All About Bugs (of the Animal and Computer Varieties): TMSIDK Episode 32

Musical crickets, crop-saving wasps — and why you should pre-bug your software. John McWhorter is co-host; the live fact-checker is Bari Weiss.

The Demonization of Gluten

Celiac disease is thought to affect roughly one percent of the population. The good news: it can be treated by quitting gluten. The bad news: many celiac patients haven’t been diagnosed. The weird news: millions of people without celiac disease have quit gluten – which may be a big mistake.

School Start Times, Brand Names, and Too Much Ground Beef: TMSIDK Episode 31

We filled this episode with insights about the true value of ground beef, sleeping in, company names, and more. Alex Wagner (CBS This Morning Saturday, The Atlantic) is our special guest co-host, with AJ Jacobs (author of It's All Relative) as real-time fact-checker.

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03 25 2013

The 1907 Bavarian Beer War

Touring Bamberg, northern Bavaria, our tour leader mentions the local 1907 Beer War.  The town’s three brewers announced that they were joining to raise suggested retail prices from 10 to 12 pfennigs and charge retailers commensurately more. The pub owners felt the public would be angry and refused to buy from...

What Are the Secrets of the German Economy — and Should We Steal Them?

Smart government policies, good industrial relations, and high-end products have helped German manufacturing beat back the threats of globalization.

Congratulations to Nobel Laureate Richard Thaler!

It should surprise no one, and delight everyone, that Richard Thaler has won this year’s Nobel in economics. Congratulations! Thaler is a big reason I personally got interested in economics. (I’ve known him quite a bit longer than I’ve known Steve Levitt.) He is everything to be admired in a scholar and thinker: original, judicious, […]

How to Count to Infinity: TMSIDK Episode 30

Mary Roach (author of Stiff, Spook, Bonk, Gulp, and Grunt) is our special guest co-host, with AJ Jacobs (author of It's All Relative) as real-time fact-checker. If the promise of tractor beams doesn't pull you in, our guests also explore robotic fish, counting to infinity, and more.

Time to Take Back the Toilet (Rebroadcast)

Public bathrooms are noisy, poorly designed, and often nonexistent. What to do?

The Perfect Potato Chip, the Origin of Seltzer, and Why We Eat “Beef” and Not “Cow”: TMSIDK Episode 29

Alex Guarnaschelli (Iron Chef America and Chopped) is our special guest co-host, with Sean Rameswaram (Radiolab Presents: More Perfect) as real-time fact-checker. Tell Me Something I Don't Know explores the origins of food words, children's menus, and seltzer.

Why Larry Summers Is the Economist Everyone Hates to Love

He’s been U.S. Treasury Secretary, a chief economist for the Obama White House and the World Bank, and president of Harvard. He’s one of the most brilliant economists of his generation (and perhaps the most irascible). And he thinks the Trump Administration is wrong on just about everything.

Why Learn Esperanto? (Special Feature)

A language invented in the 19th century, and meant to be universal, it never really caught on. So why does a group of Esperantists from around the world gather once a year to celebrate their bond?

You Say “eye-RACK,” I Say “ear-ROCK”: TMSIDK Episode 28

Hari Kondabolu (comedian and host of Politically ReActive) is our special guest co-host, with Sean Rameswaram (Radiolab Presents: More Perfect) as real-time fact-checker. Tell Me Something I Don't Know reaches into our “grab bag” for fascinating facts on the downside of keeping secrets, the origin of fantasy sports, what pronunciations say about our politics, and more.