224 episodes

Hosts Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson dig into the internet's vast and curious ecosystem of online communities to find untold histories, unsolved mysteries, and other jaw-dropping stories online and IRL.

Endless Thread WBUR

    • Technology
    • 4.1 • 2.4K Ratings

Hosts Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson dig into the internet's vast and curious ecosystem of online communities to find untold histories, unsolved mysteries, and other jaw-dropping stories online and IRL.

    Jokes, Part I: Sumer Funny, Sumer Not

    Jokes, Part I: Sumer Funny, Sumer Not

    What makes the world’s first documented bar joke funny? No one knows.

    In a tweet that garnered thousands of responses in March, the Twitter account @DepthsOfWiki posted about a 4,000-year-old proverb written on a clay tablet. The line, which experts believe is a joke from the ancient civilization of Sumer, starts with the set-up, “A dog walks into a tavern.” But the punchline has left scholars and online commenters scratching their heads. The joke’s meaning has been lost, and finding it could reveal something unique about early human civilization.

    In this episode, the first of two parts, Endless Thread journeys back in time, attempting to deconstruct the origins of humor and explain an unexplainable joke from the forgotten tablets of the past.

    ******
    Credits: This episode was written and produced by Dean Russell. Mixing and sound design by Emily Jankowski. Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson are the co-hosts.

    • 33 min
    Alyssa

    Alyssa

    When a Reddit post about constant “locker room talk” in a male-dominated office gained traction in the r/TwoXChromosomes subreddit, Ben and Amory invite the OP to talk about the story behind her post.

    ******
    Credits: This episode was written and produced by Megan Cattel. Mixing and sound design by Emily Jankowski. Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson are the co-hosts.

    • 37 min
    Eggs Tyrone and The United States Chemical Safety Board's YouTube Channel

    Eggs Tyrone and The United States Chemical Safety Board's YouTube Channel

    Ben is joined by producer Quincy Walters in this Snacktime episode about little-known government agency with a cult YouTube following and the music mish-mash account that brought Ben back to Instagram after a 3-year hiatus.

    ******
    Credits: This episode was produced by Quincy Walters. Mixing and sound design by Paul Vaitkus. Ben Brock Johnson and Quincy Walters are the co-hosts.

    • 19 min
    Swedengate

    Swedengate

    When a Redditor said that he was expected to stay in his Swedish friend's bedroom while the friend ate dinner with his family, the internet exploded with hot takes. Is Sweden the most inhospitable country in the world? We talk to the individuals at the center of the Swedengate saga, including the OP himself. We also delve into how questioning cultural norms can shed light on Sweden's reckoning with nationalism, racism, and xenophobia.

    ******
    Credits: This episode was written and produced by Amory Siverston. Mixing and sound design by Matt Reed. Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson are the co-hosts.

    • 39 min
    Encore: Tight Squeeze

    Encore: Tight Squeeze

    You might not think about caves in the same breath as you do the deep ocean or outer space, but you probably should. There are approximately 70,000 caves in the United States alone, but the vast majority are inaccessible to the public. That means rare, delicate ecosystems have developed for tens of thousands of years in complete isolation from human contact. That is, until cavers travel deep underground through impossibly small spaces to find them. Join the Endless Thread team as we dive into the claustrophobia-inducing world of caving. This episode was originally published on September 4, 2020.

    • 35 min
    Aunties

    Aunties

    Reddit's Auntie Network, an online community "dedicated to providing information and resources to those in need of abortion services," has been inundated with new members since the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked in early May. Community members can offer rides, lodging, and emotional support for anyone seeking an abortion — especially when crossing state lines.

    In today’s episode, we hear from two moderators of Auntie Network, as well as the executive directors of the Blue Ridge Abortion Fund in Virginia and the Kentucky Health Justice Network, about how abortion rights advocates — online and off — can work together in a post-Roe America.

    ******
    Credits: This episode was written by Amory Sivertson and produced by Grace Tatter. Mixing and sound design by Matt Reed. Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson are the co-hosts.

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
2.4K Ratings

2.4K Ratings

chellebell629 ,

More than 3 because I am subscribed

Less than 5 because their dialogue can sound forced/scripted or like the hosts don’t have chemistry, which makes it harder for easy listening. But I’ve learned some cool things from the podcast and if the topic interests me I’ll normally listen!

Cheefguy ,

They did it, they turned into Reply All

Used to be a fun podcast, now it’s yet another place for inane woke nonsense.

JohnnyCapps ,

Used to be great, but…

I used to love this show! I would look forward to every new episode to see what they were going to dig up on Reddit in a guaranteed fun and drama-less way. No controversy, just fun!

But over the last year or two things have become increasingly political. It’s almost like every other show they talk about has to do with politics and pushing their own liberally-minded agenda. It was a show that I used to get away from all the politics, news and division, but it feels as if they have taken up a self-righteous banner of “important” topics and slowly inoculating their listeners to think like them. “And for those reasons, I’m out.”

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