This podcast about the corruption and racism built into America’s criminal justice system was released in March, but brought to my attention by winning the bronze medal in the 2018 Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. John Thompson was tried and found guilty for two crimes he didn’t commit and spent 20 years trying to prove his innocence. By the end of this story you’ll be cursing as much as Thompson.
The history of religious intolerance and persecution in early Massachusetts.
Anyone who has ever worked in customer service may feel an uncomfortable pleasure in this fictional revenge fantasy.
A story of a Thanksgiving miracle involving Skype and a full-sized pig.
Stories of how patriarchy harms men too.
Myths and reality of Native Americans and the “first Thanksgiving.”
The story behind the Beatles strangest album.
The great Rickey Henderson plays one last season in professional baseball for an independent minor league team.
Fascinating stories from the Soviet Union trace the origin of the classic video game Tetris and its unrecognized designer, and the people of Leningrad who protected a seed bank against Nazi invasion.
Have You Heard? :: Closing Time: In a Gentrifying City, are Some Students Expendable
A must-listen story of the effort to close, privatize, and segregate Boston Public Schools.
What if you could give more money to politicians running for office, and spend less money getting food at a NFL game? Two different Planet Money podcasts focus on experiments, one in Seattle where voters were given money they could donate to their candidate(s) of choice and one in Atlanta where the Falcons are slashing concessions prices. Find out how these challenges to traditional economics worked out – or didn’t – by listening to these podcast episodes.
RadioLab explores how ranked choice voting makes elections more representative of the people and more civil in practice.
The story of how an image of legendary golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez ended up being used for the cover of legendary rock band Devo’s first album.
The story of the demise of the legendary store, Sears. Turns out it is owned by an Ayn Rand devotee whose investments make a profit when stores close. Go figure!
You won’t find anything about Sasquatch, a.k.a. Bigfoot, at the Smithsonian museums, but you will find the skeleton a scientist who dedicated his life to researching Bigfoot. Find out why in this podcast.
The story of the women who fought for equality to participate in running events in the 1970s.
The history of radio dramas from the War of the Worlds to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to NPR’s foray into adapting Star Wars.
The ongoing series Articles of Interest goes to Hawaii to discuss the history of the Aloha Shirt, from colonialism to the tourist trade.
This well-timed podcast collects three stories from Boston’s riotous past: the Boston Police Strike of 1919, the Broad Street Riots of 1837, and the Impressment Riots of 1747. If you think riots in Boston history are interesting, join me on the Bostonians Behaving Badly tour on Thursday night.
This is a RadioLab podcast but it collects material from another podcast called The Heart. Kaitlin Prest takes a deep dive into the issues of sexual consent.
I’m not quite a fan of The Bee Gees but I am fascinated by their story, especially their versatility and ability to remain big hit makers over decades without people even noticing.
This episode of an ongoing series about clothing focuses on the pocket, the unfairly gendered feature of clothing with a history dating back to its origin as a completely separate article of clothing. I’m definitely a Pocketist.
The science behind how subtle changes in the design of baseballs lead to a rise in home runs hit.
How sounds effects for cartoons are made, reused, and become iconic signifiers.
Psst…it’s a pyramid scheme.
The first part of this special series on the Isabella Gardner Museum art heist focuses on what the thieves did during the incredible amount of time they had to roam about the museum.
From the Muslim Ban to Family Separation, we are all very aware of the means the current administration is crushing immigration to the U.S., but this episode uncovers many other ways that the fascist regime is using to force their agenda into the American norms.
A contest involving men camping out on a billboard to promote a local radio station in Allentown, PA turns into a dystopian display of the deleterious effects of Reagan Era capitalism on everyday Americans.
A rabbi and stand-up comedian, Danny Lobell, tells stories of the people he got to know – the good and the bad – while working in a senior home.
Unravelling DNA and what it tells us about our ancient ancestors and modern cousins.
The sound design of this podcast really sells the panic and hopelessness of plagues of locusts in the 19th century plains, and a good explanation of why they ended.
The history of kit homes sold by Sears, Roebuck from catalogs. Additionally, the story of how adaptive reuse is transforming the distinctive architecture of former Sears plants in cities throughout America.
Discussion of the traditions of celestial navigation used by Polynesian voyagers to traverse wide expanses of the Pacific Ocean.
Work is bunk. Find out why employment is meaningless and “work ethic” is just there to control us, along with some more human alternatives.
Another podcast goes in depth on how meaningless work is wearing us down. I sense a theme.
Catchy tunes have been used to sell things since the early days of radio. This episode also offers a good deep dive into the phenomena of earworms and how to defeat them.
I’ve long been fascinated by the great number of significant events that happened in Boston around 1918-1919. This episode is an interview with Skip Desjardins who wrote a book about what in just September 1918.
Drinking straws have been in the news lately as they’re being banned for being a pollutant. This episode explores the origin of straws, their beneficial purposes, and possible alternatives to straws.
Yes, a double dose of 99 P.I. this week! This episode discusses blepharoplasty, a controversial cosmetic surgery which makes the eyes of people of Asian descent look more “Western.”
Paper dolls are a toy that has fallen out of popularity with children, but there are sizable communities of adults who collect and design paper dolls, and a surprising connection with queer identity.
Risk! host Kevin Allison tells the story of how his Catholic high school missionary trip lead him to become a storyteller.