Hoaxes

Sue via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/w9jdX

We’ve all heard the saying “seeing is believing”, but does it ring true in a photoshopped-world? On today’s show we’ll try to find the answer to this question: why are we so easily duped by viral images:

Then, take the Talented Mr. Ripley, add several more aliases, and a dash of gruesome, and you get Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter. Writer Walter Kirn talks about being swindled by a man masquerading as a scion of the Rockefeller family, who was really a cunning imposter and a murderer.

Plus, a look back at one of the greatest hoaxes in American history, the Giant Indian of Cardiff.

wetwebwork via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/prnBg

Abraham Lincoln famously said: you can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. On today’s show we celebrate April Fools’ Day with some notable Presidential pranks.

Then, forget the days of the crank call, today’s kids are getting their kicks in a much more dangerous way: by dispatching swat teams on their enemies through phony 9-1-1 calls, and watching as the raids stream live on the internet. 

Listen to the full show or click read more for individual segments.

Conspiracies, Cults, & Cons

Oct 16, 2014

Pull the shades, put on your skeptics cap, leave your friends behind and climb on board because today’s show is all about conspiracies, cults, and cons. From the magic bullet that killed JFK, to Jim Jones cyanide punch, to the Ponzi scheme, America has had its fair share of conspiracies, cults, and cons. We’re going to take an unexpected look at all three, starting with the conspiratorially minded among us.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Sheep photo: Roger Davies via flickr Creative Commons/Modification: Logan Shannon / NHPR

As college kids move back to campus, one Ivy League insider says that elite universities aren’t producing independent thinkers, but high functioning sheep. On today’s show: the downside of being among the best and the brightest. Then, we’ll find out what happens when an innocent college prank turns into a full-blown Wikipedia hoax five years later. Plus, a look at some of the best books coming out this month.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


4.1.14: Pranks, Hoaxes & Cons, Oh My!

Apr 1, 2014

Happy April Fools! All jokes aside, we have a no-fooling show with a look at all sides of pranks, hoaxes, cons, and the experts who study and make them happen. Whether you're the creative pranker or the reluctant prankee - we've got the April Fools show for you. Oh, and don't forget your headphones! You know, just in case you can't listen inside your plastic-wrapped car.

Listen to the whole show and click Read more for individual segments.