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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.

94 Episodes
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Caveman Confidential

Caveman Confidential

2020-01-1300:21:11

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

2019-10-1400:24:172

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.
Where did the limbo first get off the ground? This week, ELT reveals how it went from funerals in the Caribbean to shag-carpeted basements across American suburbia. Guests: Performer, choreographer, and documentarian Sonja Dumas; and Shane Vogel, professor of English and Theater at Indiana University. Special thanks to listener Aurelia. Thanks also to Kieron Sargeant and Ray Funk. To hear the songs featured in this episode, head over to our Spotify playlist at elt.show/limbo.
Caller Austin had a fragment of a song stuck in his head, and he needed our assistance. ELT listeners help him name that tune and put this mystery to rest. Guests: Singer and songwriter Sondre Lerche.  Thanks to Dave Heilman and all the listeners who tried to help Austin.
How to Get Rid of an Earworm

How to Get Rid of an Earworm

2019-08-1900:26:383

An earworm expert explains how to unstick that song that’s stuck in your head, and why it got lodged there in the first place. Plus, your earwormholes — the songs that transport you through time and space. To hear the songs featured in this episode, head over to our Spotify playlist.
Caller Jeremy has a problem: fruit flies have swarmed his apartment, and he needs to know where they came from. ELT finds out how Jeremy’s red-eyed roommates landed in his life. Plus, please help caller Austin name that tune. Guest: Biologist Marcus Stensmyr, Lund University. Thanks to callers Jeremy and Austin.
While they may look like dainty, dorky birds, flamingos deserve respect. Flora brings the flamingo facts, and launches ELT’s campaign to bring a flamingo mascot to professional sports. Guests: Comedian Prashanth Venkataramanujam; Producer Katherine Wells; Mascot maker Jennifer Smith of Avant Garb; Renbert Mortimer, creator of the University of the Bahamas mascot.
Every year the TSA confiscates millions of pounds of pocket knives, sunscreen and snow globes from airport travelers. Where does it all go? ELT investigates. Plus, tips for sneaking your weed onboard from a former TSA agent. Guests: Ex-TSA “Taylor”; TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein; surplus agents for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Patrick Knight and Mike Starr; press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of General Services Troy Thompson. Thanks to caller Kimberly.
ELT answers an age-old question: When you have to use a public toilet, should you sit on the seat? A team of microbiologists weigh in. Plus, the rise, fall, and re-rise of cargo shorts. Guests: Microbiologist Jack Gilbert; comedian Prashanth Venkataramanujam; cargo pantsologist Joe Hancock; Wall Street Journal reporter Nicole Hong.  Special thanks to caller Jenny and the biology experts we surveyed: Jason Tetro, William Schaffner, Chuck Gerba, Rob Dunn, Jenny Hayden, Steffanie Strathdee, Liz Scott, Kimberly Page, and Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello.
When did organ music and baseball become an item? ELT talks to some pro organ players to find out how organs and ballparks got together. Plus, meet Nancy Faust — the legendary organist who brought trolling to modern baseball music. Guests: Steven Ball, organist and Director of Sacred Music at The Oratory of St. Francis de Sales in St. Louis, Missouri; Josh Kantor, organist for the Boston Red Sox; Nancy Faust, retired organist for the Chicago White Sox Thanks to caller Robert. Thanks also to Judy Scott. You can see a photo of Nancy's donkeys on twitter and instagram.
ELT goes underground to meet the creatures living in our subways and sewer systems. Plus, the 411 on another underground underdog: prairie dogs. Guests: Urban evolutionary biologist and rat expert Jason Munshi-South; animal behavioral scientist Jennifer Verdolin. Thanks to caller Jessica, and to all the listeners who demanded prairie dog facts.
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Comments (81)

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

phxflurry

baby shark needs to come with a trigger warning 🤬😂

Aug 20th
Reply

Carolyn Hochlowski

I love the crush being ended by the girl not getting the song!! So funny!

Aug 19th
Reply (1)

Mariah Small

I've actually had corn icecream in Mexico. it was this little local shop that made their own icecream with natural ingredients etc.. corn was one if their most popular ones and it tasted amazing. it had a vanilla vibe

Aug 13th
Reply (1)

Mariah Small

I love this show but I cant stand the beeping noises during the commercials. no problem with commericals just that beeping

Jul 26th
Reply
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