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Endless Thread

WBUR

Hosts Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson dig into the internet's vast and curious ecosystem of online communities to find untold histories, unsolved mysteries, and other jaw-dropping stories online and IRL.

Hosts Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson dig into the internet's vast and curious ecosystem of online communities to find untold histories, unsolved mysteries, and other jaw-dropping stories online and IRL.

Location:

Boston, MA

Networks:

WBUR

Description:

Hosts Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson dig into the internet's vast and curious ecosystem of online communities to find untold histories, unsolved mysteries, and other jaw-dropping stories online and IRL.

Language:

English

Contact:

6172714444


Episodes

Encore: Shrinkflation

11/25/2022
From the supermarket to the housing market, products are getting smaller but prices are not. Why is this happening? And can it be stopped before the toilet paper roll disappears right before our very… reaching hands? In this encore episode, we're talking all things shrinkflation. This episode was originally released on June 26, 2020.

Duration:00:30:21

Good Bot, Bad Bot | Part III: Life, death and AI

11/18/2022
Next up in our bots series, we explore a growing field of AI: immortalizing the dead through predictive AI text. We talk to two individuals who utilized this tech in different ways, and discuss how these bots can help us improve our understanding of grief. ****** Credits: This episode was written and produced by Megan Cattel. Mixing and sound design by Paul Vaitkus. Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson are the co-hosts.

Duration:00:35:28

Good Bot, Bad Bot | Part II: Political Bots

11/11/2022
Next in our series Good Bot, Bad Bot: the possibilities of bots being used in governments around the world. How can bots increase transparency and shine a light on corruption, such as insider trading, among our elected officials? Will bots be put on the ballot in the near future? We go into all of this and more in this installment of Good Bot, Bad Bot. ****** Credits: This episode was written and produced by Grace Tatter. Mixing and sound design by Paul Vaitkus. Ben Brock Johnson and Amory...

Duration:00:30:17

Good Bot, Bad Bot | Part I: Bot Therapy

11/4/2022
For the next few weeks, the Endless Thread team will be sharing stories all about the rise of bots. How are these pieces of software influencing our daily lives in sneaky, surprising ways? First up, our co-hosts delve into the history of ELIZA, the world's first chatbot therapist. Why did this computer's creator have a lot of complicated feelings about the development of AI? We also contemplate the bigger question: can AI help us cope with mental health issues? ****** Credits: This episode...

Duration:00:32:55

Encore: Haunted House, Holy Water

10/31/2022
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. This episode was originally released on October 05, 2018.

Duration:00:26:37

Encore: Olga of Kiev

10/28/2022
Olga of Kiev executed one of the most bone-chilling revenge tours in history after her husband, Igor, was murdered. Then, with a burning city in her wake, she converted to Christianity and became a saint. This episode was originally released on October 18, 2019.

Duration:00:30:36

Encore: Imaginary Friend

10/27/2022
When Kellie's 3 year-old daughter told her about her new imaginary friend, Kellum, she didn't think too much of it. But gradually, Kellum started to feel less and less... imaginary. Kellie and her daughter, Madison, tell us everything. This episode was originally released on October 30, 2019.

Duration:00:27:52

Anti-fans, online hate, and Caroline Calloway

10/21/2022
This week, we investigate the rise and fall of online influencer Caroline Calloway and the bigger question: Why do some people love to hate? ****** Credits: This episode was written and produced by Grace Tatter. Mixing and sound design by Emily Jankowski. Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson are the co-hosts.

Duration:00:45:33

Lazy Geoff

10/14/2022
A Twitter thread about a fox named “Lazy Geoff” drew the attention of thousands online. But can a fox really be lazy? Our search for an answer revealed a surprising shift in how humans understand animals and, maybe, the fate of nature. ****** Credits: This episode was written and produced by Dean Russell and Ben Brock Johnson. Sound design by Emily Jankowski. Ben Brock Johnson and Dean Russell are the co-hosts.

Duration:00:33:25

Tales from the Crypto | Listener Response: Crypto in the Gaming World

10/7/2022
An Endless Thread listener sends their response to our Tales from the Crypto series. They make the case that crypto and NFTs could improve the video game industry. Ben and Amory also give their final thoughts and reflections on Tales from the Crypto. ****** Credits: This episode was written and produced by Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson. Mixing and sound design by Paul Vaitkus. Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson are the co-hosts.

Tales from the Crypto | Part III: Crypto for Kids

9/30/2022
In the final installment of our Tales from the Crypto series, Endless Thread producer Nora Saks and co-host Ben Brock Johnson talk to kids — and parents — who are going cuckoo for cryptocurrency. ****** Credits: This episode was written and produced by Nora Saks. Mixing and sound design by Paul Vaitkus. Ben Brock Johnson and Nora Saks are the co-hosts.

Duration:00:37:48

Tales from the Crypto | Part II: Bitcoin Beach

9/23/2022
One year ago, El Salvador made Bitcoin legal tender — the first nation in the world to do so. But how did Bitcoin make its way into this Latin American country? It all started in the coastal town of El Zonte, which earned the nickname 'Bitcoin Beach' after being flushed with the cryptocurrency thanks to a mysterious donor. In the second part of our mini-series, Tales from the Crypto, we take a dive into the key players (and controversies) of El Salvador's Bitcoin journey. ****** Credits:...

Duration:00:38:48

Tales from the Crypto | Part I: The Hype

9/16/2022
In this first installment of our cryptocurrency mini-series, co-hosts Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson dive into a viral tweet about NFTs aiding Ukrainians with the war effort against Russia, as well as plans for a crypto island paradise that was never meant to be. ****** Credits: This episode was written and produced by Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson. Mixing and sound design by Paul Vaitkus. Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson are the co-hosts.

Duration:00:32:37

Enigma in Sweatpants

9/9/2022
Endless Thread producer Quincy Walters profiles IG Bum, a mischeivous online content creator who has achieved viral stardom. But who is IG Bum when the cameras stop rolling? ****** Credits: This episode was written and produced by Quincy Walters. Mixing and sound design by Emily Jankowski. Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson are the co-hosts.

Duration:00:41:36

Swimming Hole: The man, the myth, the leap

9/2/2022
In this end-of-summer episode of Endless Thread, Ben and Amory take a leap of faith (or do they?) to the depths of an upstate New York swimming hole with a legend surrounding it that's almost as shadowy as exact it's location. ****** Credits: This episode was written and produced by Ben Brock Johnson. Mixing and sound design by Paul Vaitkus. Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson are the co-hosts.

Duration:00:42:59

Encore: Ghost Town

8/26/2022
In the summer of 2018, Brent Underwood got a text in the middle of the night from a friend saying, "Look at this ghost town for sale!" Within a month, Brent had purchased Cerro Gordo, California, an abandoned silver mining town, with the help of friends and investors. He wants to revive the town for visitors while preserving its history. He's already faced some major setbacks -- from the lack of running water, to getting snowed in there during a global pandemic. But he calls Cerro Gordo his...

Duration:00:32:23

Don't Do That

8/19/2022
You shouldn't do it. But then you do, and it turns out great. Two stories of rule-breaking's good side: A college senior prank emails to his entire school, and wild monkeys take residence in a Florida parking lot. ****** Credits: This episode was written and produced by Ben Brock Johnson, Dean Russell, and Kristin Torres. Mixing and sound design by Paul Vaitkus. Ben Brock Johnson and Dean Russell are the co-hosts.

Duration:00:33:37

Jokes, Part II: Stand Up

8/12/2022
The first documented bar joke was copied onto a clay tablet 4,000 years ago in the ancient language of Sumerian. Scholars have translated it, but the meaning remains lost. After the Twitter account @DepthsOfWiki posted the joke in March, thousands of people attempted to decipher it to no avail. Yet, as cryptic as the bar joke may be, it offers clues into humor’s role in human civilizations and raises questions about when humor — and its sibling laughter — first emerged. In this episode,...

Duration:00:39:45

Jokes, Part I: Sumer Funny, Sumer Not

8/5/2022
What makes the world’s first documented bar joke funny? No one knows. In a tweet that garnered thousands of responses in March, the Twitter account @DepthsOfWiki posted about a 4,000-year-old proverb written on a clay tablet. The line, which experts believe is a joke from the ancient civilization of Sumer, starts with the set-up, “A dog walks into a tavern.” But the punchline has left scholars and online commenters scratching their heads. The joke’s meaning has been lost, and finding it...

Duration:00:35:13

Alyssa

7/29/2022
When a Reddit post about constant “locker room talk” in a male-dominated office gained traction in the r/TwoXChromosomes subreddit, Ben and Amory invite the OP to talk about the story behind her post. This episode discusses sexual assault from 23:48 to 25:15. Please listen with care. ****** Credits: This episode was written and produced by Megan Cattel. Mixing and sound design by Emily Jankowski. Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson are the co-hosts.

Duration:00:39:15