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Great Big Story

A weekly Society and Culture podcast
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Episodes of Great Big Story

The year is 1982. The first compact disc player is released. George R. R. Martin’s book A Game of Thrones is still 14 years from being published. And a teenager named Robert Wardhaugh starts a game of Dungeons & Dragons. Thirty-eight years late
When Jarrett Adams was 17 years old, he was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to 28 years in prison. Fueled by his desire for justice, Adams set out to prove his innocence from within the prison law library, despite never having opened a legal
Back in the days before electricity, a peculiar tradition rose out of southeastern North Carolina. Over vast swaths of farmland, voices would ring out to say good morning, ask for help, or just to share a ditty. The old timers called this tradi
In the summer of 1989, someone had tried to kill a beloved resident of Austin, Texas, and the people were demanding justice. The victim was barely clinging to life, as countless well-wishers sent get-well cards and cans of chicken soup. Who was
Once upon a time, a mysterious substance emerged that was so precious, so wondrous to have inspired a kind of worship. That magical object was … a chalk. But not just any chalk! This was Hagoromo: a Japanese brand so smooth, so perfect that som
As the dog days of summer wear on, many of us grow nostalgic for the hours spent blasting our friends with one of the best-selling toys of the early '90s: the Super Soaker. This pressure filled water blaster is all thanks to a nuclear scientist
An avid runner since high school, Hannah Gavios suffered a spinal cord injury after a horrific attack in 2016 that left her partially paralyzed. But she didn’t let that end her dream of running a marathon. Unable to imagine a life without runni
Whether you know him by name or not, you’ve definitely seen James Hong before. From movies like “Blade Runner” and “Chinatown,” TV shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and “Seinfeld,” and animated features like “Kung Fu Panda” and “Mulan,” in his o
All his life, Eugene Shoemaker dreamed of stepping foot on the moon. A geologist and planetary scientist known for his work with craters, Gene worked tirelessly in the hopes of becoming an Apollo astronaut so he could explore the lunar surface.
Hidden in wilderness off the coast of Vancouver Island, Canada sits the magical home of Catherine King and Wayne Adams. 45-minutes by boat to the nearest town, this couple’s sustainable fortress is complete with a dance floor, art galleries, an
What do David Bowie, NWA, and the theme song to Futurama all have in common? They’ve all used the Amen break, a four-bar drum solo that has become the most sampled loop in recorded music. The six second sample originates from the 1969 song “Ame
At the heart of CIA headquarters stands an enigmatic sculpture called Kryptos, encoded with a secret message. For over 30 years, it's stumped an entire community of puzzle solvers. Master cryptologist Elonka Dunin refuses to give up on this cha
This is a great big world we live in, and there are millions of untold stories all around us. Join us as we discover the curious, surprising, delightful side of the human experience. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit
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