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Trailer: Endless Thread Presents... MEMES!

On October 1st, Endless Thread is back. We're kicking things off with a deep exploration into something that has changed lives, politics, and the way we interact online and in real life: memes!

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02:34Sep 24, 2021
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MEMES, Part 4: Woman yelling at a cat

The funny "Woman Yelling at a Cat" meme that made “Real Housewife” Taylor Armstrong internet famous in 2019 has bitter roots. In this episode, we tell a little-known origin story of a meme that might make you think twice about using it, and we explore why losing context is crucial,...

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41:27Oct 15, 2021
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MEMES, Bonus: A billion Ricks

Last week, we explored the origin of the “Rick Roll,” a meme that evolved from Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Since the music video resurfaced in 2007, the internet has also never given up on Rick – it recently hit a billion views on YouTube. This bonus episode...

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19:06Oct 12, 2021

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.
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Email: endlessthread@wbur.org
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New Episodes
Released weekly

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MEMES, Part 3: Gotta make you understand

Usually, nobody gets credit for starting a meme. But in the case of one of the most famous bait-and-switch memes of all time, the Rick Roll, we may be looking at something experts call convergent evolution. We explore the meme’s origin, the history of the song, and its impact on...

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42:06Oct 8, 2021
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MEMES, Part 2: Scumbag Steve

Scumbag Steve spread across the internet like wildfire in 2011. But the full story of what happened to Blake Boston has never been told. In this episode, we go past the meme's origin story and learn about Blake’s struggles with PTSD and abuse — and how trauma has brought him...

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40:12Oct 1, 2021
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MEMES, Part 1: Kilroy was here

We often think of memes as living solely online. But the image that's often considered to "the first meme" appeared around the globe during World War II. In the first episode of our meme series, we tell the story of "Kilroy Was Here" -- where came from, how it spread,...

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36:05Oct 1, 2021
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Snacktime: Suitcases of Cash And Bob Saget's Ghost

Gather round for this week’s Snacktime episode, where Ben tells iLab producer Nora Saks two stories about found money, a gambling ruse in a Belizean casino, and why Bob Saget would block himself on Twitter if he could.

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14:09Aug 20, 2021
Geedis (Courtesy Stacen Goldman/Framingham History Center)

Encore: What is Geedis? An Internet Mystery For The Ages... Gets Solved!

What is Geedis? Endless Thread revisits an episode from 2019 in which the team joined the internet's two-year-long quest to answer this question. The strange, furry character and his buddies in The Land of Ta had been a mystery of 80’s fantastical proportions, but the team went down the rabbit...

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44:18Aug 6, 2021
"Glitter" by u/SneakyBunny84

Encore: The Great Glitter Mystery

Endless Thread revisits this episode from 2019 that solved one of the internet’s most compelling mysteries. Inspired by a 2018 New York Times feature about glitter, people obsessed over identifying the mysterious industry buying huge amounts of glitter. No one had been able to find any answers … until the...

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40:19Jul 9, 2021
("Joust," u/longlivelenin7)

Rein It In!: Competitive Jousting Meets The Black Market

On this week’s Snacktime, Ben tells Amory about the still-very-much-alive sport of jousting and how it relates to a pretty wild story about a Redditor’s ex, a snowy white steed getting repossessed, and equine semen fraud.

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20:52Jun 25, 2021