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October 27, 2017

Things I Mean to Know

There are so many facts about the world that we take for granted—without ever questioning how we know them. Of course the earth revolves around the sun. Of course my dog loves me. But how exactly do we know things like that are true? This week, stories of people trying to unspool some of life’s certainties, and what they find.

AP Images


Prologue

Guest host David Kestenbaum talks to producer Diane Wu about a list she keeps of things she means to know. Sweet potatoes vs yams. Are they different? The same? What exactly is going on there? (8 minutes)

Fraud Complex


We’ve all heard reports that voter fraud isn’t real. But how do we know that’s true? David Kestenbaum went on a quest to find out if someone had actually put in the work—and run the numbers—to know for certain. (17 minutes)



Flake News

Producer Zoe Chace has been following Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake for the last few months, reporting on the run-up to his re-election bid in 2018. They’ve had hours of conversations, including one recently that totally perplexed her. Until Sen. Flake made a big announcement this week. (6 minutes)

Song:

““It Ain't Hard To Tell"” by Will Sessions

Period Drama

Remember learning that women’s menstrual cycles tend to sync up when they spend a lot of time together? Producer Diane Wu was skeptical. So she went looking for evidence. (14 minutes)

Song:

““I Need to Know”” by Tom Petty