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Every Little Thing

Gimlet Media

Who invented pants? How did ‘pink for girls’ and ‘blue for boys’ happen? What do dogs say when they bark? ELT is here to answer your burning questions. If you have a question that needs answering, call the ELT Help Line at 833-RING-ELT or send an audio message to elt@gimletmedia.com. Every Little Thing is produced by Gimlet Media and hosted by Flora Lichtman.

Who invented pants? How did ‘pink for girls’ and ‘blue for boys’ happen? What do dogs say when they bark? ELT is here to answer your burning questions. If you have a question that needs answering, call the ELT Help Line at 833-RING-ELT or send an audio message to elt@gimletmedia.com. Every Little Thing is produced by Gimlet Media and hosted by Flora Lichtman.

Location:

United States

Networks:

Gimlet Media

Description:

Who invented pants? How did ‘pink for girls’ and ‘blue for boys’ happen? What do dogs say when they bark? ELT is here to answer your burning questions. If you have a question that needs answering, call the ELT Help Line at 833-RING-ELT or send an audio message to elt@gimletmedia.com. Every Little Thing is produced by Gimlet Media and hosted by Flora Lichtman.

Language:

English


Episodes

ELT Wants to Hear From You

3/19/2020
Are you manning a cash register, stocking shelves, delivering pizzas? Are you out working to make sure those of us stuck at home have what we need? We want to hear from you. Call us at 833-RING-ELT.

Duration:00:01:07

Is It Weird to Be Nice to Alexa?

3/16/2020
Listener Elizabeth always says “please” and “thank you” to her Google voice assistant, and her husband says she’s weird. ELT talks to former Alexa insider Daren Gill and expert in human-robot interactions Leila Takayama to find out just how weird Elizabeth is. Plus, we right a #noboe wrong. Thanks to caller Elizabeth. Guests: Daren Gill, director of product at Spotify; human-robot interaction researcher Leila Takayama; oboe player Marcus Phillips.

Duration:00:25:26

Symphony Secrets: Dirt from the Pit

3/9/2020
Does an orchestra’s triangle player get the same pay as a violinist? Do conductors ever fall off their podiums? Which section do the other musicians love to hate? ELT dishes symphony secrets from two orchestra insiders. Guests: violinist Akiko Tarumoto and conductor Rob Kapilow. Special thanks to Nathan Cole and danke schön to caller Laszlo. Correction: This episode has been updated to replace the #noboe music with oboe music. Additional thanks to Marcus Phillips for helping us right this...

Duration:00:27:27

Anesthesia and a Mysterious Chili Cheese Fry Craving

3/2/2020
A troubling image of a flamingo family has the flam world in a frenzy. ELT’s resident flamingo expert tells us what’s really happening in that viral pic. Plus, listener Paul goes in for an appendectomy, and wakes up with a bizarre craving. What happened when he went under the knife? Guests: Flamingo expert Felicity Arengo and anesthetist Kate Leslie. Thanks to caller Paul.

Duration:00:22:54

How Police Sketch Artists Read Your Mind

2/17/2020
A police sketch artist reveals how she turns your fuzzy memory into a sharp drawing. Sketch artist Kelly Lawson from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation walks us through the process. Thanks to Gary Wells, Gil Zamora, and caller Lex.

Duration:00:21:41

Meet the Scrunchie Queen

2/10/2020
Kate, a “hair is life” kind of person, asks about the invention that keeps her hair out of her face. Guests: Hair stylist and hair archaeologist Janet Stephens; Scrunchie queen Rommy Revson. Thanks to caller Kate.

Duration:00:22:15

Drugs on Screen: A Prop Master Tells All

2/3/2020
Listener Emily is dying to know: what are actors actually using when they do drugs on screen? A prop czar takes ELT behind the scenes. Plus, a tribute to percussionist Emil Richards. Guest: prop master Lynda Reiss. Thanks to caller Emily.

Duration:00:25:48

America’s Next Top Word

1/20/2020
We asked you, the ELT family, to share your favorite underutilized words -- words that you love and want other listeners to love too. And you delivered. Now, with your help, we want to get one of those words into the dictionary. A professional word nerd tells us which of your submissions have the best chance of making it into the big book. Guest: former Merriam-Webster Dictionary editor Kory Stamper. Thanks to everyone who called in with a word.

Duration:00:26:33

Caveman Confidential

1/13/2020
Did cavemen really carry clubs? Live in caves? Wear leopard-print one-shouldered dresses? Paleoanthropologists Melanie Chang and Genevieve von Petzinger help bust our biggest cavemen myths — and tell us what our ancestors were really like. Special thanks to caller Lauren, and to historian Matthew Goodrum.

Duration:00:21:12

Travel Secrets: Airplane Seats, Cheap Gas, Dirty Toilets

12/23/2019
We’re clearing out our inbox and answering some of your burning follow-up questions for our last episode of 2019. Guests: Captain Nick Anderson, retired Virgin-Atlantic airline pilot, Airline Pilot Guy Show; microbiologist Jenny Hayden, Cedar Crest College; Jason Torchinsky, senior editor at Jalopnik. Thanks to callers Mattie, Toku, Piper, Aviv, Meghan, Anna, Liz, Kathi and Carl.

Duration:00:27:21

Can You Learn to Taste Better?

12/16/2019
Caller Shannon is at a loss for words when it comes to describing her favorite vegetable -- corn. ELT enlists a professional food describer to help expand Shannon’s tasting vocabulary. Guest: sensory evaluator Gail Vance Civille of Sensory Spectrum. Special thanks to Shannon for venturing outside of her palate’s comfort zone.

Duration:00:26:47

Ever Felt Someone’s Pain… In Your Butt?

12/9/2019
Caller Lisa wants to know why her butt hurts whenever she sees someone else get injured. ELT finds out whether some people really can feel your pain. Guest: pain researcher Stuart Derbyshire. Thanks to queen of Chapped Cheeks Lisa, and to researchers Natalie Bowling, Melita Giummarra, Helena Hartmann, Marina López-Solà, Bridget Rubenking, Jamie Ward, Scott Vrana, and Jamil Zaki. May your cheeks be ever free — hashtag booboobottom.

Duration:00:30:55

Ants: Tiny Brains, Full Hearts

11/25/2019
Wendy Zukerman, host of Science Vs, has a burning question: Do ants help each other out? ELT goes down the anthole to find the antswer. Guests: ant researchers Erik Frank at Université de Lausanne and Christina Kwapich at Arizona State University.

Duration:00:30:14

Twinspiracies: The Truth About Twinspeak and More

11/18/2019
Do twins communicate in the womb? Can they read each other’s minds? ELT tackles listeners’ twin questions and investigates some burning twin-spiracies. Guest: Nancy Segal, psychology professor at California State University, Fullerton, and author of Twin Mythconceptions. Thanks to twins Kelly and Kristina, Reply All’s Phia Bennin, and everyone who called with twin questions.

Duration:00:30:55

Sinkholes: How Scared Should I Be? Plus, Amy Sedaris

11/4/2019
ELT tackles some animal, vegetable, mineral mysteries with special guest Amy Sedaris. Plus, caller Maria is troubled by a hole in front of her condo — will she be swallowed by the earth? And the scoop on spinach tooth. Guests: Comedian and rabbit expert Amy Sedaris; Jim Correll, plant pathologist, University of Arkansas; geologist and sinkhole expert David Wilshaw. Thanks to callers Anthony, Eddie and Maria.

Duration:00:25:29

Spiders: How Many Can There Be?

10/28/2019
A mass spider invasion at his office left accountant Steven with a burning question: How many can there be? ELT does some spider number-crunching, and meets the man who discovered one of the largest spider gatherings on record. Guests: Freddie Gowin, retired park ranger, Lake Tawakoni State Park, Texas; Linda Rayor, arachnologist at Cornell University. Thanks to caller Steven.

Duration:00:27:45

Grand Theft Water Lily

10/14/2019
Why would a garden-gloved thief lift a water lily from a botanical garden in London? ELT gets to the root of a rare plant heist. Guests: Carlos Magdalena, botanical horticulturist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, and author of The Plant Messiah. Nick Johnson, horticultural manager of Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, Grand Cayman. Thanks to caller Carl.

Duration:00:24:49

Nail Polish Naming: Who Does That?

10/7/2019
How do nail polish colors get their names? ELT digs into this FAQ, and finds out how painting our nails became a thing. Plus, an update on Jeremy’s reported fruit fly infestation. Guests: Fashion historian Suzanne Shapiro, author of Nails: The Story of the Modern Manicure; Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, co-founder and Brand Ambassador of OPI Products Inc., and author of I’m Not Really a Waitress; chemical ecologist Kevin Cloonan, Acadia University, Nova Scotia, Canada. Thanks to caller Olivia and all...

Duration:00:26:15

Alien Invasion: How Little Green Men Took Over

9/23/2019
Images of little green aliens are everywhere: Area 51, bongs, your ‘90s chain wallet. But why did we start depicting extraterrestrials that way? ELT uncovers the moment that beamed little green aliens into our homes (and hearts). Guests: sociologist of science Pierre Lagrange; Kentucky resident Bill Thomas; literature professor Roger Luckhurst. Special thanks to caller Willie. Thanks also to Sarah Scoles and Geraldine Sutton Stith.

Duration:00:28:12

Limbo: The Haunting Backstory of Getting Low

9/16/2019
Where did the limbo first get off the ground? This week, ELT reveals how it went from funerals in the Caribbean to shag-carpeted basements across American suburbia. Guests: Performer, choreographer, and documentarian Sonja Dumas; and Shane Vogel, professor of English and Theater at Indiana University. Special thanks to listener Aurelia. Thanks also to Kieron Sargeant and Ray Funk. To hear the songs featured in this episode, head over to our Spotify playlist at elt.show/limbo.

Duration:00:27:36