Death, Sex & Money

Every Wednesday, we'll let you know what we're working on, as well as what we're reading and listening to. And we'll share some of the stories and questions that we've been getting from you. Check out past newsletters here.


04/16/2017 Prince Harry speaks to the Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon for the first episode of her new podcast, Mad World, where she interviews guests about their mental health experiences. The half-hour conversation provides listeners with a candid insight into the inner-most thoughts of a modern young royal.
Prince Harry opens up about grieving his mother two decades after her death in the first episode of Mad World, Bryony Gordon's new podcast about mental health and stigma.
04/09/2017 Come out. Repeat. Record. Follow Nancy on Facebook and Twitter and sign up for our newsletter at Nancy is a production of WNYC Studios. Theme music by Alex Overington. Scoring by Jeremy Bloom with additional music by Broke For Free ("Hella" and "Add And"), UltraCat ("Disco High"), Wake ("Nick Beat"), Little Glass Men ("Kelp Grooves"), and Co.fee ("Calabash").
Earlier this week, we put out a special bonus in the Death, Sex & Money podcast feed—a story from WNYC Studios' brand new show, Nancy! In their very first episode, co-host Kathy Tu talks with her mom about being gay—a conversation they've had a few times before, but has never seemed to stick. "I don't want to talk about it," Kathy's mom tells her, in Mandarin. "I think this is my fault. I gave birth to you this way, isn't that my fault?" Subscribe to Nancy's feed to hear more real, and sometimes messy, stories about the LGBTQ experience today.
04/04/2017This week, host Tavi Gevinson interviews Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor (aka Lorde, aka @lorde) about growing up, getting personal in her writing, her new single “Green Light,” and her forthcoming album.  Also featured: career advice from Hilton Als. --- Each week on the Rookie Podcast, we'll interview people we admire: artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers, activists. We'll also spotlight the work of Rookie readers (now listeners!) and contributors. We'll discuss creativity, pop culture, feminism, activism, self-care, love, friendship, and more. --- Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @tavitulle @rookiemag @mtvpodcasts  --- Find us at: | |
It's new and good! Hooray! Also Lorde.
03/30/2017Once Joe Stone learned how to use his paralyzed body, he immediately set an audacious goal: he would race in an Ironman triathlon—despite the fact that no quadriplegic athlete had ever attempted the event. And after that? Well, Joe decided he could go much, much bigger.
I was in awe of & inspired by Joe Stone's determination
03/23/2017On April 16, 2015, police officer Jesse Kidder encountered a murder suspect named Michael Wilcox in a suburb outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. What happened next was caught on video and surprised a lot of people, including police. And the incident tells us a lot about how these videos have changed us. Follow us on Twitter @nprembedded, follow Kelly McEvers @kellymcevers, and producer Tom Dreisbach @TomDreisbach. Email us at
"You know, we pray for everybody–even the bad guys." Police officer Vicky Coburn, along with her husband and fellow officer, Buddy Coburn, talks with Embedded host Kelly McEvers about an encounter with a suspect that turned violent—but didn't end in gunfire. "I think a lot of it has to do with the media and the portrayal of police officers shooting people," Buddy says. In the final episode of a series on police videos, a look at the so-called "Ferguson effect," and how public police videos are changing us.
03/14/2017San Francisco International High School is the city’s only high school exclusively for recently arrived immigrants. But you can also think of it as a factory. What comes in are immigrant teenagers speaking 18 different languages, including Arabic, Russian, Tagalog and Spanish. Many haven’t been to school in years. Some have never used a three-ring … Continue reading S2 Episode 2: The Big Pitch
After Hilda was arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border as an unaccompanied minor, she was required to go to school in order for her to stay in the country. She ended up at San Francisco International High School, which specifically helps young immigrants learn English and pursue an education they might not have gotten in their home country. Hilda tells The Leap about how different her new life is from where she came from, and how she still wants to help her family back home. "I try to explain to them," the high school senior says. "They are my strength, that's why I'm doing this. But it's just super hard."
03/15/2017The day Sophie got her period, there were phone calls and high-fives all around. Sophie was psyched. But her mom, author Amy Silverman, felt torn. What does it mean to have daughter with a grown-up body, and a mind that doesn't quite match? To join the conversation, go to! This episode is brought to you by Aeroflow, Crane & Canopy, Sun Basket,, and Kopari
Amy imagined the worst when doctors confirmed her daughter Sophie had Down syndrome. It's a reaction she cringes at now, after watching Sophie grow into an active girl with her own interests, routines—even a boyfriend. Sophie's always been eager for maturity, but Amy tells The Longest Shortest Time podcast she was caught off guard when her daughter started going through puberty. "I have a child who has pubic hair and sucks her thumb," Amy says. "She's definitely caught between two worlds."
08/17/2016In this deeply personal and heartfelt conversation the fashion therapist and Project Runway mentor, Tim Gunn, opens up about his struggles with learning to be comfortable in his own skin and using his talent, creativity and passion for the arts to inspire others.
"Michael Ian Black's How to Be Amazing interview with Tim Gunn was one of the best interviews I've ever heard. Michael Ian Black asks such incredible questions—so thoughtful and moving—and you could tell Tim was really touching on subjects he'd not delved into for a while, if at all."
11/20/2016Episode 4 - Sara Pascoe by Cariad Lloyd
"I recommend Cariad Lloyd's incredible Griefcast. Cariad lost her father in her mid-teens very soon after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She's now using this experience to talk to other comedians about their experiences with death and grief. The show really hits home both in its frank discussion of what comes before death and dealing with the emotions that follow. My chest tightened and ached, and my heart was in my throat the whole time I was listening to it, but it felt such a relief to hear people talking about death in such an open and honest way."
02/21/2017The caste system, religion, arranged marriages and bisexuality are on the mind of this caffeinated caller. Raised in Kenya and India, educated in California and currently living on the East Coast, he opens up about dealing with his conservative religious family. The conversation spans from breaking down western stereotypes about Indian culture, to the amazing dosa place that Gethard goes to in Queens. This episode is brought to you by Seeso ( code: BEAUTIFUL), Mailchimp (, Talkspace (, and ZipRecruiter (
Beautiful/Anonymous host Chris Gethard takes a call from a young man keeping a secret from his conservative, religious Hindu parents. The caller shares how he kept waiting for any of his siblings or cousins to break away from his traditional upbringing so it wouldn't come as a complete shock when he's ready to tell his parents that he's bisexual. "My mom thinks I'm a saint," he tells Chris, adding that he probably won't say anything until he knows who he wants to settle down with. "She'll be shell shocked."
07/12/2015Flesh-eating bacteria. A loss of all four of his limbs. And then? That’s when Will’s story gets really wild. I could’ve spoken to Will Lautzenheiser for days. He’s a wonderfully insightful, well-spoken guy with an experience that just fascinates on every conceivable level. If you’d like to hear the uncut (three hour!) interview, you’ll find it at Huge thank you and shout out to Mara Bresnahan, without whom Will and I may never have met.
"My podcast episode recommendation is 'His My Arms,' episode 30 of The Lapse. Will Lautzenheiser lost his arms and legs to flesh-eating disease and received arm transplants a few years ago. His whole story is incredible, but the reverence with which he speaks about his donor's arms brought out the ugly sobs in me. Just a beautiful tribute to the most amazing gift a human can give to another, and an excellent piece to share with anyone hesitating about signing their donor cards."
02/01/2017 Ezra Edelman is the director of O.J.: Made in America. “When I say what I learned is that America is even more fucked up than I had previously thought, it’s that—the superficiality of it. How we are willingly seduced by these shiny people and these shiny things. And, again, when I looked at O.J.’s trajectory, that was an operating principle.” Thanks to MailChimp, Squarespace, Casper, and Secrets, Crimes, & Audiotape for sponsoring this week's episode. @ezraedelman [00:45] "Vanish" (Evan Ratliff • Wired • Nov 2009) [00:45] O.J.: Made in America [02:30] Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals [10:30] The Straight Story [20:30] Tamara Rosenburg on IMDB [38:15] Caroline Waterlow on IMDB [39:15] Nina Krstic on IMDB [46:30] "What Football Does to the Brain" (Mike Orcutt • MIT Technology Review • Jan 2016) [52:15] "Most Black People Now Think O.J. Was Guilty" (Carl Bialik • FiveThirtyEight • Jun 2016)
Ezra Edelman never met O.J. Simpson, the focus of his 8-hour documentary series, but was told by those close to Simpson that he'd like the former football player. Edelman tells the Longform Podcast about the intense research efforts that went into making O.J.: Made in America, and what it was like watching Simpson's disarming nature in the archival footage he used. "You see this charm that starts to take over," Edelman says, describing tape of Simpson winning over a skeptical interviewer—years after Simpson was acquitted of murder. "You see the man at work."
02/07/2017B & E dedicate this episode to a slept-on G.O.A.T. - the legendary Donny Hathaway. Revisiting his raw talent, unforgettable balladry, and why we need him today.
The most recent episode of For Colored Nerds dives in deep into soulful balladeer Donny Hathaway's musical catalog. Co-host Eric Eddings reflects on Hathaway's cover of "A Song For You" as a particularly gut-wrenching track that's different than most other songs about heartbreak. "Usually you're hearing these songs and these ballads and you're in it—you're at the bottom," Eric says of the song's emotional depth. "But this is slightly after that, where you're trying to see if there's possibly an upswing." Hear him and co-host Brittany Luse explore how Hathaway's music stays relevant to anyone in or out of love today.
12/14/2016Two more murders in Boston bring the total to 7. The Strangler continues to elude investigators through the winter and spring of 1963. Then, in June, New York police find the body of sixty-two-year-old Zenovia Clegg in a Times Square hotel. She had been strangled, using a scarf tied in the Strangler’s signature bow. The NYPD quickly catches Clegg’s killer, a drifter from Maine named Charles Terry, and one legendary detective there, Tom Cavanagh, begins to suspect that he has arrested the real Boston Strangler. But the Boston PD doesn't seem to care. Host Portland Helmich traces Cavanagh’s life-long pursuit of evidence supporting his theory, and reveals the surprising details of Charles Terry’s life that seem to confirm his guilt. This episode is brought to you by Talkspace (, Audible (, Blue Apron (, Casper Mattresses (, Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories, and A Crime to Remember on Investigation Discovery.
One of the biggest surprises for me in new and favorite podcasts has been Stranglers by Earwolf. It's about the Boston Stranglers. Yes, plural. It looks at the crimes that unfolded in the early 1960s, the possible suspects, and the difficulties of investigating a sensationalized series of murders. The production values are top-notch and there are still new stories and details that have surprised even this Bostonian (and there's even a possible NYC connection—see Episode 5, "The Gotham Strangler.") It's gripping storytelling—and yes, that is a poor choice of words—that keeps me pulling the covers up even more during a late-night listen.
01/13/2017Nazanin Rafsanjani is a beloved member of the Gimlet family, overseeing Gimlet’s advertising wing. She also has an incredible family story, moving to the U.S. from Iran during the Iran-Iraq war. And Nazanin’s family tree is filled with people who left their communities and started over, from the victim of an epidemic, to two literary icons. We’ll tell these stories, and introduce her to a mystery relative. CREDITS Twice Removed is produced by Meg Driscoll, Ngofeen Mputubwele, Matthew Nelson, Audrey Quinn, and Kimmie Regler. Our senior producer is Eric Mennel. Editing by Jorge Just and Alex Blumberg. Michelle Harris is our fact checker. Research and genealogy by J. Mark Lowe and Eowyn Langholf. Music and sound design by Haley Shaw. Interpreting and translations by Raha Hakimdavar and Sara Goudarzi. Additional music by Blue Note Sessions. Special thanks this week to Casey Turner, Loretta Shugrue, Sarah Rodriguez, Suzanne Campbell and the West Texas Collection at San Angelo State University,Vickie Webb, Dr. Frank Sousa, Heather Wylie, Brad Moseley and The American School for the Deaf, Dr. Amy Malek, Khodadad Rezakahani, and the band Lowland Hum. Jeffrey Einboden’s new book which talks about Emerson and his Persian influences is “The Islamic Lineage of American Literary Culture.” You can reach us at We tweet @TwiceRemoved, and we’re also on Facebook. Twice Removed is a production of Gimlet Media. I’m AJ Jacobs, we’ll be back next week with more Twice Removed. Hopefully you’ll be filled with delight… or perhaps abject horror. You never know. It’s family. Our Sponsors Blue Apron- Get your first three Blue Apron meals delivered for free by going to Squarespace - Go to and use the offer code "TWICE REMOVED" at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase And be sure to check out another podcast about family: The Longest Shortest Time, hosted by Hillary Frank! 
Nazanin Rafsanjani's family fled Tehran in the early 1980s, soon after the Iranian Revolution. Nazanin was four years old at the time, and doesn’t remember as much about the journey as she does about transitioning into her new American life. "When you're a kid, people are protecting you and you don’t even know," the Gimlet Media creative director tells Twice Removed. Hear Nazanin retrace her family's arrival in the U.S., and reconnect with a mystery guest who made their relocation possible.