Tell Me Something I Don't Know

By Stephen J. Dubner and Stitcher

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Category: Society & Culture

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Description

Journalism wrapped in a game-show package. Host Stephen J. Dubner (of “Freakonomics Radio”) and a celebrity co-host invite guests on stage in front of a live audience to tell us something we don’t know. The co-hosts — a mix of leaders in science, academia, sports, media, and comedy — grill the guests, and by the end we’ve all gotten a bit smarter. Each episode has a new topic, a new co-host, and new guests. There’s also a real-time human fact-checker to keep everyone honest. Think of the most crackling dinner-party conversation you’ve ever heard. Produced in association with Stitcher.


Episode Date
An Astronaut, a Catalan, and Two Linguists Walk Into a Bar…
00:53:32

Why New York has skinny skyscrapers, how to weaponize water, and what astronauts talk about in space. John McWhorter is co-host; Bari Weiss is live fact-checker.

Nov 20, 2017
Extra 7: Corrosive Energy Drinks and Peruvian Cat Stew
00:48:12

In this special call-in episode: why some Peruvians eat cats; why operas need repetiteurs; and why we should get rid of prisons. Michael Smerconish (CNN) is co-host; AJ Jacobs (It’s All Relative) checks the facts.

Nov 17, 2017
Farming Without Sun or Soil and Eating Manna From Heaven
00:39:01

This week, we work on our survival skills: in the desert, on the tundra, and growing food in abandoned warehouses. Actress Sas Goldberg is co-host; A.J. Jacobs (author of It’s All Relative) is live fact-checker.

Nov 13, 2017
Mind Games
00:47:46

How to make people like you, why you should lick rocks, and what an awkward person is really thinking. Angela Duckworth (Grit author) is co-host; Mike Maughan (Qualtrics) is live fact-checker.

Nov 06, 2017
Jon Batiste, Gail Simmons, and Strange Smells
00:56:00

Things we learn this week: dogs aren't so great at sniffing, men aren't so lazy, and New York doesn't smell so bad (anymore). Gail Simmons (Top Chef) is co-host; Jon Batiste plays his melodica for us; the live fact-checker is Mike Maughan.

Oct 30, 2017
All About Bugs (of the Animal and Computer Varieties)
00:57:05

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.

Oct 23, 2017
School Start Times, Brand Names, and Too Much Ground Beef
00:42:30

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

Oct 16, 2017
How to Count to Infinity
00:47:30

Mary Roach (author of StiffSpookBonkGulp, 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.

Oct 09, 2017
The Perfect Potato Chip, the Origin of Seltzer, and Why We Eat “Beef” and Not “Cow”
00:56:53

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. TMSIDK explores the origins of food words, children's menus, and seltzer.

Oct 02, 2017
You Say “eye-RACK,” I Say “ear-ROCK”
00:47:13

Hari Kondabolu (comedian and host of Politically Re-Active) is our special guest co-host, with Sean Rameswaram (Radiolab Presents: More Perfect) as real-time fact-checker. TMSIDK 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.

Sep 25, 2017
Womb to Tomb
00:51:38

Alexandra Petri (Washington Post columnist) is our special guest co-host, with AJ Jacobs (author of It's All Relative) as real-time fact-checker. TMSIDK covers everything from birth to earth, including pregnancy tests, parenting, monogamy, aging better, and, finally, embalming.

Sep 18, 2017
Season 4 Preview
00:03:06

Alex Guarnaschelli, Alexandra Petri, Hari Kondabolu, Mary Roach, and Jemele Hill are some of the brilliant co-hosts joining us during Season 4. Here's a sneak peek of what you'll learn in 10 new episodes beginning September 17th.

Sep 11, 2017
Extra 6: A Better Way to End Basketball Games
00:16:23

Basketball fans know how boring a game's ending can be — intentional fouls can stretch 90 seconds into 10 minutes. What if we could fix it by blowing up the last 4 minutes?

Sep 06, 2017
Extra 5: The Actress Who Never Takes a Sick Day
00:18:51

Off-Broadway actress, producer, and Guinness Record-holder Catherine Russell has played the same off-Broadway role for three decades. What’s more impressive than the play itself? She’s never called in sick.

Sep 05, 2017
Extra 4: The Most Renewable Energy of All
00:20:38

Some of our most important inventions safely remove human waste. But what if we could use that waste to generate electricity?

Sep 04, 2017
Extra 3: The Rise and Fall (and Rise?) of Rosé Wine
00:12:38

From medieval times through the French Revolution, rosé ruled the wine world — and now it’s staging a comeback. Actress (and rosé fan) Miriam Shor joins as a co-host.

Aug 30, 2017
Extra 2: Meet the Senator Who Wants to Start an Evidence-Based Revolution
00:21:41

Senator Todd Young of Indiana wants to make government-funded social programs more effective with Social Impact Partnerships, which pair private funding with proven projects.

Aug 29, 2017
Extra 1: How the Mafia Got Its Start
00:15:16

In 1803, Sicily and Malta won contracts to provide lemon juice to the entire British Royal Navy. Half a century later, the mafia was born.

Aug 28, 2017
Urinetown
00:55:03

James Altucher (host of The James Altucher Show) is our special guest co-host, with Mike Maughan (head of global insights at Qualtrics) as real-time fact-checker. TMSIDK is on the weird side of the tracks in Philadelphia with everything you've ever wanted to know about graffiti, cockroaches, tattoos, pee, and more.

Aug 07, 2017
Creature Comforts
00:53:08

Krista Tippett (host of On Being) is our special guest co-host, with Maggie Ryan Sandford (science writer, researcher and producer) as real-time fact-checker. Relax with a TMSIDK episode filled with facts on quiet rooms, pillows, comfort food, and ...Spam?

Jul 31, 2017
Behavior Change: Ultra Egghead Edition
00:54:42

Angela Duckworth (psychologist and author of Grit) is our special guest co-host, with Mike Maughan (head of global insights at Qualtrics) as real-time fact-checker. TMSIDK is in Philadelphia with a cornucopia of the world's most-renowned behavior-change experts presenting original research.

Jul 24, 2017
Three Sheets to the Wind
00:48:27

John Moe (The Hilarious World of Depression) is our special guest co-host, with Maggie Ryan Sandford (science writer, researcher and producer) as our real-time fact-checker. TMSIDK is in Minneapolis for a show exploring the environment, morning drinking, skyways, hidden figures and more.

Jul 17, 2017
Medicine
00:54:57

Bapu Jena, Christine Hurley and Evan Allen are panelists. The physician-professor-economist, the comedian and the New England Revolution head athletic trainer join us in Boston for a show on Medicine. Side effects include extra kidneys, Lyme disease, hairlessness, cardiac arrest and magical mucus. WBUR's Carey Goldberg is fact-checker.

Jul 10, 2017
Getting There
00:58:59

Che "Rhymefest" Smith, Ginger Evans and Mary Catherine Curran are panelists. The rapper/political organizer, the commissioner of Chicago's Department of Aviation and the comedian join us in the City of Big Shoulders for a show on transitions — from here to there, from low to high and from fish to humans. Jesse Dukes is fact-checker.

Jul 03, 2017
Family Matters
00:52:26
Amy Chua, Liza Donnelly and Gary Gulman are panelists. The "Tiger Mom," the New Yorker cartoonist and the comedian join our dysfunctional family for this show on parenting, cousins, genealogy and medical divorce. AJ Jacobs is fact-checker.
Jun 26, 2017
Cities
00:59:30
Eugene Mirman, Ed Glaeser and Amy Glasmeier are panelists. The comedian, the Harvard economist and the MIT professor join us in one of America's oldest urban centers for a show about cities, including ruins, sewage and ghost towns. Mike Maughan is our fact-checker.
Jun 19, 2017
Politickling
00:55:32
Major Garrett, Alexandra Petri and Robby Mook are panelists in Washington, D.C. The CBS Chief White House Correspondent, the Washington Post humor columnist, and Hillary Clinton's campaign manager step out of the swamp for some more light-hearted politics: from foreign cars to the last state in the union. Femi Oke is fact-checker.
Jun 12, 2017
Rivalry
00:57:38
Steve Levitt, Scott Turow and Bridget Gainer are panelists. For the "Freakonomics" co-author, the attorney and novelist, and the Cook County commissioner it's "game on!" as they tackle competition of all kinds: athletic, sexual, geopolitical, and the little-known battle between butter and margarine that landed in the Supreme Court. WBEZ's Tricia Bobeda, co-host of the "Nerdette" podcast, is fact-checker.
Jun 05, 2017
Season 3 Preview
00:03:37
Steve Levitt, Eugene Mirman, Alexandra Petri, Che “Rhymefest” Smith and Major Garrett are among this season's stars. Here's a taste of what you'll hear in our new season. We've got 10 new episodes — one a week — beginning June 4th.
May 29, 2017
Music
01:04:07
Danny Goldberg, Faith Salie and David Hajdu are panelists. The record executive, the comedian/journalist and the music critic face the music, including industrial instruments, female composers and the all-important bridge. Our real-time fact-checker is Dan Zanes, accompanied by his live band.
Apr 24, 2017
Wannabes
00:58:33
Tim Harford, Carla Hayden and Rahmein Mostafavi are panelists. The "Undercover Economist," the Librarian of Congress and the comedian join TMSIDK in Washington, D.C. — the city that wants to be a state — to learn about wannabes, from international spies to new human organs. Femi Oke is fact-checker.
Apr 17, 2017
Oh, My God
00:56:28
John Fugelsang, Tami Sagher and Aman Ali are panelists. Who better to help us talk through religion than these three comedians? We look into unholy fruit, religion in banking and the politics of reincarnation. A.J. Jacobs is fact-checker.
Apr 10, 2017
Money Money Money
00:52:10
Brian Koppelman, Cheryl Dorsey and Hari Kondabolu are panelists. The TV/movie producer, the social entrepreneur and the comedian/podcast host follow the money, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Ethiopia. A.J. Jacobs is fact-checker.
Apr 03, 2017
Stupid Stuff
00:52:28
James Altucher, Miki Agrawal and Aasif Mandvi are panelists. The investor/author, the controversial entrepreneur and the comedian dive deep into things that don’t work as well as they should; ideas that should have been killed off long ago; and inventions great and not-so-great. Sean Rameswaram is fact-checker.
Mar 27, 2017
Under the Hood
00:58:07
Seth Godin, Faith Salie and Nicholas Negroponte are the panelists. The marketing guru, comedian and MIT Media Lab founder pull back the curtain on dreams, religious rules, and ovulation — among other great mysteries. Bouree Lam of "The Atlantic" is fact-checker.
Mar 20, 2017
Collections
00:50:24
Tim Ferriss, Eugene Mirman and Anne Pasternak are panelists. The self-help guru, comedian and Brooklyn Museum director talk about brainwaves, sugar, stars and — thanks to fact-checker AJ Jacobs — barf bags.
Mar 13, 2017
Wordz
00:53:08
Joanna Coles, Adriana Trigiani, and Maeve Higgins. The Hearst Magazines executive, novelist, and comedian delve into the written — or spoken, or programmed, or texted — word.
Mar 06, 2017
Athletes' Feats
00:56:20
Katie Nolan, DeMaurice Smith and Tami Sagher are panelists. The Fox Sports 1 host, NFL Players Association head, and comedian keep their eyes on the ball as contestants throw fascinating facts their way — about the strategy, scoring, business and history of competitive athletics.
Feb 27, 2017
Perfection
00:51:55
Lizz Winstead, Mike Pesca and Melanie Whelan are panelists. The "Daily Show" creator, host of "The Gist" podcast, and CEO of Soul Cycle ponder the pursuit of perfection — in cityscapes and on farms, in how we keep time and how we remember. Our fact-checker is A.J. Jacobs. host of the "Twice Removed" podcast. For tickets and to be a contestant go to tmsidk.com.
Feb 20, 2017
Season 2 Preview
00:03:38
We're back! Here's a preview of our second season which begins February 19th. Over the next 10 weeks you'll hear all sorts of fascinating things you didn't know, as our contestants try to wow captains of industry, heads of institutions and other professional smart people, plus great comedians like Aasif Mandvi, Lizz Winstead, John Fugelsang, Faith Salie, Aman Ali, Tami Sagher, Eugene Mirman, Hari Kondabolu, and Maeve Higgins.
Feb 13, 2017
Fool Me Once
00:59:14
Hannibal Buress, Annie Duke and Fr. James Martin, S.J. are panelists. A comedian, a poker player and a priest walk into a bar… and have to deal with missing hands, missing bodies and missing scientific evidence. Fact-checker: Sean Rameswaram, podcast producer for WNYC Studios.
Dec 11, 2016
Passion Plays
00:56:13
Austan Goolsbee, Angela Duckworth and Keisha Zollar are panelists. The U. of Chicago economist, "Grit" author, and comedian dig deep into things we're passionate about — good and bad — from sports to sounds to experimenting on students. Fact-checker: Negin Farsad, host of the podcast “Fake the Nation.”
Dec 05, 2016
Things That Come Out of Your Mouth
00:51:41
Dr. Oz, John McWhorter and Frank Delaney are panelists. The surgeon/TV host, linguist and novelist ponder marine regurgitation, texting and ugly bananas. Sean Rameswaram of WNYC Studois is fact-checker.
Nov 28, 2016
Things That Go In Your Mouth
00:57:26
Zeke Emanuel, Sam Kass and Gretchen Rubin are panelists. The bioethicist, former White House chef and “The Happiness Project” author ponder fascinating facts on our theme, “Things That Go In Your Mouth,” from the cheapest meal ever served in the White House to a surprisingly versatile musical instrument. Fact-checking by WNYC Studios producer Sean Rameswaram.
Nov 21, 2016
It's Alive
00:52:08
Chris Gethard, Simon Winchester and danah boyd are panelists. The comedian, "Professor and the Madman" author, and social-media scholar hear tales from the natural world — about marine animals that will either live forever or kill you (or both), as well as the wonders of poop soup. Tales from the natural world, including marine animals that will either live forever or kill you (or both), as well as the wonders of poop soup. Fact-checking by FiveThirtyEight’s Jody Avirgan.
Nov 14, 2016
Strange Danger
00:52:45
Debora Spar, Anthony Marx and Andy Zaltzman are panelists. The Barnard College president, New York Public Library president, and host of The Bugle podcast confront lots of things you didn't know are dangerous — including Election Day, a lack of sleep and truck drivers. Fact checking by FiveThirtyEight’s Jody Avirgan.
Nov 07, 2016
Introducing “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know”
00:03:28
Stephen J. Dubner of “Freakonomics Radio” has always had a mission: to tell you the things you thought you knew but didn’t; and things you never thought you wanted to know, but do. Now he has a new way of doing just that: “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know,” a live game show that’s a whole new form of factual journalism. The first episode drops on Monday, Nov. 7, so subscribe now! To be a contestant or buy tickets to our tapings in New York City, visit www.tmsidk.com.
Nov 01, 2016