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Endless Thread

Author: WBUR and Reddit

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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 thousand communities to find all kinds of jaw-dropping narratives. A collaboration between WBUR and Reddit.
150 Episodes
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Niall Needs A Friend

Niall Needs A Friend

2020-11-1938:183

A month ago, we received an email that really caught our attention. It was from a listener in Ireland named Niall, who has been feeling isolated during the pandemic. He was wondering if we could help him make some new friends. So... the Endless Thread team got to work.
Today You, Tomorrow Me

Today You, Tomorrow Me

2020-11-1323:563

10 years ago, Justin found himself on the side of the road with a blown out tire. Hours went by and no one stopped to help. But just as he was about to give up, something happened that changed Justin forever.
Low Stakes Hot Takes

Low Stakes Hot Takes

2020-11-0628:223

We all have that one opinion — that firmly held, low stakes, non-political belief. You know the one. It's usually met with (low stakes) outrage whenever you dare to say it out loud. Well, we asked you, our listeners, to share your low stakes hot takes with us and, oh boy, did you deliver.
Ben and Amory swap terrifying tales from Reddit, featuring an uninvited house guest and a doctor with an unusual fetish. Happy Halloween!
Bonus: 'Brainwashed'

Bonus: 'Brainwashed'

2020-10-2826:15

This past Spring, Endless Thread released a series called “Madness: The Secret Mission for Mind Control and the People Who Paid the Price.” If you missed it, you should go back and listen! A new series from CBC Podcasts, "Brainwashed," offers fresh perspective on the same topic: a powerful doctor who conducted disturbing, CIA-funded mind-control experiments on patients at a prestigious psychiatric hospital in Montreal. We recently talked to the host of "Brainwashed," Michelle Shepherd, for this bonus episode. We wanted to compare notes with another reporter who has gone deep on this story and swap takeaways.
Things Are Bad

Things Are Bad

2020-10-2233:075

With increasing political divide and heightened civil unrest in the United States, many fear that it will culminate in a second civil war. We explore the likelihood of that scenario and hear from someone who thinks America is already in the midst of collapse.
In the spirit of Halloween, the Endless Thread team shares spooky stories from Reddit, including the origins of a classic horror movie SFX, the creepy world of r/backrooms, and the mystery surrounding three photos found on someone’s phone.
Girls Trip

Girls Trip

2020-10-0926:574

Randi-Lynn thought she was going on a relaxing family vacation to the mountains. Just a few days later, she was hiding in a bathroom and frantically posting on Reddit, asking for help. The headline of her post? "I think I was brought on a girls trip to be brainwashed." 
QAnon Casualties

QAnon Casualties

2020-10-0231:275

For nearly two years, a Redditor named Jitarth Jadeja got deep into QAnon, the Far Right conspiracy theory founded on the idea that President Trump is secretly waging war against a satanic cabal of pedophiles who control the world. “I was kind of an addict… All I could talk about was Q,” Jitarth says. But then, all of a sudden he had a (re)awakening: “That was the moment that I realized it was all garbage.” In this episode, we trace Jitarth’s journey into and, ultimately, out of, QAnon.  Background: QAnon originated as a fringe online conspiracy theory born in the aftermath of the 2016 election. Since then, it has grown in influence and keeps creeping further into mainstream consciousness. It’s come up in recent White House press briefings and there are current congressional candidates promoting QAnon messages. Q followers have also been linked to murders, armed stand-offs, and kidnappings.
Spiders... even the word is unsettling for some of us. But the r/spiderbro community on Reddit is a place where you just might gain a new appreciation for arachnids -- from the petite and unassuming, to the big and hairy.
Unsent Letters

Unsent Letters

2020-09-1731:395

The unsent letter. We all have one, half-composed in our heads or fully-formed as an email draft. If you’re really poetic, it might be on a piece of paper, yellowing in a drawer. Whatever form these letters take, they go unsent because they might be better left unsent... or because we wouldn’t know how to send them even if we wanted to.  But there's a place online where these letters find an audience -- a big one. The "Unsent Letters" community on Reddit has over 350,000 members. In this episode, you'll hear from people who wrote letters addressing pet owners, COVID+ patients, bakery workers, bugs killed in the shower, and so much more. 
Snacktime: Odd Jobs

Snacktime: Odd Jobs

2020-09-1017:182

Do people say, "That's a thing??," when you tell them what you do for a living? Then you probably have an odd job. This week, Endless Thread tips its hat to you as we discuss the odd jobs of Redditors. 
Tight Squeeze

Tight Squeeze

2020-09-0333:573

You might not think about caves in the same breath as you do the deep ocean or outer space, but you probably should. There are approximately 70,000 caves in the United States alone, but the vast majority are inaccessible to the public. That means rare, delicate ecosystems have developed for tens of thousands of years in complete isolation from human contact. That is, until cavers travel deep underground through impossibly small spaces to find them. Join the Endless Thread team as we dive into the claustrophobia-inducing world of caving.
Snacktime: Dad Jokes

Snacktime: Dad Jokes

2020-08-2824:277

The spotlight is on r/DadJokes, which -- you guessed it -- is home to the most pun-derful, cheesy-but-lovable comedic material the internet has to offer. Starring the experts: Ben & Amory's DADS!
Angel's Glow

Angel's Glow

2020-08-2130:253

There's a Civil War legend that dates back to April of 1862, in the aftermath of the Battle of Shiloh. Supposedly, when night fell on thousands of wounded soldiers stranded on the battlefield, something strange happened. Some of their wounds started to glow.  Stranger still, those with glowing wounds seemed to have better rates of survival. Stories of this so-called "Angel's Glow" have echoed through history. But it wasn't until 2001, when a teenage Civil War buff embarked on a science project, that anyone found any answers.
Author John Boyne and Jeff the zebra plant take center stage in this edition of snacktime. Also, Ben and Amory realize they share an affinity for... melon ballers?
Ghost Town

Ghost Town

2020-08-0633:103

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 "life's work."
Ben, Amory, and Josh share some of the most memorable Reddit posts of late, from a "magical" parenting decision to a very bizarre business idea.
Randonauts

Randonauts

2020-07-2337:239

r/randonauts is a fast-growing community of Redditors who use random, quantum-generated coordinates to go on real-life adventures. But what happens when those random coordinates lead you straight to a grisly crime scene?
“What are the dimensions of an adult llama?” asked a Redditor called Mrs. Sam Handwich in the "No Stupid Questions" community. "I've been hired to make a tuxedo for a llama and I don't have its measurements," she added. We get to the bottom of this now-famous Reddit post. 
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Comments (59)

Victoria Hughes

I found this series from your interview with the makers of the Brainwashed podcast.

Nov 1st
Reply

Victoria Hughes

Good luck getting the current US administration to be accountable for anything. They aren't even holding themselves accountable for the pandemic.

Nov 1st
Reply

buffaloguy1991

check out "it could happen here" by Robert Evans as well. excellent mini series on the subject

Oct 23rd
Reply

Cindy R

this gave me great anxiety.

Sep 9th
Reply

Okamifan1 Productions

What a classic mystery... Well done podcast too.

Aug 17th
Reply

wanderluther

You hate Harry Potter?? 😡😠

Aug 11th
Reply

Bea Kiddo

It sounds to me that the Harry Potter kid knows she’s not a witch and the parents need to face reality. As huge fan of the Harry Potter stories, I know that kid is smarter than her parents. They need to lay off the poly juice potion 😉and let their kid do and be the good that comes from the Harry Potter stories but without the stories now.

Aug 1st
Reply

Bea Kiddo

It sounds to me that the Harry Potter kid knows she’s not a witch and the parents need to face reality. As huge fan of the Harry Potter stories, I know that kid is smarter than her parents. They need to lay off the poly juice potion 😉and let their kid do and be the good that comes from the Harry Potter stories but without the stories now. ✌🏻

Aug 1st
Reply

Bea Kiddo

It sounds to me that the Harry Potter kid knows she’s not a witch and the parents need to face reality. As huge fan of the Harry Potter stories, I know that kid is smarter than her parents. They need to lay off the poly juice potion 😉and let their kid do and be the good that comes from the Harry Potter stories but without the stories now. ✌🏻

Aug 1st
Reply

Bea Kiddo

It sounds to me that the Harry Potter kid knows she’s not a witch and the parents need to face reality. As huge fan of the Harry Potter stories, I know that kid is smarter than her parents. They need to lay off the poly juice potion 😉and let their kid do and be the good that comes from the Harry Potter stories but without the stories now. ✌🏻

Aug 1st
Reply

ellen cox

Thought this would be an especially interesting series since I'm listening to this during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic... I appreciate the hosts' presenting the myriad views associated with vaccinations... As a parent with an immunocompromised child, I get *intensely frustrated* 😬 when folks refuse to make choices (e.g., wearing a facemask in 2020) that ultimately benefit the community as a whole. I find these refusals to be, at best, disappointing, but also self-centered & repugnant because of the blatant disregard for the *impact* their actions could have on innocents...

Aug 1st
Reply

Nellie Fly

impressive, eh? 🤙👼

May 7th
Reply

Jonella DeLimas

I completely disagree with the scientist's analysis of the thought process or desire to jump from a high place. Why wouldn't it just be something that is more instinctual based on our evolution? Why would people stand at a high place and get the alarm that there in danger, step back and then go to the process of thinking why did I step back oh it must have been because I wanted to jump that's ludicrous and that unscientific. Jung spoke about the shadow. Reach further, dig deeper.

Mar 18th
Reply

Alissa Maxwell

I just discovered this pod, this week. I've been bingeing and learning so much. Last Seen brought me here. Observation: Amory is a puzzle. She has the buttery voice of a Disney voice over talent, the wit of an old soul, yet she doesn't understand basic pop culture references from as recently as the late 90s, so my assumption is she's very young.

Mar 9th
Reply

Christopher Band

Not listening to something made by a Disney.

Dec 1st
Reply

Mike B

"hate speech" aka stuff that hurts your fragile feelings...

Nov 10th
Reply

Chris Matz

Thank you guys for your hard work! That was amaz ing!

Aug 23rd
Reply

Ryan O

Snack time in the woods , final sound is a modified car audio system, they do competitions for who can get the highest decibels for like 1.5 secs

Aug 17th
Reply

Mae Lee Arant

gop bought and sold

Jul 23rd
Reply (1)

Mae Lee Arant

he voted for trump. the "overall" comment washed away a myriad of sins

Jul 23rd
Reply (1)
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