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Toy inventor Lonnie Johnson poses with his creation "The Super Soaker" outside his Marietta, Ga., office  Nov. 12, 1998.  Johnson, who once worked for NASA, hit on his idea for the high-powered water gun while trying to invent a heat pump that would use water instead of Freon.  (John Bazemore/AP)

The Greatest Squirt Gun Ever Built

One of the bestselling toys of all-time, the Super Soaker, was invented by a rocket scientist nicknamed "The Professor." This is the story of the man, the legend: Lonnie Johnson.

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27:51Nov 2, 2018
"Fun Guy," by u/flamingloops

Screamtime: Zombie Fungus

Imagine a fungus that could infiltrate your whole body, turn you into a puppet, and grow right out of the top of your head. Actually, you don't have to imagine it -- IT'S REAL. It's called Cordyceps, and fortunately, it only has this effect on insects... for now.

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29:36Oct 26, 2018
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Screamtime: Roof Man

Paranormal activity has haunted Darcy throughout her life. But it wasn’t until a nighttime ritual with her daughter turned spooky that she wondered what else might be at play.

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20:49Oct 19, 2018
"Space Jellyfish" by u/Flufs

Screamtime: Doom Jelly

Imagine sitting in a hospital room for 24 consecutive hours in the most agonizing pain you can possibly imagine. You feel a sense of impending doom. You having a feeling this won’t end well. Then, the pain subsides and you walk away.

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35:49Oct 12, 2018
“Inktober Haunted House," u/MikePhillipsArt

Screamtime: Haunted House, Holy Water

When Alex was in high school, he and his best friend used to break into abandoned houses. But Alex was a tough guy, giving people hell. Until one night, in one of those abandoned houses... hell gave him something back.

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24:38Oct 5, 2018
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Snacktime: 'Last Seen' Edition

We’re popping into your feed to share a project we think you’ll love. It’s a new podcast called “Last Seen,” about the largest unsolved art heist in history -- the theft of 13 irreplaceable pieces of art from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

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14:21Sep 24, 2018
"I Had a Bad Dream"
Digital, 2000 x 2000 px
u/NPaull

The Great Mattress Conspiracy

Why are there so many Mattress Firm stores? How did they end up catty-corner across intersections and in the same shopping centers? Reddit users start to dig deeper into these Mattress Firm conspiracy theories, and we team up with Business Insider's "Household Name" to conduct an investigation of our own.

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36:17Sep 21, 2018
A poster for a never-made movie called "Rome Sweet Rome" (Courtesy Joe DiDonato)

Rome Sweet Rome

Could a unit of Marines destroy the entire Roman Empire if they traveled back in time? That is the question that inspired the now-legendary Reddit thread that turned James Erwin from an anonymous commenter, into a Hollywood screenwriter. His once-in-a-lifetime opportunity did not go exactly as planned.

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27:41Sep 14, 2018
“Hospital Room” by Helene Hildebrandt. (https://www.instagram.com/helenehildebrandt___)

Tim From Texas

Tim Rose was driving home in February 2015 when he got into a car accident. He was mostly fine, though he went to the hospital just to be safe. That's where things took a turn. He turned to Reddit for help and his life hasn't been the same since.

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29:06Sep 7, 2018
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The Cursed Manuscript

A 17th century monk using a nom de plume pens what could have been the blockbuster of its time: a teenage boy embarking on an epic voyage to the Americas. But, due to a series of bizarre circumstances, it was never published... until now.

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32:06Aug 31, 2018
"Sliding Doors" by u/joesimpsonart

The Ulysses Bucket List

A Reddit comment about a chance encounter on a train inspires thousands to participate in something called the Ulysses Bucket List Challenge. Endless Thread hosts Ben and Amory join in on the action, leading to Ben getting hypnotized and Amory performing stand-up comedy at an open mic.

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28:03Aug 24, 2018
"The Red Thread of Fate,"digital collage, 10x8in. (u/hercoffin)

The Test Of Time

In this episode, we feature two extraordinary stories about relationships that have withstood the test of time.

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29:08Aug 17, 2018
"Hawaii" by Michael Serafino/http://mikafino.com

The Original Most Interesting Man In The World

King David Kalākaua was the last king of Hawaii. But he was much more than that -- he was a traveler, a dreamer, a tech nerd. Or maybe he was fond of drinking, reveling and gambling. It depends on who you ask. But one thing he was not: Boring.

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28:02Aug 10, 2018
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Season 2: First Listen

The Endless Thread team has been hard at work on a new season of episodes. Don't believe us? We have proof! Take a listen to our trailer for Season 2. 

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01:48Aug 6, 2018
"Baseball Nights," oil on panel, 2' x 4' by u/geyserpj

Snacktime: A Trade Of Their Own

In this "Snacktime" episode, we chow down on two stories that were sent to us by listeners. The first, a look at how baseball fans on Reddit honor Major League Baseball's annual July trade deadline -- with a trade of their own.

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22:49Jul 27, 2018
"Sharing Snacks." Digital, 1400x1050 px. u/TheMelonOfPines

A Reddit Sampler

This week's episode is pretty short and sweet -- Amory and producer Josh Swartz talk about their favorite Reddit posts.

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18:48Jul 13, 2018
Untitled. By u/creativeadam

Call Of The Void

When you’re in a high place, peering over a ledge or a drop off, do you ever get that super weird feeling that you should just...jump? This is a real scientific phenomenon. It has a name: The call of the void.

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26:21Jun 29, 2018
"Jazz." Digital, 2836x4290px
By u/rk_art.

Axeman's Jazz

A serial killer dubbed "The Axeman" terrorized New Orleans in 1918-1919. One day, the local paper published a letter he'd written saying that he would strike again on a particular night. The only thing that would spare you... was listening to jazz. We dive into this popular TIL story from...

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30:03Jun 22, 2018
"Digital age submersion," Digital, 8333x4167, by u/_spec

Still Breaking

Why the battle for Net Neutrality isn't ending anytime soon.

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35:55Jun 15, 2018
Samantha and Laura on their wedding day in 2006, left, and on their vow renewal day, right. (Courtesy photo)

The Rest... Is History

Every relationship has a story. Samantha and Laura's is extraordinary. In recognition of Pride month, we bring you a story of love in transition.

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31:14Jun 8, 2018
Ken Bone in watercolor, 11x16, by u/Future_Mrs_Nic_Cage. Find her on Instagram and Twitter @lisa_bizzle

I, Ken Bone

We talk to the man, the meme, the legend: Ken Bone. What happens to a meme deterred? We find out.

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24:39Jun 1, 2018
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In Memoriam

Death: It comes for all of us, eventually. This week we bring you two tales from Reddit about the Grim Reaper himself. One involves gravestones; the other, a "natural" way to think about burial.

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26:31May 25, 2018
Pixel Bunny, Digital, 150x100 pixels. (u/Qyzyz)

Rice Bunny

How Chinese #MeToo activists are keeping the movement alive, despite government censorship.

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25:28May 18, 2018
School Trippin' by u/LukeRobson. Find him online at https://www.stoddartist.com and on Instagram at @stoddartist.

Schooled

It's May, which means most of the kids in school right now are thinking about the summer. And to celebrate, we've got two stories about some rather unfortunate school mishaps.

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23:19May 11, 2018
The flyer in question.

Hail Corporate

A man makes a terrible sculpture of his girlfriend...out of Soylent. (Guess what..."they are now separate.") He then makes a flyer to try to give that sculpture away. The flyer goes viral. Why-oh-why did he do it? We find out.

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24:44May 4, 2018
"Happy Little Green Tree," 8x10 watercolor, by u/EdensQuill

That Old Chestnut

One of the nuttiest stories of near extinction and resurrection ever seen in the United States. It involves genetic engineering, warring factions of tree enthusiasts, and a mysterious, destructive power that started at the Bronx Zoo.

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31:50Apr 27, 2018
"Rush." Oil on 25"x 25" canvas. (Jenny Hoard/jenniferhoard.com)

Mission: Improbable

What do you do when you're about to fly home from Japan and you realize you've left your passport in your hotel 300 miles away? Or when you're looking for pals to run with you from England to Italy? Post to Reddit, of course.

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27:10Apr 13, 2018
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Fun Guy

A lab at the University of Oklahoma wants your dirt -- really. A viral post on Reddit brought awareness to this fascinating program, which studies fungi from soil samples from around the country with the hopes of discovering new disease-curing medicines.

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23:00Apr 6, 2018
Rawlings baseball glove / 0.1 unipin pen / 594 mm x 841 mm (Redditor krishartas/http://www.krishartas.com.au)

Pitch Perfect

With spring finally here and the MLB's opening day upon us, we're talkin' baseball. We talk to the Redditor who calculated the odds of the infamous 2001 Randy Johnson mourning dove incident occurring, and to a young dad who received a memorable gift from the Seattle Mariners via Reddit.

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19:45Mar 30, 2018
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Drinking The Hader-ade

Funnyman Bill Hader has a new show, "Barry," about a depressed hitman who heads to Los Angeles for a job, and ends up taking acting classes. He talks about his career as a comedian and how his stage fright helped inspire the world behind "Barry."

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20:29Mar 23, 2018
Amory Sivertson, left, and Ben Brock Johnson, at their AMA (Ask Me Anything) at SXSW in Austin, Tuesday, March 16, 2018. (Photo/Reddit)

Dirty 6th

Ben and Amory do a live AMA at SXSW, where they talk about what they've learned making Endless Thread, and what it's like meeting Redditors IRL. They also sit down with Reddit CEO Steve Huffman for a conversation about the history and future of the platform.

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21:32Mar 16, 2018
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Something Wicked

"Our landlord isn't letting me talk to you, but it's important we do." This text was written on one of several creepy post-it notes that mysteriously appeared in Redditor RBradbury1920's apartment. Who wrote them? Why? And how were they getting there? We get to the bottom of this famous Reddit...

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27:08Mar 9, 2018
The 2017 seal. (Courtesy Village of Whitesboro, New York)

There Was An Attempt

A small village in upstate New York faced a lot of criticism about its official seal. They decided to change it, but did it really make a difference? You might say... there was an attempt.

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27:46Mar 2, 2018
mackinaw island bike rides; drypoint print 8x12in (u/leahmarie315)

The GOAT

The Italian cyclist Gino Bartali could rightfully be called "the GOAT" -- the Greatest of All Time -- for his athletic achievements alone. But in this episode, we tip our hats to him as a humanitarian.

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27:45Feb 23, 2018
"Album Cover" by /u/Jarrett089i

Kickin' It

More than 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Alex from Brockport, New York, is determined not to be one of them. He's currently 5 months clean, after using heroin for 5 years, and Reddit is one of several resources that helped him get there.

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35:29Feb 16, 2018
"Close Your Eyes While You Kiss Me" by u/N94GAMES. Digital.

Three Stories Of Love, On Reddit

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Endless Thread brings you three love stories brought to you straight from Reddit. You’re not crying, your eyes are just sweating.

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25:50Feb 9, 2018
Keith Burchall of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, was excited to attend the rally as he dressed in Patriots colors and with his face painted silver. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

And... It's Good!: A Look Into Football On Reddit

Hey football fans, ever heard of the Chicago Bears Principle? How about Winter Magic? Or the UFL? In this Super Bowl-themed episode, Redditors educate us on the stats, the halftime history books, and tackle football on wheels.

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35:51Feb 2, 2018
Hope, digital. /u/Kryptonian_Germ

Getting Home

When there was chaos in his life, Shane Correia had one constant -- his folder.

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35:03Jan 19, 2018

Hosted by Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson, Endless Thread, a podcast from WBUR and Reddit, delves into Reddit’s vast communities to explore some of the most compelling stories the Internet has to offer, including revelations about our shared experience and powerful, personal stories. Also, cat videos. This is a show for Reddit connoisseurs, skeptics, and even the uninitiated.
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Get in touch!
Email: endlessthread@wbur.org
Twitter: @Endless_Thread
On Reddit: u/endless_thread

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