Does your morning trek to work include an underwater fistfight? Inflatable tanks used by the US Army? Found audio of a small town’s curse? Now it can, with the five best podcast episodes of the week—plus, humor from W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu, and an analysis of anterograde amnesia, as represented in Dory the tang fish and Memento’s Leonard Shelby.

Politically Re-Active, “Dog Whistling with Ian Haney-López”

This political season can make you laugh or cry—but if you’re looking to do more of the former, comedians W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu are here to discuss the sensitive issues of this election cycle with humor. In the first episode, UC Berkeley professor Ian Haney-López joins the hosts to explain dog whistling, or how politicians use coded language—from the racism of George Wallace to Bill Clinton playing sax on The Arsenio Hall Show—to resonate with specific groups of voters. Listen here.

Politically Re-Active

This political season can make you laugh or cry—but if you’re looking to do more of the former, comedians W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu are here to discuss the sensitive issues of this election cycle with humor. In the first episode, UC Berkeley professor Ian Haney-López joins the hosts to explain dog whistling, or how politicians use coded language—from the racism of George Wallace to Bill Clinton playing sax on The Arsenio Hall Show—to resonate with specific groups of voters. Listen here.

The Next Picture Show, “Finding Dory/Memento”

On The Next Picture Show, writers from The Dissolve discuss a recent release alongside a classic. This week, the team talks about two very different protagonists disabled by anterograde amnesia: Leonard Shelby, from Christopher Nolan’s Memento, and Dory, from Pixar’s Finding Dory. Listen to both episodes of this two-parter to hear about how the form of Memento and the parent-child relationship in Finding Dory represent the ways we rely on memory. Listen here.

Filmspotting

On The Next Picture Show, writers from The Dissolve discuss a recent release alongside a classic. This week, the team talks about two very different protagonists disabled by anterograde amnesia: Leonard Shelby, from Christopher Nolan’s Memento, and Dory, from Pixar’s Finding Dory. Listen to both episodes of this two-parter to hear about how the form of Memento and the parent-child relationship in Finding Dory represent the ways we rely on memory. Listen here.

Ungeniused, “The Ghost Army & Inflatable Tanks”

During World War II, the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops—recruited from art schools and ad agencies—had a special role: impersonate the rest of the US Army and deceive the enemy. These “camouflage engineers” and “sonic deceptors” were part of an early tactical unit that the Army still uses today. Play the Ungeniused podcast to hear the story of the Ghost Army and the inflatable tanks, fake radio communications, and dummy airplanes they used to mislead Nazi troops. Then go to Wikipedia to check out their insignia, which features a ghost shooting lightning out of its sleeve. Listen here.

RelayFM

During World War II, the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops—recruited from art schools and ad agencies—had a special role: impersonate the rest of the US Army and deceive the enemy. These “camouflage engineers” and “sonic deceptors” were part of an early tactical unit that the Army still uses today. Play the Ungeniused podcast to hear the story of the Ghost Army and the inflatable tanks, fake radio communications, and dummy airplanes they used to mislead Nazi troops. Then go to Wikipedia to check out their insignia, which features a ghost shooting lightning out of its sleeve. Listen here.

Outside Podcast, “Under Pressure”

Who was the first crazy person to experiment with going into a submarine—and how did people figure out how to get it right? The Science of Survival series, from Outside Magazine and PRX, explores how people get through impossible situations: being frozen alive, getting struck by lightning, going without water for a week. Listen to this installment to hear about John Day, an English carpenter who built the first submarine on record in 1774, and Bavarian engineer Wilhelm Bauer, who had to win an undersea fistfight to save his crew.

Who was the first crazy person to experiment with going into a submarine—and how did people figure out how to get it right? The Science of Survival series, from Outside Magazine and PRX, explores how people get through impossible situations: being frozen alive, getting struck by lightning, going without water for a week. Listen to this installment to hear about John Day, an English carpenter who built the first submarine on record in 1774, and Bavarian engineer Wilhelm Bauer, who had to win an undersea fistfight to save his crew.

Small Town Horror, “Tape 1: The Where”

At 19 years old, Ryan Jennings was abducted by a mysterious presence in Crayton, Minnesota, population 641. Now, 18 years later, he’s returning home to investigate the mysterious occurrences in a town with 10 times as many missing persons as anywhere else in the country. Check out this excellent, eerie found-audio horror podcast to hear “a side of Minnesota that isn’t from Garrison Keillor.” Listen here.

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At 19 years old, Ryan Jennings was abducted by a mysterious presence in Crayton, Minnesota, population 641. Now, 18 years later, he’s returning home to investigate the mysterious occurrences in a town with 10 times as many missing persons as anywhere else in the country. Check out this excellent, eerie found-audio horror podcast to hear “a side of Minnesota that isn’t from Garrison Keillor.” Listen here.

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Fistfights and Cursed Towns Top This Week’s 5 Best Podcasts