The internet, but shorter.

The internet, but shorter.
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The internet, but shorter.




#49 - Do URL Believe in Magic?

What happens when you buy a magic spell on Etsy? Writer Jaya Saxena and her husband Matt Lubchansky recently tested one witch's wares, and they talk to TLDR about being careful what you wish for. Plus, TLDR hires our own spellcaster, a mystic named Melenia O'Breasal, to talk about how a person comes to cast spells, where all that incense comes from, and the difference between peddling magic online and off. To read Jaya's original Daily Dot piece, click here. To check out Melenia's Etsy...


#47 -

CJ Philips and Charlie Rainwater bought back in 2008 -- but not because they're hugeBush fans or want to sell the address at a markup. With the 2016 election approaching, the pair have launched the site as a place for discussion, with a focus the URL might not suggest. This week, CJ and Charlie tell TLDR about what inspired their initial purchase, their plans for, and what a CJ and Charlie presidency would look like. To join the discussion at...


#46 - Episode 45 Redux

The last episode of TLDRwas titled "Quiet, Wadhwa." It concerned a man named Vivek Wadhwa, but we did not ask him for comment. The episode was later removed. This week welook at the controversy we've become a part of and our role in it. To read Amelia Greenhall's original blog post, titled "Quiet, Ladies. @wadhwa is speaking," click here. To read Greenhall's post-podcast removal follow up, titled "I wrote about Vivek Wadhwa and you'll never guess what happened next!," click here. To read...



"Sweepers" are people who spend their free time entering hundreds of online sweepstakes -- the contests most of us skip because we're sure they're all scams. It turns out, we're wrong. Some people win big. Sandra Grauschopf is's Contests and Sweepstakes Expert. You can visit her website,,to learn all you need to know about sweepstakes, and to check out what other sweepers have to say in’s contests and sweepstakes forums. You can order Don Cruz's...


#41 - Tell Me How To Live My Life

Susan Miller, proprietor of Astrology Zone, is the biggest name in internet astrology. Her fans are many and devoted, and among them areboth Meredith and Laura Mayer (this week's co-investigator). This week marks Miller's 19th year reading the stars online. Meredith and Laura look into her enduring appeal with the help of Emily Gould, Jon Methven, and Kate McKean. Thanks for listening. Emily, Jon, and Kateare all on Twitter. If you like our show,please subscribe and review us on iTunes, or...


#39 - Little Sh*ts

For the past three yearsAlanah Pearcehas been reviewing video games on YouTube. Like other women doing just about anything publicly online, she gets harassed, and in the pastshe just hasn'treplied. But recently Alanah got fed up with not responding at all, anddid some digging, which led her toa whole new way to deal with her harassers. Thanks for listening. You can check out Alanah's video game reviewson YouTube. If you like our show,please subscribe on iTunes, or wherever you get your...


#36 - The Mystery of Childish Gambino

Rapper Childish Gambino (A.K.A actor Donald Glover) famously claims to have received his rap pseudonym, "Childish Gambino," from an online Wu-Tang Name generator. Butinvestigatingwhether this story istrue or not led TLDR host Alex Goldman on an odyssey of discovery. Thanks for listening! If you want to receive your own Wu-Tang name, check outthe original Wu-Tang Name Generator here, andthe other wu-tang name generator here. You can read Tim Carmody's article about the mystery of Childish...


#35 - Stolen Pictures

This week, hackers stole and published naked photos of female celebrities.Forbes reporter Kashmir Hillhas covered stories like this before, but she says that this latest example has completely changed her mind about who to blame for these thefts and how to prevent them. Thanks for listening. If you like our show,please subscribe to us on iTunes.You canfollow PJandAlexandTLDRon Twitter.


#34 - The Accidental Outing of Rwanda's Most Powerful Troll

Steve Terrill is a journalist who works in Rwanda. Or at least he worked in Rwanda, until heaccidentallygot the office of Rwanda's president Paul Kagame to implicate itself in a long-running online harassment campaign. Alex talks to Steve about inadvertently exposing the Rwandan government's most prolific troll, and being banned from the country as a result. Thanks for listening. If you like our show,please subscribe to us on iTunes. Steve Terrill aggregates stories about Rwanda on his...


#33 - Unfollow A Man

A few weeks ago, writerKatie Notopoulos created a holiday called Unfollow a Man Day, wherein everyone (women and men) wasencouraged to Unfollow a Man on social media. Men's rights activists were enraged, cable news was intrigued, and a lot of people felt quiet relief. This week PJ talks to Katie about her mission and her manifesto. Thanks for listening. Katie wrote about her experience of Twitter without men, and about #UnfollowAMan, here.If you like our show,please subscribe to us on...


#32 - An Imperfect Match

This week, dating siteOK Cupid put upa blog postdescribing experiments it conducted on its users.In one experiment, the site told users who were bad matches for one another that they were actually good matches, and vice versa. Alex and PJ talk to OK Cupid President and co-founder Christian Rudder about the ubiquity of online user experimentation and his defense of potentially sending OK Cupid's users on bad dates. Thanks for listening. If you like our show,please subscribe to us on iTunes....


#31 - Race Swap

Whether you think the internet is a great or terrible place is partly a reflection of which parts of the internet you choose to visit. It's also a reflection of who you are, and how people online react to you. Mikki Kendall is a writer who deals with an extraordinary amount of trolling and vitriol online. Mikki is a black woman in real life, and she created an experiment to see how her online life would change if she were a white man. Thanks for listening. If you like our show,please...


#30 - The Russian Troll Army

Last month, documents surfaced that showed a company called the Internet Research Agency was paying people in Russia to go to an office and post pro-Kremlin comments all day. Alex talks to Buzzfeed's Max Seddonabout why they do it, and how successful they actually are at swaying public opinion. Thanks for listening. If you like our show,please subscribe to us on iTunes. Or you canfollow PJandAlexandandTLDRon Twitter.


#29 - Olivia Taters, Robot Teenager

Rob Dubbin accidentally built a teenage girl named Olivia Taters who lives on the internet. She may not always communicate in complete sentences, but she's convincing enough that teenagers actually converse with her. Also, she's very, very funny. PJ talks to Dubbin about how Olivia came into existence, and what she's been talking about lately. Thanks for listening. If you like our show,please subscribe to us on iTunes. Or you canfollow PJandAlexand Olivia Taters andTLDRon Twitter.


#28 - No Trail

In February of this year, Philip Welsh of Silver Spring, Maryland, was murdered. His murder remains unsolved, largely because he didn't use the internet, and left no digital trail. Alex talks to Philip's family and reporter Dan Morse about the case. Thanks for listening. If you like our show,please subscribe to us on iTunes. Or you canfollow PJandAlexandTLDRon Twitter. If you'd like to hear more of Josh Welsh's band Meatyard, they're on iTunes, Spotify, and SoundCloud. And if you have any...


#27 - How Google is Killing the Best Site On the Internet

A couple weeks ago, Matt Haughey, the founder of TLDR's favorite website, Metafilter, announced that his website is dying. And he says it's because Google algorithmically stopped directing traffic to the site over a year ago. Alex tries to figure out what you do when Google's algorithm decides it no longer likes you. Thanks for listening.If you like our show, please subscribe to us on iTunes.Or you canfollow PJandAlexandTLDR on Twitter.


#26 - A Gold Bottle of Champagne The Size of An Adult Human Man

Most people use social networks to present themselves as happier than they really are - it's hard to get an honest read on anyone. But writer Charlie Warzel believes there's a secret method you can use to find out how someone is actually feeling online. On TLDR this week, we try to use Charlie's method to divine the secret heart of Drake, the rapper. Thanks for listening. Eric's tumblr, photos Drake liked, is here.Charlie writes about internet stuff here. If you like our show, please...


TLDR Public Service Announcement

Hello folks. This is not an episode. It is a short/urgent PSA. We've been getting reports of technical issues from TLDR fans. Apparently some people are accidentally following Alex Goldman on Twitter and then being deluged with a torrent of awful tweets about cats and boring cultural ephemera. This piece of audio includes steps for troubleshooting this problem, as well as musical accompaniment from Matt Farley.


#25 - Monsters

Kim Correa loves the online game DayZ, which lets you interact with other humans during a zombie apocalypse. DayZ's appeal is that it allows weird, spontaneous interactions between players. It also allows really terrible ones. Kim talks about her experience of being raped in a virtual world -- something she doesn't quite know what to do with. We also talk to writer Julian Dibbel, who wrote about how one online community dealt with a virtual rape back in 1993. You can read Kim's essay about...


#24 - The Million Dollar Homepage

In 2005, Alex Tew was a 21-year-old entrepreneur who wanted to make a million dollars before college. The only problem was he had literally nothing of value to sell. So he made The Million Dollar Homepage-- possibly the most ambitiously garish website ever created. Thanks for listening. If you like our show,please subscribe to us on iTunes. Or you canfollow PJandAlexandTLDRon Twitter.