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Episode 15Wannabes

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden joins TMSIDK in Washington, D.C. to judge the "Wannabes." (Photo: Anthony Washington)

TMSIDK travels to Washington, D.C. — the city that wants to be a state — to learn about wannabes, from international spies to new human organs. Our panelists are:

Tim Harford, “Undercover Economist” and host of the BBC podcast More or Less, who once matched wits with [a] James Bond.

Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, who can’t wink but can dream of a career on the baseball diamond.

Rahmein Mostafavi, one of D.C.’s top comics, who achieved one of his “wannabe” dreams …and lived to regret it.

Our real-time fact-checker is Femi Oke, international journalist, who struggles to get Americans to understand her.

Episode 14Oh, My God

Stephen Dubner and the TMSIDK panel. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

We look into unholy fruit, religion in banking and the politics of reincarnation. Our panelists are:

John Fugelsang, comedian, actor and host of SiriusXM’s Tell Me Everything, who holds the record for deepest conversation — beneath the Bermuda Triangle.

Tami Sagher, comedian, actor and Upright Citizens Brigade all-star, who almost made it on Jewish public-access TV.

Aman Ali, comedian, producer and storyteller, who lost a wrestling match in high school because of his religion.

Our real-time fact-checker is A.J. Jacobs, host of Twice Removed, who stoned an adulterer in Central Park — with permission.

Episode 13Money Money Money

Panelists Hari Kondabolu, Cheryl Dorsey and Brian Koppelman ready for TMSIDK's Money episode. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

TMSIDK is going on a spending spree, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Ethiopia, meeting up with fundraisers, ancient traders and some money that should probably be laundered. Our panelists are:

Brian Koppelman, filmmaker and co-creator of Billions, tried to make it big as a tournament table tennis player.

Cheryl Dorsey, social entrepreneur and president of Echoing Green, needed her mom to sell her Girl Scout cookies.

Hari Kondabolu, comedian and co-host of Politically Re-Active, just saw Star Wars for the first time and needs a discussion buddy.

Our real-time fact-checker is A.J. Jacobs, host of Twice Removed, who knows the true value of a $1,000 haircut.

Episode 12Stupid Stuff

Comedian Aasif Mandvi has a head full of Stupid Stuff. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

This episode of Tell Me Something I Don’t Know is all about “Stupid Stuff” — things that seem stupid but aren’t and things that don’t but are. Our panelists are:

James Altucher, author and host of the podcast the James Altucher Show, who is an honorary Kentucky colonel.

Miki Agrawal*, entrepreneur and founder of Thinx, who built her own digital slot machine in ninth grade…sort of.

Aasif Mandvi, comedian and author of No Man’s Land, who has a knack for selling sweaters in Florida.

Our real-time fact-checker is Sean Rameswaram, producer for Radiolab’s Supreme Court spinoff, More Perfect, who definitely knows how playground slides work.

*Agrawal talked more about her business on an episode of Freakonomics Radio.

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.

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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.

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.