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Every Little Thing
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Every Little Thing

Author: Gimlet

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Who invented pants? How did ‘pink for girls’ and ‘blue for boys’ happen? What do dogs say when they bark? ELT is here to answer your burning questions. 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. Every Little Thing is produced by Gimlet Media and hosted by Flora Lichtman.

100 Episodes
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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 during the pandemic. Thanks to Jacob, Megan, Ian, Lucy, Tamasha, Justin, Kaleb, Jane, Dawn, Rob, and everyone who called in to tell us how their jobs and lives have changed. And a gigantic thank you to everyone risking their own health to keep the rest of us safe.
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.
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 Elizabeth is. Plus, we right a #noboe wrong. Thanks to caller Elizabeth. Guests: Daren Gill, director of product at Spotify; human-robot interaction researcher Leila Takayama; oboe player Marcus Phillips.
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 and conductor Rob Kapilow. Special thanks to Nathan Cole and danke schön to caller Laszlo. Correction: This episode has been updated to replace the #noboe music with oboe music. Additional thanks to Marcus Phillips for helping us right this wrong.
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 when he went under the knife? Guests: Flamingo expert Felicity Arengo and anesthetist Kate Leslie. Thanks to caller Paul.
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

Meet the Scrunchie Queen

2020-02-1022:141

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.
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.
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 tells us which of your submissions have the best chance of making it into the big book. Guest: former Merriam-Webster Dictionary editor Kory Stamper. Thanks to everyone who called in with a word.
Caveman Confidential

Caveman Confidential

2020-01-1321:11

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 to caller Lauren, and to historian Matthew Goodrum.
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 College; Jason Torchinsky, senior editor at Jalopnik. Thanks to callers Mattie, Toku, Piper, Aviv, Meghan, Anna, Liz, Kathi and Carl.
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. Special thanks to Shannon for venturing outside of her palate’s comfort zone.
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 Natalie Bowling, Melita Giummarra, Helena Hartmann, Marina López-Solà, Bridget Rubenking, Jamie Ward, Scott Vrana, and Jamil Zaki. May your cheeks be ever free — hashtag booboobottom.
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.
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 Mythconceptions. Thanks to twins Kelly and Kristina, Reply All’s Phia Bennin, and everyone who called with twin questions.
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 Amy Sedaris; Jim Correll, plant pathologist, University of Arkansas; geologist and sinkhole expert David Wilshaw. Thanks to callers Anthony, Eddie and Maria.
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, retired park ranger, Lake Tawakoni State Park, Texas; Linda Rayor, arachnologist at Cornell University. Thanks to caller Steven.
Grand Theft Water Lily

Grand Theft Water Lily

2019-10-1424:172

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. Nick Johnson, horticultural manager of Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, Grand Cayman. Thanks to caller Carl.
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 the Modern Manicure; Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, co-founder and Brand Ambassador of OPI Products Inc., and author of I’m Not Really a Waitress; chemical ecologist Kevin Cloonan, Acadia University, Nova Scotia, Canada.  Thanks to caller Olivia and all the callers who shared their gnat knowledge.
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 science Pierre Lagrange; Kentucky resident Bill Thomas; literature professor Roger Luckhurst. Special thanks to caller Willie. Thanks also to Sarah Scoles and Geraldine Sutton Stith.
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Comments (85)

Rebecca MA

Oh please please tell us about the voice at the end of each episode!!!

Mar 16th
Reply

Emblem B

arms and core

Mar 13th
Reply

Em Webb

Emily in the drugs on screen episode...THE WORST VOCAL FRY I HAVE EVER HEARD.

Feb 7th
Reply

Jeremy Varo-Haub

The opposite of “inept” is “adept,” as much as I like the idea of “ept.”

Jan 22nd
Reply

my.android. Mfz

this is awesome

Jan 14th
Reply (1)

Heather McNamee Rensel

corn is actually a vegetable/grain/fruit all at the same time. #isitavegetable #isitafruit #isitagrain #elt

Dec 17th
Reply (1)

Denise Stong

What is worse than plastic chairs? The iron hard chairs at one of our local restaurants which fall apart and are the epitome of discomfort.

Dec 11th
Reply (1)

Spirit Siphon

lol yep I get it in my butt and calves

Dec 10th
Reply (1)

Heather McNamee Rensel

I felt it in my chest.

Dec 10th
Reply (1)

Sharlene John

How touching! What a sweet episode ☺️💖

Oct 23rd
Reply (1)

Braden James Connars

If you don't dig this Cast- You're not paying attention.

Sep 19th
Reply

phxflurry

awesome episode ❤ thank you ELT

Sep 18th
Reply

Carolyn Hochlowski

So wonderful!!!

Sep 14th
Reply

Candice Tumey

Beautiful episode Flora!

Sep 10th
Reply

Matthew Donald

Omg this was so sweet I totally cried

Sep 9th
Reply

Andrzej Bogdanowicz

So far I knew only Homecoming and Sandra, but I see that Gimlet has more great shows to offer. Really enjoyed this one, thanks!

Sep 5th
Reply

Erica Allbright

This one made me really emotional... hearing the crickets chirping, how amazing nature is and how programmed it is naturally to be in their environment exactly like us, just wow... not sure if that made sense but it made sense when I thought it. Loved hearing the interviews afterwards... Beautiful content.

Aug 25th
Reply

Erica Allbright

Okay... did NOT know flamingos were this badass... although I feel like they're so mainstream these days which is annoying becos ppl just think they're cute and have no idea of their potential... anyway, other mascots people need to consider are The Emperor Moth; can smell a mate from seven miles away? Ready to pounce much? Or a Box Jellyfish!? Extremely toxic stings are fatal to humans attacking the entire nervous system and the heart, they HUNT for their food, always on the prowl, can get up to 6 ft. tall, I mean c'mon... and what would be cooler than the way the mascot would actually look? All those tentacles (lol). Great thinking content, ELT, keep goin 🤙

Aug 25th
Reply (1)

Erica Allbright

I've been listening to these ALL day long and my mom was actually listening from the other room and this one FREAKED. US. OUT. Personal research was conducted to further freak us out and then I commenced to wash my face and exfoliate it.... still felt itchy *all in my head* AMAZING content, I absolutely love this channel!!!! You guys ROCK!! Also, if anyone sees this comment and knows who Christine Driscoll is, I'd love to see a picture of her because her voice is similar to someone I saw on a BuzzFeed video and would love to know if this is the same lady! Much love, ELT 🤙🧠🎙⚛

Aug 25th
Reply

Jennifer Jones

Another way to get rid of earworms (for me anyway) is by listening to the song from start to finish. Mine tend to be triggered by cutting out in the middle of the song.

Aug 20th
Reply
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