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Endless Thread

A weekly Technology podcast featuring Amory Sivertson and Ben Brock Johnson
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Episodes of Endless Thread

We know that there have been meme wars in America, and that Donald Trump has been called the “first president meme’d into office.” But in Kenya—a country where one of the only feasible forms of political expression is memes, and meme creators a
For being the internet's poster boy for bad luck, Kyle Craven thinks he sure got lucky. In this bonus episode of our meme series, Ben and Amory chat with Craven, better known as the face of the Bad Luck Brian meme that has circulated the web si
Anybody old enough to remember life before cutting the cord has probably seen the work of TV pitchman Billy Mays. But people much younger still know his face and squeaky OxiClean personality. While Mays died years ago, he’s lived on in meme for
If you typed “inauguration” into your web browser anytime between 2017 and 2020, you likely saw, near the top of your search results, an image of a person in a neon green jacket, black winter hat and glasses screaming “Nooooooooooo!” That perso
In 2013, four white musicians turned a local TV news clip featuring a Black man named Charles Ramsey into a song and uploaded it to YouTube. The auto-tuned meme, titled "Dead Giveaway," gained tens of millions of views virtually overnight. But
When two 12 year-old girls attacked their friend in the woods of Waukesha, Wisconsin in May of 2014, they claimed to have done it to please Slender Man -- a fictional monster created by Eric Knudsen, A.K.A. "Victor Surge," on an internet forum
The Punisher has always been a complicated Marvel antihero: a man whose creator imagined him as a reaction to the failures of government at home and in the Vietnam War. So why is the Punisher’s trademark dripping skull insignia — a menacing ima
He is known by several names, but Gordon Hurd is the one this man-turned-meme adopted when he fled Cameroon for the UK more than two decades ago. Gordon eventually found the app Fiverr and started making videos for anonymous benefactors on the
Most of us hate the photos our parents take of us. But what happens when one goes viral?  Zoë Roth was 4 years old when her dad took a photo of her smiling mischievously in front of a burning house. That photo would later spread like wildfire
Humor is a key ingredient of any unit of culture that morphs and spreads over time. But humor isn’t always there at the beginning. For “Real Housewife” Taylor Armstrong, the meme that made her even more famous on the internet has bitter roots:
Last week, we explored the origin of the “Rick Roll,” a meme that evolved from Rick Astley’s 1987 hit song, “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Since the music video resurfaced as the meme in 2007, the internet has also never given up on Rick – so much
Who gets credit for starting a meme? Usually... nobody -- they're made too quickly and organically. 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
If there is an OG meme in which a human is the star, Scumbag Steve is it. He spread across the internet like wildfire in 2011 as a universal representation of dudes who are the worst. And, like any person grappling with immediate internet fame,
We often think of memes as living solely online. But the term “meme” was coined in the 1970s -- before the birth of the internet -- by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. And, more surprisingly, the image that's often considered to "the fir
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 IRL... memes!
Ben tells Amory about a controversial idea for a reality TV show. Amory tells Ben about the thing Dr. Anthony Fauci did NOT say... but everyone thinks he did. 
Ben tells Amory about a subreddit trying to determine the identity of a mystery celebrity, and Amory tells Ben about an open letter penned by Reddit moderators that's calling on the platform to take stronger action against COVID-19 misinformati
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.
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 fantasti
Fun fact: Ben wooed his wife with a mix CD, and Amory's husband wooed her with a mix CD. The lesson? Never underestimate the power of a good playlist. But if it's a "Weird Spotify Playlist," the object of your affection better have a sense of h
Much like rewatching a favorite TV show in its entirety, it can be comforting to listen back to something from "the beforetimes." So this week, we're doing just that. We're revisiting an episode from 2019 that solved one of the internet’s most
Ever heard of horse repossession? How about equine semen fraud? 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 and a snowy white steed.
Is your voice your own? Not anymore. This week on Endless Thread, we present "Deepfake Dallas," courtesy of our friends over at Twenty Thousand Hertz, a podcast revealing the stories behind the world’s most recognizable and interesting sounds.
One of the things that makes Starbucks so liked by people everywhere is the amount of customization you can do with your drink. But is there such a thing as too much customization? On this week's Snacktime, Amory tells Ben about the viral "Edwa
From daily walks to sourdough starters, many of us found new ways to have fun and stay sane during the pandemic. For some, a new trend has plenty of... appeal. In this Snacktime episode, Ben tells Amory about an internet trend mixing personal
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