November 1, 2015

EP. 92 — BONUS EP! What Zombie Movies Get Right About Real Pandemics

Last year’s worldwide Ebola outbreak brought into harsh reality the kind of imagery we typically only see in movies like ‘Outbreak’ or ‘Contagion’: the faceless officials in hazmat suits, the quarantine tents, the sudden fear of anyone who sneezes on an airplane. Though over 10,000 lives have been lost worldwide, it bears reminding the amount of US lives lost to the virus: one. So despite being bombarded with this cinematic imagery, it’s clear in retrospect that we weren’t in that much danger after all.Was our hysteria overblown? Or was the awareness brought on by the media panic the driving force behind the virus’ containment?

When our perception of pandemics has only ever been framed in the visual language of movies, it’s hard to grasp the actual science behind how these things spread. In this special bonus episode of The Cracked Podcast, Jack O’Brien and Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) are joined by GE’s chief medical officer Dr. David Barash to discuss Ebola’s outbreak and containment, and the relationship between Hollywood pandemics and real ones.


Recent Episodes

January 26, 2020

Freedom sucks…and that is why we have to defend it. Because our democracy involves doing a lot of stuff that takes energy, takes time, and lacks that Michael Bay Quality that only a surprise missile launch can provide. So on this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt and special guest Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) are exploring the ways being afraid of everything (an easy action) can stop us from being free. Discover the decades-long tradition of some Americans wanting to give up everything in exchange for not needing to think, the centuries-long tradition of people inciting fake panics, and the reasonable ways you can help change things for the better.


January 19, 2020

How’s your local shopping mall doing? Have you checked on it lately? Swing by sometime, because its department store might’ve turned into a call center or a hospital or a go-kart track. On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by the one and only Kai Ryssdal (Marketplace, Make Me Smart) for a look at surprising, strange, and shocking stories from all over the U.S. economy. Discover an international pig flu, a 26-word statement that built the modern Internet, and more amazing ways cash is ruling everything around you. By the way, if you’re an American listener, you spent the past few years funding an astonishingly huge bailout. Surprise! Listen for details!


January 12, 2020

Movies, TV, gaming: three things that are theoretically a waste of time. Oh sure, they deliver value in the art sense, and comfort in the goofing-off sense. But what if they’re more valuable than that? What if consuming shows and playing video games (accidentally) turns people into real-life heroes? On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians/writers Caitlin Gill and Alex Watt for a look at the surprising number of times that exact thing happened. They’ll explore stories of regular people who saved a life thanks to skills gained randomly from cartoons, sitcoms, ‘World Of Warcraft’, and more silly entertainment.