Episode 11Under the Hood

TMSIDK panelists Nicholas Negroponte, Seth Godin and Faith Salie behind the scenes. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

This week, we go “Under the Hood,” unearthing the secrets behind concealed ovulation, kosher food, cheesy dreams, pneumatic felines and negotiating. Our panelists are:

Seth Godin, author, marketer and action figure, who can change the world with a canoe, a paddle and a calm body of water.

Faith Salie, author of Approval Junkie and regular on CBS Sunday Morning and Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me…Something I Don’t Know, who has a very useless skill.

Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of the MIT Media Lab, who would make a great spy… and maybe already has.

Our real-time fact-checker is Bourree Lam, writer for The Atlantic.com and editor emeritus of a certain blog.

Episode 10Collections

Comedian Eugene Mirman searches through an encyclopedia for some collections. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

We’ve gathered amazing and surprising facts from the world of Collections. We’re not talking baseball cards and Beanie Babies—we’ve got: glucose, gamma rays, brainwaves, fake art and some very blue Russian. Our panelists:

Tim Ferriss, best-selling author and host of the Tim Ferriss Show, collects antique Japanese saddles for “special occasions.”

Anne Pasternak, director of the Brooklyn Museum, once collected a stomach full of cat food.

Eugene Mirman, comedian and voice of Gene on Bob’s Burgers, collects small failures.

Our real-time fact-checker is A.J. Jacobs, host of Twice Removed, who has some holes in his encyclopedic knowledge.

Episode 9Wordz

Our word-geniuses Joanna Coles, Adriana Trigiani and Maeve Higgins on Tell Me Something I Don't Know. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

This episode is all about the written — or spoken, or programmed, or texted — word. Let’s start with the letter “A”: absenteeism, abbreviations, AI, advertisements and …a rising tide. Our panelists:

Joanna Coles, content editor for Hearst Magazines, definitely recognizes Justin Trudeau when she sees him.

Adriana Trigiani, author of eight New York Times best-sellers, has done this whole “game show” thing before.

Maeve Higgins, comedian and host of the podcast Maeve in America, just needs a tub full of peanut butter.

Our real-time fact-checker is Bourree Lam, writer for the Atlantic and former wordsmith for a once-great blog.

Episode 8Athletes’ Feats

Ultimate Frisbee champion and real-time fact-checker Jody Avirgan ponders the veracity of a contestant's IDK. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

For our sports-themed episode, we left out all the tired cliches and instead jammed it full of odd trophies, hidden advantages, surprising innovations and… Trouble with a capital T.

Katie Nolan, host of Garbage Time on Fox Sports 1, has a gold medal in [Junior] Olympic [Rhythmic] Gymnastics!

DeMaurice Smith, director of the NFL Player’s Association, was almost a minister but decided that dealing with “deflategate” is more exciting than salvation.

Tami Sagher, comedian and writer for shows like 30 Rock and Inside Amy Schumer, is related to a soccer star, but can’t ride a bike.

Our real-time fact-checker is Jody Avirgan, head of ESPN’s 30 for 30 podcasts and championship level Ultimate Frisbee, who thinks we should digitize our podcast’s name.

Episode 7Perfection

Panelists Melanie Whelan, Mike Pesca and Lizz Winstead. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

Our first episode of Season 2 is close to perfection: our contestants bring you perfect cows, rats, tongues, water and calendars.

Melanie Whelan, CEO of SoulCycle, is just like President Barack Obama, in that she’s been to Richard Branson‘s private island.

Mike Pesca, host of Slate’s The Gist podcast, is an accomplished jello juggler.

Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show, keeps her dog close to her at all times…her ex-dog, that is.

Our real-time fact-checker is A.J. Jacobs, who is definitely related to Albert Einstein.

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Episode 0Season 2 Sneak Peek

Taping Tell Me Something I Don't Know Season 2 with Eugene Mirman, Anne Pasternak and Tim Ferriss. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know  Season 2 is coming! We’re putting out 10 new episodes — as fresh and sparkling as the contestants and panelists — starting Feb. 19. The fascinating facts you love will be back, of course, with a few fun surprises each episode. For now, here’s something to whet your appetite.

Some of this season’s panelists: self-improvement guru Tim Ferriss, Hearst editor Joanna Coles, SoulCycle CEO Melanie WhelanDaily Show co-creator Lizz WinsteadThe Gist host Mike Pesca, MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte, author and entrepreneur Seth Godin, sports reporter Katie Nolan, NFLPA director DeMaurice SmithBillions producer Brian Koppelman, investor and writer James Altucher and Thinx creator Miki Agrawal.

And we have comedians aplenty: Eugene Mirman, Maeve Higgins, Faith Salie, Tami Sagher, Hari Kondabolu, Tami Sagher, Aasif Mandvi, and a few surprises.


(Photo: Lucy Sutton)

Of course host Stephen J. Dubner (of Freakonomics Radio) is back, and accompanied each night by a real-time human fact-checker to keep everyone (mostly) honest.

So please enjoy this taster, and subscribe today so you don’t miss any of your future top-10 favorite podcast episodes. Our first full episode of Season 2 will be out on February 19, with a new episode each week for 10 weeks. And we’re already taping Season 3 in March and April in Washington, D.C, Boston, Chicago and our home New York City, so come be a contestant or get tickets to see the show. Also, follow TMSIDK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Episode 6Fool Me Once

Panelists Hannibal Buress and Annie Duke backstage with Stephen Dubner before the show. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

Missing hands, missing bodies, missing scientific evidence. This week’s contestants try to fool the panelists:

Hannibal Buress, comedian, currently hosting the podcast Handsome Rambler. He’s boycotted a certain series of movies because of the main character’s name.

Annie Duke, professional poker player and decision-making expert, who gives a new meaning to “nickel-and-diming.”

Father James Martin, S.J., Jesuit priest and best-selling author, who got his professional start at a movie theater.

Our “Real-Time Human Fact-Checker” is Sean Rameswaram, who produces podcasts for WNYC Studios, including Radiolab’s Supreme Court spinoff, More Perfect.


Episode 5Passion Plays

Panelists and contestants confer during Wheel of Maximum Danger round. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

All of the things we’re passionate about, in a positive or negative way, from sports to sounds to experimenting on students. This week’s panel of passionate people:

Angela Duckworth, author of the best-selling Grit and psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Interned along the most famous intern in our country’s political history.

Austan Goolsbee, economist at the University of Chicago and former White House economist, who collects movie ticket stubs.

Keisha Zollar, actor, comedian, and host of the Applying It Liberally and The Soul Glo Project podcasts; also the proud owner of a semicolon.

Our “Real-Time Human Fact-Checker” is Negin Farsad, host of the podcast Fake the Nation and author of the book How to Make White People Laugh.

Episode 4Things That Come Out of Your Mouth

Real-Time Human Fact Checker Sean Rameswaram gasps at what's coming out of people's mouths on this episode. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

Part two of our oral fixation: How to talk to your doctor, marine regurgitations, and texting. The panel:

Frank Delaney, novelist, podcast host, and “the world’s most eloquent man.” May or may not have had untoward interactions with a horse.

John McWhorter, Columbia University linguist and host of the Lexicon Valley podcast. Working on his 20th book.

Mehmet Oz, better known as Dr. Oz, Columbia professor of surgery and TV host; knows how to treat his own bee stings.

Our Real-Time Human Fact-Checker is Sean Rameswaram, who produces podcasts for WNYC Studios, including Radiolab’s Supreme Court spinoff, More Perfect.

Episode 3Things That Go In Your Mouth

Contestant Ashbell McElveen presents his IDK. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

Food in the White House, why you can feel okay about drinking more, and a little mouth music. Our panel of smart people includes:

Zeke Emanuel, medical doctor and chief architect of the Affordable Care Act, who was once thrown in jail for not drinking.

Sam Kass, former White House chef, nutrition activist, and entrepreneur; recovering sugar addict.

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, host of the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast; recovering lawyer.

Our Real-Time Human Fact-Checker is Sean Rameswaram, who produces podcasts for WNYC Studios, including Radiolab’s Supreme Court spinoff, More Perfect.