — he was a traveler, a dreamer, a tech nerd. Or maybe he was fond of drinking, reveling and gambling. It depends on who you ask. But one thing he was not: Boring.
Season 2: First Listen
Aug 6, 2018 • 1 min
The Endless Thread team has been hard at work on a new season of episodes. Don’t believe us? We have proof! Take a listen to our trailer for Season 2.
Snacktime: Cake, Camels, and Catfish
Aug 2, 2018 • 21 min
It’s snacktime! Some more of our favorite quick-hits from Reddit.
Snacktime: A Trade Of Their Own
Jul 26, 2018 • 22 min
In this “Snacktime” episode, we chow down on two stories that were sent to us by listeners. The first, a look at how baseball fans on Reddit mark Major League Baseball’s annual July trade deadline — with a trade of their own. Then, a story involving a…
Snacktime: Steak And Potatoes
Jul 19, 2018 • 24 min
Two of Amory and Ben’s favorite Reddit posts, both of which have to do with food.
Snacktime
Jul 12, 2018 • 18 min
This week’s episode is pretty short and sweet — Amory and producer Josh Swartz talk about their favorite Reddit posts.
Getting Home: Update
Jul 5, 2018 • 45 min
We listen back to the story of Shane Correia and get an update from him. Shane’s life has been mostly chaos — from domestic violence, to a murder conviction in his family, to homelessness. But he’s had two constants: a folder and a turtle.
Call of the Void
Jun 28, 2018 • 26 min
When you’re in a high place, peering over a ledge or a drop off, do you ever get that super weird feeling that you should just…jump? This is a real scientific phenomenon. It has a name: The call of the void.
Axeman’s Jazz
Jun 21, 2018 • 30 min
A serial killer dubbed “The Axeman” terrorized New Orleans in 1918-1919. One day, the local paper published a letter he’d written saying that he would strike again on a particular night. The only thing that would spare you… was listening to jazz. We dive…
Still Breaking
Jun 14, 2018 • 35 min
Redditors discover a massive online conspiracy. A man risks life, limb and the ire of morning motorists to protect the ideal of a free and open internet.
The Rest… Is History
Jun 7, 2018 • 31 min
Every relationship has a story. Samantha and Laura’s is extraordinary. In recognition of Pride month, we bring you a story of love in transition.
I, Ken Bone
May 31, 2018 • 24 min
We talk to the man, the meme, the legend: Ken Bone. What happens to a meme deterred? We find out.
In Memoriam
May 24, 2018 • 26 min
Death: It comes for all of us, eventually. This week we bring you two tales from Reddit about the Grim Reaper himself. One involves gravestones; the other, a “natural” way to think about burial.
Rice Bunny
May 17, 2018 • 25 min
How Chinese #MeToo activists are keeping the movement alive, despite government censorship.
Bonus: Yanny Vs. Laurel… Vs. Yaley?
May 16, 2018 • 16 min
We bring you a bonus episode that takes on the “Yanny vs. Laurel” debate that’s dividing the Internet.
Schooled
May 10, 2018 • 23 min
It’s May, which means most of the kids in school right now are thinking about the summer. And to celebrate, we’ve got two stories about some rather unfortunate school mishaps.
Hail Corporate
May 3, 2018 • 24 min
A man makes a terrible sculpture of his girlfriend…out of Soylent. (Guess what…”they are now separate.”) He then makes a flyer to try to give that sculpture away. The flyer goes viral. Why-oh-why did he do it? We find out.
That Old Chestnut
Apr 26, 2018 • 31 min
One of the nuttiest stories of near extinction and resurrection ever seen in the United States. It involves genetic engineering, warring factions of tree enthusiasts, and a mysterious, destructive power that started at the Bronx Zoo.
Busted
Apr 19, 2018 • 25 min
Weed, dope, kush, reefer — whatever you call it, marijuana is quickly becoming legal across the country. It’s also bringing people together, on Reddit.
Mission Improbable
Apr 12, 2018 • 27 min
What do you do when you’re about to fly home from Japan and you realize you’ve left your passport in your hotel 300 miles away? Or when you’re looking for pals to run with you from England to Italy? Post to Reddit, of course.
Fun Guy
Apr 5, 2018 • 23 min
A lab at the University of Oklahoma wants your dirt — really. A viral post on Reddit brought awareness to this fascinating program, which studies fungi from soil samples from around the country with the hopes of discovering new disease-curing medicines.
Pitch Perfect
Mar 29, 2018 • 19 min
With spring finally here and the MLB’s opening day upon us, we’re talkin’ baseball — the funny, the memorable, the peanuts, the hot dogs.
Bill Hader Talks ‘Barry,’ Reddit And Why He’s So Popular Online
Mar 22, 2018 • 20 min
Funnyman Bill Hader has a new show, “Barry,” about a depressed hitman who heads to Los Angeles for a job, and ends up taking acting classes. He talks about his career as a comedian and how his stage fright helped inspire the world behind “Barry.”
Dirty 6th
Mar 15, 2018 • 21 min
Excerpts from Amory and Ben’s live AMA at SXSW, plus their conversation with Reddit CEO Steve Huffman.
Something Wicked
Mar 8, 2018 • 27 min
We dive into a famous Reddit mystery involving creepy post-it notes, an iffy landlord, and a stranger who saves the day.
There Was An Attempt
Mar 2, 2018 • 27 min
A small village in upstate New York faced a lot of criticism about its official seal. They decided to change it, but did it really make a difference? You might say… there was an attempt.
The GOAT
Feb 22, 2018 • 27 min
The Italian cyclist Gino Bartali could rightfully be called “the GOAT” — the Greatest of All Time — for his athletic achievements alone. But in this episode, we tip our hats to him as a humanitarian. During World War II, Bartali was living a double life.…
Kickin’ It
Feb 15, 2018 • 35 min
More than 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Alex from Brockport, New York, is determined not to be one of them. He’s currently 5 months clean, after using heroin for 5 years, and Reddit is one of several resources that helped him get…
Gator Roll
Feb 8, 2018 • 25 min
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Endless Thread brings you three love stories brought to you straight from Reddit. You’re not crying, your eyes are just sweating.
And… It’s Good!
Feb 1, 2018 • 35 min
Hey football fans, ever heard of the Chicago Bears Principle? How about Winter Magic? Or the UFL? In this Super Bowl-themed episode, Redditors educate us on the stats, the halftime history books, and tackle football on wheels.
Introducing Edge of Fame (and Norm Macdonald AMA)
Jan 26, 2018 • 5 min
Check out a new podcast from WBUR and the Washington Post called Edge of Fame.
The Vault
Jan 25, 2018 • 23 min
This week, Endless Thread goes underground and back in time — into what just might be the most important vault in the world. What’s inside that vault? A treasure that originates with a Russian scientist during World War II.
Getting Home
Jan 18, 2018 • 35 min
When there was chaos in his life, Shane Correia had one constant — his folder.
No No No No Yes
Jan 11, 2018 • 27 min
In the first episode of Endless Thread, we bring you two stories of two incredible near-misses.
A First Listen
Dec 4, 2017 • 2 min
This audio trailer offers you a preview of the upcoming season of “Endless Thread,” a new podcast by WBUR and Reddit.