If you're like millions of other people, you hate making phone calls. "Why can't I just text," you might think, "and only call if there's an emergency?" Google may soon have a solution with Duplex, a new technology for conducting natural conversations to carry out “real world” tasks over the phone. For many this feels like a startling and innovative convenience -- no more awkward conversations making appointments or routine check-ins, right? Yet critics of this concept warn we may be approaching something much bigger, and much more dangerous, than a simple piece of helpful software. If computers begin effectively impersonating you, how will you be able to prove your own identity?
Often in the mainstream media the term "conspiracy theory" is used as a way of dismissing a claim or idea immediately -- and it's a technique that works more often than you might think. However, despite the ardent efforts of various powerful groups across the planet, numerous events initially called conspiracy theories turned out to be conspiracy facts. Join the guys as they explore conspiracies that turned out to be true.
Over the course of his career with NASA, legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin changed the course of human history. From his groundbreaking work with EVA techniques to his walk on the moon with Apollo 11 mission commander Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin has seen and done astonishing things. In 2018, news outlets claimed Buzz Aldrin had one more astonishing achievement under his belt, an event kept secret until the modern day: Apparently, he had seen a UFO in space.
During the Vietnam War, the U.S. government was desperate to maintain order and combat the growing domestic opposition to the war effort -- both the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. waged a war of ideas, of propaganda that could, in its own way, wield as much power as a bullet or a bomb. When U.S. deserters fled the war and traveled to the U.S.S.R. or neutral countries, they became a propaganda tool of immense proportions -- and the U.S. wanted them back, regardless of what laws might get broken, or how many people might be injured along the way. Join the guys as they explore the strange, secret story of Operation Chaos.
If you've ever spent time on Facebook or Instagram, you've probably seen a few strange posts advertising tremendous opportunities to start your own business -- along with a friend or acquaintance -- selling anything from cosmetics to nutritional supplements. And the opportunities don't stop there! You can also recruit your friends, loved ones and complete strangers to sell these products for you. It might sound too good to be true... and often it is. Join Ben and Matt as they delve into strange world of multi-level marketing, and the stuff its supporters don't want you to know.
The Kennedy family is one of the most well-known and influential dynasties in US politics, and the family members are enormously wealthy. Yet despite successfully seeding nepotism at the heights of government, functioning as pseudo-celebrities and racking up substantial profits over the generations, the family has historically been fraught with personal tragedy. Join the guys as they crack the case of the Kennedy curse.
Nowadays Canada has a well-earned international reputation as an incredibly polite and considerate country, but like any nation Canada has more than a few skeletons in its historical closet. Join the guys as they explore the strange story of Canada's quest to 'scientifically' detect the sexual orientation of employees -- and to fire them for the perceived results.
At the height of their success, the band Blink-182 became a key force in the development of pop punk. Despite their worldwide fame, guitarist and vocalist Tom DeLonge eventually left the band. Why? Join Ben, Matt and special guest John Goforth of Hysteria 51 as they explore the story behind DeLonge's new mission -- a project he and his supporters believe could change the world.
In small towns, neglected glades and college campuses across America, small groups of bearded wanderers in homespun clothes are spreading a message -- that the End of Times is upon us, and only the truly righteous shall be saved. Living primarily off the grid and on the fringes of society, this group has proven extremely effective at hiding its converts from law enforcement and concerned relatives. In fact, it's difficult to get a grip on exactly what this group is and what they wish to do. Join Ben and Matt for a closer look at the mysterious group 20/20 called "The Garbage Eaters".
Compared to other countries, the US has a massive incarceration rate. While the prison system has passionate supporters and ardent opponents, there's another aspect to the story -- one often ingored and forgotten: What happens to the children of prisoners? Join the guys and special guest Julian Wyatt as they explore the untold story of children caught in the web of the prison industry.
Google -- or, more properly, Alphabet -- is a huge company, and is at the bleeding edge of numerous technological innovations. So, while it wasn't necessarily a surprise that Uncle Sam wanted Google's help building AI, it certainly disturbed a great many people, some of whom were Google's own engineers. So what exactly happened? Join the guys as they dive into the strange story of Project Maven.
For years residents of Windsor, Ontario have been haunted by a strange, disruptive noise. Sometimes compared to a truck idling or distant thunder, numerous residents say the noise has damaged people’s health and quality of life, But what exactly is the Windsor hum? Join the guys as they dive into the mystery.
It's a common trope in film and TV -- a police department at their wits' end calls in a favor and makes contact with a genuine psychic, someone in tune with the greater mysteries of life, death and the universe. In works of fiction these individuals often do possess some spark of extraordinary ability, but what about in real life? Join the guys as they delve into the world of true crime and allegations of ESP to discover whether any real-life psychics have solved actual crimes.
It’s official -- after decades of dead ends, tantalizing theories and frustrating leads, justice has finally caught up with The Golden State Killer, also known as The Original Night Stalker. 72 year old Joseph James DeAngelo seemed set to quietly disappear from history, known only as a grandfather with a weird temper problem -- one of the cranky old men so common in neighborhoods across suburban America. But new DNA anaylsis leveraging the massive, growing databases in both federal and private hands led law enforcement down a trail they'd long thought had grown cold. Tune in to learn more about how justice finally caught up to the Golden State Killer.
What if everything you encounter in your day-to-day interactions is somehow prescient? Are the games you play and the films you watch meant to normalize genres of experience -- and, if so, to what end? Ben and Matt explore the idea of weaponized mass media from the early days of deification to a startling story by Edgar Allan Poe and beyond.
Whether in fiction or in real life, the concept of the serial killer occupies a unique space in the American zeitgeist. Audiences across the planet flock to films about serial killers, and readers across the world peruse headlines of true life crimes with morbid (in some cases, obsessive) curiosity. And, for many, this fascination goes further than reading a book or watching a film. Join the guys as they shine a light on the controversial, secretive trade of relics known as murderbilia.
It's one of the most ancient practices in human civilization, and one that continues in the modern day. In recent decades experts, military officials and activists alike have argued over the definitions of torture -- and, most importantly, whether it actually works. So how much truth is there to the claims that, while unethical, torture delivers results? What's the Stuff the Authorities Don't Want You To Know about what goes on in those unobserved black sites hidden across the planet? Tune in to learn more.
You might have heard this one before -- for years, various fringe researchers and commentators have argued that the government or some other shadowy entity is purposefully changing the gender of amphibians (specifically, frogs) throughout the United States. So what's the truth behind the headline? Join Ben, Matt and Noel as they separate the hilarious fiction from the disturbing facts of the case.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, located in western Asia, has historically been the seat of several massively influential empires. Today, it's home to over 81 million people and some of the world's most lucrative petroleum supplies. Currently tensions between Iran and the West are ratcheting up at an unprecedented rate, and both sides portray the other as unrepentent antagonists hellbent on destruction. So how did we get here? Join the guys as they delve into the strange history of Iran, imperialism, the West and war.