Stuck in traffic on your way to the office? Consider Uber—or rather, consider how Uber’s database of customer information provides economists with a rare understanding of how demand curves work. Looking for something even more sinister than databases of your financial decision-making? Listen to the true story of a man who encounters spirits through his radio. But wait, that’s not all we have in this week’s podcast roundup! You should also make time for a creepy story of a roommate possessed by a spirit well-versed in English Lit 101, learn how human language will survive the apocalypse (in very tiny font), and get started on American Public Media’s new podcast delving into the abduction of Jacob Wetterling.

Strange, “Sheila Wysocki, Russell Koonce, Whitley Strieber, Scott Cantrell and Eli Sanders”

A man talks to a spirit through the radio in his apartment. A curse haunts an international piano competition. A woman becomes a private investigator to research the gruesome murder of her college roommate—and helps to solve the crime, 20 years later. In Strange, five people share their own experiences with the sordid and mysterious. Listen here.

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A man talks to a spirit through the radio in his apartment. A curse haunts an international piano competition. A woman becomes a private investigator to research the gruesome murder of her college roommate—and helps to solve the crime, 20 years later. In Strange, five people share their own experiences with the sordid and mysterious. Listen here.

The Truth, “Sleep No More”

If you haven’t listened to The Truth, start now: Often dark, often funny, always strange, each episode offers an original performed short story. This week, Dan finds his college roommate’s endless chatter annoying—until the roommate is possessed by a being with extraordinary insights about all of Dan’s freshman English reading assignments. Dan uses the ominous being to his advantage—but at what cost?

If you haven’t listened to The Truth, start now: Often dark, often funny, always strange, each episode offers an original performed short story. This week, Dan finds his college roommate’s endless chatter annoying—until the roommate is possessed by a being with extraordinary insights about all of Dan’s freshman English reading assignments. Dan uses the ominous being to his advantage—but at what cost?

Freakonomics, “Why Uber is an Economist’s Dream”

Uber’s trove of data on its customers strikes many consumers as sinister—but for an economist, it’s a gold mine. Economist Steven Levitt gained access to 54 million user sessions from Uber, detailing when people used the app to take a ride—and when they opened the app, saw surge pricing, and thought better of it. Levitt explains how this Uber data offers insight into long-unproven ideas about demand curves—and explains how the rise and fall of surge pricing actually works. Listen here.

WNYC

Uber’s trove of data on its customers strikes many consumers as sinister—but for an economist, it’s a gold mine. Economist Steven Levitt gained access to 54 million user sessions from Uber, detailing when people used the app to take a ride—and when they opened the app, saw surge pricing, and thought better of it. Levitt explains how this Uber data offers insight into long-unproven ideas about demand curves—and explains how the rise and fall of surge pricing actually works. Listen here.

In the Dark, “The Crime”

On Oct. 22, 1989, 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling was abducted. American Public Media’s In the Dark will examine the Wetterling case—which was solved just last week—and how it fueled national concerns about stranger danger and led to the first nationally mandated sex offender registry. In the first episode, listen to his brother’s audio testimony from the original investigation, and hear from Jacob himself. Listen here.

APM Reports

On Oct. 22, 1989, 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling was abducted. American Public Media’s In the Dark will examine the Wetterling case—which was solved just last week—and how it fueled national concerns about stranger danger and led to the first nationally mandated sex offender registry. In the first episode, listen to his brother’s audio testimony from the original investigation, and hear from Jacob himself. Listen here.

The Allusionist, “Rosetta”

If our hard drives fail and cloud storage evaporates, how will future archaeologists decipher the endless languages that the human race uses for self-expression? Luckily, one three-inch-wide slice of electroplated nickel contains 13,000 miniscule pages of information to unlock 1,500 human languages. Listen here to learn about how the Rosetta Stone deciphered hieroglyphics, and the modern languages entrusted to the Rosetta Disk. You may not be able to read it without a 1,000-power magnifying glass, but it beats a hard drive—or a book—when it comes to surviving the salt atmosphere of the ocean or the temperatures of a cooling volcano.

If our hard drives fail and cloud storage evaporates, how will future archaeologists decipher the endless languages that the human race uses for self-expression? Luckily, one three-inch-wide slice of electroplated nickel contains 13,000 miniscule pages of information to unlock 1,500 human languages. Listen here to learn about how the Rosetta Stone deciphered hieroglyphics, and the modern languages entrusted to the Rosetta Disk. You may not be able to read it without a 1,000-power magnifying glass, but it beats a hard drive—or a book—when it comes to surviving the salt atmosphere of the ocean or the temperatures of a cooling volcano.

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