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Every Little Thing
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Every Little Thing

Author: Gimlet

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Why do we cry? Did cavemen really carry clubs? Can swearing make you stronger? On ELT, you call with a question, we find you an answer. Our helpline is open 24-7. Call 833-RING-ELT or send an audio message to

136 Episodes
It’s spring-cleaning time! To help get you in the mood, we’re dusting off an episode from our archive. Cleaning expert Jolie Kerr tells us when it’s OK to use your own saliva as a cleaning agent, and addresses some listener “cleanspiracies” like: Will vodka clean my clothes? For more cleaning tips, check out Jolie’s podcast Ask a Clean Person.
Listener Paige heard a rumor: we only breathe through one nostril. Can it be true? ELT gets an answer from someone in the nose — rhinologist Simon Gane. Plus, Science Vs. host Wendy Zukerman joins Flora for an important wombat-butt update.
Listener Malik wants to know how wolves became pugs, poodles, and chihuahuas. Zooarchaeologist Angela Perri digs up the answers. Special thanks to Michael Worboys.
Listener Charlotte has been rewatching “The Sopranos” and the punches keep hitting her ear. Why do Hollywood wallops sound so punched up? Foley artist and Emmy Award-winning sound editor Joanna Fang shares her punch recipe. Plus, do real-life investigators actually connect the dots with red string and thumbtacks? Retired FBI agent Jerri Williams solves the evidence-board mystery.
Listener Malenia wants to know how her favorite word game came to be. It turns out it took a while for Scrabble to score big. Stefan Fatsis, author of Word Freak, fills in the blanks. Plus, can you beat Flora's most embarrassing story?
We’re revisiting one of our favorite episodes this week. A few years ago, listener Annie asked ELT to settle a longstanding family debate: exactly how old is Winnie-the-Pooh? To hunt down an answer, we consult with professional age-guesser Ben Ramey, bear biologist Rae Wynn-Grant, and Sarah Shea, a professor who has studied this question.
Listener Taylor was making a medieval stew when she noticed a prominent ingredient was missing from the recipe: potatoes. Potato biologist Maria Scurrah and journalist Charles Mann explain the potato’s twisting route to stewpot domination. Special thanks to Graham Thiele, Bruce Owen, Alan Covey, and Gary Urton.
Listener Christina gets ruffled by a stiff breeze and wants to know if she’s alone in her wind rage. Atmospheric science historian Vladimir Jankovic introduces Christina to her people, and iconic couples therapist Esther Perel, host of “How’s Work” and “Where Should We Begin,” helps Christina rethink her relationship with the wind.
How are essential workers doing now? We check in with some of the essential workers we talked to back in April and hear what it’s been like to teach, fly on planes, ship packages, and drive a truck during a pandemic. Thanks to Rob, Justin, Tamasha, Lucy, Jacob, Kaleb, Ian, and Dawn.
How To Be Less Clumsy

How To Be Less Clumsy


Listener Gab is clumsy — white sweaters, stemmed wine glasses, and sharp edges are off the table. Can Gab learn to be less clumsy? Professional steady hand Bryan Berg and kinesiologist Priscila Tamplain share tips for foiling fumbles. Special thanks to Carl Gabbard and Michael Wade.
The Dirt on Houseplants

The Dirt on Houseplants


Attention all you #hortihotties, this week caller Esther asks about houseplants: When did we start keeping them, and has there ever been another houseplant heyday? Guests Catherine Horwood, author of Potted History, and Charlotte Salter-Townshend of the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin sift through the facts and expose the shady side of houseplant history.
This week, some comfort food. For a lot of us, the holidays won’t be the same this year. Instead of arguing around the table with our extended families, we’ll be stuck at home with a single-serving of mashed potatoes, face-timing the people we love. So we invited ourselves to your place. We asked you to tell us about a meal you can't forget. And you delivered. Your stories made us laugh, cry and get very hungry. Thanks to callers Margaret, Janae, Brandon, Johnny, Jameson, and Oz, and all of you who left us a message.
Flora’s sister Ruth claims last year’s jack-o’-lantern seeds sprouted... a litter of decorative gourds. ELT gets to the bottom of this pumper stumper. Plus, a spooky Face ID mystery, and a peek under the husk of corn mazes. Guests: professor of horticulture and pumpkin expert Steve Reiners; farmer and corn maze designer Angie Treinen.
Maybe it’s the spaghetti you ate sitting on the kitchen floor in your first real apartment. Or the congee your best friend made you when your heart got broken. Call and tell us the story about a home-cooked meal that you can’t forget. 833 RING ELT.
Caller Sadera has a burning question: When there’s a wildfire, how do we figure out what caused it? Fire investigator Paul Steensland tells ELT what he searches for in the burnt landscape, and the clues that can lead him to the cause.
Why Do We Cry?

Why Do We Cry?


Listener Lily called in about a crying shame: She thinks she cries too much. ELT investigates why we cry, and whether wet cheeks were once très chic. Ad Vingerhoets, crying researcher and clinical psychologist, and Tom Lutz, author of Crying: The Natural and Cultural History of Tears, talk through tears.
Caller Juanita wants to know if her cats are southpaws. ELT calls in animal behavior researcher Deborah Wells and neuroscientist Sebastian Ocklenburg for an answer. Plus, why would slugs ditch the shell? Biologist Robert Cowie fills us in.
After their dad served 4-year-old fish for dinner one night, listener Max wants to know how long you can safely keep food in the freezer. Food safety expert Haley Oliver serves up the juicy details. Plus, can tiny eyes see things we can’t? Spider expert Sebastian Echeverri takes us behind some of the most impressive peepers in the animal kingdom. Thanks to listener Miles. In the original version of this episode, we made an error about the types of light jumping spiders can see. All jumping spiders that have been studied are able to see UV and green light. Some species, including Oregon’s paradise jumping spider, can see red as well. We apologize for the error and have corrected it in this version of the show.
Listeners Marmie and Ryan have a quarantine quibble: How many times should you shuffle a deck of playing cards? Marmie says three, while Ryan says four or more. The couple place their bets and go all-in with applied mathematician Steven Strogatz and a full house of card-world VIPs.
ELT introduces How to Save a Planet, a new Gimlet Media podcast hosted by journalist Alex Blumberg and scientist and policy nerd Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson. How to Save a Planet asks the big questions: what do we need to do to solve the climate crisis, and how do we get it done?
Comments (106)

Erica Allbright

don't listen to this episode while eating your breakfast lol

Feb 26th


Cock-a-doodle- doo do

Feb 18th

Elina Dadkhah

perfect 😍🙌🏻

Jan 31st


Windred spirits... omg.

Dec 30th


I really really love the narrator/end credits voice at the end. the silly little things said at the end put a smile on my face.

Nov 23rd

Romina Yavari

Listening to this episode now (in the pandemic) is more like a joke. 😂 But seriously ... joking aside .. it was good to know that there IS a virus as dangerous as Corona virus. 🤦🏻‍♀️

Nov 21st

Romina Yavari

OMG! #EveryLittleThing is the first podcast I'm listening to. I mean ... ever ... first one ever! And I enjoyed it so much that I don't think any other podcast can live up to my standards anymore :D Enjoyed the "eclipse virgin" thing. Awesome :)))

Nov 20th

Marja Rautala

Would have loved to contribute a story, but no option for Skype or such other way to call from outside the US.

Nov 3rd
Reply (1)



Oct 30th

Ethan Liang

Nice "don't underestimate the flamingo" reference

Oct 27th

Tina S

I love this podcast! I love the host. She's funny, quirky, quick and smart. How do I submit a question??

Aug 22nd


why didn't they blep the name of the assistant I almost woke everyone up because they said "hey Google broadcast"

Aug 2nd

Brigette Borromeo

Okay, the song of the musician's band sounds BEAUTIFUL! I searched for them and you can find the song at YouTube entitled Beautiful life - The Collection!!

May 22nd

ch3rry bomber

you guys missed "wisdom wasted"

May 13th

Cynthia Wulff-Haver


Apr 29th

Cynthia Wulff-Haver


Apr 29th

Yasmine C

This title makes me laugh 😂😂

Apr 25th

Kelba Louise

I get this. I have tried to describe it to my husband!

Apr 24th

Rebecca MA

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

Mar 16th

Emblem B

arms and core

Mar 13th
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