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Underunderstood

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There are questions the internet just can't answer. But that doesn't mean we can't find them.

On each episode of Underunderstood, we find a question the internet can’t answer — maybe it’s a dead-end Wikipedia page, an abandoned Reddit thread, or an unanswered question on Twitter — and we fill in the gaps. It’s part chat show, part documentary, and almost always surprising.
19 Episodes
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The One About The Circle

The One About The Circle

2020-02-1035:512

Adrianne tries to figure out if there is a right way to play Netflix’s awkward social media game. 10:08 - Social Learning and Coordination in High-Stakes Games: Evidence from Friend or Foe 11:55 - Friend or Foe clip - YouTube 15:35 - Shubham Goel for Governor 2018 and video of Shubham’s campaign speech - Instagram 19:15 - Shubham's diagram 21:44 - Here's Why Richard Hatch Won't Be on Survivor's All-Winners Season - Men's Health 23:24 - The Winner of The Circle Opens Up About Life IRL - Wired and ‘The Circle’ on Netflix: 20 Burning Questions Answered - Decider 25:11 - Teaching Prisoners' Dilemma Strategies in Survivor: Reality Television in the IR Classroom - Mark B. Salter
The Pittsburgh Potty

The Pittsburgh Potty

2020-01-2821:13

Why do so many Pennsylvania homes have freestanding toilets in their unfinished basements? 01:21 - Pittsburgh toilet - Wikipedia 02:44 - The dual toilets at Cloister Cafe - Yelp 04:19 - Peculiar Pittsburgh: The Pittsburgh potty ... explained - YouTube 06:50 - Documenting The Pittsburgh Potty - 90.5 WESA 07:46 - The original version of this story misidentified this quote. It's from realtor Stephen Cummings. 08:11 - Slavery in Pittsburgh - Popular Pittsburgh 11:33 - Architect Offers Explanation For Pittsburgh’s Basement Toilets (And It’s Not What You Think) - 90.5 WESA 15:16 - Andrea Allen 16:22 - Double D Plumbing - Manta
A Tale of Two Billies

A Tale of Two Billies

2020-01-2137:072

Is H&M using Billie Eilish to greenwash? 01:19 - H&M Now Sells Billie Eilish Merch — & It's Sustainable - Refinery29 03:05 - Sustainable Fashion on Wikipedia 04:29 - A copy H&M's press release 05:15 - Greenwashing on Wikipedia 05:49 - H&M's Billie Eilish collection 05:53 - H&M's Conscious Collection 06:20 - Here are some of the publications that called this line sustainable: Teen Vogue, MTV.com, Mic, WWD, NME 10:56 - "Is Billie Eilish's line at H&M sustainable?" - Google 12:56 - Greenwashing Alert: H&M and Billie Eilish Collaboration - Eco-Stylist 13:47 - Eco-Stylist's criteria for brands they work with and their transparency report outlining their ethics and business model 15:38 - H&M called out on "illegal" sustainability marketing - Ecotextile 24:40 - H&M: fair living wages were promised, poverty wages are the reality - International Labor Rights Forum 25:31 - Perspex's sustainability information page 26:24 - H&M Menlo Park 27:40 - H&M Woodbridge 31:00 - Sunrise Movement on Wikipedia 31:30 - Alex O'Keefe 36:53 - Sunrise Movement is asking people to hold 2020 launch parties on January 29. You only need gather a few friends, and it's a great way to get started in collective action.
Toilet Seat Blues

Toilet Seat Blues

2020-01-1425:451

Add “Smurf butt” to the list of things to expect when you’re expecting. 00:43 - Maile's original email included this article. 01:45 - When jeans bleed onto your skin, you can tell. 03:40 - According to a study done at Johns Hopkins there is a correlation between heartburn and hairiness. The heartburn is due to estrogen causing the esophageal sphincter to relax, which allows stomach acid to splash up into the esophagus. That estrogen is also responsible for hair growth in the developing baby. 04:45 - If you're interested in purchasing some art of a Smurf's butt crack, we got you. 06:01 - Chromhidrosis on Wikipedia 06:28 - This man turned blue and Oprah interviewed him about it in 2008. 11:00 - Here are some of the forums I browsed: What to Expect, CafeMom, Pregnant Chicken, Everyday Chemistry, Reddit, Pregnancy Podcast. 11:14 - Andrei Rebarber
Grab Bag

Grab Bag

2020-01-0726:091

We’ve done 12 stories so far, and since we first published them there have been some updates, and new details have emerged. Today we’re rounding those up. Where’s My Chile? 3:50 - Elitech RC-4 Temperature Data Logger Recorder with External Temperature Sensor 7:50 - Ben Chapman and Don Schaffner of the Food Safety Talk podcast Underunderwear 10:26 - Chris' custom undies 10:34 - Here's a stock graphic that breaks it all down for you. Recorded for Awesomeness 14:22 - A screenshot of Yelp's app update Gas and Gains What Happened to the McFlurry? 21:40 - The Flurry Index 22:15 - Gavin Rehkemper's dataset of McDonald's locations in the USA
00:22 - Cap'n Crunch was created by Pamela Low in 1963. 01:50 - Urban Dictionary defines Cap'n Crunch Mouth as "When the roof of your mouth gets all torn up after eating Cap'n Crunch or some other rough food." 02:23 - Underunderstood: The 9/11 Hoax That Wasn't 03:15 - The Try Guys: Eugene Ranks The Most Popular Cereals 07:11 - A collection of tweets claiming Cap'n Crunch has shrunk 08:21 - My Brother, My Brother and Me 16:20 - Partially hydrogenated oils (or PHOs) were deemed to be no longer classifiable as GRAS (which means "Generally Recognized as Safe") by the FDA in 2015. 16:29 - Here are photos of a box of Cap'n Crunch from 1995 with "partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil" listed as an ingredient. It seems to have been replaced with "palm and/or coconut oil" in Cap'n Crunch currently sold in the United States. 18:38 - Jason Liebig on Twitter 18:44 - CollectingCandy.com 21:53 - Jason's Instagram is fun but his Flickr is INCREDIBLE 23:06 - Rockin' the 80’s – Tale of the 30-Year-Old Snickers 23:50 - New York Times article from 1994 about the Doritos redesign 25:05 - An archived version of Wikipedia featuring "Hot and Cold Nerds." 25:16 - Nerds Hot and Cool - Discovered!! A CollectingCandy.com World Premiere!! 25:49 - Statement from Quaker Foods 27:17 - Cereal Time TV - Gabe Fonseca's YouTube channel 27:46 - Gabe Fonseca on IMDB 27:48 - Gabe eating Cap'n Crunch from the 90s on YouTube 28:19 - Screenshot of Gabe holding old Cap'n Crunch up to the camera 29:46 - Gabe's measurement on the vintage Cap'n Crunch box 30:16 - Billy's photoshop to determine the size of 90s Cap'n Crunch 34:45 - Official written statement from Cap'n Crunch Episode artwork by Phil Robibero
43 Years in Biscuitville

43 Years in Biscuitville

2019-12-1025:451

A small town fights for internet justice by boycotting biscuits. 2:23 - LulaRoe Defective Fail on Facebook 3:29 - Biscuitville page on Wikipedia 4:51 - Petition: BRING ABED HASSAN BACK on Change.org 13:53 - The First Pizzaville vs. The First Biscuitville 17:47 - Biscuitville announces a new president 18:56 - Jim Metevier (LinkedIn) 19:59 - Zaxby's (BONUS: Zaxby’s made it on My Brother My Brother and Me’s Munch Squad segment.) 21:48 - Mountain Mike's announces a new president
Brave Dot Com

Brave Dot Com

2019-12-0328:491

How a misfit polka band scored a premium spot on the World Wide Web in 1995. 0:35 - "The Verge is an ambitious multimedia effort founded in 2011 to examine how technology will change life in the future for a massive mainstream audience." (The Verge) 4:05 - More Brave Combo accolades are on their Wikipedia page 4:11 - Bob Dylan's version of Brave Combo's polka arrangement of "Must Be Santa" (YouTube) 6:53 - Domain Name Journal 8:11 - What Brave.com/bo looked like in 1998 (Wayback Machine) 11:23 - Appropos of nothing, here's a figurine of Carl Finch for sale on Etsy. He also has his own Wikipedia page 13:01 - Beer Barrel Polka by Diet Polka (Soundcloud) 13:50 - Purple Haze - The Jimi Hendrix Polka, from Brave Combo album Polkasonic 14:18 - Brave Combo performs the Chicken Dance at a live show (YouTube) Brave Combo songs in this episode (Spotify playlist): "Do Something Different" "The Simpsons Theme" "In Heaven, There Is No Beer" "Ice Machine in the Desert" "Crazy Serbian Butcher's Dance" "Purple Haze (Polka Version)" "The Chicken Dance"
McFlurries aren't what they used to be. Why did McDonald's stop stirring them? Show notes: 2:29 - McFlurry demo (YouTube) 6:40 - Adrianne's McFlurry 8:40 - Why Is the McFlurry Machine Down Again? (WSJ) 9:07 - Ice Check 10:10 - Are McFlurry's supposed to be mixed? (Reddit) 12:08 - On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane 15:06 - Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald's? 19:55 - VitaMix VM0804A - McFlurry Ice Cream Mixer (Used) 23:51 - I Tried To Get A Flurried McFlurry And This Is What Happened (Buzzfeed) 27:51 - Log your McFlurry at The Flurry Index
While we’re working on new episodes of Underunderstood, we we'd share an episode of another podcast we love: Endless Thread. It’s a show that brings Reddit to life by tracking down its strangest, most compelling stories, and talking to the folks involved in those stories. This episode is about an old dice game called The Deadly Double. In order to find the origins of the game, Amory Sivertson and Ben Brock Johnson fall into a series of rabbit holes, including an enormous dice collection, a former FBI agent, and a Pearl Harbor conspiracy theory. -- Endless Thread is a podcast from WBUR and Reddit. You can listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. Ben Brock Johnson – co-host/senior producer Amory Sivertson – co-host/producer Josh Swartz – producer Mix and sound design by Paul Vaitkus
Adrianne buys some money online in order to track down a rumor about Chinese bank tellers. 2:06 - Photos of the $100 bills: Front / Back 3:35 - Hell money 13:18 - Reporter Jon Christian 16:35 - Wayne Homren's blog post from 2011 19:00 - Money Makers (99% Invisible) 21:30 - Fascinating ways to count money! Bank teller shows quick counting skills (YouTube) 21:40 - Chinese cashier's amazing cash counting skills (YouTube) 21:50 - Chinese bank teller counts money by ear (YouTube) 25:59 - The Knowledge Custom art for Underunderstood is made by Phil Robibero. Underunderstood is taking a break. We'll be back in November. Don't forget about us, and send story ideas to hello@underunderstood.com. We'll be dropping some bonus material, so stay subscribed for updates.
Where's My Chile?

Where's My Chile?

2019-08-2042:12

John finds out if it is safe to eat a suitcase full of chili peppers that have been missing for three days. 5:45 - Where’s My Suitcase 8:16 - #wheresmysuitcase on Twitter is a harrowing scene 10:50 - Bags, Inc. 11:11 - Bags VIP 11:50 - Bags, Inc.’s corporate video on Vimeo 14:04 - We cannot link to F-14 Baggage because they have absolutely no web presence 18:40 - The Middle Seat at the Wall Street Journal 21:00 - The weather in Albuquerque in January 2019 22:56 - The weather in New York City in January 2019 23:45 - “SP Plus Corporation Agrees to Acquire Bags” 23:52 - SP Plus’s official website 27:57 - A lot of chatter on Twitter about wheresmysuitcase.com 30:32 - Z Orange Systems 36:10 - Food Safety Talk, a podcast hosted by Don Schaffner and Ben Chapman Custom art for this episode was created by Phil Robibero. You can see it here. A special request: Have you ever been mad at your spouse, or anyone, for something that happened in a dream? Has anyone ever been mad at you because of something you did in their dream? Tell us about it. You can leave us a voice message on Anchor, or record a voice memo on your phone and email it to hello@underunderstood.com.
The surprising history behind a charming marquee in downtown Newark, New Jersey. Show notes: 00:06 - Billy shot and edited Underunderstood's trailer video in one day. 00:24 - KCRW's 7th Annual 24-Hour Radio Race 00:58 - KCRW announced the theme on Twitter 01:09 - Wiktionary defines "where the sun don't shine" as "up or in the anus." 03:27 - Little Theatre on Cinema Treasures 03:36 - This little porn movie house learned to survive for decades -- until last week - NJ.com 04:51 - Whitney Strub blogs at strublog 05:55 - NJTV News was there as the Whole Foods opened. 06:23 - Audible's Innovation Cathedral 06:29 - The Cameo on Cinema Treasures 06:48 - Club Zanzibar - Wikipedia 07:05 - The Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium was actually built before Zanzibar's building was demolished, but it was removed to make room for new development and now the stadium, which was sold to a private developer for a loss, will likely be demolished as well. 07:44 - Can New Jersey's Last Porn Theater Survive Gentrification? - Vice 08:31 - The thread on AdultDVDTalk.com 10:43 - The four minute version of this story for KCRW's Radio Race
Adrianne tries to order from a local sushi restaurant, but an unfamiliar voice answers, promising "awesomeness." Awesomeness for whom? Show notes: 2:16 - “GrubHub is buying up thousands of restaurant web addresses. That means Mom and Pop can’t own their slice of the internet,” published June 28, 2019 by H. Claire Brown at The New Food Economy. 13:07 - Dark patterns 13:54 - A report about Munish Narula’s class action lawsuit from Nation’s Restaurant News 14:19 - “Restaurateurs across the country say they are waking up to a years-long, high-tech bamboozling by Grubhub involving hidden fees for orders that never happened,” reads the lede for The New York Post’s first story in a series on phony fees, May 19, 2019. 23:03 - “Grubhub repays one eatery $10K over fee protest,” published June 24, 2019 by The New York Post. 23:30 - Watch the full hearing, “The Changing Market for Food Delivery,” here. 32:17 - Grubhub and Yelp announced a “long-term partnership” in 2017
Billy’s sister thinks a photo that repeatedly goes viral on Reddit is suspicious. Show notes: 0:40 – All of the photos discussed in this episode are available on our website 2:02 – Snopes: “Is This a Photograph of a World Trade Center Tourist on 9/11?” 3:23 – Pinball Gallery 5:59 – The Balloon Saloon has nothing to do with this episode, but it is a place in Tribeca. 6:39 – In 2014, Austin Sansone popped up on Reddit to claim the photo. 8:05 – Former child actor Mark Lester 26:35 – r/AlternateAngles 26:45 – The photo got another boost of attention in 2018, when it showed up on Reddit again. 26:51 – Aol published an article that was also posted on Yahoo.
A Wikipedia stub about the worst Florida theme park idea ever sends John on a search for the reason it never opened. Show notes: 0:45 - New Vietnam on Wikipedia 1:12 - Dolly Parton's Stampede (formerly Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede) 2:16 - Carl McIntire on Wikipedia 3:52 - Wild West City 5:50 - New Vietnam in Uncle John's Ahh-Inspiring Bathroom Reader 7:25 - Portable Press 8:11 - 20th Century Reformation Hour 8:44 - Some clips of the 20th Century Reformation Hour 9:37 - Christianity Today, May 2002 (paywall) 10:41 - Dr. Randall Balmer's website 12:42 - Fred Phelps on YouTube 14:54 - The Carl McIntire Collection at Princeton Theological Seminary Library 15:55 - Faraday Cage 19:03 - "Body Counts" by Dr. Yen Espiritu 24:27 - FCC Fairness Doctrine 24:46 - Infowars on Wikipedia 24:50 - This American Life episode about Alex Jones 29:17 - History of the Present (registration required), an article about film theory published in The North American Review in 1976, led us to the Newsweek story about New Vietnam. 30:40 - Actually, Newsweek's online archives only go back to 2013 30:48 - The September 8, 1975 issue of Newsweek that John bought on eBay 37:19 - Florida Today, November 8, 1975 39:33 - Ricky Ly's food blog Tasty Chomps
Underunderwear

Underunderwear

2019-07-1634:542

A tweetstorm about men’s role in pregnancy leads Regina to find a man who spent over a decade suppressing his sperm count with a piece of yarn. Show notes: 00:33 - Wikipedia page for heat-based contraception 00:57 - The movie 'Heat' is the first time Robert De Niro and Al Pacino starred in a movie together 01:31 - Regina would like to state for the record that said baby is now 1 year old, absolutely adorable, and spends significantly less time crying than she did at the time of the initial pitch. 01:40 - The tweet storm that started it all 03:23 - Chris Jenks' website 04:00 - The underwear 04:43 - Billy spent approximately 10 minutes explaining what a cordstop is here. It has been cut down for your entertainment and also because who cares about cordstops this much. 05:41 - Kaleb Dornheim wrote this article about how to tuck safely 08:38 - Chris' LinkedIn page 12:31 - Marthe Voegeli 16:54 - According to Weather Underground, the average temperature of the day was 54 degrees Fahrenheit 20:06 - John K Amory 22:12 - "Breakthrough for male contraceptives?" in Daily Mail UK 27:42 - Elon Musk's net worth is reportedly in the range of 20 billion US dollars 27:50 - Paul Allen - Wikipedia
Gas and Gains

Gas and Gains

2019-07-0940:331

After watching an episode of “Catfish: The TV Show,” Billy goes on a deep dive to find the meaning of a curious ankle tattoo, the eccentricities of the Philadelphia accent, and one man’s fixation with the word “gas.” Show notes: 00:40 - Catfish: The TV Show - Wikipedia 00:57 - Catfish - Season 7, Episode 18 - Nick and Jasmine (video) 01:35 - To Catch a Predator - Wikipedia 01:46 - Definition of Catfish by Merriam-Webster The scene (video) from Catfish (the 2010 documentary) where the term was coined 03:36 - "Gayus" video clip from Catfish (video) 05:27 - Wawa 06:46 - MFSB - South Philly 08:04 - Nick: @NickFresh215 / @NickFresh215 08:14 - Jimmy: @jimmyharrity / @jimmy_harrity 09:22 - Jordan Oplinger on Twitter 13:03 - Mean Girls - Stop trying to make fetch happen (video) 16:39 - Betsy Sneller's personal website 17:11 - William Labov - Wikipedia 17:23 - Sociolinguistics - Wikipedia 19:06 - Mechanisms of Phonological Change by Betsy Sneller 20:08 - /æ/ raising - Wikipedia 26:31 - Excerpt from The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams 28:01 - History of the Irish Americans in Philadelphia - Wikipedia 28:23 - Irish slang videos on YouTube Irish Time with Jack! (video) Irish Slang / Teaching Irish Slang (video) Irish Slang & Swear Words! (video) 32:50 - The Vocal Fries Episode 35: How Millennials are Destroying the Philly Accent (audio) Philadelphia magazine - Here’s How Millennials Are Changing the Philly Accent CBS Philly - Experts Seeing Shift In Philadelphia Accent Thanks To Millennials (video) 33:06 - Preston & Steve (12.11.18) (audio) 36:17 - L-vocalization - Wikipedia 38:48 - Send us your question!
There are questions the internet just hasn't answered yet. We investigate those questions and get the answers.
Comments (4)

Aaron

This is excellent. I didn't buy into this conspiracy, and you covered it really well. Very entertaining.

Dec 18th
Reply (1)

Ryan Wagoner

Great show, fun, entertaining, and the 4+host mesh well together.

Dec 5th
Reply (1)
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