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Sarah Lilley

 
Date
Length

Tattoo Parlors

More people than ever before are getting tattoos — but social media has flipped the trade’s business model on its head. Zachary Crockett dips into the ink.

10/8/23
19:37

Car Washes

Why are these sudsy roadside stops one of the fastest growing industries in America? Zachary Crockett takes a look under the hood.

10/15/23
19:34

Cadavers – Part 1

In the first of two episodes, Zachary Crockett digs into the strange and discomfiting history of cadavers, and the industry that has emerged around them.

10/22/23
21:40

Cadavers – Part 2

In the final part of our series, Zachary Crockett talks to a man with a storied — and controversial — career in the body parts business.

10/29/23
18:27

Pistachios

How did a little green nut become a billion-dollar product, lauded by celebrities in Super Bowl ads? Zachary Crockett cracks open the story.

11/5/23
19:32

Private Jets

Executives shell out millions of dollars for the privilege of flying private — but that convenience comes at a steep cost to the rest of us. Zachary Crockett prepares for takeoff.

11/12/23
21:11

Graffiti

Is graffiti public art, or public nuisance? It depends who you ask. Zachary Crockett tags in where it all started.

11/19/23
16:18

My Sharona (Replay)

Can a hit single from four decades ago still pay the bills? Zachary Crockett f-f-f-finds out.

11/26/23
18:47

Romance Novels

How did love stories about vampires, cowboys, and wealthy dukes become the highest-grossing fiction genre in the world? Zachary Crockett gets swept away.

12/3/23
22:15

Horseshoe Crab Blood

How does the blood of a 450-million-year-old arthropod help prevent lethal infections in humans? And could we exhaust the supply? Zachary Crockett wades in.

12/10/23
17:50

Greeting Cards

The tradition of sending cards to loved ones was in decline — until it was rescued by a new generation. But millennials have their own ideas about what sentiments they want to convey. Zachary Crockett is thinking of you on your special day.

12/17/23
19:24

Michelin Stars (Replay)

Only the finest restaurants have a chance to bask in their glow. Sometimes, it’s a bit too bright. Zachary Crockett squints at the menu.

12/24/23
18:32

Card Counting

Casinos think they can stop skilled gamblers from eking out a tiny edge at blackjack. Is that a losing bet? Zachary Crockett doubles down.

12/31/23
21:55

Greeting Cards, Pizza Boxes, and Personal Injury Lawyers

In a special episode of The Economics of Everyday Things, host Zachary Crockett explains what millennials do to show they care, how corrugated cardboard keeps your food warm, and why every city has a billboard for a guy who calls himself “The Hammer.”

1/3/24
55:13

Superhot Chili Peppers

The market for gustatory pain is surprisingly competitive. Zachary Crockett feels the burn.

1/7/24
18:10

Used Golf Balls

American golfers lose 300 million balls a year — and all those bad swings are someone else’s business opportunity. Zachary Crockett hits the links.

1/14/24
21:27

Sex Scenes

Behind these steamy sequences, there are body doubles, pubic wigs, legal documents, and dedicated choreographers who make sure everyone is comfortable. Zachary Crockett fast-forwards straight to the good parts.

1/21/24
22:18

Store-Brand Products

Those low-priced staples on grocery-store shelves — where do they come from? Zachary Crockett finds out at a national convention for private-label manufacturers.

1/28/24
20:59

Dental Insurance

Why is it separate from medical insurance? And is it really insurance at all? Zachary Crockett goes in for a cleaning.

2/4/24
19:38

ATMs

Why do you have to pay $4 to get $40 cash at a bar? And who does it go to? Zachary Crockett checks his balance.

2/11/24
24:02

Personal Injury Lawyers

If you can make it through three years of law school, you too might end up on a billboard. Zachary Crockett makes the case.

2/18/24
21:03

Junk Mail

Why does the mailman bring us so many catalogs, credit card offers, and pizza coupons? Because his job depends on it. Zachary Crockett checks the mailbox.

2/25/24
22:04

Bowling Alleys (Replay)

Once America’s favorite recreational activity, bowling has been in the gutter for decades. But some surviving alleys are resetting the pins. Zachary Crockett laces up.

3/3/24
19:51

Houseplants

Interest in houseplants has exploded in recent years. But what causes floral trends, and prices, to grow? Zachary Crockett sows a few seeds.

3/10/24
18:18

Prosthetic Limbs

More and more Americans rely on prostheses. They’re custom-fitted, highly personal, and extremely expensive. Zachary Crockett investigates.

3/17/24
21:22

Pet Movers

Relocating halfway across the world is hard enough for humans. For pets it can require a specialist. Zachary Crockett waits at the airport, holding a sign saying “Fluffy.”

3/24/24
19:17

Cemeteries

The verdant lawns promise everlasting rest — but what does it mean to sign a lease for all eternity? Zachary Crockett finds out where the bodies are buried.

3/31/24
21:29

Top-Level Domains

Those letters at the end of web addresses can mean big bucks — and, for some small countries, a substantial part of the national budget. Zachary Crockett follows the links.

4/7/24
19:42

Movie Sound Effects

The background noises you hear in film and TV — from footsteps to zombie guts — are produced in specialized studios by professionals known as Foley artists. Zachary Crockett makes some noise.

4/14/24
22:54

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