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06/03/2016 Not only was John Frankford a famous horse thief, he was also a notoriously good escape artist. People thought no jail was strong enough to keep him, but then in 1895 he was sentenced to Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary. At Eastern State, Frankford became the victim of a strange practice that carried implications for both the state of Pennsylvania and the medical establishment we know it today. Reporter Elana Gordon from WHYY's The Pulse has today's story. Criminal is hiring! We're a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 
The true-crime genre brings with it some ethical controversy—namely, when its practitioners create entertainment from other people’s pain. Criminal manages to uphold high journalistic standards instead of trafficking in monster stories or gory details. It does fresh reporting and avoids being a sound-bite aggregator, instead shining a light on the bizarre shadowy interplay between the law and outlaws. For instance, a tiger that lives at a truck stop in Louisiana is really a story about activists versus small business (“Tiger”). A prisoner’s body, stolen and harvested, reveals the lengths to which doctors used to go to obtain cadavers, all by way of an infamous escape artist (“One Eyed Joe”). Crime shows don’t have to glorify bad guys in order to satisfy listeners’ desire to examine the underbelly of society. Criminal’s ethos sets the true-crime bar high.
05/12/2016For years, Paul Modrowski has been writing a blog from inside a maximum security prison. Only thing is, he was arrested when he was 18 and has never seen the internet. Sruthi Pinnamaneni reaches out to him with one small question that alters the course of her next year.
People live in two nearly indistinguishable worlds now, one made up of flesh and one piped in from broadband lines and cell-phone towers. By making sense of the two, Reply All reveals the source of its greatness—the hosts have old souls, despite only being in their 30s, and they know everything about the young web. The show finds stories buried deep down Reddit rabbit holes and in the weeds of a Craigslist posting. One popular segment has their middle-aged boss asking them the meaning of a tweet riddled with memes and internet shorthand, and they walk him—and the audience—through how to interpret it all: a rare Pepe, Tim Buckley’s “loss.jpg,” or swipes at Harambe, all of which become good fodder for the hosts. Reply All—brilliant, nerdy, and cool—takes the unable-to-wrap-your-mind-around-it internet and crams it into one cozy podcast episode.
09/22/2016Forty servers full of lost photos, a secret plan, and an unexpected rescue. Also, a Yes Yes No about a frog. Further Reading Hillary on Pepe Matt Furie (Pepe's creator) on Pepe Smugmug's statement on Picturelife Our Sponsors 99designs – Visit 99designs.com/reply to get a free $99 upgrade on your first design project. HPE - To learn more about how HPE can provide innovative and effective it solutions for your business go to HPE.com/gimlet. Wealthsimple – Investing made easy. Get your first $10,000 managed for free.
People live in two nearly indistinguishable worlds now, one made up of flesh and one piped in from broadband lines and cell-phone towers. By making sense of the two, Reply All reveals the source of its greatness—the hosts have old souls, despite only being in their 30s, and they know everything about the young web. The show finds stories buried deep down Reddit rabbit holes and in the weeds of a Craigslist posting. One popular segment has their middle-aged boss asking them the meaning of a tweet riddled with memes and internet shorthand, and they walk him—and the audience—through how to interpret it all: a rare Pepe, Tim Buckley’s “loss.jpg,” or swipes at Harambe, all of which become good fodder for the hosts. Reply All—brilliant, nerdy, and cool—takes the unable-to-wrap-your-mind-around-it internet and crams it into one cozy podcast episode.
06/17/2016 This is the story of a three-year-old girl and the highest court in the land. The Supreme Court case Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl was a legal battle that entangled a biological father, a heart-broken couple, and the tragic history of Native American children taken from their families. When producer Tim Howard first read about this case, it struck him as a sad, but seemingly straightforward custody dispute. But as he started talking to lawyers, historians, and the families involved in the case, it became clear that it was much more than that. Because Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl challenges parts of the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act, this case puts one little girl at the center of a storm of legal intricacies, Native American tribal culture, and heart-wrenching personal stakes. A note from Jad: "As you guys may know, our new podcast More Perfect is Radiolab’s first ever spin-off show. But I want to share something special with you: THE Radiolab episode that inspired us to launch this whole series about the Supreme Court. After we put out this episode we got hooked on the court and the kinds of stories we could tell about it. So we made More Perfect. We reported this Radiolab story about three years ago. It’s about a little girl...but really it’s about so much more than that, too. Stay tuned to the end for an update about what has happened since." The key links: - An op-ed by Veronica's birth mom, Christy Maldonado, in the Washington Post - Marcia Zug's article for Slate on the original case that went to the South Carolina Supreme Court - Marcia Zug's article for Slate criticizing the Supreme Court ruling - An op-ed by the New York Times Editorial Board urging action from the Supreme Court - The official site for ICWA, the Indian Child Welfare Act The key voices: - Matt and Melanie Capobianco, Veronica's adoptive parents - Dusten Brown, Veronica's biological father - Christy Maldonado, Veronica's biological mother - Mark Fiddler, attorney for the Capobiancos - Marcia Zug, associate professor of law at the University of South Carolina School of Law - Bert Hirsch, attorney formerly of the Association on American Indian Affairs - Chrissi Nimmo, Assistant Attorney General for Cherokee Nation - Terry Cross, executive director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association - Lori Alvino McGill, attorney for Christy Maldonado The key cases: - 2013: Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl
“We the People of the United States, in order to for a more perfect union ... ” are the opening words of the preamble of the Constitution from which this Radiolab spinoff derives its name. The audio revolutionary Jad Abumrad and his team became interested in the Supreme Court after working on a story about a complex adoption case involving the Indian Child Welfare Act. The story, as does each More Perfect episode, zooms out to reveal how nine justices shape our everyday lives in unexpected—and, in some cases, unintended and alarming—ways. More Perfect offered a useful way to gear up for the intensity of this year’s election cycle and can serve as a nice comedown, too, because it’s not about picking sides. Also: Season two is in the works.
10/20/2016 Once again, race has become a central issue in a presidential campaign. But this time, it's not all about people of color. It's also about white Americans, and what their place is in 21st century America. This week, WNYC Studios and The Nation examine the history of what it means and has meant to be white in the United States of America. WNYC’s Jim O’Grady accompanies journalist Chris Arnade to Long Island. What they find is that as the economy has transitioned away from manual labor, it's struck at the very heart of the way many working-class Americans define masculinity, and, in turn, themselves. Connie and Fiore Napolitano at a roadside hot dog stand off Montauk Highway in Suffolk County. (Chris Arnade ) Plus, The Nation’s Kai Wright explores this notion with a group of Italian Americans who document their families' journey from immigrant scapegoats to full-fledged "whiteness." Episode Contributors: Kai Wright Jim O'Grady Karen Frillmann Joseph Capriglione Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. Listen to more from The Nation.
In a year of widespread polarization, The United States of Anxiety rose up from the cracks, cataloging and responding to a nation’s election fears as they played out in real time. USA premiered during the height of campaign frenzy and, each week, eased people’s fears about “the other side” with a specific kind of medicine: information. By offering historical context (say, stats about the cortisol levels of conservatives versus liberals), explaining how one-time Obama voters found themselves screaming support at Republican rallies, and dignifying the voices of hardcore Trump supporters, the show shrank the frightening chasm of stuff that seemed beyond understanding. The show also produced post-November 8 call-in episodes, which asked people of contradicting creeds to talk it out with podcast darlings like Anna Sale, Brian Lehrer, and Manoush Zomorodi. If USA is the barometer, hope for progress still exists.
09/22/2016 For many voters, this election is not simply about deciding the next President of the United States, or even setting the landscape of national politics. Instead, it serves as a referendum on what it means to be innately American. Join WNYC Studios and The Nation as we travel to East Long Island to embark on a new journey beyond the constant churn of daily headlines. There we will begin the journey documenting not only what Americans are thinking, but what events transpired that brought them to their current state of mind. First we meet Patty, a one-time Obama supporter who now can be found protesting on highway overpasses, and skeptical of the president for whom she once voted. From Patty we are introduced to Tom, her friend and a retired New York City Police officer. Facing shifts within his community, Tom has coarsened, with a disillusionment that extends beyond what he perceives as the fragmentation of his lifelong homeLong Islandbut towards new residents he feels act counter to American values in their attempts attain the American Dream.  In time, we turn our attention to a Salvadoran congregation; one which nurtures the very sense of community within Long Island that Tom now mourns. Among the pews, we ultimately find a gateway to Leni, a woman attempting to keep her family from unraveling, as her fiancé fights deportation. Episode Contributors: Arun Venugopal Julianne Hing Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.
In a year of widespread polarization, The United States of Anxiety rose up from the cracks, cataloging and responding to a nation’s election fears as they played out in real time. USA premiered during the height of campaign frenzy and, each week, eased people’s fears about “the other side” with a specific kind of medicine: information. By offering historical context (say, stats about the cortisol levels of conservatives versus liberals), explaining how one-time Obama voters found themselves screaming support at Republican rallies, and dignifying the voices of hardcore Trump supporters, the show shrank the frightening chasm of stuff that seemed beyond understanding. The show also produced post-November 8 call-in episodes, which asked people of contradicting creeds to talk it out with podcast darlings like Anna Sale, Brian Lehrer, and Manoush Zomorodi. If USA is the barometer, hope for progress still exists.
09/24/201620 years ago, Gregor lent some CDs to a musician friend. The CDs helped make him a famous rockstar. Now, Gregor would like some recognition. But mostly, he wants his CDs back. Our Sponsors Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their products, and grow their businesses every day. Prudential - Download the MapMyRun app and join the Prudential 4.01K challenge. When you do, pledge to save at least 1% or more of your annual income for retirement and run and log 4.01K to be eligible to win a prize. Squarespace – The easiest way to create a beautiful website, portfolio or online store. Use the offer code “HEAVYWEIGHT" to get 10% off your first purchase. Wealthsimple – Investing made easy. Get your first $10,000 managed for free. Credits Heavyweight is hosted and produced by Jonathan Goldstein, along with Wendy Dorr, Chris Neary, and Kalila Holt.  Editing by Alex Blumberg & Peter Clowney.   Special thanks to Emily Condon, Jackie Cohen, Paul Tough, Stevie Lane, Michelle Harris, Dimitri Erlich, Sean Cole and Jorge Just.  The show was mixed by Haley Shaw.  Music for this episode by Christine Fellows, with additional music by Talk-star, The Eastern Watershed Klezmer Quartet and Haley Shaw, who also did our ad music. Our theme song is by The Weakerthans courtesy of Epitaph Records.
Heavyweight explores the tricky business of redemption and estrangement by starting with the premise that to make something right, you have to first get over the idea that someone is at fault. You also have to laugh, to the point of tears, as much as possible. Each episode finds the host Jonathan Goldstein moderating a fraught moment intensified by years of distance: a time when someone broke a promise, or another person’s heart. The hurt is still there—sometimes for everyone, sometimes for just one person who can’t let something go (like the time a man named Gregor lent the then-unknown musician Moby a collection of CDs that were never returned). As Goldstein presides over these thorny divisions, he injects the narrative with a buddy-cop mania, letting the listeners laugh at how flawed his subjects (himself included) are, without ever being demeaning. Goldstein leads special-ops soul-searching missions, seeking common ground between the aggrieved and the blissfully ignorant. With him as the host, Heavyweight can’t help but try to make amends with everyone it seeks out.
11/27/2016As the voice of Sasha turns up the pressure on Ross to reveal FBI secrets, he must make an agonizing choice. 
LifeAfter is an audio soap opera that captures your attention entirely, even when its dialogue and plot have holes. If you were a fan of last year’s The Message, then you’re already familiar with the flavor of the Panoply and GE Podcast Theater collaboration. This year, we follow a low-level FBI employee as a voicemail-based social media site preserves and (perhaps) resurrects his wife who died eight months ago. He’s been instructed to stay away, but he can’t resist, and even starts taking instruction from the voices he hears when he’s on the site, which may threaten his life and the world at large. The plot sounds heavy, though LifeAfter is anything but. The story isn’t even halfway to its finale, and it’s already pulling out all the sensational stops, giving listeners a wonderful portal through which to escape for a few minutes. LifeAfter is the audio equivalent of a beach read, just in time for winter.
11/13/2016Since low-level FBI clerk Ross Barnes lost his wife to a car accident, he’s consoled himself by listening to her voice-posts on an audio social media website.  When he hears something eerie and shocking while listening to her messages, it turns his life upside down. 
LifeAfter is an audio soap opera that captures your attention entirely, even when its dialogue and plot have holes. If you were a fan of last year’s The Message, then you’re already familiar with the flavor of the Panoply and GE Podcast Theater collaboration. This year, we follow a low-level FBI employee as a voicemail-based social media site preserves and (perhaps) resurrects his wife who died eight months ago. He’s been instructed to stay away, but he can’t resist, and even starts taking instruction from the voices he hears when he’s on the site, which may threaten his life and the world at large. The plot sounds heavy, though LifeAfter is anything but. The story isn’t even halfway to its finale, and it’s already pulling out all the sensational stops, giving listeners a wonderful portal through which to escape for a few minutes. LifeAfter is the audio equivalent of a beach read, just in time for winter.
04/10/2016Part 1 in our Forbidden Crush Series features a teenager that obsessed over the school's most powerful authority figure.
Mortified brings hilarious performance art to our ears with recordings of people telling personal stories in front of an audience at a bar somewhere. But unlike other shows with a similar construct, these aren’t crafted and practiced for hours beforehand: People read aloud from their unedited middle-school diaries, for instance, always around a particular theme. The silliness and the laughs will make you regress, in a good way, to a childlike state. The audience in Mortified is a crucial companion; it’s a camaraderie listeners need to ensure that they’re not alone in laughing at the reader’s expense. If nothing else, Mortified illustrates something everyone experiences during adolescence: We all just wanted to be loved—and we were pretty funny in our self-absorption.
10/16/2016Need relief from all the juvenile antics of campaign season? MORTIFIED'S TOTALLY JUVENILE ELECTION SPECIAL is your antidote to the political tantrums featuring stories of the strange campaigns we waged as kids. Featuring special guest, NPR White House correspondent TAMARA KEITH.
Mortified brings hilarious performance art to our ears with recordings of people telling personal stories in front of an audience at a bar somewhere. But unlike other shows with a similar construct, these aren’t crafted and practiced for hours beforehand: People read aloud from their unedited middle-school diaries, for instance, always around a particular theme. The silliness and the laughs will make you regress, in a good way, to a childlike state. The audience in Mortified is a crucial companion; it’s a camaraderie listeners need to ensure that they’re not alone in laughing at the reader’s expense. If nothing else, Mortified illustrates something everyone experiences during adolescence: We all just wanted to be loved—and we were pretty funny in our self-absorption.
09/14/2016 Bo Burnham (comedy!) makes it weird for a third time!
Thousands of interview shows exist in the podcasting space, probably because they’re fairly low budget and provide celebs an excuse to have playdates with other celebs. But so few strike the balance that the comedian Pete Holmes does, by sticking rather loosely to an agenda: He finds out how his guests feel about what happens after we die, about religion, meditation, veganism, and multiverses. He makes sure listeners know that his show isn’t funny, because it’s not about doing bits or “being on,” but it can often be the silliest conversation in the podcastsphere. Holmes’ candid efforts (and sometimes failures) to speak fluently with his guests about feminism, race, love, and friendship are the moments to look for. And most episodes conclude with stories about the hardest time the guest ever laughed, which leaves listeners reminiscing about the happy moments they hoard, too.
10/19/2016 Johnny Pemberton (comedy! Son of Zorn! We're Workin' Today!) makes it weird again!
Thousands of interview shows exist in the podcasting space, probably because they’re fairly low budget and provide celebs an excuse to have playdates with other celebs. But so few strike the balance that the comedian Pete Holmes does, by sticking rather loosely to an agenda: He finds out how his guests feel about what happens after we die, about religion, meditation, veganism, and multiverses. He makes sure listeners know that his show isn’t funny, because it’s not about doing bits or “being on,” but it can often be the silliest conversation in the podcastsphere. Holmes’ candid efforts (and sometimes failures) to speak fluently with his guests about feminism, race, love, and friendship are the moments to look for. And most episodes conclude with stories about the hardest time the guest ever laughed, which leaves listeners reminiscing about the happy moments they hoard, too.
11/28/2016Dr. 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.
Tell Me Something I Don’t Know takes science and wraps it up in a glittering game-show package. The creator and showrunner Stephen J. Dubner, of Question of the Day and Freakonomics, asks contestants to tell the judges something that they don’t know—like, say, how finding a few pounds of ambergris will make you tens of thousands of dollars richer. In the end, the judges crown a winner based on how much they are awed by the presentation. The show plays out like a happy hour before anyone’s sloppy, with everyone trying to one up each other, except the stakes are that someone goes home with a blue ribbon. When panelists break down in delight from a contestant’s I-bet-you-didn’t-know pitch—such as when an opera singer plays a recording of a man’s voice and then breaks out in song herself—it reminds you of what it was like to be a child gawking at dinosaur bones.
09/23/2016 When Axton Betz-Hamilton was 11 years old, her parents' identities were stolen. At that time, in the early 90s, consumer protection services for identity theft victims were basically non-existent. So the family dealt with the consequences as best they could. But then when Axton got to college, she realized that her identity had been stolen as well. Her credit score was in the lowest 2%.  As she was working to restore her credit, she inadvertently discovered who had stolen the family's identity. It would change everything forever.   View the photograph Axton describes here.   If you live in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Durham, Philadelphia, Anaheim, Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Iowa City, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, or Toronto. . . come see us tell all new stories live! Learn more at http://thisiscriminal.com/live/.  Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.  
The true-crime genre brings with it some ethical controversy—namely, when its practitioners create entertainment from other people’s pain. Criminal manages to uphold high journalistic standards instead of trafficking in monster stories or gory details. It does fresh reporting and avoids being a sound-bite aggregator, instead shining a light on the bizarre shadowy interplay between the law and outlaws. For instance, a tiger that lives at a truck stop in Louisiana is really a story about activists versus small business (“Tiger”). A prisoner’s body, stolen and harvested, reveals the lengths to which doctors used to go to obtain cadavers, all by way of an infamous escape artist (“One Eyed Joe”). Crime shows don’t have to glorify bad guys in order to satisfy listeners’ desire to examine the underbelly of society. Criminal’s ethos sets the true-crime bar high.