There are questions the internet just can't answer. But that doesn't mean we can't find them.
On each episode of Underunderstood, we find a question the internet can’t answer — maybe it’s a dead-end Wikipedia page, an abandoned Reddit thread, or an unanswered question on Twitter — and we fill in the gaps. It’s part chat show, part documentary, and almost always surprising.
Episodes with Smash Notes
Adrianne buys some money online in order to track down a rumor about Chinese bank tellers.
- 2:06 - Photos of the $100 bills: Front / Back
- 3:35 - Hell money
- 13:18 - Reporter Jon Christian
- 16:35 - Wayne Homren's blog post from 2011
- 19:00 - Money Makers (99% Invisible)
- 21:30 - Fascinating ways to count money! Bank teller shows quick counting skills (YouTube)
- 21:40 - Chinese cashier's amazing cash counting skills (YouTube)
- 21:50 - Chinese bank teller counts money by ear (YouTube)
- 25:59 - The Knowledge
Custom art for Underunderstood is made by Phil Robibero.
Underunderstood is taking a break. We'll be back in November. Don't forget about us, and send story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll be dropping some bonus material, so stay subscribed for updates.
Adrianne tries to figure out if there is a right way to play Netflix’s awkward social media game.
- 10:08 - Social Learning and Coordination in High-Stakes Games: Evidence from Friend or Foe
- 11:55 - Friend or Foe clip - YouTube
- 15:35 - Shubham Goel for Governor 2018 and video of Shubham’s campaign speech - Instagram
- 19:15 - Shubham's diagram
- 21:44 - Here's Why Richard Hatch Won't Be on Survivor's All-Winners Season - Men's Health
- 23:24 - The Winner of The Circle Opens Up About Life IRL - Wired and ‘The Circle’ on Netflix: 20 Burning Questions Answered - Decider
- 25:11 - Teaching Prisoners' Dilemma Strategies in Survivor: Reality Television in the IR Classroom - Mark B. Salter
Why do so many Pennsylvania homes have freestanding toilets in their unfinished basements?
- 01:21 - Pittsburgh toilet - Wikipedia
- 02:44 - The dual toilets at Cloister Cafe - Yelp
- 04:19 - Peculiar Pittsburgh: The Pittsburgh potty ... explained - YouTube
- 06:50 - Documenting The Pittsburgh Potty - 90.5 WESA
- 08:11 - Slavery in Pittsburgh - Popular Pittsburgh
- 11:33 - Architect Offers Explanation For Pittsburgh's Basement Toilets (And It's Not What You Think) - 90.5 WESA
- 15:16 - Andrea Allen
- 16:22 - Double D Plumbing - Manta
Is H&M using Billie Eilish to greenwash?
- 01:19 - H&M Now Sells Billie Eilish Merch — & It's Sustainable - Refinery29
- 03:05 - Sustainable Fashion on Wikipedia
- 04:29 - A copy H&M's press release
- 05:15 - Greenwashing on Wikipedia
- 05:49 - H& amp;M's Billie Eilish collection
- 05:53 - H&M's Conscious Collection
- 06:20 - Here are some of the publications that called this line sustainable: Teen Vogue, MTV.com, Mic, WWD, NME
- 10:56 - "Is Billie Eilish's line at H&M sustainable?" - Google
- 12:56 - Greenwashing Alert: H&M and Billie Eilish Collaboration - Eco-Stylist
- 13:47 - Eco-Stylist's criteria for brands they work with and their transparency report outlining their ethics and business model
- 15:38 - H&M called out on "illegal" sustainability marketing - Ecotextile
- 24:40 - H&M: fair living wages were promised, poverty wages are the reality - International Labor Rights Forum
- 25:31 - Perspex's sustainability information page
- 26:24 - H&M Menlo Park
- 27:40 - H&M Woodbridge
- 31:00 - Sunrise Movement on Wikipedia
- 31:30 - Alex O'Keefe
- 36:53 - Sunrise Movement is asking people to hold 2020 launch parties on January 29. You only need gather a few friends, and it's a great way to get started in collective action.
Add “Smurf butt” to the list of things to expect when you’re expecting.
- 00:43 - Maile's original email included this article.
- 01:45 - When jeans bleed onto your skin, you can tell.
- 03:40 - According to a study done at Johns Hopkins there is a correlation between heartburn and hairiness. The heartburn is due to estrogen causing the esophageal sphincter to relax, which allows stomach acid to splash up into the esophagus. That estrogen is also responsible for hair growth in the developing baby.
- 04:45 - If you're interested in purchasing some art of a Smurf's butt crack, we got you.
- 06:01 - Chromhidrosis on Wikipedia
- 06:28 - This man turned blue and Oprah interviewed him about it in 2008.
- 11:00 - Here are some of the forums I browsed: What to Expect, CafeMom, Pregnant Chicken, Everyday Chemistry, Reddit, Pregnancy Podcast.
- 11:14 - Andrei Rebarber
We’ve done 12 stories so far, and since we first published them there have been some updates, and new details have emerged. Today we’re rounding those up.
- 3:50 - Elitech RC-4 Temperature Data Logger Recorder with External Temperature Sensor
- 7:50 - Ben Chapman and Don Schaffner of the Food Safety Talk podcast
Is Cap’n Crunch getting smaller or are we just getting bigger?
- 00:22 - Cap'n Crunch was created by Pamela Low in 1963.
- 01:50 - Urban Dictionary defines Cap'n Crunch Mouth as "When the roof of your mouth gets all torn up after eating Cap'n Crunch or some other rough food."
- 03:15 - The Try Guys: Eugene Ranks The Most Popular Cereals
- 04:30 - Peanut Butter Puffins
- 07:11 - A collection of tweets claiming Cap'n Crunch has shrunk
- 08:21 - My Brother, My Brother and Me
- 08:24 - Justin McElroy's cereal podcast The Empty Bowl
- 08:41 - Pete is monitoring the The McElroy Family website with something like urlwatch
- 09:38 - Cap'n Crunch's about page
- 12:31 - Greatest Hits: Huey Lewis And The News (YouTube)
- 16:29 - Here are photos of a box of Cap'n Crunch from 1995 with "partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil" listed as an ingredient.
- 18:38 - Jason Liebig on Twitter
- 18:44 - CollectingCandy.com
- 19:25 - Cap'n Crunch's Cotton Candy Crunch
- 21:53 - Jason's Instagram is fun but his Flickr is INCREDIBLE
- 23:50 - New York Times article from 1994 about the Doritos redesign
- 24:55 - You're probably tired of hearing about the Mandela effect by now. There's even a thriller film about it.
- 25:05 - An archived version of Wikipedia featuring "Hot and Cold Nerds."
- 25:16 - Nerds Hot and Cool - Discovered!! A CollectingCandy.com World Premiere!!
- 25:49 - Statement from Quaker Foods
- 27:17 - Cereal Time TV - Gabe Fonseca's YouTube channel
- 27:48 - Gabe eating Cap'n Crunch from the 90s on YouTube
- 30:16 - Billy's photoshop to determine the size of 90s Cap'n Crunch
- 34:45 - Official written statement from Cap'n Crunch
- Episode artwork by Phil Robibero
A small town fights for internet justice with a biscuit boycott.
- 2:23 - LulaRoe Defective Fail on Facebook
- 3:29 - Biscuitville page on Wikipedia
- 4:51 - Petition: BRING ABED HASSAN BACK on Change.org
- 13:53 - The First Pizzaville vs. The First Biscuitville
- 17:47 - Biscuitville announces a new president
- 18:56 - Jim Metevier (LinkedIn)
- 19:59 - Zaxby's (BONUS: Zaxby’s made it on My Brother My Brother and Me’s Munch Squad segment.)
- 21:48 - Mountain Mike's announces a new president
How a misfit polka band scored a premium spot on the World Wide Web in 1995.
- 0:35 - "The Verge is an ambitious multimedia effort founded in 2011 to examine how technology will change life in the future for a massive mainstream audience." (The Verge)
- 4:05 - More Brave Combo accolades are on their Wikipedia page
- 4:11 - Bob Dylan's version of Brave Combo's polka arrangement of "Must Be Santa" (YouTube)
- 6:53 - Domain Name Journal
- 8:11 - What Brave.com/bo looked like in 1998 (Wayback Machine)
- 11:23 - Appropos of nothing, here's a figurine of Carl Finch for sale on Etsy. He also has his own Wikipedia page
- 13:01 - Beer Barrel Polka by Diet Polka (Soundcloud)
- 13:50 - Purple Haze - The Jimi Hendrix Polka, from Brave Combo album Polkasonic
- 14:18 - Brave Combo performs the Chicken Dance at a live show (YouTube)
Brave Combo songs in this episode (Spotify playlist):
- "Do Something Different"
- "The Simpsons Theme"
- "In Heaven, There Is No Beer"
- "Ice Machine in the Desert"
- "Crazy Serbian Butcher's Dance"
- "Purple Haze (Polka Version)"
- "The Chicken Dance"
McFlurries aren't what they used to be. Why did McDonald's stop stirring them?
- 2:29 - McFlurry demo (YouTube)
- 6:40 - Adrianne's McFlurry
- 8:40 - Why Is the McFlurry Machine Down Again? (WSJ)
- 9:07 - Ice Check
- 10:10 - Are McFlurry's supposed to be mixed? (Reddit)
- 12:08 - On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane
- 15:06 - Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald's?
- 19:55 - VitaMix VM0804A - McFlurry Ice Cream Mixer (Used)
- 23:51 - I Tried To Get A Flurried McFlurry And This Is What Happened (Buzzfeed)
- 27:51 - Log your McFlurry at The Flurry Index
While we’re working on new episodes of Underunderstood, we we'd share an episode of another podcast we love: Endless Thread. It’s a show that brings Reddit to life by tracking down its strangest, most compelling stories, and talking to the folks involved in those stories.
This episode is about an old dice game called The Deadly Double. In order to find the origins of the game, Amory Sivertson and Ben Brock Johnson fall into a series of rabbit holes, including an enormous dice collection, a former FBI agent, and a Pearl Harbor conspiracy theory.
Ben Brock Johnson – co-host/senior producer
Amory Sivertson – co-host/producer
Josh Swartz – producer
Mix and sound design by Paul Vaitkus
John finds out if it is safe to eat a suitcase full of chili peppers that have been missing for three days.
- 5:45 - Where’s My Suitcase
- 8:16 - #wheresmysuitcase on Twitter is a harrowing scene
- 10:50 - Bags, Inc.
- 11:11 - Bags VIP
- 11:50 - Bags, Inc.’s corporate video on Vimeo
- 14:04 - We cannot link to F-14 Baggage because they have absolutely no web presence
- 18:40 - The Middle Seat at the Wall Street Journal
- 21:00 - The weather in Albuquerque in January 2019
- 22:56 - The weather in New York City in January 2019
- 23:45 - “SP Plus Corporation Agrees to Acquire Bags”
- 23:52 - SP Plus’s official website
- 27:57 - A lot of chatter on Twitter about wheresmysuitcase.com
- 30:32 - Z Orange Systems
- 36:10 - Food Safety Talk, a podcast hosted by Don Schaffner and Ben Chapman
A special request: Have you ever been mad at your spouse, or anyone, for something that happened in a dream? Has anyone ever been mad at you because of something you did in their dream? Tell us about it. You can leave us a voice message on Anchor, or record a voice memo on your phone and email it to email@example.com.
The surprising history behind a charming marquee in downtown Newark, New Jersey.
- 00:06 - Billy shot and edited Underunderstood's trailer video in one day.
- 00:24 - KCRW's 7th Annual 24-Hour Radio Race
- 00:58 - KCRW announced the theme on Twitter
- 01:09 - Wiktionary defines "where the sun don't shine" as "up or in the anus."
- 03:27 - Little Theatre on Cinema Treasures
- 03:36 - This little porn movie house learned to survive for decades -- until last week - NJ.com
- 04:51 - Whitney Strub blogs at strublog
- 05:55 - NJTV News was there as the Whole Foods opened.
- 06:23 - Audible's Innovation Cathedral
- 06:29 - The Cameo on Cinema Treasures
- 06:48 - Club Zanzibar - Wikipedia
- 07:05 - The Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium was actually built before Zanzibar's building was demolished, but it was removed to make room for new development and now the stadium, which was sold to a private developer for a loss, will likely be demolished as well.
- 07:44 - Can New Jersey's Last Porn Theater Survive Gentrification? - Vice
- 08:31 - The thread on AdultDVDTalk.com
- 10:43 - The four minute version of this story for KCRW's Radio Race
Adrianne tries to order from a local sushi restaurant, but an unfamiliar voice answers, promising "awesomeness." Awesomeness for whom?
- 2:16 - “GrubHub is buying up thousands of restaurant web addresses. That means Mom and Pop can’t own their slice of the internet,” published June 28, 2019 by H. Claire Brown at The New Food Economy.
- 13:07 - Dark patterns
- 13:54 - A report about Munish Narula’s class action lawsuit from Nation’s Restaurant News
- 14:19 - “Restaurateurs across the country say they are waking up to a years-long, high-tech bamboozling by Grubhub involving hidden fees for orders that never happened,” reads the lede for The New York Post’s first story in a series on phony fees, May 19, 2019.
- 23:03 - “Grubhub repays one eatery $10K over fee protest,” published June 24, 2019 by The New York Post.
- 23:30 - Watch the full hearing, “The Changing Market for Food Delivery,” here.
- 32:17 - Grubhub and Yelp announced a “long-term partnership” in 2017
Billy’s sister thinks a photo that repeatedly goes viral on Reddit is suspicious.
- 0:40 – All of the photos discussed in this episode are available on our website
- 2:02 – Snopes: “Is This a Photograph of a World Trade Center Tourist on 9/11?”
- 3:23 – Pinball Gallery
- 5:59 – The Balloon Saloon has nothing to do with this episode, but it is a place in Tribeca.
- 6:39 – In 2014, Austin Sansone popped up on Reddit to claim the photo.
- 8:05 – Former child actor Mark Lester
- 26:35 – r/AlternateAngles
- 26:45 – The photo got another boost of attention in 2018, when it showed up on Reddit again.
- 26:51 – Aol published an article that was also posted on Yahoo.
A Wikipedia stub about the worst Florida theme park idea ever sends John on a search for the reason it never opened.
- 0:45 - New Vietnam on Wikipedia
- 1:12 - Dolly Parton's Stampede (formerly Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede)
- 2:16 - Carl McIntire on Wikipedia
- 3:52 - Wild West City
- 5:50 - New Vietnam in Uncle John's Ahh-Inspiring Bathroom Reader
- 7:25 - Portable Press
- 8:11 - 20th Century Reformation Hour
- 8:44 - Some clips of the 20th Century Reformation Hour
- 9:37 - Christianity Today, May 2002 (paywall)
- 10:41 - Dr. Randall Balmer's website
- 12:42 - Fred Phelps on YouTube
- 14:54 - The Carl McIntire Collection at Princeton Theological Seminary Library
- 15:55 - Faraday Cage
- 19:03 - "Body Counts" by Dr. Yen Espiritu
- 24:27 - FCC Fairness Doctrine
- 24:46 - Infowars on Wikipedia
- 24:50 - This American Life episode about Alex Jones
- 29:17 - History of the Present (registration required), an article about film theory published in The North American Review in 1976, led us to the Newsweek story about New Vietnam.
- 30:40 - Actually, Newsweek's online archives only go back to 2013
- 30:48 - The September 8, 1975 issue of Newsweek that John bought on eBay
- 37:19 - Florida Today, November 8, 1975
- 39:33 - Ricky Ly's food blog Tasty Chomps
A tweetstorm about men’s role in pregnancy leads Regina to find a man who spent over a decade suppressing his sperm count with a piece of yarn.
- 00:33 - Wikipedia page for heat-based contraception
- 00:57 - The movie 'Heat' is the first time Robert De Niro and Al Pacino starred in a movie together
- 01:31 - Regina would like to state for the record that said baby is now 1 year old, absolutely adorable, and spends significantly less time crying than she did at the time of the initial pitch.
- 01:40 - The tweet storm that started it all
- 03:23 - Chris Jenks' website
- 04:00 - The underwear
- 04:43 - Billy spent approximately 10 minutes explaining what a cordstop is here. It has been cut down for your entertainment and also because who cares about cordstops this much.
- 05:41 - Kaleb Dornheim wrote this article about how to tuck safely
- 08:38 - Chris' LinkedIn page
- 12:31 - Marthe Voegeli
- 16:54 - According to Weather Underground, the average temperature of the day was 54 degrees Fahrenheit
- 20:06 - John K Amory
- 22:12 - "Breakthrough for male contraceptives?" in Daily Mail UK
- 27:42 - Elon Musk's net worth is reportedly in the range of 20 billion US dollars
- 27:50 - Paul Allen - Wikipedia
After watching an episode of “Catfish: The TV Show,” Billy goes on a deep dive to find the meaning of a curious ankle tattoo, the eccentricities of the Philadelphia accent, and one man’s fixation with the word “gas.”
- 00:40 - Catfish: The TV Show - Wikipedia
- 00:57 - Catfish - Season 7, Episode 18 - Nick and Jasmine (video)
- 01:35 - To Catch a Predator - Wikipedia
- 01:46 - Definition of Catfish by Merriam-Webster
- 03:36 - "Gayus" video clip from Catfish (video)
- 05:27 - Wawa
- 06:46 - MFSB - South Philly
- 08:04 - Nick: @NickFresh215 / @NickFresh215
- 08:14 - Jimmy: @jimmyharrity / @jimmy_harrity
- 09:22 - Jordan Oplinger on Twitter
- 13:03 - Mean Girls - Stop trying to make fetch happen (video)
- 16:39 - Betsy Sneller's personal website
- 17:11 - William Labov - Wikipedia
- 17:23 - Sociolinguistics - Wikipedia
- 19:06 - Mechanisms of Phonological Change by Betsy Sneller
- 20:08 - /æ/ raising - Wikipedia
- 26:31 - Excerpt from The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
- 28:01 - History of the Irish Americans in Philadelphia - Wikipedia
- 28:23 - Irish slang videos on YouTube
Irish Time with Jack! (video)
Irish Slang / Teaching Irish Slang (video)
Irish Slang & Swear Words! (video)
- 32:50 - The Vocal Fries Episode 35: How Millennials are Destroying the Philly Accent (audio)
- Philadelphia magazine - Here’s How Millennials Are Changing the Philly Accent
CBS Philly - Experts Seeing Shift In Philadelphia Accent Thanks To Millennials (video)
- 33:06 - Preston & Steve (12.11.18) (audio)
- 36:17 - L-vocalization - Wikipedia
- 38:48 - Send us your question!
There are questions the internet just hasn't answered yet. We investigate those questions and get the answers.